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The 10 Best Yoga Mats for Your Needs

Yoga aficionados know that the difference between a strong, balanced session and one spent slipping out of poses or dealing with sore knees, can lie solely in the quality of their mat. Whatever the concern, from extra-sticky surfaces to eco-friendly materials, here are the best yoga mats to meet your needs.

Self-Guided

1 / 10

This is a great mat for beginners who are still learning the various asanas. It shows the most popular ones, such as Tree and Plank, and it tells how long the practitioner should stay in them. The mat makes practicing at home a cinch. YogaAccessories.com 

Aurorae Ultra-Thick

2 / 10

Beginners and those with knee and joint problems would benefit from a mat that’s on the thicker side. Not only is this Aurorae mat 1/4 inch thick and extra-long (a plus for taller yoga enthusiasts), but it also has a focal point printed on the mat to help with balance. Amazon.com, $35 

YogaAccessories Extra-Thick Deluxe

3 / 10

This mat offers 1/4 inch of padding and is seventy-four inches long, which gives your body that much more room to stretch out and feel completely at peace during restorative poses. Customer reviews on Amazon praise its thickness but warn that the mat isn’t as sticky as you might like. Amazon.com, $20.95

Manduka Black Mat Pro

4 / 10

Manduka, maker of some of the highest-rated yoga mats around, also has a 1/4-inch-thick mat, but it boasts a remarkably sticky surface as well—even, according to its description, during particularly sweaty sessions. Because of that, the Manduka model might work well in Bikram yoga classes. Amazon.com, $90

Breathe Rabbit Flap

5 / 10

Speaking of Bikram, Breathe mats are specifically formulated to be nonslip and water-absorbent, making them ideal for those hundred-plus-degree rooms. The Rabbit Flap acts as a mat and a towel, soaking up excess sweat while maintaining a sticky surface on which to move. BreatheMat.com, $60

Jade Harmony

6 / 10

Jade specializes in yoga mats made with nontoxic materials. The Harmony line eschews questionable PVC for natural rubber derived from rubber trees. BarefootYoga.com, $69.95 

Hugger Mugger Earth Elements

7 / 10

Hugger Mugger trades out PVC, rubber, and latex for thermal plastic elastomer, a new material that sustains the mat’s structure while allowing for future biodegradation. Keep it covered up in the sunlight if you want to prevent that from happening). Amazon.com, $52.37

CleanPVC

8 / 10

Eco-conscious yoga fans who want to avoid harsh ingredients, like phthalates and heavy metals, in their gear might look into CleanPVC products. And the plethora of pretty colors to choose from might make them feel even happier about their decision. MatsMatsMats.com, $19.99

Yoga Stick-e Mat with 3-in-1 Strap

9 / 10

As the name implies, the strap has multiple uses. Not only does it help with alignment when pulled across the center of the mat (something beginners could use), but it also serves as a handy hanger and shoulder strap, which means this mat is apt for on-the-go yoga practice. Amazon.com, $49.99

Jade Travel

10 / 10

No need to forgo yoga sessions on vacation, when you can use a mat that’s designed specifically for travel. This one is a mere 1/8 inch thick, making for a lighter mat (it’s Jade’s lightest mat available, in fact) that you can take on the road easily. Amazon.com, $49.45

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