Whether you’re an experienced yogi or new to the practice, yoga straps can be a beneficial accessory. Simple yet sturdy in design, they’re used to help you explore different ranges of motion, stretch deeper, or make trickier poses a little less tricky. As both a yoga student and teacher, I’m well acquainted with the benefits of a good yoga strap—which is why I agreed to spend hours sweating on my mat to test out some of the most popular options out there.
After what felt like 100 sun salutations, I found the Manduka Align Yoga Strap to be the best choice for most yogis thanks to its high-quality cotton material and unique adjustable buckle. Of course, there are other great yoga straps out there, too, depending on your intended use, budget, and personal preferences.
The Best Yoga Strap
Manduka Align Yoga Strap
- 8-foot length
- Made of unbleached eco-friendly cotton with a secure buckle
- Wider and thicker than other yoga straps
- Unique buckle design keeps strap secure
- Cotton fabric is soft without being slippery
- Takes a long time to dry
The Manduka Align yoga strap outperformed all others. It’s 8 feet in length, which is long enough to fit a wide range of heights without feeling like too much material. And, if you need to adjust what you’re working with, it has a buckle that stays in place while flowing through movement. It’s also made of a soft cotton material that—bonus—is unbleached and what the brand describes as eco-friendly (although it doesn’t have any third-party certifications to verify this). With 4.8 stars out of 900 reviews on Amazon, it’s a solid option for most people. One reviewer writes that it’s “human-friendly soft and yoga-friendly sturdy.”
I could tell I was going to love the Align strap as soon as I took it out of the packaging. The cotton felt smooth and comfortable against my hands as I opened it up, and it felt just as good during my yoga flow. Still, it had a grippy enough texture that it didn’t slip. Even when I wound it around my biceps in a headstand, it caused no chafing or discomfort. Somehow, it managed to grip the skin without irritating it.
At 1.75 inches across, the strap is also wider and feels thicker (though Manduka doesn’t say how thick it is) than most of the other yoga straps I tried out. This made it easier to grasp and distributed its force more broadly across the skin. It also made it feel more durable and higher quality. It also is fairly inelastic, with just the slightest bit of stretch that allows you to work into poses while still providing ample support.
The main highlight of this strap, however, is the buckle. It’s different than any other I’ve seen on a yoga strap—in a good way. It features a middle bar that firmly clasps the strap in place when threaded through. That means I could confidently execute dancer’s pose or extended hand to big toe pose without worrying about my strap giving out or loosening. Despite being so secure, it’s surprisingly easy to adjust, which is important in a fast-paced flow.
The only negative to the Manduka strap is that the cotton material doesn’t exactly wick away moisture. After a sweaty vinyasa class, my strap took hours to dry, so I had to leave it unraveled overnight. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but it is a slight inconvenience.
Other Great Yoga Straps
Hugger Mugger Cotton D-Ring
- Available in 6-, 8-, and 10-foot lengths
- Strong cotton yoga strap
- Has an adjustable D-ring for versatility
- Very sturdy and grippy
- Cotton material feels thick and soft
- Heavier than other yoga straps
- Bulky when rolled up
The Hugger Mugger yoga strap is a solid runner-up to the Manduka. It’s available in three lengths that could work for any yogi of almost any size and shape: 6, 8, and 10 feet. The brand does not specify which length is best for which height, only that 6 feet is for “shorter yogis” and 10 feet for “taller practitioners or partner poses.” I liked its grippy, woven texture, which made it easy to hold onto no matter what pose I was working into. Even better? The cotton material felt delightful on my skin, even when I was a sweaty mess.
If I could describe this strap in one word, it would be “tough.” I’m not the only one; according to Hugger Mugger, its strap can withstand up to 500 pounds of tensile strength. I believe it, because somehow, the thick cotton and ribbed design felt more durable and like it would hold up longer and better than other straps. I never once worried about it breaking or stretching during my practice, yet it still had enough give to make getting into poses feel smooth. This is a strap that I felt confident using in every which way—it felt strong enough that it could even support my entire body weight without slipping (I didn’t try this, but I bet it could!). The adjustable D-ring clip was easy to slide the strap in and out of, yet it held on firmly once I locked it into place.
One downside to the Hugger Mugger strap, however, is that it’s heavier and bulkier than others I tested. While it’s not as noticeable when you’re using it, its heftier weight makes it more cumbersome to tote around from class to class.
Lululemon No Limits Stretching Strap
- Shorter 6-foot yoga strap made of durable polyester
- Comes with an adjustable D-ring
- Polyester material doesn’t chafe skin
- Very sturdy and strong
- Shorter than other yoga straps
- Difficult to adjust the D-ring
Lululemon has long been one of my favorite activewear brands (hello, Align leggings!) but it’s also one of my top spots for yoga accessories. Because the Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat is my go-to—I actually own four of them—I was excited to try the brand’s take on the traditional yoga strap. The first thing I noticed when I unrolled the strap was how soft and smooth its polyester material felt. I can best describe it as feeling “natural” in the sense that it doesn’t have that waxy texture that so many other straps do. This made it great for grip, even when I was doing yoga in a 105-degree room.
The strap is very inelastic, which can be a pro and a con. In my experience, you don’t want a yoga strap that stretches a ton—after all, that defeats the purpose of a product that’s supposed to provide support. This one doesn’t really give at all, which is ideal when you’re trying to hold a tough pose and don’t want to fall out of it. On the other hand, it can make it a little trickier to get into position if you aren’t very flexible to begin with, because there’s no room to stretch it out when working it around your hand or foot.
Finally, I like that the adjustable D-ring holds the strap securely in place when you’re using the strap as a loop. It gives you confidence to push and pull without worrying it’s going to slip. However, this D-ring was tricky to adjust—the textured fabric doesn’t glide through the rings easily, so it takes a little bit of elbow grease to change the length, which is annoying when you’re in the midst of a flow. One other note: The strap is only six feet long, This was fine for my 5-foot-5-inch frame but could be too short for taller folks.
Gaiam Yoga Strap Premium
- A 6-foot cotton yoga strap at a lower price point
- Features an adjustable D-ring and lightweight design
- Less expensive than other yoga straps
- Easy to roll up
- Long-lasting and durable
- Limited color options
- D-ring slips easily
Yes, you can get a decent yoga strap for just about $10, and yes, it’s actually one worth buying. Full disclosure: This Gaiam strap was actually the first yoga strap I ever bought, and I still own and use it to this day some 10 years later. We ordered a new one for testing, and Gaiam doesn’t seem to have changed anything about the process. All this is to say, I can attest to the fact that, for the price, it’s great quality and will last for many, many yoga classes to come. Other reviewers seem to agree—the strap has a 4.8-star rating out of more than 2,000 reviews on Amazon.
Made of a polyester blend, it’s lightweight and soft, which I appreciate when I’m in the middle of a tough posture and don’t want to struggle with a bulky strap. This one is easy to toss around your ankle or hold overhead for a stretch without tiring out your arms. It also feels nice to grip—no scratching or chafing here—and doesn’t get slippery from sweat, which is especially key if you’re in a hot yoga class or practicing outside in the heat.
Ultimately, it lost out to other straps because unlike the Manduka’s buckle or Hugger Mugger’s impressive strength, it doesn’t have anything that makes it feel special. It has a minimalist design, so there aren’t any added frills or features. But it does everything you need a yoga strap to do, thanks to the adjustable D-ring and well-made construction. Just note that the D-ring slips easily, so if you want to use a strap as a loop, this one may not be your best bet. It also comes in just one 6-foot length, which isn’t ideal for taller yogis.
Yoga Design Lab Strap
- 8-foot yoga strap in trendy patterns like geometric and celestial
- Designed with eco-friendly, water-based inks
- Gorgeous design
- Slippery when sweaty
- Feels thinner than other straps
If you’re going for an Instagram-worthy aesthetic when it comes to your yoga gear, look no further than Yoga Design Lab. The brand is famous for its chic designs, from curved yoga mats to earthy cork yoga wheels. Its yoga strap is no different. Available in prints like starry celestial, watercolor mandala, and more, it’s a gorgeous prop that will motivate you to actually hit the mat (and provides a bright spot on which to focus your gaze in class). I went with the celestial design, which features a mini galaxy of stars across its fabric.
At 8 feet long, the strap works for yogis of almost any height and for almost any pose. The material—which is made with recyclable polyester—was soft against my skin and didn’t cause any chafing when wrapped around my ankle or clasped in my palm. The adjustable D-ring was easy to use and thread through yet was secure enough that the strap didn’t fall out while in use. In its 500-plus Amazon reviews, customers gush over its colors and design.
The Yoga Design Lab strap has its downsides, however. While it feels smooth to the touch, it gets slippery when wet or sweaty, making it difficult to grip and not ideal for hot yoga classes. The strap itself also feels thinner and flimsier than others I’ve used, which makes me wonder how long it will last or how well it will hold up over time.
Are Yoga Straps Worth It?
Unlike a yoga mat (and, to a lesser degree, yoga blocks), you don’t need a yoga strap to practice. Still, they’re a useful addition to almost any practice. Typically a long strip of fabric with an adjustable buckle on one end, a yoga strap is a prop that can help you access certain stretches, more safely work into poses you aren’t as familiar with yet, or just add some support where you need it.
Yoga straps may also prevent injury, given that many of the most common yoga injuries are caused by incorrect technique or straining. In 2019, there were approximately 34,000 OrthoInfo “Yoga Injury Prevention” View Source treated in doctor’s offices or hospitals. When used properly, a strap can help keep you from over-exerting yourself or overstretching and potentially pulling a muscle or harming a joint.
How We Found the Best Yoga Straps
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Amanda Tarlton, a product journalist who covers everything from health and fitness to home and beauty. More importantly, I’m an RYT-200 yoga teacher and NASM-certified personal trainer. You may have read some of my reviews at USA Today, MindBodyGreen, Taste of Home, Reader’s Digest, or Scary Mommy—or you may have taken one of my yoga classes at CorePower in Baltimore or seen me training clients at the local gym.
Most people know me as the girl who lifts weights. And that’s true, but my first fitness love was yoga. I’ve been practicing since 2012, when I was a mere college junior, and have been teaching since 2018, when I realized I would rather be at the yoga studio than at the bar with friends. The more I practice and the more I teach, the more I realize that it’s not about the final pose—it’s about the journey it takes to get there. This is why yoga straps have become a staple in my flows, whether I’m the one on the mat or the one standing at the front of the studio.
Our Testing Process
What do you do when you need to test yoga straps? A lot of yoga. And I do mean a lot of yoga. As someone who is typically a two-class-a-week-at-best kind of yogi, I suddenly morphed into the freakishly devoted person who is up and at ‘em at the studio every single morning at 7 a.m. on the dot—strap (or straps) in hand, of course.
After scouring the internet—and surveying my yoga students—for the most popular yoga straps, I narrowed it down to six to actually put to the test. The Nessie purchased these for testing, and I used each strap in at least two 60-minute yoga classes (one regular and one hot yoga) and in a variety of poses, from a basic seated forward fold to the more advanced dancer’s pose. Many of them I also used at home when I was casually practicing. I evaluated some of the most important features, like comfort, slippage, and quality, to get the best feel for how well each strap performed and how comfortable it was against my skin.
How to Find the Best Yoga Straps
A yoga strap is a long piece of non-elastic fabric often made from polyester, cotton, or nylon. They can vary in length from 6 to 10 feet, and you can pick your size depending on your height and your personal preferences. (I found the 8-foot length to be most versatile, but your mileage may vary.) A longer yoga strap will provide for a greater range of motion and makes it easier to use as a ring or loop without sacrificing length, while a shorter loop is better for people with shorter limbs or limited flexibility. They come in a range of colors and prints, from muted earth tones to bold and vibrant prints.
While some yoga straps are bare-bones strips of fabric, many have an adjustable D-ring (which is a ring that you simply thread the strap through) or buckle that allows you to create a closed circle without having to grip the ends together yourself. In my experience, some kind of buckle is necessary. It allows you to stabilize your body wherever it’s needed. The D-ring is the most common closure because it’s the easiest to adjust into a wide variety of loops and lengths for various purposes. However, a buckle or cinch typically offers even more security because the strap won’t slide out of place as you practice. Depending on the type of closure, you may also be able to use your strap as a yoga mat holder by creating a makeshift sling.
Most yoga straps are easy to wash—either by hand in soapy water or on a cold cycle in the washing machine—to keep them clean and long-lasting. Note, however, that it’s best to let your strap air dry instead of tossing it in the dryer to prevent it from shrinking or shortening.
Who Should Buy Yoga Straps?
Anyone looking to further their yoga practice could benefit from a yoga strap, no matter what level of experience you have. While beginners can use a yoga strap to make poses more accessible, advanced yogis can use one to increase the depth of engagement and improve alignment, body awareness, stability, and muscle engagement.
How To Use a Yoga Strap
Because a yoga strap is often used as an extension of the hand or foot, you’ll want to start slowly. Get used to maneuvering it and piecing it together—whether it’s a D-ring, buckle, or cinch—and test out how it feels against your feet and hands. From there, you can start by placing the strap against the part of your body that needs lengthening and using it to ease into a stretch. Just remember to be gentle with yourself! The strap is meant to provide support, not hoik you into an intense pose.
What Are The Best Stretches With Yoga Straps?
Short answer: Almost any stretch or pose you want! Longer answer: Any stretch in which you’d like a bit more support or length.
For instance, if you’re attempting utthita hasta padangusthasana (extended hand to big toe pose) but can’t quite reach your foot with your hand, you can loop your strap around the bottom of your foot to give you that extra length. You also don’t have use straps for dramatic-looking poses—yoga straps can also help with supported poses in relaxation-style Yin classes (a style of yoga that’s slower and gentler than a vinyasa flow). Take, for example, supta baddha konasana, or reclined butterfly pose, in which you loop the straps around your knees to bolster the hip flexors.
Keep your strap by your yoga mat as you practice so you can reach for it when you need it.
Features to Look For in the Best Yoga Straps
The best yoga strap should have a combination of the following features:
- Comfort: A yoga strap should feel soft and comfortable in your hands or wrapped around your skin. It shouldn’t chafe or scratch.
- Grip: Slippage is a key factor in choosing a yoga strap. You want a strap that maintains its grippiness even when you’re sweating so you don’t have to worry about it slipping and possibly injuring yourself.
- Durability: Ideally, a yoga strap will last for years without sagging, stretching, fraying, or ripping. It should be thick enough and well-made that you can use it again and again without compromising the quality.
- Sweat-wicking properties: A strap that gets soaked and heavy with sweat—and takes forever to dry—isn’t ideal. Instead, look for one that’s made of a fabric that wicks away sweat, like polyester or nylon. While cotton isn’t sweat-wicking by nature, many cotton straps have a synthetic coating to keep it from getting wet and heavy.
- Length: Look for a strap that aligns with your height. A too-short strap will make it difficult to get into deep poses, while a too-long strap may become slack and not provide you with the support you want.