Eco Friendly Yoga Mat Options – What’s best for you?

A short article to help you choose the best Eco Friendly Yoga Mat

You’ve read the articles on the horrors of PVC yoga mats and phthalates and you’ve probably turned your smelly, old yoga mat into a pair of shoes! But, just how do you choose the best environmentally friendly yoga mat to replace it?

Most people buy a PVC sticky yoga mat because they’re cheap, comfortable but firm, provide decent grip and a choice of colors and patterns.

I’m going to keep this article simple by assuming you want something similar to a standard sticky yoga mat but more eco friendly, better for your health and better for the environment.

I’m not going to discuss jute yoga mats or cotton yoga mats in this article, just rubber yoga mats and eco foam yoga mats.

Rubber Yoga Mats

Rubber is almost the perfect material for eco friendly yoga mats. It’s natural and sustainable (as long as it’s from sustainable forests). Rubber is really dense but springy, so rubber yoga mats are great for the perfect combination of balance and comfort.

The best premium eco yoga mats are made of rubber but, they have three drawbacks.

  1. Rubber yoga mats are heavy so they can be a pain to carry around
  2. Rubber yoga mats smell. Some people love the smell, some hate it but it does fade over time.
  3. Rubber yoga mats contains latex and some people are allergic to latex

Eco Foam Yoga Mats

As a response to the dangers of PVC two eco friendlier versions of flexible plastic are now used for eco yoga mats. These are TPE and PER or Thermoplastic Elastomers and Polyurethane Environmental Resin. You can do your own research on the chemistry of yoga mats (if you’re interested) but for this article, all we need to know is that both of these compounds come in dozens of varieties, some of which include rubber.

Every Eco Foam Yoga Mat will be slightly different so you need to check with the supplier exactly what the benefits of their yoga mats are. Eco Foam Yoga Mats can be-

  • Biodegradable
  • Phthalate free
  • PVC free
  • Dioxin free
  • Lead free
  • Cadmium free
  • Produced in a more environmentally friendly way than PVC

Make sure your new environmentally friendly yoga mat ticks as many boxes as possible. If you have a latex allergy check that your TPE or PER ecomat doesn’t contain latex.

Eco Friendly Yoga Mat Prices

Many people are happy to pay premium prices for the best eco credentials and the best quality yoga mats, and that’s great BUT times are tight so, it’s important to realise that you can also now, find excellent extra thick, extra long, eco yoga mats for around $15. If you’re just starting off, buy one of those instead of a PVC yoga mat.

Like all things it’s a question of balance. You may not be able to buy the perfect Eco Yoga Mat but you can do a lot better than the standard PVC mat.

Summary

If you can afford it and you aren’t allergic to latex and don’t mind the temporary smell go for a rubber yoga mat like this or this

If money’s no object go for something like this

If cost is an issue or you’d really just like a light foam eco friendly yoga mat then go for TPE or PER like this one . It’s less than $15.

Our personal favorite and a really great middle of the road Eco Friendly Yoga Mat is this one

If you’d like more detail take a look at our latest article ‘The Eco Mat Yoga best selling eco friendly yoga mats review’ or click here for more general advice on where to buy a yoga mat.

Eco Friendly Yoga Mat

Thought you might like a breath of fresh air!

What are eco yoga mats made of?

If you’re looking for the best eco mat for yoga you’ll want to know what eco yoga mats are made of ……

Once upon a time ….. not so very long ago ….. if you wanted a sticky mat for yoga but didn’t want a PVC yoga mat, you didn’t have much choice apart from rubber.  Rubber yoga mats are great (unless you have a latex allergy) but there’s plenty of other choices now.

Rubber Yoga Mats
Most of the premium eco friendly yoga mats are made of rubber.  They are durable yoga mats and provide excellent cushioning and grip.  Rubber is a natural and renewable resource tapped from rubber trees.  It can provide the perfect yoga mat if you’re concerned about the environment, but some people complain about the smell.

Rubber contains latex so rubber yoga mats are not suitable for latex allergy sufferers.

PER and TPE Yoga Mats
TPE and PER are new plastics without the health and environmental concerns of PVC and without the allergy problems of latex.

TPE and PER yoga mats look and feel very similar to standard sticky  yoga mats but, they are environmentally friendly, non toxic and biodegradable.

They combine grip and comfort with eco credentials but they don’t contain rubber so are perfect for yogis and yoginis with a latex allergy.

LATEX ALLERGY SUFFERERS PLEASE NOTE:

Some manufacturers combine latex and TPE or PER in their yoga mats so check carefully before you buy.  If you want an excellent eco yoga mat (1/4 inch) that is latex free as well as PVC free, check out the Agile Eco Yoga Mat.

Jute/Sea-grass Yoga Mats
Jute and Sea-grass are hard wearing, natural and sustainable.  In eco yoga mats they are usually combined with rubber to provide padding and grip.

Wool Yoga Mats
Some people recommend sheepskins as eco yoga mats but I’m not convinced.  Seems to me they would be very slippery unless you grip the wool between your toes.  Comments please …….

Felted woollen blankets can be used as eco yoga mats but they slip on wooden floors and to be honest, really aren’t very comfortable.

Cotton Yoga Mats
There are two main types of cotton eco yoga mat.

The tightly woven, traditional decorative cotton yoga mats are good for soaking up perspiration in ashtanga yoga and, in fact, as the mat gets wetter the grip increases.

These cotton yoga mats are much thinner than foam eco yoga mats but people like the traditional look and style so they are used on top of a sticky eco yoga mat.

Interstingly, many of the yoga mats advertised as ‘traditional’ are actually made of man made fibers so, do your homework if you’d rather have natural cotton.

The extra thick, futon type, cotton yoga mats are designed for restorative yoga and meditation and not for standing and balancing poses.  They’re to bulky for a yoga class but many people use them for relaxing at home.  Some people even throw away their furniture and have these extra thick cotton yoga mats instead.

Futon style eco yoga mats are usually made with a cotton outer layer and stuffed with padding. This padding could be natural or man made and can give off toxins so again, do your homework.  Organic cotton yoga mats are best.

So, avoid PVC yoga mats and if you want a firm, durable, premium eco yoga mat consider rubber yoga mats.  If you have a latex allergy or just want a cheap eco yoga mat that’s pretty much the same as the sticky yoga mat you’re used to, choose PER or TPE.  If you want a more ethnic look and a more natural feel then buy a traditional cotton yoga mat to go on top of your other eco yoga mat.  Then buy an extra thick organic cotton yoga mat to sink into and meditate when you you get home!

If you’re looking for value for money and lot’s of customer reviews then check out

Amazon’s Best Selling Eco Friendly Yoga Mats

Eco Mat Yoga

This is where your rubber yoga mat comes from - a rubber tree ...