7 best yoga mats for cushioning your next stretch session

Kelsey Chapman
Friday 04 June 2021 18:57
Wishlist
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Choosing a yoga mat isn’t all that complicated. You basically want something thick enough (over 1/4 inch) to support your bones so they’re not grinding against the floor, aesthetically pleasing to your specific tastes, and preferably, one made with sustainable materials that won’t spend 1,000 years rotting in a landfill once you’re done with it. No one wants that kind of spiritual guilt holding them back on advanced inversions, right?

Keeping this in mind, we browsed around and chose our favorite mats we could find and will continue updating and adding to this list as we discover more. We’ve chosen pretty mats, basic mats, and mats that won’t hurt the earth, and we’re confident that regardless of your expertise level or practice goals, you’ll find a yoga mat perfect for your next workout on this list.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism acrossThe Independent.

Warrior Mat

Touting itself as “The best mat anywhere, period,” we’re believing the hype behind this leather-topped, moisture-wicking, rubber-bottomed mat and its bevy of promises.

It’s 100% formaldehyde-free, non-toxic and PVC-free, which adds to a cleaner practice and peaceful savasana. It’s also long–we mean really long–at 6’2” and cushioned to perfection to allow for great grounding benefits with ideal support.

The Opossum and Peonies Yoga Mat

This opossum artwork is some of the most loved on Society 6 for good reason–just look how cute! Aside from the adorable print, this mat is sized to sell. At 70 inches long, the average person shouldn’t have a hard time sprawling out with little overhang, and the medium thickness provides plenty of sturdy support while only weighing 3.6 pounds.

Pink Pampas panel 1 - Suede Yoga Mat (3MM)

Calling all girly girls who want something pink and pretty to motivate them through their sweat sessions: this stunner by Sugarmat is everything.

This is a mat meant to feel and look decadent. Inspired by wallpaper patterns popularized during the 17th century trade between Asia and Europe, these prints were “the subjects of fascination by French royalties and aristocrats,” according to Sugarmat.

They come with an ultra-absorbent suede top, natural rubber base, and high-density cushion to take the stress off your joints. It’s also eco-friendly and comes with a carrying strap, though you can fancier ones that match your color scheme separately if you so desire.

Gaiam Studio Select 6mm Metallic Sun and Moon Mat

If you seek something inspiring and beautiful, this is the mat for you.

Made from non-slip, latex-free, and 6P-free PVC, this gorgeous yoga mat features a unique metallic design that will give you something beautiful to look at in downward dog. There’s also a Gaiam online library of yoga content included with purchase, so you can log on and learn more about new practices then put them to use.

Jade Harmony Natural Rubber Yoga Mat

Simple, basic, colorful, and eco friendly, the Jade Harmony Natural Rubber mat is one of the most reliable options out there. Jade also plants a tree for every mat purchased, so buy knowing your money is helping improve the world and they come in extra long so all you tall yogis out there are covered.

Amazon Basics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat

Over 37,000 people have purchased this basic, portable yoga mat, and more than 90% of them say it does the job when it comes to supporting your body weight throughout your workouts.

“I am a regular exerciser and have gone through tons of mats,” states one of the top reviews. “This one is definitely thicker than most, and also longer than most! That’s a plus because I’m 5’9” and I sometimes feel like mats are way too short for me when laying down to do sit-ups or stretches.”

Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat Fitness & Exercise Mat with Easy-Cinch Yoga Mat Carrier Strap, 72"L x 24"W x 2/5 Inch Thick

For something slightly thinner that comes in a variety of beautiful colors, try this Gaiam Essentials mat. It has sold nearly as many units as the above option on Amazon, with more than 90% of the 20,000 reviews ranking it as a top pick.

It’s a PVC yoga mat and thus a healthier choice for you and the planet, free from chemicals like DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP and DNOP. It also includes a handy strap so you can cart it to and from class, the park, or wherever else you’d like to put a barrier between yourself and the ground.

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