Best Overall Yoga Mat
Comfortable and stable
The Manduka eKO was the best overall mat in our review this year
. This was hands down our testers' favorite mat to practice on. It's comfortable and stable, and not so heavy that you'll hurt yourself toting it around. It has a slight rubber smell to start, but the odor quickly dissipates (unlike some other rubber models). Best of all though, is its traction; it has great Dry Traction, and only gets a little bit slicker once your palms get sweaty. The eKO has a closed-cell top surface to increase durability and decrease absorption, leaving the mat smelling fresher for longer. It's also available in several different thicknesses: the 5mm thickness that we tested, the Manduka eKO lite 4mm
, and the Manduka eKO lite 3mm
. No matter what thickness you prefer, if you're looking for a great all-around mat that can handle a vigorous Vinyasa class but still be comfortable enough for a Yin one after, this is the mat for you.
Best Bang for the Buck
Mat bits slough off on your toes
Retains creases and fold marks
The Prana E.C.O. performed well in most of our tests
and was one of the least expensive mats in this review. It's a lightweight and comfortable mat with great traction and a closed-cell design, which inhibits sweat and bacteria from penetrating the surface and taking root inside. This is key if you practice Hot Yoga and/or tend to sweat a lot. The Prana E.C.O. works great for flow style classes as well, so if you like to do a variety of classes you'll be all set with just this one mat. That boosts the value of the E.C.O. even further, and for this (and the $48 price tag) we've given it our Best Buy Award.
Top Pick for Hot Yoga
Great traction when wet
Easy to care for when doing hot yoga
Less cushion than a regular 5mm mat
Somewhat slippery when dry
If you regularly practice a Hot Yoga style you know that no matter how often you rinse your mat off in the shower or spray it with "rejuvenating" cleaners, once the funky smell sets in it's there to stay. You are also probably tired of schlepping a mat and towel to class every day, only to have that towel bunch up on the mat and be a distraction. The Aurorae Synergy solves all of these problems and more
. It's a microfiber towel bonded to a PER bottom that you throw in the wash after each use and it comes out smelling clean each time. It doesn't provide the same amount of traction as some sticky mats alone, but the traction is better than some other towels that we've used and you don't have to fuss with it during your practice. This mat costs around $60, but since it's a towel and
a mat it's actually a great value. Finally, it's really well made and durable. We've completed over a dozen classes on this mat and it still looks and works great. If you practice in a heated room this innovative hybrid mat is the best option out there, and our Top Pick for Hot Yoga classes.