If you’re tired of lugging your mat to and from your after-work yin class or can’t bear sliding around during downward dog, a good yoga towel is worth investing in. Designed to grip the mat on one side and absorb sweat on the other, a yoga towel can make your practice easier and ward off any yoga accidents.
Not only is a yoga towel more hygienic when using a mat that isn’t yours in a studio, it helps minimise the amount you might slip during a practice. And as well as using it on the mat, some yogis like to put a towel over themselves at the end of their practice to help relax during savasana.
What to look for in a top yoga towel
No, you can’t use the beach towel you take on holiday every year. Unlike a normal towel, a specialised yoga towel will have some key features:
Grip: A yoga towel will have a good amount of grip on the side you place on the mat, preventing it from bunching up under your feet in warrior two. This can be in the form of silicone nubs, or a microfibre material that's grippy when wet.
Lightweight: If you’re already carrying a mat and your kit on your commute, you don’t want a bulky towel too. Most yoga towels will be lightweight enough to roll up into your bag, but it’s a good idea to think about when you’ll be using the towel most and whether it being super-lightweight is a priority.
Super-absorbent: Despite looking rather thin, a good yoga towel will be super absorbent, with sweat-wicking properties that mean it won’t be soggy in your bag after class.
Machine-washable: Most of the towels below will be able to be chucked in the washing machine with your yoga kit and hung on the washing line to dry. Most yoga towels shouldn’t be put in the tumble drier as it can damage the material, making it less grippy over time.
Most standard-size yoga mats are 173cm long and around 61cm wide. If your yoga mat is particularly long, it’s a good idea to check the dimensions beforehand to ensure you’re choosing a yoga towel that will cover it. All of the towels below will cover a standard-size yoga mat.
With plenty of yoga towels on the market, we’ve hand-picked our favourites to help you work out which is the best for you.
Yogitoes Skidless Yoga Mat Towel
Buy now: Amazon | $58
If you’re looking for a yoga towel that absolutely won’t slip, will be absorbent enough to survive the sweatiest of hot yoga classes and is good for the environment, the Yogitoes Skidless Yoga Mat Towel is one to add to your basket.
Although spending more than £50 on a yoga towel might seem extravagant, this will last longer than a studio subscription and you’ll feel the difference if you’ve been practising with a thin towel, or without one at all. The mat-facing side of the towel is covered in silicone nubs that grip the mat as you practice whilst the upper-side is soft, highly absorbent and grips well, even when wet.
With sustainability at the heart of everything Manduka does, the towel is made from no fewer than four plastic bottles. Plus, there’s a number of different colours and designs to suit every style of yogi. The only downside we could find is that it’s the most expensive towel on the list, but if you can afford to make the investment, it’s worth it.
Size: 172cm x 61cm
Best lightweight towel
Manduka eQua Yoga Towel
If you’re not much of a hot yoga fan, or are lucky enough to be one of life’s non-sweaty people, you can probably opt for a more lightweight yoga towel. The Manduka eQua Yoga Towel lacks the silicone nubs of the Yogitoes Skidless Towel, but is still grippy and absorbent when wet.
To enhance the grip of the towel, Manduka recommend you spray both sides of the yoga towel with water before using it. This towel will also come in handy if you’re traveling to a retreat somewhere warm, or just carrying a towel in your bag, as it can be rolled or folded up pretty small. The downside? It’s only designed for light to medium perspiration, so it won’t suit every yoga class.
Size: 182cm x 67cm
Best for hot yoga
Yoga Design Lab Hot Yoga Towel
One of the lightest towels on the list, the Yoga Design Lab Hot Yoga Towel is a great option if you’re off on a retreat abroad, or are a yogi doesn’t travel light. Perfect for hot and bikram yoga, as well as Pilates, the towel doesn’t slip or bunch up underfoot.
Machine-washable and eco-friendly, the super-absorbent material is made from recycled plastic bottles, as well as being non-fade, so you don’t need to worry about the colours running in the wash. The only drawback with this towel is that without silicone nubs, you’ll need to wet it slightly in order for it to be grippy, but most yoga studios have spray bottles dotted around, so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Size: 182cm x 61cm
Best not just for yoga
Lululemon The Towel
Lululemon fans rejoice – you can now get a yoga towel to match your favourite pair of Align Pants. A popular towel, it’s designed to be used on your mat as well as after your morning spin class or gym session. Without silicone nubs, it’s another towel that you’ll definitely need to dampen beforehand in order to get a good grip.
It absorbs well and can be chucked in the washing machine with your kit after class. That said, some yogis found that in particularly sweaty classes, they needed another towel at the end of the class as this thinner, lightweight towel was a little damp. There’s also a smaller towel available for wiping your brow before relaxing into savasana.
Size: 180cm x 66cm
Best for Instagram
Yogamatters Grippy Yoga Mat Towel – Night Sky
Probably one of the prettiest yoga towels on the list, just looking at this Yogamatters towel will help you get ready to unwind. Aside from the pretty design, this classic yoga towel has silicone dots on one side to enhance the grip, making it great for a faster flow or Pilates session.
As well as being grippy, it’s lightweight and can easily be rolled or folded away after class. Made from sweat absorbing microfibre, this towel dries by the time you get to savasana, meaning you won’t be lying on something soggy. One thing to be aware of – if you’ve already opted for a lighter-coloured mat, some of the colour might be transferred from this towel.
Size: 183cm x 61cm
Best for budget
Heathyoga Non Slip Towel
Buy now: Amazon (UK) | $19.95
As well as being the most affordable item on the list, one of our favourite things about this yoga towel is the innovative corner pocket design, which prevents the towel from moving or bunching up under your feet. Almost like a pillowcase, you can slip the towel around your mat at home or in the studio, keeping it in place for the entire session.
The towel has a microfibre and silicone coating, making it absorbent and grippy, especially when wet. When you buy the mat, it’ll come with a handy travel bag, stopping your damp towel getting your gym bag too wet, and a little spray water bottle to use before class to enhance the grip.
This towel might not last forever, but is a good choice for the price tag and the extras are a nice touch.
Size: 183cm x 64cm
Best for traveling
Calmia Eternal Lotus Yoga Towel
Buy now: Amazon (UK) | £17.20
If you’re off on an adventure and don’t want to have to buy a travel mat as well as a new yoga towel, this is the perfect solution. The Lotus Flower design is made from silicone nubs to prevent the towel from slipping when used on a mat and is also grippy enough to use on the floor as a travel mat.
The microfibre upper is highly absorbent, making the towel suitable for hot yoga, and like a few of the other towels on this list, it gets grippier when wet. Machine-washable and extremely lightweight and portable, this towel also comes in handy in the gym or when traveling.
Size: 183cm x 61cm