Just about the only thing you MUST have in yoga, is a mat. It’s the piece of equipment that ties the whole thing together and without one, you’ll definitely have a hard time participating. Fortunately we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best yoga mats for beginners. And don’t worry, we’ve found top quality mats you can have in time for your next class.
- Top Pick: Manduka Pro – Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Runner Up & Top Budget Pick: Heathyoga Non-Slip Yoga Mat
- Best Natural Rubber Mat: Jade Harmony
- Jade Harmony Alternative: Jade Fusion 68 Inch Yoga Mat
- Best Extra Large Mat: prAna Revolution Mat
- Runner Up Budget Friendly Option: YogaAccessories Non-slip Yoga Mat
- Best PER Foam Mat: Aurorae Classic Eco Safe Yoga Mat
Top Yoga Mats For Beginners Reviewed
1. Manduka Pro
The Manduka Pro is an ideal solution for both beginners and advanced yogis. And one of the biggest reasons it’s held its spot for so long is that it carries a lifetime warranty. So if you buy it, you never need to buy another mat again…ever.
Additionally, the Pro comes in several sizes. The first and most common size is 71 x 26 which gives an extra 2 inches on the sides. The second is 85 x 26 which is super long and great for tall people because its also extra wide.
At 6 mm thick, this mats made from a super dense PVC that’s certified to be non-toxic and 100% latex free. The cushioning you get on the Manduka is similar in density to natural rubber. It provides you with lots of padding and doesn’t indent far enough interfere with your balance.
At the time of this writing, there’s tons of styles to choose from and Manduka regularly brings out new styles so you can definitely find something you like. Overall, its top notch and something you can happily use for a very long time.
Read our Manduka Yoga Mat Review
- Two extra large lengths and widths offered so that anyone can be comfortable on this mat
- 6 mm thick ultra dense material so you get outstanding support while minimizing the feeling of the floor underneath you
- Lifetime warranty on this mat so you never have to buy another
- Fabric finish top provides excellent grip in all situations
- Certified non-toxic, emissions-free manufacturing, and 100% latex free
- At the time of writing there’s lots of styles to choose from
- Easy to clean, closed cell surface
- One of the heaviest mats
- A few people have expressed slipping but the majority have not
2. Heathyoga Eco Friendly Non-Slip Yoga Mat
The Heathyoga mat is one of the best balances between affordability (at the time of this writing) and quality for beginning yogis. Its made from a non-toxic TPE material which is a medium density foam that doesn’t indent easily or interfere with your balance.
One of the best qualities of this mat is its extra width. It comes in a 72 x 26 inch length/width which gives you extra room on your sides. One of the main issues I have is that I’ll go off the sides of a 24″ wide mat. But with the extra two inches I never have any issues sliding onto the dirty yoga room floor.
The top of the Heathyoga mat is covered in micro-dots which help to prevent slipping and they feel nice to grip. The top also features alignment lines to help you stay centered and – get ready – they actually do help. I wasn’t sure they would make a difference at first but they definitely did.
Overall, this is one of the best options for a relatively wallet friendly yoga mat for beginners.
- Offered in lots of great colors at the time of this writing
- Larger sized – 72 x 26 inches to prevent you from going over the sides in any pose
- Micro-dots on the surface to help prevent slipping
- Made from a non-toxic TPE material that’s body friendly
- Features alignment lines on the surface to help you stay centered during class
- Some people have expressed problems with slipping but its not common
3. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
The Jade Harmony is a very high quality mat that’s essentially the baby brother of the Jade Fusion (above). It’s made from a sustainable natural tree rubber with an open celled surface that’s known to have extra grippyness without leaving sticky residue on your palms.
It’s currently offered in both 68″ and 74″ lengths and 24″ width which gives you options to choose from based on your height. I do wish it came in a wider size but if you’re a slightly smaller person or you’ve used a normal sized yoga mat without any problems, you’ll be fine with this width.
The overall durability and style of this mat are outstanding. It comes in a number of very cool colors and, since its made from rubber, its extremely durable.
Read our full review of Jade Yoga Mats
- Extremely durable so it will last you for many uses
- Offered in multiple lengths to accommodate taller yogis
- Open celled surface that’s slightly sticky to prevent slipping
- Made from a sustainable, natural, and biodegradable rubber so its both body and earth friendly
- Lots of colors to match any style and preference
- A tree is planted for every mat sold
- Has a mild rubber smell
- Slightly heavier mat
4. Jade Fusion 68 Inch Yoga Mat
The Jade Fusion mat is one of the most famous yoga mats around because of its excellent performance. This version of the Fusion comes in a 68″ length which is fine for individuals under about 5′ 7″ tall but beyond that you’ll feel cramped in plank pose and may want something a little longer.
One of the many reasons this mats favored among yogis is its grip and comfort. It’s made from an open celled natural rubber which has a high sticking factor but doesn’t leave residue on your hands. Additionally, its both biodegradable and extremely durable. While that may sound like a contradiction, trust me this thing will last you for a long time.
The only thing I don’t love about the Jade Fusion is that, since its made from natural rubber, its heavier and holds a natural rubber smell which is noticeable when your face touches the mat. Its not an overwhelming smell but if you have an aversion to rubber smell or a latex allergy this might not be the best fit.
Overall, this is a very high quality mat that’s a great option if you can see yourself getting into yoga on a regular basis.
- Made from ultra durable and sustainable natural rubber
- Extra thick (8mm) which makes it great for those with sensitive joints
- Great grip and doesn’t leave residue on your hands
- Good length (68″) so its nice for anyone under about 5′ 7″ and below
- A tree is planted for every mat sold so you’re also helping the environment
- Favored among experienced yogis for its comfort and strength
- Limited styles available at the time of this writing
- Has a slight rubber smell
- Its a moderately heavy mat
5. prAna Revolution Mat
The prAna Revolution mat is ideal for those who desire lots of space in yoga. Its 86 x 36 inches long/wide making it one of the largest yoga mats I’ve ever used. If you’re a taller individual, practicing at home or want something to keep you separated from other sweaty people in class, this is a great choice.
It’s made from 100% rubber meaning it has a great grippability to prevent slipping. But the one downside of this mat is that its just 4 mm thick which may not be enough for those with sensitive knees. Nonetheless, natural rubber is a high density material so this provides much better cushioning than a foam mat of equal thickness.
Furthermore, since its made from rubber its built to last for quite a while so you can buy this as a beginner and trust that it’ll hold up if you stick with yoga. Overall, this is a solid beginner yoga mat for larger individuals who fancy more space.
- Extra large size (86 x 36) so you have tons of room to move around
- High grip surface to prevent slipping
- Made from natural rubber so its earth and body friendly
- Currently offered in two universal colors
- Heavy mat so it won’t slide around on the floor when you’re doing active forms of yoga
- One person did report slipping
- 4mm thickness may not be enough for you if you have very sensitive joints
6. YogaAccessories Non-slip Yoga Mat
At 74 x 24 inches the YogaAccessories 1/4 inch mat is longer than your standard mat so if you’re on the taller side, this should give you plenty of length. However, the mats only 24 inches wide meaning you won’t have any extra real estate on the sides of you. If you’re a taller person who’s slightly larger, you may want to keep scrolling and check out the Manduka Pro and Heathyoga mats.
The thickness of this mat is decent and does a good job of minimizing the feeling of the floor underneath you.
Its made from a spongy foam that’s medium density and free from latex, phthalates and heavy metals so its also body friendly. For most people it does a great job of providing comfort. However, if you’re someone with sensitive joints, you may want to check out our review on the best mat’s for sore knees for more specific options.
Some people have expressed slipping on this YogaAccessories mat but the overwhelming majority have had no problems. That being said, if you’re doing hot yoga on a regular basis or you’re a heavy sweater, you’ll want a mat specifically for this purpose or you can get a yoga towel to go over the top.
I would consider this a budget friendly mat and as such, it provides adequate cushioning for beginning yogis. But as far as the durability goes, it ranks moderately low on the scale. It will likely tear if you begin taking yoga seriously so you’ll definitely have to upgrade in the future.
Overall, this mats a good choice for beginning yogis since it offers lots of styles and a good balance of the most important qualities but if you think you’ll stick with yoga, this might not be the best option.
- Offered in lots of great colors
- Sticky with a raised texture on the surface for added grip
- Large size – 74″ x 24″ so its a good option for taller individuals
- Both sides are non-slip so your mat won’t move around on the floor
- 1/4″ thick medium density foam which provides good cushioning for most people
- At the time of this writing its a more affordable mat
- Some people have had trouble with slipping
- Material probably won’t last very long if you begin doing yoga on a regular basis
7. Aurorae Classic Eco Safe Yoga Mat
The Aurora Classic mat’s another great option for those just starting out in yoga. The Classic mat comes in the 72 x 24 inch size which is slightly longer than standard size and works well for individuals up to about 6′ tall. If you’re taller than that, they have an ultra mat that’s longer and wider with the same qualities as the Classic.
The Classic mat’s made form a non-toxic PER which is guaranteed to have no off-gassing or harmful chemicals. Furthermore, its biodegradable so you don’t have to feel bad if you ever outgrow it.
A few great things about this mat are that it includes a rosin bag to increase stickiness and prevent slipping. And while some people have reported slipping, if you use the rosin you shouldn’t have any problems.
Additionally, the durability of this mat ranks pretty high. It works well for regular use and comes with a two year warranty to cover you if anything does go wrong so you have no risk if you don’t like it for some reason.
Overall, this is a solid choice for a beginner yoga mat that has a number of colors to choose from. Yes its a relatively basic mat but if you’re unsure about your yoga future, this could be a good way to get started without spending a ton of money.
Read our full review of the Aurorae Classic Yoga Mat
- 6 mm thick to provide good cushioning for joints
- Medium density material so the feeling of the floor is minimized underneath you
- Large 72″ length to accommodate most people
- It also comes in an “ultra” size for anyone over about 6′ tall
- Non-toxic PER material guaranteed to be free from harmful chemicals and off-gassing
- Includes a free rosin bag to improve your grip on the mat
- Includes a two-year warranty
- Top and bottom edges have a tendency of curling
- Some people have complained of slipping
How to Choose The Best Quality Yoga Mat
Choosing a yoga mat that looks great, doesn’t cost an absurd amount of money and keeps your bones cushioned from the floor requires a discerning eye. But unfortunately, there’s no “this is the mat for everyone” yoga mat.
We all have different requirements and tastes and what works for me may not work for you. For that reason I’ll tell you how we evaluate yoga mats so you can make your own decision and find the best mat for your needs.
The thickness of your yoga mat matters – but it can be a misleading indicator. Many of the softer yoga mats are 1/2 inch or more thick.
At first glance, this seems like it would provide the ultimate cushioning for your joints.
However, most of these mats use a very soft foam that gets deep indents and has a habit of stretching which can interfere with your balance in many poses.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the density of the material as well as thickness.
I’ve found that denser materials which usually aren’t as thick yield the best experience. Typically they’re made from natural rubber, dense foam, or another equally dense material.
Dense yoga mats don’t indent or stretch as much as the softer mats.
2. Grip & Material
Finding a mat with the proper grip can vary from person to person. For example, there are some mats that work better for those with sweaty hands and feet. Others may prefer a light texture or even a yoga towel over their mat. For most though, a light texture on the top of your mat works well.
The mats we’ve highlighted in this post all have grip that works great for most people. But if you’re unsure, aim for a mat with a light texture, sticky surface and medium to high density material. You can always buy a cheap yoga towel later if you expand into hot yoga.
The material your mats made from will play heavily into its durability. Cheap plastic and foam mats tend to work for a few months and then begin to tear and wear holes where your hands and feet go.
You may think that eco-friendly, biodegradable mats would wear out faster since they’re designed to break down. However, that’s actually not the case. Most of the eco friendly mats are made from dense materials that will break down in a landfill (with heat, pressure and sunlight) but would take a very long time to break down with yoga.
Generally these mats cost slightly more but the investments worth it since you don’t have to replace them as often and they don’t harm the environment.
If you’re a slightly larger person, you participate in more active styles of yoga or simply want something solid, opt for a denser material like natural rubber, denser eco-friendly foam or something similar. These won’t break down as quickly and often save you from frustrations in class like having your mat stretch or tear when you’re in downward dog.
You have a unique style and there’s not much I can tell you that you don’t already know. About the only thing I want to include here is that there’s so many yoga mats and styles today that you don’t have to settle on the plain black mat if you don’t want to. You can get a quality mat that also expresses your unique style without spending a fortune.
5. How Often You Do Yoga
How often you do yoga can help you figure out how long a mats going to last and whether or not it’s worth purchasing. If you’re doing or planning on doing yoga at least 3x a week, spring for something nice. However, if you’re doing it once in a while, you can get away with almost anything that gives your joints decent support.
Whether you stick with yoga or not, all the mats on this list qualify as solid choices. After testing many mats over the years, my best advice is to buy something that’s quality and built for yogis. In other words, avoid buying a mat based solely on price.
You’ll use your yoga mat every single time you go to class or do a session at home. If you buy something that’s uncomfortable, this might just pull the wind out of your sails and stop your practice altogether because you’ll end up uncomfortable and frustrated. And that’s the last thing we want.
Both the Manduka PRO and Heathyoga mats are great choices for beginners. The Manduka PRO is the overall favorite mat for beginners because it has a lifetime warranty (so you won’t have to get another mat when you start doing yoga on a regular basis), its ultra dense so you have outstanding cushioning and the mat doesn’t indent to interfere with balance, the grip is awesome, and there’s many impressive styles.
The Heathyoga mat’s good for beginners because of it’s great grip, its slightly wider (like the Manduka), comes in nice styles, has decent durability, and features some very cool alignment marks on the surface. Overall, we consider both of these mats to be the best beginner yoga mats. Now you know so you can get started and bliss out 🙂