Best Yoga Mats
When it comes to yoga mats, there isn’t a one size fits all approach, but different mats for different occasions. Here yoga guru and founder of Yoga Clicks Lucy Edge offers her personal picks.
- Best Budget Yoga Mat
Mudra Studio Yoga Mat
The Mudra Studio Yoga Mat is my pick for a great all purpose mat and will work for any type of yoga. At only £22.95, it is a snip for any yogi on a budget. At 5mm thick, this mat isn’t too thin that you feel everything on the ground beneath you, yet will still give you great comfort and support during your practice. Weighing just 1.2kg, it’s my choice when I’m on the go, but also looks great in my home yoga studio – I have it in Cornflower Grey – which is a lovely soft blue/grey – reminding me of those old Air Force uniforms. It also comes in other colours – including a lovely rich burgundy red and aubergine, which is a softer purpley red. The waffle-like pattern on the mat’s surface is non-slip – which is ultra important to me as I have a tendency to get sweaty palms (too much information?!). As an ethical shopper the crowning glory of this mat is that it’s totally sustainable. It’s made from eco-friendly PVC and is free from all sorts of nasties like latex and Phthalates. Normally eco products are more expensive but this one comes in at under £25. I challenge you to find a cheaper eco-friendly mat that matches up to this one! Bonus point – this mat measures 183 x 61cm but it also comes in a longer version of 195cm for extra tall yogis, or people who really like to stretch!
- Best High End Yoga Mat
The Chakra Yoga Mat
If you’re looking for a soft, suede feel yoga mat in a healing design, then this range of mats is for you. Yogoja’s unique designs combine the profound effect of colour with the harmonising patterns of mandalas and sacred geometry to evoke healing relaxation. On the featured mat each circle represents a chakra and has its own healing intention. Focus on one to heal an individual chakra, or all seven to help balance your chakras. Alongside the spiritual aspect, this mat is skin friendly, eco friendly and user friendly. The surface of the mat is made from TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) which is a good plastic, and the base of the mat is made from a natural rubber. Both of these materials are 100% recyclable, biodegradable and vegan – good for you and the planet. The mat is free of latex and toxins, is hypoallergenic and bacteria repellent. Yogoja’s yoga mats work to unify the body, mind and soul – creating a grounding but stimulating foundation for your practice – much more than just a surface to practice on.
- Best Yoga Mat for Alignment
Mandala Yoga Mat
The lovely thing about this Mandala mat is that the mandala not only looks pretty but is a great meditation aid – for inner peace and transformation. Just find a comfortable sitting position, breathe slowly, clear your mind and gently gaze at the mandala. Bring your attention to the shapes, colours and movements of the mandala, letting any distracting thoughts fade away and gently bring your focus back. When you are ready, slowly bring your attention back to the world around you. As simple as that. The other big benefit is that it features a central line running through the middle of the mat – whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced yogi, the line will help to keep you balanced, focused and symmetrical, no matter how bendy you are. It also has a thin top layer to stop you from sliding about, even in the sweatiest yoga class! As an ethical yoga shop it is important to us that all the mats we sell are non toxic, and being made from natural rubber, they are also PVC free. This mat also measures 185 x 68cm, so is slightly bigger than your average mat, giving you more space to move freely. The cherry on the cake with this mat is that a percentage of profits go to help protect baby elephants in Africa – hence the cute elephant as part of the logo.
- Best Yoga Mat For Beginners
The Yoga Essentials Kit
Not just a mat, but a whole beginners kit for under £30? And it’s eco friendly, and it comes in great colours. This bundle contains a mat, a yoga brick and a cotton yoga belt to help any beginner start their yoga journey. The Eko Sticky Mat is a great quality, lightweight mat with a thickness of 5mm, a good average thickness to start out with whilst you’re finding out what works for you. What’s different about these from your average sticky mats is that they’re made from PER, which is a much more eco-friendly material than PVC. This mat is free from any nasty or toxic chemicals, and has Oeko-Tex Standard II certification which is very rare in any mat this well priced. You can relax on this mat knowing you made the right decision for your health and for the environment. It measures 183 x 61cm and boasts a fantastic grip. Also included in the beginners kit is a yoga brick. The brick is super lightweight, weighing just 200g, and is made from non-toxic, high grade foam. Yoga bricks are great for when it feels like a long way to the floor, or you need a little help getting into more challenging poses in a safer way, and go deeper into the pose. The 2.4m cotton yoga belt is also a really helpful tool to stretch your shoulders, back and legs safely. You can also tie the belt around the mat to use as a strap – bonus! The finishing touch? It all comes in eco friendly, recyclable packaging – not a bit of plastic in sight!
- Best Non-Slip Yoga Mat
The Cork Yoga Mat
A cork yoga mat is my go to when I want a firm, natural surface which also has some give. I love Yatay for the underside which comes in a choice of 7 bright colours and the palm tree motif which soon has me imagining myself on a tropical beach – with the cork as sand?! It’s also that bit wider than a standard mat, which is good for lying twists and any circular movements on your mat. The Yatay mat is the lightest cork yoga mat sold in the UK, weighing in at only 900g. It is a great mat to travel with as it is so light, yet is not flimsy like your average travel mat as it has a comfy 5mm thickness. It’s a great mat for hot yoga as it is carefully made by combining 100% natural cork on the top layer, with recycled rubber (TPE) on the underside ensuring it grips to the floor and to you. It also gets grippier as you sweat and is antimicrobial, meaning it kills bacteria organically so you don’t have to worry about it smelling after your class. If, like me, hot yoga isn’t your thing you can increase the grip with a mat spray. These mats are both good to the environment and also for the environment being both 100% recyclable and sustainably made – hypoallergenic and free from Latex and Phthalates.
- Best Budget Yoga Mat For a Natural Surface
The Jute Yoga Mat
If you’re looking to practice on a more natural surface, this is the mat for you. The Jute Yoga Mat is made from a vegetable fibre blend which is sustainably harvested, renewable, biodegradable and recyclable. It feels incredibly slightly fibrous and natural under your bare feet, deepening your connection with your surroundings and the earth beneath you. Although it’s made of very natural fibres, you don’t have to worry about it disintegrating or decomposing during your practice; in fact it’s incredibly strong. The fibres have what’s known as a “high tensile strength”, meaning they offer exceptional resilience and superb traction, so you don’t have to worry about sliding around your mat. This mat is 183 x 61cm, and 5mm thick. It doesn’t let all this strength weigh it down – at 1.5kg it’s light enough to take with you on your travels. It is naturally antimicrobial so you don’t have to worry about bacteria – something you don’t get on your average yoga mat. The slip-resistant jute on the top of the mat has a slight PVC blend to it and is ecologically certified, and the bottom of the mat has a dotted underside which will grip to whatever surface you lay the mat on so it’s the perfect mat for practicing outside. This mat will really take you back to nature and make you feel connected with your surroundings. Alfresco yoga anyone?
- Best Eco Yoga Mat
The Tropical Eco Friendly Yoga Mat
If you’re looking for a really pretty, eco friendly mat for restorative or yin yoga, I’d suggest a Blisscloud mat. These mats come in a variety of beautifully made designs, printed with water based inks – gorgeous pinks and watery turquoises. The surface is very soft and luxurious, feeling velvety and warm to the touch. Great for a feeling of cosiness in a slower class. The base is made from 100% natural tree rubber giving an excellent grip to the floor, and the top has an absorbent microfibre layer. These mats measure 178 x 61cm with a 3.5mm thickness. Considering that it’s not as thick as many, it is well cushioned. The eco-friendly yoga mat is recyclable, biodegradable and free from any nasty chemicals like latex or silicone, with no toxic chemical smells to put you off your practice. These mats are fully machine washable so you can keep them fresh after even the sweatiest of practices. One of the most rewarding things about Blisscloud mats is that each purchase supports The Karuna Trust to end caste-based discrimination, poverty & inequalities in India & Nepal.
- Best Budget Yoga Mat for Pregnancy
The BUMP Mat
I have never been pregnant but I know from my friends and customer feedback that getting your mat right can have a big impact on your practice when you’re pregnant. This particular mat won Gold at the Mother & Baby awards in 2018 for the best pregnancy/ maternity product. The BUMP Mat was developed by top UK yoga teacher Tara Lee who is an expert in pregnancy yoga, in partnership with our lovely maker – Abbie at Ekotex. The mat has a centerline which is helpful for finding alignment, and a dual surface which you can switch to suit the type of yoga you are practicing and how much grip you need. The safety and comfort of her students are Tara’s top priorities, and so the mat has been developed to be grippy – with its criss cross textured surface you won’t slip or strain or yourself moving around the mat, or sinking deeper into the pose. It’s a seriously cushy mat – 8mm thick, and I have to confess to having one at home, which I use for yin yoga and restorative weekend sessions. It’s also the best yoga mat for yogis with wrist pain, tender joints or general injuries – the extra mm of thickness (most mats are around 4mm or 5mm) make all the difference. Despite all this cushioning, the mat still manages to be lightweight, weighing in at just 1.5kg, is durable, and is free from harmful chemicals. Plus it’s the most beautiful shade of pink. What’s not to love?!
More about Lucy Edge
Lucy Edge is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of an online yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.