Finding the right mat for practicing yoga can be challenging. With hot yoga, it’s a little tougher. Not only do you need to find one that’s comfortable, but you want to ensure the mat is resistant to slipping. Considering that there are thousands of options out there, it’s hard to know where to start looking.
That’s one of the reasons we searched exhaustively for the best mats for hot yoga.
- Features to Consider in Good Hot Yoga Mats
- Top 10 Best Yoga Mats 2021
- 1. Aurorae Classic Yoga Mat – Best Overall Yoga Mat
- 2. Liforme Original Yoga Mat – Best Premium Yoga Mat
- 3. IUGA Pro Yoga Mat – Best Grip Overall
- 4. Umineux Yoga Mat
- 5. YogaAccessories Yoga Mat – Best Budget Yoga Mat
- 6. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
- 7. Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat
- 8. Aurorae Synergy 2 in 1 Yoga Mat
- 9. Heathyoga Yoga Mat – Best Beginner Model
- 10. HeathYoga Synergy 2-in-1 Yoga Mat
- Guide to Buying the Best Yoga Mat
- Final Words
Features to Consider in Good Hot Yoga Mats
What are the most important features to look for here? Let’s go through them.
Traction on the Floor
A good grip is essential for any intense yoga sessions. If you can re-enact Tom Cruise’s dancing scene from his movie, Risky Business, you’re going to get hurt. You don’t want your mat slipping out from under you. A heavily textured underside made from non-slip rubber or something similar is your best bet.
The Grip on the Upper Surface
Hot yoga makes you sweat. It sounds obvious, but it’s something that most people forget when choosing their equipment. Again, here you need a non-slip surface or at least one that has water-wicking abilities.
Any option that allows the sweat to puddle is a bad idea here. You might start out doing a downward dog and end up sliding flat on your face.
Combatting slipperiness here is slightly problematic. Most of the materials used to make these products are slippery by nature. Find one with a nicely textured surface or microfiber layer on top, and you should be fine.
A moisture-wicking option is an excellent choice. Just be aware that you’ll have to clean and dry it thoroughly before putting it away. In these cases, a cleaner with anti-bacterial properties is a good option.
Comfort and Balance
Here’s another area where yogis have to walk a fine line. A cushier mat is more comfortable for those with joint complaints. Too much cushioning, however, makes it harder to balance.
Don’t even think of going cheap and nasty here. You can find some models for $10, skip them entirely. The hot conditions in class take a toll on the materials. You’ll find the cheaper options start shedding fibers and stretching. When doing hot yoga, it’s best to trade up
Top 10 Best Yoga Mats 2021
The Aurorae Classic is a popular yoga mat, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s got a towel built into it to prevent slipping. The company also includes a rosin bag to apply to the feet and hands as a further safety measure.
We like the look, price, and feel of this mat. It’s thick enough to provide some padding for your knees during long poses. At the same time, it’s not so thick as to make it challenging to balance.
The underside of the mat grips the floor well. It doesn’t slide on laminate flooring. The upper surface is textured and slip-resistant. If you want extra security, run the rosin bag over your feet and hands before working out. You can opt to buy a micro-fiber towel as well, but it’s not essential.
The company uses non-toxic memory foam when producing these mats. There may be a slight odor when you first unpack it, but that dissipates quickly.
Cleaning the mat is simple. The company does sell a cleaning spray, but you can also use warm, soapy water.
Another tip is to spritz it lightly with water before working out. The material gives better traction this way.
You do need to be careful not to puncture the surface. That said, the odd puncture or two won’t affect performance.
Overall, you get a mat that offers similar features to premier models at a fraction of the cost.
You get good value for money here. This model comes with a two-year guarantee, which is above the industry norm.
The Liforme mat is reasonably plush and is comfortable for kneeling poses. If you have knee problems, though, you might want to invest in a knee pad as well.
It’s made from eco-friendly materials and will degrade within five years in a landfill. The base is made from rubber and coated with eco-friendly polyurethane. The company uses no toxic chemicals during production. The Liforme is one mat that we’re confident will last well.
The color choice is limited, but that’s not a big deal.
The mat is ideal for balancing work because it’s not overly thick. If you need more support, you can fold the mat in half without worrying about creasing it or damaging it. The materials used are robust and tear-resistant.
The feel under your palms and feet is solid. The non-slip surface holds up even with hot yoga. It’s not the best-looking option, but those alignment marks do come in handy. They’re designed to provide optimal spacing while you’re practicing.
Cleaning is simple. You mustn’t use any harsh detergents or oil-based products. A gentle cleanser with warm water is more than adequate here.
Consider this an investment piece and take care of it well.
We like the feel of this mat. The texture is supportive enough to help you remain stable while balancing. It’s also plush enough to cushion sore knees.
It’s made from recycled materials and is fully recyclable.
The material is very absorbent, so sweat sinks into the mat. The porous material makes hot workouts easier because the sweat doesn’t puddle. It does, however, mean that you must clean the mat properly after each use.
This model works well for most types of yoga but excels with hot yoga.
Cleaning the mat is not too difficult. This model absorbs sweat, so you’ll have to be diligent about caring for it. The company sells a cleaner for this reason. Usually, we’d say we don’t worry about specialist cleaners. Here we’re making an exception – get the cleaner.
If you’re skipping the brand cleaner, use a mixture of vinegar and water instead. You can also soak the mat and then hang it outside to dry thoroughly.
Let this model air out before use and after every session. If you roll it up while it’s still wet, it’ll start to smell.
The materials used are non-toxic, and there are no harmful dyes. The mat might smell a little at first. All you need to do is to let air for a day or two.
We love that it comes with a carry bag and separate straps. Use either option or both together to carry the mat. The mat is lightweight and easy to carry.
Overall, the performance is good. The upper surface feels like suede rather than rubber. The mat feels soft and has a fair amount of give. At first, it feels as though you’ll slip using this, but the more you sweat, the better your grip becomes. Spritz with water before starting to minimize slipping.
The surface is easy to clean. We recommend wiping the surface down after your workout. From there, it’s advisable to let it dry before storing it. When you do a thorough cleaning, let it dry flat in the sun. The sun allows the mat to dry and also helps kill off any bacteria that might be present.
Wipe the surface down after every workout and make sure that it’s completely dry before putting it away.
The performance is surprisingly good, considering the low price. This option performs at a much higher level than its price suggests.
The traction is excellent, as long as you treat it properly before your first use. The company recommends using a detergent and brush to wipe off any residue from the manufacturing process. Then let it hang out to dry. If you skip this step, you risk slipping.
The squishiness of the mat feels good underfoot. That said, the heavier you are, the more it compresses. If you’re on the heavier side, you might want to put a towel or blanket underneath to provide an extra bit of cushioning.
To clean these mats, you just need to use gentle laundry detergent and warm water. You can throw it into your machine on a gentle cycle, but this will reduce the overall lifespan. That said, at this price, it doesn’t matter if you need to replace it sooner than most.
You don’t have to give it a full wash every time you use it. You can also use a damp sponge to wipe it down thoroughly. Add some Tea Tree oil to kill off any bacteria, and you’re all set.
We also suggest steering clear of the lighter colors. They can stain easily.
The company prizes sustainability in manufacturing. They use natural materials like rubber to improve response and durability. For every mat that they sell, they plant one tree.
We like the designs available and the feel of this model underfoot. The rubber in the base does add a bit of extra weight. That’s fine, though, because it stops the mat curling up when laid out flat.
Overall, this model performs well. It’s not overly thick, so it’ll handle a lot of different poses. It feels firm but isn’t as plush as other models we reviewed, which is both a good and bad thing. It’s good because it’s easier to balance on a firm surface.
It’s bad if you have a painful condition that requires extra cushioning.
The rubber does smell when you unbox it. Airing it out for a few days will take care of that, though.
It grips the floor well and provides excellent traction for you. The Jade Harmony is a good choice for hot yoga.
Keep your dogs away from this model. It’s like a magnet for pet hair and dust. You can wipe it down with a damp cloth and light detergent. The rubber is open-celled, so you must clean thoroughly every two to three uses to prevent bacterial build-up.
It’s best to dry this model out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause fading here.
Make up a mixture of equal parts of water and vinegar. The combination will clear off the grime and disinfect the surface.
Manduka is one of the top brands in the industry because of their attention to detail. The PROLite is another example of their high-quality work. The mat is sturdy and will last for many years. It’s guaranteed not to flake, peel or fade.
This model is based on the popular Maduka Pro version but is lighter to carry. You’re paying a fair amount, but this one of the more durable options on our list.
It is slippery when you first use it, so we recommend doing the salt treatment as the company suggests. We were disappointed that it wasn’t ready to go out of the box. Considering the price that you’re paying, you’d think it would be.
Once it’s broken in, it’s a great option. It’s a sturdy option with a durable non-slip underside. You can use it on laminate flooring without worrying about it sliding all over.
The feel is different from the start. You feel as though you’re stepping onto something with a supportive surface, which is due to the high density of the base materials. You can use this model on hard surfaces without a lot of discomfort.
Cleaning is relatively simple. You just need warm water and a gentle detergent. Be warned; this model does mark up quite quickly. If this bothers you, choose a darker color.
If the slipperiness is too much for you, dust the surface with talcum powder or cornflour before use. It’s not ideal, but it’s worth it because this model works well once it’s broken in.
The towel has a soft texture and feels right under your feet. It’s ideal for hot yoga. The backing looks like textured leather.
The company uses no toxic chemicals when manufacturing these products.
This combination of mat and towel solves the eternal problem of your yoga towel slipping off the mat. It provides good support and a reasonable amount of cushioning. If you’re a little larger, or your knees give you problems, then you might want to fold it in half for extra comfort.
Were you wondering why this didn’t appear higher on our list? We marked this model down because you can’t wipe it down. To clean it, you have to wash it. You can use your washing machine if it’s a front-loader. Otherwise, you must wash it by hand.
You must hang it out to dry; it won’t do well in the dryer.
Try this product out first. If you love it, consider ordering a second one. It’s a duplicate, we know, but if you’re doing yoga daily, it makes sense. The second one can act as a backup for when the first one is in the wash.
The underside doesn’t adhere as well as we’d like to all surfaces. If you’re training on a particularly slick surface, this could be problematic. Running a bead of silicone glue along the bottom outside edge can solve this.
The mat provides a gentle cushioning effect but is firm enough for balance poses. It comes with a carry strap and a Velcro strap. The Heathyoga is longer and wider than average, but still lightweight.
This mat performs well. It gives adequate support for most poses. If you have a problem with pain in the knees or elbows, you might need more cushioning there. That’s easy enough here – you can fold the mat double.
It’s a good mat for larger people because of the extra length and width.
Now you’re probably wondering, “If you like it so much, why does it only get 3½ stars?” There’s one downside here – the material stains reasonably easily. You’ll have to decide if that’s something that you can handle. It’s a pity that the company doesn’t make these in darker colors.
All you need to do is to wipe it down with a mild detergent and warm water. Unfortunately, once the sweat stains set in, there’s nothing you can do.
This mat is fine for hot yoga. Be warned, though; it won’t stand up to highly concentrated heat. Store it away from direct sunshine, and don’t leave it in the car for extended periods.
This is an excellent alternative to the Aurorae 2-in-1 synergy mat. If you’re keen on a built-in microfiber towel with your yoga mat, this may be the right choice for you. It’s ever so slightly shorter and wider than the Aurorae 2-in-1, but it is well-cushioned and absorbs sweat impressively – as well as being alluringly pretty to look at (if perhaps a little over-the-top).
It’s a large mat. Yet it only weighs 3 pounds, which is light enough to walk into your yoga class without any undue strain. It’s a little sticky though, and although it advertises as non-slip but it does have less traction than its main competitors. If you’re doing relatively extreme hot yoga you may find this doesn’t quite hold your pose how you might like it too, but it’s unlikely to affect most users. It does absorb sweat excellently.
Once you have started using it, you will need to wash it completely to reuse it. Either hand wash it in a basin or use the gentlest clean your machine is capable of to avoid damaging the product.
Air this out for 2 days before you start using it!
Guide to Buying the Best Yoga Mat
When assessing any type of product to be used in a hot yoga class, you have to choose carefully. Here are some important considerations to make.
How Easy Is It to Clean?
Your average hot yoga session is conducted at between 80°F and 100°F with relatively high humidity. That means you’re going sweat out around one and a half to two liters of water in an hour. A lot of that sweat will end up on your mat.
If you choose a product that’s difficult to clean, your mat’s going to become a breeding ground for bacteria. Sweat in itself doesn’t stink. It’s when the bacteria start to break it down that it becomes smelly. Over time, a poorly cleaned mat will become too smelly to use.
The good news is that with soap and water and a little elbow grease, the problem is avoidable. Always be sure to:
- Wipe the surface down with warm water when you’re done
- Use a disinfectant like Tea Tree oil or rubbing alcohol in the water
- Roughly dry the mat if you’re not at home and roll it up
- When you get home, hang it so that it can dry properly
Stickiness refers to how well your hands and feet adhere to the surface. It’s not an issue with more casual workouts. When you’re sweating, though, it becomes crucial. There are a few ways to ensure your mat stays sticky.
Choose the Right Product
This advice sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people get bowled over by a beautiful design. They love it until they try to use it. As a good rule of thumb, look at the reviews of the product carefully.
If they’re overwhelmingly critical about how slippery a product is, give it a wide berth.
Prepare for the First Use Properly
When we see people complaining about how slippery their mats are, we ask how they prepped them. Invariably, if they’ve bought a good brand, they skipped an essential preparatory step – cleaning.
Most of these products have a protective coating on them so that they don’t stick together during shipping. This coating is designed to either be scrubbed off or worn off. Naturally, if you don’t want to wait, you need to start scrubbing.
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations in this regard, and don’t skip this step.
Usually, you’ll need to use a brush and soapy water. In some cases, the companies recommend using coarse salt to scuff up the surface a bit. Try the brush first.
Then rinse off the surface and let it hang out to dry. Most of these products are safe to dry in the sun. The advantage of doing this is that they get a good airing at the same time. The sun also acts as a disinfecting agent.
If Nothing Else Works
Consider using a microfiber towel to give you more grip. Choose a towel like the one displayed in this video. It has a backing that helps it adhere to your mat.
How Durable Is It?
A good mat can cost between $50 and $200. That’s not money you want to spend every few months. A good quality option will usually last you a few years, depending on how often you use it. A cheaper option will typically start to come apart after a couple of months.
Care for It Properly
Naturally, proper care can extend the lifespan of any model. Where possible, wash by hand, or on the very gentlest machine cycle. Never subject any model to extremes of temperature, particularly extremely high heat.
Steer Clear of Extremes of Temperature
If you store a high-quality mat in your car’s trunk during summer, for example, you’ll shorten its lifespan. The heat will start to degrade the materials used.
Plan to Buy a Replacement Every Two or Three Years
These mats provide support. As they degrade, they may become less supportive. As is the case with a running shoe, incorrect support puts you at risk of injury. It’s better to change out the model before it gives way completely.
Besides which, no matter how well you clean the surface, it’s going to start looking grimy after a while. Finally, regularly changing things up gives you access to the latest design and materials.
How Much Support and Cushioning Does It Give?
A standard option is a good choice for most yogis. You need something that’s at least an eighth of an inch thick and made from dense material. Anything less than that, and you might as well be working out on the floor.
If you have joint issues, look for something a little thicker. The plusher the base, the more comfortable you’ll be when holding a pose for long periods. This extra comfort can come at the cost of stability, though, so you’ll have to choose carefully.
Choose a supportive option above all else. Yoga requires you to work from a strong base. You can’t do that if you’re wobbling all over the place because you haven’t got enough support.
To get the best of both worlds, consider buying a knee pad that you can use when you need to. Another option is to fold the mat in half. Make sure it can handle the creases, though. Alternatively, you’ll have to step onto the floor when carrying out balancing poses.
The final thing to consider is the materials that the company uses. You’ll be getting up close and personal with this product regularly, so ensure that there are no harmful chemicals used. A biodegradable model helps you to minimize your carbon footprint.
Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness
Many companies are now choosing to use sustainable manufacturing processes to protect the environment better. They might:
- Use energy-efficient manufacturing processes
- Make their products out of recycled materials
- Ensure that their products are biodegradable
- Cut out the use of toxic chemicals and glues
- Plant trees for every product they sell
Now, obviously, you want a durable product. You don’t want it to start degrading within a few months. A good rule of thumb is to look for something that’ll take four or five years to break down in a landfill. This should give you plenty of use without nagging at your social conscience.
Choose an Established Company with a Good Reputation
Companies can, and sometimes do, lie about the materials that they use. That’s why it’s best to stick to brands with a good reputation. When considering your options, watch out for models that smell bad over a long period of time.
Some off-gassing is normal when you first unpack your product. The smell will usually dissipate when you clean and air the product out. Airing out might take a few days. If it still smells strongly of chemicals after two to three weeks of airing, it’s time to send it back.
Another great reason to stick with a good company is that they’ll usually honor their warranties. A fly-by-night operation might not be around later when you need them.
Also, check if the seller you’re buying from is an authorized dealer or not. Find out if they’ll honor the warranty or not. If the answer is “No,” steer clear. This lack of support may signal that you’re looking at a knock-off.
Size does count here. If you’re tall or have a stocky build, a larger option will be more comfortable. Just keep in mind that bigger usually also means heavier.
Transport seems like a crazy thing to talk about, but if you’re on the go a lot, it’s an important consideration. A substantial, thick option gives you outstanding support and won’t lift or curl. That’s not much use if it’s too heavy for you to carry, though.
A strap and bag make it easier to carry your mat, but they’re not essential.
We’ve kept the aesthetics as our final consideration because looks don’t impact performance. That said, a beautiful model is a lot more inspiring than just plain rubber. A well-designed pattern can also be useful when it comes to lining yourself up for different poses.
The Liforme in our reviews above, for example, makes it simple to place yourself correctly. If you’re a newbie, it’s better to stick to something simple with just alignment markings.
Here are some things to consider:
- All models will pick up dirt over time
- Darker colors won’t show the dirt as easily
- Beautiful digital designs show signs of wear faster than plain models
- Consider how peaceful or energizing the color is before deciding
Hot Yoga will get your sweat running and stretch your muscles out and ultimately, if you train hard enough, you will be on the path to feeling and looking great, and enjoy the endless bliss of a relaxed, powerful body. These hot yoga mats will help ease that journey and give you the best platform to achieve nirvana. Enjoy the stretching!