11 Best Yoga Mats for Men in 2022, Plus the Best Yoga Accessories
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Whether you’re new to yoga or just ready to upgrade the cheapo mat you bought before you were sure about this whole asana thing, the very best yoga mats are a major upgrade to your physical workout environment (and perhaps a boost in the spiritual sense, too). Your mat is your safe harbor—the little plot of land that’s all yours—no matter what happened in your day prior to getting yourself to yoga. So long as the mat stays grippy, the surface isn’t sticky with debris and sweat, and it’s just springy enough to support your body weight, you’ve got a solid landing pad for nailing any pose.
Once your feet and hands are planted firmly on that squishy surface, all you’ve got to do is “follow your breath”—that’s yoga speak for chill out and move a little—and you’re more or less guaranteed to walk out feeling at least somewhat rejuvenated and at peace.
Most yoga teachers will (literally) bend over backwards to accommodate “all skill levels,” but even the friendliest of studios can rival motorcycle-gang bars for intimidation levels. You’ve got the tatted-up, man-bunned dude popping handstands and pretzeling his limbs together, the teacher nonchalantly dropping sanskrit like parivrtta baddha ardha chandrasana between prayer hands and head bows, the self-appointed know-it-all critiquing their neighbor’s form mid-down-dog. And there you are, taking it all in from the comfort of your rental mat, whose middle-school-locker-room musk somehow overpowers all the burning sage and incense all around you. While it can be a bit overwhelming to stay present amidst this sweaty, athleisure-clad chaos, a modest investment in a good yoga mat can make all the difference. There are as many mats out there as there are classes, so it can be an equal challenge to find the one that’s right for you.
The Best Yoga Mats Shopping Guide
Feeling pressed about finding the right mat? Cut to the chase with this lineup of our top recommendations, according to us and a panel of experts:
What to consider when shopping for yoga mats
Kevin Lamb—a New York-based, Yoga Alliance-certified instructor who’s been practicing for over 20 years—recommends shopping based on your lifestyle, like whether you’ll be using your mat at home, or are just looking for something portable to fold into tight carry-on spaces. In those instances, weight will be the most important metric, coupled with the absolute basics of a good mat (a sweat-wicking and durable surface).
Thickness and style are other key factors to think about, Lamb adds. “A lot of this is knowing how your body is inside your practice, what exercises you’d like the mat to support, the size of your home space to practice in, floor type (different mats will respond differently on wood or concrete floors than they would carpet), and whatever other atmospheric factors you are working with.” For anyone who wants to dabble, Lamb says it might be a good idea to visit local studios and gyms to get a feel for which in-house mats they prefer.
How we picked all of the mats below
In our own personal quest for the perfect floor companion, we vinyasa-ed on all shapes and sizes, comparing textures, sweat-wicking capabilities, weight, stickiness, and thickness to determine the best yoga mats for every kind of yogi, from the first-timer to the Level-3 veteran. We also tapped a handful of seasoned yogis for their mats and accessory recommendations to round out our favorites. Here, our top picks for the best yoga mats that are worth flowing on, in a range of sizes and styles.
The Best All-Around Yoga Mat: Manduka Pro
Now you may be thinking, Why would I spend more money on my yoga mat than the five-class pack at my studio? Well, we’re here to tell you that the Manduka Pro will last you a lifetime—literally. It’s the preferred mat of many veteran yogis (including pretty much everyone we chatted to for this story) due to its superior stick and supportive six millimeter thickness for wrists and knees.
Lamb notes that he’s practiced on many Mandukas over the years and can vouch for their longevity. “Each Manduka Pro is basically a tank: sturdy, durable, and weighs accordingly.”
Justin Temple—co-founder and co-director of Baltimore Yoga Studies and a practitioner of yoga for the past 15 years—tells us that the mat only gets better with age, too. “I practice Ashtanga yoga six days a week, which is a dynamic way to spend my mornings—and the Manduka Pro’s thickness provides just the right amount of extra support,” Temple says.
One caveat: This thing is heavy (we’re talking over-seven-pounds heavy), so if you’re planning on toting this bad boy very far to your studio and want to travel lighter, consider the portable four pound, Prolite version of the mat. It’s a favorite of vinyasa veteran Vinnie Marino—who the New York Times once dubbed “The Yoga King of Los Angeles”—because it’s light enough to travel anywhere.
Another downside for sweaty-palmed folks, Lamb says, is that the mat can be something of a slip-and-slide if you’re engaging in more rigorous practices. Temple suggests using a practice rug or non-skid towel on top in humid weather or during sweatier sessions, though if you feel the mat starting to lose its grip over time, you could also restore it with a little salt scrub. If that’s not doing the trick, Manduka offers a lifetime guarantee so you can trade yours in for a fresh one.
The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat: Jade Harmony
Long a favorite of yogis and yoga instructors, Jade’s Harmony mat strikes the ideal balance between grip, support, and sweat absorption. Unlike other thick, squishy mats out there that can feel comfy underfoot for a winding-down savasana but can actually cause problems for your joints, the natural rubber on this yoga mat provides a solid base—with enough springiness and resistance to keep your wrists and ankles safe.
Other perks: Jade manufactures all of its mats in the U.S. and has vowed to plant a tree for every mat purchase (to date the company has surpassed more than two million trees). With a variety of lengths and colors to choose from, you also won’t be stuck with the exact same mat as everyone else in class. Lamb—a long-time user of Jade mats for their sponginess, eco-friendly production, sweat absorption, and variety of widths/weights and colors—confirms that the Harmony mat is a “solid investment” for the price.
The Best Extra-Large Yoga Mat for Tall Dudes and Home Gyms: Manduka PRO Squared
Yes, holding downward-facing dog for 10 breaths is challenging, even for experienced yogis, but a downward-facing dog on a mat that is too small is even more challenging. Luckily, Manduka makes this extra-long, almost comically wide version of its Pro Mat that’s perfect for tall guys, or for doing yoga in pairs. With nearly seven feet of real estate (compared to the standard six for most yoga mats), you can spread those limbs out comfortably without worrying about rolling off the mat. It also offers the same bona fides as the original Pro, including the dense six millimeter thickness, closed-cell material that keeps bacteria and moisture from seeping into the mat, and the enviable lifetime warranty. The only hangup? It weighs, uh, fully over 25 pounds, so it’s not exactly the kind of mat you roll up for class. If you’ve got the square footage in your home gym for it, though, it is the perfect way to embrace the sprawl.
The Best Extra Thick Yoga Mat for Home Workouts: Jade Fusion
Even some of the squishiest yoga mats can be harsh on your joints and bones over time, which could be remedied by folding your mat over for extra cushioning under your knees, but this PVC-free mat is already almost twice as thick as Jade’s Harmony mat—no folding required—at nearly eight millimeters thick. With that thickness comes extra weight, so this 8.5-pounder mat won’t be your top choice for a travel mat, but it’s still endlessly supportive underfoot, whether you’re planting your feet into a chair pose or digging into a side plank.
The Best Mat for Hot Yoga: Oko Living Herbal
Whether you’re into Bikram or you just sweat a lot, it can be difficult to find a mat that gives you enough support without feeling like your hands might slip out from under you at any moment during downward dog. Laying a towel on top of your mat can sometimes do the trick, but can also be a hassle to fumble with throughout your practice. If this sounds like you, try out a woven mat instead. It’s not only a stylish, easily portable choice for grounding down into your practice, but can also be especially helpful for gaining traction during a sweatier hot yoga class.
Najee Wilson—a 200-hour ashtanga yoga practitioner at Brooklyn’s Heal Haus—appreciates the look of Oko Living’s Herbal Mat for at-home yoga, and the feel-good knowledge that the woven material supports artisans and preserves an ancient craft. “It’s hand-loomed from super soft cotton, which offers fantastic stability especially when you work up a sweat,” Wilson says. “The underside is coated in natural rubber which keeps the mat from slipping,” he adds, and it all rolls up into its own woven carrying bag.
The Best Travel Yoga Mat: Manduka Eko Superlite
If you’re cool with slightly thinner mats, the Eko is a very popular alternative to Manduka’s Pro Lite travel series. Wilson says he always travels with the Superlite for a couple reasons: “The natural rubber surface offers grippy contact. And it’s ultra-thin at 1.5 millimeters which means it can easily roll and even fold when you need to save space.” Just a head’s up that the thin density is going to be tough on joints, but you can always double up with a towel or blanket on top if you need more cushion underneath your feet.
The Best Yoga Mat for Beginners: Lululemon Take Form
Lululemon’s supremely smooth, colorful mats are some of the best-looking options out there, and its newish Take Form mat is no exception, with a sleek marbled surface that comes in a range of hues. It works like a cheat sheet for beginners, mapping out 3D quadrants where people should be lining up their feet for their standing asanas or placing their hands for a plank pose. Warrior II feels a lot less intimidating, and easy to achieve, when you can feel out where to plant your feet. Though we’ve never had a problem with staining the mats we’ve owned even after years of use, we do hear that Lululemon’s rubber can accumulate yellow stains from sweat, which is just something to keep in mind if you tend to schvitz profusely on the mat. It’s why we’d still recommend a Manduka as our top choice (which comes with a warranty if its surface breaks down quickly over time). Still, there’s always the option to layer up with a sweat towel if you’re worried.
The Best Yoga Mat for Commuters: Jade Voyager
You don’t want to be that guy on the subway during rush hour, hurrying to make your evening class while your mat is sticking awkwardly out of your bag primed to get stuck in the closing doors or the turnstile or knock over a small child. For those on the go, Jade Yoga’s ultra-light, ultra-thin, foldable Voyager Mat is perfectly portable. Weighing just over one pound, it folds up to about the size of a yoga block, and easily fits inside totes, backpacks, and gym bags. It’s only 1.6 millimeters thick, so if you need a little more support, just throw it on top of a rental mat from the yoga studio and you’ll still get premium grip without the germs or the fuss of a sweat towel.
The Best Budget-Friendly Yoga Mat: BalanceForm
If you’re not all in on yoga just yet, you probably don’t want to drop around $100 on a fancy mat that you might only use twice. This $15 investment should do the trick. Better yet, you can do a lot more than just yoga on it! This mat is also a swell surface for a post-workout stretch, a 15-minute at-home meditation, or some Sunday afternoon sun bathing. And who doesn’t love a complimentary carrying strap?
10 More Yoga Mats and Accessories That We Like
Gaiam wouldn’t be our top choice for yoga mats since its options tend to be less grippy than we’d like, and don’t hold up as well over long periods of time. But if you’re just looking for another affordable, versatile mat to work out with, we’d recommend its 10 millimeter Fitness mat, which is even thicker than the Jade Fusion above for toggling between a variety of exercises comfortably—from running jacks to burpees to vinyasa poses—and without pissing off the downstairs neighbors. Blessedly, it even includes its own carrying strap for toting it elsewhere, or just hanging it up after your latest sweat session.
And if you like the look of the Oko Living mat above, but don’t want to drop a whole Benjamin on a mat, Jade Yoga also sells a handsome yoga rug that’s thick enough to stand on its own, or works as a grippy top layer over your regular mat in a sweaty vinyasa class. It’s handwoven by artisans in India and clocks in at a manageable three pounds for toting here and there.
When a teacher tells you to grab a block, it’s not a slight against your immense yogic powers. Blocks are simply there to help you unlock a deeper, more supported expression of a pose. Cork blocks balance give and firmness in a way that those soft, ratty foam ones at your gym just can’t achieve. And, maybe most importantly, they look a hell of a lot cooler.
Another alternative? These multipurpose curved balance blocks from extremely ‘grammable fitness brand Bala. They’re made from a dense foam that supports the curve of your spine if you’re laying back on one to stretch out your chest muscles during a heart-opener exercise. Advanced yogis can even test their balance by resting their feet or hands on the flat ends and rocking on the curved edges.
No matter how sweat-resistant a mat may claim to be, there’s always the option to top it off with an absorbent yoga towel that’ll keep your feet extra dry as you transition from pose to pose. It’s lightweight, compact, easy to clean, and extra portable for packing away on long-distance trips, or toting to the gym.
Chilling out in restorative yoga is an excellent way to restore your sense of calm after a stressful day, and grabbing a bolster (pretty much a long, dense yoga cushion) is a very useful prop for winding down during savasana. Lamb considers this Hugger Mugger option a “fantastic choice” for restorative poses. “It’s a simple but huge boost to calming the nervous system and getting the most out of a (sometimes too short) resting period,” Lamb says.
We also love the look of this new blacked-out bolster from Alo Yoga (that also doesn’t scream “workout accessory!!” if you wanted to use it as extra lumbar support on your loveseat). It’s filled with buckwheat hulls that give it a good heft, and a waxed canvas exterior that’s easy to wipe down after you’ve been laying your sweaty back on it in restorative sessions.
Whether rolled out for a simple stretch or for dialing up the resistance on a restorative pose, you can reach even more zen with a strap doing some of the work for you. Lamb notes that there isn’t a ton of variation in straps out there (they all do basically the same thing, with some variation in widths), so just make sure to get one that’s easy to grip and resist for a bigger release in your muscles.
Or, consider Alo Yoga’s two-fer of yoga accessory that combines the completely practical set-up of a carrying strap for your mat with decadent elastic panels. It’ll help you stretch out those weary leg muscles after a yoga session heavy on lunges and warrior poses, then pack it all up when you’re ready to take your yoga practice on the road.
Great for your at-home practice and your home decor, a humble, Southwestern-inspired blanket always does the trick, whether it’s laid over you in corpse pose or rolled underneath your hamstring in a challenging pigeon stretch.
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