Finding a yoga mat that is eco-friendly and doesn’t trash the planet may take a little more effort than the typical, normal yoga mat.
There are so many yoga mats out there, but some may actually harm the environment and maybe your health too. It becomes important to do your research when choosing a yoga mat nowadays.
Before we dive into the 7 best eco-friendly yoga mats, let’s go through some basics on why you should get an environmentally friendly yoga mat instead.
Avoid Plastic Yoga Mats If You Can
Most common yoga mats are made from plastic materials such as PVC.
So, what is PCV?
It’s called polyvinyl chloride, made from petroleum, and it’s a cheap and efficient material for manufacturers. The type of PVC called phthalates is the one that is used to make yoga mats soft and flexible.
However, this type of plastic is linked to major health and environmental impacts. They’re also unrecyclable and leaks toxic chemicals into the soil and air over time within the landfill.
In short, just stay away from yoga mats made with PVC plastics.
The good thing is that there are actually plenty of great alternatives available these days that are natural, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Without further ado, here are the 7 best eco-friendly yoga mats for a healthier practice.
1. Manduka eKO Yoga Mat
From beginner to advanced yogis, Manduka has just what you need no matter which level you are at. The Manduka eKO yoga mat is thick and extra-cushioned, suitable for joint support. Its strong traction will also prevent you from slipping, hence it’s definitely going to be helpful to your practice.
It’s a biodegradable, natural yoga mat because it’s made from non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber. The foaming agents used to create the Manduka eKO yoga mat are also non-toxic, and no PVC or harmful plasticizers are used in the process of manufacturing!
Manduka is definitely one of the more popular and expensive yoga brands out there, but that’s because their yoga mats are durable, comfortable and high-quality which is worth the investment in the long run!
2. Urbivore Cork Yoga Mat (With Alignment)
Urbivore is started by two sisters who only offer products that are non-toxic and sustainable. They ship everything with recycled materials and no plastics!
Their yoga mats are made of natural cork harvested from the regenerative bark of coak oak trees. They contain zero PVC or any other harmful chemicals, not to mention using cork as the material makes the mats eco-friendly, odor-free and durable as well.
The cork yoga mat gets grippier with moisture, so the sweatier you are, it gets better! (hot yoga class might be a great idea!)
Cork also helps to inhibit bacteria, mold and fungal growth which means it’s long-lasting and only minimal upkeep is required.
When you harvest cork, no trees are cut down. In fact, stripped cork oak trees absorb 3-5 times more carbon dioxide and release more oxygen which helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!
3. Wild Hemp Yoga Mat
These beautiful eco-friendly wild hemp yoga mats are the combination of wild hemp cotton canvas and pure wild nettle fabric. The hemp canvas is incredibly strong, soft-to-touch and grippy on the surface. The grid helps to assist you in finding correct alignment in your yoga practice.
If you don’t like rubber-based yoga mats because of the smell, the wild hemp yoga mats will be a great alternative. These mats resemble those mats used by yogis in the old days. The canvas is not rubber-based, so if you have sweaty hands and feet, they can grip well too!
No bleach or chemical treatments are used in the production process. The fibres are harvested by hand, washed in Himalayan water and hand-spun, weaved and stitched. They look amazing and even smell good too!
4. Gaiam Performance Premium-Grip Yoga Mat (8mm)
The Gaiam performance premium-grip yoga mat is eco-friendly as it’s made from 100% natural rubber. It is also designed with an internal stabilizing core that prevents bunching and stretching.
This mat is 8mm thick which is the highest level of cushion for yoga mats, so it’s really great for protecting your joints, and have a more comfortable yoga practice session. It has a very comfortable fabric-like texture and a non-slip grip.
5. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
The Jade Harmony Yoga Mat is one of the best eco-friendly yoga mats and it’s popular among yogis too!
They are made with sustainable resources like natural rubber and no PVCs or synthetic materials were used in manufacturing. Plus, natural rubber has a much stronger grip and more cushion than any synthetic rubbers (PVC, PER, TPE or EVA).
All Jade Yoga mats are made in the United States for more control over the material used and the quality of the products. The company is also committed to giving back to the Earth by planting a tree for every mat sold. They claimed to have planted over one million trees so far!
6. Prana Henna E.C.O. Yoga Mat
Prana is one of the first American apparel brands to produce Fair Trade Certified products. It means buying from them directly support farmers and factory workers to bridge the gap between living wage and minimum wage.
The Prana E.C.O yoga mats are constructed from 100% thermoplastic elastomer. It’s actually recyclable, lightweight and uses non-toxic materials in its production.
This yoga mat is also great for outdoors because it is UV resistant which means it won’t break down under the sun! Its closed-cell construction prevents germs from absorbing into the mat too.
7. Lottus Life Jute Yoga Mat
Protect your joints with this extra thick Lottus Life Jute Yoga Mat!
The jute mat is free of harmful, toxic materials and it’s made from natural jute fiber. Being 100% natural fiber, it is biodegradable, non-toxic and recyclable.
This mat is also very durable and comfortable. Of course, practicing on a jute mat always gives you a sense of natural connection with mother nature every time you practice on it.