Top 11 Best Yoga Mats For Hot Yoga - Teacher Recommended Picks
After teaching hundreds upon hundreds of hot yoga classes you start to see a few patterns emerge.
Eventually you try out lots of mats from ones you’ve bought, and/or even ones that fellow instructors lend you.
Furthermore, you see a lot of the same questions pop up over and over again about doing hot yoga. Is it safe? Will I die? Those types of questions…
I’d love to share with you from years of experience exactly which mats I’ve found to be the best and hopefully answer a few questions about hot yoga along the way.
Let’s get right to it with my top recommendation...
What’s the best mat for hot yoga?
The Liforme Original - no questions asked.
Here’s why I’ve put this at the top of the list, and it all has to do with using a towel. Perhaps this may sound crazy to you, but I don’t feel like I should need yet another piece of equipment or accessory when doing yoga.
I want to focus on my yoga - not whether or not my towel is getting bunched up.
The Liforme mat doesn’t require you using a towel. Even if you sweat like you're in the Amazon jungle standing inside a sauna, you won’t slip.
If you have issues with sweating and slipping then almost every other mat on this list will require you use a towel.
For the record, I enjoy using a towel in shavasana just so there’s not so much sweat that seeps into my mat when lying down. Furthermore, it’s nice to have a towel to dry off after class. But as far as having one getting bunched up while moving around on the mat, that problem is gone.
Top Mats For Hot Yoga:
Are Lululemon Yoga Mats Good For Hot Yoga?
Yes, they are very good actually...
Being a hot yoga teacher I’ve taught hundreds of classes on Lululemon yoga mats with zero problems. The top layer provides you with fantastic grip while the bottom layer stays glued to the floor.
The best feature of Lululemon mats is that you don’t need a towel. You can sweat all you want and slippage is very rare. I enjoy being able to focus on yoga and not needing to reposition my towel every 3 poses.
The only minor downside is that they tend to smell for a week or so after you buy them. Don’t make the mistake of using a cleaning spray on the mat because that can ruin the good grip it has.
Here’s the one I’ve used over and over again.
I’ve actually gone through three of these mats in the past 5 years…
That is another small downside of Lululemon mats, they don’t seem to last quite as long as I would like. They end up losing their grip after about 9 months of daily use. After that point, the mat is still very much usable, but it’s just not quite as good as it was 5 months after you bought it.
If you do yoga 2-3 times per week then you’ll love this mat. You’ll pay around $90 and have it for 2 to 3 years. That’s a pretty darn good return on your investment.
It ranks as number 2 on my list because the Liforme has slightly better grip and will last you just slightly longer than a Lululemon.
Let’s explore other mats that will require a towel if you sweat a lot...
Can You Use A Regular Yoga Mat For Hot Yoga?
Yes, you can use a regular mat, but I don’t recommend it…
If you consider your normal yoga mat - you know the foam-looking ones you buy at discount sporting goods stores, then it’s not the best option. You will certainly need a towel to cover these mats because they don’t last much more than 10 minutes in an intense hot yoga class.
Foam-looking mats made from PVC are some of the worst mats, not just for hot yoga, but for the planet. They absorb all of your sweat and they are not biodegradable.
To put it plainly, they’re gross. So try to stay away from them.
Do I Need A Special Mat For Hot Yoga?
Only a few different classes of mats are recommended for hot yoga…
If it’s made from rubber then you can bet It’ll be a good mat. Rubber mats and ones made with PER (polymer environmental resin) are often the best. They will hold up well in the hot room and won’t turn into a waterslide.
Granted, you will most likely need a towel because the following mats won’t perform quite as well as the first two choices on this list.
If you enjoy having a towel underneath you while doing your vinyasa then the remaining choices on this list will work well for you.
This mat is perfect for warm vinyasa classes…
The whole idea of using a towel or not is up to the individual. Most Jade yoga mats will not require a towel if you have sweaty hands or feet. Slippage only starts to happen when your pores open up and start dumping water.
The Jade Harmony will perform very well in most hot yoga classes. It’s made from rubber from natural rubber trees so you don’t have to worry about it mopping up any of the puddles you create during an intense yoga session.
It’s the perfect thickness, and it even comes in a larger size for those who are taller. I personally enjoy the feel of this mat more than any other I’ve ever tried. The feel might be the best, but that goes out the window for me if I need a towel to cover the mat in an intense hot class.
At any rate, warm yoga classes are where this mat and most other Jade mats shine.
It’s thick, it’s strong, it’s comfortable, and you will have it for an eternity because it’s a massive hunk of rubber.
This mat is a bit pricey which is why it’s not in the top 3. Ultimately, if money is not a concern then you should give some serious thought to getting this mat.
Every time I've practiced on a mat that’s 8mm thick I just love how solid everything feels underneath me. These mats are especially good if you are going to be doing a “hot restorative” or a “warm and gentle” type of class where you might be down on your knees.
The extra padding from this mat gives your joints a bit more support which those concerned with knee or back pain might find this helpful.
Speaking of thickness…
How Thick Should A Hot Yoga Mat Be?
How thick a mat should be for hot yoga really falls into two different categories...
Some people will enjoy a lighter “travel” mat because thinner mats tend to help with balancing poses more. Some folks enjoy a thicker mat because they like the padding it provides while being down your hands and knees.
Let’s explore a few thinner mat options in case you would like to go that route...
This might not make sense, but this is a thick, thin travel mat…
Most travel mats are only 2mm or less but this one from Jade is 3mm. Now only 1mm might not seem like much of a difference, but it actually does!
If you travel around the country a lot and enjoy stopping in to a few different hot yoga studios then this will be a good mat to put in your suitcase. You’ll need a normal size suitcase, because it won’t fit in your normal carry-on, but nonetheless it’s a quality choice.
Here’s a good way to perhaps save some money, yet still enjoy a good hot yoga practice while traveling…
This mat is very thin - only 1.5mm. That means you’ll need some type of padding underneath it. What I would suggest is taking your travel mat to the studio and just putting it on top of one of their loaner mats.
Granted the mats most hot yoga studios loan out to their patrons are not always the best quality, it may not matter if you have your super high quality mat on top.
The travel mat would in essence act as your “towel” on top of the loaner mat. This would give you good grip, extra padding, and a surprisingly good experience for how much you’ll pay.
Speaking of Manduka mats let’s look at those a bit more closely...
Which Manduka Mat Is Best For Hot Yoga?
The best Manduka mat for hot yoga would have to be the Manduka Pro mat…
It’s got a nice balance of everything you’ll want. The grip is pretty good. It won’t slide on the ground, and it’s super durable.
Be advised however… Most Mandka mats will have a pretty bad smell to them at first. The biggest complaint I’ve heard over the years about Manduka mats has to do with the “chemical” smell.
This is funny because it’s not exactly a toxic chemical that’s causing the odor… It’s just the fact that it smells like rubber. A rubber yoga mat will innately have that smell when it’s done being made.
If you don’t mind having a strange smell on your yoga mat for a couple weeks then Manduka mats are really wonderful. If you hate that smell then you’d be best to avoid these mats altogether.
As mentioned above, this is a fantastic mat for hot yoga…
You naturally will want a towel because you’ll end up slipping some without one, but overall the thickness and solid feel of this mat is what makes it my top choice.
Furthermore, you can get an even longer mat if needed. Those who are over 6 feet tall will enjoy having more room to practice.
The Manduka eKO is just as good as the Pro model, but only a tiny bit smaller…
This 5mm mat has good stability and ironically feels like it has more cushion than it’s thicker pro model cousin. The top layer is just a bit more grippy than the traditional Pro version, but not enough to make much of a difference.
This for the price point, what it offers, how it performs, and the overall price it is quickly becoming a very popular mat among students and teachers.
I first noticed this mat make its way into studios about a year ago… Now I’m starting to see them everywhere.
The Pro Lite is a good option for those who don’t want a rubber yoga mat that smells for 2 months…
The Lite version is still a big hunk of rubber, but it’s much smaller - only 4mm rather than 6mm. Because it’s small it won’t smell for as long. Either way, it’s still a really good yoga mat to have when doing hot yoga.
The combo of this slightly thinner yoga mat and a good mat towel on top of it make for an overall good hot yoga experience.
Are TPE Mats Good For Hot Yoga?
Mats made from TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) can be good for hot yoga classes. You just have to find the right ones.
These mats have a wide range of feel to them. Some can be slick, while others actually have pretty good padding. Not surprising, best mats in the TPE material category tend to mimic the number one choice on this list.
Let’s look at the first pick in this category...
This mat is actually pretty good for a TPE mat…
I say it’s pretty good because TPE claims to be “eco friendly” but that’s only half true. In comparison to mats made of PVC it is certainly MUCH more eco friendly than those. However, TPE mats aren’t anywhere near as biodegradable as rubber yoga mats are.
To be real with you, this is a knock-off product. But is that such a bad thing? If it does the job 80% as well as the real thing but costs 50% less then I certainly won’t judge you for going with the Ewedoos mat.
Here we have another mat trying to mimic the top choice on the list… If you have this mat with a towel on top then you’ll still be good to go.
Granted, this mat does come in last on this list of best yoga mats for hot yoga, but it is still far better than a traditional PVC yoga mat
This has hundreds of 4 star and above ratings so don’t assume it’s not a good mat. I would absolutely recommend this mat for anyone who goes to hot yoga a few times a month.
Keep a towel handy and it’ll get the job done.
The best overall yoga mat for hot yoga is the Liforme Original Mat. If you like using a towel then you’d be best picking up a Jade Harmony. Ultimately, if you are looking to save money and you only do hot yoga a few times a month then I’d look into the Ewedoos for your next class.
What’s your favorite mat?
Let me know in the comments below!