If you’re the type of yoga enthusiast who loves to experiment, finding your perfect partner in a yoga mat could be a cumbersome chore.
For example, lightweight travel yoga mats might slip neatly into your vacation plans, but can they hold firm during humid hot yoga classes? And would you choose to plant down on a plushly padded yoga mat if you plan to seamlessly transition into crow pose during your practice? Probably not.
Size: 180cm x 66cm
Materials: Natural rubber and PU
Colors: Grey, green, black, blue, red
While there might not be a one-size-fits-all answer, Yogi Bare certainly comes close with the Natural Rubber Extreme Grip yoga mat. As the name Yogi Bare suggests, the brand strips it all back with its accessible ‘everybody, every body’ ethos, and range of eco-sensitive mats designed to be planet and person conscious.
We put this yoga mat to the test as a fitness teacher and a yoga student to see if it could hold its own in various settings. This super grippy, subtly (and beautifully) designed yoga mat ticked nearly every box for extreme grip, durability, and looks and it comes in various stripped-back color palettes. It easily secures itself as one of the best yoga mats you can buy, allowing you to focus on getting all the benefits of yoga.
Price and availability
The MSRP of the Yogi Bare Wild Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip yoga mat is £74.95 and is available for shipping directly from the Yogi Bare website. For orders outside of the UK, you can purchase the Yogi Bare range on Amazon for $104.95.
The beautifully designed mat offers an eco-friendly approach to extreme grip. You won’t find yourself sliding out of downdog or turning warrior one into the splits when you’re planted on this spacious mat and we found very little to critique in terms of design.
The natural rubber and PU (polyurethane synthetic leather) materials used to make this mat non-slip are fully recyclable and biodegradable. You can even send your old mats in to be repurposed as part of Yogi Bare’s recycling scheme – which will also bag you 15% off your next purchase. The closed-cell rubber is also resistant to bacteria.
Ample cushioning coupled with superb grip is the dream for any yogi yet hard to achieve. Although the 4mm thickness suggests an overly plush design, this mat doesn’t feel too cushioned for inversion practices and advanced yogis should find it easy enough to find balance. That said, our joints still got enough support for poses (like dolphin pose) where most of the weight-bearing is on your shoulders or elbows; it’s a tough balance to strike, yet Yogi Bare has nailed it.
The 2.5kg weight results in a heavy-duty yoga mat that slaps onto the ground with a satisfyingly smack, ensuring it stays put. But it might not be suitable for those traveling to class on foot – we found it heavy to carry.
The Paws mat rolls out ready to go without any irritating corner curling found on cheaper or lightweight yoga mats, which is likely down to its weight. We tested the black model and marveled over the softly engraved Aztec print across the top and bottom of the mat, connected by an alignment line sliced through the center. This feature is perfect for those who need a gentle assist for positioning during poses; it’s understated, fuss-free, and stripped-back – just like the brand itself.
We got to work testing the Paws mat in a hot yoga vinyasa class (taking full advantage of some hot yoga benefits) before winding down with a restorative Yin session. This mat is definitely designed by a yogi for fellow yogis, with performance carefully considered every step of the way.
If you’re paying a premium price for a yoga mat, premium performance should be a given. Although we appreciate disposable income feels like a distant memory right now, this yoga mat is seriously durable and versatile, and we believe it’s worth the relatively steep price tag. What’s more, each model is recyclable, and Yogi Bare offers discounts for all PU mat returns.
The grip factor alone is enough for us to seriously rate this mat. While foam mats tend to slide out from underneath your hands, this mat resists. Downdog requires you to push away with your hands and draw your shoulder blades down your back to avoid wrist-dumping (which can cause slippage during hot yoga), but the Yogi Bare Wild Paws yoga mat prevents you from sliding forwards and allows you to maintain posture instead.
The grip is equally desirable when moving through a sequence of movements or exercises. For those who enjoy a dynamic vinyasa, hot yoga, or more up-tempo fitness class, you’ll find you can transition more freely than with less grippy mats. This should also encourage you to practice inversions and be more playful with your practice or exercise.
During restorative long-hold stretches (like pigeon pose), focus shifts towards cushioning. As we mentioned, we found we could bed down into our stretches with ample support for our joints but without losing the grounding connection associated with thinner mats. Teachers often prefer thinner yoga mats for this reason – and because it’s better for balance – whereas beginners tend to benefit from more cushioning; we think Yogi Bare strikes a brilliant middle ground for most customers.
It’s worth mentioning that this mat collects dust and dirt quite easily, and we noticed scuff marks appear after the first use. However, our model was super easy to clean (we discuss how you can do this below), and you’re more likely to notice this if you use the mat for workouts rather than everyday yoga classes.
As with all things you love, you need to take care of them. And your yoga mat is no exception. Yogi Bare recommends a few top tips for keeping your Paws mat preened to perfection.
Avoid folding your mat or allowing the PU surface to touch itself and try to clean it once a week at least, if not more, for frequently flowing yogis. Yogi Bare recommends wiping the mat down with warm water and diluted lemon juice but avoiding harsher chemicals like washing-up liquids or even using essential oils.
4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon says it all, and 82% of users even gave this yoga mat the full 5- stars. One user said the Wild Paws mat is "pretty and functional." Another said they’re a "Yogi Bare convert for life." However, one user mentioned that the stickiness wore off after 8-10 hot yoga classes, and one person noticed some wear and tear – after 1.5 years.
Should you buy?
The Yogi Bare Wild Paws Natural Rubber Extreme Grip yoga mat won’t let you down if you love getting stuck into sweaty workouts, hot yoga classes, and inversion practices. This mat isn’t just about looks either – although it’s beautiful – and offers lashings of sticky grippy traction with enough support on joints to see you safely through your practice.
If you’re seeking a more beginner-friendly, cushioned, or lightweight yoga mat, we recommend checking out our best yoga mats guide to find a better fit.
If the price tag feels a touch steep, our budget-friendly top pick is the Gaiam Premium 2-Color yoga mat (opens in new tab) available on Amazon. Offering 6mm of bouncy cushioning and available in enticing colors like honeydew and plum jam, it’s a solid bet if you’re looking for a workout and yoga mat solution for under $50. It isn’t suitable for hot yoga, though.
Looking for maximum versatility? The $88 Lululemon Reversible 5mm yoga mat (opens in new tab)(shown above) offers 5mm of thickness, resilience, grip, and durability with two reversible sides perfect for multi-purpose use. It’s also beautifully designed with plenty of colors to choose from – a given considering Lululemon is one of the biggest yoga and activewear brands in the world.