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There's yoga, and then there's hot yoga. There are benefits to both, but hot yoga has some added perks—like increased flexibility and some believe the ability to detox through sweating more. The heat can be intense, challenging, and rejuvenating all at once while you're in class.
For yogis who want to take it to the next level and try a hot yoga class (or even for those who already attend sessions on the regular), you need to be prepared with the right equipment. Whether you sweat a lot or not, the studio could be heated anywhere from 95 to 115 degrees, so chances are you're going to be dripping. Sure, you can use your regular yoga mat, but you might feel more comfortable with one that's grippy and slip-free for when things get extra sweaty and slippery. You'll be able to handle your poses like a pro without worrying if you're going to fall or slip.
To help, we rounded up the best-rated yoga mats we could find. Check them out below—and namaste.
Super lightweight at just two and a half pounds, this mat is also an extra-large size at 76" x 26". Its surface absorbs sweat for grip and traction and is five mm thick for extra comfort. The mat is labeled as an Amazon's Choice, with 607 ratings and 4.5 stars.
One review reads, "I have been through various yoga mats in the past, and the IUGA Mat is by far the best mat I have purchased and used. I do hot yoga weekly, along with other classes, and would always find myself slipping even with the pricier mats, I would slip within four minutes of hot yoga. The IUGA mat, I literally will be drenched/dripping sweat, and I do not move or slip out of my poses/placement on the mat."
Lululemon's reversible mat was made for both hot and regular yoga practices—one side is stickier, while the other is smoother. The top layer can absorb moisture and provides you with enough grip for when you're dripping in sweat. It's also antimicrobial, to prevent mold and mildew.
"Love this mat. It's so lightweight and so sticky! I've been using it for hot yoga (CorePower) for seven months now, and it's actually improved my practice," one Lululemon reviewer wrote.
This Manduka mat was made especially for hot yoga. It has a grippy layer that's anti-slip, even in the sweatiest conditions. And if you're wondering about sweaty smells, it has a charcoal-infused core that can fight bacteria and odor.
One reviewer wrote, "I have used this mat for a month now in hot and non-heated classes. Really need to have a sweat going to not have hand slippage. Before class, I have to spray the top of the mat with water to get the level of 'stick' that I need. It absorbs moisture really well, and I don't need a towel."
This extra-thick yoga mat (5 mm) is perfect for hot yoga with a topcoat that wicks away moisture. And the more sweat, the better—the mat gets stickier as it gets wet. One Amazon customer wrote, "I do heated Vinyasa flow and Bikram yoga, and this mat lasts throughout both types of classes. Sweat seems to be absorbed by the smooth black side to a point where the area is slightly moist but still grippy. I never migrate forward during downward dog and can do transitional jumps without worrying that I will slip. This mat is also very dense and provides amazing cushioning without destabilizing me during balancing poses."
This grippy mat is made of eco-friendly material, and it's recyclable, too. The surface has a body alignment system so you know exactly where to put your hands and feet for proper position and form. One reviewer wrote, "I do hot yoga daily and was looking for a non-slip mat that doesn't hold an odor. This mat has been so easy to clean and it doesn't hold odor and it dries quick. The mat for the most part is good at being non-slip."
Alo Yoga's Warrior mat has a matte top with a moisture-wicking and non-slip surface. One review reads, "This yoga mat is incredible! I've used it for three months now, and every single practice it keeps me in posture with zero slippage. I got this one and was skeptical at first, but as it gets hotter it gets grippier! I am so confident on this mat and my practice has only improved. I highly highly, highly recommend this mat. (Currently practicing 95 and 102 temperature classes at least three times a week)."
It's the best of both worlds with this one—it's a mat AND a towel. This mat encourages sweating because the manufacturer states that the wetter the mat, the better the grip. It has over 1300 ratings on Amazon and 4.5 stars.
One rave review says, "I practice hot yoga every day and I hang it up to dry. During my practices, I sweat a lot! This mat has great grip on the floor and doesn't slip at all! This mat really stays put! On the mat, I can really get deep into my poses with the grip."
With over 2300 ratings and 4.5 stars, the Jade Harmony mat is a best seller. The natural rubber material provides extra grip while its thickness provides extra cushion.
An Amazon reviewer left this funny comment, "I've been using Jade Yoga mats since 2012 when doing heated Vinyasa upwards of 10 hours a week. I tried every other 'sticky' mat out there, but when you're in 100-plus degree rooms doing a 90-minute flow and sweating like Nick Miller trying to keep a secret (I've been watching a lot of New Girl lately, sorry), Jade mats are the only ones that will keep you from slipping."
Try something new and opt for a cork mat. The top layer on this one is all-natural cork, while the bottom is made of lightweight rubber. The material will keep out moisture, not-so-fresh smells, and bacteria. And like a lot of other mats on this list, the damper the cork gets, the better the grip and traction.
"I've enjoyed using this mat in my Vinyasa and hot yoga practice for more than three months. The texture is supple and soft with a natural smell. Yet, as pliable as it is, it is not designed to be folded over. Use other props such as knee pads, meditation cushions, or bolsters for support in sitting or balancing poses," one Amazon reviewer wrote.
Next up: 7 Hot Yoga Tips for Beginners