What every best Yoga Mats has:
Cam McKenzie Ring and several testers compare 10 yoga mats and towels, rating them in several categories: dry traction, wet traction, comfort, durability, portability and ease of care. Mats and towels receive a score on a 1-100 scale as well as an editor's rating from 1 to 5 stars. Accompanying reviews are thorough and comparative, noting pros and cons for each product.
Jessica Cassityand two other yoga instructors tested 16 mats in more than 50 classes to name a top pick, runner-up, budget pick, eco pick and softer pick. Testers performed a variety of yoga styles while they evaluated each mat for slipperiness, texture, cushioning, weight, smell and appearance. The resulting reviews are detailed, even-handed and comparative.
The Reviews.com team spent 50 hours researching mats and several more doing hands-on testing. They recommend nine mats as overall best picks, singling a handful out for special considerations: eco-friendliness, budget, durability/versatility, and stickiness. A buying guide and comments from other yogis are included in these thorough reviews.
The SoMuchYoga team reviews five of the most popular "sticky" yoga mats, evaluating criteria including material, feel, weight, durability, thickness, eco-friendliness and, of course, slip resistance. Reviews are in-depth and even handed, and each concludes with a hefty list of pros and cons. A similar, separate review focuses on yoga towels.
Online yoga video provider Ekhart Yoga reviews 10 yoga mats using several criteria: thickness, stickiness and texture, price, material, eco friendliness, and size and style. It recommends several mats as best in the following categories: An overall pick for serious yogis, eco-friendliness, anti-slip, budget, travel and member favorite. Reviews are balanced but not as thorough as some on other sites.
Well-known yogi Brett Larkin compares seven popular yoga mats in a head-to-head test on material, thickness, weight and stickiness. Reviews are short but informative. She gives each mat a grade for stickiness and notes pros and cons for each one, but refrains from making overall picks.
Brandon Quittem, a globe-trotting yogi, compares five popular travel mats in short but informative reviews. He provides pros and cons for all mats, focusing on bulk, thickness, stickiness and other considerations. A comparison chart focuses on weight, price, durability, padding, and other factors. Elsewhere on this site, yoga towels are recommended.
Amazon.com is one of the best resources for real-world reviews of yoga mats. Reviews are often quite detailed and even-handed, and some note durability concerns that are often overlooked in other reviews. Prospective buyers should read carefully, since reviewers sometimes wrongly fault a product for bad experiences with the seller or shipping, or discuss an older version of a product with flaws that have been addressed.
Gaiam sells roughly 70 yoga mats, and the more popular ones have a good number of reviews. Owners rate each mat on a 1- to 5-star scale and note how long they've been using it. Reviews range in helpfulness, but generally aren't as detailed as those on Amazon.
Editors review two popular yoga towels, the Yogitoes Skidless and Manduka eQua, in the American Council on Exercise Workout Watchdog column. The reviews are thorough, covering size, weight, feel, and slippage. They are also balanced, noting pros and cons for both towels.
This guide by Candace Moore, a yoga instructor and frequent traveler, looks at four popular travel mats, comparing them directly on surface feel/stickiness, thickness/weight, and portability. Pros and cons are noted for each mat, and there are helpful photos of how compactly each mat folds or rolls up.
Katie Arnold's presents several picks for this article on the 12 best yoga mats, and the accompanying blurbs do a good job of describing why each one is a good pick. Some also note cons. However, while the article does refer to "testers," it's unclear how these particular mats were chosen or what kind of testing was performed.
Editors round up 19 of their favorite yoga mats, which include several long-standing favorites and a few lesser-known, newer yoga mats. While the introduction indicates hands-on testing, it's unclear whether that testing was systematic or more casual. Blurbs are short and informative but do not note any cons of each mat.