Whether you are just beginning yoga or have been practicing for years, owning a yoga towel and using it every time you practice is a necessity.
They’re the perfect way to keep your mat from getting sweaty or slippery or simply to wipe the sweat from yourself.
Usually, they’re the same size as your mat.
“But couldn’t just any old towel do that?” you might ask. Well, you could try, but it would do a sorry job!
Yoga towels are made of soft, absorbent, and non-slip material and have certain sizes and absorption levels as well as many additional features, like being anti-bacterial.
There’s a lot to it and a multitude of towels to pick from. So what features, exactly, does a typical yoga towel possess, and why do you need one?
1. Moisture Absorption
One of the main features of a yoga towel is its moisture absorption, especially for those who love to do Hot or Bikram Yoga.
In fact, yoga towels don’t have to be restricted only to yoga; you’ll find them extremely useful for other sweaty workouts, like Zumba, for example!
You’ll find that most towels are made from a microfiber fabric made to effectively absorb sweat and moisture and prevent slipping.
This is also great for hygiene; towels are much easier to clean regularly while yoga mats are not.
2. Thickness and Cushioning
Yoga mats are usually quite thin, especially the travel ones that are made to be more compact, so added thickness and cushioning are more features that yoga towels offer.
In fact, if you forgot to bring your yoga mat and need a quick solution, you can even use a yoga towel in place of it.
Typically, you’ll find that most mats are made to be about the same standard size, so the same is true of yoga towels.
Just to be sure, however, you should measure your yoga mat before purchasing a towel to ensure the sizes are identical or at least nearly so.
Not all mats and towels are made equal, and you don’t want your towel to be smaller or too much bigger than the mat.
Some yoga towels are more slip-resistant than others; those which move the least are ones made with small silicone “nubs” on one side so that it can grip the mat.
However, all yoga towels help to improve your grip which is excellent especially when you’re transitioning between poses, and the best ones won’t slip at all when you’re doing poses.
Slip-resistance is especially key if you practice “Power Yoga” or “Astanga Yoga.”
To ensure best results, spray some water on the towel before you begin to give more traction.
Yoga towels are great for making sure your yoga mat undergoes less damage through all the moisture your body emits.
The better quality your yoga towel, the quicker it ought to dry.
Believe me, you’ll regret spending less just to carry around a smelly, sweat-damp towel after your workout – or, worse, dealing with one that can’t keep up with the sweat of a long workout.
Assume that your towel should be ready to absorb a lot of sweat, withstand frequent washing in warm/hot water, and handle a dryer.
The price range for a yoga towel is quite large; they can be anywhere from $9 – $50.
If you practice yoga frequently, it’s worth your money to get a towel that is high quality and durable.
Expect to pay at least $30 for a quality towel or upwards of $50 for some of the best ones, such as Yogitoes.
With a brand like that, however, you can be sure that it will last you a long time. And better that than buying cheaper ones more frequently!
Now that we’ve seen exactly what a yoga towel does and why it is essential to your yoga practice, which one should you buy?
There are a lot of options to choose from, so let me help you by recommending some of the best and explaining their individual features.
Each of the four corners has a pocket that folds over the corners of your mat to keep the towel taut and immovable.
In addition, it has a two-sided dual grip that helps to keep it in place while you’re changing positions and even enhances your poses with its excellent grip and quick-absorbent microfiber.
The towel is also preshrunk so that you don’t have to worry about it shrinking after many washings, and its silicone coating ensures it stays in place, helping you do your poses.
You’ll find the Healthyoga Non-Slip Yoga Towel in two sizes and six different colors.
It also comes with a carry bag that is large enough to fit the bag and some extras like your phone or a hand towel as well as a free water spray bottle to “pre-grip” the towel.
Since Hot Yoga is practiced in hot, humid rooms, you tend to sweat profusely.
You’ll need a towel to keep up with all the moisture dripping off of your body and keeping you from slipping and possibly injuring yourself.
The Shandali towel is specifically made for this; it’s also thicker and has a silicone bottom and web-pattern top, so you could even use it in place of your mat. It stays in place and improves your grip.
Another great option for Hot Yoga is the Yoga Mate Perfect Yoga Towel; it comes in a variety of sizes, as well!
For anyone who sweats like I do, having a towel covering your mat isn’t enough.
You need more to wipe off your face, hands, arms, and whatever else to keep your form perfect and your poses still.
If this is you, the Manduka eQua Hand Towel is what you need.
This towel is a great little size of 26.6” x 16”, so it fits perfectly at the top of your mat and even has features that keep it in place while you move around.
The texture is suede-like, so it soothes your skin as you wipe off sweat.
The Manduka eQau Hand Towel is made for medium to light amount of moisture, so if you think you need something a little heavier duty, check out the NOUSION Yoga Hand Towel.
You get a 68” x 24” towel for your mat, a 30” x 20” one for your body and face, and a small 24” x 15” towel for just your hands.
All three towels are made of soft, durable, and gripping superabsorbent microfiber and are machine washable.
You can even use the big ones for the beach or pool and the smaller ones for cleaning!
However, the Bliss Peak Cotton Yoga Rug is for those of you who are looking for an extra challenge.
With less grip, it forces you to engage your core and really focus.
You can place the Bliss Peak Cotton Yoga Rug on top of your mat like the other towels, but you’ll be most challenged when you use it on its own.
It’s larger than most – 75” x 28” – and has stripes to help you with your alignment.
In addition, the soft feel is much more natural feeling than the synthetic texture of a typical yoga mat. Spray the surface with water at the beginning of your session.
You can find the Bliss Peak in four different colors.
The absorbent microfiber constructed towel bonds to the 3.5mm mat that’s 71” x 26”, and it’s made from vegan microfiber with Phthalate-free natural rubber-using environmental practices and friendly dyes.
The material is textured, yet soft to the touch, great for traction whether wet or dry, and resists bacteria growth, making it ideal for Hot Yoga, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa practices.
The towel is manufactured to withstand up to 500 or more washes in the washing machine.
For how much it costs and the features and quality it offers, the ZURA Yoga Mat + Towel is a bargain.
It’s made from non-toxic materials, non-fade, water-based prints, and top-quality microfibers with extra strength whip-stitching.
As a result, the towel is incomparably durable and dries within minutes of contact with moisture.
This 72” x 24” towel will give you a worry-odor and bacteria-free experience.
It provides the perfect amount of cushion and stability and is lightweight despite its resiliency. And it’s machine-wash-friendly!
It’s designed to be thoroughly non-slip and skid-less so that your positions can be more secure and held longer, and the microfiber material is second to none in its absorbency and ability to dry quickly.
The towel is 24” x 72” and is 80% polyester, making it as durable as towels made of heavier materials yet as flexible as the lighter ones.
It’s moisture-wicking microfiber makes it dry faster, and it’s a great price!
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga Towels
We went to yogis themselves to ask some questions about yoga towels and what they have to offer.
Q: What is a yoga towel?
A: Yoga towels are amazing. You use them to cover your mat to provide extra cushion, grip, and moisture absorbency, but you can even use one to replace your mat!
Then, it’s also a towel you can use to wipe off your sweat during the routine or clean yourself off afterwards until you’re able to take a shower.
Q: How do I clean my yoga towel?
A: While yoga mats need to be sprayed and wiped down, yoga towels can typically just be thrown into the washer and washed and dried just like any other towel. This really helps with hygiene.
Q: Why should I spray water on my yoga towel?
A: Yoga towels grip better once you’ve sweated a bit on them, so if you start your session by spraying your towel with just a fine mist, you can have the extra grip from the beginning.
You’ll notice most yogis doing this.
Q: What are the benefits of a yoga towel?
A: Some yoga mats can be quite cushy, but not all.
Towels add that extra cushion, but more importantly, they prevent slipping for those routines that cause you to sweat more.
This is especially essential for Bikram or Hot Yoga.
Q: Can I just use a regular towel?
A: There’s no way a regular beach or bath towel can measure up to a yoga towel.
They weren’t created to absorb as much, dry as fast, or hold still, and, most often, you won’t find the size you need.
Top 5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Yoga Towel
Tip #1: Prepare for Your Yoga Session
Be hydrated. Don’t chug a bottle of water before you begin, but ensure that you regularly hydrate, especially in anticipation of doing yoga.
It’s also best to save large meals for after your session and simply partake of a granola bar or protein shake for the time being.
Tip #2: Don’t Get Discouraged if You are New
All those positions can be daunting if you’ve just started yoga, but it’s okay to skip those ones that are just to challenging for now.
If you’re in a class, you could even ask your instructor to show you modifications if he or she hasn’t already.
Do what is comfortable to you until you’re ready to try something harder.
Tip #3: Buy a Quality Yoga Towel
It’s important that you don’t skimp on buying a proper yoga towel.
If you practice regularly, you need a durable towel.
Tip #4: Keep Your Yoga Towel Clean
Beginning a session with a dirty, smelly towel isn’t kind to yourself or to the people around you.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular washing, and if you’re doing hot yoga, you should wash it after every use.
Tip #5: Have Everything You Need
A yoga towel and mat are two of the most essential items you’ll need to enjoy a yoga session, but they’re not the only things.
Invest in yoga pants that are just right for you as well as blocks, a hand towel, and a water bottle.
Now go out and shop! Though I’ve given you some of the best, there’s a large selection of yoga towels out there.
Pick one that suits you, and enjoy your practice.