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Best Yoga Mats for Hot Yoga Beginners - Top 5 Picks

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Yoga comes in many forms, but one style that's gaining popularity, especially among beginners, is hot yoga. In hot yoga, participants practice in a heated room, intensifying the physical and mental benefits of traditional yoga. While the warmth enhances flexibility and detoxification, it also brings forth the need for a suitable yoga mat.

The right yoga mat is crucial for a successful hot yoga experience, especially for beginners. It's not just about having a comfortable spot to stretch and pose; the mat plays a significant role in ensuring stability, preventing slips, and supporting joints during the intense heat and movement.

This blog post aims to guide hot yoga beginners in choosing the perfect yoga mat. We'll explore key factors to consider, such as thickness, material, and texture, to help you make an informed decision.

By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of what makes choosing the best mat for hot yoga beginners - and off course - make your journey into this heated practice more enjoyable and effective.

hot yoga mat

What to Look for in a Hot Yoga Mat

When searching for the perfect hot yoga mat, it's essential to consider several key factors that can significantly impact your practice. Here's a breakdown of what to look for:


1. Optimal Thickness for Hot Yoga

  • Hot yoga enthusiasts often find that a slightly thicker mat provides better comfort during the practice.

  • Look for mats with a thickness ranging between 4mm to 6mm, striking a balance between support and a connection to the floor.

2. Impact on Joint Support and Stability

  • The thickness of your yoga mat directly influences joint support during hot yoga sessions.

  • Thicker mats can cushion joints, offering enhanced stability, especially crucial during challenging poses in the heat.


1. Importance of Non-Slip Materials

  • Non-slip materials are paramount for a hot yoga mat due to the increased likelihood of sweating.

  • Opt for mats made from natural rubber or polyurethane, known for their excellent grip even in humid conditions.

2. Eco-friendly Options

  • Consider the environmental impact of your mat choice.

  • Many hot yoga mats now come in eco-friendly materials, contributing to sustainability while providing the necessary performance.


1. Enhanced Grip for Sweaty Palms

  • Texture plays a crucial role in ensuring a secure grip, especially if you tend to have sweaty palms during your practice.

  • Mats with textured surfaces or microfiber tops provide additional grip, preventing slips.

2. Comfort During Poses

  • The texture of the mat should enhance overall comfort during various poses.

  • Choose a mat with a texture that feels comfortable against your skin, facilitating a more enjoyable and focused practice.

Considering these factors when selecting your hot yoga mat ensures that you find one that aligns with your needs, promoting a safer and more fulfilling yoga experience in the heated studio.

Best Mat for Hot Yoga for Beginners

The Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat is our top pick for hot yoga beginners.


  1. Natural Cork Surface:

  • One of the standout features of the Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat is its surface made of natural cork. This provides a unique and comfortable feel during practice, enhancing the overall yoga experience.

  1. Excellent Grip:

  • The cork surface delivers exceptional grip, even in the midst of a hot yoga session where sweating is inevitable. It ensures stability during poses, reducing the risk of slips and enhancing overall safety.

  1. Eco-Friendly Material:

  • We appreciate Gaiam's commitment to sustainability. The mat is made from natural cork, a renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice for environmentally conscious yogis.

  1. Ample Thickness:

  • With a thickness of 5mm, the Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat strikes a balance between comfort and stability. It provides adequate cushioning for joints without compromising the connection to the floor, making it suitable for hot yoga sessions.

  1. Durable Construction:

  • The mat exhibits durability, holding up well to the rigors of regular hot yoga practice. This longevity ensures that it's a worthwhile investment for individuals committed to their yoga journey.


  1. Price Point:

  • While the Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat offers excellent features, it comes at a slightly higher price point compared to some other mats on the market. However, considering its quality and durability, many users find it justifies the cost.

  1. Weight:

  • The mat is somewhat heavier compared to standard yoga mats. This may be a consideration for those who prioritize portability, especially if they plan to carry the mat to and from the studio frequently.


  1. Dimensions:

  • The Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat provides ample space for various poses, measuring at standard dimensions of 68" x 24". This ensures comfort and freedom of movement during your practice.

  1. Easy to Clean:

  • Cleaning is a breeze with this mat. Its cork surface is naturally antimicrobial, resisting the buildup of odor and bacteria. A simple wipe-down with a damp cloth after each session is all it takes to keep it fresh.

  1. Attractive Design:

  • The mat boasts an aesthetically pleasing design with subtle patterns on the cork surface. This adds a touch of style to your yoga practice.

Why We Like It for Hot Yoga:

The Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat stands out as an excellent choice for hot yoga enthusiasts due to its natural cork surface, providing an unparalleled grip even in sweaty conditions. The eco-friendly materials, ample thickness, and overall durability make it a reliable companion for those seeking a high-performance mat for their heated yoga sessions.

Despite a slightly higher price, the Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat is a worthwhile investment for individuals who prioritize quality, sustainability, and an enhanced yoga experience.


The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is the premium choice for those who want the best of the best. It's a heavyweight mat known for its longevity and comfort. While it might be a bit pricey, it's a long-term investment for your yoga journey.


  1. Exceptional Durability:

  • The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is renowned for its durability. Crafted from closed-cell PVC material, this mat is designed to withstand the test of time, making it an excellent long-term investment for serious yogis.

  1. Generous Cushioning:

  • With a thickness of 6mm, the Manduka PRO provides ample cushioning for joints and sensitive areas. This feature ensures a comfortable practice, even during extended sessions or poses that put more pressure on specific body parts.

  1. Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly:

  • For environmentally conscious practitioners, the Manduka PRO is a sustainable choice. It is manufactured without harmful toxins, latex, or any harmful chemicals, contributing to a healthier practice and a greener planet.

  1. Outstanding Support and Stability:

  • The mat's dense material and superior craftsmanship offer excellent support and stability. It remains steadfast on the floor, providing a secure foundation for various yoga poses, including those practiced in hot yoga sessions.

  1. Closed-Cell PVC Material:

  • The closed-cell PVC material not only enhances durability but also prevents moisture and bacteria from being absorbed into the mat. This feature makes it a hygienic choice, especially in hot yoga environments where sweating is prevalent.


  1. Initial Break-In Period:

  • Some users note that the Manduka PRO requires a break-in period to achieve optimal slip resistance. During the initial uses, it may feel slightly slippery, but with consistent practice, the mat's grip improves.

  1. Weight and Portability:

  • The Manduka PRO is a sturdy and robust mat, but this comes at the cost of added weight. While the weight contributes to its stability, it may be a consideration for those who prioritize portability and need to carry the mat frequently.


  1. Dimensions:

  • The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat provides ample space with standard dimensions of 71" x 26", accommodating practitioners of various heights and body types.

  1. Closed-Cell PVC Material:

  • This feature not only enhances durability and stability but also makes the mat easy to clean. Its closed-cell construction prevents moisture, bacteria, and odors from being absorbed into the mat.

  1. Lifetime Guarantee:

  • Manduka stands by the quality of its PRO Yoga Mat with a lifetime guarantee. This reflects the brand's confidence in the mat's durability and performance.

Why We Like It:

The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is a standout choice for those seeking a mat that combines durability, support, and eco-friendly materials. Its dense structure and generous cushioning make it ideal for hot yoga, providing a stable and comfortable platform for a variety of poses.

While there may be a brief break-in period and the mat is heavier than some alternatives, the Manduka PRO's overall performance and lifetime guarantee make it a top pick for serious yogis committed to their practice.


3. Liforme Yoga Mat (Eco-Friendly Choice)

The Liforme Yoga Mat is an eco-conscious option designed for those who prioritize sustainability and functionality. This mat boasts exceptional grip and alignment guides, making it ideal for beginners who want to improve their practice.


  1. Revolutionary Grip Technology:

  • The Liforme Original Yoga Mat is celebrated for its revolutionary grip technology. The specially engineered polyurethane surface provides an exceptional grip, ensuring stability during poses, even in the heat and humidity of hot yoga sessions.

  1. Alignment Guide:

  • A unique feature of the Liforme mat is the alignment guide etched onto the surface. This visual guide assists practitioners in maintaining proper alignment during poses, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and seasoned yogis looking to refine their practice.

  1. Eco-Friendly Construction:

  • The mat is constructed from biodegradable, non-toxic natural rubber, promoting sustainability without compromising performance. For environmentally conscious yogis, this makes the Liforme Original a commendable choice.

  1. Optimal Thickness:

  • With a thickness of 4.2mm, the mat strikes a balance between comfort and stability. It provides adequate cushioning for joints while maintaining a strong connection to the floor, essential for balance and support in hot yoga poses.

  1. Complimentary Yoga Bag:

  • The inclusion of a free yoga bag is a thoughtful addition. The bag is not only convenient for carrying the mat but also enhances portability and makes it easier to maintain the mat's cleanliness.


  1. Price Point:

  • The Liforme Original Yoga Mat is positioned at a higher price point compared to some other mats in the market. However, many users find the investment justified given the mat's unique features and exceptional performance.

  1. Slight Rubber Smell:

  • Some users note a slight rubber smell upon initial use. While this dissipates over time, it may be a consideration for those sensitive to odors.


  1. Dimensions:

  • The Liforme Original Yoga Mat offers a spacious practice area with dimensions of 72.8" x 26.8", providing ample space for a variety of yoga poses.

  1. Biodegradable and Non-Toxic Material:

  • The mat is made from eco-friendly, biodegradable natural rubber, free from harmful chemicals, making it a safe and sustainable choice for conscientious consumers.

  1. Alignment Guide:

  • The alignment guide, known as the "AlignForMe" system, consists of etched lines and markers to assist practitioners in achieving proper alignment and posture.

  1. Durable Construction:

  • The Liforme Original is known for its durability, maintaining its integrity even with regular use. This durability ensures a long-lasting investment for yoga enthusiasts.

Why We Like It:

The Liforme Original Yoga Mat stands out as a top-tier choice for practitioners seeking an unparalleled grip, alignment guidance, and eco-friendly construction.

The inclusion of a complimentary yoga bag adds to its value, making it a convenient and practical choice for those who prioritize both performance and sustainability in their yoga practice.

While the initial investment may be higher, the Liforme Original delivers on its promises, making it a favorite among yogis committed to advancing their practice.


4. Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat (Budget-Friendly Option)

If you're on a budget but still want a reliable mat for your hot yoga sessions, the Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat is a great option. It offers the cushioning and grip you need without breaking the bank.


  1. Ample Thickness for Comfort:

  • The Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat lives up to its name, providing a generous 2/5-inch (10mm) thickness that delivers exceptional comfort and cushioning during yoga practice. This makes it an excellent choice for those who prioritize joint support and comfort.

  1. Lightweight and Portable:

  • Unlike some bulkier yoga mats, this Gaiam Essentials mat is lightweight and easy to carry. It's a practical option for individuals who prefer the convenience of a portable mat, whether for home practice or taking it to the studio.

  1. Non-Toxic PVC Material:

  • Crafted from non-toxic PVC material, this mat is free from harmful chemicals, promoting a safe and healthy yoga environment. The material is durable, ensuring that the mat withstands regular use without compromising on performance.

  1. Affordability:

  • One of the standout features of the Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat is its affordability. It provides excellent value for the price, making it an accessible option for individuals on a budget or those who are just starting their yoga journey.

  1. Non-Slip Surface:

  • The mat boasts a non-slip surface that helps maintain stability during various poses. This feature is particularly beneficial for beginners or those who engage in practices that involve movement and transitions.


  1. Limited Color Options:

  • The Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat comes in a somewhat limited range of colors. While this might not be a deal-breaker for many, those looking for a specific aesthetic might find the options a bit restrictive.

  1. Less Eco-Friendly:

  • Unlike some other mats on the market, this Gaiam mat is not marketed as an eco-friendly option. For individuals prioritizing sustainability in their purchasing decisions, this may be a consideration.


  1. Dimensions:

  • The Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat provides a standard practice area with dimensions of 72" x 24", accommodating a variety of yoga poses comfortably.

  1. Easy to Clean:

  • Maintenance is hassle-free with this mat. Its easy-to-clean surface allows for quick wiping after use, ensuring that the mat stays fresh and hygienic.

  1. Textured Surface:

  • The textured surface enhances grip and prevents slipping during practice, adding to the overall stability and safety of the mat.

  1. Versatility:

  • Suitable for various styles of yoga, the Gaiam Essentials mat is a versatile option that caters to practitioners with different preferences and needs.

Why We Like It:

The Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat is a reliable and budget-friendly option that doesn't compromise on comfort or quality. Its ample thickness provides a comfortable practice surface, and the non-slip texture ensures stability during poses.

With affordability, portability, and easy maintenance, this mat is an excellent choice for beginners and anyone seeking a practical and functional yoga mat without breaking the bank.


5. Jade Yoga Harmony Mat (Eco-Friendly Option)

For a high-quality yoga mat designed to elevate your hot yoga sessions, the JadeYoga Harmony Mat is a premium choice, prioritizing sustainability with its natural rubber construction and delivering superior grip and durability.


  1. Eco-Friendly Natural Rubber:

  • The JadeYoga Harmony Yoga Mat stands out for its commitment to eco-friendliness. Made from natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, it's a sustainable choice for environmentally conscious yogis. The mat is free from PVC, EVA, or other synthetic materials, contributing to a healthier planet.

  1. Superior Grip, Especially When Sweating:

  • The natural rubber surface provides an outstanding grip, even during intense hot yoga sessions where sweating is prevalent. This feature enhances stability and minimizes the risk of slipping, allowing practitioners to focus on their practice with confidence.

  1. Optimal Thickness and Cushioning:

  • With a thickness of 4.8mm, the JadeYoga Harmony strikes a balance between comfort and stability. It provides ample cushioning for joints without sacrificing the firmness required for balance and support during various poses.

  1. Durable and Long-Lasting:

  • The mat's open-cell rubber construction contributes to its durability. It resists wear and tear, ensuring a long lifespan even with regular use. This durability makes it a wise investment for those committed to a consistent yoga practice.

  1. Variety of Colors:

  • The JadeYoga Harmony is available in a range of vibrant and calming colors. This not only adds a touch of personalization to your practice but also allows users to express their style through their yoga mat.


  1. Initial Rubber Smell:

  • Some users report a mild rubber smell upon initial use. While this dissipates over time, it might be noticeable for those sensitive to odors. Regular airing and cleaning can help accelerate the dissipation process.

  1. Higher Price Point:

  • The JadeYoga Harmony is positioned at a higher price point compared to some other mats on the market. However, many users find the investment justifiable given the mat's eco-friendly materials, superior grip, and overall quality.


  1. Dimensions:

  • The JadeYoga Harmony offers a spacious practice area with dimensions of 68" x 24", providing ample space for a variety of yoga poses.

  1. Closed-Cell Natural Rubber:

  • The closed-cell construction prevents moisture, bacteria, and odors from being absorbed into the mat, promoting hygiene and ease of cleaning.

  1. Tree Planting Initiative:

  • For every JadeYoga mat sold, the company plants a tree. This initiative aligns with their commitment to environmental sustainability and conservation.

  1. Exceptional Traction:

  • The open-cell rubber texture provides exceptional traction, keeping the mat firmly in place even during dynamic and challenging sequences.

Why We Like It:

The JadeYoga Harmony Yoga Mat impresses with its dedication to sustainability, exceptional grip, and optimal thickness. It's a top choice for individuals seeking an eco-friendly option without compromising on performance.

While the initial rubber smell and higher price point may be considerations, the long-lasting quality and positive impact on the environment make the JadeYoga Harmony a favorite among those who prioritize both performance and eco-conscious choices in their yoga practice.

rolling up a yoga mat

Tips for Maintaining Your Hot Yoga Mat

Cleaning and Hygiene:

  1. Regular Cleaning:

  • Clean your hot yoga mat after each session to remove sweat, bacteria, and odors. Use a gentle cleanser or a mixture of water and mild soap.

  1. Natural Disinfectants:

  • Consider using natural disinfectants like tea tree oil or vinegar to maintain a clean and hygienic surface.

Storage Recommendations:

  1. Air Drying:

  • Allow your hot yoga mat to air dry completely before rolling it up for storage to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.

  1. Avoid Direct Sunlight:

  • Store your mat away from direct sunlight to prevent color fading and potential damage to the material.

  1. Use a Mat Bag:

  • Invest in a breathable mat bag to keep your mat protected during transportation and storage.

When to Replace Your Yoga Mat:

  • Visible Wear and Tear:

  • Replace your mat if you notice visible signs of wear and tear, such as peeling, flaking, or thinning.

  • Decreased Grip:

  • If the mat's grip diminishes, making it challenging to maintain stability during poses, it's time for a new one.

  • Unpleasant Odors:

  • Persistent and unpleasant odors that cleaning doesn't eliminate may indicate that it's time for a fresh mat.


In conclusion, maintaining a clean and well-cared-for hot yoga mat is essential to ensure a hygienic and effective practice. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and timely replacement when signs of wear appear contribute to the longevity of your mat and, ultimately, your yoga journey.

As we recap the key considerations for hot yoga mats, it becomes evident that investing time and care into your mat directly impacts the quality of your practice. To beginners embarking on their yoga journey, finding the right mat is a personal exploration.

Whether it's the thickness, material, or texture that resonates with your practice, don't shy away from trying different options until you discover the one that complements your needs.

As we encourage beginners to seek their ideal mat, it's equally important to reflect on the holistic benefits of hot yoga – from increased flexibility to mental focus and detoxification.

Coupled with a proper mat, the benefits of hot yoga can truly be maximized, fostering a fulfilling and transformative yoga experience.

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