Need the perfect hot yoga mat, checkout this selection of Hot Yoga Matsthat pass the sweat test.
Everyone says they want a grippy mat, but for those of us who practice hot yoga, “grip” is not just something on a features wishlist, it's the center of our attention.
In humid, sweaty classes, the risk of slipping and hurting yourself (or crashing into the person next to you) becomes a serious concern. Towels and accessories can help, but is there a mat that can hold it’s own in a steamy yoga class?
Read our review on the Top Hot Yoga Mats below to find out!
The eKO is my favorite mat in the Manduka collection, and it’s the one I think is best suited for hot yoga. The eKO has significantly more traction when wet compared to its siblings, the Manduka Pro and Pro Lite (see below). The mat’s closed-cell surface has a horizontal wave pattern to help you maintain your grip, which I found more sticky than the fabric-like texture of the Manduka Pro series. The eKO boasts an open-cell bottom for more cushioning and grip, plus has a 79” long version for those of you who like extra length.
Dimensions: 71” X 26” (also comes in an extra long 79” version)
Weight: 7 pounds
Material: Natural tree rubber, closed-cell construction, no PVC or toxic plastics
PROS: Excellent combination of cushioning and traction, handles moisture like a pro
CONS: Strong rubber oder for first few weeks, not cheap
This mat’s open cell construction makes it stretchier and springier than Manduka mats' closed-cell construction. If you’re confused about open-cell vs closed-cell, the bottom line is that open-cell mats (like Jade) are more permeable. This means open-cell mats do an awesome job absorbing moisture and sweat (and Jade indeed, stays sticky when wet). The flip side is that open-cell mats’ permeability mean they’re also absorbing more bacteria too, which can make them harder to keep clean. Some say open-cell mats like Jade wear more quickly than a closed-cell mats like Manduka.
While Jade is my absolute favorite for a non-hot or hybrid yoga practice, if you’re doing 100% hot yoga or Bikram yoga, Jade wouldn’t be my choice for you due to the more permeable, sensitive nature of open-cell mats.
Thickness: 5mm. Even though it’s technically thinner than the Manduka Pro, it feels like it has more cushioning because of the springy, open-cell construction.
Dimensions: 74” X 24”
Material: Eco-friendly natural rubber tapped from rubber trees (no PVC)
Weight: 4.5 pounds
PROS: Perfect balance of comfort and traction, not too heavy, holds up well to moisture
CONS: Can dirty and wear easily if used exclusively for hot yoga and be harder to clean than a closed-cell mat
HOT YOGA GRADE: B
Manduka Pro ($108 retail, $98 at Yoga Outlet)
Practicing yoga on the Manduka PRO I feel like a stronger version of myself. The mat's so heavy I toned my biceps just carrying it around. If you’re looking for a hot yoga mat that still has texture and cushioning, this is our pick for you.Unlike it’s little sister, the Manduka PROLite (below), this mat passed my sweat test, holding up to moisture quite well.
Dimensions: 71” X 26” Two inches wider than standard mats to help you practice comfortably (and dominate the room)
Material: Fabric-like proprietary Manduka closed-cell construction
Weight: 7 pounds.
PROS: Great texture, sticky when moist, large and spacious, life-time guarantee
The dimensions of this mat feel just right, and we like the fabric-like texture of Manduka mats. Problem is, the PROlite mat doesn’t hold up to moisture and sweat. I wish this weren’t the case, because everything else about this mat is lovely.
Dimensions: 71” X 24”
Material: Fabric-like proprietary Manduka closed cell construction (prevents moisture [theoretically] and keeps out bacteria)
Weight: 4 pounds.
PROS: Nice long length, lifetime guarantee, lightweight
CONS: Pricey, doesn’t maintain stickiness when wet
The Gaiam Sol is the stickiest mat I’ve ever placed my hands and feet on. Ipouredwater on this mat and the Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip stayed dry, providing incredible traction. This mat is like a magic trick in how well it maintains traction while wet. Cushioning and texture is minimal, but for hot yoga, my priority is safety and not-slipping, and I felt safer on the Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip than on any of the mats mentioned so far.
Dimensions: 68” X 24” It’s not as long as some of the other mats, but this didn’t bother me at all when practicing.
Material: Rubber-free and latex-free absorbent material. Perfect for those with a latex sensitivity.
PROS: Secure and slip-free, stays magically dry for sweaty, humid classes
CONS: Lacks texture, depth and softness, cushioning is minimal
This mat wins the design award with bright, beautiful geometric patterns that will attract attention from everyone else in the room. But this mat is not just a pretty face. It's microfiber towel surface is designed to grip better with sweat, and when I put this mat to my water test, it indeed stayed sticky when wet. Truly innovative: It’s a rubber mat and yoga towel in one. I loved how safe I felt on this gorgeous, well-executed mat specifically designed for hot yoga.
Dimensions: 68” X 24”
Material: Natural rubber and microfiber, latex-free - machine washable
PROS: Stays grippy when wet, bold and beautiful colors make you smile
CONS: Not appropriate for normal or 'not hot’ yoga, could clash with your outfit pending what you wear to class
HOT YOGA GRADE: A+
Brett Larkin teaches vinyasa flow yoga at top San Francisco studios and on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than 10 million minutes. Find her "yoga hacks," yoga teacher training tips, and free yoga/meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.