Despite the single adjective that separates them, yoga and hot yoga are two entirely different practices. As a result, your average yoga equipment probably isn't going to cut it. The best yoga mats for hot yoga have earned said title because they're better suited for the conditions associated with Bikram and other heated styles — namely sweat, high temperatures, and slippery limbs.
When first starting a hot yoga practice, most people opt to use the best yoga towels instead of investing in a special mat. In addition to the affordability factor, yoga towels are also washable and can turn roughly any mat into a non-slip, absorbent surface. That being said, they're also more likely to bunch up, slide off, and wear down, so if you practice hot yoga often, there are some great non-slip yoga mats that handle sweat all on their own.
For heated practices, absorbent materials are key. A mat might be marketed as "non-slip," but as soon as you throw some moisture into the mix, the whole dynamic changes. For that reason, you'll want to look for absorbent elements like natural fibers and open-cell materials. After that, it's mostly about preference, so check out these five options, below, to find the one that best suits your practice.
1. The Top Pick Has A Yoga Towel Built Right Into It
With PER material on the bottom and non-slip microfiber on top, this mat offers the best of both worlds. It's absorbent, well-cushioned, and washable.
Pros: Most mats will work for hot yoga when you purchase an additional towel, but the Aurorae Synergy two-in-one mat has one built right in. Since the top is made from a non-slip microfiber material, it'll absorb sweat and create traction during your poses — but unlike your typical yoga towel, it won't bunch, slide, or come loose. In fact, it works better when a little moist, which is great news for someone who sweats a lot during their practice. The bottom is made from non-toxic PER that provides grip as well as cushioning, and the whole thing is machine-washable and can be line-dried to prevent bacteria and odors. (No wonder it has a 4.6-star rating and over 1,200 reviews.)
Cons: Since it can't be put in the dryer, reviewers say it takes a really long time to dry on its own. It's also pretty expensive, but at least the solid colors are $10 less.
Available Colors: Amethyst, Emerald, Lapis, Onyx, Sapphire, Tahiti Tide
2. This Affordable Alignment Mat Comes With Two Free Bonus Items
You get a built-in alignment chart, a carrying bag, a strap, and non-slip security all for $50. That's a pretty amazing value.
Pros: You likely won't find a really cheap mat that can handle hot yoga. That being said, the Heathyoga ProGrip is the most affordable on this list, comes with two freebies, and still has reviewers raving. Even when wet, people say that the PU material gives them "terrific slip resistance" and "absorbs sweat super-fast." It's also odorless, eco-friendly, and has alignment markings built right in, so you can ensure the best possible form while practicing. If that's not enough to sell you, you get a carrying bag for easy transportation and a velcro strap to keep your mat rolled up when not in use.
Cons: If you're looking for wrist and knee cushioning, this isn't the mat for you.
Available Colors: Gray, Wine
3. When It Comes To Absorbing Sweat, This Cork Mat Is Amazing
Cork is a natural alternative that not only absorbs moisture, but resists odors and bacteria, too.
Pros: It might be the most unique mat on the list, but according to reviewers, it's an "excellent all-natural yoga mat for a yoga fanatic." The ARC Fitness Project mat is made from actual cork, which offers superior grip even when wet — plus it resists odors and the growth of bacteria. It also comes with a free carrying strap, can be cleaned with soap and water, and has 100 percent recycled rubber on the bottom for cushioning and non-slip security on any floor.
Cons: Cork is definitely heavier than other materials. Also, to minimize the weight, it's not as wide as other mats, so if you're tall or prefer more room, opt for a different one.
Available Colors: Just this one
4. If You Need Extra Padding In Addition To Moisture-Control
The open-cell top layer absorbs your sweat to optimize traction, and the cushioned bottom layer supports your knees, wrists, and back.
Pros: Specifically when it comes to floor poses, padding can be imperative for a comfortable practice. If you have a sensitive spine, knees, or wrists, the Youphoria Yoga Premi-OM mat is likely the best pick for you. It's ideal for hot yoga because the top layer is open-cell and antimicrobial to soak up sweat, fight bacteria, and prevent slipping — but the bottom layer is supportive, lightweight, and 6-millimeters thick for better cushioning. It even comes with a free mat sling, so it's easy to bring back and forth to class.
Cons: Since this mat purposely absorbs sweat instead of wicking it, it does show sweat marks. It also takes a while to dry when wiped down.
Available Colors: Amethyst, Cobalt, Jade, and Onyx
5. Live The Yoga Lifestyle With This Eco-Friendly Mat
Since it's made from sustainable jute fibers, this mat is non-toxic for you and eco-friendly for the environment.
Pros: The practice of Ahimsa— one of the main values in yogic tradition — advises yogis to "do no harm," and that includes to the environment and to yourself. The Ajna natural jute mat is designed in Australia and is made from sustainable jute fiber, which provides optimal cushioning, grip, and traction for hot yoga. However, it's also vegan, recyclable, biodegradable, entirely free of toxic materials, and helps to support the One Tree Planted movement with every purchase. You even get a free carrying strap made from 100-percent natural cotton. "I have a very regular hot yoga practice and it has been amazing for all styles so far," one reviewer says.
Cons: People say it's not ideal when you're wearing shorts; the material can feel rough against your knees.
Available Colors: Just this one
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