Best thick yoga mats - stay comfortable and protect your joints while stretching with these picks

We’ve tested the best thick yoga mats, so you can enjoy getting zen

A selection of best thick yoga mats from various brands
(Image credit: Future)

If you love to flow but are after some extra comfort for your joints, we've got the roundup for the best thick yoga mats for you to relax into. While features like grip, design, and weight are important things to consider, treating yourself to some extra cushioning will allow you to fully focus on getting zen.

Having practiced yoga for a few years myself, I know the struggle of not being able to find the right mat for you. I've had ones that look amazing, straight out of a perfect Instagram shot, but have zero grip and limited cushioning, and I've had mats that have everything to offer in the grip and cushioning department but are heavy to carry around and uncomfortable to use over long periods. 

So I scoured through the best yoga mats out there to find the options with that extra bit of padding - and everything else to go with it. Whether you're looking to experience the benefits of yin yoga or get involved with yoga for weight loss, you can find the mat that offers the optimum support for your practice. 

How many mm thick should a yoga mat be?

A yoga mat should be 3mm thick, while thicker options are usually 5mm or above. Anything thinner than this and you risk not having adequate support for your back, feet, knees, and other parts of the body that come under pressure during the practice.

“Thicker mats provide extra cushioning for people with sensitive knee, ankle, and hip joints,” says Jamie Kent, founder of Yoga Download (opens in new tab). “They also support inversion poses, where sensitive neck muscles are sometimes weight-bearing, including postures such as headstand and shoulder stand."

She adds that they are also ideal for more passive yoga styles, such as yin yoga or restorative, where moves are often on the ground and are held for several minutes.

However, it's worth noting that the extra padding of thicker mats may feel nice for certain poses, but you're less connected to the floor. This could impact your ability to balance or land correctly during higher energy movements. 

Ultimately, how thick your yoga mat should be is down to what works for your body. Those who have been practicing for years to learn how to improve posture may need something entirely different from those getting into yoga for beginners, for example. Whatever you're into, even after one class you'll know that it's the mat that sits at the core of any session. And, just like us, they come in all shapes and sizes. This means there are plenty of options when it comes to deciding which one works best for you. 

The best thick yoga mats to buy right now

Gaiam Premium Mandala 6mm yoga mat

Gaiam Premium Mandala 6mm yoga mat

(Image credit: Amazon)
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1. Gaiam Premium Mandala 6mm yoga mat

Best overall thick yoga mat

Specifications

Material: PVC
Dimensions: 172cm x 61cm
Weight: 1.34kg
Thickness: 6mm

Reasons to buy

+
Latex-free
+
Anti-slip

Reasons to avoid

-
Slight aroma at first
-
Not great when wet

Looking for something both squishy and stylish? I find that Gaiam really deliver on comfort when it comes to their yoga mats generally, and this pick from their Premium range is no exception. Producing quality and durable buys is the reason they have been a leading yoga brand for a quarter of a century, so it’s a great choice for both beginners and more experienced yogis. 

What I loved most about this mat, and why it's out top pick of the best thick yoga mats, is that it's nowhere near as expensive as some of the rubber varieties but still offers great stability and grip. This is thanks to the PVC material, which as another plus, is totally phthalate-free so the whole family can use it. 

Plus, if this bold, purple design isn’t quite right for you, there are plenty of others in the range to choose from, including Citron Sundial (grey and yellow), Marrakesh (blue), and Metallic Sunset (dark red).

Manduka Pro Premium yoga mat 6mm

Manduka Pro Premium yoga mat 6mm

(Image credit: Manduka Pro)
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2. Manduka Pro Premium yoga mat 6mm

Best luxury thick yoga mat

Specifications

Material: Sustainable PVC
Dimensions: 180cm x 66cm
Weight: 3.4kg
Thickness: 6mm

Reasons to buy

+
Extra-long choice available
+
Ultimate grip

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Needs to be broken in

Looking for a durable mat that will last, literally, a whole lifetime? Step forward, the Manduka Pro. It’s called Pro for a reason: it’s a serious piece of kit, with a serious price tag, which will really suit hardcore yogis and those looking to delve deeper into the practice. 

It's so good, I found, that your grip tends to get better every time you use it thanks to the teacher-recommended medium grip level on the mat. I imagine it's one of the reasons why Manduka has the saying "practice makes a pro". 

Coming in at €139, it's a great choice for those with a bigger budget but if you're looking for something of high quality at a lower price point, you can't go wrong with the Gaiam Premium Mandala 6mm yoga mat. 

For something so expensive, I did find it slightly annoying that you have to break it in first, but the recommended salt scrub wipe down before use definitely helps with this. This thick yoga mat is made with PVC, holds well to the floor, has no chemical smell, and as it's heavy, it doesn't curl up at the ends - another huge plus in my books. If this one ticks all the right boxes for you but you are taller than average, there’s also a 215cm version available, with the same high spec.

Myga Pro 6mm thickness printed Woodland yoga mat

Myga Pro 6mm thickness printed Dreamer yoga mat

(Image credit: Amazon)
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3. Myga Woodland Pro Printed Yoga Mat

Best cheap thick yoga mat

Specifications

Material: PVC
Dimensions: 183cm x 61cm
Weight: 1.51kg
Thickness: 6mm

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with carry strap
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Slippery when wet
-
Slight smell at first

For beginners enjoying yoga at home, it's essential to have the right workout kit. Along with supportive elements like your pick of the best sports bras, or best sports bras for bigger boobs, it's essential to feel comfortable and relaxed.

This makes this particular thick yoga mat a must-buy for any newcomer to the exercise. At 6mm, I found it to be spongy and comfortable enough to get a deep stretch, without having all the materials that pull up the price. Plus, the embossed orange and purple “woodland” design go a long way to help you de-stress. 

This pick of our best thick yoga mats also has the benefit of being easy to carry around due to free strap that comes with it. 

Being a budget buy, the Myga Woodland Pro Printed Yoga Mat is made from lightweight PVC. It means you don't have to worry about spending loads on something that you may not use all the time, especially if you decide yoga or Pilates for beginners isn't really for you, but it does also mean that the grip isn't quite as good as some of the more expensive options.

If material is important to you, it's worth upgrading to one from Myga's vegan suede range, but for beginners who want to start the day with a morning stretch, it's the perfect pick. 

Yogamatters wellness mat

Yogamatters wellness mat

(Image credit: Yogamatters)
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4. Yogamatters everyday wellness mat

Best thick yoga mat for protecting joints

Specifications

Material: TPE
Dimensions: 183cm x 61cm
Weight: 1.2g
Thickness: 8mm

Reasons to buy

+
Reversible
+
Soft

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn’t always lie flat
-
Limited colour choice

Made from eco-friendly foam that’s free from toxins and nasties, at 8mm this is the spongiest buy in our round-up of the best thick yoga mats. So, it’s no wonder it’s been specially designed for people who want extra support when doing a workout. If your joints are uncomfortable when pressing too hard against the floor, it’s the optimum buy. 

But, unlike some extra-thick options, I found this mat to still be stable enough that you’re not bouncing around when trying to balance. You really do get value for money here. I loved the reversible design as you can choose which side you use, depending on where you are. One side has deeper grooves to stop it from slipping on the floor, while the other is textured to help make sure hands and feet can grip.

If color is important to you, the Lululemon Take Form yoga mat 5mm comes in several shades including beautiful blue blends, pinks, greens, and darker shades. 

Kin Primal yoga mat

Kin Primal yoga mat

(Image credit: Kin)
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5. Kin Primal yoga mat

Best thick rubber yoga mat

Specifications

Material: Natural rubber
Dimensions: 177cm x 65cm
Weight: 2.5kg
Thickness: 4mm

Reasons to buy

+
Feels thicker than it is
+
Good for balance

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
Regularly sells out

You might be wondering why a yoga mat that’s only 4mm is included in a round-up of the best thick yoga mats. That’s because, thanks to a clever air pocket layer, this premium yoga mat actually feels a lot thicker than it really is. In fact, I thought it felt at least 6mm thick thanks to the fibrous air pocket layer that sits under the closed-cell top layer. Along with being great for grip, this additional layer stops bacteria from being absorbed into the mat. 

But because it’s made from natural rubber, instead of being too foamy, this mat has a “harder” surface. While it won't be suitable for some, it's ideal for balancing poses like headstands and other strength training exercises.

Other benefits include a laser-etched animal print design, which has been positioned to help alignment. Yes, it’s expensive, but this one does come with a choice of a free carry strap or yoga towel, making it much more affordable. Be warned, though - these regularly sell out, so you may have to pre-order to make sure you get one. 

Lorna Jane Rising Moon Non Slip Yoga Mat

(Image credit: Lorna Jane)

6. Lorna Jane Rising Moon non slip yoga mat

Best lightweight thick yoga mat

Specifications

Material: Polyurethane/ natural rubber
Dimensions: 180cm x 66cm
Thickness: 5mm

Reasons to buy

+
Very lightweight
+
No slipping about
+
Pretty design

Reasons to avoid

-
Marks easily

This yoga mat from the cult Australian fitness-wear brand ticks so many boxes. At 5mm-thick, it feels lovely and cushioned but it's not so bouncy that you can't balance properly in tree pose. 

Additional thickness doesn't mean additional weight with this pick of best thick mats either. It's still light to transport so I believe it's the perfect pick if you're taking it on the move between home, office, and the studio for instance. There's also the fact that it's totally non-slip, which gave me the confidence to move quickly between positions during my yoga session. 

What's more, the mat's design really sets it apart from other plainer options. It comes in a beautiful pink shade, and also features pretty illustrations of a moon, stars, and flowers that will have you inhaling and exhaling as though you're out in nature. The teeny drawback is that its surface can mark easily, which is something to bear in mind for sweatier flows.

Lululemon Take Form yoga mat 5mm

(Image credit: Lululemon)

7. Lululemon Take Form yoga mat 5mm

Best stylish thick yoga mat

Specifications

Material: Natural rubber
Dimensions: 180cm x 66cm
Weight: 2.24kg
Thickness: 5mm

Reasons to buy

+
Great grip
+
Comfy but supportive
+
Slick design

Reasons to avoid

-
It's on the pricier side

The popular Canadian brand started out with yoga apparel, so it makes sense that they'd know how to create a mat that is perfectly fit for function. Oh, and one that is stylish too I found, with seven different color options. It's also made from sustainably sourced natural rubber. 

While this thick yoga mat may not come cheap, that is really its only downside. And even then, perhaps I'm searching around for something to criticize as I soon realized, just moments after taking it out, that it's true value for money. 

The 'Take Form' mat is 5mm thick. It also has what they describe as an "innovative" 3D texture, which helps you be guided by your sense of touch and feel your way around it - so you stay centered in poses without having to look down. Plus, I found that it offered one of the best grips out of all the yoga mats I tried. 

Jade Fusion Yoga Mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. Jade Fusion yoga mat

Best thick yoga mat for comfort

Specifications

Material: Rubber
Dimensions: 188cm x 61cm
Weight: 3.5kg
Thickness: 8mm

Reasons to buy

+
Super comfy
+
Extra long
+
Very grippy

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy to transport

This yoga mat feels more indulgently soft and squidgy than its 8mm thickness would suggest, making the likes of child's pose and shavasana even more of a restful treat. It's worth noting though that because it's so bouncy, it can make certain moves slightly more of a challenge to balance in. But it's rather a small price to pay when your joints feel so well supported. 

Added to this is the fact that the eco-friendly material sourced from rubber trees, with no PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber, has been molded into a mat with great grip. Additionally, I found it's a bit longer than regular mats or any of the others that I tried for this roundup of best thick yoga mats, so it's ideal for taller yogis. 

The heavy weight of it feels rather luxurious as well, however, this does mean it is more ideal for using at home rather than carrying about.

How we tested the best thick yoga mats

I tested all the mats in our guide through a rigorous process of multiple yoga sessions over a couple of weeks. These ranged from intense, cardio-based vinyasa yoga classes to gentle stretching for runners sessions in my living room. 

As I tested out each of the mats, this is what I was looking at: 

  • Thickness - every yoga mat I tried had to be above 3mm in thickness, as the minimum required to be a thick yoga mat. Anything above 4mm was great and all yoga mats above 5mm were prioritized as specialist mats. 
  • Grip - there's no point in having an extra thick mat if you're sliding around while trying to get into downward dog, so I evaluated all the mats based on their ability to assist the flow of my yoga sessions. The ones where I found myself slipping significantly after a while didn't make the list. 
  • Quality - what is the mat made out of? I assessed a range of materials like natural rubber, man-made rubber, and PVC to offer a choice out of a range of high-quality materials. 
  • Price - just because good yoga mats have to be made of quality material to meet our requirements doesn't mean they have to be expensive. Yoga should be an accessible activity for everyone, so as well as including some more luxury buys, we've included mats from across the market's price spectrum. 
Faye M Smith
Faye M Smith

Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021. Currently Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships.