The 6 Best Yoga Mat Towels for Mopping Up Sweat Mid-Practice

For serious drip.

Drenched in sweat after an invigorating vinyasa flow? Fear not! A yoga mat towel can help transform your yoga mat from a slick and potentially hazardous surface to a secure, slip-free safety pad. While any towel can sop up moisture, yoga mat towels are made for the job—and the best options will be thin, lightweight, and made from moisture-wicking or absorbent materials that clean and dry quickly. Bonus points if they feature an on-slip backing or pockets to prevent it from moving around and becoming a distraction that takes you away from the present moment.

To bid farewell to slipping and sliding, we tapped the yoga pros for their recommendations. These best yoga mat towels will let you skip the drip (or at least, clean it up with ease) no matter your yoga routine or level.

The best yoga mat towels, at a glance:

What to Look for in a Yoga Mat Towel

According to Maine-based yoga teacher Katherine Englishman and Bethany Lyons, founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga in New York City, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for your ideal yoga mat towel.

First is the material. If you tend to sweat while you practice, it’s best to select a material that wicks away sweat and dries quickly. Synthetic performance fibers, such as polyester and nylon, will fit the bill. You can also opt for ones made from microfiber, a material that’s typically made from polyester and nylon and lauded for their moisture-absorbing abilities.

You’ll also want a lightweight yoga towel with a low profile to prevent it from bunching up as you practice, says Englishman. Conversely, avoid using a regular beach or terry bath towel (“They’re not meant for yoga,” she says). She recommends purchasing yoga-specific options, which are usually the size of standard yoga mats. “You don’t want anything too long or too short,” she explains. “You want to make sure that it frames your mat perfectly.”

Finally, you may want a non-slip yoga towel that has a grippy backing or corner pockets that secure it onto your mat. While not necessary, these features (along with a non-slip yoga mat, of course) are ideal for those who want an option that is sure to stay in place.

Shop the best yoga mat towels


Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel

Best Overall: Manduka, Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel — $68.00

The Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel comes highly recommended by Englishman thanks to its sprawling size, absorbent material, and non-slip backing.  It’s made from a poly-nylon blend to wick away sweat but dry quickly so it won’t stay damp for very long. Plus, it’s reinforced with grippy silicone dots that Englishman says keep it in place. “It’s really thin and low profile to prevent it from being distracting or bunching up,” she says, adding that it is “soft,” too. A bonus: It comes in two sizes—standard and long—and 22 colors and prints. 

One tradeoff is that the manufacturer warns that the yoga mat towel can stain lighter-colored yoga mats and clothes so it’s important to wash the towel before use. 

Material: 30% recycled polyester, 60% polyester, 10% nylon

Available sizes: 71″ x 24″,  79″ x 24″

Available colors: 22

Pros:

  • Non-slip backing
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Quick-drying
  • Two size options
  • 22 colors

Con:

  • It can stain yoga mat or clothes if used without washing
  • Pricey


Ufit Universal Yoga Towel

Runner up: Ufit, Universal Towel — $48.00

“I’ve tried so many [yoga mat towels] and Ufit yoga towels are my absolute favorite,” says Lyons. “They are the best towels I have found for not bunching and moving.” What’s more, the yoga mat towel is constructed out of microfiber to make it “super absorbent.” Just keep in mind that microfiber can attract hair, dust, dirt, and lint, so you may want to wash it separately to prevent it from transferring dirt and dust to the rest of your laundry.

Material: 100% microfiber

Available sizes: 72 x 25″

Available colors: 13

Pros:

  • Made from lint-free microfiber
  • Quick-drying
  • Sweat-wicking
  • 13 colors

Con:

  • No additional features to secure it in place
  • Only comes in one size


Gaiam Stay-Put Yoga Towel

Best budget: Gaiam, Stay-Put Yoga Towel — $20.00

This yoga mat towel from Gaiam is the most affordable option on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less quality; it shares many of the same features as our teacher-approved picks. For one, it’s made from microfiber to make it absorbent and quick-drying, plus the four corner pockets help secure it to your mat. It’s also the smallest featured yoga mat towel, so it will work for most standard-size mats. Just note that this pick is only available in two colors (blue and purple). 

Material: 88% polyester, 12% polyamide

Available sizes: 70″ x 26″

Available colors: 2

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Corner pockets for secure attachment
  • Quick-drying
  • Sweat-wicking

Con:

  • Only two colors

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Lululemon The Towel

Most durable: Lululemon, The Towel — $38.00

I’ve owned my Lululemon yoga mat towel for several years, and it’s seen me through many a sweaty yoga class. Made of 100-percent polyester, it wicks away my sweat—and I sweat a lot—and it doesn’t slip and slide during practice, thanks to its low profile. It manages to stay put as I bend my body into warrior poses and downward-facing dogs. After a particularly difficult workout, the yoga towel is drenched, but it doesn’t soak through to the other side or absorb any odors along with my sweat. This yoga mat towel has also stood up to many washes, proving it to be durable, too. (Win-win-win.) You can shop it in two classic neutrals: black and white.

Material: 100% polyester

Available sizes: 71″ x 26″ 

Available colors: 2

Pros:

  • Sweat-wicking
  • Quick-drying
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable

Con:

  • No additional features to secure it in place


Nomadix Original Towel

Best multipurpose: Nomadix, Original Towel — $40.00

If you want something for use on and off the mat, the Nomadix Original Towel will fit the bill. “It’s an all-purpose performance towel that you can take with you if you’re traveling, or maybe at the beach,” says Englishman. “I love its versatility.”

While it isn’t a yoga mat towel, per se, it does as well. It’s made from a combination of polyester and nylon that works to wick away moisture, and it comes in a size that’s suitable for most standard-size mats. Englishman notes that it isn’t designed with features to lend it staying power, which is a small price to pay for its versatility. Shop it in dozens of fun prints.

Material: 80% polyester, 20% nylon

Available sizes: 72.5″ x 30″

Available colors: 26

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Quick-drying
  • 26 colors

Con:

  • No additional features to secure it in place to your mat


Polyte Microfiber Towel (Set of 4)

Best alternative: Polyte, Microfiber Towel (Set of 4) — $17.00

If you don’t want to invest in a yoga mat towel, yoga teacher and aerialist Rebekah Cloud recommends using a small towel to place beneath your hands. Opt for one made from microfiber, like this set of four, which are durable enough to catch sweat drops while offering a secure grip. At less than half the size of regular yoga mat towels,  its smaller size also makes it easier to transport to and from the yoga studio. 

Material: 100% microfiber

Available sizes: 30″ x 6″

Available colors: 6

Pros:

  • Travel-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Absorbent
  • Comes in a set of four

Con:

  • It won’t prevent sweat from dripping onto your yoga mat
  • Small size doesn’t cover the entire mat

FAQS

What is a yoga mat towel?

“A yoga mat towel is an accessory that goes on top of your yoga mat that absorbs sweat and keeps people from slipping if they tend to sweat a lot and they don’t have the grip and stability that they need,” says Englishman. Lyons echoes the sentiment, adding that it’s also a “great layer of protection from germs and bacteria, especially when renting a mat.”

Can a yoga mat towel work as a yoga mat?

Not quite. “The padding of a yoga mat provides support for your joints and prevents discomfort or pain that might come from a hard surface,” says Englishman.

Plus, mats are a lot less slippery than towels on their own. “A mat under the mat towel will always be better in providing a safer and more stable surface and the appropriate grip for a vigorous practice,” says Lyons. That said, you may be able to forgo using a mat if you’re practicing yoga on a beach or on a rubber mat floor where you have a bit more purchase underneath your feet.

How often should I wash my yoga mat towel?

Preferably after every single use!  “You sweat on it and drench it, just like you sweat in and drench your clothing in a hot yoga class,” says Lyons. “You never want to re-use without washing all those items!”

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