Updated October 2021
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Buying guide for best yoga towels

Whether you frequent hot yoga or just sweat a lot during your practice, a yoga towel is as essential as your mat. Although yoga mats are designed to be non-slip, when you add sweat to the mix your mat can become very slippery. Not only is this a nuisance, it can put you in danger of injury.

Yoga towels are designed to be approximately the same size as your mat and are made of absorbent fabric to wick away sweat while providing a non-slip surface for your feet and hands. Even if you don’t sweat much or are practicing in a non-heated room, a yoga towel provides extra grip and stability to your poses. Not to mention, it’s hygienic: it’s a lot easier to clean a yoga towel than a mat.

Smaller yoga towels are also available to wipe away excess sweat from your brow and body. They may be sold with larger towels or individually. Other towels include a carrying bag and spray bottle to wet your towel and make it extra sticky before you begin your practice.

If a yoga towel is what’s been missing from your practice, check out our top picks, which include towels priced for your budget. If you’re still not sure if a yoga towel is right for you, keep reading to learn more about how these products can enhance your yoga.

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Yoga towels provide a hygienic layer between you and your mat, which can host bacteria, especially if you’re using a mat belonging to the studio.

Key considerations


Yoga towels are typically made from microfiber, which has higher absorbency than a normal towel and is significantly less thick and heavy. Plus, the material dries much faster. Microfiber is made from extremely small fibers of polyester (or a combination of polyester and other synthetic materials, like nylon) and is soft to the touch. If you’re environmentally conscious, choose a yoga towel made from recycled plastics or from bamboo, a natural and sustainable material. If you’re looking for a towel with a cooling effect, select one made from mesh, although these tend not to be as “grippy” as other materials.


Yoga towels come in mat size and hand towel size. Yoga towels for a standard mat come in two sizes: 72 inches by 26 inches and 68 inches by 24 inches. We recommend measuring your mat to get the perfect fit — the towel should cover the entire surface of the mat. For hand towels, expect to find measurements like 30 inches by 20 inches, 14 inches by 24 inches, or 16 inches by 26.5 inches. If you just want to keep the sweat from stinging your eyes, opt for a smaller, washcloth-sized towel.

Thickness & Cushioning

Yoga towels come in different thicknesses. If you prefer a little extra cushion, select a thicker one. If you want one that’s easier to fold up and stash in your bag after class, opt for a thin one, around 1.5 millimeters thick.


A mat-size yoga towel is worthless unless it’s grippy enough to stay stuck to your mat. Because of its placement on top of a yoga mat, a towel may have sticky silicone dots or webbing on the underside, keeping it in place on the mat. Other double-sided designs have a microfiber layer on top and rubber backing to keep the towel slip-proof and stuck to the mat. Microfiber towels without these features will stay in place if your mat is spritzed with water before practice, though not as well. In this case, look for ones with a textured or gridlike weave for better skid protection.


  • Extra-long (XL) towel: If you’re over six feet tall and have an extra-long yoga mat to accommodate your size, then by all means you’ll need an extra-long yoga towel with the dimensions of 26 inches by 85 inches. These tend to be more expensive.

  • Corner pockets: Some yoga towels have pockets at all four corners to tuck your mat into (pockets go face down). This keeps everything anchored in place as you flow.

  • Designs: Patterns on your towel will spruce up your mat and your practice. We personally love mandalas and tie-dyed designs. Since a decent portion of yoga class is spent gazing downward, pick a design that’ll uplift you.

  • Colors: Yoga towels both big and small come in lots of colors. Bright colors will keep you energized during your power yoga practice, while more muted or neutral tones will help ground you in restorative practice.

  • Non-toxic: Chances are if you’re doing yoga, you care about your health and well-being. If this is the case, select a towel that doesn’t use harmful or environmentally harsh dyes or materials.

  • Accessories: Some yoga towels come with a spray bottle and/or a carry bag that’s usually big enough to fit the towel and small personal items, like a wallet or cell phone.

Yoga towel prices

You can purchase a mat-size microfiber towel for as little as $15 to $20. They may even come with accessories such as a hand towel, or desirable features like pocket corners or silicone grips.

Inexpensive: Yoga towels that fall beneath $15 are available, but we wouldn’t recommend them due to their lower-quality materials. Hand towels, however, are between $6 to $16, and you can find a high-quality microfiber towel in this price range.

Mid-price: A mat-size yoga towel, on average, goes for $21 to $30.

Expensive: High-end yoga towels are priced between $38 and $58. These might have elaborate designs, be constructed from specialty microfiber, or have advanced silicone grips.

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Did you know?
Tightly woven microfibers provide plush — even suede-like — softness to your yoga towel.


  • Mist your microfiber towel with water right before class starts to enhance its grip. If you’re not carrying a spray bottle, carefully pour water from your water bottle onto the mat and spread it around with your hands.

  • Always wash your yoga towel after use. Yoga towels are antimicrobial so long as you wash them after sweating on them.

  • The more you sweat, the stickier most microfiber yoga towels become. You may want to start out class on your mat, then place your towel down once you start sweating.

  • If you’re meeting a friend at yoga class, you can save them a place next to you by laying down your yoga towel. This is a customary practice at yoga studios and is generally not frowned upon.

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Yoga towels not only absorb sweat from your body but improve traction, which helps you stay in standing or balancing poses.


Q. How do I wash my yoga towel?

A. Definitely follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most yoga towels are machine washable in cold water. We suggest washing dark colored towels separately before use because color will bleed at first. While some yoga towels are safe to dry on a low setting in the dryer, others are best left to hang dry or dry flat. Follow the label’s instructions because this can affect its grip (do not use fabric softeners for this reason). If you frequently attend yoga classes, we recommend a towel that’s easy to clean so it’ll always be fresh and ready for your next class.

Q. Can’t I just use a bath towel or beach towel and save some money by not buying a special “yoga towel”?

A. Though your bath towel will absorb moisture from sweat, yoga towels made from microfiber offer far more absorbency, and they also dry faster. A bath towel won’t be long enough to fit your entire mat like a yoga towel will. When you’re in downward-facing dog, for instance, your hands and feet are placed at opposite ends of the mat. A conventional bath towel won’t cover this area, and while a beach towel might, your hands or feet may slip because it doesn’t have the non-slip features that yoga towels have. Lastly, yoga towels are much lighter and less bulky to carry around than a bath or beach towel.

Q. What’s the difference between Bikram and hot yoga?

A. Bikram yoga, named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury, is a type of Hatha yoga that cycles through the same 26 poses in a room heated at 105 degrees. It is the original hot yoga class, but not all hot yoga is Bikram (though all Bikram is hot). Hot yoga is usually more vinyasa-style yoga where you “flow” between poses, though it can refer to any yoga done in a heated room. Generally speaking, hot yoga is done in a room heated anywhere from 95 and 105 degrees. Both styles of yoga are designed to make you sweat, loosening up muscles and cleansing the body of toxins. We highly recommend using a yoga towel if you attend either a Bikram or hot yoga class.

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