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Top 10 Best Yoga Mats For a Perfect Practice
New yogis and gurus alike—it’s time for an upgrade! Toss that crusty, musty, dusty mat to the curb and listen up. Whether your trusty old pal is on its last legs or you’re not ready to go back to rental mats post-pandemic, you deserve to treat yourself.
As many yoga instructors have preached over the years, your yoga mat is your grounding anchor — a treasured tool that supports you (literally and metaphorically) through your practice. So, why not invest in something worthy of your favorite flow?
With the current abundance of trendy yoga brands out there, there are tons of options to choose from. You can match your mat to your at-home decor or choose from a variety of cool styles and patterns and flex on everyone in-studio. But what if you don’t know where to look, or even what to look for? As usual, QMan’s got you covered with our list of the best yoga mats for 2021.
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What To Look For in a Yoga Mat
Before you pick out the perfect mat, you have to familiarize yourself with the thickness, texture, and materials that will suit you and your practice best.
Are you setting up on your living room carpet? Your studio’s hard flooring? On the grass at the park? This is an important factor to consider when deciding on the amount of padding you’re looking for in a yoga mat. Chances are you’re going to be spending a lot of time putting pressure on your wrists, knees, and various other joints, so you want to feel comfortable in the process. Yoga mats often measure with a thickness of anywhere from 0.4mm to 6mm, so there are plenty of sizes to choose from.
On top of the thickness factor, carefully selecting the texture and material of your yoga mat can improve your moves significantly. Keeping an eye out for durability and grip is key, as well as makes that are easy to clean—especially if you’re hitting up a hot yoga session or practicing outdoors. PVC foam is one of the best yoga mat materials when it comes to those factors, but there are also more sustainable options such as cork, rubber, or cotton. Assess your priorities and buy accordingly!
Here at QMan, we’ve picked out 2021’s best yoga mats and sorted them into a handful of categories to make your life easier. Happy shopping!
10 Best Yoga Mats in 2021
Best Budget: Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat (6mm)
Let’s say you’re new to yoga and you’re not sure you’re ready to invest, or you’re a seasoned yogi who’s currently pinching pennies. You’re looking for a yoga mat that will last but aren’t willing to drop the big bucks right now. That’s where the Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat from Gaiam comes in! Listed at just under $30, this mat is super affordable without skimping on the brand’s signature high-quality feel. Not only can you spice up your life with the reversible colors, but at an extra-comfy 6mm thick, you’ll soar through your asanas like you’re floating on a cloud. Textured, non-slip, lightweight, and durable all at once, with this mat you’re definitely getting the best bang for you’re buck.
Best Splurge #1: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat (6mm)
On the other end of the spectrum, we have one of the best and more expensive yoga mats on the market today: the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat. As special as it is pricey, it’s offered in array of simple colors, and the Manduka Pro is built to last. With high-density PVC foam cushioning to support your joints, this mat also features a textured top and bottom to keep both you and your mat from slipping and sliding. Manduka mats are hand-crafted in Germany with closed-cell, latex-free material that’ll keep moisture and bacteria at bay, so you can keep it clean, fresh, and avoid any post-practice funk.
Best Splurge #2: Nike Mastery Yoga Mat (5mm)
Now this is a mat to write home about. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Nike than the sleek, strong yoga mat the Mastery is. In addition to its trustworthy grip and lightweight feel, this mat is cool as can be—and we don’t just mean that aesthetically. The Nike Mastery literally features a “cool-to-the-touch” sensory experience to keep you from overheating during that extra-sweaty vinyasa flow. That’s all thanks to its unique material, natural stone rubber, which is also anti-odor and sustainably sourced! Totally worth spending a little more than you typically would, if you ask me.
Best Splurge #3: Alo Yoga Warrior Mat (4.2mm)
With each of its innumerable features proving more useful than the last, All Yoga’s Warrior Mat is certainly one of the best yoga mats out there right now. With a top layer constructed from 100% polyurethane leather and a 100% rubber bottom, this mat is 100% the coolest. But don’t let its gorgeous and unique matte finish fool you—this mat isn’t playing games. Ethical, non-toxic, moisture-wicking, and PVC-free… Is there anything the Warrior Mat can’t do? (Hint: The answer is no!) Ringing in at 4.2mm, it’s soft enough to support you all while keeping you completely grounded.
Best Hot Yoga Mat: Halfmoon Mighty Mat (4mm)
Falling into the mid-range price category, the Mighty Mat is a no-brainer when it comes to a hot yoga mat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sweat, but an intense hot yoga class requires an intense yoga mat. You need something sweat-proof and sticky to keep you rooted, and this PVC mat is a great option for that. You just need to be sure to get a good deep clean going on your mat between each sweat sesh to enhance the mat’s naturally built-in traction.
Best Travel Mat #1: Lululemon Carry Onwards Mat Travel (2mm)
Lululemon’s Carry Onwards mat is made specifically for travel. Malleable, compact, and easy to pack, this mat is your best bet if you’re a jet-setter or need something that fits in a weekender bag or backpack. It also doesn’t compromise on style, as it’s offered in two subtle, gender-neutral colors. It’s made with sustainably-sourced natural rubber and is guaranteed not to fray even when tossed around in your luggage. If you’re tired of lugging a big, fat mat around on public transit or while biking to your neighborhood yoga class, look no further!
Best Travel Mat #2: Jade Yoga Voyager Mat (1.57mm)
A more affordable travel-friendly option is the Voyager Mat from Jade Yoga. Only 1/16” (1.57mm) thick and 1.5 pounds, the $40 Jade Voyager folds down to the size of a yoga block, making it the perfect choice for those who have limited storage space or need to travel light. While it’s not very cushioned and won’t necessarily top its competitors in terms of durability, its low price makes it a great quick pick for a man on the go.
Best Yoga Mat For Tall Men: Lululemon The Reversible Big Mat (5mm)
Extra-long, extra-wide, and extra-fun! The Reversible (Big) Mat from Lululemon features a gorgeous design and was made specifically for tall yogis everywhere. Only the really big boys out there will understand the pure frustration of not being able to settle into shavasana because their feet are hanging off the end of their mats. If you don’t want your height to get in the way of getting your stretch on, this is the yoga mat for you.
Best Sustainable: Yogamatters Eco Cork Yoga Mat (4mm)
You’ll definitely stand out from the crowd with this stunning cork yoga mat! This eco-friendly option is as quirky (read: corky?) as it is sustainable. Featuring cork sourced from oak trees and slip-free, ethically-farmed natural tree rubber, this is a yoga mat made for the tree-hugger in all of us. If you’ve never practiced on a cork mat before, you may feel a bit unsure about this Yogamatters number, but at 4mm, it is guaranteed to offer just as much comfort as your traditional mat. Best of all? Yogamatters claims that cork bark is naturally anti-bacterial and will keep your mat smelling squeaky clean. Plus, if you’re worried at all about saving the planet but missing out on grip, you can lightly spray the Eco Cork Mat with water before you begin your practice.
Best Thick Yoga Mat: Halfmoon Deluxe Studio Mat (6mm)
Want the best thick yoga mat option that’s perfect for the park? Despite its name, the Deluxe Studio Mat from Halfmoon is an excellent bet when practicing in nature. This yoga mat is 6mm of PVC foam, protecting your hands, feet, and all your other bits from concrete or whatever may lie in the grass. It’s also extremely lightweight and easy to wipe down, which makes it an ideal mat to transport to your outdoor practice and clean up afterwards. Be sure to snag this one for your next sun salutation!