The Best Travel Yoga Mats, According to Experts

The Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Mat earned the top pick.

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Best Yoga Mats Tout

Courtesy of Amazon, Alo, and Adidas

If you’re motivated enough to maintain a fitness routine while traveling, having a good yoga mat is key. Consider it your foundation for taking on any type of workout, no matter what kind of environment you are in. Thanks to the rise of virtual classes, you could be on a beach in Turks & Caicos or a hotel room in Tokyo and have access to the best studios in New York City. With decent Wi-Fi and a good yoga mat, anything is possible.

But much like the athleisure category overall, yoga mats have undergone major technical and aesthetic advances over the past decade; you can find something that aligns with the chakras, mats with built-in infrared technologies, and fashionable mats designed for coordinating outfit moments. Our favorite is the Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Mat, which gets top marks on multiple metrics and is a favorite of many stylish yogis on the move. However, we talked to industry A-listers, and they gave us plenty more options to love.

Ahead are our top picks, tested and recommended by experts within the fitness community.

Best Overall: adidas Stella McCartney Yoga Mat

adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Mat

Neiman Marcus

Why We Love it: It’s super lightweight and comes with a carry strap. Plus, it’s sophisticated enough to take into the office or a cafe after your workout.

What to Consider: It tends to hold some curve at the edge when it’s rolled out.

Since launching in 2005, Adidas by Stella McCartney has been a go-to for stylish and functional exercise gear, and this yoga mat has become a staple in the collection. Each season, the tried-and-true mat is iterated in different colorways, and the latest collection features vibrant orange, black, and white. But on to the functional aspects: It has a simple carry strap that is comfortable to walk with, and at just 1.4 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight options around. You barely notice it when it’s slung over your shoulder, which is one of the things that yoga instructor and actress Theodora Miranne (who trained at Yoga Vida and did a mentorship at SkyTing) loves about it. “It’s the perfect mat for being on the move, whether I’m traveling overseas or taking it to a studio in New York,” she says. She also touts its high-traction grip and the moderate level of cushioning that makes it appropriate for various types of workouts. “It provides a solid support base for moving through a vinyasa flow or something more high-energy, like a Body by Simone class where you’re moving around a lot,” she adds. The mat features the classic logo and has a subtle floral-embossed top that adds extra grip. Other highlights? It’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb moisture, so you can rest assured that it won’t carry any unwanted workout scents. 

Dimensions: 69 inches x 2 inches x 4 millimeters | Fabrication: TPE, EOA, POE foam | Weight: 1.4 pounds

Best Budget: Amazon Basics TPE Yoga Mat

Amazon Basics TPE Yoga Mat

Amazon

Why We Love it: It’s comfortable and lightweight.

What to Consider: Some shoppers may actually find it too soft.

You can count on Amazon Basics for no-frills essentials, and this lightweight yoga mat is a solid option if you don’t want to make a big investment. It’s made from a high-density TPE, which is soft yet durable and provides good support for various types of workouts, from yoga where you need stability to aerobics or HIIT classes, where you’re jumping around. Ordinarily, lime green would be a bizarre design choice, but it’s having a moment right now, and it looks quite fresh in real life. 

Dimensions: 74 inches x 24 inches x 2.5 millimeters | Fabrication: Rubber | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Best Organic Mat: Ajna Wellbeing Natural Jute Mat

Ajna Wellbeing Natural Jute Mat

Amazon

Why We Love it: It’s designed by a yoga teacher and is the preferred mat of visionary wellness pioneer, Erika Bloom. 

What to Consider: The bottom is made from polymer environmental resin (PER), which is not known for its durability.

Recommended by Erika Bloom, Ajna Wellbeing’s Natural Jute Mat is an excellent choice if you’re into holistic wellness. “It is essential that the tools we use in our practice are safe for the body while also being sustainable,” advises Bloom, who travels with the mat to host her coveted wellness immersions at Amanyara. It makes sense that if you’re mindful about what you put in your body, you should also be mindful about what you put your body on. And anyone can agree that harmful chemicals are not something you want to be up close and personal with. This mat is made from 100 percent biodegradable, toxin-free materials. It also provides a solid base for transitioning between poses, with a textured non-slip surface and dual-layer technology to prevent stretching.

Dimensions: 72 inches x 24 inches x 5 millimeters | Weight: 3.3 pounds | Fabrication: Organic jute, non-slip PER 

Best Reversible Mat: Lululemon Reversible Mat 3mm

Lululemon’s Reversible Mat 3mm

Lululemon

Why We Love it: It’s like having two mats in one. 

What to Consider: It can collect dust, so be sure to keep wet wipes on hand.

Lululemon is one of the most ubiquitous athleisure brands, so it’s no surprise that its yoga mats are popular. “The Reversible Mat from Lululemon is my personal favorite because it prevents injury from slipping and is versatile enough for all practices and yoga levels,” says Sabrina Washington, an instructor at CorePower Yoga. “It’s perfect for travel, smooth on one side and textured on the other, so it appeals to any type of class that you want to take on the road or even just in your hotel room,” she adds. “I also love that this mat has antimicrobial properties to help prevent bacteria growth from sweat — perfect for hot vinyasa or outdoor summer classes and retreats!” There is also a 5-millimeter size available, but the 3-millimeter version is recommended for travel, given it’s lighter and more compact.

Dimensions: 71 inches x 26 inches x 3 millimeters | Fabrication: Natural rubber, polyurethane, synthetic rubber, polyester, nylon | Weight: 3.87 pounds

Best Print: Yoga Design Lab The Combo Yoga Mat

Yoga Design Lab The Combo Yoga Mat

Why We Love it: It doubles as art to brighten up your space.

What to Consider: The higher price makes it more of an investment.

While vacationing in Bali, Yoga Design Lab founder Chad Turner found himself uninspired by the standard, block-colored mats that were on the market and decided to create his own. The result? Functional and aesthetically beautiful mats that could pass as abstract paintings (certainly a highlight if you’re holed up in a bland corporate hotel room). The Combo Yoga Mats are an excellent option for travel as they are easy to fold, and at 3.5 pounds, they are relatively lightweight. The microfiber top layer is also ultra-absorbent, bonded to a natural rubber base that provides good support.

Dimensions: 70 inches x 24 inches x 1.5 millimeters | Fabrication: Rubber, recycled PET microfiber | Weight: 3.5 pounds

Best Cushioning: Bala Play Mat

Bala Play Mat

Goop

Why We Love it: It has double the cushioning of standard mats, so it’s a good option for meditation on the move.

What to Consider: Given it is so thick, it’s advised to check it with your luggage if you’re flying.

“This mat is like having a portable gym floor, dance floor, and air mattress in one,” says Carbon 38 CEO and Co-founder Katie Warner Johnson, who travels with Bala’s Play Mat regularly. “I love this mat for various reasons: One, it can sit atop any surface — cement, gravel, tough hotel carpeting — and morph into a 71-inch by 26-inch exercise oasis; two, the polyurethane top is anti-slip for even your sweatiest sessions, [and] the antimicrobial is a bonus. And three, it’s incredibly cushy, so savasana feels like a dream.” It has a unique rounded top, which, according to Bala Bangles, is the first of its kind. Other highlights? Its waterproof top layer is non-slip and moisture-wicking.

Dimensions: 71.5 inches x 26.5 inches x 8 millimeters | Fabrication: Polyurethane, rubber | Weight: 4 pounds

Best Lightweight Mat: Manduka PRO Yoga Mat

4.1
 Manduka Yoga Mat PRO Pilates Sporting goods

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love it: It’s an expert favorite, used by instructors at Barre3, CorePower Yoga, and award-winning health spa Cal-a-Vie.

What to Consider: It has less grip than other options.

“This mat offers the perfect balance of cushion and mobility,” says Washington. “It is super lightweight and easy to pack as a carry-on or to throw in a suitcase, and it won’t slide whether you’re using it in a studio or on a hotel room floor,” she adds.  “It’s also great for hot yoga because its closed-cell surface helps keep moisture and sweat from seeping in and breeding bacteria.” Other fitness experts have praised its durability and support, and the Manduka brand is also renowned for its eco-friendly production practices. 

Dimensions: 71 inches x 24 inches x 2.5 millimeters | Fabrication: PVC | Weight: 2.4 pounds

Best Eco-friendly Mat: JadeYoga Travel Mat

JadeYoga Travel Mat

Target

Why We Love it: You can feel good about exercise and the environment, given the company plants a tree for each mat sold.

What to Consider: It has super-high grip, which can make it difficult to transition from one pose to another. Also, it tends to attract dust.

JadeYoga is committed to planting a tree for every mat sold, and so far, the company has planted a total of 2 million. Additionally, the mats are all manufactured with rapidly renewable resources, so it gets top marks for sustainability. It has a high level of grip, which many yogis prefer for hot sessions and for more active workouts. Burpees? Mountain climbers? A HIIT circuit? You can count on this to keep you grounded. And, as the name suggests, this mat has been designed with portability in mind: It’s lightweight at only 3 pounds and is only 3 millimeters thick. 

Dimensions: 68 inches x 24 inches x 3 millimeters | Fabrication: Rubber | Weight: 3 pounds

Best For Taller People: Gaiam Premium Longer/Wider Mat

Gaiam Premium Longer/Wider Mat

Gaiam

Why We Love it: It’s one of the most spacious mats on the market.

What to Consider: It isn’t the grippiest option. 

This Gaiam yoga mat is 10 inches longer and 2 inches wider than standard mats, so it’s ideal if you require something with more space. And with a 6-millimeter thickness, you won’t need to fold it over if you need additional joint support. Yogis will appreciate that Gaiam’s mats are manufactured without any of the top six most harmful phthalates. Another plus is its accessibility; it’s affordable, and you can find the brand at a wide range of retailers, including Target, Walmart, and more.

Dimensions: 78 inches x 26 inches x 6 millimeters | Fabrication: PVC | Weight: 4 pounds

Tips for Buying a Travel Yoga Mat

Prioritize portability

Weight and thickness are the biggest factors to consider. Ideally, you should opt for a yoga mat that is under 4 pounds and 6 millimeters, so it’s light enough to carry and doesn’t occupy too much space. Having a yoga strap is also extremely useful (per our top pick, the Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Mat).

Consider your intended use

Look for features that support whatever kind of workout you’re planning on doing. If you’re inclined to do slow-paced flows, stretching, or meditation, something like the Bala Play Mat is a good option. Or, if you need something that will stay in place for a more active workout where you’re hopping around, Lululemon’s Reversible Mat or Alo Yoga’s Warrior Mat may be your best bet.

Check for warranties

Provide yourself with peace of mind and check the warranty period in case your mat doesn’t live up to your expectations. All options on this list have been tested and recommended by experts, but if you find the top layer peeling away or get a dud product for whatever reason, it’s good to know what kind of insurance policy you have. The standard is generally a year, but some companies offer lifetime warranties. 

Choose a durable material

Polyurethane and rubber are renowned for durability, so look for mats with these materials.  

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you break in a yoga mat?

    According to CorePower Yoga’s Washington, it takes time to really break in a yoga mat. Her trick to speed up the process? “Sprinkle coarse sea salt on the mat and let it sit or scrub in a circular motion—like you would wax a surfboard. After 24 hours, wipe the salt off with a damp cloth. Repeat 2-3 times with fresh salt as needed. Works like a charm.”

  • How do you pack a yoga mat?

    It depends on the fabric. Some mats are designed to fold, but generally, you should try to roll them up as tightly and evenly as you can.

  • How do you clean a yoga mat?

    You can use soap or mix equal parts water and white vinegar and rub the mat down. There are also spray solutions available if you don’t want to do a DIY mix.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Amy Louise Bailey spoke to multiple instructors from leading yoga studios along with renowned wellness pioneers and entrepreneurs from leading fitness-focused organizations to curate a list of the best yoga mats available. 

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