4 Best Sustainable Yoga MatsPractice yoga, meditation and pranayama in peace knowing that your yoga mat isn’t damaging your health or the planet. Finding a sustainable yoga mat can be a challenge especially when many brands state their yoga mats are sustainable even when they include plastics like PU, PER, PVC, TPE and microfibre.
What to avoid when looking for a sustainable yoga mat?
With the rise in popularity of sustainable and environmentally friendly products, there is also a rise in brands stating that their products are sustainable and environmentally friendly. It has become popular to brand your products as sustainable or eco-friendly as a way to attract more customers and thus more sales. When you’re looking for a sustainable yoga mat avoid PU, PVC, TPE, PER, and microfibre as they are made from plastic and known to harm the environment and human health.
5 Materials To Avoid When Buying A Yoga Mat
1) Avoid PU (Polyurethane)
PU stands for polyurethane and is an oil-derived plastic. This is now a commonly used material in yoga mats. Many brands use this material in their yoga mats and claim it to be sustainable and eco-friendly. During its lifetime polyurethane off-gasses. One of the biggest problems with PU yoga mats is that polyurethane is very flammable and because of this toxic fire retardants are added to PU yoga mats.
2) Avoid PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride)
PVC is one of the oldest and most commonly used yoga mat materials. Unfortunately, PVC is incredibly toxic to humans and the environment. When inhaled PVC is carcinogenic not ideal with yoga involving focused breathing and movement. During the manufacturing process PVC releases dioxins as a byproduct which are also incredibly toxic. Greenpeace released a document in 2014 stating the reasons why PVC is damaging to human health and the environment “PVC, throughout its lifecycle, is the most environmentally damaging of all plastics."
3) Avoid PER (Poly Environmental Resin)
Yes, this is quite a deceiving name as it is far from environmentally friendly. PER is made from PVC and some other materials which result in a more environmentally friendly and less toxic material than PVC. However, this is in comparison with PVC which is a terrible material. Yes, it seems that PER is better than PVC but when compared with other materials it is still a bad option.
4) Avoid TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer)
TPE is made using a mix of oil-derived plastic and natural rubber. Because of this, it is slightly better however it is still a bad option as it is not easily biodegradable and it is made partly from plastics.
5) Avoid Microfibre (Polyester)
It is well known that microfibres from polyester are damaging to the environment. Microfibres when washed are too small to be filtered out by wastewater plants and therefore get into the water systems and oceans damaging marine animals and the environment.
How to find a sustainable yoga mat?
If you are looking for a sustainable yoga mat the answer does not lie in plastic materials. When looking for a sustainable yoga mat look for yoga mats made from sustainably harvested natural tree rubber or natural tree rubber combined with natural materials like jute, hemp, cotton or cork. By choosing a natural rubber yoga mat you bypass yoga mats made from PU, PVC, TPE, PER and microfibre. Be sure to check that the yoga mat you are looking at isn’t a combination of PU and natural rubber or microfibre and natural rubber as there are many yoga mats on the market that combine these materials.
How to stop slipping on my yoga mat?
When it comes to slipping on your yoga mat there are 2 reasons this may be happening. It could be due to equipment (poor quality or an old yoga mat) or due to incorrect technique. For technique, the best way to slip less on your yoga mat is to spread your fingers as wide as possible and press down in the palms of your hands. By doing this you are maximising your surface area while creating pressure on the yoga mat which results in more grip and less slippage.
When it comes to equipment look for a high quality non-slip sustainable yoga mat. Our all-time favourite non-slip yoga mats are made of sustainably harvested natural rubber and jute. Once you’ve experienced how grippy natural rubber jute yoga mats are you will be thinking I wish I found these awesome yoga mats earlier.
How long should my yoga mat last?
It depends on the quality of your yoga mat. PVC, TPE, PER, PU and microfibre yoga mats often don’t last as long as natural tree rubber yoga mats. We have been using our Eco-friendly CompleteGrip™ Jute Yoga Mats every day for 3+ years and they are still amazing like new. Some yogis like to replace their mats more often. So for a high-quality natural rubber yoga mat, you can expect anywhere between 1 to 5+ years of use.
What are the 4 best sustainable yoga mats?
A popular bestselling sustainable non-slip yoga mat made from sustainably harvested natural tree rubber and jute. High quality made using a zero-waste manufacturing process. Packaged in FSC certified craft paper. 3 trees are planted with the charity Trees For The Future with every yoga mat sold. (plastic-free, PU-free, PER-free BPA-free, TPE-free, PVC-free and free from microfibre). Loved by yoga teachers and yogis worldwide.
★★★★★ 5 Star Reviews (loved by teachers & yogis worldwide):
"I've used a number of different mats during my 11 years of experience with yoga and this is honestly the best one of them! This mat has a premium quality, good cushioning and also best grip ever, taking my practice to the next level! I got it in a lovely ivory colour and I am loving it, looks pretty in the room even when I'm not practicing!:)
I love that it is a family business, and that their values are really aligned with yoga teachings: the mat is 100% sustainable and natural, ethicaly made and they plant trees each time you purchase from them, way to go! The customer service here is exceptional and I even got a free beautiful stainless steel water bottle with my order, which was a cherry on the top! I can recommend this mat to anyone on the planet, it is a no-brainer! :)"
Weighing only 1.3kgs, this bestselling sustainable non-slip travel yoga mat is popular for its lightweight and non-slip features. This yoga mat is identical to the above yoga mat but 2mm thinner and slightly cheaper. Popular with beginners and people that travel often. High quality made using a zero-waste manufacturing process. Packaged in FSC certified craft paper. 3 trees are planted with the charity Trees For The Future with every yoga mat sold. (plastic-free, PU-free, PER-free BPA-free, TPE-free, PVC-free and free from microfibre). Loved by yoga teachers and yogis worldwide.
Great value for money and made in the UK. The ecoYoga mat is a fantastic everyday sustainable natural rubber jute yoga mat. The ecoYoga mat was one of the original eco-friendly yoga mats on the market.
Just like the above ecoYoga mat but 2mm thinner. Suitable for travel and people looking for a lightweight sustainable yoga mat on a budget. This is one cheapest eco-friendly yoga mats on the market.
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Happy sustainable yoga mat shopping. Have an amazing day 🧡