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Finding the best yoga towel can be tricky. Yoga towels are used primarily for two purposes: To place on top of a yoga mat to improve grip and traction, and to wipe away sweat (especially in a hot yoga environment).
If you’re tired of using a yoga towel that isn’t absorbent enough or slides around on your mat, now’s the time to upgrade and find something better!
Most everyone who practices yoga will need a towel. Some people try to remedy the fact that their yoga mat isn’t “sticky” enough by using a standard bath towel to cover their mats, but those just don’t do the job. Now’s the time to wise up and select an appropriate non slip yoga towel to improve your practice, your grip, and your peace of mind.
You may think all towels are created equal, but the differences in size, absorption level and price can make a huge difference. Read on to find the best yoga towel for you.
The Ultimate Yoga Towel Buyers Guide
|Type of Towel
|Yogitoes Skidless Premium
|Aurorae Sport Mat Towel
|Both mat-length and hand-size
|Shandali Sticky Fiber Hot Yoga Towel
|YogaRat Microfiber Towel
|Both mat-length and hand-size
|Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Towel
|Both mat-length and hand-size
|Youphoria Super Absorbent Towel
|Jade Microfiber Towel
|TOPLUS 2 in 1 Towel Package
|Mat-length and hand-size (multi-pack)
Types of Yoga Towels: Hand Towel vs. Mat-Length
The two basic types of yoga towels are the mat-length towel and the hand towel. Mat-length yoga towels (at least 68 inches long) cover the entire mat and improve stability, while hand towels are designed simply to wipe your brow and sop up perspiration.
The mat-length towel is a popular choice for those who aren’t totally satisfied with the traction of their mat. These towels are specially designed to soak up sweat, unlike a basic bath towel, which won’t absorb moisture as quickly.
The nice thing about full-length towels is that they can be used on top of pretty much any yoga mat, even a cheap one. So if you’re on a budget, you can stick with the studio rental mats, or buy an inexpensive yoga mat while investing in a nice towel.
The video below shows a common mat-length towel and how to use it.
The hand towel, sometimes referred to as a “sport size” towel, is a smaller garment, with popular sizes including 30 x 20 inches and 25 x 14. This item is best for folks who already have a mat with great grip, such as the Aurorae Synergy mat/towel combo, and just need something to wipe their face during a hot yoga session.
Yoga towels are not terribly expensive. Many fall into the $15-20 price range. A few can go for as much as $50 if they are popular name brands or offer special features. Unlike most mats, towels can be machine-washed and dried, so they are easier to maintain and care for.
Most popular towels are made from microfiber materials and have similar thickness levels, so there’s generally not a ton of difference between them in terms of softness and comfort. Thus, choosing the best yoga towel for you is often a matter of comparing basic factors such as size, brand, and price.
And let’s not forget color – the towel is a good chance to express your own personal style, and many come in lots of bright colors. I admit that when I’m stuck between two even choices, sometimes a striking color can be the tiebreaking factor!
See below for a guide to finding the best yoga towel to meet your needs.
Reviews of Some of the Best Yoga Towels
For several years now, the Yogitoes Skidless Premium has been one of the most popular non-slip yoga towels available. If you don’t want to spend too much time researching yoga towels and just want to make a quick, reliable purchase, stop reading now and purchase this one!
The mat-length towel soaks up sweat and stays in place thanks to silicone nubs on the bottom that keep it from sliding while you move through your poses.
The Yogitoes Skidless Premium costs more than many other towels, but the quality of the product is well worth spending the extra money. As an added bonus, this towel is available in more than two dozen colors, including such unusual shades as Chakra Print, River Gold, Stained Glass, and Groovy Playa. Read our full review of the Yogitoes Skidless.
Our top-rated hand towel is the Manduka eQua, and its price tag is a steal. Manduka is one of the most reputable names in yoga, and the company’s Black Mat Pro happens to be one of the highest-rated yoga mats. The eQua’s small size makes it ideal to take along with your compact travel yoga mat when you’re traveling.
The eQua absorbs perspiration from your face and hands quickly. It’s soft, thick, and specially designed to dry fast and to keep odors under control. All of this product’s colors have exotic names, including thrive, midnight, magic, thunder, embrace, and verve.
The eQua was originally only available as a hand towel, but Manduka now makes a mat-length version as well. You can find both on Amazon – just be sure to click your desired size before purchasing.
The YogaRat also comes in mat-length and hand-size versions, and both are soft, comfortable, and lightweight. I personally own the YogaRat hand towel, which I’ve used for more than a year with an Aurorae Synergy mat.
I practice hot yoga, so I need a hand towel that absorbs moisture easily. The YogaRat does that, and it fights odor to the extent that I can go a couple days without needing to wash it. The towel is also very durable.
After dozens of washes over the past year, there’s no fraying or wear and tear, and no loss of color. I give this one my personal recommendation, but as always, shop around to find the one that best suits your own needs!
Aurorae’s products are always popular. Their sport mat towel comes in both mat-length (72 x 24 inches) and sport-size (30 x 20 inches.) We like the sport size because it’s a little bigger than a some other hand towels. That gives you more material to work with, and therefore more ability to sop up sweat.
As with most Aurorae products, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The absorbent material wicks away sweat far better than a typical cotton towel.
For the mat-length towel, it may be necessary to slightly mist or dampen the towel before using. That helps to obtain maximal slip resistance. But that is true of most towels, so it’s not a reason to pass on what is otherwise an excellent product. If the Aurorae is not the best yoga towel on the market, it’s close.
When we first published this yoga towel buyers guide a few years back, the basic Shandali towel was on the list, but our reviews ranked it near the middle of the pack. Since then, Shandali has changed the game with its new Sticky Fiber Towel.
This 24 x 72 mat-length towel features a unique “web-grip” silicone bottom that keeps the towel from slipping or bunching. In fact, the company claims it provides a 500% decrease in slipping. Who knows how they arrived at the number! All we know is that it does the job. if you’re seeking yoga towels with grip, this one is for you.
This is perhaps the best hot yoga mat towel, since it’s especially made for that purpose. But anyone can benefit from it since it stays in place so well. It’s very affordable and comes in multiple colors, so what’s not to like?
Gaiam is one of our favorite brands for nearly all yoga products. The company makes mat-length and hand towels, and we particularly like the Gaiam Thirsty Hand Towel. The towel measures 20 x 30 inches and it’s extra-absorbent, which is always a big feature when you’re looking for the best yoga towel to keep you dry during practice.
Its superior softness makes it one of the most comfortable towels around. This is one of the best yoga towels for hot yoga, since it’s specifically made for Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and hot yoga, where practitioners will sweat a lot.
The price is almost impossible to beat, and it comes in eight cool color combinations, such as gray with a yellow trim, and purple with a green trim. Read our full review of the mat-length version of the Gaiam Thirsty.
This Youphoria towel gets consistently solid marks across the board in every category: absorption, price, softness, non-slip qualities, and even variety of colors. That makes it one of the best options on the market today.
It’s super absorbent, with an ability to hold 7 times it weight in water(!) The microfiber towel is thick, with a high border stitch count to prevent fraying.
It also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so it’s a no-risk purchase. The Youphoria is among the most stylish yoga towels. We love the gray towel with blue stitching, but the mint green towel with gray stitching is also really attractive!
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga Towels
How can I make a yoga towel grippier?
You can always take a spray bottle and lightly spray the towel before practice, just as you might spray a yoga towel. Another options is to wear yoga gloves, which are becoming more and more common.
Which is the best yoga towel for hot yoga?
We’ve mentioned a couple of candidates. Ultimately, the Shandali Sticky Fiber is probably your best bet for a mat-length hot yoga towel, while the reliable YogaRat wins the top prize for best hand towel for hot yoga.
Which yoga towel will fit my mat?
This varies, of course, depending on the length of your mat. If you’re not sure the exact dimensions, go ahead and measure it just to be certain. Yoga mats come in many different sizes these days, so you can’t assume you have a standard mat without double checking. Most studio mats will be 24 x 68 inches or 24 x 72.
Are there any other benefits to using a mat-length yoga towel?
One hidden benefit is that your mat itself will stay cleaner. If you’re always covering the mat with a towel, you won’t be sweating on and dirtying the actual mat. That will save you a lot of time and effort, since yoga mats can be a hassle to clean!
How can I keep a towel from smelling too much?
Unfortunately, you do need to wash yoga towels quite frequently. Maybe not after every use, but at least after every couple of uses. My YogaRat hand towel can usually survive 3 yoga classes before it needs to be washed.
For this reason, we’ve recommended products that are durable and long-lasting. These brands should not fray or pull apart with repeated washings, unlike some towels of lesser quality.
What are yoga towels typically made of?
While they can be made of cotton, many of the best yoga towels today are made from microfiber. This material is designed to wick away sweat and maintain its traction. If you’re looking for something softer, check out our list of the top Mexican yoga blankets!
Which other accessories should I consider?
If you practice most often in a yoga studio, we always recommend having a mat carrying strap or sling. You should be able to wrap your towel around your mat and cinch both of them together with the carrying strap.
These are our choices for the top yoga towels currently on the market! What is your favorite?