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The best yoga mats 2021: expert advice to help you choose the best mat for you

Included in this guide:

The best yoga mats
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We’ve rigorously tested out some of the biggest names in the world of yoga, alongside some less familiar brands, in order to find the best yoga mat for you. Whether you’re just starting out or you’d consider yourself a veteran yogi, you’re sure to find your perfect mat among this selection.

With so many mat varieties on the market – differing in thickness, weight, sustainability, price and design – the most important step is to identify which features are the biggest priority for you. Despite many mats looking fairly similar, small differences can make all the difference when it comes to balance, posture and comfort.

Are you looking for a mat that’s as pleasing on the eye as it is on the wallet? Maybe you’re after a thicker mat that helps ease the pressure on your joints? Whatever your priority, there’s a style of yoga mat to suit your needs.

If you're a beginner looking for your first mat, you might also want to take a look at our beginner's guide to yoga, written by a professional instructor. It guides you through everything you need to know before you get started, and guides you through a set of beginner-friendly poses.

If you can't wait for delivery, check our our guide to the best-rated yoga mats on Amazon to find a great mat with speedy Amazon Prime delivery.

Want to improve your strength and flexibility? Take a take a look at our roundup of the best exercise balls as well.

Lululemon Reversible Mat

(Image credit: Lululemon)

1. Lululemon Reversible Mat

Added cushioning, great grip and a premium design

Thickness: 5mm
Weight: 2.38kg
Reasons to buy
+Anti-microbial surface+Good level of padding+Excellent grip
Reasons to avoid
-Strap not included

Lululemon is a name synonymous with yoga – and for good reason. The Reversible Mat from the Canadian apparel brand offers impressive grip even in low-sweat classes courtesy of its natural rubber base, alongside an anti-microbial surface which reduces mat mildew.

At 5mm thick, it offers a good balance of stability and padding, meaning those who favour floor poses or worry about joint pressure can rest assured that their knees, wrists and elbows are adequately protected. It’s also a generously wide mat, measuring 66cm x 180cm. And while it definitely looks the part (the mat is available in a variety of colours), the fact it arrives without a strap and weighs 2.38kg means that it’s a little on the heavier side and well suited to at-home yoga.

Yogi Bare Wild Paws Mat

(Image credit: Yogi Bare)

2. Yogi Bare Wild Paws Mat

Thin and eco-friendly with 100% recyclable packaging

Thickness: 4mm
Weight: 2.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Sustainable and biodegradable+Thinner than many+Range of decorative designs
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricier side

A brand committed to sustainability, Yogi Bare has become the go-to mat brand for major sports apparel retailers including Sweaty Betty. Created due to popular demand, this new streamlined design measures 4mm in thickness, meaning practising yogis can achieve stability and gain a great connection with the floor.

Despite its thin design, this mat is still on the heavier side at 2.5kg but is easy enough to transport with the help of a shoulder strap (or wheels that can be purchased from their webstore).

The brand has also ensured the mat is vegan friendly, created using natural rubber and that its packaging is 100% recyclable. It’s also worth noting that for every mat sold, Yogi Bare plants one tree - if that isn’t an incentive, we don’t know what is.

Manduka Pro Travel Yoga Mat

(Image credit: Manduka)

3. Manduka Pro Travel Yoga Mat

Extremely thin, lightweight and ideal for travelling yogis

Thickness: 2.5mm
Weight: 1.1kg
Reasons to buy
+Extra lightweight design+Thin and foldable+Lifetime guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks the grip of thicker mats

When it comes to specialised yoga mats, Manduka’s lifetime guarantee means it’s a name you can trust. Created by yogis for yogis (and all other abilities too), this Pro Travel Yoga Mat is an evolution of the brand’s best-selling Pro mat.

Measuring 2.5mm thick and weighing just 1.1kg – an impressive 50% lighter than the standard Pro – this mat is ideal for folding into a tote, handbag, or even popping in your suitcase ahead of that beachside yoga retreat. Available in a variety of colours, the mat also has a closed-cell surface which keeps bacteria and mould at bay - something that also contributes to its generous lifespan.

Given its portable design, there has to be a compromise somewhere. Being incredibly lightweight often means foregoing traction, so Manduka recommends using it in conjunction with a performance towel if you’re concerned about grip. 

Meglio yoga mat

(Image credit: Meglio)

4. Meglio Yoga Mat

A thicker mat to cushion joints - ideal for beginners

Thickness: 10mm
Weight: 862g
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Extremely lightweight+Comes with a shoulder strap
Reasons to avoid
-Too padded for some

If, like many, you’ve taken up yoga during lockdown, Meglio’s yoga mat might be the ideal option for those looking to invest in a mat. Its extra thick 10mm cushioning means you’ll never sink through to the floor, easing the pressure on joints in poses like plank, bow and dolphin. Its thickness also ensures it’s a multi-tasker, making it ideal for a range of other workouts and perfect for beginners.

That being said, the extreme padding might put off veteran yogis who prefer a greater level of contact with the floor, which is where the cheaper and thinner 7mm variation might prove more beneficial.

There is a noticeable smell of plastic when you first unfurl it, but that’s offset by the fact the non-slip material used refuses to budge mid-flow.

With Every Atom yoga mat

(Image credit: With Every Atom)

5. With Every Atom Natural Rubber Yoga Mat

Eco-friendly, with a biodegradable base and added grip

Thickness: 5mm
Weight: 2.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Extra wide and long+Large choice of colors+More sweat means more grip
Reasons to avoid
-The heaviest of our picks

With Every Atom is an independent, sustainable yoga brand worth paying attention to – and that’s before you spot the animal print that covers their mats. Weighing 2.5kg, it’s definitely the heaviest of the bunch, making it a little cumbersome to carry to class.

That being said, its eco-credentials more than make up for this. Made from biodegradable tree rubber, it’s also free from PVC, latex and many other toxic materials that are often found in yoga mats (particularly handy for those who suffer from allergies). The more you sweat, the better grip you have. It’s also easy to wipe down; soap and water will do it.

This mat is on the firmer side at 5mm thick, but its XL size – measuring 68cm x 183cm – means that even those above six foot tall can stretch out in child’s pose with ease.