Bikram Hot Yoga Towels Compared & Reviewed

If you’re doing Bikram hot yoga (or heated vinyasa) a towel is not optional. A yoga towel absorbs moisture and sweat, resulting in a safer practice. It protects your yoga mat from germs and bacteria. Plus, it’s easy to clean.

In this review, we’re covering yoga mat towels that cover your whole mat. You may also want to invest in a yoga hand towel just for mopping your brow or drying sweaty hands.

Finding the perfect yoga towel depends on your overall fitness regime and the various ways you plan to use the towel.

Questions to ask yourself as we dive into the reviews:

(1)   Do you want a towel with a non-slip rubber backing? Pros are that this helps “glue” the towel to your mat, so it doesn’t bunch up during your practice. Cons are that the stiff backing makes the towel bulkier, and less ideal to use on your body.

(2)   Do you want to match the brand of your towel and mat? For example, if you have a Jade mat, the Jade Microfiber Yoga Towel is an obvious choice. In our tests, we found that (unsurprisingly) towels adhered and worked best with the mats of the same brand.

(3)   Do you want a multipurpose towel or a towel just for yoga? Towels with the non-slip rubber backing are designed specifically for yoga. Towels without this backing could also be used in the gym, when you’re camping, and in other fitness classes.

Jade Yoga Microfiber Yoga Mat Towel $39.95

jade yoga towel

Jade’s towel is so silky we wanted to cuddle with it. If you want a towel that could also double as a camping, shower (or comfort!) towel, this is it. This towel can absorb 6 times it’s weight in water and is moisture wicking (meaning it dries incredibly fast). True to the Jade brand, this towel is recyclable. Jade even provides clean drinking water to people in the developing world with every towel sold.

Poratability > 1 lbs. Super light. Easy to carry.

Backing None. The Jade Yoga Mat Towel has a silky smooth texture on both sides. 

Washer / Dryer Yes

SUMMARY

Perfect if you want a lightweight, multipurpose yoga towel that also feels great on the body. Slippery when dry, but fantastic traction when wet. 

Hot Yoga Score: A

Hugger Mugger Bamboo Yoga Mat Towel $34.95

This towel has a non-slip PER backing and a soft, absorbent surface. It’s latex-free and made from renewable bamboo fibers. This towel did have a rubber-like smell when new, which fades over time.

Portability It’s thicker and heavier than the Jade towel at 1.6 lbs.

Backing Yes. Flat, wicker-like PER backing makes the mat thicker to roll and fold.

Washer / Dryer Yes

SUMMARY

Recommended for those looking for extra cushioning and a secure connection between the towel and the mat. This towel won’t bunch up. Cons are that it rolls up thick, and contains small amounts of polyester (not 100% bamboo).

 

Hot Yoga Score: B+

Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Mat Towel $18.98

Comparable to the Jade towel, the Gaiam Thirsty is a microfiber towel that’s super absorbent and fast trying. If you’re looking for a Gaiam towel that does have a non-slip backing, check out the Gaiam Grippy Yoga Towel.

Portability > 1 lbs. Very thin. Super lightweight.

Backing None. Microfiber on both sides.

Washer / Dryer Washer only. Lay flat to dry.

SUMMARY

Pros are that the Gaiam Thirsty towel is a great price and can easily double as a shower towel or a towel for other workouts. It’s one of the thinnest towels in this review making it super lightweight, but also more likely to bunch up on the mat during your practice. Also contains some polyester.

Hot Yoga Score: B+

yogitoes rSkidless Yoga Mat Towel $62

The rSkidless Mat Towel has a soft, absorbent top and yogitoes' patented silicone dots all over the bottom for a skid-free practice and extra grip. The silicone dots set this towel apart from any other towel in this review - we loved them!

All the other non-skid towels in this review have a solid, sticky backing. This keeps the towel from bunching up, but also makes the towel more like a mini-yoga mat: bulkier and thick to roll up. What’s genius about the silicone dots in the yogitoes towel is that there are so many dots, and they are so small, that the towel still feels soft and fluid.

Portability 1.25 lbs. Easy to bunch, roll up or fold.

Backing Unique, patented silicone dots.

Washer / Dryer Yes. Before using, wash separately.

SUMMARY

This towel is the best of both worlds: its silicone backing grips the mat, but the towel still feels soft and portable. Most towels are only truly sticky when wet, but the yogitoes towel felt safe when dry too – making it our #1 pick for heated Vinyasa yoga. The only con here is the high price tag.

Hot Yoga Score: A+

Maduka eQua Hot Yoga Towel $60

This microfiber towel by Manduka is super absorbent. Even though it’s microfiber on both sides (no rubber backing), when paired with a Manduka mat, this towel stayed put and didn’t bunch up. That being said, it’s not as plush and soft to the touch as the Jade towel.

Portability 2 lbs. Easy to roll up or fold.

Backing None. Microfiber on both sides.

Washer / Dryer Yes.

SUMMARY

This towel provides great traction when wet, but is slippery when dry. It’s truly a multipurpose towel you could use on the mat, at the gym, on a mountain, or on the road.

Hot Yoga Score: A-

Yoga Design Lab Hot Yoga Towel $39

Yoga Design Lab produces eye-candy, and this beautiful paisley mat is no exception. It’s extremely lightweight and made of top quality microfiber in a Paisey design. The Yoga Design Lab towel is ultra-thin and dries in minutes.

Portability > 1 lbs. Extremely lightweight.

Backing Microfiber back has extra-strength whip stitching for maximum lifespan.

Washer / Dryer Yes.

SUMMARY

This towel is thinner and smaller in dimension than the Manduka eQua, but otherwise quite comparable (and at a lower price). In our tests, it was one of the few towels that seemed to provide some traction when dry (instead of only when wet). Con is that you might feel bad sweating on something so pretty. 

Hot Yoga Score: B+

Sporti Studio Waffle Grip Towel $19.98

This lightweight towel is comparable to the yogitoes towel in that is has silicone backing to help it stay-put on the mat. The fabric’s waffle texture feels good on the hands, although not as plush as the Jade or Manduka eQua towels. You wouldn’t want to use this towel on your body.

Portability > 1 lbs. Excellent. The silicone backing is weaved into the fabric so it still feels soft and towel-like.

Backing Waffle fabric texture with silicone grip.

Washer / Dryer Yes.

SUMMARY

This towel feels secure when wet and provides decent traction when dry as well. It’s not a multipurpose towel because of the waffle texture and silicone, but will keep you safe on your yoga mat. 

Hot Yoga Score: B

Prana Synergy Yoga Mat Towel $39.99

The Prana towel is super absorbent with a rubber underside to secure the mat in place. The material is 100% TPE and the rubber backing is flat (no weaving or bumps).

Portability 2 lbs. Because of the rubber backing, this towel is heavy and not as malleable as the towels that are microfiber on both sides.

Backing Biodegradable natural rubber.

Washer / Dryer Machine wash separately. Hang dry.

SUMMARY

The poly micro fiber towel top is in an intricate, textured design providing superior grip. This towel absorbs moisture extremely well, but is heavier and thicker than the other towels in this review.

Hot Yoga Score: B-

Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid Yoga Mat $88

The Kulae Hot Hybrid Towel provides the function and support of a yoga mat as well. It’s a hybrid yoga mat / towel. You could layer the Kulae on top of a yoga mat or just use the Kulae as a yoga mat itself. Genius!

Portability The Kulae Elite is as big and thick as a yoga mat: 3 lbs and 4mm thick.

Backing Sticky, flat backing – 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

Washer / Dryer Machine wash separately. Hang dry.

SUMMARY

If you’re only doing Bikram or hot yoga, this the Kulae hybrid could act as your fulltime mat. Beyond providing grip, it’s an extra layer of cushioning for people with sensitive knees. Cons are that it’s as big as a traditional mat. Despite being bigger and thicker than all the other towels, we didn’t feel it was as sticky when wet as the others.

Hot Yoga Score: C+

 

Towel

Non-Skid Backing

Portability

Length

Width

Price

Score

Jade Microfiber

No

> 1 lbs

74”

24”

$39.95

A

Hugger Mugger Bamboo

Yes

1.6 lbs

72”

26”

$34.95

B

Gaiam Thirsty

No

> 1 lbs

68”

24”

$18.98

B+

Yogitoes Chakra Mat Towel

Yes

1.25 lbs

68”

24”

$50

A+

Manduka eQua

No

2 lbs

72”

26.5”

$60

A-

Yoga Design Lab

No

> 1 lbs

72”

24”

$39

B+

Sporti Studio Waffle Grip

Yes

> 1 lbs

72”

24”

$19.98

B

Prana Synergy Towel

Yes

1 lbs

72”

24”

$49.95

B-

Kulae Elite Hot Hybrid

Yes

3 lbs

72”

24”

$88

C+

Author 

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