The Best Yoga Mats for Practicing Your Downward Dog and Sun Salutations

(Liform)

As all yogis know a good yoga mat, (as well as the good sports equipment and yoga blocks) is one of the most important accessories when it comes to your practice – whether you enjoy a sweaty hot yoga session or prefer a morning flow of vinyasa.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a regular on the mat – if there are better days, it won’t support you while you move, and no one wants to slip all over the place halfway. But, with so many brands offering different rugs, from non-slip to durable, it can be hard to know what matters most when buying a new one.

What should you look for in a good yoga mat?

Carpet grip is the first thing you need to look at, says Gerry Lopez, founder of sadhana live: “Physical yoga is all about holding poses and maintaining positions for a set amount of time. By making sure your mat has a grip (especially when you have sweaty palms), you won’t slip into poses like the downward dog and headstands.A handle provides stability and security and eases your mind when you are in more difficult positions.

Thickness will also be important when choosing, and anything less than 0.5mm, although light, will not be sufficiently cushioned as you move across the mat. Most average mats are 3mm thick, although some yoga mats reach 6mm, but as Lopez says, it takes time and a few poses to achieve what you expect from a yoga mat.

“It all depends on where you practice and the surface under the mat. It’s also a personal preference and how you feel, your joints and your ways of practicing,” he says.

While Lopez also explains that other factors such as size, ease of cleaning and carrying and the material it is made from might be more of a preference. “If you’re a beginner or practice infrequently, a basic mat might be fine, but if you’re an avid yogi and practice several times a week, investing more money in a durable, comfortable mat would be better.”

Not sure where to buy the best yoga mat? We guide you through the best options

Fable Pro Grip Yoga Mat

Quickly establishing itself as one of the go-to brands for practicing your Sun Salutations, Fable Pro mats are made from eco-sensitive materials. The non-slip technology at the bottom of the mat means you won’t slip around mid-position, while its dotted design is ideal for beginners or anyone who wants proper positioning – they’re there to align your standing postures.

With eight colors to choose from, they’re made with a fade-free design and eco-friendly materials – so they’ll last for years whether you train every day or once a week. At 4mm they are great for support, while the 2mm designs are great for travel.

Buy now £69.00, Selfridges

Halcyon Kin Yoga Mat

This pretty pink yoga mat with rose gold flecks will get you noticed at your next yoga class with its sunset vibes.

The mats were created by Laura Pearce, yoga teacher and breathwork practitioner; she brings her knowledge of what is vital to the right yoga mat, as well as her passion for sustainable materials. Made with a 10% natural rubber base, it also had an upside-down tread that grips the ground, allowing stability in any pose. At 2mm thick, it’s light enough to travel with and comes with a yoga strap.

Buy now £55.00, Amazon

Les Mills MBX MAT

Les Mills is known for his tough cardiovascular and strength training, but with home fitness becoming the norm, they’ve also immersed themselves in the world of yoga. This workout mat is perfect for more intense workouts, as well as a gentle flow.

With a bright red surface, it’s striking right out of the way and made of high-density eco-PVC for added stability. The reverse is made with a non-slip coating – so whether your yoga practice gets you sweaty or you prefer HIIT class, you’ll feel grounded throughout.

Buy now £60.00, Decathlon

Mint Velvet Sticky Yoga Mat blue

If you’re on a budget but still looking for a yoga mat that can work well for different yoga practices, this mat from Mint Velvet has extra padding and grip. Also available in gray and orange, the rug, priced at just over £20, is made from high-quality, durable materials, giving it longevity and comfort.

One of the lightest and thinnest mats on our list at just 0.5mm thick, you may need to double it up for extra protection on your knees and elbows, when performing poses particular. Our vote goes to the striking blue or orange versions, both of which will stand out in your next classroom.

Buy now £22.00, Velvet Mint

Yogamatters Eco Rise Yoga Mat

Different from many other yoga mats, the Yogamatters Eco Rise has a unique cotton-blend mesh surface that gives it superior grip and durability. Available in mood-enhancing colors like sunshine yellow, the rugs are designed to blend into your living space. Environmentally friendly, the base is made from natural tree rubber that has been sustainably harvested and is free of toxic chemicals and dyes. With a medium thickness, at 3mm, you will feel well supported throughout your yoga practice.

Buy now £45.00, Amazon

Liforme Grateful Rainbow Yoga Mat

This bright pink mat will brighten up your yoga practice on even the dullest mornings.

The brand has spent years developing its GripForMe technology, which means its mats, including this grateful pink rainbow version, have the right grip whether you’re doing a Hatha flow or a standard vinyasa.

Eco-friendly, Liforme uses high-quality, non-toxic and eco-friendly materials, including a natural rubber base and an eco-polyurethane top surface. Their mats also have their own original alignment system printed on their mats – markers to help you move through your yoga routines – which are designed to prevent injury and help with balance in those trickier positions.

Buy now £115.00, Liforme

Lorna Jane Ultimate Non-Slip Yoga Mat

With a titanium marble finish, this Lorna Jane yoga mat has a non-slip base and is 3mm thick. Designed for all types of yoga, the mat is as stylish as it is practical.

The design has a longer length than most (180 x 66cm), which means you can stretch or perform those trickier moves without worrying about space, and it’s good for yoga fans plus big. The thickness of the mat will also give you more comfort when performing headstands or anything that requires more cushioning. Simply wipe the mat after use to keep it smelling fresh.

Buy now £75.00, Lorna Jane

Charlotte Jade Botanical Palm Rug

Simple yoga mats can make your yoga practice feel like Groundhog Day, but this one from Charlotte Jade will brighten up your morning session every time.

Crafted with a botanical palm motif, the designer was inspired by the beautiful Kentia palm, native to Australia. Charlotte, an illustrator, designed the rugs around the theme of nature – with other designs including giraffe and panther designs. Environmentally friendly, the mat is made with natural rubber, so you can sink or do a HIIT class on the mat without a guilty conscience.

If you love the design so much you want it all over your home, her designs have also been transformed into matching wall art and throw pillows.

Buy now £60.00, Charlotte Jade

Flow State Elements Collection Mat

Bright and quirky types will love these super colorful yoga mats. Designed by renowned Irish street artist Maser, the designs use bright, bold colors to depict the forest, sea and sun.

The mat is made with a microfiber top layer and the natural rubber base is designed with durability in mind. Machine washable, it can also be gently hand washed to keep it fresh.

Its biggest appeal is that it doubles as wall art. Built-in grommets allow you to hang it for your guests to admire.

Buy now £120.00, debit status

Lululemon 3mm mat

A favorite among reversible yogi mats Lululemon, as it used to be called, has a grippy polyurethane top layer, which means it will lock in moisture when you sweat – a fact you’ll appreciate when you’re stomping around through a hot Bikram yoga class. . The mats are available in seven colors and have a marbled design and a natural rubber base (FSC certified) so you can turn them over for extra cushioning. Easy to wipe clean to stay fresh, they also contain an antimicrobial additive to prevent mold or mildew from forming.

Buy now £78.00, Lululemon

Verdict

If you’re looking for a durable yoga mat that will hold up to a variety of poses, from tree to warrior, the Fable Pro Grip Yoga Mat is our favorite. With its non-slip technology and positioning dots on the surface, it will guide you through your practice – supporting you as you go. In a range of colors there is choice, while it is also reasonably priced.

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