The best Gaiam yoga mat

Yoga & Pilates

While you can perform various yoga poses with just a mat, some moves may be enhanced by accessories, including blocks or bolsters. A yoga towel can relieve sweat or wipe down your mat, while a case can help with storage and transport.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which Gaiam yoga mats are best?

Yoga offers myriad physical, mental and spiritual benefits, from clearing the mind to toning the body. While yoga welcomes all, regardless of age, skill level and body type, it does require one a mat.

Gaiam is one of the leading names in yoga, and their Premium Dry Grip Yoga Mat is a supportive and comfortable product that caters to most users. The best Gaiam yoga mat for your practice will depend on your interest level, goals and specific needs.

What to know before you buy a Gaiam yoga mat

Material

Gaiam yoga mats come in a variety of materials that influence longevity, comfort and performance. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the most popular and inexpensive choices. Unlike other brands, Gaiam’s PVC yoga mats are not made with toxins and provide durability and comfort for beginners and intermediates.

Rubber and cork are increasingly popular materials. These are sustainable and eco-friendly materials that tend to provide more durability and padding, ideal for more serious yoga enthusiasts. Cork is also suitable for hot yoga, as it maintains grip despite moisture. It is also antimicrobial. Both rubber and cork, however, come at a higher price point.

Some Gaiam yoga mats use jute, a natural resource that provides impressive traction for complex poses. These come at a mid-range price but lack cushioning and don’t hold up well to extreme heat.

Thickness

Yoga mats should be thick enough to provide both support for intensive poses and comfort for lengthy sessions. Gaiam yoga mats are offered from 4mm in thickness up to 10mm. Thinner options are lighter and easier to transport, while thicker options provide the most comfort and support. 

However, thicker mats may stretch or give, which means poses that require a stable grip can be more difficult. Thicker mats may also slowly break down if repeatedly tightly folded when stored. A beginning yoga enthusiast is likely well-served by a mat around 6mm thick, though individuals may develop personal preferences over time.

Size

The average yoga mat size is 61 by 172 centimeters or about 2 feet by 6 feet. Taller individuals may seek out a longer mat to be fully contained on the surface when lying on their back. Wider options allow users to fold over a portion of the mat to provide extra padding during certain poses. Gaiam also offers extra-large, double mats that feature a width of four feet instead of two.

Gaiam also offers mats heated towards kids that come in at 5 feet in length.

What to look for in a quality Gaiam yoga mat

Color and design

Gaiam offers yoga mats in various solid colors as well as patterns and designs. This choice doesn’t affect the quality but offers a chance for personalization. Many Gaiam options include prints of a yoga-inspired design or artwork, including trees, flowers, medallions or a hamsa.

Anti-slip

An anti-slip surface is vital for holding poses and staying safe for those who participate in active yoga. Seek out those options that enhance traction despite any moisture that may contact the surface. What’s more, some Gaiam yoga mats feature traction on the bottom so that it stays put on a smooth floor during any practice.

Hot yoga

Some mats are specifically designed for intense heat and the moisture that can accumulate as a result. They will wick away moisture such as sweat while still maintaining a strong grip. They also feature anti-microbial materials so that they repel odor and bacteria.

How much you can expect to spend on a Gaiam yoga mat

A basic Gaiam yoga mat typically costs around $20, but those for more serious enthusiasts featuring sought-after properties can run up to $50-$70.

Gaiam yoga mat FAQ

How do I best maintain my Gaiam yoga mat?

A. You can clean most Gaiam yoga mats by hand with gentle soap and warm water. Vinegar and water is a popular alternative as well. Gaiam also sells a mat wash spray that easily restores and cleans the materials.

To store the mat, lay it flat under a bed or roll it loosely to put away. Rolling it tightly may break down the materials more quickly. You can use some mats on both sides, which will help even out the wear and tear. Lastly, avoid sharing a yoga mat with anyone as it can spread germs or bacteria due to frequent skin contact.

What else can you use a Gaiam yoga mat for?

A. Since yoga comprises a wide range of activities, yoga mats offer impressive versatility.  Yoga may be athletic, involving core exercises such as lunges, sit-ups and push-ups. Yoga can also be thoughtful, welcoming those who want to meditate or engage in mindfulness. As a comfortable and durable surface, you can use the yoga mat to add some support when sitting or exercising outdoors or simply when stretching before working out.

What’s the best Gaiam yoga mat to buy?

Top Gaiam yoga mat 

Premium Dry Grip Yoga Mat

Gaiam Premium Dry Grip Yoga Mat

What you need to know: This is a high-quality option ideal for regular yoga enthusiasts, particularly those who like to work up a sweat.

What you’ll love: It’s a durable and comfortable mat designed to wick away moisture and resist odor buildup. It features impressive grip, and is average thickness.

What you should consider: This option is an investment.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Gaiam yoga mat for the money

Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

What you need to know: This is a popular, standard yoga mat option by Gaiam that welcomes both beginners and intermediates.

What you’ll love: This is one of the thickest options available, ideal for support and comfort. It is available in various colors, includes a carrying strap and comes at a low price.

What you should consider: It may wear down quickly over time and some have concerns about gripping.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Gaiam Extra Large Yoga Mat

Gaiam Extra Large Yoga Mat

What you need to know: The double yoga mat is ideal for various poses and activities for beginners and experts alike.

What you’ll love: It provides cushioned support and has an anti-slip surface that welcomes a range of movements. The double-width offers more coverage and moderate thickness yet is lightweight.

What you should consider: It is expensive and hard to fold up and transport.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.