Best yoga mat 2023: outstanding mats for grip, comfort & style

Find the best yoga mats on the market, including rubber, PVC and cork mats for Pilates & yoga

best yoga mat: Woman doing yoga on Form Pro Travel yoga Mat on a rooftop with London skyline in the background
(Image credit: Form)

Investing in the best yoga mat in 2023 can make a huge difference to your yoga or Pilates practice. For a relatively simple product, the market is surprisingly varied, with options in different materials and at a wide range of price points, which can make figuring out which is the best yoga mat a bit overwhelming. That's where this guide comes in – we've reviewed lots of yoga mats and are here to walk you through your options and help you find the perfect one for your practice.

Key things to look for are slip-free grip (even if your hands and feet get sweaty), and enough padding to keep your joints happy, but not so much that it upsets your stability. Beyond that, you'll want to look for something durable, eco-friendly, and, if you're going to need to tote it around, not too heavy. Compared to other fitness activities, yoga is pretty equipment-light, so investing in the best yoga mat can really make a big difference to your comfort and progress.

Once you've made your decision, head to our guide to how to clean a yoga mat for tips on keeping it looking (and smelling) like new for longer. And you might also want to consult our best yoga pants guide for the comfiest, stretchiest options around.

Best yoga mat ranking 2023

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How thick should your yoga mat be?

A good place to start on your hunt for the best yoga mat is comfort. A standard yoga mat thickness is 4mm, so that should be your starting point. If you're a bit more hardcore and/or are practicing on a softer surface, you might be able to drop to 3mm, but you won't find mats much thinner than this.

If you have more sensitive joints, consider something thicker – you'll find mats up to around 8mm thick. However, there are a few things to know here. While you might think thicker equals more comfortable, that's not always the case. If you go too thick, the more unstable surface can be tough on the wrists and ankles on longer yoga sessions, and you're likely to end up wobbling around in balancing poses.

Aside from thickness, there are a few more elements to consider when finding the best yoga mat for you. Next up, think about grip. Finding a mat that'll cope well with sweaty palms and soles is key, especially if you do hot yoga (here's how to choose a hot yoga mat). The better the grip, the more you can push your limits without the distraction of slipping on the mat yourself, or the mat slipping on the floor. While adding one of the best yoga towels can help, there are plenty of yoga mats that offer good grip on their own.

best yoga mats: Willow yoga

(Image credit: Willow yoga)

Size is another major consideration. You may want the biggest possible mat so you can stretch out without reaching the edge – and also mark a bit more precious territory in that yoga studio. But size does mean more to carry, so considering more portable options, especially if you're on the move a lot, is also a factor.

Material is also a major consideration when picking the best yoga mat, in terms of comfort, portability, and eco-friendliness. Yoga mats made from polymer plastic (PVC) with phthalates won't biodegrade, and will release toxins when in landfill. However, lots of yoga companies have started exploring eco-friendly alternatives. The result can sometimes mean a compromise in quality or a different smell, but may also mean a more gentle cleaning process is needed.

Foam mats tend to be more lightweight than rubber ones, which is important if you're going to be toting it around a lot. However, they often have a bobbly, textured surface that can wear and become damaged fairly easily, impacting its shelf life in the longer term. Many also need to be 'broken in' to improve grip.

One consideration you may not have thought was important is line markings. Lots of mats now offer these to help you align your hands and feet so you know you're symmetrical. This is ideal for those with an imbalance or anybody just starting out that wants to be sure they're progressing in the right direction immediately.

Finally, you'll want to set a budget. The best yoga mats can be pretty expensive, while at the other end of the scale, you can pick up a super-basic option for peanuts. It's often worth spending a bit more for a mat that'll last – after all, you don't need much kit for yoga. So, with all that in mind, here are the best yoga mats out there right now.

In short, if you're doing Pilates and don't need to do much balancing, a thick and spongy mat might be the comfiest choice. For yogis, we'd recommend a thinner, more stable rubber mat for the best cushioning without affecting stability.

How we test yoga mats

Wherever possible, we call in a sample of the yoga mat to test out properly for ourselves. Reviewing is done by experienced practitioners who have used a range of mats over the years and know what makes a great yoga mat. We'll try each mat for a few classes / sessions, assessing how well they grip in tricky poses, how stable they are to balance on, and how comfortable they are. We'll also see how they perform in a sweaty hot yoga class, and keep an eye out for things like whether they mark or shed easily. 

Where we aren't able to get hold of a mat to test personally, but feel it's significant enough to include in a guide, we'll research around the product and read what other customers say about it, to put together a balanced blurb for you to make your decision based on. For all mats, we'll factor in what we know about the brand's reputation, how sustainable the mat is in terms of materials used to make it and whether it can be recycled at the end of its life, and how it compares to other similarly priced options. See how we test at T3 (opens in new tab) for more.

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.