The 9 best thick yoga mats in 2024, tried and tested by yogis for maximum support

Tried and tested by the woman&home health team, the best thick yoga mats will protect your joints and keep your zen

A selection of the best thick yoga mats from Manduka, Gaiam and Lululemon
(Image credit: Manduka / Gaiam / Lululemon)

The best thick yoga mats are great for those who like to flow with extra comfort around the joints. These mats tend to be padded out with additional grip and have a heavier, stabilising weight that allows you to focus fully on your session. 

Sitting among the best yoga mats, thick yoga mats are a good option for anyone looking for a little more support in their practice. "Whether you're a newbie yogi or a decades-long devotee, thicker mats provide extra cushioning for sensitive knees, ankles, and hip joints," says yoga instructor Jamie Kent. "They also support inversion poses, where the neck muscles are weight-bearing, like headstand and shoulder-stand variations."

When choosing a thick yoga mat, most people want a non-slip mat with all the great stabilising qualities - but are worried about choosing a mat that goes too far the other way. A mat that's too thick may be unstable, heavy to carry, hard to store, and difficult to roll out. That's why we've scoured a huge selection to bring you a tried-and-tested edit of the best thick yoga mats. Over several sessions, we've tested these mats to review their thickness, grip, design and weight, and spoken to the experts to reveal which ones are worth buying. 

The best thick yoga mats as tested by us

How we tested the best thick yoga mats

The woman&home health team and our expert testers put all the thick yoga mats in this guide to the test through multiple yoga sessions, ranging from intense cardio-based Vinyasa yoga classes to gentle stretching sessions. We also tested the mats in HIIT classes and strength training workouts at home and even used one mat as a base for an indoor cycling set-up. 

The mats were initially tested last year. However, we've reviewed them again in 2024 once again and can confirm these are the very best thick yoga mats to buy.

When reviewing the mats, we considered the following criteria: 

  • Thickness: Every yoga mat we tried had to be above 4mm thick as the minimum required to be a thick yoga mat. Anything above 6mm was great and all yoga mats above 8mm were prioritised as specialist mats. 
  • Grip: Was the mat non-slip? We noted whether each mat offered plenty of grip and support. After all, you don't want to be sliding around while trying to get into downward dog. 
  • Design: Not only did we look at the designs and colourways on offer, but we also evaluated the materials. We tested mats made from everything from natural rubber and man-made rubber to PVC.
  • Weight: A weighty mat will feel luxe and durable, and it could help with stability, but for those who want a yoga mat for on-the-go, a lightweight option is best. We considered a range of weights to highlight the best ones in each category.
  • Price: When testing, we also considered the price. Quality yoga mats don't have to be expensive, and sometimes it's best to opt for a budget option if you're new to the practice. Yoga should be an accessible activity for everyone, so as well as including luxury buys, we've included mats from across the market's price spectrum. 

A photograph of a selection of the best thick yoga mats, tried and tested by the health team

(Image credit: Ciara McGinley/Future)

How thick should a yoga mat be?

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A yoga mat should be 3mm thick, while thicker options are usually 6mm or above. Anything thinner than 3mm 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.

When figuring out how to choose a yoga mat you like, thickness should be a consideration. For maximum thickness, opt for a mat of at least 8mm, but a mat of at least 6mm should be enough to support the major joints in the body. 

Ultimately, how thick your yoga mat should be is down to you and your practice. "There is no real ideal thickness for a yoga mat, it all depends on the person practising, style of yoga being practised and where the practice is taking place," Georgie Davies, a yoga teacher who teaches vinyasa yoga as well as gentler classes, tells us. 

"For instance, you may not need as much padding in the mat if you're practising at home on carpet compared to the wooden floor of a studio," says Georgie, who also created an online yoga platform, Yogipod. "If the class you're taking explores a lot of postures on the hands and knees or if you have any conditions that make that uncomfortable then more padding would be ideal."

It's also 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. 

"Thicker mats can make it harder to find balance in one-legged postures such as Vrksasana (tree pose) or stability in standing postures due to the depth of padding underneath the foot," explains Georgie. "This can be mitigated though by moving balancing postures off the mat so that the padding is there when required and also creating more stability and strength in the ankles, feet and legs."

Georgie Davis

Georgie Davies is a certified yoga teacher and founder of Yogipod, a business of handprinted yoga props and homewares.  

Ciara McGinley

Ciara McGinley is a meditation practitioner and health journalist. She qualified as a meditation teacher with the British School of Meditation in 2020 and is the founder of Finding Quiet, a series of classes, workshops and retreats that combine meditation practices and mindfulness techniques to make mindful living realistic in an always-switched-on modern world. She is all about bettering that mind-body connection but believes wellness looks different to everyone.

Ciara is also the former Health Channel Editor at woman&home and has covered all things health and wellbeing for years, from fitness to sleep to relationships.