Working on your flexibility and mobility is important for runners. Improving them can give you a wider range of motion, which reduces your chance of injury.
One of the best ways to improve mobility and get your muscles warmed up quickly is by doing yoga. Invest in one of the best yoga mats for runners and learn a few poses!
It’s a super way to stretch because it’s active and dynamic. But your experience can be a whole lot more uncomfortable (and even painful) if you’re using a low-quality mat.
If you’re buying your first mat (or looking for a new one) we recommend the Clever Yoga Mat. It’s ¼ inch thick, has a non-slip surface on both sides, and is made from eco-friendly material.
It’s not the only quality yoga mat out there, though. Read through the full list to find something you like that will make you want to get on it and do yoga!
Top 3 Best and Favorite
1. Clever Yoga Mat
The Clever Yoga Mat is labeled as a yoga mat for beginners, but that’s mainly because of its very friendly thickness of ¼-inch. This is on the thicker side, and it’s perfect for newbies who need extra padding or just want a bit more comfort.
It’s created from a thick TPE foam that’s eco-friendly and recyclable, so this mat is a great option for environmentally conscious users. It’s also odorless and free from any toxins.
The Clever Yoga Mat is also slightly larger than the average yoga mat. At 72 x 25 ½ inches, there’s plenty of space on this mat for users of all sizes. It weighs just 2lbs, so it’s also easy to take with you when going to classes or even on vacation.
Both the front and back surfaces are non-slip and non-tear. This keeps you safer and helps your mat to last longer.
The closed-cell foam prevents sweat and dirt from being absorbed into the mat, which makes it super easy to clean. Just wipe it down with a damp cloth.
When you purchase this yoga mat, it comes with a Namaste warranty. That means if you aren’t happy with the mat, the company will give you a full refund, no questions asked.
- Made from 100% recyclable and eco-friendly TPE material
- Double-sided non-slip surface
- ¼ inch thick
- Easy to clean
- May stretch slightly when using
2. Jade Yoga Harmony Mat
The Jade Yoga Harmony Mat is made of natural rubber. That makes it more non-slip than many others, as well as giving it a nice bit of cushion. You won’t find any synthetic materials in this mat, making it great for those with sensitive skin.
Be aware upfront that the open-cell nature of the rubber means this mat is likely to absorb sweat, dirt, and oils from your skin. It could make it a little harder to clean than others.
On the other hand, being open-cell means that if you do sweat a lot, it may help with slippery hands and feet.
You can find the mat in three different lengths; 68 inches, 71 inches, and 74 inches. There’s something for users of all heights, and each one is 24 inches wide so there’s plenty of space. They also come in extra wide, although these are harder to find and sell out quickly.
They’re proudly American-made and come in a wide variety of colors so you can choose what feels right to you.
- Available in 3 lengths
- Made from natural rubber and sustainable resources
- Excellent grip when dry or wet
- Made in America
- The open-cell surface absorbs skin oils and sweat, which could make it hard to clean
3. Dralegend Yoga Mat
This TPE-material yoga mat is ideal for new yoga practitioners, in both features and price. More affordable yoga mats can be thin, uncomfortable, and not durable, but this one ticks all the right boxes.
At 3/16 inches thickness, it’s padded enough to relieve pressure on joints and make poses comfortable on the feet, hands, knees, back, and elbows.
It’s also a very decent size, at 72 x 26 inches. This is larger than average, and the extra space is a welcome addition to an affordable mat. At just 32 ounces in weight, you can take this anywhere with you.
Three layers of TPE improve the durability. On top, a non-slip surface keeps you safe and stable. Underneath, an anti-slip and tear-resistant layer keeps your mat from moving while you’re busy. In between, a layer of compressed material adds density and comfort.
Wipe it down with a damp, soapy cloth after every use to keep it as clean as possible.
- 6 mm thick
- Anti-skid design
- Easy to clean
- May be susceptible to sweat stains
4. Day 1 Fitness Mat
Runners who suffer from joint problems and need a highly cushioned mat will be satisfied with the cushioning the Day 1 Fitness Mat offers. It’s technically a gymnastics mat, but it works well for yoga too.
It’s crafted from 2-inch thick, high-density foam for the best support for your joints. Because of its thickness, it doesn’t roll up like other yoga mats. Instead, it’s made in three or four connected sections and folds up into an easy-to-carry size with triple-stitched handles.
The vinyl cover is sweat-proof and non-absorbent, which makes it easy to wipe clean. It is heavier than the average yoga mat by quite a bit, but it’s the price you pay for high-density foam that protects your joints!
They come in a few different colors, and four different sizes: 2 x 6 feet, 4 x 6 feet, 4 x 8 feet, and 4 x 10 feet. Some of them have Velcro borders so you can attach two together if you really want a large mat!
- High-density 2-inch thick foam
- Triple-stitched handles
- Hook and loop closure
- High-grade vinyl cover
- The seams may be uncomfortable on the feet for some poses
Best Combo Mat And Towel
5. Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat
Do you sweat a lot when exercising? This could be the right yoga mat for you! It’s a mat and towel built into one product, so there’s no need to carry a towel around with you to classes as well as your mat.
The upper is made from a layer of microfiber, which is soft, absorbent, and made from recycled bottles. Underneath is natural tree rubber, which is non-toxic and non-slip. The towel isn’t separate from the mat – instead, it’s a built-in top layer.
The soft top means that your hands and feet won’t slip when doing poses. The rubber is quite non-slip, so it shouldn’t move much on the floor. You will need to spray the underside of the mat lightly with water to activate the non-slip feature, which could be inconvenient for some.
You can get this mat in three different thicknesses, so you can find one to suit your preferences.
- Microfiber towel layer upper
- Natural tree rubber bottom
- Made from recycled plastic bottles
- Available in 3 different thicknesses
- You need to spray the mat lightly before use to activate the anti-slip feature
Top Cork Mat
6. Body By Yoga Classic Mat
Cork is a great option that provides springy padding, good absorption, and lies flatter than some other materials.
This mat is made of Portuguese cork and uses six times the average amount of cork for yoga mats. That makes it soft and comfortable, and if you sweat, it offers better grip for your hands and feet.
Underneath, a natural rubber base keeps the mat from sliding out from under you while you’re doing tough poses. It also lies flatter than regular mats, which eliminates frustration!
It comes in four designs: Classic, Dreamer, Jetsetter, and Warrior. They’re all 80 x 26 inches and ¼-inch thick. The difference is in the pattern on each, which they call “posture alignment lines” to help keep you in the right position.
- Portuguese cork upper and natural rubber base
- Features posture alignment lines
- Lies flat on the ground
- Slightly heavier than average yoga mats
Best For Traveling
7. Manduka eKO SuperLite
There’s no need to stop doing yoga when you’re traveling. We recommend this mat if you’re looking for one to take with you when you’re on the move.
It’s 71 x 24 inches in size and weighs just 2.2 pounds, so it’s easy to carry and small enough to fit into luggage or carry along. It is a little thinner than average, at 1/16-inch, so it does sacrifice some padding in order to fold or roll up tightly and easily.
It’s also eco-friendly, made from natural tree rubber with non-toxic dyes. There’s no latex in this mat, so it’s suitable even for those with sensitive skin. The open-cell surface means it won’t absorb sweat.
An orange peel-type surface offers a good grip even if you do sweat a little. It’s also designed to resist scratching or tearing.
- Made from natural tree rubber
- Textured surface
- Lightweight and portable
- Made from non-toxic materials
- May not be suitable for those who need cushioning
8. Gaiam Yoga Mats
Yoga can be an activity of the mind as much as the body, so it’s important to choose a mat that you like and feel comfortable with.
These yoga mats come in a large range of designs and colors. Apart from their great pattern choice, they’re 3/16-inch thick, which is on the thicker side, so they offer good shock absorption and joint protection.
They’re free from harmful substances and have a lifetime guarantee. The surface is lightly textured and non-slip, both on top and underneath.
You’ll also get access to a downloadable yoga workout when you purchase this mat, and you can download the accompanying app for more workouts.
Because the surface of these mats is printed, they have a slight smell when you first unwrap them. It’s recommended that you air the mat for a few days before using it, to get rid of the smell.
- Thick cushioning at 3/16-inch (6mm)
- Textured, sticky non-slip surface
- Variety of design styles to choose from
- Includes a downloadable yoga workout
- The mat needs to be aired for a few days to get rid of the smell when you first unwrap it
Best For Extra Cushioning
9. BalanceFrom Yoga Mat
Those who want more protection for their joints may benefit from this mat. It’s ½-inch thick, which is much thicker than usual. This makes a big difference when it comes to cushioning your hands, feet, elbows, knees, and back during poses.
For even more protection, you’ll get a ⅗-inch thick, 24 x 10-inch knee mat with your purchase! The yoga mat itself is 71 x 24 inches in size.
It’s also moisture-resistant, so it won’t absorb sweat and you can wipe it quickly and easily to clean the surface.
You’ll get a 2-year warranty with your purchase. A free strap is included, but if you use it on a regular basis it may leave indentations in the foam.
- Purchase includes a knee mat
- High-density foam material
- Double-sided non-slip surfaces
- Includes carrying strap
- The included carry strap may leave permanent indentations in the foam
Contemplating buying one of the best yoga mats for runners? Here’s some more info to help you choose the right one.
Why Do I Need A Yoga Mat?
Unless your home is carpeted, a yoga mat is essential if you want to practice yoga from home. Not only will it save your knees from pain and possible injury, but it makes the practice far more comfortable and easy on the joints.
What Should I Look For In An Exercise Mat?
Not all yoga mats are created equal! Here’s what you want to look at:
Most yoga mats are made of PVC foam. It’s generally pretty good at being non-slip and it’s got a nice bit of cushion to it.
You may find others made from cork, rubber, or TPE. Each material has its own benefits; for example, rubber won’t absorb sweat, whereas foam will.
Each also has a varying level of comfort. It may be worth testing a couple of different ones to find something that feels good to you.
The thickness also has a large effect on the comfort of the mat. Generally, thin mats (also called “travel mats”) are about 1/16-inch thick. Medium mats are around ⅛-inch, and these are the most common. The thickest mats are about ¼-inch thick, which is both comfortable and more durable than others.
Texture can be useful for therapeutic purposes, but mostly it’s about how much traction the mat gets with the floor and your feet. Those with more texture are generally more non-slip than smooth mats.
Some people are sensitive to textures, though. If you choose a smooth mat, be sure that it’s still non-slip.
Does The Size Matter?
In the end, what matters is what’s comfortable for you. Taller users may need a longer mat, simply because their limbs are longer.
For some, a short mat will feel like a cushion that you can’t stretch out on comfortably. Others will find it perfectly adequate. If you have to choose one without testing, we recommend going for a longer one.
What Thickness Is Good?
A standard yoga mat is ⅛-inch thick, which is just right for most people. It’s comfortable and durable at this thickness.
Travel yoga mats that are thinner than this may not last as long. You may also feel the ground more through it, which could be problematic for users with knee issues.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds in terms of cushioning and durability, the thicker the better.