Best Yoga Mat For Hot Yoga

best yoga mat for hot yoga

Are you looking for the best yoga mat for hot yoga? Most yogi have not practiced hot yoga, so if you take their recommendations, you may be sorely disappointed. We will help you choose the best non slip mat for hot yoga that actually works.

How to Prevent Slipping in Hot Yoga and Sweaty Conditions

The Microfiber Yoga Mat Approach

There are generally two approaches that mat manufacturer’s use to improve grip for hot yoga. The first is to use a thin upper microfiber layer bonded to the lower foam mat. This is similar to combining a yoga towel with a yoga mat, which works quite well for hot yoga. The idea is that the upper microfiber absorbs sweat, prevents pools, and increases grip under wet conditions.

However, these “combo” towel-yoga designs have a crucial difference from a yoga towel laying on top of the mat. To keep the mat reasonably thin, the combo towel-yoga designs have a much thinner absorbing upper layer than a regular yoga towel. This means that the microfiber material can absorb much less sweat before it becomes saturated. Disappointingly, many of these yoga mat designs do not hold up under strenuous hot yoga conditions. They DO work quite well for normal conditions or for people who just have extra sweaty hands.

The Combo Yoga Mat (click for our review), falls under this category. It is a solid mat with a neat two-surface feature, but it can start slipping under very wet conditions. Other sites often recommend the Gaiam Sol Studio Select Dry-Grip Yoga Mat as well for hot yoga. You can go to Amazon and read the negative reviews from people who actually practice hot yoga.

Also, you should note that many microfiber surfaces are actually MORE slippery under normal yoga conditions when not wet. The smooth microfiber surface can have very little grip until wet from your perspiration or from a quick spray using your water bottle.

If you really want to use an absorbent microfiber yoga mat for hot yoga, we recommend getting a dedicated yoga towel. That’s exactly what yoga towels are for. A decent yoga towel and yoga mat will out perform and cost less than many mediocre hot yoga mats. Read our yoga towel review for recommendations on which towel to buy.

The Sticky Yoga Mat Approach

Instead of absorbing sweat, the other approach used by hot yoga mats is to generate a very sticky surface on a non-absorbing surface. It doesn’t matter if the surface is wet or not if the underlying material remains sticky against your hands and feet.

We prefer this approach for hygienic and maintenance. Non-absorbent materials will not take up sweat and breed harmful bacteria. The mat will not smell and will not put you at risk for athlete’s foot or other rashes. Microbes growing in absorbent mats can also accelerate mat breakdown, reducing durability. Cleaning and caring for a non-absorbent closed-cell foam mat, though, is quite easy. You just have to wipe the surface with a disinfect or spray. Microfiber coated mats, on the other hand, require more thorough soaking and washing.

The problem, though, is that it is difficult to create a sticky surface that actually maintains its grip under very sweaty conditions. Let’s be clear: you will have to buy a premium yoga mat at premium prices to have this level of stickiness. The best yoga towel combined with a cheap yoga mat will cost the same or less, and likely perform better than most premium mats for hot yoga. However, you have the inconvenience of having to carry around two items, and as mentioned before, the hassle of cleaning the absorbent layer.

There’s only really one yoga mat on the market that works under all sweat conditions. That is the Clever Yoga LiquidBalance (reviewed here). Every company has a different secret recipe. Clever Yoga’s polyurethane upper layer coating maintains a very sticky grip even during hot yoga. If you really are generating literal pools of sweat, you may have to push the puddles off the mat with a small hand towel. However, the LiquidBalance by all accounts is superior to other premium mats, including the Manduka PRO, Jade Harmony, and others. The LiquidBalance is the stickiest and best yoga mat for hot yoga.

Best Yoga Mat For Hot Yoga

If you must have the absolute best yoga mat for hot yoga, go for the Clever Yoga LiquidBalance mentioned previously. Other options are likely to disappoint you.

If budget is a concern, we recommend you get a budget level yoga towel and budget level yoga mat. They will outperform other much more expensive options. If you want to shell out for brand names, you could get the Manduka PRO combined with a Yogitoes Hot Yoga Towel. That would set you back $150-$200 (yikes) but you would certainly get the best of everything.

If you have to choose between a cheap towel and expensive mat, or expensive towel and cheap mat, go for the more expensive towel paired with the cheaper mat. The towel is what will determine if you slip or not during hot yoga as long as you have a decent yoga mat.

Read our yoga towel and yoga mat guides for help in choosing budget or high-end towels and mats.


Review of the Best Yoga Mat Towel

best yoga towel reviews

We will review the best yoga mat towel for your budget and needs. First, though, we also want to make sure you understand the purpose of a yoga towel and how you should go about choosing one.

What is the purpose of a yoga mat towel?

There are several reasons to use a yoga mat towel, which include slipperiness, hygiene, and portability. Let’s take a closer look at each reason, and how it affects your choice of towel.

Avoid slipping and handle sweaty mat surfaces

This is probably the number one reason people look for a yoga mat towel. A towel can improve the surface grip of a yoga mat and prevent slipping. This is especially important if you have sweaty hands or participate in bikram/hot yoga sessions.

The simplest way to use a yoga towel is to buy a small hand yoga towel. Just use it to wipe your hands and face, as well as to keep your mat dry.

The main way to use a yoga towel, though, is to lay a large towel on top of your yoga mat. The towel absorbs moisture and also provides a better gripping surface.

A poor quality towel will not prevent slipping but make it worse. If your towel slides along your mat, bunches up, or stretches too much, you will create an uneven or more slippery surface. The best yoga mat towel will have none of these problems.

You also need to learn to use a yoga mat towel correctly. Some yoga mats actually perform better when wet. When dry, they will be too slippery. For these towels, you need to spray your water bottle onto the towel, or otherwise warm up for your hot yoga session. Follow the directions that come with your yoga mat towel.

Yoga mat towels for hygiene and safety

Many like to use a yoga mat towel for hygienic reasons. If you overlay your mat with a towel, the towel absorbs all of your sweat and grime, and it’s easy to keep a couple of newly washed towels in rotation to keep things fresh.

More importantly, in some cases, you may be using communal yoga mats or borrowing one. We briefly touched on the dangers of a dirty yoga mat before, but a communal yoga mat can spread diseases and is not sanitary. You can use a towel to protect yourself in this case.

Finally, many yoga mats are made from latex. If you have latex allergies, you either need to buy a much more expensive latex-free mat, or use a yoga towel to prevent direct contact with latex.

A substitute yoga mat in a pinch

Sometimes you want a very portable yoga mat that you can use anywhere. For that we actually recommend the Manduka EKO SuperLite. However, if you only have your yoga towel with you, some of them can be used as a gripping surface directly on a hardwood floor, or if needed, on a carpet floor. We don’t recommend that you buy a yoga towel for this purpose, but it is a useful backup in some cases.

Best Yoga Mat Towel Reviews

Now that we’ve covered the basics of why and how to use a yoga mat towel, let’s review some of the best yoga mat towels out on the market today.

Best High Quality (Premium) Yoga Mat Towel

yogitoes best yoga towel review

The Yogitoes Non-Slip Yoga Mat Towels by Manduka are an Amazon bestseller and the top high performance yoga towel. This comes at a premium price of $50-60, though. As you likely know, Manduka is also the manufacturer of the famous high-end Manduka PRO mats. Yogitoes are similarly the “Apple” of yoga towels.

What makes the Yogitoes towels special? Yogitoes towels are coated on the bottom with a grid of silcone nubs that prevent slipping by maintaining a strong grip with the mat or floor. This patented skidless yoga towel technology is unique to Yogitoes and is why the Yogitoes towels perform so well under the most challenging hot yoga conditions. No other brand has this technology.

Yogitoes Features and Review

The microfiber material of Yogitoes towels absorbs sweat well so you do not leave slippery puddles behind. Manduka manufactures the towel using polyester from the equivalent of 8 recycled plastic water bottles, so the product is environmentally friendly as well.

At 24″ by 68″, the towel size covers standard yoga mats. Even if the size does not exactly match, the gripping surface prevents unwanted movement or bunching of the towel edges and corners. It can get very annoying if you have to re-position your towel constantly in the middle of poses.

Yogitoes towels, while expensive, are very durable if treated properly. You must cold machine wash and air dry. People who have bought Yogitoes towels regularly report having used the towels for 5-10 years with only some color fading. The silicone nubs are durable and do not fall off. One tip for washing is to air dry your towel before throwing it in the laundry basket. Otherwise, your sweat-soaked towel may ferment and smell. Luckily, the microfiber yoga towel material dries very quickly as long as you hang it for a bit.

If you want the absolute best yoga mat towel and are willing to pay the premium price, the Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towels by Manduka are the top choice. Yogitoes is a must if you are looking for a bikram yoga towel.

Best Yoga Mat Towel on a Budget

best yoga mat towel review

If you are looking for a low-cost yoga towel, you need to take extra care in selecting the brand. Many yoga towel brands are disappointing. You can find Amazon littered with negative reviews. Towels will fray easily and fall apart. Most will fail to prevent slipping and actually make your grip worse. They stretch and move during poses. We’ve gone through and selected a reliable yoga towel that actually works as advertised.

The Clever Yoga Non Slip Yoga Towel is a great choice at a great price. For $17 you can get the large mat towel, and for $1 more you can also get a hand towel combo.

Clever Yoga Non Slip Yoga Towel Features and Review

The microfiber yoga towel by Clever Yoga efficiently absorbs sweat and maintains a solid grip between you and your mat. Unlike other cheap yoga towels, this is a genuinely skidless yoga mat towel.

The mat towel is extra long at 24″ by 72″, which means it easily covers your yoga mat. The optional hand towel measures 24″ by 15″ and can also be used to double the toweling for extra sweaty palm areas.

The Clever Yoga Mat Towels are quite durable. You can machine wash on cold and tumble dry low. A great feature of Clever Yoga products, including this towel, is that they have a lifetime “Namaste” warranty. You can get a 100% refund or replacement at anytime for life with no questions asked. Just read the customer reviews on Amazon. Clever Yoga customer service is legendary.

For other cheap brands, slippery towels and towels falling apart are the two main complaints. With Clever Yoga towels, you won’t have to worry about either of these problems and can focus on your yoga session. If you need a bikram yoga towel on a budget, Clever Yoga is a good choice.

Best Yoga Mat Towels for Fashion Styles

Like yoga mats, yoga towels can have gorgeous prints and designs. In fact, the softer microfiber towels are easier to print on than premium rubber yoga mats. If you want the best yoga mat, you might end up with a dull-looking black Manduka PRO. Your yoga towel is a chance to spice up your yoga session with pretty colors and cute patterns.

Our choice for best yoga mat towels with beautiful designs are the the Hot Yoga Towels by Yoga Design Labs. Yoga Design Labs also makes the similarly gorgeous Combo Yoga Mat. The Hot Yoga Towels share many of the same patterns as their mat counterparts.

Briefly, the Hot Yoga towels measure at 24″ by 72″ and cover all standard yoga mats with plenty of room to spare. They maintain a very good grip under sweaty condition. Of course, nothing else can match the Yogitoes skidless technology, but these towels by Yoga Design Labs are right up there as second best. In terms of price, Yoga Design Labs towels are almost $40, in between the Yogitoes and Clever yoga offerings.

The important part here are the designs, so lets check some of them out below. Click on the images to view even more designs and pricing on Amazon.

colorful yoga towels

Conclusion on the Best Yoga Mat Towel

To summarize, if you are looking for the best yoga mat towel and price is no objection, the Yogitoes towels are our choice. If you are a on a budget, consider the Clever Yoga towels. Finally, if you want some gorgeous designs at an intermediate price, we recommend the Yoga Design Labs towels.



Clever Yoga LiquidBalance Mat Review: The Number One Premium Yoga Mat

clever yoga liquidbalance

The Clever Yoga LiquidBalance yoga mat is the number one premium yoga mat on the market right now, even beating out the famous Manduku mats. This luxurious mat provides plenty of cushion, a no-nonsense solid grip that even works during hot yoga, and is easy to carry and maintain. You also get a lifetime, no-questions asked warranty from Clever Yoga, a really one-of-a-kind customer-friendly service. Stop being disappointed with your yoga mat and get the Clever Yoga LiquidBalance. Read on for a detailed review.

Read moreClever Yoga LiquidBalance Mat Review: The Number One Premium Yoga Mat