- All yoga mats are inherently portable, but yoga mats built for travel are extra pliable and lightweight so they don’t take up too much space in your suitcase.
- The highly rated Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat is made of durable materials and weighs only 2.2 pounds.
Yoga is the ideal form of exercise for travel. You can do it anywhere, even in hotel rooms (or airport waiting rooms, if you can get over the awkwardness) and with almost no equipment. The one thing you do need for yoga, however, is a mat.
While yoga mats are inherently somewhat portable, designed to be rolled or folded so you can toss them in your car or carry in your backpack on the way to class, some mats are certainly better for travel than others.
Travel yoga mats are usually thinner and more compact. Often the materials are more pliable, and they sometimes come with additional straps or pouches for added portability. The best ones are foldable, so you can pack them in a suitcase without taking up too much space.
Sometimes travel yoga mats have less padding than regular mats, which can be an issue for people who have sensitive knees or wrists. That said, there are plenty of them that rival the quality of typical mats while remaining travel-friendly.
For standard yoga mats, check out our guide on the best yoga mats you can buy.
The best travel yoga mats you can buy in 2019:
- Best overall: Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat
- Best budget travel yoga mat: Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat
- Best multi-size travel yoga mat: Jade Travel Yoga Mat
- Best reversible travel yoga mat: The Reversible (Un)Mat
- Best machine-washable travel yoga mat: Clever Yoga Travel Mat
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
The best overall
The Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat weighs only 2.2 pounds and is highly flexible for travel, without sacrificing the quality of the materials.
In my research, one mat popped up repeatedly as the best choice – the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat. At 2.2 pounds and 1.5-mm thick, it’s extremely lightweight and flexible, making it easy to fold up tightly and toss in a suitcase.
Despite being so thin, the mat’s material is built to last. It’s made of sustainable, natural tree rubber that is resistant to tearing and will retain its shape even with frequent use. The surface texture creates a strong grip for sweaty hands. All Manduka mats are made without PVC or potentially toxic plasticizers.
This is one of the most popular travel yoga mats on the market, with high customer reviews and mentions in many publications. Sol Salute likes the “grippy and smooth” surface.
Pros: Folds down very small, lightweight, tear resistant, natural rubber, sticky surface
Cons: Expensive, not a lot of padding
The best budget mat
The Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat is a compact and grippy option with an under-$20 price tag.
I get it: No one likes the idea of spending $40 or more on a mat you only use a couple of times a year. Infrequent travelers, then, will love the Gaiam Foldable Travel Yoga Mat.
This one-pound mat is even more lightweight than the Manduka eKO Superlite, but it’s slightly thicker 2-mm thick. The whole thing folds down to a 10-inch-wide and 12-inch-long rectangle for easy transportation in a carry-on or overnight duffel bag. And, it’s one of the most affordable options available.
I have a full-sized Gaiam yoga mat that has lasted me for years with regular use, so I can attest to the quality of the brand’s goods. As far as the travel mat itself goes, it’s a popular choice among shoppers and reviewers. Bustle praises the “unique sticky texture” that “provides stable footing for optimal performance anywhere.” Among Amazon customers, the mat has a 4-star rating based on 316 reviews.
“While most travel mats are folded for travel but best stored rolled, this mat is made to be stored folded,” Sol Salute writes, which also points out that the mat is perforated.
Pros: Affordable, very lightweight, meant to be folded
Cons: PVC material
The best multi-size mat
- Jade Yoga
The Jade Yoga Travel Mat comes in two sizes to accommodate people of different heights.
People come in all different shapes and sizes, so why shouldn’t their yoga mats? The Jade Yoga Travel Mat is available in 68-inch and 74-inch lengths so you can choose the right one based on your height.
Jade Yoga puts special attention on sustainability, in the construction of the mats and through a partnership with the organization Trees for the Future. The mats are made of natural rubber sourced from trees with no PVC or other synthetic materials added. For each one purchased, the brand ensures a new tree will be planted.
A no-slip, open-cell (more absorbent) surface gives you a solid grip. Reviewers praise the plush cushioning compared to other travel mats, though at approximately 3 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than other mats. If you find yourself frequently winching during kneeling poses, you’ll appreciate the additional support.
One downside is that, unlike most travel yoga mats, Jade’s rolls instead of folds, so it may be harder to fit in your luggage, as The Yoga Nomads points out. On the other hand, the quality makes it a great multi-use pick for home practice as well as travel. Bustle, Well + Good, Shape, and Sol Solute all highly recommend the Jade Yoga Travel Mat.
Pros: Natural materials, purchase benefits Trees for the Future, more cushioning
Cons: Heavier than many other travel mats
The best reversible mat
The cleverly named Reversible (Un)Mat from Lululemon is like having two lightweight yoga mats for the price of one.
One of the downsides of taking your yoga practice on the road is decreased access to the props and extras you might rely on to make a class or an at-home vinyasa session more enjoyable. The Reversible (Un)Mat from Lululemon helps solve that problem with a moisture-absorbing polyurethane-coated layer on one side.
If you get super sweaty during a vigorous practice, use this grippier side to keep yourself from slip-sliding off the mat. For more chill sessions, you can use the rubberized side. This mat is on the thinner side at 1.5 mm. Antimicrobial rubber means you can toss it in a suitcase without stressing about mold buildup.
Pros: Reversible with a grippier side for when you sweat, very thin and light, antimicrobial
Cons: Not very cushioned
The best machine-washable mat
The Clever Yoga Travel Mat is odor-resistant and simple to clean, which is great news for practitioners of hot yoga.
Is it just me or is cleaning your yoga mat the worst chore? Most of the time they need to be wiped-down, which is time-consuming and not necessarily foolproof if you’ve got a sticky, grippy mat.
The Clever Yoga Travel Mat is actually machine-washable, which is great for travelers who may have to pack quickly after practice. This pick is highly recommended for hot-yoga fans because of the “microfiber moisture activated grip top layer” and nonslip rubber base. These same attributes make this a great pick for travelers.
The mat is 1-mm thick and weighs about 2.5 pounds. It’s odor-resistant, thanks to a waterproof film that prevents moisture and sweat from absorbing into the materials. Like most travel mats, it folds easily to fit in a carry-on, backpack, or suitcase.
“I have already washed it three times and it’s still as great as it was on day one,” writes one Amazon customer. Overall, shoppers give the mat a 4.1 rating based on approximately 65 reviews.
Pros: Machine washable, odor-resistant, non-slip, affordable
Cons: Very little cushioning