Keen to stay active at home? Here are the best lightweight yoga mats, natural yoga mats and yoga mats for kids
Finding the best yoga mat to do your stretches on can help make the most of every practice. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer Bikram or Ashtanga, whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a total newcomer – a good mat will help you hold your poses wherever you are, so you can perfect your posture and keep your flow without worrying about slipping or sliding.
Oh, and if you have any little ones at home running around at home, why not get them involved in yoga too? If you scroll down to the bottom of the list, you’ll find our choice of the best kids’ yoga mat.
Just like yoga itself, choosing the right yoga mat is personal to every yogi. Mats differ in length, thickness, texture and material, so it’s crucial to choose one that’s suited to your experience and practice style. You’ll also want to think about where you’ll be practising: if you’ll mostly be using your yoga mat at home, portability might not really matter, but if you’re planning on taking your mat travelling, choosing one that’s lightweight and compact will be a priority.
Best yoga mats: At a glance
How to choose the best yoga mat for you
Whether you’re buying your first yoga mat or adding another to an extensive collection, these are the factors you’ll want to consider before you make the decision. There isn’t an ideal option for any of these categories because it’s all down to personal preference and what you need out of a mat. You’ll probably find that one of these factors is more important to you than the others, however, and this can make a great starting point for narrowing down your options from the many yoga mats out there.
What thickness should I go for?
Yoga mats vary in thickness, from sheet-like styles that almost feel like you’re practising directly on the ground to thick mats that offer a higher level of cushioning. Generally speaking, a thinner yoga mat will be easier to pack up, store and carry around when you’re on the go and is often used by experienced yogis with a strong, flowing practice. If you’re still fairly new to yoga or need a little extra support – for example, for therapeutic practice – a thicker mat will make your experience much more comfortable.
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What material is right for me?
When you think of yoga mats, you probably think of the PVC ones found in most gyms and 80s music videos. While these are still the most common and there are plenty of great PVC mats on the market, they’re certainly not your only option. Greener products are becoming increasingly popular – and increasingly easy to find at affordable prices – so eco-conscious yogis will probably prefer a mat made from rubber, jute or organic cotton. If you’re new to yoga or just want to stick with the most popular type of mat, you’ll still be making a great choice. PVC mats offer a lot of give and are the comfiest.
Does texture matter?
Once you’ve decided on a material, you’ll want to think about texture. Yoga mats of all compositions can range from silky smooth to textured surfaces. Just like choosing material and thickness, the texture is largely down to personal preference, with softer mats offering a more comfortable experience at the expense of extra grip. A bumpier texture can be especially useful for yogis who practice Bikram or other types of hot yoga, as it will give you more grip to stop you slipping and sliding as you sweat. Jute has a naturally rougher texture than other yoga mat materials, but many PVC mats have a bumpy surface to help with balance.
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Are there different sizes available?
A standard yoga mat measures 60 x 173 cm. While the width will always remain the same, the length can sometimes vary, and it’s not unusual to come across mats that measure 182cm and 188cm. In rare cases, there are some yoga mats that are as long as 213cm. It all depends on your height. The best way to find the right length for you is by trying to do a downward-facing dog pose on a standard yoga mat. As long as your hands and feet are securely on the mat, the length is sufficient.
What about price?
Prices can vary, and like with most things in this life, you can be simply paying for the brand. A good rule of thumb to follow is: anything different to your bog standard-sized PVC yoga mat is going to cost a little bit more than your average. And if you’re a new yogi, you may want to start off with a cheaper, more basic mat while you figure out what type is best for you.
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The best yoga mats you can buy in 2023
1. Yoga-Mad Warrior Plus Yoga Mat: Best all-round yoga mat
Price when reviewed: £24 | Check price at Amazon
The Warrior Plus mat is the big sister of the original Warrior mat – one of the most popular yoga mats around. It’s a little longer than a standard mat and offers 6mm of padding for extra cushioning, which is good for sore knees or therapeutic practice. This, combined with its reasonable price, means it’s a great mat for beginners and more experienced yogis on a budget.
Yoga-Mad claims that the Warrior Plus is machine washable up to 40˚C, and while this sounds like a really handy feature at first, the fact that it can’t be put through a spin cycle means you’ll probably find yourself wiping it clean instead. It’s a little on the bulky side and not the easiest to carry around, but it’s surprisingly lightweight, portable enough to take to the gym and easy to roll up when you’re done – all at an affordable price.
Key features – Size: 183 x 61cm; Thickness: 6mm; Material: PVC; Weight: 1.6kg
2. Reebok Yoga Mat: Best yoga mat for beginners
Price when reviewed: From £23 | Check price at Decathlon
Reebok probably isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think about buying a yoga mat, but the brand’s extensive range of mats make a great entry-level option for new yogis who want a mat that’s actually fun to use. This eye-catching mat won’t just get you loads of compliments at your next yoga class, either – it’s a comfortable mat that feels surprisingly supportive for its compact size.
The mat’s minimal texture gives adequate grip for most practices, but the smooth surface won’t offer enough grip for hot classes and sweaty sessions. That said, this mat remains a great first investment for beginners and more experienced yogis who want a functional mat at an affordable price.
Key features – Size: 173 x 61cm; Thickness: 4mm; Material: PVC; Weight: 1.04kg
3. Manduka eKO SuperLite Yoga Mat: Best yoga mat for travel
Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Decathlon
If you’re looking for a mat you can take anywhere, this is it. As the name suggests, the Manduka eKO Superlite is one of the lightest around, and it’s compact enough to easily fit into a backpack or a small hand luggage case. That said, even though the Manduka folds up smaller than most mats – especially ones made from rubber – folding it isn’t the easiest of tasks. As might be expected with such a compact mat, you may find it too thin or need to add a towel if you’re looking for a good amount of cushioning and support.
Unlike most lightweight yoga mats, the Manduka is made from rubber so you still get a good amount of grip – even if it’s a little slippy for the first few uses. Unlike most rubber mats, however, Manduka uses only sustainably harvested rubber that’s free from PVC and toxic dyes, making it a great option for eco-conscious yogis too.
Key features – Size: 180 x 61cm; Thickness: 1.5mm; Material: Rubber; Weight: 0.6kg
4. ecoYoga Jute Mat: Best eco-friendly yoga mat
Price when reviewed: £46 | Check price at Amazon
Environmentally friendly yoga mats don’t get the best rep, thanks to higher-than-average prices and rarely having superior functionality to justify the cost. At £46, the ecoYoga Jute mat is certainly one of the pricier mats on our list. However, you can rely on its quality and performance.
The ecoYoga Jute mat’s 100% rubber base means that it will hold in place on smooth floors, while the upper is made from a naturally grippy rubber/jute (a coarse, woven fabric also known as hessian). Due to its eco-friendly design, the ecoYoga mat may not be quite as durable as some of the other models on this list, and you can expect some shedding over time. Having said that, one happy Amazon customer claimed that theirs lasted six years of everyday use.
Key features – Size: 183 x 63.5cm; Thickness: 4mm; Material: Rubber and jute; Weight: 2kg
5. Kimjaly Yoga Mat Grip+ V2: Best mat for dynamic yoga
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Decathlon
The Kimjaly prides itself on offering the best grip and stability when it comes to all types of dynamic yoga – making it the ideal mat for Ashtanga, Vinyasa and hot yoga. Its grippy surface quickly absorbs sweat, and the rubber base ensures that you won’t be sliding around when trying to hold the most difficult poses.
The markings on the mat are a nice touch, providing a helpful teaching aid when aligning your poses. The main issue with the Kimjaly is that, while it’s good at absorbing sweat, it is prone to staining. However, if you’re after something with good grip, this is a solid choice.
Key features – Size: 185 x 65cm; Thickness: 3mm; Material: Rubber; Weight: 1.4kg
6. Manduka Begin Yoga Mat: Best yoga mat for kids
Price when reviewed: From £55 | Check price at Amazon
While many mats such as the Yogalette are perfectly suitable for little yogis, their limited size means they don’t have much scope for longevity when your child grows up. And if they decide they want to continue practicing yoga into adolescence, we doubt they’ll still want to keep using something branded Kiddomat.
Enter the Manduka Begin. With alignment stripes and a grippy texture, this mat is designed with both kids and adult beginners in mind. It has a closed-cell surface to protect against sweat and a thickness of 5mm to provide cushioned support, while remaining lightweight enough for ease of carrying around. It’s a bit more expensive than our other beginner’s option, but for a kid’s yoga mat that isn’t going to fall into disuse when your little yogi isn’t so little anymore, this is a great choice.
Key features – Size: 173 x 61cm; Thickness: 5mm; Material: Thermoplastic elastomer; Weight: 1.1kg
7. CorkYogis Classic Mat: Best cork yoga mat
Price when reviewed: £65 | Check price at Social Supermarket
There are several reasons to consider a cork yoga mat. The first is the environment – when you shave a layer of cork off the tree it actually encourages it to grow and replace it. It doesn’t get much more renewable than that.
Then there are the practical reasons. Cork offers an incredibly grippy surface that only provides more traction when it gets wet. This mat even comes with a spray bottle so you can wet it before starting your session in order to begin with a great grip. Cork is also naturally antibacterial because it is impermeable to water, so microbes can’t survive on it. That means your mat won’t start to smell after several sweaty sessions.
If you’re convinced by the above, the CorkYogis Classic Mat is a great option. It has a layer of cork over a layer of recycled rubber and rolls up to a compact bundle that weighs 1.8kg, so it’s easy enough to take it to classes. If you’d like a larger, thicker cork mat, CorkYogis has a premium model for £85.
Key features – Size: 173 x 61cm; Thickness: 3mm; Material: Cork and recycled rubber; Weight: 1.8kg
8. Yogi Bare Paws Extreme Grip Yoga Mat: Best non-slip yoga mat
Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at AmazonThis mat is pricey, but if you’re currently slipping and sliding on your yoga mat, the upgrade in grip it delivers will make the outlay worth it. The anti-slip treatment on both the upper and bottom of the mat means that you’ll stay firmly in place, even during sweaty hot yoga sessions, and the top also has an attractive alignment map to help ensure that you’re adopting the right positions during your yoga.
Sweaty Betty has made the mat from eco-friendly natural rubber and donates money from each sale to the marine conservation society, Sea Shepherd, which will hopefully make you feel a little bit better about that high price.
Key features – Size: 180 x 66cm; Thickness: 4mm; Material: Natural Rubber and PU; Weight: 2.5kg