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Do You Really Need A Hot Yoga Towel?

Laura Finch on June 26, 2020
Laura is a yoga teacher who completed 200 hours of training.

Yes, you do. And you'll never want to workout without it again.

Don’t worry. My argument doesn’t end here.

A yoga towel is one of those accessories whose role may seem exaggerated at first glance, but which can truly enhance your practice once you invest in it.

Some may scoff that the first yogis used animal skin or some basic cloth for their practice instead of fancy non-slip yoga mats. They also didn’t have cool yoga bags to carry their rugs around. So basically there is no need for any props if you zealously want to practice yoga.

But now, once we have a variety of yoga gear easily available, what’s the harm of taking advantage of it? Our lives are so fast-paced and filled with distractions and demotivators that making your yoga journey as comfortable and safe as possible is the least you can do to stick with your practice.

Read on to find out what yoga mat towel is and why you might need it, what features to look for in a good quality yoga towel and why your regular bathroom towel is just not good enough for a seamless yoga practice.

We have also studied different product offers and have chosen the best yoga mat towels on the market to help you with the search.

Meet our top pick - an inexpensive multi-purpose yoga mat towel that absorbs large amounts of sweat even during the longest and most intense workouts, provides extra support for joints and can be easily packed into your bag when traveling.

289 reviews
  • INCLUDES ONE: genuine YogaRat Hot Yoga Towel (24 x 68 inches) for your yoga mat
  • 600 GSM FABRIC WEIGHT: more than twice as absorbent as YogaRat's regular Yoga Towel - able to handle even the wettest of yoga practices
  • EXTRA THICK AND PLUSH: 100% Microfiber material gives you extra cushion on your yoga mat

What Is A Hot Yoga Towel & Why Use It

A yoga towel is a piece of highly absorbent cloth that keeps you dry during the intense workout, decreases slippage and improves traction by soaking up moisture and sweat. Yoga towels are generally made of microfiber material known for its wicking qualities.

No matter, how good your mat is, if it’s not designed specifically for hot yoga, you will probably lose grip and slip more than on a dry surface. A yoga towel can make the practice more comfortable and prevent you from potential injuries caused by sliding on the wet mat.

And the great thing is that the more you sweat, the better the grip is. Most of the yoga towels absorb several times more sweat than their actual weight and can be used repeatedly during the workout.

A yoga towel will be best suited for the Bikram yoga class, where the high temperature in the room makes even the most resistant to perspiration sweat profusely. But if you are naturally a heavy sweater or have sweaty palms, a yoga towel may prove to be helpful during other types of yoga, including fast-paced Power and Vinyasa yoga.

Apart from wicking away sweat and preventing injury, a hot yoga towel can offer you so much more. Here are some of the advantages of investing in a high-quality yoga towel.

1. Improve Hygiene

A yoga towel will bring the hygiene of your practice to a new level. It protects your yoga mat from bacteria and makes it serve you longer by preventing wear and tear. You will no longer have to cringe at using a rental yoga mat at your studio and placing your face on it as the yoga towel will create a hygienic layer between you and the mat.

2. Save Time

Good news for busy bees - a hot yoga towel will save time and effort cleaning the yoga mat. Most of the mats tend to absorb all the dirt and sweat over time and may eventually give off a bad smell. The yoga mats generally cannot be washed in the machine, and they dry for a long time. By using a yoga towel you can save yourself the trouble of cleaning your yoga mat every week. Just rinse your towel after every session, and you’re good to go.

3. Get Extra Cushion

Depending on thickness, a yoga towel may also add more padding for your joints. This can be very helpful if your mat turned out to be too thin or if your joints need more support during some days. A yoga towel is usually made of a soft and pleasant material, so it is a worthy addition to your practice if you don’t like the texture of your mat.

4. Enjoy Versatility

Above all, yoga towels are multi-purpose. Apart from the yoga class, they may be used in the gym, at the beach, and pool keeping your face and hands dry during the exercise. Sometimes people use yoga towels as a substitute for yoga mats when traveling or for practicing outdoors or on the carpet at their home or hotel.

There are two types of yoga towels available on the market. Large towels come in the size of the standard yoga mat (24" x 72" or 24" x 68"). They cover the mat entirely and can absorb large amounts of sweat from the whole body. If they are thick enough, these towels may replace the mat itself. Since microfiber is a lightweight material, it’s very convenient to pack the towel when traveling or just carry it around to the gym or pool.

The other type is hand/face towels. They come in a smaller size (approximately 16" x 25") and are made to wick away sweat from face or hands. In case you're not much of a sweater, but still get sweaty palms from time to time, you might want to choose the smaller hand towel. Just lay it over in the top side of your mat so it can offer you extra grip and comfort when your practice gets hot.

Difference Between Hot Yoga Towel & Cotton Towel

You might wonder why you need to purchase a microfiber towel is you’ve got a stash of cotton towels in your bathroom. There’s no harm in trying out a regular towel for your hot yoga session, but mind that the experience will be different.

The thing is that microfiber, which composes most yoga towels, is much more absorbent and better at keeping the moisture in than cotton. So if you sweat heavily, there’s no need to worry about the puddles of sweat around you during the intense practice.

Microfiber is also extremely quick-drying. You can practice yoga every single day, rinse the towel, and it will be fresh and dry for your next session.

A yoga mat towel will stay in space during the practice contrary to a regular cotton towel. Some hot yoga towels have silicone nubs at the bottom, others have corner pockets to grab your mat or a rubberized base to weight the towel down. All of these features are designed to help the towel to sort of attach itself to your mat and prevent it from bunching up when you’re jumping and twisting in asanas. Try it with a cotton towel. Most probably, you’ll get fed up with adjusting it after a few poses and will prefer sliding instead.

Regarding size, ordinary cotton towels will be either too short, too wide, or not long enough for your yoga mat. Microfiber hot yoga mat towels are created with yogis in mind and are made to cover your yoga mat from one end to the other. Make sure to check the yoga towel size beforehand in case you have an extra long or extra wide yoga mat.

What Makes A Good Hot Yoga Towel

Hot yoga towels available on the market are not all that different. Mostly, they vary in size and thickness. Some also have extra features to minimize crumpling during the practice. Thoroughly analyze your needs and make sure to check your wished-for towel against the following characteristics.

Above all, check the absorbing qualities and thickness. A good yoga towel will be able to soak up large amounts of moisture during a lengthy exercise. Generally, the thicker the towel, the more sweat it can wick away.

The high-quality hot yoga towel should offer you non-slip and grippy surface, where you would feel safe to do fast changing asanas without slipping. If your feet and hands are not naturally sweaty, it is recommended to spray the towel with water to increase traction.

Good yoga towels will stay attached to the mat and won’t bunch up during the yoga session. To achieve this, manufacturers combine microfiber with a rubber bottom or add small corner flaps on the towel or special silicone nubs. Some have no specific features but tend to stay in place when wet. It is mostly a matter of preference. For instance, if you are sensitive to rough textures, then avoid towels with silicone numbs at the bottom as this feature will need some getting-used-to.

Hot yoga towels are designed to be quick drying and lightweight. While, at the same time, the thicker the material, the heavier the towel is and the longer it takes to dry out.

There are plenty of color and design options available on the market right now. You can choose a vibrant color to match your personality, but be sure to check twice if the dye is non-toxic and whether the previous buyers had issues with colors fading out.

Washing & Care

Yoga towels are easy to take care of as they are generally machine washable. It is recommended to wash the towel on cold to prevent shrinkage. Depending on the towel and its color, keep it apart from your other clothes and gear and wash it separately at least several times to remove excess dye. Do not add bleach or any fabric softener as it can make the surface slick.

It is recommended to wash or at least rinse the yoga towel after each session to prevent the buildup of bacteria and bad odor. Avoid storing wet or moist towel in the gym bag or hamper. If you got no chance of rinsing the towel right away after practice, at least let it air dry and wash it at the earliest opportunity. In addition, do not roll up your damp hot yoga towel with the yoga mat.

Some of the yoga towels can be tumble dried on medium or low. Carefully check the washing instructions from your manufacturer to extend the durability of your yoga towel.

The Top 5 Hot Yoga Towels

Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel, Absorbent, Quick Drying, Non-Slip for Yoga, Gym, Pilates, Outdoor Fitness
9 reviews
Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel, Absorbent, Quick Drying, Non-Slip for Yoga, Gym, Pilates, Outdoor Fitness
  • Designed for light to medium perspiration.
  • Ultra lightweight with exceptional durability.
  • Tightly woven fibers produces a soft, suede-like feel.


  • well-known & reputable brand
  • soft with velvet-like texture
  • non-slip
  • light
  • durable
  • quick-drying


  • expensive
  • not grippy when totally dry
  • may become ‘waterlogged’ during a long practice
  • limited color scheme

Manduka has been on the market for more than 20 years and has gained the reputation of a reliable company with durable (some of them life-lasting) products.

Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel is made of the plushy microfiber with a velvet-like texture. It perfectly covers your mat and is suitable for longer 72’’ yoga mats as well. eQua towel also dries very quickly. Just rinse it after the practice, and it will be good to go the next day.

The towel works best when your feet and hands are a bit wet. It may be a bit slippery when dry, but spraying just a bit of water on the towel before the yoga session will work wonders. Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel doesn’t have grips on the bottom but manages to stay in place even during the intense, fast-paced Vinyasa and Power yoga.

eQua is also multi-purpose and lightweight so you can easily take it to the beach, pool, or gym.

As a tradeoff for being very light, the towel is quite thin. So if you are a pretty heavy sweater, then it is not likely to absorb all the sweat during the long session and may get ‘waterlogged.’

Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel comes in limited dim colors. So you might look a bit further if that’s a deal-breaker for you.

Hot Yoga Towel by Crush Yoga
9 reviews
Hot Yoga Towel by Crush Yoga
  • PERFECT GRIP FOR HOT YOGA - Place it over your yoga mat during hot yoga class. It can also double as an excellent travel mat.
  • ABSORBENT - 360 gm² (grams per square meter) is the weight of the fabric. Crush Yoga Towels are denser than most, so they soak up sweat better. [Most competitors use 200 gm² or less.]
  • NON-SLIP GRIP - Sweaty hands and feet will stick in place while the rubberized bottom ensures the towel won't slip or crumple while you're practicing.


  • affordable price
  • durable
  • can be washed on any setting
  • rubberized bottom
  • thick enough to be used instead of a yoga mat
  • good company ethics


  • lack of information about the brand
  • heavier than other yoga towels
  • available in 1 color only

Crush Yoga is a start-up from Boston, Massachusetts that specializes in ‘supplying yoga equipment for mankind.’ Their Hot Yoga Starter Pack includes a yoga mat towel, face towel, and a sports bag. The first two come in a modest manly design - gray color with white trim and a company logo.

A distinct feature of the Crush Yoga towel is a thin rubbery bottom that prevents it from bunching up and a highly absorbent microfiber top. The towel will stay in place even during the fast-paced yoga practice and will soak up all the sweat during the hot yoga class.

Due to a rubberized bottom, you can also use the towel instead of the mat (in case your joints are well and healthy) and even travel with it. It’s denser and provides you with more cushion than other towels. On the other side, it’s on the heavier side so it might be a pain to carry it along with your yoga mat.

Crush Yoga founders state that their yoga may towel is unbreakable and can be machine washed on any setting.

The company shows good ethics. They donate 5% of its profits to local charities and non-profits. A chipped corner on the towel acts a symbol of the contribution they make to the community.

289 reviews
  • INCLUDES ONE: genuine YogaRat Hot Yoga Towel (24 x 68 inches) for your yoga mat
  • 600 GSM FABRIC WEIGHT: more than twice as absorbent as YogaRat's regular Yoga Towel - able to handle even the wettest of yoga practices
  • EXTRA THICK AND PLUSH: 100% Microfiber material gives you extra cushion on your yoga mat


  • inexpensive
  • absorbs more sweat than an average yoga mat towel
  • provides extra cushion and support for joints
  • can be used as a yoga mat
  • durable
  • comes in 5 vibrant colors


  • a bit heavier than a usual yoga towel
  • the dye may bleed at first

YogaRat Hot Yoga Towel is an excellent example of a perfect price-quality ratio. It is inexpensive, but don’t let the price fool you.

YogaRat Towel comes in three sizes to fit your mat. It is made of 100% microfiber material, which contains more absorbing fibers per square meter than an average yoga towel. Due to this, it is able to wick away more moisture and you can practice sweat-free longer.

The towel is noticeably thicker compared to other products on the market. It will be a good choice for those looking for extra cushion and support for their joints. Your wrists and knees will thank you for that later.

YogaRat Hot Yoga Towel is a bit on the heavy side, but thanks to its thickness it can substitute a yoga mat when you’re traveling or just going out to practice in the park.
The towel comes in several bright colors. But it is advised to wash the towel separately at first as the dye may run.

yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel
5 reviews
yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel
  • Newly updated for improved absorption, enhanced grip + better sweat wicking.
  • Grips mat with patented Skidless Technology that uses 100% silicone nubs.
  • Sustainable, soft, hygienic, and absorbent.


  • well-known & reputable brand
  • light
  • durable
  • quick-drying
  • Eco-friendly & non-toxic
  • silicone nubs to prevent slippage
  • rich choice of colors and designs


  • expensive
  • not grippy when totally dry
  • colors may bleed at first & wash out with time
  • nubs can hurt your feet

There is always much hype around Yogitoes yoga mat towels. And Yogitoes are indeed different from everyone else.

First, Yogitoes yoga mat towels are one of the most expensive on the market. They are made by Manduka, top of the line yoga company, so rest assured, your Yogitoes will last for a long time.

Second, the towels have tiny silicone dots or nubs at the bottom, which grip your mat and keep the yoga towel in place. This is a patented technology, so you won“t find this feature in any other yoga mat towels.

Third, Yogitoes towels are sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Each yoga mat towel is made using at least 8 recycled plastic bottles and 50% recycled materials. Moreover, they require less energy to make compared to an ordinary yoga mat towel.

Last but not least, Yogitoes yoga mat towels probably have the largest choice of designs and colors on the market. These include tie-dyes, landscapes, chakra colors, tribal and floral patterns, etc. The designs tend to change every season.

Though the Yogitoes towels are durable, the colors can wash out with time. Also, make sure to wash the towel separately from your other things at least the first time as the color may bleed.

Some buyers also note that the towel may bunch up a bit during fast flow so you will have to adjust it from time to time.

The nubs at the bottom might need some getting-used-to and they might even hurt your feet at first. If you're particularly sensitive to rough textures then better opt for another yoga mat towel.

Ewedoos Yoga Mat Towel with Anchor Fit Corners
1,150 reviews
Ewedoos Yoga Mat Towel with Anchor Fit Corners
  • PREMIUM NON SLIP & ABSORBENT MICROFIBER: Our yoga towel is made of 100% premium microfiber. It acts as an ideal moisture absorbent towel to wipe away perspiration and create a slip free surface. So you can stay focus on your mind, body and breath through entire sessions.
  • SUPER SOFT & ABSORBENT - Perfect Towel for those sweaty sessions of bikram/hot yoga where you need to absorb your sweat to stay in pose and balanced
  • ANCHOR YOUR PRACTICE: Effortlessly securing your yoga towel to the mat, placing all attention back on your yoga practice. No more distracting repositioning or bunching!


  • inexpensive
  • features 4 pockets to tuck the mat in to prevent bunching
  • light
  • quick-drying
  • fun tie-dye pattern


  • can be sturdy at first
  • too thin and may bunch up when used without the mat
  • limited color scheme

Ewedoos Yoga Mat Towel proves that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your yoga practice with the quality gear. It is made of 100% microfiber, which works great for absorbing sweat and moisture. The towel might feel a bit sturdy at first, but it gets softer after a few washes.

The distinct characteristic of the Ewedoos Yoga Mat Towel is that it features four corner pockets that prevent the towel from lifting or bundling when you’re moving. Just tuck your mat inside of the flaps and focus on the practice.

The towel comes in a gray color with blue, green or purple trim, but you can choose a fun tie-dye pattern if you want to bring more color into your life and studio.

Does high-quality gear improve your yoga practice?

Share your opinion in the comments!

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2 comments on “Do You Really Need A Hot Yoga Towel?”

  1. My wild theory is that they are all the same because they are made out of basically the same material. With that said, I use Manduka equa towels and I'm pretty happy with them.

    1. You are right, they are made of the same material. But there are features that differ, such as thickness or stickiness. I personally like a bit thicker towels. I'm pretty boney and have sensitive wrists so the thickness adds additional support. I'm also not a fan of a bumpy texture under my feet, but it's all a matter of preference.

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