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I’m looking for a yoga mat that will have the best grip when sweaty. What are the features I should look for in a yoga mat?

I need to mention that the mat will be a gift for my boyfriend who is sweating like crazy when exercising. I would like to find something that will not make him slip while exercising so he could have a nice, calm practice.

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  • Hey Aleksandra, welcome to Fitness.SE. Purchase recommendations are off-topic but I've tried editing your question to ask about the properties of yoga mats, instead.
    – C. Lange
    Commented Nov 23, 2020 at 21:18

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For the kind of "Yoga" where you are sweating, you often put a "Yoga Towel" on top of the mat. If you look on Amazon, some have keywords like "grip", "sticky", "Non Slip". I think they often have knots or small areas with rubber.

I am not aware of Yoga Mats performing better than others when sweaty, but I can imagine a slightly rough surface does this. (I see some announced as "Sweat-Grip")

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I am the former owner of the #1 rated yoga mat company on Amazon (Tomuno).

BUT I no longer sell yoga mats. So I hope I can provide an unbiased answer?

If you are doing 'hot yoga', e.g., Bikram where the room is heated, typically you would use a hot yoga towel placed over a yoga mat. In this case you would want a 'closed cell' yoga mat. Closed cell means it has a SMOOTH surface so sweat beads and rolls off the mat and does not get absorbed by the mat. This way your mat won't get moldy or smelly and will stay clean.

If you are NOT doing 'hot yoga' but just sweat a lot via your hands and feet then usually yoga studio owners recommend natural rubber. It is generally considered to provide the best grip (hence the price premium it commands). After that in descending order of grippiness would be TPE and then PVC yoga mats.

With all that said, there are a lot of tradeoffs to consider for your boyfriend. If he wants a durable mat that lasts longer than 1 year he might NOT want a rubber mat. Instead he might want a TPE mat and just reconcile himself to bringing a dry cotton towel to wipe off his mat during practice periodically. Rubber mats are pricy so some yogis rightfully do not want to spend that much money each year replacing one just for grip.

Other tradeoffs include: cushion vs. grip. vs. weight vs. "can I use skin moisturizers with this mat" ...etc...

To help you choose the right mat, yoga studio owners typically ask a whole bunch of questions... "Do you need cushion?" "Do you use essential oils to clean your mat?", etc...

How do I know this? I LITERALLY spoke with almost every single yoga studio owner from the top of Maine to the bottom of North Carolina when I ran Tomuno which was a joy; yoga studio owners are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in my opinion.

For fun, I made an interactive quiz which simulates this Q&A with a yoga studio owner to help people filter down and find their right mat if interested.

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    I took the quiz but it wasn't very decisive. At some point, rubber was the only fit for me, but answering more questions excluded rubber too, and started recommending the other two types instead. It went back and forth like that.
    – Alec
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 8:21
  • Hi @Alec! Thank you for your comment :). I may be wrong but I am wondering if the reason why this occurred is because the current state of technology in the yoga mat industry is such that no single yoga mat raw material can satisfy ALL the most common requirements of yogis. For example most yogis want "grip" and "low maintenance" but currently no mat offers both, i.e., the grippiest mat is high maintenance. I'd like to provide individual help to you? I don't have the reputation points to 'chat' yet on stackexchange but if you leave your email in the quiz at the bottom I can reply? Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 18:11

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