Hot yoga is a form of yoga performed in hot and humid conditions, which results in considerable sweating.
In some classes, the temperature of the class is a way of replicating the heat and humidity of India, where the practice of Yoga originated from.
Some practitioners believe that the heated environment better prepares the body for movement and results in increased flexibility due to the warming effect on the muscles. The workout is also more intense, meaning you burn more calories.
While the yoga practice itself is not too dissimilar from normal yoga, due to the increased temperature, you need a slightly different mat to get the most out of your hot yoga practice.
Due to the heated environment which will make you sweat far more than usual, it’s vital that you have a non-slip surface with added grip and traction so that you can hold your poses without slipping. You’ll also want a mat that is made of a moisture-wicking, quick-dry material that can be easily cleaned or wiped down.
To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a list of our best yoga mats for hot yoga, complete with a buyer’s guide so you know exactly what to look out for.
Top 5 Best Yoga Mats for Hot Yoga
OUR TOP PICK
This non-slip yoga mat from Heathyoga is not only perfect for hot yoga but doesn’t have the expensive price tag attached, either. Another highlight of this mat is that it’s completely eco-friendly; it’s made of SGS-certified TPE material which is non-slip, odorless, and free of Latex and PVC which can be harmful to the skin, as well as the environment.
This mat is also double-sided, so can be used for both regular and hot yoga. On one side you’ll find the moisture-wicking, non-slip surface for hot yoga, while on the other you’ll find the printed Body Alignment System which helps you focus and adjust your hands and feet to ensure you’re in the correct position.
The 6mm cushioning provides a comfortable surface to practice on without being an extra weight to carry, and the anti-tear tri-layer design means this mat is extra durable and can withstand intense regular use.
TPEs are generally low modulus and flexible materials that can be stretched repeatedly without the risk of tearing. The extra middle-mesh layer also makes this mat far more durable than those with single or dual layers.
The mat weighs in at just 2.8lbs and comes with an additional carrying strap to make it easy to transport to and from the studio. The extra-large size (72"x 26") provides you with plenty of space to get the most out of your stretches, while the closed-cell surface makes this mat easy to clean as moisture won’t penetrate the material - simply wash down with mild soap and leave to air dry.
- More affordable than other options on the market
- Eco-friendly materials, free from PVC and Latex
- Double-sided so excellent for hot or regular yoga
- Body Alignment System helps you maintain correct alignment
- The anti-tear tri-layer design makes this mat super durable
- Lightweight, extra-large design for portability and maximum space
- Easy to clean down thanks to closed-cell surface
- Some people found that the corners of this mat roll-up and need to be weighed down
If a 2-in-1 towel and mat isn’t for you, but you still want added grip, why not try the pro non-slip mat from IUGA? Made from eco-friendly and SGS certified material for hot yoga, this mat has the traction of rubber without the unpleasant rubbery smell, plus the skin-friendly material keeps odors at bay.
We also loved the size of this mat: it comes in an extra-large size (72”X26”) yet is still super lightweight, weighing in at just 2.5lbs. This makes it perfect for traveling and convenient for taking to work or going about your day before class.
All of Iuga’s products are 100% eco-friendly and this mat is no different. Made of biodegradable tree rubber and free from PVC and Latex, not only is this mat safe for those with allergies, but you can rest assured that the materials are sustainably harvested, too. It’s also really durable, so you won’t find the flaking, stretching, or ripping that often comes with cheaper mats.
The 5mm cushion base means that you’ll still get the comfort of usual yoga mats - without having to worry about your mat getting drenched in sweat and slipping beneath your feet. Ultimately, this mat combines practicality with comfort for an optimal yoga experience.
- Non-slip material
- 100% environmentally friendly and sustainable
- 5mm cushion base for comfort
- PVC and Latex-free
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Keeps odor at bay, and doesn’t have that rubber smell!
- Range of colors
- Comes in an extra-large size
- Difficult to clean due to the “sticky” surface that provides the non-slip factor
The Synergy Hot Yoga Mat by Aurorae is Patent Protected due to its unique design that has been specially developed with hot yoga in mind. Versatility is at the core of this mat, as the 2-in-1 design has a special towel material on one side and Aurorae’s 5mm patented PER yoga mat on the other.
If you’ve done hot yoga before, you may have been advised to place a towel on top of your mat. However, this is extremely annoying as it can bunch up or slip out of place as you move on top of it.
Instead, this mat features a plush, non-slip microfiber towel as the top surface which improves its grip the wetter the mat gets. Because the mat and towel surface are fused, you can use this mat for both hot yoga and normal yoga, without having to purchase separate mats.
You needn’t worry if you’ve got a Latex allergy either - this mat is SGS tested and approved, and is free from Latex, Silicone, and Phthalates. Aurorae is a Small Family Business creating innovative yoga products, and they’re so confident in their Synergy mat that they offer a 2 Year Guarantee with it.
While it’s not the cheapest product out there, this mat is one of a kind, and the quality of the materials and the design makes it worth the money, in our opinion.
- 2-in-1 design - towel on one side, mat on the other
- Non-slip surface specially designed for hot yoga
- SGS tested and approved, free from Latex, Silicone, and Phthalates
- Range of colors available
- 2-year guarantee
- Not the cheapest option
This yoga mat from Gaiam is specifically designed for hot yoga, and the hotter you get, the easier the mat is to grip, thanks to the special stickiness that develops when the mat gets damp.
Constructed from a PVC material, this mat ensures you stay secure and slip-free when practicing and the PVC material seals out germs, odor, and bacteria.
The topcoat wicks away moisture to provide extra traction, while the 5mm cushioning is soft on your joints and provides a comfortable and relaxing surface to meditate or practice yoga on without the destabilizing effect some thick mats can have.
This mat is more durable than others on the market thanks to its PVC design and will last longer than some of the more expensive competitors. It’s also environmentally conscious, and it's manufactured free of the top six most harmful phthalates, meaning you can practice with peace of mind.
This mat is praised for its moisture-absorbing properties that eliminate the need for a towel and make this mat ideal for both normal and hot yoga. For normal yoga, some users spray the mat with a little water for added grip if you’re not sweating as much.
- Added grip the more you sweat
- 5mm cushioning
- Seals out odor, germs, and moisture
- Manufactured free of harmful phthalates
- Can be used by those with Latex sensitivities
- The mat may fade and become brittle and unusable if exposed to the sun for extended periods - use indoors only
- PVC isn’t the most eco-friendly
If you’re tired of carrying around a yoga mat and towel to every hot yoga session, it’s worth investing in this combination mat from Yoga Design Lab. This mat comes in a range of mesmerizing designs and patterns, meaning it'll stand out from the crowd while also enhancing your yoga practice.
Just like the Synergy mat from Aurorae, this combo mat has a moisture-wicking towel on one side to absorb sweat and improve traction while you move. We liked this yoga mat because it easily rolls up and can be carried with the handy strap. Made from natural tree rubber and microfiber from recycled bottles, this mat is perfect for the eco-conscious yogi, and also makes a great gift.
You needn’t worry about cleaning your mat either - simply throw this Combo mat in the machine and hang it out to air-dry - you won’t fade the design either as these mats have been designed to last. There are a few extra perks to buying from YDL - buy two or more products from them and get 10% off your order, plus $1 from each purchase goes towards funding youth yoga programs.
- 2-in-1 towel and mat perfect for hot yoga
- Environmentally-friendly materials
- Improved grip and traction
- Easy to wash and dry
- Can be rolled up like a normal yoga mat
- It’s pretty expensive for a yoga mat!
Best Yoga Mat for Hot Yoga Buying Guide
The key feature for any hot yoga mat needs to be the non-slip surface. Because you sweat more in hot yoga, a normal yoga mat will get slippery to practice on. Hot yoga mats need to be moisture-wicking so that they remain dry despite the increased temperature.
Most mats that are specially designed for hot yoga feature a closed-cell technology to keep odor and moisture from penetrating the surface, while many also become easier to grip the wetter they become. This can make some mats unsuitable for normal practice, where you won’t sweat as much. If you’re looking for something more versatile, look out for a double-sided mat.
Some 2-in-1 mats feature a microfiber towel surface which can be highly effective at absorbing moisture and providing added traction. It also eliminates the need for an additional towel.
As mentioned above, a moisture-wicking surface is essential for hot yoga, and some of the best mats feature a towel side specially designed for hot yoga.
- If that isn’t your thing, TPE yoga mats (thermoplastics) are a rubber-like material designed to be elastic and flexible and have a gel-like quality that makes them easy to grip onto.
- On the other hand, PVC is great for that “sticky” feel, but sadly this isn’t eco-friendly.
- The best of both worlds is the all-natural rubber yoga mat - these have the most slip-resistance thanks to their being open-celled, meaning that the mat will "suction" to hands and feet for added grip. This material also provides a premium cushioning experience without damaging the environment.
- Foam is inexpensive and long-lasting, however, it’s also usually thinner and won’t provide the suction and grip required for hot yoga.
If you’re a yoga enthusiast, it’s highly likely that you take an interest in the environment and natural world, too.
If you’re environmentally conscious and want a sustainable yoga mat, you’re in luck, as there’s more on the market than ever before.
- Look out for TPE yoga mats as these are an eco-friendly foam material that replaces older options such as PVC and unnatural rubber. TPE mats are 100% biodegradable, recyclable, and hypoallergenic.
- All-natural rubber is also a great alternative to the traditional foam mat and will provide you with a non-slip surface that’s perfect for hot yoga, without damaging the environment.
- Avoid materials such as PVC, Rubber, Latex, Chlorides, and Lead, as while these may provide a non-slip surface, they’re environmentally damaging, and aren’t too friendly on sensitive skin, either!
There isn’t a particular thickness when it comes to the ideal hot yoga mat, as this is largely dependent on personal preference.
However, here are a few things you should know:
- 6mm Yoga Mats are by far the most popular in the industry as it's a size that has proven to be both durable and cushioning. Most modern mats are still lightweight despite this thickness, but avoid heavier mats that can’t be carried around easily.
- 3mm Yoga Mats still provide plenty of support and durability without the added weight.
- 2mm Yoga Mats are ultra-thin and invented for travel, but these won’t provide you with much cushioning or traction, making them unsuitable for hot yoga.
- 12mm Yoga Mats are the thickest yoga mats out there, but the super-cushioned surface makes balancing difficult, meaning they’re better suited for pilates rather than yoga.
A good quality yoga mat can cost anything between $30 to $100. However, hot yoga mats are usually a little more expensive due to the materials they use to increase the suction and grip of the mat’s surface.
If you can afford to, it’s worth spending that little bit extra for a great quality mat, as it will pay for itself in time. That said, if you are on a tighter budget, there are plenty of more affordable options available, for example, Heathyoga's Eco-Friendly Non-Slip Yoga Mat.
Because of the amount you sweat during hot yoga, it’s important that your mat is not only moisture-wicking but easy to clean, too.
How you clean your mat depends on the material it’s made of, and the manufacturer’s recommendations, so check both of these things beforehand.
- Most mats can be easily sprayed down with an antibacterial spray or homemade spray of white vinegar and water. These are great for most materials and will keep your mat fresh after each practice.
- For a more thorough clean every so often, you can use a mild soap, water, and brush to clean down your mat, and then let it air-dry. However, this isn’t appropriate for PU mats, as water will stain them.
- If your mat needs a deep clean (and isn’t made of PU), you can submerge the mat for 15 to 20 minutes in cold water with a sprinkling of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), which will lift stubborn stains and odors.
- While some yoga mats can be machine washed, this is generally not advisable as it will wear your mat down quicker and fade any of the design features or color.
- Always air-dry your mat for at least 24 hours, and keep it out of direct sunlight as this will fade any beautiful designs, and will also cause the mat to become stiff and brittle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I wash my yoga mat?
This depends on how often you practice, and your personal preference. It’s worth using a yoga mat spray or antibacterial spray after each practice, particularly if you’re doing hot yoga, as this will keep odor and moisture at bay.
You can give your mat a deeper clean every couple of weeks or however often you see fit. It’s also a good idea to always use your mat with clean feet and to take a towel to practice with you, as this will minimize moisture on the mat’s surface.
Do I need a mat towel for hot yoga?
It’s a good idea to have a towel on-hand when doing hot yoga, but using a mat towel depends on your mat. While a mat towel protects your mat and keeps it dry, some mats have a special 2-in-1 design with a towel side for hot yoga.
Some people also find that a towel bunches beneath them and doesn’t provide enough stability and grip, in which case, you may prefer to practice on a non-slip mat without a towel on top.
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