10 Best Yoga Mats of 2016 - Find the One That is Right For You

top 10 yoga mats

 

Your yoga mat is a key factor in the enjoyment of your yoga practice. How supportive, grippy, smelly and solid your mat is determines how happy you are when you practice, how easily you can move, how many props you need and how stable you feel in challenging poses. 

I have spent many hours on countless mats experimenting. Every individual mat is different and if you take yoga and wellness seriously, you’ll want to buy yourself a mat that is catered to your needs. 

When researching yoga mats you will quickly see there is massive variety of mats that are out there - from cheap plastic ones to high quality mats made almost entirely from natural materials. Mats have come a long way in the last decade, so if yoga is a big part of your life, take advantage of it and buy one that feels good under your body.

Here are my Top 10 favorite yoga mats, including a short analysis of each mat’s key features such as material, grippyness, texture, support and odor, along with a summary of why you should or should not buy that particular mat.

1. Manduka Pro Yoga Mat

Manduka Pro Mat - yoga mat reviewsThickness: ¼” (6mm)
Weight: 7.5 lbs.
Made in: Germany

The Manduka Pro is solid, firm, extremely resilient and supportive. I found that it was so supportive that I didn’t need additional padding for knees or elbows. It also rarely absorbs sweat or smell, is made with eco-certified safe PVC and is free from toxins (specifically phthalate free). 

The major issue for me is its weight. If you consistently practice away from home, and particularly if you walk or bike to the yoga studio, you may find this one to be way too heavy. It can also be too firm for some people and can become quite slippery when sweaty.


Buy the Maduka Pro if:

  • You like your mat to feel firm
  • You need extra support under your knees
  • You do yoga mostly under dry conditions
  • You care that it’s free from toxins (specifically phthalate free)
  • You want one that doesn’t absorb moisture
  • You want a mat that is extremely resilient, with a lifetime guarantee

Don’t buy the Maduka Pro if:

  • You don’t want a very heavy mat
  • You plan to use it in wet conditions
  • You want your mat to feel soft
  • You would prefer one made mostly from natural materials

Click here for pricing information on the Manduka Pro Mat

2. Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat

Maduka Prolite yoga matThickness: 3/16” (4.7mm)
Weight: 4 lbs.
Made in: Germany

The thinner and lighter version of the Manduka Pro is the Prolite Mat. It features the same material, surface and density as the Manduka Pro, so bears the same advantages, is also made with eco-certified PVC and, in contrast to the Pro, it comes in a variety of colors.

Even though it’s quite a bit lighter and thinner than the Manduka Pro, some may still find it too heavy. It also provides less support for boney joints, and like the Manduka Pro, slippage can also be a problem since it repels sweat and so it tends to stay on top. 

Buy the Manduka Prolite if:

  • You like your mat to feel firm
  • You need reasonable support under your knees
  • You do yoga mostly under dry conditions
  • You care that it’s free from toxins (specifically phthalate free)
  • You want one that doesn’t absorb moisture
  • You want one that is extremely resilient, with a lifetime guarantee

Don’t buy the Manduka Prolite if:

  • You don’t want a fairly heavy mat
  • You want really good padding
  • You plan to use it in wet conditions
  • You want your mat to feel soft

Click here for pricing information on the Prolite Mat

3. Tomuno Yoga Mat

Tomuno yoga matThickness: 3/16” (5mm)
Weight: 4.7 lbs.
Made in: Taiwan

Tomuno makes an all-natural rubber mat that is luxuriously soft, supportive and grippy. I love its unique feel and I find the padding is more than enough for my knees. Many students and teachers consider this to be the best yoga mat on the market, and with a 100% cash-back guarantee, plus free return shipping within 365 days, it’s pretty convincing!

A Tomuno mat arrives with quite a strong rubber smell that fades over time, but is still a strong deterrent for some. It’s also quite heavy.

Buy the Tomuno if:

  • You want a mat that has excellent grip in dry conditions
  • You need decent support under your knees
  • You care that it is made almost entirely with non-Amazon natural rubber
  • You want a mat that feels relatively soft under your hands
  • You care about a 100% cash-back guarantee, plus free shipping, within 365 days

Don’t buy the Tomuno if:

  • You don’t want a heavy mat
  • You want one that repels sweat
  • You don’t want one that smells like rubber
  • You want your mat to feel firm

Click here for more information on the Tumuno mat

4. Manduka Eko Yoga Mat

manduka eko yoga matThickness: 3/16” (5mm)
Weight: 7 lbs.
Made in: Taiwan

The Manduka Eko is made from non-Amazonian, all-natural tree rubber that is reinforced with polyester and cotton and manufactured without toxic glues or foaming agents. They have two layers that are different densities, offering a combination of spongy and firm support, and have a closed-cell surface that repels moisture. The natural rubber has a good grip and feels nice under your body.

Given its thickness (3/16”), the Manduka Eko is surprisingly heavy (7 lbs). Like the Manduka ProLite, it may not be supportive enough for some, and loses its grip when it becomes wet. Also, because eko mats are made from natural rubber, a rubber smell may linger for quite some time. 

Buy the Manduko Eko if:

  • You need reasonable support under your knees
  • You do yoga mostly under dry conditions
  • You care that it’s mostly made from natural, eco-friendly rubber
  • You want a mat that doesn’t absorb moisture

Don’t buy the Manduko Eko if:

  • You don’t want a heavy mat
  • You want really good padding
  • You plan to use it in wet conditions

Click here for pricing information on the Manduka Eko Mat

5. Jade Fusion Yoga Mat

Jade Fusion Yoga MatThickness: 5/16” (8mm)
Weight: 8.5 lbs.
Made in: USA

The grip on all Jade Fusion is fantastic! Their open-cell design absorbs moisture, ensuring excellent grip at all times. The Jade Fusion is also very thick and firm, providing all the support you need. All of Jade’s yoga mats are made with both natural rubber and man-made materials (the precise percentage is not disclosed) and contain no PVC or other synthetic rubbers. All of their mats are made in the USA and one tree is planted through Trees for the Future for each one sold. 

The Jade Fusion is perfect for a home practice, but you may not want to lug it around too much because of its weight. These mats also have a distinct rubber smell that takes some time to go away and their open-cell design absorbs moisture, making it more important to be on top of cleaning it frequently. They can also lose their stickiness if left in the direct sun.

Buy the Jade Fusion if:

  • You want a mat that has good grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • You need extra support under your knees
  • You care that it contains some natural rubber
  • You care that it is made in the USA
  • You care that one tree is planted for each one sold

Don’t buy the Jade Fusion if:

  • You don’t want a heavy mat
  • You want one that repels sweat
  • You don’t want a mat that smells like rubber
  • You want your mat to feel soft

Click here for pricing information on the Jade Fusion mat

6. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

Jade Harmony MatThickness: 3/16” (4.7mm)
Weight: 5 lbs.
Made in: USA

I love the feel of this mat, even with the thinner padding. It has fantastic grip and feels so nice under my feet and hands. Its lighter weight allows for travel and the mat doesn’t shift under my feet, like mats of similar thickness.

It’s possible that the Jade Harmony is not supportive enough for some, the rubber smell takes time to get used to and you need to be on top of cleaning it, since it absorbs sweat.

Buy the Jade Harmony if:

  • You want a mat that has good grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • You need decent support under your knees
  • You care that it contains some natural rubber
  • You care that it is made in the USA
  • You care that one tree is planted for each one sold

Don’t buy the Jade Harmony if:

  • You want a super light mat
  • You want one that repels sweat
  • You don’t want one that smells like rubber
  • You want your mat to feel soft

Click here for pricing information on the Jade Harmony mat

7. Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat

Hugger Mugger yoga matThickness: 1/4” (6mm)
Weight: 6 lbs.
Made in: Unknown

The Hugger Mugger Para Rubber is 100% natural rubber adhered with a proprietary blend of other components. Its surface is soft with excellent grip, more cushion than mats of a similar weight and an eco-friendly feel that is a nice touch under your hands and feet.

Because it is made of 100% rubber, it also smells like 100% rubber. The smell can be quite strong and can persist for longer than you might like. It’s also quite heavy and absorbs sweat, so you need to be on top of cleaning it.

Buy the Hugger Mugger if:

  • You want a mat that has good grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • You need decent support under your knees
  • You care that it is made almost entirely with non-Amazonian natural rubber
  • You care that a percentage of all online sales goes to charity

Don’t buy the Hugger Mugger if:

  • You want a super light mat
  • You want one that repels sweat
  • You don’t want one that smells like rubber
  • You want your mat to feel firm

Click here for pricing information on the Hugger Mugger mat

8. PrAna Revolution Mat

Prana Revolution yoga matThickness: 1/16” (4mm)
Weight: 6 lbs.
Made in: Unknown

The Prana Revolution is made from 100% natural, non-Amazon rubber, provides excellent grip and, being one of the bigger mats available, is great for taller folks or anyone who wants more space for their heads and heels in savasana. The Prana Revolutuion feels very nice under the body and provides surprising support given its thickness.

Again, like all other 100% rubber mats, this one is quite heavy and has a persistent rubber smell that takes time to fade. The open cell design also allows sweat to be absorbed, making it important to clean regularly. 

Buy the Prana Revolution if:

  • You want a mat that has good grip in both wet and dry conditions
  • You need decent support under your knees
  • You care that it is made almost entirely with non-Amazon natural rubber
  • You like a mat that is longer than the average mat

Don’t buy the Prana Revolution if:

  • You don’t want a heavy mat
  • You want one that repels sweat
  • You don’t want one that smells like rubber
  • You want your mat to feel firm

Click here for pricing information on the Prana Revolution mat

9. Aurorae Classic Thick Yoga Mat

Aurorae thick yoga matThickness: 1/4” (6mm)
Weight: Unknown
Made in: Unknown

If you are looking for something less expensive and without the rubber smell, the Aurorae Classic might be your best choice. It is durable, provides good support and it is made from Polymer Environmental Resin, which is biodegradable and contains no phthalates, phenols or latex. 

The Aurorae Classic tends to stretch and slip more, particularly during a sweaty class. To combat the slip, Aurorae includes a free non-slip rosin bag, the chalky stuff that gymnasts use, which is effective but needs to be reapplied throughout a class.

Buy the Aurorae Classic if:

  • You want to spend less on a mat
  • You want a lighter mat
  • You need decent support under your knees
  • Want a soft, durable mat
  • You care that it is made with Polymer Environmental Resin
  • You care that it is biodegradable and contains no phthalates, phenols or latex
  • You would like to try the non-slip rosin 

Don’t buy the Aurorae Classic if:

  • You would prefer the natural feel of rubber
  • You plan to use it in wet conditions
  • You want a mat that never moves under your hands and feet
  • You want to use the rosin but will be annoyed if you need to re-apply it

Click here for pricing information on the Aurorae Classic Thick mat

10. Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat

Aurorae hot yoga matThickness: 3/16” (5mm)
Weight: Unknown
Made in: Unknown

The Aurorae Synergy specializes in providing a non-slip surface during hot yoga. The mat’s top layer is a non-slip, ultra-absorbent microfiber towel that is bonded to a 5mm-thick PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) yoga mat. It is excellent at providing grip, but that grip is limited to when it is wet. However, you can use the PER side of the mat for dry classes and the microfiber towel side when it gets sweaty. If you're a fan of hot yoga, this mat seems to get stickier the wetter it is! It’s also lightweight, thick enough to provide reasonable support and good value for the money.

Like the Aurorea Classic, it’s difficult to recreate the feel that a rubber mat provides. It isn’t as supportive and sometimes the mat can move around under your hands and feet. If you use the microfiber side, it's very slippery and needs to be sprayed with water before doing yoga on it. It’s also a challenge keeping it clean, since it absorbs so much sweat.

Buy the Aurorae Synergy if:

  • You want to spend less on a mat
  • You want good grip in wet conditions
  • You want a lighter mat
  • You need decent support under your knees
  • Want a soft, durable mat
  • You care that it is made with Polymer Environmental Resin
  • You care that it is biodegradable and contains no phthalates, phenols or latex
  • You would like to try the non-slip rosin 

Don’t buy the Aurorae Synergy if:

  • You would prefer the natural feel of rubber
  • You feel you may not like a cloth between your hands and the mat
  • You want a mat that never moves under your hands and feet
  • You don’t like to clean it frequently

Click here for more information on the Aurorae Synergy mat

Do You Travel and Bring Along Your Mat?

If you travel a lot for work or pleasure you don't want to lug around a bulky, heavy mat. Thankfully there are a lot of good options that are lightweight and easy to carry around. Click here to see a list of our favorite mats that are easy to bring along when you travel or are on the go.

Note: the links in this article are Amazon affiliate links. If you end up purchasing something, DoYogaWithMe receives a small percentage of the sale.

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