The best yoga mats we’ve tested

Helping you choose the exercise mat that fits your life

Yoga is one of the best ways to improve flexibility, find your centre or practice breathwork, and one of its real benefits is the ease with which you can get started.

Your yoga mat choice is important because practising on a bare floor or a towel gets painful rather quickly. That said, the choice of mats is bewildering and the price difference between them can be huge. The range feels endless, from budget supermarket brands to designer mats costing hundreds of pounds.

Yogi Bare Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga Mat
Editors Choice

Yogi Bare Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga Mat


RRP: £74.95
Who’s this for?
All abilities, from beginners to more advanced yoga students and suitable for everything from Hatha Yoga to Bikram (hot) Yoga.
Editors Choice

Core Balance Rubber Alignment Yoga Mat


RRP: £59.99
Who’s this for?
All abilities and all types of yoga. A great quality mat for those on a budget
Recommended

Liforme Yoga Mat


RRP: £110
Who’s this for?
Another great all-rounder for all abilities and forms of yoga.
Recommended

Sweaty Betty Supergrip Align Yoga Mat


RRP: £65
Who’s this for?
This will suit the more petite user looking for extra comfort from their mat.
Recommended

Lululemon The Mat


RRP: £88
Who’s this for?
Anyone looking for extra cushioning, comfort and grip.
Recommended

Gaiam Non-slip 6mm Yoga Mat


RRP: £34.99
Who’s this for?
A great starter mat or to take to lessons as it’s so light and comfortable.

Yogamatters Aqua Evolve Yoga Mat


RRP: £60
Who’s this for?
Eco-conscious yogis who value comfort for slower practises.

Kin Travel Yoga Mat


RRP: £55
Who’s this for?
Nomadic yogis will love this mat, but others may find the lack of cushioning too uncomfortable.

Ecoyoga Jute Mat Extra Long


RRP: £59
Who’s this for?
Tall yogis and those wanting an eco friendly, biodegradable mat.

So, are yoga mats just sheets of rubber with expensive price tags and is there any real difference between them? Our tests have proven categorically yes, there’s a huge disparity of styles and quality that you need to know about.

To highlight those differences, we tested the best-selling mats, including Lululemon, Yogi Bear, Liforme and Sweaty Betty, so you can make the right decision about which yoga mat to buy.

What our testers looked for

We wanted to find out if testers felt safe on the mat. Did they, for example, slip during more challenging moves? We tested this with lunges and wide legged stances, including Warrior Two, where a slip could cause injury.

A simple, but important one – is each mat comfortable to kneel or lie on? Lying and kneeling postures included Savasana and Table Top to check cushioning on knees, backs and hands.

This was tested with one-legged balances including Tree Pose and Warrior Three to test whether the mat’s cushioning affected its stability.

We assessed each yoga mat on the quality of the finish, its composition and whether it felt durable.

We checked the weight of each mat and whether it would be easy to carry and store.

We compared each mat to the others in the test to find out whether they were a good investment or a budget buy for a beginner.

The best yoga mat

Our overall winner was the Yogi Bare Paws mat as it was a perfect all-rounder, for every ability and form of yoga. Our testers loved its grip, cushioning and size. They also liked its expensive appearance and subtle design.

Our favourite budget mat of the test was the Core Balance mat, which is a great alternative to the more expensive Liforme and looks almost identical.

The eco mat of choice was the Yogamatters Aqua Evolve. Some class members didn’t like the bold pattern, but it was light and grippy enough for most yoga practice, and as it’s partly made from algae bloom it got bonus points.

In the at-home test the heavier mats performed best, with Yogi Bare, Core Balance and Liforme all proving stable on long and short pile carpets. Most of the other mats all performed well, but some of the lighter mats slipped and rippled on longer pile carpets.

Yogi Bare Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga Mat Overview

Yogi Bare Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga Mat

Yogi Bare Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip Yoga Mat
Editors Choice
Luxury

A great quality grippy and comfortable mat which suits different abilities and forms of yoga.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

All abilities, from beginners to more advanced yoga students and suitable for everything from Hatha Yoga to Bikram (hot) Yoga.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Excellent grip
  • Super smooth surface
  • Larger than average
  • Heavy

Expect to pay

RRP: £74.95 You won’t find this mat anywhere cheaper and it’s great value for money at its launch price.

Our pick of the mats

This mat is available in black, red, blue, dark green and grey. It has an Aztec-style design which is subtle but also includes a central horizontal and a vertical line – this is laser etched so won’t rub off.

As it’s made of natural rubber and PU (polyurethane) there isn’t a chemical smell when first unrolled. The mat is very eco-friendly – it’s biodegradable, made with fully sustainable materials, 100 per cent vegan and even the packaging is 100 per cent recyclable.

An instructor doing a side bend on a yoga matCredit: Exceptional.com
Yoga instructor Nicky Webb

We liked: This mat looks expensive, the surface feels smooth to the touch and the design is tasteful but not too bold to be off-putting and the horizontal and vertical lines are useful for centring yourself.

The surface of the mat is grippy in all moves, even the wide-legged stances, and our testers felt it was stable underfoot for balancing postures. It didn’t slip either, on hard surfaces or carpet.

We didn’t like: Weighing in at 2.5kg it is heavy and takes a bit of effort to roll up. The Yogi Bare mat is instructor Webb’s choice of mat for her yoga studio.

She says: “It suits a wide variety of people, it’s grippy and cushioned and works for all the different forms of yoga I teach, from slow Yin Yoga to Hot Yoga classes. The mats last well and don’t shed over time. It’s a really good all-rounder.”

We say: Our testers liked the look and feel of the Yogi Bare Paws mat. It is heavy, but that helps it remain stable. It isn’t the most cushioned mat in our test, but it has a good balance between softness and stability. It’s one of the more expensive mats in the test, but we believe this mat would be a great investment buy as it will last for years.


Core Balance Rubber Alignment Yoga Mat Overview

Core Balance Rubber Alignment Yoga Mat

Editors Choice
Competitive

Great grip, smooth finish and quality feel but for less than half the price of its rivals.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

All abilities and all types of yoga. A great quality mat for those on a budget

Our likes and dislikes

  • Grippy
  • Comfortable
  • Low price
  • Heaviest mat in test

Expect to pay

RRP: £59.99 Normally on offer direct from the manufacturer for just £29.99

Best budget mat

The Core Balance Rubber Alignment mat is made from natural rubber with a PU (polyurethane) coating. The surface has laser-etched alignment lines to help you position yourself correctly during classes.

It is 7cm wider than a standard mat and is available in blue, grey, green and purple.

core balance yoga matCredit: Exceptional.com
Home testing the Core Balance Yoga Mat

We liked: This mat is amazing value for money. It looks expensive, without costing anywhere near as much as you’d expect. It’s virtually identical to the Liforme mat which is almost four times the price.

During the test the mat performed well, feeling smooth to the touch but very grippy. At 4mm thick, it wasn’t as cushioned as others, but testers felt it was comfortable and stable. Testers liked the alignment lines and felt it was comfortable to use on hard and softer surfaces.

We didn’t like: Weighing 2.7kg, it is one of the heaviest mats, so may not be suitable for those with back or shoulder issues if you need to carry it to a class.

Tester Ana Kimche says: “I loved the colour of the mat and the markings. I would really consider buying this one, it’s a great price for a lovely quality mat.”

We say: This is a great mat at a great price. However, ensure you buy it at the discounted price of £29.99. It doesn’t have the eco-credentials of some of the more expensive mats and we are yet to see how long lasting this will turn out to be over weeks and months, but if you are on a budget, then this is a great buy.


Liforme Yoga Mat Overview

Liforme Yoga Mat

Recommended
Luxury

Biodegradable, comfortable and with alignment marks. Liforme is a popular mat for a reason. But it is also the most expensive mat in our test.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

Another great all-rounder for all abilities and forms of yoga.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Non slip
  • Cushioned
  • Quality, smooth feel
  • Most expensive in test

Expect to pay

RRP: £110 Expect to pay the full price for this one.

Highly commended

The Liforme Yoga Mat is made of natural rubber with a coating of the brand’s eco-polyurethane. The surface has etched markings to help with foot and hand positioning and comes with a free, good quality carry bag.

The mat comes in six different plain colours, or you could pay extra for a patterned mat or splash out for a personalized version. The Liforme is also a little longer and wider than an average mat so gives you more space to move.

It’s a great eco choice as it’s non-toxic, free from PVC, and will biodegrade in 1-5 years in a landfill. The packaging is also fully recyclable or reusable.

Home testing the Liforme Yoga MatCredit: Exceptional.com
Home testing the Liforme Yoga Mat

We liked: We liked the smooth feel of the surface of the mat and the rubber underside felt grippy. Yet despite its smooth feel, it felt very safe and secure during all moves, even when it got wet. It didn’t move on any of our surfaces and, at 4.2mm thick, there was enough cushioning for everyone without affecting balance on one-legged poses.

Testers also liked the alignment markings, which looked confusing initially, but proved to be in exactly the right places for each yoga posture. We know from testers who own this mat that it lasts for years.

We didn’t like: There’s no getting away from the price. At £110, this is an expensive mat. It is also heavy, weighing 2.5kg – so heavy to move around. In addition, as it’s biodegradable the manufacturers recommend not leaving it out in the sun and it will need cleaning regularly as your skin’s natural oils will leave slight marks.

Tester Mary Jones says: “I loved this mat, I felt like I could really move on it. It looks and feels really nice.”

We say: This is a high quality, eco-friendly mat which is a great investment buy, it’s a highly regarded mat and we can see why. The grip is excellent, the padding just right, and the larger size is useful too. Buy this mat as an investment to last you for years.


Sweaty Betty Supergrip Align Yoga Mat Overview

Sweaty Betty Supergrip Align Yoga Mat

Recommended
Competitive

A soft but grippy mat, smaller than some others and also contains latex

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

This will suit the more petite user looking for extra comfort from their mat.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Grippy
  • Soft feel
  • Contains latex
  • Smaller than average

Expect to pay

RRP: £65 This is a fair price for this mat and you won’t find it any cheaper elsewhere, but watch out for the regular SB sales just in case.

Quality for sensible price

The mat is made of rubber and PU (polyurethane), and has a natural latex coating for extra grip. The surface has alignment marks on it to help you place yourself correctly during postures, and comes in black and wisteria and is 4mm thick.

It is an eco-conscious mat, but perhaps not to the level of some in our test, coming in slightly smaller than some mats tested, but also slightly lighter at 2.38kg.

Testing the Sweaty Betty yoga mat in classCredit: Exceptional.com
Testing the Sweaty Betty yoga mat in class

We liked: The wisteria colour looks nice and the mat feels very soft to the touch. The surface is very grippy and our testers felt safe during moves.

It does have more give to it than other mats, which means you sink into it a little more, but it was still stable during balancing postures. It performed well in our at-home tests too and didn’t move around on carpets.

We didn’t like: Because you sink into the mat more than others it doesn’t feel as cushioned as those of the same thickness; it’s also a narrower mat than some of the others tested so some users felt more constrained in their practice.

Natural latex has its drawbacks too – it isn’t suitable for anyone with a latex allergy and the surface shows sweat marks, so it needs cleaning regularly.

Tester Sheila Naylor says: “I really like this mat; I feel safe on it in all the different postures.”

We say: A good all-round mat for a sensible price. It will suit more petite users as it’s not as big as other mats tested. It looks nice and the mat feels durable, giving the sensation it would last well.


Lululemon The Mat Overview

Lululemon The Mat

Recommended
Luxury

An extra-cushioned non-slip mat, but choose a plain colour if you find busy prints off putting.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

Anyone looking for extra cushioning, comfort and grip.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Comfort
  • Grip
  • Patterns not for everyone
  • Not the biggest

Expect to pay

RRP: £88 You won’t find this one any cheaper than Lululemon so watch out for sales and discounts.

Reversible yoga mat

The Lululemon 5mm mat is made of sustainably sourced natural rubber and a PU (polyurethane) surface. But unlike all the others, this mat is reversible. You can flip between the smooth grippy side or the cushioned natural side.

It comes in 10 different colours and pattern options all for the same price but, at £88, is one of the more expensive mats on test.

Testing the Lululemon yoga mat in classCredit: Exceptional.com
Testing the Lululemon yoga mat in class

We liked: Lighter and thicker than the average, our testers really appreciated the extra cushioning on this mat. On the one side it is smooth and slightly shiny, yet that is the grippy side and our testers all agreed that it felt very safe in all the postures.

The reverse side does feel more cushioned and was great to relax on at the end of the session. Having these two options was popular. It performed well in the class and at home and didn’t slip on carpets. The rubber felt durable with no flaking.

We didn’t like: Our testing group disliked the pattern on our test mat. They felt it made them feel dizzy or disorientated during downward facing movements. However, it is also available in plain colours, so if this mat appeals there are options.

The Lululemon mat marks and scratches easily, so this mat will take more looking after than some of the other mats on test. Finally, and importantly, it contains latex which makes it unsuitable for those with an allergy.

The Lululemon mat was the favourite of the only male in the class, Peter Childs. He says: “It was a good solid mat, grippy but also comfortable to use. It felt like a quality mat, and I liked it a lot.”

We say: Being reversible means this is two mats in one, which is great for those practising different forms of yoga. It’s an expensive mat and will need looking after, but it is a durable mat and will last if you decide to invest in it.


Gaiam Non-slip 6mm Yoga Mat Overview

Gaiam Non-slip 6mm Yoga Mat

Recommended
Budget

A popular budget mat which has good cushioning and grip. Not as durable, big or stable as others available.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

A great starter mat or to take to lessons as it’s so light and comfortable.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Great budget buy
  • Light weight
  • Not as long lasting
  • Not as stable as other mats

Expect to pay

RRP: £34.99 There are all sorts of colours and designs for this mat, so shop around as we’ve seen it as cheap as £24.99 on Amazon. It’s also regularly on offer at TK-Max

Great beginners mat

The Gaiam mat is the thickest we tested, at 6mm. It is reversible so you can choose which colourway you want to practice on. It’s made of PVC, but is latex and phthalates free and is less harmful to the environment than other PVC mats.

It comes in a choice of colours and patterns and is one of the cheapest mats we tested. If you shop around you can get this at a bargain price of less than £30 . It is also one of the lightest mats in our test, at less than 1.5kg.

Testing the Gaiam yoga mat in class.Credit: Exceptional.com
Testing the Gaiam yoga mat in class.

We liked: Our testers enjoyed the extra cushioning and the non-slip ribbed surface. In fact a few of our testers already owned this mat. The choice of colourways is huge and it’s very lightweight so easy to take to class.

This mat is really good value for money and is a really good first mat for a beginner.

We didn’t like: Some testers felt that due to the extra cushioning, this mat wasn’t as stable during balancing postures, and it also slipped more on carpets.

It isn’t as durable as the more expensive mats, although Gaiam promise a lifetime guarantee on it, and some testers reported that it can start to flake.

Tester Jane Brandon says: “This mat has got a lot of good points. It’s really comfortable; has a good grip and is a good price, especially if you are just starting out in yoga.”

We say: A great starter yoga mat for the budget conscious.


Yogamatters Aqua Evolve Yoga Mat Overview

Yogamatters Aqua Evolve Yoga Mat

Competitive

An eco mat partly made from algae! It’s soft and super-lightweight but not as grippy as many of its counterparts.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

Eco-conscious yogis who value comfort for slower practises.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Great eco-credentials
  • Super lightweight
  • Busy pattern is off-putting for some
  • Not as grippy

Expect to pay

RRP: £60 It’s a sensible price for this eco mat. Buy it direct as you won’t find it any cheaper.

Eco warrior yoga mat

The Yogamatters Aqua Evolve yoga mat is made from a combination of EVA foam and algae from lakes and ponds. Algae blooms are caused by climate change and water pollution and are posing a major problem around the world. But a new process is turning these blooms into eco-foam and also creating cleaner water and air at the same time.

The Aqua Evolve is 5mm thick and is superlight, weighing just 750g. It comes in just one design and is in the middle of the price range of the yoga mats tested.

Testing the Yogamatters yoga matCredit: Exceptional.com
Testing the Yogamatters yoga mat

We liked: This mat is an absolute eco-warrior and its manufacturing process actually cleans our planet, so buy it with a clear conscience. We love how lightweight it is and its extra cushioning. But despite its extra cushioning our testers said it was stable in balancing postures.

It is also longer than average, so great for tall yogis. Although it curls at the ends when new, it soon levels out and doesn’t show any marks over time.

We didn’t like: Our testers didn’t like the strong pattern. Like the Lululemon mat, it made them feel dizzy and disorientated during downward-facing postures.

Unfortunately, this mat isn’t available in a plain design. The other issue is that it had little grip and testers started to slide even in moves such as Downward Dog.

Tester Joyce Daly says: “It’s a nice mat but the patterns made me feel dizzy, I like how lightweight it is, but I wouldn’t buy it because of the pattern.”

We say: We love how this mat is helping clean our planet, but we wouldn’t recommend it for anything more than Yin or Restorative Yoga as it doesn’t have enough grip. The pattern was also a no-no for most of our testers.


Kin Travel Yoga Mat Overview

Kin Travel Yoga Mat

Competitive

A useful travel mat for serious yogis, but too thin for most.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

Nomadic yogis will love this mat, but others may find the lack of cushioning too uncomfortable.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Lightweight and foldable
  • Big for a travel mat
  • Slippier than most
  • Still quite heavy for travelling

Expect to pay

RRP: £55 Best to buy this one direct and new customers benefit from 10 per cent discount.

Great travel yoga mat

The Kin travel mat is made of a 100 per cent natural, sustainable rubber base with a microfibre surface. It is just 2mm thick and can be folded up to an A4 size.

It is lightweight at 1.4kg and is available in nine different designs. At £55 it’s a mid-priced mat in this group test.

The Kin yoga mat being put through its paces.Credit: Exceptional.com
The Kin yoga mat being put through its paces.

We liked: We liked how portable this mat is. It’s light and you can fold it up, so its great for travelling. It felt nice to the touch, with a suede-type feel to the surface – although it’s totally vegan.

Testers liked the look of the mat and found it grippy on the hard surface in the yoga studio. It didn’t slide at all on hard floors.

We didn’t like: The mat is only 2mm thick so you really do feel the ground beneath you, and some of our testers said they wouldn’t like to do a full session on this mat due to joint or back issues.

It is lightweight and weighs a kilo less than some mats, but travellers still might find it heavier than they would hope. Sadly, we found it had virtually no grip when placed on a soft carpet.

Instructor Webb says: ‘This is lighter than my own travel mat and although you wouldn’t use it on decking or a rough surface, you could use it in a gym on top of an exercise mat or else in a hotel room.”

We say: We loved the look and feel of this mat, but it has a lot of limitations. However, if you are a travelling yogi then this mat is definitely worth a look.


Ecoyoga Jute Mat Extra Long Overview

Ecoyoga Jute Mat Extra Long

Competitive

A Marmite mat. Great eco credentials and length, but the rough feel isn’t for everyone.

Grip

Comfort

Size

Weight


Who’s this for?

Tall yogis and those wanting an eco friendly, biodegradable mat.

Our likes and dislikes

  • X-long to suit tall users
  • Great eco-credentials
  • Lack of cushioning
  • Rough surface won’t suit all

Expect to pay

RRP: £59 Shop around and you’ll find this for less than £50.

Good for tall yogis

The Ecoyoga mat is made in the UK with a pure natural rubber underside and a hessian/jute surface. No chemicals are used in its production.

The jute provides grip and makes the mat more durable. It is 4mm thick and the longest mat in our group test at 7ft long. It weighs 2.4kg and is one of the cheaper mats in our group test.

The hessian-surfaced extra-long Ecoyoga mat.Credit: Exceptional.com
The hessian-surfaced extra-long Ecoyoga mat.

We liked: Our tall testers loved the longer length of this mat and we really liked that it was made in Britain out of eco-friendly materials. It felt solid and there was no flaking around the edges.

Our testers found it grippy during the test and stable in balancing exercises. It didn’t budge when used on a hard floor.

We didn’t like: This was a Marmite rug for our testers. Some loved it, but others didn’t like the feel of the rough surface. The mat didn’t feel as cushioned and soft as other mats and the manufacturers warn that it will show signs of wear sooner as it contains no preservatives.

Our testers also found it could slip on carpets during our home practice.

Our Experienced Voices Panelist loved the length of the mat, as she’s 5’10, as well as its eco values, but agreed that other mats felt nicer to the touch and were more cushioned.

We say: A great mat for tall yogis and those who want an eco-friendly mat. However, the rough surface and the fact it will show signs of wear quickly, won’t suit everyone.

Phillipa Cherryson

Written by Phillipa Cherryson she/her

Updated:

Phillipa Cherryson is a senior digital editor for Saga Exceptional. Phillipa has been a journalist for 30 years, writing for local and national newspapers, UK magazines and reporting onscreen for ITV. In her spare time she loves the outdoors and is a trainee mountain leader and Ordnance Survey Champion.

  • instagram
  • Email