The Best Yoga Mats, According To Top Yoga Instructors
The Best Yoga Mats, According To Top Yoga Instructors
It’s a crime against yoga to let a bad mat disrupt your practice, so let the pros tell you about the best of the bunch.
How to really pick the best yoga mat, especially if you can’t downward dog on every model in existence? After all, besides costing you money, picking the best yoga mat for you isn’t a decision that even a chill yogi should take lightly. It can really alter your practice. Unlike the thousand pairs of leggings you own, your mat is the one thing every you’ll use every single time you practice, and you’ll be schlepping it to and from class on the regular. If your knees are killing you because the material isn’t thick enough, or you’re slip-sliding all over the floor because you didn’t get one with enough grip, there goes your focus, right?
That’s why we asked some of the top yoga instructors about their favorite mats and what makes them so great. These are the best yoga mats out there as picked by yoga celebrities, celebrity instructors, and some of the top teachers across the country.
- Best Cushioned Mat: Manduka Pro Mat ($95-$130)
- Best Grippy Mat: Jade Harmony Yoga Mat ($70-$80)
- Best All-Around Mat: Lucent Hue Esme Yoga Mat ($55)
- Best Upgrade Mat: Liforme Yoga Mat ($150)
- Best Mat for Travel: YogaZeal Yoga Mat ($75)
- Best Mat for Vinyasa: Gaiam Sol Yoga Mat ($54)
- Best Mat for Studio Style: La Vie Boheme Santiago Yoga Mat ($86)
- Best Durable Mat: Lululemon The Reversible Mat ($68)
Read on to learn more about the best yoga mats.
Mandy Ingber, an L.A.-based celebrity yoga instructor, has taught clients including Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence. Her favorite mat, the Manduka PRO, is a tried and true pick that’s great for many yogis. Ingber likes that this comfortable mat is fairly light, but the best part about it is that it “doesn’t leave a rubbery smell on your hands and has a slight cush without being too slippery.” A bonus: It’s latex-free for those of you that need to keep that in mind.
Buy it: $95 for standard, $130 for long, amazon.com
Obsessed with hot yoga? The Jade Harmony Mat, the favorite of Sam Emrich of New York City-based Y7 Studio, is the pick for you. You can sweat buckets in zillion degree heat, and this mat, made from open-cell, natural rubber, is staying put. “This mat has really great grip, which is important during an intense yoga class,” says Emrich. “It prevents me from slipping and sliding when I’m sweating.” It comes in lots of sunny colors, too.
Buy it: $70 for standard, $80 for long, amazon.com
Let’s call a spade a spade: Yes, the Esme Mat is, quite possibly, the prettiest mat in the history of mats. But it’s not just all looks. Kristin McGee, a celebrity yoga instructor in New York City who’s helped celebs including Tina Fey and LeAnn Rimes Cibrian get fit, likes this mat for its function, too. “It’s got a good grip, has a nice thickness, plus it’s soft and cushy, too,” she says.
Buy it: $55, etsy.com
Try this yoga flow for instant energy:
This one is a little more expensive than your standard mat. However, if you’re really hoping to take your practice to the next level, Colleen Saidman Yee, celebrity yoga instructor and founder of acclaimed Yoga Shanti studios in The Hamptons and New York City, says the Liforme mat is worth the investment. “The mat has the perfect amount of stick and cushioning for my 58-year-old body. Plus, the geometric drawings on the mat are wonderful for alignment, stride and symmetry—all which make a world of difference to the asana practice.” She also adds that the colors—purple, pink, green, blue, and black—are particularly pleasing shades.
Buy it: $150, amazon.com
Private yoga instructor Alexis Novak, based in L.A., gives the highest marks to YogaZeal’s eponymous mat. Not only does she love the design, but “they’re able to be machine washed and hung to dry. No need for a towel because they’re a towel and mat in one.” Which is basically a yogi-on-the-go’s dream come true.
Buy it: $75, amazon.com
The last thing you want when you’re zoning into your flow is sore hands and feet from a lack of cushioning. That’s why Bethany Lyons, founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga in New York City, loves Gaiam’s Sol, a dense mat that’ll still allow you to connect with your body. “It’s super cushiony, so I can work my hands and feet on the mat,” she says. And if you really want to go this distance, this mat will go with you, Lyons says. “It’s great for handstands, too!”
Buy it: $54, amazon.com
Related: 7 Yoga Poses to Help You Poop
Sometimes, you just do yoga so you can feel galvanized—so you should have mat that matches. Lauren Taus, instructor at Sweat Yoga and Equinox in Santa Monica, loves this gorgeous mat for that reason exactly. “They’re the most beautiful mats. I love how it feels to lay out my mat, and practice on something that visually grounds and inspires me,” she says. As a bonus, Taus adds that she feels good practicing on a non-toxic and latex-free mat, owned by two awesome women.”
Buy it: $86, amazon.com
“Lulu’s mat is incredibly durable and perfect for heated classes,” says CorePower Yoga‘s Claire Ewing. “My hands and feet don’t slip when I’m practicing and it’s super easy to clean.” Lululemon’s Reversible Mat may not be as pretty as some of the other picks, but if you’re toting your mat all over the city and are looking for a great hybrid of form and function, you can’t go wrong with a solid natural rubber with an antimicrobial additive that also easily hangs dry.
Buy it: $68, lululemon.com