Although yoga is dominated by women, there is a growing interest among men who are quickly realizing the benefits. According to the Yoga in America study, 28% of yogi’s were male in 2016, up from 18% in 2012, and likely even higher since this study was done.
Most of the prominent yoga influencers are female, so it can be difficult for men to find tailored equipment recommendations. That’s why I spoke to my friend and male yogi, Kieren, to put together this guide to the best yoga mats for men.
Guide to Choosing a Men’s Yoga Mat
Whilst yoga mats are unisex, the main problem you may encounter when purchasing a men’s yoga mat is that the standard sizes are often sized for female yogis.
When choosing the size of your yoga mat, you should ideally ensure it is 15cm (6”) longer than your height. This means men will, on average, need larger mats.
Given that men also have a larger body weight on average, it’s important to ensure the correct thickness and cushioning for your knees. I would typically recommend you pick a mat that is 4-5mm thick, although I have also included some slightly thicker mats if you need that little bit extra.
Best Yoga Mats for Men
The best yoga mats for men are:
- Best Overall: Yogi Bare Paws
- Runner Up: Manduka Pro Lite
- Best for Beginners: Liforme
- Great for Tall Guys: Alo Warrior
- Sustainable Pick: Manduka eKO
- Budget Pick: Heath Yoga
- Best Cork Mat: Body by Yoga
Below, you’ll find more details about these recommendations along with my pros and cons of each choice.
At the end of the article, I’ve created a full comparison chart with the key specs side-by-side to help with your choice.
Best Overall: Yogi Bare Paws
My top pick for men is the Yogi Bare Paws mat. One of the main reasons I love this mat is the grip on top. It has a polyurethane surface which provides a responsive texture that makes it easy to maintain poses for longer.
The polyurethane is open cell which means that it has a good amount of cushion due to air pockets and can absorb some water so it remains grippy even as you sweat.
The downside to open-cell mats is that they can also absorb odors so you need to keep them clean. Speaking of cleaning your mat, the surface isn’t particularly easy to clean, although the natural rubber base wipes down effortlessly.
If you’re a tall guy, you’ll love Yogi Bare Paws because the XL version of the mat is a whopping 213cm (84”) which means that even someone 6’6” tall can easily take shavasana (corpse pose) at the end of a session whilst staying fully on the mat.
The mat is available in several different colors with an Aztec pattern that will appeal to men. The mat doesn’t have a full alignment system, although it does have a central line to find evenness width ways and the patterns at each end can provide some guidance to help lengthways.
Runner Up: Manduka Pro Lite
The Manduka Pro Lite is the thinner version of their signature Pro series, at 4.7mm thick instead of 6mm as with the standard mat. This is a good size for home use whilst not being too heavy to take with you to class.
Compared to the Yogi Bare paws mat above, you’ll find this one to be firmer which is ideal in standing poses, although not as well cushioned for child’s pose or other asanas that put pressure on your knees.
This is the mat used by Yoga with Tim who is probably the most prominent male yoga YouTuber. Although he recommends the Manduka Pro on his website, you can tell that he actually uses the Manduka Pro Lite on his channel because the logo on the mat is white instead of red.
Manduka’s Pro series is one of the most durable yoga mats on the market due to the combination of PVC and a closed cell structure which is generally more hard-wearing. To back this up, Manduka offers a lifetime guarantee where they’ll replace the mat if it becomes damaged within 10 years of buying it.
However, the use of PVC also has a major downside and that’s sustainability. Not only does PVC come from non-renewable sources, but it’s not biodegradable or recyclable which is why I couldn’t place it as my number one choice. If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly choice, see the Manduka eKO below.
Manduka also have lots of great men’s yoga apparel that’s worth checking out if you want something comfortable and stylish.
Best for Beginners: Liforme
Next up is the Liforme mat which is a great pick for guys who are new to yoga thanks to their best-in-class yoga mat alignment system. It has 5 different types of marking that can help you find the correct position for your hands and feet to get symmetrical and well-balanced poses.
If you’re a broad guy, this mat is ideal because it’s much wider than the others reviewed here so you’ll have plenty of space to work with.
Similar to the Yogi Bare Paws mat which took the top spot, this one is also made from a natural rubber base and polyurethane surface so many of its properties are similar including being well-cushioned and slightly absorbent to help with sweaty hands.
Although polyurethane isn’t the most sustainable material, Liforme have gone out of their way to ensure the mat is eco-friendly. It is recyclable and will biodegrade within 10 years so it won’t be left in a landfill site for decades once you’re done with it.
Great for Tall Guys: Alo Warrior
The next mat I recommend comes from Alo Yoga who make all sorts of equipment and performance wear for male yogis and have their dedicated Alo Moves platform for home yoga classes. So you could say they know a thing or two about yoga!
The mat is called the Alo Warrior and is made from natural rubber and polyurethane like the Yogi Bare Paws and Liforme Mats also in this review. If you’ve watched any of their online Alo Moves classes, you’ll have seen these in action as they are used bya ll the instructors.
I won’t go back over the benefits of these materials in full, but in summary, they make a well-cushioned mat that’s also fairly sustainable. The open-cell nature of the material means you won’t slip when you get sweaty although it might be harder to clean as it absorbs moisture and odors.
One of the reasons why I like the Alo Warrior as a yoga mat for men is its size. With a standard length of 189cm (74”), it’s easily suitable for men up to around 5’8” based on the standard rule of thumb. Some users have suggested that this mat creases easily so it’s not great if you’ll be rolling it up for transporting frequently.
I love that it has a matt finish that keeps you grounded and well supported during your practice, plus there are lots of colors available so you can choose one that matches your personality and desired mood. See my full article to learn more about choosing a yoga mat color.
Sustainable Pick: Manduka eKO
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly yoga mat then Manduka’s eKO series is a great option for guys. It’s the only one here to be made entirely of natural rubber which is considered to be a sustainable material and they guarantee that the rubber is not harvested from the Amazon.
The mat does need care to maintain performance and Manduka don’t recommend it for use in hot environments such as hot yoga.
Caring for the eKO is fairly easy because it’s closed cell structure means it’s easy to wash and it doesn’t absorb odors. However, the downsides of a closed-cell structure are that the grip isn’t as good when you are sweaty and it’s not as padded as an open-cell equivalent.
The main downside to a 100% rubber mat is that it is very heavy. At 3.2kg (7lbs) for the small, it’s heavier than the others shared here so it’s best for keeping at home and not transporting to class. If this is a problem, you could opt for the eKO Lite although you will have to settle for a thinner mat.
Budget Pick: Heath Yoga
If you’re looking for a cheap men’s yoga mat but still want something that performs well, opting for one made from TPE is a good idea because it is durable and cushioned.
One of my favorite TPE yoga mats comes from Heath Yoga. They are a relatively unheard-of brand in the yoga world but this means you get good quality at an affordable price.
The mat is 6mm thick and provides good padding for your knees. Similar to the Liforme mat shared earlier, this one also has alignment lines which can help beginners find balance and symmetry, although there are fewer lines than the Liforme.
TPE is often seen as a good alternative to PVC because it’s slightly more sustainable. Although it comes from non-renewable sources, it is both biodegradable and recyclable which is a step up from PVC. One other benefit of TPE is that it doesn’t contain latex like rubber mats do which can irritate some yogis.
One of the downsides to this mat is that it has an offputting smell when you first open it, I’d recommend giving it a wash and allowing it to air for a few days before use.
Best Cork Mat: Body by Yoga
The final choice in my pick of yoga mats for men is a slightly different type of mat, it’s a cork yoga mat from Body By Yoga.
The top layer is made from which is a sustainably sourced material, underneath is a layer of natural rubber, similar to the other mats which help keep it well cushioned.
There are several reasons why you should choose a cork yoga mat, for example, the grip improves as they get wet which is ideal if you do hot yoga and they are naturally antimicrobial which means that they reduce bacteria and prevent mold or mildew from forming.
The downside to cork mats is that they can often be slippy when dry, but that’s usually easy to solve by wetting your hands a little before practice.
The mat is large at just over 2m (80”) long and 66cm (26”) wide, plus it’s the thickest of those reviewed here at 6.5mm because of the two layers mentioned before. This means that it’s also very heavy at 4kg (8.8lbs). If you like the sound of the mat but want something lighter, see my full guide to the best cork yoga mats for more options.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of each men’s yoga mat I’ve shared in this article:
|Yogi Bare Paws||Manduka Pro Lite||Liforme||Alo Warrior||Manduka eKO||Heath||Body by Yoga|
|Length||180cm (71")||S: 180 (71”)|
L: 200cm (79”)
|185cm (73”)||189cm (74")||S: 180 (71”)|
L: 200cm (79”)
|183cm (72")||203cm (80”)|
|Width||66cm (26”)||61cm (24")||68cm (27”)||67cm (26")||61cm (24")||66cm (26”)||66cm (26”)|
|Weight||2.5kg (5.5lbs)||S: 1.8kg (4lbs)|
L: 2.0kg (4.4lbs)
|2.5kg (5.5lbs)||2.7kg (6lbs)||S: 3.2kg (7lbs)|
L: 3.6kg (13lbs)
|1.3kg (2.8lbs)||4kg (8.8lbs)|
|Material||Rubber Base and Polyurethane||PVC||Rubber base and polyurethane||Rubber base and polyurethane||Natural rubber||TPE||Cork, Unknown|
|Where to Buy||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Alo Yoga||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon|
The YogaMad is founded by Candace, an avid yogini who is passionate about inspiring others to live their best lives while finding mind-body-soul balance. She has a background in business consulting but has left the corporate world in her quest to live out her dreams as a yoga nomad.