13 Eco-Friendly & Non-Toxic Yoga Mats Without Plastic

best eco-friendly yoga mats
13 min reading time

Yoga is awesome, and if you’re like many others, you might be doing it for the benefits like reducing stress, improving strength, flexibility and balance, or reducing stress.

The great thing about yoga is that all you need to practice it is a mat and a place to put it. Finding a yoga mat is easy. In fact, you can walk into practically any store and find a wide selection of mats to choose from.

But most yoga mats are made from petroleum-derived plastic. To be specific, they’re made of PVC—polyvinyl chloride—a cheap material that also happens to be toxic to both us and our environment.

Let’s take a look at why this is a bad thing, and what you can do about it.

PVC in Yoga Mats, And Why You Should Avoid It

The main ingredient in PVC is vinyl chloride. This chemical is a known human carcinogen, and we’re exposed to it through the gas our PVC yoga mats emit. (1)

Other toxic ingredients potentially found in a PVC yoga mat include:

  • Dioxins – A byproduct that consists of a group of toxic chemicals known to be carcinogenic and harmful to our environment.
  • Phthalates – In order for the yoga mat to be soft and pliable, manufacturers need to use phthalates. These chemicals are known to be hormone disruptors, and cause numerous health and reproductive issues for humans as well as being toxic to our environment. They’re also known to be carcinogens, and find their way into our soil and air over time due to disposal in landfills or being burned in incinerators.
  • Heavy metals – Some mats have added heavy metals—like lead—to make them more durable.

The material used in yoga mats also makes them impossible to dispose of in an eco-friendly way, too.

Why Do Companies Use PVC?

It’s easy to understand why manufacturers use PVC to make their yoga mats.

  • It’s durable. PVC can last sometimes decades without breaking down or wearing out.
  • It’s cheap. Much more cheaper than eco-friendly materials.
  • The smooth texture and grip makes it ideal for a yoga mat.
  • They’re easy to clean. Soap and water will do the trick.

But just because PVC has all of these benefits doesn’t mean you can’t find a great eco-friendly and non-toxic alternative.

Eco-Friendly & Non-Toxic Yoga Mat Alternatives

Thankfully, many eco-conscious companies are stepping up and creating non-toxic and eco-friendly yoga mats made without the use of plastics.

Made from materials like biodegradable cork, natural latex and jute, these days it’s easy to find a great non-toxic alternative to the typical plastic-based yoga mat.

Many mats are even recyclable, meaning you can feel great about using them knowing they’re not going to end up in a landfill when they’re worn out.

With so many high quality, eco-friendly and non-toxic yoga mats on the market, there’s no need to buy a cheap, plastic-based mat.

Breathe easy and enjoy your yoga practice with any of these choices.

Manduka Eko Lite Mat

Manduka Eko Lite Mat

  • Weight: 4.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 68 x 24”; 3-4 mm thick
  • Material: Biodegradable natural tree rubber.
  • Manufactured in: Taiwan
  • Price: $56.99 to $160.99 (Click here to buy)

Manduka started because of a need for a yoga mat that had great traction and support. Since the creation of its first mat, Manduka has continually revolutionized the practice of yoga for so many individuals.

The Manduka Eko Lite Mat, in particular, is a world class favorite because it promotes sustainability, support, and serenity.

The mat is made of biodegradable, non-toxic, and renewable materials, which leaves minimal environmental footprint throughout its production. The careful design of the mat also offers great traction, has a superb airflow technology, and a comfortable cushion making it possible for both beginners and experienced yogis to practice with ease.

Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat

Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 4.25 lbs
  • Dimensions: 68 x 24”; 5 mm thick
  • Material: All-natural jute and polymer environmental resin.
  • Manufactured in: China
  • Price: $39.98 (Click here to buy)

Gaiam is translated to “I am the Earth.” It is a phrase which perfectly captures what the brand is about – the individual and its environment. With this thrust at its very core, the brand naturally creates products that are made from natural materials and are produced with the safest possible measures.

The Gaiam Jute Yoga Mat’s main ingredient is the natural fibers of the Jute plant. Its use of natural materials minimizes the use of harmful and synthetic rubber (i.e. latex and silicone). It was also designed to meet the needs of yogis – lightweight yet strong, highly absorbent, and gives great traction and grip.

Jade Teal Mat

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 68 x 24”; 3 mm thick. A longer size is also available at 74 inches and a wider size is available at 28 inches.
  • Material: Natural rubber.
  • Manufactured in: USA
  • Price: $79.95 to $84.95 (Click here to buy)

The Jade Yoga Mat was initially created to address a problem being experienced by yogis in the early 2000s – most mats at that time were too slippery, making it impossible for them to keep poses stable. Jade Yoga came up with a solution to help improve the experience and performance of yogis by creating the first natural yoga mat.

The use of natural rubber gives the Harmony Mat great grip, added cushion and comfort for the individual, and improved durability and strength of the mat itself.

Aside from meeting the needs of yogis, Jade Yoga also helps the environment by ensuring its materials and production process are eco-friendly and sustainable through their use of renewable resources.

It’s also a huge plus that they plant a tree for ever mat sold (they’ve planted over a million already!) and they donate $5 to ovarian cancer charities for each Teal-colored mat purchased.

Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat

Prana E.C.O. Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72 x 24”; 5 mm thick
  • Material: 100% Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE).
  • Price: $55 (Click here to buy)

Prana had humble beginnings in a garage in California where its founders created sustainable clothes and delivered these to customers in recycled fruit boxes from local stores.

True to their initial advocacy of using only eco-friendly materials, Prana has since grown into a world renowned brand that continues to create products that are usable and environment friendly.

Made from 100% TPE, the Prana E.C.O mat is a lightweight, durable mat that gives yogis enough traction to endure difficult poses.

It was designed with a closed-cell technology so the sweat and bacteria do not stay on the surface of the mat. The TPE material ensures us that this mat is not toxic, sustainable, and recyclable.

Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mats

Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mats

  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72 x 26”; 6 mm thick. A longer size is also available in 80”.
  • Material: Cork
  • Manufactured in: USA
  • Packaging: The mats are packed in recycled cardboard boxes
  • Price: $119 (Click here to buy)

Yoloha’s founder, Chris Willey, was taught as a child to love the outdoors and to care for the environment so it comes as no surprise that the brand reflects this very passion.

Whether creating surfboards or yoga mats, Yoloha ensures to stay faithful to its values by using only the best, eco-friendly, and high performing materials in the market today

The Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat is made of cork that is harvested from cork trees every nine years. Although slightly thicker at 6mm, it still remains as durable and lightweight as other yoga mats.

It offers great cushion and comfort, and also has strong traction because of the unique wave design at its surface. Yoloha Cork Yoga Mats also boast of being 100% vegan.

The Liforme Yoga Mat

The Liforme Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72.8 x 26.8”; 4.2 mm thick
  • Material: Base is made of natural rubber / surface is made of eco-polyurethane blend.
  • Manufactured in: China
  • Price: $140 to $180 (Click here to buy)

The Liforme Yoga Mat was initially created to address the concerns most beginner yogis encounter: wrong alignment and slippery mats. To encourage these young yogis to stay on track, Liforme was created.

The unique design on its surface allows you to correct your alignment on your own, while its materials provide you with enough cushion and great stability as you progress to more difficult poses.

Aside from meeting the needs of the individual, Liforme also goes above and beyond by staying socially relevant and environmentally aware.

For instance, every purchase of selected yoga mats allows the company to share their profits with organizations like Friends of the Earth and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Yogasana Mats

Yogasana Yoga Mats

  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72 x 25”; 9.5 mm thick
  • Material: Handwoven using pure cotton fibers.
  • Manufactured in: India
  • Price: $95 (Click here to buy)

The Yogasana Mat is probably the most distinct one on this list. Made of 100% cotton, dyed naturally, and handwoven by master weavers, these mats are 100% natural and guaranteed eco-friendly. They don’t even use electricity in its production!

Aside from this unique selling point, Yogasana Mats are believed to last for 15 years and can eventually be repurposed as a hall runner or a decorative rug around the house. In other words, this product hardly ever finds itself in the landfill even after it’s been worn out.

These mats come in different vibrant colors and fulfills its purpose because of its non-slip feature. Since it is made of cotton, the more a yogi sweats on it, the greater the grip of the mat.

Aside from taking care of your needs and looking out for the environment, Yogasana also cares for their workers and their families.

With every mat that is purchased, $5 automatically goes to the education of their workers’ children. The goal of this advocacy is to help the children become more self sufficient members of their society.

Juru Mandala Cork Yoga Mat

Juru Mandala Cork Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72 x 24”; 3 mm thick
  • Material: Blend of cork and natural rubber.
  • Manufactured in: India
  • Price: $75 (Click here to buy)

Yoga embodies the principle of peace – peace with oneself, with others, and with nature. It doesn’t make sense, therefore, to use mats that go against this very value.

This is why the Juru Mandala Cork Yoga Mat was created. Its founders wanted to avoid using PVC mats that had a harmful effect on the planet and had the tendency to slip, flake, and smell after heavy use.

The Juru Mandala Cork Yoga Mat is made of cork and natural rubber – truly an eco-friendly, all-natural mat that provides great traction even after constant use. It’s textured grip ensures that it sticks to the floor all throughout your performance. It is also naturally antimicrobial, has no smell, and can be recycled after several years.

2nd Wind Sticky Yoga Mat

2nd Wind Sticky Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72.8 x 25.6”; 4.2 mm thick
  • Material: Surface of the mat is made with polyurethane (PU) that is tested to EU Standards, while its base is made of natural rubber.
  • Manufactured in: China
  • Price: $140 (Click here to buy)

Just as its name implies, the Sticky Yoga Mat of 2nd Wind offers great traction and grip. There will be no need to worry about slipping or sliding even as you go from one pose to another.

It’s slightly longer and wider than the standard yoga mat, which means you will have more space to extend, fix your alignment, and deepen your poses. The design on its surface is not only decorative, but gives you subtle markers so you can mare sure that your poses are correct.

The Sticky Yoga Mat’s surface was created using polyurethane, while its base is made of natural rubber. Although the surface is not made of a natural material, it does not have the same health and environmental ramifications that a PVC mat has.

Tranquil Yogi’s Oasis Essentials Premium Rubber Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72 x 26.5”; 5 mm thick. A longer version is also available at 78”
  • Material: Natural cork and high-density rubber
  • Manufactured in: China
  • Packaging: The mats are shipped in recycled cardboard boxes. The mats are wrapped in recycled paper to protect it during transport.
  • Price: $119.95 (Click here to buy)

Tranquil Yogi aims to create eco-friendly products while keeping in mind their customer’s needs. This is why they create mats that are biodegradable, sustainable, and non-toxic.

The Oasis Essentials Premium Yoga Mat, for instance, is made from natural cork and rubber that can easily be harvested. Their use of quality materials ensure that the mat is durable, well cushioned, and safe to use.

The Oasis Premium Rubber mat offers great grip and traction even when used for hot yoga. The use of rubber allows for better weight distribution which protects you as you make even the deepest, most complicated poses.

Tranquil Yogi’s Tranquility Premium Cork Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 78 x 26”; 6 mm thick
  • Material: Natural cork and rubber
  • Manufactured in: China
  • Packaging: The mats are shipped in recycled cardboard boxes. The mats are wrapped in recycled paper to protect it during transport.
  • Price: $119.95 (Click here to buy)

The Premium Cork Yoga Mat is another comfortable and durable mat from Tranquility Yogi. It has a thicker cork layer that gives yogis more cushion and stability even through the more complex poses.

The padding makes this a very dense mat, which gives your joints, particularly your knees and wrists, extra protection from the hard surface of the floor.

The mat also has a non-slip feature wherein its surface’s grip gets stronger even as you sweat.

It is also naturally antimicrobial and does not harbor bacteria that usually causes the bad odor in other yoga mats. It is made of high quality cork and natural rubber that is sustainably sourced, and the mat is free of any plastic and petroleum products.

Urbivore Universe Within Alignment Cork Yoga Mat

  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 72 x 24”; 4 mm
  • Material: Natural cork sourced from Spain and rubber harvested from Thailand.
  • Manufactured in: Canada
  • Price: $89 (Click here to buy)

The Urbivore Universe Alugnment Mat is made of sustainable materials like cork and rubber. These materials are readily available and can be harvested without doing any damage to the trees.

The use of rubber as the base allows for great traction on any surface, thus eliminating accidentals slips and slides. On its surface, the cork also has a strong grip giving yogis a nice non-slip mat.

The cork also contains waxy substance that occurs naturally, which prevents the mat from absorbing water or sweat. Cork also contains no PVC’s, TPE or other chemicals that have been proven to have effects on one’s health and the environment.

Hugger Mugger Para Rubber Yoga Mat and Para Yoga Mat XL

  • Weight: 6.6 lbs for the standard size, 10 lbs for the XL
  • Dimensions: 70” x 24”; 6 mm thick for the standard size, while it measures 78 x 28”; 6 mm thick for the XL
  • Material: Natural rubber
  • Manufactured in: Taiwan
  • Packaging: The mats are shipped in boxes. Some mats, however, are still wrapped in plastic.
  • Price: $94.95 for the standard size / $129.95 for XL (Click here to buy)

The Para Rubber Yoga Mat is made of rubber that has a naturally strong grip. The surface has been dotted with tiny bumps that give the mat a unique design while helping improve your stability even through a difficult pose.

The base has a woven-like texture that ensures strong traction even during hot yoga sessions. This mat is also thick at 6mm, giving you enough cushion for your knees and wrists, and also provides shock absorption that is essential for when changing poses.

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