Best Power Yoga Mats 2021 (Great Grip for Sweaty Hands)


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Best Power Yoga Mats 2021 (Great Grip Even if you Sweat)

I still remember my very first experience of a power yoga class. The sweat was dripping off me!

And so very early on I realized the importance of a good quality yoga mat that would be long lasting, have excellent grip and that would keep me from sliding all over the place even when my hands were getting really sweaty. So which mat to choose that is great for sweaty practices like Power yoga?

As a general rule, power yoga mats should be durable and have excellent grip. The overall best yoga mat to choose for Power yoga is the Manduka Pro because it has a lifetime guarantee and excellent grip once broken in. Alternatively, many sweaty yogis place a yoga towel or rug on top of their mat.

As a yoga practitioner, you need to find a mat that will help you in your practice. And so as a Power yoga practitioner, one of the most important things is to find a yoga mat with good grip so you won’t be sliding all over the place, especially if you have sweaty hands. Nobody wants to be sliding all over the place when they’re doing their practice!

Here’s a quick preview of the best yoga mats for sweaty hands that I’ll cover:

As a side note, I wrote an article titled How To Clean a Yoga Mat The Right Way. Be sure to check it out!

Why It’s Important To Choose a Power Yoga Mat

A yoga mat may be the only accessory you may need to invest in for your yoga practice. And so especially if you practice Power yoga and you sweat a lot, it really is important to buy a good-quality yoga mat that will support your practice. And if you are wondering why that’s important?

Well, if you have ever practiced Power yoga on a cheap yoga mat you may know the answer to this question!

I’ll share my experience of one of my first ever Power yoga classes on my brand new mat:

I had this pink cheap mat that I bought for around $15.

It had a beautiful pattern on it and I thought ok great, I’m ready! So the class starts and in the first downward facing dog I’m realizing my hands have no grip and I’m fighting hard to stay in the same position.

The class progresses and I’m fighting hard to stay in the poses. At some point, I remember seeing these little pink blobs dancing on the floor next to me. And yes, those little blobs used to be part of my pretty pink mat. Oh no! So there I am, fighting to stay in my poses, sweat dripping off me, my mat slowly but surely disintegrating before my very eyes…

And the worst part of all was that the studio had some shiny floors. I can’t remember if they were hardwood or some other smooth material. Definitely not carpet, and you’ll see why I remember that!

And so as my mat had no grip whatsoever, on both sides may I add, as the class progressed, my mat was moving in any direction I seemed to be moving in more. And so I remember twice stepping off of it and pulling it back to where my ‘position’ in the class was. Oops!

And thats when I told my self.. “I have to invest in a good quality mat because this is torture!”

Thinking back, this was a good lesson for me and so even now when my students come to class with pretty and pretty cheap mats I smile and I tell them that it may be a good mat for a more gentle practice, but if they want to keep practicing a dynamic form of yoga, they will most likely be asking me to recommend a good mat for Power yoga.

And so if your mat doesn’t have good grip, it will make your Power yoga experience more challenging than it needs to be.

What to Look for in Yoga Mats for Power yoga

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a yoga mat for Power yoga when we tend to get a bit sweaty. Some are the features to pay attention to:

Does the Surface Absorb the Sweat?

If you’re someone who sweats a lot, this part’s important for you. Some yoga mats are open-cell while others are closed-cell. What’s the difference?

The open-cell mat is porous and so it absorbs sweat. This of it a bit like a sponge, or perhaps every dense sponge.

And so if you are looking for a Power yoga mat and you tend to sweat a lot during practice, then this mat may be perfect for you as there will be no sweat puddles! However, keep in mind that one downside is that it can be hard to clean and has the potential to become a bacteria playground. A typical example of an open-cell yoga mat is the Gaiam Yoga Mat Jute.

The closed-cell mat is much more dense than an open-cell mat and it has an impermeable surface.

This type of yoga mat is more resistant to wear and tear and could be considered more hygienic. However, one great downside of this mat is that if you sweat a lot you may need to also invest in a top surface yoga towel or cotton rug. A typical example of a closed-cell yoga mat is the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat which is very commonly used in the Ashtanga yoga world.

If you are looking for an absorbent top surface to pair it with, your 2 main options are:

I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years. I generally practice Ashtanga yoga which is a dynamic form of yoga similar to Power yoga. And so in the summer when it gets really hot here in Greece, the current combination of mats I use is the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat and then I place the Yogasana Yoga Mat on top when I start to sweat.

Does the grip remain the same as you sweat?

For anyone who is looking for a Power yoga mat, having a mat whose grip is not affected by sweat is a must! And so one such example is the Gaiam Yoga Mat Jute. And so more specifically, because this mat is made of jute, it will absorb your sweat and in this way, it doesn’t affect the grip.

According to Gaiam: “Made partly from the natural fibers of the jute plant, the lightweight, 5mm mat is durable, sustainable and absorbs moisture, making it comfortable for even your sweatiest yoga pursuits.”

Is it easy to Clean your Power Yoga Mat?

For anyone who practices Power yoga, I’m sure you’ve left quite a lot of sweat on your yoga mat.

A Power yoga mat is prone to tough love during our practice. When we sweat, our skin cells and sweat stay on the surface until we clean it. When mats aren’t cleaned regularly this is what causes the bad odor after a while. And so it is important to regularly clean our yoga mats, at least once a week.

Understandably, having a clean mat is essential for your hygiene, also also, it will prevent any bad odors. When you’re shopping for a Power yoga mat, try to make sure that it can be cleaned easily.

If you want more specific instructions on how to clean your yoga mat then my YouTube video may come in very helpful:

Alternatively, if you don’t want to make your own yoga mat cleaner, you could buy a ready-made yoga mat cleaning solution. One example is the Gaiam Yoga Mat Cleaner Spray which is all-natural, non-toxic, can remove sweat and dirt, and works on any yoga mat.

Should you use a Cotton Rug or a Towel on top?

If you practice a dynamic form of yoga, such as Power yoga, you may notice that as you sweat, you lose your grip. Now, this is particularly true if you practice on a closed-cell yoga mat, where the sweat isn’t absorbed by the mat.

And so if you are someone who sweats more than average, you may want to look into a cotton rug to place on top of your yoga mat, such as the Yogasana Yoga Mat, or a yoga towel, such as the Yogitoes Manduka Yoga Towel for Mat. Both options are commonly used by yogis who sweat a lot during their practice.

I try to go to India to practice with my teacher, Sharath Jois. And as the climate is rather hot and sometimes humid, most people find themselves sweating much more than they are used to. And so regardless of the yoga mat you use, every single person there has a cotton rug or a yoga towel on top of their mat.

Through experience I have found that I prefer using a yoga rug rather than a yoga towel. And the reason is that the rug is thicker and doesn’t move much during practice. On the other hand, some long term yoga practitioners I know swear by their yoga towel.

And so it really is a personal preference!

The BEST Power Yoga Mats

1. Manduka Pro

This is the yoga mat I have had for the past 11 years. I absolutely love this mat as it’s perfect for sweaty and dynamic yoga practices like Power yoga. You don’t need to worry about replacing this yoga mat as you’re most likely to have it for life.

It even comes with a lifetime guarantee!

It is 6mm thick meaning that it offers great cushioning for your joints. However keep in mind that as it is a closed-cell mat, it doesn’t allow any moisture to penetrate. And so if you sweat a lot during your Power yoga practice you may need to use a cotton rug or yoga towel on top once you start sweating.

I travel to India to practice with my teacher Sharath Jois once a year. As it’s very hot and humid there I generally sweat A LOT..! And so what I do is add a cotton rug or towel on top of my mat once I get particularly sweaty. This helps absorb the sweat and I know I can just put the towel/rug in the washing machine.

And so if you are considering this yoga mat for your Power yoga class, keep in mind that you will have to also use a rug (like the Yogasana Yoga Mat) or towel (like the Yogitoes Manduka Yoga Towel for Mat).

Features to love about the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat:

  • Mat for life as it offers a lifetime guarantee
  • 6mm thick, meaning that it offers great cushioning of sensitive joints
  • Comes in two lengths, regular 71 Inches and extra-long 85 Inches
  • Made in an emissions-free facility

Naturally, there really is no perfect yoga mat, and so in my opinion, the only two drawbacks of this yoga mat is:

1. This is quite a heavy yoga mat at 3.4 kg, and so this may not be your best option if you have to carry it to your local yoga studio, or if you are planning on traveling to a retreat with it.

2. You may need to break it in at first to experience the superior grip. For more information check my video: 

2. Lifrome

You have probably seen this yoga mat on social media, Instagram in particular! Since the release of their first even yoga mat with an alignment system, Liforme helped to revolutionize how useful and practical the top surface of a yoga mat can be.

And so their intelligent alignment patterns can greatly benefit yoga beginners and the more advanced practitioners. And yet that is just one of the benefits of this mat. You will experience a superior grip to support your Power yoga practice. Plus, it looks really pretty.

And so this really is a great yoga mat for Power yoga.

Features to love about the Liforme Yoga Mat

  • It is made from Natural Rubber and Eco-Polyurethane
  • The great grip you will experience is thanks to their “GripForMe” material 
  • It has a rubber base meaning that you will experience great cushioning.
  • It is lightweight and so it is easy enough to carry around
  • It also comes in a travel mat edition, making it the perfect mat to travel with

Just keep in mind that if you sweat a lot, you may need a towel to help you sliding when your hands get really sweaty.

3. Gaiam Dry Grip Yoga Mat

You’ll notice that the Gaiam Dry Grip yoga mat ticks many of the boxes regarding yoga mats for sweaty practices, like Power yoga. And the reason for this is that not only is it a rather thick yoga mat that will help protect your joints, but it also has a stay-dry topcoat that promises to remove any moisture that is on the surface. In this way, this mat promises that you will experience the ultimate grip, regardless of how sweaty your hands get during your Power yoga class.

This mat develops a stickiness when damp. And so if you sweat a lot during your yoga practice, you will definitely want to check this yoga mat out.

Features to love about the Gaiam Dry Grip Yoga Mat:

  • It’s a thick mat (5mm) meaning that it will also provide you with a lot of cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Comes in 4 colors
  • Available in two lengths (68 inches and 7 inches).
  • Has a beautiful pattern

A little note about the Gaiam Dry Grip Yoga mat is that it may release quite a strong odor when you first unwrap it. This is very common with yoga mats and the smell will slowly fade away. To help the odor leave, unroll it and air it out for a few days when you first receive it.

4. Lululemon Reversible

If you are an Ashtanga practitioner that is looking for a good quality yoga mat that has good grip, good cushioning and is under $100, you’re going to want to check this mat out. It has a superior grip in dry and sweaty conditions, meaning that this is a perfect yoga mat for Ashtanga yoga. It has an interesting leather-like top layer that maximizes your grip no matter how much you sweat. And that’s something worth checking out!

Features to love about the Lululemon:

  • Good grip for an Ashtanga yoga practice
  • Antimicrobial layer
  • 5mm thick meaning you will experience great cushioning
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Affordable

5. Manduka GRP

If you practice Power yoga and you find yourself sweating a lot during class and you’re looking for a mat that seems to tick all the boxes, whilst still being under $100, you’re going to want to check this mat out. The Manduka GRP has a superior grip in dry and sweaty conditions, meaning that this is a perfect yoga mat for Power Yoga.

You’ll quickly notice that it has an interesting leather-like top layer that maximizes your grip no matter how much you sweat! And that’s something worth checking out!

Features to love about the Manduka GRP:

  • Great for both dry and sweaty practices
  • Odor absorbent thanks to its charcoal-infused natural rubber core that absorbs sweat
  • Zero-waste mat as it is made from sustainably harvested tree rubber
  • Comes in two thicknesses, 4mm and 6mm meaning that both options offer great cushioning

You may notice that there aren’t many colors available, just 3 dark colors. However, don’t let that put you off when considering whether this is the mat for you. Plus, if you’re thinking about what thickness to go for (4mm or 6mm) I always recommend going for the thicker option. There is nothing better than practicing on a thick yoga mat. My max preference is 6mm.

6. Manduka Eko Lite

Staying with Maduka, if you are looking for an eco-friendly yoga mat this is also great for Power yoga, then this may be a great option for you. It is 4mm thick meaning that it is thinner than the Manduka Pro, but thick enough to offer good cushioning for your joints.

Plus, similar to the Manduka Pro, you may need to give it some time to break it in to really get to experience the great grip that the Manduka can offer.

Features to love about the Manduka Eko Lite:

  • 4mm thick meaning you will experience some good cushioning
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Comes in a variety of colors and patterns
  • Rather affordable

If you are considering this yoga mat for sweaty hands and you know you sweat a lot, then know that you may have to also use a rug (like the Yogasana Yoga Mat) or towel (like the Yogitoes Manduka Yoga Towel for Mat).

7. Manduka eKo

This yoga mat is the thicker version of the mat mentioned above. It comes in at 5mm, meaning that this is slightly thicker. This way, it may offer extra support for your joints. And so if you are looking for a yoga mat for Power yoga that also offers great cushioning, then this may be the mat for you.

Additionally, keep in mind that this mat is actually the “most durable natural rubber yoga mat on the market”.

Features to love about the Manduka eko:

  • 5mm thick meaning you will experience some superior cushioning
  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable
  • Durable
  • Natural rubber grip
  • Rippled surface texture that helps improve the grip

8. Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat

If you are looking for a yoga mat for Power yoga that is great for sweaty practices and is also sustainably made, then this cork mat may be your option. Cork is actually a great material to practice on, especially if you sweat a lot. And the reason is that the cork’s grip and traction increase with moisture. And so the more you sweat, the more the grip improves.

Features we love about the Gaiam Cork mat:

  • Sustainably made
  • Grip improves as you sweat
  • Affordable
  • Cork is able to resist moisture
  • No odors with this mat

Cotton Rugs and Towels for Power yoga

So now that we’ve looked in to the best Power yoga mats, lets now look at what you can place on top of your mat to ensure that you have a great practice.

1. Yogasana Cotton Yoga Mat

If you practice Power yoga and especially if you generally sweat a lot, then this cotton rug is perhaps just what you are looking for. It is made of cotton and as such will absorb all your sweat, you can feel confident that is a perfect solution for sweaty Power yoga classes.

Keep in mind that as it is a rug, you will have to place this on top of a yoga mat, otherwise, you may be sliding all over your floor!

Features to love about the Yogasana Yoga Mat:

  • You can place this on top of your mat when you start getting sweaty hands
  • It will prolong the lifespan of your yoga mat
  • Simply put it in the washing machine on a cold wash
  • This mat comes with an incredible 21 Year Warranty!
  • It comes in a variety of colors

This is my preferred option for my sweaty practices. The combo I have is the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat and then I place this rug on top.

This is something Ashtanga practitioners generally do as they start to sweat and it really is what has perhaps helped my Manduka Pro stay in perfect use, despite 11 years of practicing and teaching on it!

2. Gaiam Grippy Towel

Having a yoga mat towel is another option to using a cotton rug. It is micro-fiber and will help you have excellent grip throughout your Ashtanga practice, no matter how much you sweat. And so if you are looking for something to place on top of your yoga mat, then this is a great thing to use on top of any mat really and will help keep your hands in place throughout your Ashtanga practice.

Features to love about the Gaiam Grippy Yoga Mat Towels:

  • It is microfiber, meaning it is super absorbent
  • It dries in half the time of a cotton rug
  • It comes in beautiful colors
  • It can be machine washed
  • Very affordable

Something to point out is that this towel is very thin. And so especially if you practice Ashtanga yoga and you do many jump backs, this may be moving out of place, especially if you can’t clear your feet from the floor. This is something that I personally don’t like and that’s why I use a cotton rug. However, I know many people who swear by this and so it really comes down to personal preference.

3. Yogitoes Towel

Just like the yoga towel above, this is also a great option if you are looking for something to place on top of your yoga mat during your Ashtanga practice, especially once you start sweating. Simply place it on top of your mat and you are ready to go!

Features to love about the Yogitoes Manduka Yoga Towel for Mat:

  • It is microfiber, meaning it is super absorbent
  • It dries in half the time of a cotton rug
  • Eco-friendly
  • It can be machine washed
  • It has rubber dots on the base meaning it won’t be sliding anywhere, regardless of the surface you place it on.

If you don’t want to place this on top of your mat, you can always have it next to you and use it to wipe your sweat. This could be a solution to practicing with sweaty hands.

Conclusion

And so all the yoga mats listed are good options for Power yoga. It really does depend on what you are looking for.

If you want a premium yoga mat that you will have for life, then go for the Manduka Pro and pair it with the Yogasana Yoga Mat.

What mat do yoga teachers use?

As a general rule, yoga teachers choose durable mats that they can teach and practice on. And so the Manduka Pro is the preferred option as it comes with a lifetime guarantee. I have had my Manduka Pro for the past 11 years and there is as good as new after teaching and practicing on it daily.

Which mat is best for yoga?

The best mat for yoga is one that is perfect for you and your practice. For sweaty hands aim for a mat that can absorb the sweat (e.g., Jade Harmony). For Ashtanga aim for a mat with good grip (e.g. Manduka Pro). For sensitive knees aim for a mat with good cushioning (e.g. Lululemon).

Related articles:

What thickness mat is best for yoga?

As a general rule, aim for a mat between 4 and 6mm thick. Thinner than 4mm may place too much pressure on your joints. Thicker than 6mm may feel too thick for your yoga practice. The best yoga mats are between 4 and 6mm. For example, the Manduka Pro is 6mm thick and the Liforme is 4.2mm thick.

Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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