What's the Best Yoga Mat?

5 Top Yoga Mats Go Toe-to-Toe

Comparing Yoga Mats
Which Yoga Mat Is Right For You?. Jamie Grill/Photodisc/Getty Images

Which yoga mat is The Best? There's not just one mat that answers that question since every yogi has different needs and priorities. Are you concerned about natural materials, green business practices, and biodegradability? As a commuter, do you need a lighter mat? Are you sensitive to the slightest odor? Do you want a mat that will last a good, long time? Is cost your biggest issue? What about traction or softness?

You may be able to fulfill all your preferences with one mat or you may have to make some compromises. The chart below lays out all these features and more for 5 of the most popular yoga mats so that you can easily decide which one is going to work the best for you. In addition, you can use the links below to find more in-depth reviews of the mats.

The Contenders

  • Gaiam Yoga Essentials Mat:
    This mat provides our baseline. It is probably the most commonly used mat for beginners. It is readily available at places like Target and even bookstores and supermarkets. It is also very economically priced. If you've borrowed a mat at the gym or yoga studio then you've most likely tried this mat.
    Buy Gaiam Premium Mats on Amazon.com
  • Liforme Yoga Mat:
    Liforme Mat Review
    A supportive mat with an excellent practice surface, great traction and absorption, and a unique alignment graphic. Liforme founder James Armitage tells you more about the development and manufacture of his mat in this Q&A
    Buy Liforme Mats on Amazon.com
  • Jade Harmony Mat:
    Jade Harmony Review
    The original rubber yoga mat continues to be very popular. It's completely natural, anti-slip, made from a renewable resource, and pretty durable.

    Buy Jade Harmony Mats on Amazon.com

  • Lululemon The Mat:
    The Mat Review
    This mat's ingeniously layered surface offers nice traction and absorption for sweaty practices.
 GaiamLiformeJade HarmonyLululemon
The Mat
Manduka PRO
materialPVCpolyurethane, rubberrubberpolyurethane, rubber, latexPVC
thickness1/8"3/8"3/16"3/16"1/4"
weightlight (2.2 lbs)mid (5.5 lbs)mid (5 lbs)mid (5.8 lbs)heavy (7 pounds)
length68"73"68" or 74"71"71" or 85"
biodegradablenoyesyesnono
odornoslight (rubber)yes (rubber)slight (rubber)no
softyesyesnoyesno
tractionfairgreatgoodgreatgood
durabilitypoorgoodgoodgoodgreat
price$22$140$74.95$68$100

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