If you’re a serious yogi, then you need to get a serious yoga mat. You’ll want to look for one that matches your yoga style, whether you need a mat that can handle your sweat during a hot yoga sesh, one that’s soft enough to cushion your tender joints or one that’s light enough for you to tote around as you go about your day.
Along with finding the right type of mat for your practice, you also need a mat that will contribute to your overall wellness instead of taking away from it. Traditional yoga mats, the ones you can find for under $20 at big box stores, are made from cheap materials. PVC mats are the most common and most harmful type of cheap yoga mat. PVC is considered to be among the worst materials you can breathe in. When you combine it with yoga, which is all about breathing deeply, PVC can be detrimental to your health.
You got into yoga because of its health benefits, so your workout should honor that by taking place on a mat made from natural rubber, jute fibers, cork, and other sustainable materials. Make sure your mat is free from dangerous chemicals and made using eco-friendly manufacturing processes.
Here’s a list of 10 of the most eco-friendly yoga mats on the market so you can ensure you’re practicing environmentally friendly yoga.
The Manduka yoga mat is manufactured from natural rubber, cotton, and polyester. It’s processed without toxic materials such as harmful glues and foaming agents. This durable mat is made of two layers with different densities. The upper layer has a closed-cell surface to hold off moisture and dirt while the lower layer is open-celled to allow air for increased cushion. Under dry conditions, the rubber offers good grip and traction, which is especially important when you practice barefoot yoga.
The mat is a bit heavy, but this heaviness helps make it stay in place when making dynamic movements, providing increased stability and comfort. The surface is smooth and textured, which makes wiping off dirt, lint, and animal hair easy (which also makes this a contender if you’re into goat yoga). You can buy a 71 inch/6mm thick mat from Amazon for $120.
The Liforme yoga mat is made from rubber and eco-polyurethane that’s free from PVC, EVA, synthetic rubber, and other toxic materials. It is 72.8” long, 5.5 lbs heavy, and 4.2 mm thick. The main draw to this mat is its smooth surface and unique patterns that help keep you aligned.
While the eco-friendly yoga mat is slightly thinner and lighter than its counterparts, it has a steady grip that supports knees and other body joints in both wet and dry conditions. It repels dirt but absorbs moisture, so you’ll need to clean it fairly frequently. Buy one from Liforme’s website, starting at $115.
Jade is the original eco-friendly yoga mat and created the first non-toxic yoga mats sold. Made in the USA, the Jade Fusion yoga mat provides great, if not the best, wet and dry traction. If you’re into hot yoga, this just might be the mat for you. The mat is made of mostly natural rubber and is free from PVC and other harmful materials that deplete the ozone.
The Jade Fusion mat comes in two lengths, 68” and 74,” which weigh around seven and eight pounds, respectively. It has a 5/16” surface that provides firmness and cushion. This thickness makes it a bit heavier than other mats. It’s manufactured in an open cell structure that absorbs sweat, oils, and other moisture to keep you from sliding when the mat gets a little wet. Just make sure to completely dry the mat after use to get rid of the accumulated moisture. The mat sells for $134.95 on the Jade website and from retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Amazon, and Walmart.
The Jade Harmony yoga mat is made from natural rubber and FDA-approved components. It’s structured with an open-cell technology, which allows it to absorb liquid such as sweat, oils, and water. It has one of the best tractions of all the yoga mats on this list, with a slightly ridged surface that is sticky enough to keep your feet, palms, and entire body in place as you move around. Even though it can handle some sweat and oil, this yoga mat works best under dry conditions.
With its relative lightness, you can tote the Jade Harmony yoga mat around as you leave the yoga studio to get on with our day. You can also lay it out or roll it up as you need to. Since the rubber material absorbs water and other liquid substances, you may need to give it a deep clean in a bathtub, shower, or washing machine on gentle mode. Let it dry for a couple of days in the shade. The mat retails for $80 – $85, depending on the size.
B Mat contains 100 percent natural rubber and is free from toxic chemicals, sealants, or finishes. It is 2mm – 6mm thick, firm enough for balancing poses, inversions, and arm balances. The surface texture is slightly grainy and rubbery with impressive grip in both wet and dry conditions. The rubber is strong enough to provide padding under knees and elbows.
The mat’s light weight makes it easy to carry to yoga class. The all-natural rubber allows it to lie flat immediately on the floor without worrying about the ends curling up. While the mat is constructed with open-cell technology, you can still easily clean it. Simply soak an all-purpose cleaner into it for 10 minutes, give it a good rub, rinse it off, and hang it to dry indoors. B mats are available at BYoga stores, Amazon, eBay, and other retailers for $84.
Suga yoga mats are made from wetsuits. You may argue that wetsuits aren’t a renewable resource because they’re non-biodegradable but hear me out. The reason Suga uses them as material for their mats is to prevent the wetsuits from piling up in landfills. The 5mm mat is thicker and denser than most other mats in its category. It is also less squishy than most of the other mats on the list, but its thickness and density actually provide more cushioning than soft cell mats, allowing you to more firmly hold your standing poses and arm balances.
Suga is committed to recycling. If your mat wears out, you can send it to the company for recycling, and they will replace it with a new one. Suga sells their mats online, with prices starting at $79.00 per mat.
The Yoloha cork yoga mat is made of cork and rubber, giving it a strong grip in both wet and dry conditions. Cork is antimicrobial and can ward off any potential growths and smells. The Native weighs 3 lbs and 4 oz, which is surprisingly low for its density. The mat has two layers. The top layer is a combination of cork and rubber, while the bottom layer consists of rubber. The top layer provides a soft landing while the bottom layer provides added cushioning as your weight ripples down the mat.
The rubber and cork combo withstands the wear and tear constant activity puts on the mat over a long period of time. To clean the mat after use, simply apply some spray, wipe it down and spread it out to dry overnight. This eco-friendly yoga mat is available at Amazon for $139.99 per mat.
The Juru cork yoga mat is made from natural rubber sap from Kerala and cork sourced from Portugal. Cork is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and easy to clean. Simply wash it with water, give it a wipe, and hang it in the shade. This is a great mat to use if you love hot yoga, since it offers the best grip during sweaty practice, sticking firmly on the floor even with heavy movements. You can use it on either side for even wear and tear. You can order this cork yoga mat online from Juru for $75.00 per mat.
If a pretty mat helps keep you motivated, then you need to check out Yoga Design Lab. These stylish mats contain natural rubber and recycled plastic bottles. The soft upper layer contains the plastic bottles, while the sturdy lower layer is where the natural rubber lies. This is a great combination that’s neither too soft nor too hard, especially if you have a sensitive spine and knees that need support.
The mats work best in wet conditions because they get more grippy as they get wetter. They’re absorbent, but you can throw them into the laundry machine to wash away the sweat and dirt. Buy one on Amazon with prices ranging from $56 – $98.
The Tranquil Yogi Oasis mat consists of biodegradable rubber, calcium powder, and vegetable oil. With a length of 72”, weight of 8 lbs., and thickness of 6 mm, it offers a smooth but non-slip surface that will hold you in place as you perform your poses and balances. Some mats in the Oasis series also feature a rubber and cork combo for a tighter grip. This eco-friendly yoga mat sells for $100.