The yoga mat is designed to offer more protection and traction than the floor provides.
The unfortunate thing is that once sweat begins to drip down, most mats will start to fail you.
The best yoga mats for sweaty conditions are made using special textures, materials, and designs that retain grip even when moisture is involved.
However, most options currently available are marketed as “non-slip yoga mats” and it can be hard to know which ones are actually capable of delivering and which ones are not.
Fortunately, you can use feedback from actual users of the mats to determine this.
Instead of risking your hard-earned money with a trial-and-error strategy, it is better to simply check out reviews, take with people in your yoga class, or ask your friends to find out how specific mats actually performed when it came to moisture, sweat, and slippery conditions.
Don’t worry we’ve done the work for you and talked to actual buyers have used these mats for Pilates, Bikram, and hot yoga, and some have sworn to never again use anything else.
The great thing about many of these yoga mats is that the non-slip material is not the sole selling point.
Some are non-toxic and eco-friendly, some feature beautiful designs so that you will have the most captivating mat in the class, while others feature extra thickness to ensure that your joints and knees are adequately protected.
The Best Yoga Mats for Hot Yoga
1. Clever Yoga’s Natural Anti-bacterial Yoga Mat Keeps Germs and Odors Away
Clever Yoga Non-Slip Yoga Mat: This mat from Clever Yoga features a thin top layer that absorbs moisture and wicks the sweat away, which is why many refer to it as the best yoga mat they have ever used.
It is an eco-friendly mat that skips harmful toxins, latex, PVC, and instead uses sustainably harvested real biodegradable tree rubber. It is also naturally antibacterial, which means that bacteria and germs will not get out of hand, and it features a durable second layer of cushioning to ensure comfort and stability.
One of our readers mentioned that they were sure that the mat would be useless once they started dripping sweat but was glad to be proven wrong. The reader claimed to have a great experience with the sweat appearing to disappear magically while the mat still retained its grip. If you decide to purchase this mat, please let us know your thoughts after a few yoga sessions.
2. IUGA’s Mat is Reasonably-Priced with Two Separate Textures for Different Practices
IUGA Non-Slip Yoga Mat: If you are a yogi that loves multiple practices, whether hot or not, you will enjoy this mat. The IUGA yoga mat is odorless, cushioned, and eco-friendly, but also features a reversible design for all kinds of classes.
The dual textures provide two different raised patterns to ensure that your mat stays stationary and prevents your feet and hands from slipping.
The closed-cell structure ensures that dirt, moisture, and smells don’t soak into the mat and even comes with a free carrying yoga bag and strap.
Beginners and experienced yogis alike have highly recommended this yoga mat. One classmate notes that the mat doesn’t slip or pull when transitioning between poses and they’re very happy with the purchase, particularly for the price.
3. The Aurorae Synergy Includes a Built-in Yoga Towel
The Aurorae Synergy Non-Slip Yoga Mat: A yoga towel is commonly used by people that sweat, but it is another thing to carry it from one class to the next and can be even a greater problem to find one that fits.
One revolutionary option is the Aurorae Synergy 2-in-1 mat combines the best of both worlds. It bonds a non-slip microfiber layer with comfortable cushioning to help you get both the towel and mat in one.
It is non-toxic, lightweight, and durable and can even be washed in a washing machine, which is probably the reason why this mat is so popular.
One of my friends, that have had this mat for more than two years, says that they believe it is important for potential buyers to be made aware of what a quality product it is and actually claims to be very satisfied with this specific hot yoga mat.
4. This Budget-Friendly Healthyoga Mat Offers Many Advanced Features
Healthyoga Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat: The Health Yoga alignment mat is made unique by its numerous features. It is made using TPE material, which doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, is eco-friendly, and feels both cushiony and grippy at the same time.
The thread pattern on its bottom offers excellent resistance on any floor type while the micro-dot pattern on top keeps your feet and hands from slipping, even when sweating.
It is also longer and wider compared to other mats on the market. Lastly, it has discreet but very helpful markings to ensure proper form and alignment while you do your poses. While similar mats are often very expensive, this one is usually more reasonably priced.
5. This Lovely Combination Mat by Yoga Design Lab Offers Better Grip the More You Sweat
Yoga Design Lab Combo Yoga Mat: The Yoga Design Lab combo mat is designed to offer more grip as you sweat, which makes it an excellent option for Pilates, Bikram, and hot yoga.
The bottom layer provides cushioning for the body with natural tree rubber while its top absorbs sweat with the microfiber material that’s made from recycled bottles as well as water-based prints.
It also comes in 14 lovely designs such as Pink Mandala, Labyrinth, Chevron Maya, and Geo Blue and is machine-washable too. One classmate says that they get a lot of compliments on their mat and use it for hot yoga without ever slipping.
6. This Intricately Designed Mat by Gaiam Offers Incredible Grip & Balance
Gaiam Premium Print Yoga Mat: Some of our readers with bad joints and knees say that this mat is thick enough that they never have to use a blanket when doing the tabletop pose as well as other poses.
It is also not so squishy as to mess up your balance. Besides offering impressive comfort, the Gaiam premium print mat provides a tacky, textured surface that offers excellent traction. It is also lightweight when moving to and from class.
The mat is 6P-free, which means that it doesn’t contain harmful phthalates and a few readers mentioned that it is actually durable enough to withstand consistent use without stretching or cracking.
It also comes in 22 henna-like prints filled with elephants, Zen leaves, mandala flowers, and is one of the most affordable options currently available.
7. This Professional-Grade Mat by Manduka Will Last a Lifetime
Manduka PRO Yoga Mat: In the short-run, sweating causes you to slip and slide while long-term exposure to salt and moisture actually causes the mat’s material to break down.
The mat is one of the more expensive options currently available, but thousands of yogis trust Manduka PRO mats since they are guaranteed never to wear out due to yoga practice.
The mats are made using a closed-cell surface that’s non-toxic to prevent sweat from seeping into the mat, which means that they will last a lifetime.
Sprinkle this mat generously with sea salt, allow it to sit for 24 hours and use a damp cloth to wipe away. After this initial break-in process, you can be sure to enjoy years of non-slip support, cushioning, and balance. It comes in two colors and multiple colors, with some being patterned or two-toned.
How to Choose a Hot Yoga Mat for Your Practice
A quality mat is a necessity if you are a regular hot yogi. It is one tool that you will be using every day and forms the foundation for quality practice.
However, hot yoga mats are not all created equally and the one loved by your friend might not necessarily work for you. With that in mind, some of the best mats for hot yoga are listed in this article along with some tips on how to choose one and make a decision on the basis of your needs.
What Makes a Great Hot Yoga Mat?
Hot yoga requires using something different than the regular cheap yoga mat typically used in a normal yoga class. Obviously, you need to choose something that you will not slip on. However, you still need to take other factors into consideration before making the decision.
It Should Be Capable of Absorbing a Lot of Sweat
Hot yoga is all about working up a serious sweat which may leave slippery pools of sweat on your mat. You, therefore, have just a few options. For starters, if you currently own a yoga mat that you love, you can invest in an extra towel.
The Yogitoes towel by Manduka is highly recommended. Alternatively, if you are committed to doing hot yoga, it is advisable to get an absorbent hybrid mat. Such mats are like having a built-in yoga towel and are usually quite easy to clean.
A highly recommended option for hot yoga is the Lifeform yoga mat, but you can still find other options if you are working on a budget. Either way, it is necessary to get a highly absorbent towel or mat that won’t lose grip.
It Needs to be Comfortable without Being Too Thick
Hot yoga is an active exercise and you will often find yourself up and down. If you suffer from sensitive joints the heat can help but a thicker yoga mat also helps to alleviate discomfort and pressure on the joints.
Having said that, if you require a thicker mat, it is better to choose a denser material. A thick, squishy mat is likely to indent too far thus interfering with your balance. Opting for a thick, denser material provides great cushioning for the joints without necessarily throwing you off balance.
It Should Be Easy to Clean
In terms of cleanliness, a closed cell mat will be much easier to clean. Closed cell refers to the mat not being porous, which means that it will not absorb bacteria, dirt, and sweat into itself. It means that you can basically spray it off and wipe it clean after class.
On the other hand, an open cell mat is porous. The pores can get dirt and sweat into them, which makes an excellent home for the growth of bacteria. However, it is possible to get around this by cleaning it after each class using a decent mat cleaner and then doing a deep cleanse once every week.
The regular cleaning process should not take you more than 5 minutes and the deep clean is simply soaking in the tub with some vinegar, which means that it isn’t a big deal. However, it is important to keep this in mind if you are sure that you want a super low maintenance mat.
It Should be Sticky
If you have used a regular yoga mat in hot yoga, you have probably experienced quite a bit of slipping. Unfortunately, slipping takes all the fun out of class.
Most hot yoga mats are designed to prevent slipping even though they perform at different degrees. A quality hot yoga mat should ideally become stickier as you heat up and sweat more. A good yoga towel is also likely to do the same.
Do Hot Yoga Studios Provide Mats That You Can Use?
Yes, in many cases, yoga studios provide mats that class attendees can use. If you are working on a budget and are unable to afford a mat right now, you can use the mat the studio provides.
However, you need to remember that somebody was previously sweating puddles on the mat and if the studio doesn’t do a good job of cleaning them after each use, you can expect to find a lot of bacteria all over the mat.
For these reasons, we recommend that you purchase a hot yoga mat for your own personal usage. You can temporarily get around this by buying a cheap yoga towel (or an alternative yoga mat) and putting it over the mat until you can buy yours.
The Bottom Line
While it is possible to get away with a regular yoga mat and towel, investing in a dedicated hybrid hot yoga mat can be a game changer for your practice. The Lifeform is the most recommended hot yoga mat overall.
It performs incredibly well in all yoga environments but particularly well in hot yoga. Its thickness is ideal for most people, it is relatively lightweight, has a closed cell surface that’s easy to clean, it is highly absorbent, and its grip increases with sweat and heat. Simply put, it is the best hot yoga mat and one you will be glad to have.