Yoga blocks can help with a lot of different things, like stability, alignment, and even recovery. But when you get a yoga block, you want to make sure it is one that you like and that aligns with what you want to use it for. That is why I wrote this article on the 6 best yoga blocks of 2023, so that you can find the perfect one for you.
6 Best yoga blocks of 2023
- Best overall: Manduka Yoga Block
- Best foam block: Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block
- Best set: Clever Yoga Blocks
- Best bamboo block: Wooden-Life Bamboo yoga block
- Best for hot yoga: Manduka Unblock
- Most versatile: THE STRONGBLOCKS
Best overall: Manduka Yoga Block
For a yoga block that offers both support and ethical sourcing, explore the Manduka Cork. Crafted from renewable and non-toxic cork oak tree bark, this block stands out for its exceptional stability, well-molded corners, and standard size (9″ x 6″ x 4″). Through multiple practice sessions, it demonstrated resilience, showing no visible wear or signs of water or sweat accumulation on its cork exterior. Manduka recommends a straightforward disinfectant wipe-down for cleaning. The fine grain of the cork exterior provides an easily grippable surface for sweaty hands without feeling sticky, ensuring balance during a heated practice. The tight compression of the cork fiber maintains a firm touch on the block’s surface.
Predictably, the Manduka Cork proves to be one of the weightier blocks in our testing. While this weight aids in keeping it securely in place, it may pose a challenge if you prefer a lighter block during your flow. The robust edges and heavier weight might make certain poses more challenging, especially for those new to yoga or with tender joints. The tightly-bound cork may feel overwhelming until you acclimate to the intense sensation. If you’re sensitive or still adapting to your yoga practice, opting for a foam material block might be more suitable. However, for slightly more experienced yogis, this block encompasses all the essential features—durability, stability, and an absence of unusual or toxic odors.
Best foam block: Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block
For those new to yoga and seeking a more budget-friendly and lightweight alternative to cork blocks, the Gaiam Essentials foam yoga blocks offer a comfortable option. Praised for their soft and supportive feel, these blocks are easy to grip and travel-friendly. With an impressive 4.8-star rating from over 20,000 Amazon reviews, users appreciate their gentle impact on the body, making them suitable for stretching.
When used on various yoga mat surfaces, the latex-free EVA foam demonstrates slip resistance, securely adhering to the mat during different movements. Foam, known for its forgiving nature, is particularly useful for gentle or restorative poses.
However, the Essentials blocks may lack the stability and rigidity of cork models, especially at the tallest height. Some users note wobbling during challenging poses, leading to less confidence compared to other types of blocks. The spongy material provides a good grip when squeezed, but sweaty hands may find the surface slightly slippery. The bevelled edges, which are more rounded than some other foam blocks, contribute to enhanced comfort.
Weighing less than half of typical cork blocks, the Essential blocks allow for easier transitions without impeding the flow. After regular use, some users observe minor surface scratches, more than seen with cork blocks. Cleaning is straightforward; a simple wipe-off with soapy water keeps them in good condition.
However, one drawback is the noticeable off-gassing upon opening the package, akin to the smell of fresh paint or new shoes. While the smell diminishes after a couple of days, individuals with heightened sensitivity may prefer to wait until the blocks have aired out before using them.
Best set: Clever Yoga Blocks
The Clever Yoga 2-Blocks and Strap Set immediately sparked our enthusiasm for hitting the mat! This duo of traditionally sized blocks is crafted from eco-friendly, high-density EVA foam. The bevelled edges ensure a comfortable grip, while the non-slip surface keeps them securely in place, even during sweaty sessions. The accompanying strap, made of 100% cotton, barely showed signs of wear after our thorough tests. Lightweight and user-friendly, each block is perfect for dynamic flows. The unique construction combines a soft exterior with a dense interior, making yoga with props accessible to all through this affordable bundle.
In the realm of foam yoga blocks, a decrease in durability is par for the course. Although the Clever Yoga blocks held up reasonably well to our rigorous demands, they aren’t indestructible. While the foam is well compressed, our fingernails could leave marks on the surface, though not as severe as lower-density blocks. These blocks are reasonably sturdy, especially considering their puncturable material, but they do have their limits. Recommended for both beginners and advanced practitioners, this yoga bundle offers affordability and a gentle exterior. Deepen your practice without breaking the bank.
Best bamboo block: Wooden-Life Bamboo yoga block
Upgrade your yoga practice with these Bamboo Yoga Blocks. Made from bamboo wood, they offer a reliable foundation for years of use. Be mindful, though—the thin lacquer can make them slippery when wet. Use them on a non-slip surface, like a mat, for safety. The bamboo material is not just sturdy but also sustainable, contributing to an eco-friendly practice.
Priced at $33, these blocks by Wooden-Life are budget-friendly and environmentally conscious. Sized at 9 x 6 x 3 inches, they provide solid support for different yoga poses. The natural bamboo color adds a touch of nature to your practice.
Maintaining them is easy—just wipe with a dry cloth. Elevate your yoga routine with these bamboo blocks, combining durability, sustainability, and natural aesthetics.
Best for hot yoga: Manduka Unblock
The Manduka unBLOK stands out among hot yoga blocks due to its unique shape and slip-resistant exterior. Crafted from recycled EVA foam, this block features gently curved sides and beveled edges for a comfortable grip. With a fifty-fifty mix of standard and curvy design, it offers versatile usage, providing stability as a prop and soft support for backbends.
The distinctive curves make it easy to handle, especially for those with smaller hands. Ideal for hot yoga, the non-slip surface ensures a secure grip against your hands and mat. However, personal preference plays a role, as the unconventional design may not suit everyone. Fans of super-dense, rectangular cork blocks might find the unBLOK too soft.
While the unBLOK’s softer nature makes it susceptible to abrasions, it still offers decent durability for a foam block. Though it doesn’t match the longevity of bamboo or award-winning cork options, proper care ensures a lasting practice companion. Whether you’re practicing hot yoga or enjoying sessions on the beach or in the park, the unBLOK strikes a balance between softness, strength, durability, and grip. Give it a try, and you might find the perfect blend, just like we did.
Most versatile: THE STRONGBLOCKS
For those looking to elevate their yoga practice, the Yoga Block with Built-in Handles brings a unique twist to traditional blocks. Boasting handles that can be effortlessly removed for use as parallettes, these blocks are a game-changer for positions like planks, handstands, and pushups. When the handles are stowed away, the block functions as a standard yoga block, perfect for stretching, flexibility, and mobility exercises. It’s important to note that these blocks have a maximum weight capacity of 220 pounds.
Priced at $49, these blocks are crafted with EVA foam and PVC, weighing in at a mere 2.2 pounds. Compact and easy to assemble in under 5 seconds, their storage size of 8.5” x 6.3” x 5.5” (similar to a shoebox) makes them a practical addition to your workout gear. The parallettes stand at a height of 5.7”.
The added functionality of handles that transform into parallettes sets these blocks apart, providing versatility in your workout routine. While offering quick assembly and convenient storage, be mindful of the weight limit to ensure optimal use. Whether you’re focusing on traditional stretches or integrating parallette exercises like handstands, these blocks offer a dynamic and efficient solution for your yoga sessions.
How to pick the perfect yoga block
The best yoga blocks have the following features that you can look for:
When choosing a yoga block, prioritize one that remains steady and provides support during balanced poses or pose transitions. Achieving stability involves factors like slip resistance, firmness, grip, and size. Given that instability poses a safety risk, especially if you intend to use the block while standing frequently, it’s crucial to emphasize this aspect.
Opt for a block that feels comfortable to hold and rest on. While softer blocks are gentler on the hands, pay attention to details such as rounded edges and surface texture, as they can significantly impact overall comfort.
A more compact block tends to offer greater stability and longevity. However, finding the right balance is essential, as excessive weight can impede smooth movements. Additionally, the stiffness of a dense block may be uncomfortable for some individuals, emphasizing that denser isn’t always synonymous with better.
The durability of a yoga block hinges on its material. Select a block that maintains its shape and doesn’t compress significantly with use. High-quality blocks won’t shed material and will exhibit abrasion resistance.
Ensure that your yoga block is easy to clean and store. Watch out for materials prone to picking up pet hair, retaining odors, or demanding special care considerations.