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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the meteoric rise of yoga in the last several years. Among the most popular varieties is hot yoga or Bikram, named for its controversial founder, Bikram Choudhury, who was responsible for making yoga enthusiasts turn up the heat. Those who know hot yoga understand the necessity of a yoga towel. Here, we’re reviewing several towels to help you find the best yoga towel for you.
What is a Hot Yoga Towel?
Even if you know nothing whatsoever about Bikram yoga, you know the common factor that devotees rave about: it makes you sweat like you never thought possible.
Bikram yoga is practiced in a room above 100-degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes at a time. The goal is to detoxify your body, ease stress on your joints, and help chronic pain. Of course, you’re in an extremely hot room for more than 90 minutes, sweating more than you thought possible. This means your mat, hands, and feet will all be sweaty, which is a recipe for slipping and injury.
Finding the Best Yoga Towel
All of that moisture is why you want to invest in the best hot yoga towel you can find. It’s not just about comfort (though comfort definitely helps). It’s about making sure that you can properly grip the mat as the class wears on and continue to practice safely.
The best yoga mat towel is one that balances absorption with grip. It’s going to absorb a lot of sweat over the course of a single class, so you need a towel you can trust to hold on even after the sweat starts pouring. As a rule, it’s best to find a towel that’s the same brand as your mat if you can — they tend to work best together.
You also need to decide whether you want non-slip backing. This will help prevent bunching as you move through your practice, but it also makes the towel bulkier and more awkward to use on your body. If you plan on using it for more than yoga, towels without the backing can be used for other workouts.
Here are six of our favorites.
6 Best Yoga Towels of 2019
In this section, we’re reviewing the best yoga towels for hot yoga and all exercising. We feel confident that you’ll be able to find something great for your zen mode here.
At a great price, Jade Yoga’s towel is so soft and silky you just want to hug it. Which sounds like a pretty nice option if you’re dying in the middle of a Bikram class. It’s not just soft, though. The Jade towel is highly functional –in fact, it can absorb up to six times its weight in water and is moisture wicking (it dries really fast). It’s washer and dryer friendly and designed to be non-slip, though it doesn’t have backing.
And true to the Jade brand, the towel helps the Earth a bit too. The towel is completely recyclable, and the brand provides clean drinking water to people in the developing world with every towel sold.
Gaiam is a budget brand that provides highly functional yoga gear for a fraction of the price of its competitors. Seriously, you can’t beat this price for this quality of a hot yoga towel! This towel is also ideal if you’re the person practicing in a puddle of your own sweat faster than anyone else in the room. It’s sticky, it’s smelly, it’s gross, and no one wants to be that person.
Gaiam’s hypoallergenic towel absorbs twice as much moisture (and dries twice as fast) as a standard towel, so you can continue to practice in comfort. Plus, it’s machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about the bacteria and smells that inevitably accumulate.
Hugger Mugger is another big name in the yoga industry, and for good reason. If you’re looking for a towel that will provide more grip, the Hugger Mugger Bamboo Yoga Towel has a non-slip backing and a super soft surface to give you the best of both worlds. We think it’s possibly the best towel for hot yoga in terms of longevity.
That said, because the mat has a backing and is sturdier by design, it’s bulkier to lug around to class. It’s latex free and made of renewable fibers (mostly bamboo with a bit of polyester).
The Yogitoes Skidless Yoga Mat Towel is a great all-around towel. Need a hypoallergenic towel? Yogitoes is great for people with allergies and skin sensitivities. Need a towel that won’t slide or bunch up? Yogitoes has silicone dots all over the bottom instead of a backing, which gives you the benefit of a grippy towel without the bulkiness.
Plus, it’s made of 50% recycled material using recycled polyester and eight recyclable plastic bottles, so you can feel good walking into class and rolling this one out. And did we mention that it’s available in more than 70 colors? If you’re picky, we challenge you to be disappointed by this towel. It’s an uphill battle. As a bonus it’s one of the best hot yoga towels that comes in a variety of patterns to help you better find your center.
This Maduka towel is one of the pricier options on this list ($60) but it’s a worthwhile investment nonetheless. It’s microfiber on both sides, but even so, it doesn’t bunch up as your practice wears on. In fact, it provides even better traction as it gets wet. And since this towel doesn’t have the backing, it works well as a multipurpose mat.
Last but not least is this towel by Youphoria Yoga. Youphoria is Amazon’s #1 seller in yoga mats, so you know the towel will be something great. Youphoria delivers. The towel can hold up to seven times its weight in liquid, is slip resistant, lightweight, and machine washable.
What more could you want from a towel?
Beyond the Best Hot Yoga Towel
When you look for the best yoga towel, look for slip resistant, lightweight, and preferably machine washable. Of course, we know your workout gear needs aren’t limited to finding the best yoga towel. Check out our blog for more reviews and products.