No one wants to be thinking about what crazy chemical additives they might be planting their downward dog on when they're trying to get into their Zen zone. Fortunately, more and more yoga mat companies are producing eco-friendly yoga mats.
When you have a mat that is free of dangerous chemicals and made with eco-friendly processes or of more sustainable materials like all-natural rubber and jute, you don't even have to sacrifice good grip quality in your efforts to be gentler on Mother Earth. Here are five options to consider:
1. Manduka eKO Lite Mat
Made from biodegradable, non-Amazon-harvested, natural tree rubber, Manduka's new and improved eKO lite mat offers some serious grip, even in the midst of your sweatiest Bikram classes. The rippled surface texture feels and acts like the ridges of your hands to prevent slipping and sliding. Manduka also carries a line of natural sweet-smelling yoga mat cleaners. Find out more about Manduka's eKO Lite Mat.
Read more: 13 Reasons to Start Practicing Yoga
2. Barefoot Yoga Original Eco Yoga Mat
Consistently ranked as one of the best eco-friendly yoga mats, Barefoot Yoga's Eco Mat mixes all-natural rubber with jute fiber (a vegetable-based fiber). While the jute creates a bit of a different feeling on your hands than traditional rubber mats, the no-slip properties remain. Plus, the rubber portion provides the comfort and support that's missing from an all-jute mat. Find out more about Barefoot Yoga's Original Eco Yoga Mat.
3. Jade Teal Mat
While all of Jade's yoga mats are made from all-natural rubber and without PVC, their teal mat takes altruism one step further by donating $5 from the sale of each mat to ovarian cancer research, early detection, improved treatment and public education of the disease. In addition, Jade plants a tree for every one of their mats sold through their partnership with Trees for the Future. Find out more about Jade's Teal Mat.
Read more: How to Get Started With Yoga
4. Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat
The E.C.O. mat, which stands for "Earth Conscious Offering," is a result of Prana's toxin-free manufacturing process and doesn't contain PVC, chloride or latex. As a result, the mat is recyclable. The underside of the mat stays put on smooth, hard surfaces, while the top offers a no-slip grip and won't allow germs from your sweat to absorb into the mat. Find out more about Prana's E.C.O. Yoga Mat.
5. Yohola Cork Yoga Mats
The founder of Yohola was taught about sustainability at his grandmother's knee as a young boy. When it came time for him to pursue his passion he started making surfboards and paddleboards from non-toxic, yet durable materials. He discovered that cork was a fabulous non-slip covering for his boards without having to resort to EVA foam for traction.
This experience led him to create a yoga mat made of cork and recycled rubber. He scoured Portugal for the best cork and fused it with an eco-friendly foam. The interesting feature with this mat is that the more you sweat, the better your grip will be. Cork naturally deters bacteria and germs, and the foam on the underside of the mat will not absorb moisture. Find out more about Yohola Cork Yoga Mats.
- Yohola: "Original Air Cork Yoga Mat"
- Prana: "E.C.O. Yoga Mat"
- Jade Yoga: "Harmony Mat"
- Barefoot Yoga: "The Original Yoga Eco Mat"
- Manduka: "EKO Lite Yoga Mat"
- UCLA: "What Is Sustainability?"
- Yoga Journal: "Downward-Facing Dog"
- WWF: "Transforming the Global Rubber Market"
- Trees.org: "2019 - 2025 Stategic Growth Plan"