Yoga is growing more popular with men. A study in 2016 by Yoga in America reported that 28% of all yoga practitioners in America were men compared to 17.8% in 2012. The most important equipment in yoga is your mat, so are men’s yoga mats different from women’s?
Men’s yoga mats are not different from women’s but more yoga mat manufacturers are now aware of men doing yoga. Therefore they are designing and creating mats that consider men’s requirements such as extra length, width, thickness, having extra grip or being more sweat-resistant.
In an ideal world the best yoga mats for a man is the best yoga mat period. The caveat would be price. So while a high quality mat is worth paying a bit more for you can still find good quality mats in the lower price range.
Choosing the correct mat is very important as the wrong one can lead to injuries like fractures and sprains. Having the right sports equipment is critical in most sports and physical activities — and yoga is no different. Apart from price, here are some other key criteria you should consider when choosing your yoga mat:
This is an important consideration as it will determine the bounce, feel, sustainability and tenacity of your yoga mat. Historically PVC was the go to material for most yoga mats but they are becoming less popular. There are a number of health and sustainability issues with PVC so I would recommend not buying them.
You should practice yoga to feel good about yourself and your environment. There are many healthy and more sustainable yoga mat options available like cork, cotton, jute, rubber and TPE. Not only are the materials sustainable sourced they are biodegradable and non latex or non PVC. All the mats I have selected are non-pvc and made from sustainable materials.
Standard yoga mats are still mostly designed and manufactured for women. The biggest issue with the standard mats is the length which is usually 68 inches. I think if you are taller than 5 foot 8” you should buy a longer mat. With that I mind I have chosen mats that are a minimum of 72 inches.
It is important that you are comfortable on your mat and the density of it can have a major impact. A thin mat may not provide enough support and protection to vulnerable areas of your body like knees and wrists. Thick mats provide more support but the trade off is less connection to the floor and balance poses will be more challenging.
A thicker mat will be heavier and require more storage. If you are regularly travelling to a studio a lighter and more portable mat may be the best option.
The texture of your mat will determine the amount of grip it will provide. It is unlikely that you would have done much exercise barefoot. So at first moving in yoga will feel very different. We are now very reliant on our footwear and sometimes gloves for grip.
The texture of your mat should reduce the amount of sliding and slipping but also feel comfortable to rest on. The smooth mats are the most comfortable to lay down on. However a mat with some roughness, man-made or organic offer more grip.
If you plan to practice regularly your yoga mat will need to be durable. You may also be travelling to studios and will be taking your mat out and about. Also storing it in the boot of your car or taking it on public transport.
Balancing weight with sturdiness can be a challenge but you do want to purchase a product that you can depend on for a long time.
Protecting the environment and striving to be sustainable in everything we do should be everyone's goal. Yoga is a practice that helps you achieve and maintain balance in your mind, body, soul and environment. Buying an earth-friendly yoga mat means you have a product that is manufactured from natural or recycled materials.
Avoid mats made of PVC which don't break down and are very expensive to recycle. Earth-friendly mats may be a little more expensive but the peace of mind is worth it.
Choosing a Men's Yoga Mat
Using the above criteria I have selected 9 yoga mats that you should give serious consideration to when buying a men's yoga mat. They have been grouped into 3 price ranges, up to $50, $50 to $100 and over $100.
This research into the best men's yoga mat was done in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Demand for men's yoga mat and other training equipment was very high. A lot of products were sold out and many manufacturers were struggling to stay in business so the listing reflects the time. I will endeavour to update this blog later in the year when things are little bit more normal. For now I hope you are able to stay active and healthy are most importantly safe.
Best Men’s Yoga Mats up to $50
I was hopeful that I could find you one good quality, non-pvc men’s yoga mat for $50 or under. So I was pleasantly surprised to find three! These three mats score high in most of the key criteria. Consequently I would recommend them especially if you are a yoga newbie.
Everyday Yoga Grip Yoga Mat
72 x 24 inches
This yoga mat is very suitable for men to use. It’s dimensions fit the minimum requirements in terms of length. But you will really appreciate the thickness of 5 mm which provides great support to your joints and knees. It is a very durable mat that can be used for most styles of yoga. Many satisfied customers use the mat for hot yoga as it is outstanding at absorbing moisture.
The USP of the mat is it’s grip and non-slip properties. You will need to use it for a week to break in the mat’s stickiness. Also the mat does have a natural rubber smell but that will fade over time. If you take care of this mat, cleaning at least once a week, more often if practising daily or doing hot yoga, it will last a lifetime.
"Perfect! This mat is great for warm yoga. I am very happy with it. As with any grippy black mat, it does show spots where my feet rub on it but that sorta goes with the benefit of being solid when I sweat. I highly recommend it!"
- Mary, 5 Apr, 2019 -
Heathyoga Eco-Friendly Non-Slip Yoga Mat
72 x 26 inches
This is a very affordable mat with generous dimensions that make it comfortable for a man to use. One of it’s best features is the alignment lines which provide you with a personal instructor under your hands and feet. These alignment help you get in the correct position on the mat without having to divert your attention away from instructions. You should also receive plenty of support from the 6mm thick double layer foam material. The surface has great traction and is non-slip.
Enjoy the mat at home or take it to the studio courtesy of the convenient carrying sling and Velcro fastening strap. Heathyoga is a family business that has been professionally manufacturing yoga products for over 10 years. Their goal is to provide the most suitable and eco-friendly yoga equipment while respecting the planet. Therefore they are focused on the materials used and production being delivered in a sustainable way.
"Great productI absolutely enjoyed using this mat. I'm relatively new to yoga and the stability of this mat is great. I love the position points as well. The price is reasonable considering it is environmentally friendly."
- Yulonda R, 2 Aug, 2019 -
CleverYoga Starter Yoga Mat
72 x 25.25 inches
Another affordable and high quality mat which you will love if you do slow-paced Kundalini or restorative yoga. TPE foam mats are high in density which will provide you with lots of cushioning to support your joints and knees. If you feel you need extra grip then this mat may not be for you.
You will need to take good care of this mat for it to last long and stay in a good condition. Clean it after every session by wiping it down with mild soap and water or mat cleaner spray.
CleverYoga was founded in 2014 with a mission to bring you the best yoga products on the market so you can get the most out of your personal yoga journey. They also offer a full warranty so if you’re not 100% happy with your purchase, they will send you a free replacement or give a full refund.
"My first mat ever! I had just started yoga a couple months ago and I was tired of borrowing mats and not being able to practice at home. This mat works perfectly and provides plenty of support. I am 6’2 and still have plenty of room."
- Justus R. 29 Mar, 2020 -
Best Men’s Yoga Mats up to $100
By spending up to $100 on your men’s yoga mat you have more choice. These mats will also come with perks from their manufacturers, such as quality guarantees or easy replacements if a mat deteriorates. Also your mat will be more durable and made from higher quality sustainable materials.
Jade Travel Yoga Mat
74 x 24 inches
Take this extra long mat everywhere you go and maximise your yoga opportunities. Featuring a lightweight design that is easy to fold or roll up which won’t take up much space in your luggage. Compared to a lot of other mat’s it is very lightweight. The mat has superior traction as it is manufactured from tree rubber which provides more grip and cushion than the synthetic rubbers on the market.
If you have sweaty hands and feet it has great immediate grip. All Jade mats are American made. This guarantees quality assurance over the materials used and production process of all products.
"I’ve had my Jade Travel Mat for almost 6 years now and it has been a great mat! It’s just now starting to show visible wear, but it hasn’t affected the quality too much. I’ve used it consistently for hot yoga and home practice. Easy to clean, lightweight, but still feels like a good sturdy mat. Really nice grip too. Worth the money!"
Kendall, 19 Dec, 2015
Body by Yoga cork mat
80 x 26 inches
Dean Pohlman is the founder of Man Flow Yoga and is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for men. He has designed a high performance mat to match the needs of a sweaty guy doing yoga. You will find that this mat is large enough, wide enough and thick enough for any man, whether you are a beginner or athlete.
It has thick padding to provide extra comfort and support to sensitive elbows and knees. The smooth cork surface is non-slip, the grip actually improves as it gets wetter from your sweat! You won’t have to break in this mat, roll it out as soon as you buy it, roll out flat and stay flat. Additionally the mat has a built-in alignment system. This helps to ensure proper technique and allows you to focus on your body instead of wondering if you’re aligned correctly.
Body by yoga is a small company and these mats are popular, so you may need to be patient to receive your mat.
"It's quality, durable and has the right thickness to it. It is by far the best yoga mat i have ever owned. It is more costly than others available but it took me years to realize you get what you pay for and you definitely get what you pay for with this mat. I would buy it again"
Clay Lineback, 13 Apr, 2020
Aura Cork Yoga Mat
80 x 26 inches
Purchasing a men’s yoga mat from Yoloha is a very eco-friendly thing to do. All their mats are made from cork. This cork is the outer bark of the Cork Oak tree grown in the Mediterranean region. Harvesting this cork requires no cutting down of trees. The bark is harvested by hand every 9 years and these trees can live up to 300 years!
Using this cork, Yoloha mats have a fine grain surface that feels great but also has awesome grip. To increase your grip, sprinkle water on your mat where your hand and feet go before practice for added traction. Finally this mat is quite light and portable so is suitable for travel.
"I don’t have a lot of experience, but this mat is better than any of the others I’ve tried. Hands and feet grip exactly the same whether they’re wet or dry. I bought the longer mat and it’s worked out really well"
Joe, 8 Apr, 2020
Best Men’s Yoga Mats over $100
If you decide to spend over $100 on a men’s yoga mat, you will benefit from getting a product that is durable due to being made from the finest quality materials. A pricer mat will likely last longer so you will probably save money by not having to replace it for a long time. Furthermore spending more on the mat can be a motivation for you to practice more. So if you can afford it, spend a bit more on your mat and get the best, you won’t regret it.
Aurorae Cork Pro Yoga Mat
73 x 24.5 inches
Aurorae is a small family run business that has an inspirational story on their yoga journey. This yoga mat is great for men as it is made 100% from natural cork and rubber. The dimensions are very generous so you should feel comfortable and safe when practicing on it. The level of grip is very high and it increases when moist from sweat. So it is ideal for any active or hot yoga as well as pilates.
This mat is biodegradable, recyclable and sustainable for the environment. If you do experience any issues with your mat after purchase, don’t hesitate to contact Aurorae’s excellent customer service.
"At last I do not slip! Yes, I am a big time sweater. On standard mats I slip and slide horribly after only 30 minutes of Vinyasa or even less of hot yoga. This mat is a little heavier to carry, but has solved my problem."
Robert Y, 27 July, 2018
Manduka grp® hot yoga mat
71 x 26 inches
If you’re a sweaty man, your yoga practice can become more challenging. Slipping and sliding around on your mat makes holding a Warrior III pose a journey into the unknown! Would you like a men’s yoga mat that will keep you stable when doing half moon? And you don’t have to cover with a beach towel?
The Manduka is one of the most innovative yoga mats created. It combines sublime traction with no slip. made from an open-celled polyurethane, which means that there are tiny little openings in the surface that let sweat and moisture sink in. That’s what keeps the surface so dry.
Every layer of the GRP mat is designed with this open-cell construction, which not only lets moisture absorb, but also helps it evaporate later. The middle layer of the mat is made of charcoal-infused rubber which absorbs sweat and eliminates odor. So this is a mat that can absorb a lot of sweat and still maintain excellent grip and traction.
"Great mat for a sweaty sweat head’’ Not disappointed. My head is like a drippy faucet, the grp took it all in, during my pigeons where my head was right on the mat, pooling accorded, but I just swiped it in the sweat and it went right in. Very grippy, helped improve my game."
AJ Mner, 15 Feb, 2020
Jade Yoga - Fusion Yoga Mat
74 x 24 inches
This is a mat that I think you will really love practicing on. It’s outstanding features include supreme traction when both dry and wet. It feels very natural on the hands and feet, sturdy and eco-friendly. The mat is constructed from a renewable resource, open cell natural rubber, this mat contains no PVC or ozone depleting substances.
The secret to the mat feeling great is it’s 5/16” thick surface which also offsets uneven surfaces. Unfortunately this makes the mat quite bulky and heavy so it’s not ideal for transporting to classes. The open cell surface absorbs sweat and moisture willingly, drastically reducing sliding. The snag is that there will be a buildup of bacteria and oils so it is vital that you clean mat regularly.
"I have been teaching around 20 years, and have enjoyed some good mats. Just got this one recently, and so far, it has the best feel ever. I feel like a cat purring and working my paws into it! Great cushion. I have always used two mats, but not necessary with this one. I even like the natural rubber smell, which is not strong anyway."
Roy L Holman, 5 Sep, 2018
Unity Cork Yoga Mat
80 x 26 inches
If you are going to spend a little more on a men’s yoga mat ideally you want it to be suitable for any style of practice. The Unity Cork Yoga Mat is super versatile and scores high on all the criteria of consideration. The combination of cork and rubber is eco-friendly and you get excellent traction whether the mat is dry or wet.
The rubber base provides the right level of density so you will feel comfortable whether you are balancing on one leg or relaxing savasana. This mat is designed for regular use, you don’t need to break it in and it doesn’t hold any sweaty smells. This is due to the cork being antimicrobial, stopping any potential growth and stinky smells.
The only cleaning this mat requires is a spray and wipe down and it dries very quickly when unrolled. Even if you use this mat on a daily basis you shouldn’t expect to see any wear and tear. Another benefit is that it is one of the lightest mats around. You should have no issues rolling it up and going to your practice cycling, walking or using public transport.
"I kept slipping on my previous mat due to sweat making the fabric slippery, that added to the fact that being a man, I am taller than most standard Yoga mat. This mat is the only one I found that cover both issues. And does it perfectly. I am extremely happy with the texture and protection brought with this mat."
Emmanuel, 9 Mar, 2020