Eko Lite Yoga Mat By Manduka
Made from natural rubber, eKO Lite is a beautifully textured yoga mat thats 99 per cent latex-free, waste-free, chemical-free, and doesnt contain any PVC. It is a versatile sealed-cell mat that doesnt absorb moisture, making it grippy and durable. Pick your perfect piece from a range of gorgeous marbled hues and solid shades. Shop here.
The Best Non Toxic Yoga Mat Guide For Health
Looking for a non-toxic yoga mat for a healthy and conscious practice? Keep reading for our guide on the best yoga mats on the market right now.
Choosing a yoga mat can be a process and with so many materials, fabrics, colors, designs and environmental issues to consider, the process can get a little overwhelming. Sadly most of the cheap yoga mats on the market today actually contain toxic plastics, heavy metals and chemical dyes that are really bad for our health.
Due to the recent explosion of yoga into mainstream wellness in the United States, Europe and all over the world, the demand for and production of standard yoga mats has intensified. This demand has resulted in the production of cheap, synthetic rubber mats that contain a host of chemicals and plastics.
Choosing the right non-toxic yoga mat is crucial to your yoga practice and your health. In this guide, youll find everything you need to know about the toxic materials to avoid, the materials to look out for, the benefits of getting non-toxic mats and of course the best yoga mats on the market right now that are sustainable, eco-friendly and non-toxic.
*This post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book using them at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with free, quality content.
The Best Non Toxic Yoga Mat Guide
Final Thoughts On The Most Sustainable Yoga Mats
When you hit the mat, the last thing you want on your mind is well anything.
Concerns of toxic chemicals and off-gassing will mess with even the most focused-flow.
Which is why its so important to consider what makes the best eco friendly yoga mat. After all, sustainability is just as important as stretchingespecially when our health and the health of the planet are at risk.
Whether your goal through yoga is mindfulness and meditation, or just a killer Paschimottanasana pose , you should be able to flow free from the worries of the environmental footprint of your mat by supporting one of these brands.
Now over to you, yogis: give us some of your thoughts and share your yoga-inspired wisdom.
Whats the most sustainable yoga mat in your opinion?
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How Often You Practice
If you practice yoga on a regular basis and plan on continuing, then youre going to want a mat that is extra durable. Cheaper yoga mats have a tendency of stretching, tearing, or peeling after a few months of regular use. However, all of the mats above have been tested and they have not had any of those issues so far. The main thing to consider here is that if you practice yoga on a regular basis, go with the highest quality mat you can afford.
Why Arent Traditional Yoga Mats Sustainable
Yoga mats are typically made using PVC to make them grippy and easy to clean. Unfortunately, PVC is an incredibly toxic type of plastic. Not only is this something we shouldnt be inhaling during our daily yoga practice, but its also harmful to the environment. Since yoga mats are made from plastic, they arent biodegradable and take years to break down. This further contributes to pollution and makes it impossible to dispose of your yoga mat safely.
To make sure our mats are flexible, cushy, and suitable for yoga, most manufacturers add a variety of plasticizers whose toxins we then absorb during our practice. Additionally, leading brands may not produce their products ethically. Theres often a lack of transparency when it comes to where their materials are sourced and if their supply chain involves fair-wage employment and safe working conditions.
This is especially true when it comes to what we wear during our yoga practice. Many mainstream yoga apparel brands produce their clothes in sweatshops, using exploitative labor and synthetic materials. These materials break down into microplastics which are one of the biggest sources of plastic pollution in our oceans.
Choosing eco-friendly yoga mats, gear, and sustainably made yoga apparel is a great way to protect both the environment and your own health.
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Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat Geo
Material: 100% natural tree rubber, with sueded microfiber made from recycled plastic
Yes, yes they contain the dreaded plastic, through their absorbent sueded microfibers which have been bonded with the 100% natural tree rubber body however, do notpanic people, because this plastic has been recycled! From plastic bottles! Hurrah!
These mats provide good support, by way of cushioning and grip, indeed, the latter improves with water . Using water-based inks for colouring, they are recyclable and biodegradable, and have no odour so theres no rubbery smell when you open them up for the first time.
They come with a carrying strap, so theyre easy to transport, and you can wash them in the machine on a cold wash as well. A worthy contender.
Also available at Snow + Rock and Cotswold
When Will People Buy Yoga Mats
Yoga mats are like other commodities, they have their peak and dry seasons.
Knowing this will help you pick out the best yoga mat manufacturer that can deliver the maximum volume of your yoga mat requirements in peak seasons. And can offset this high volume into considerably lower ones during the off-peak seasons of yoga mats.
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Natural Cotton Yoga Mat By Kaashi Wellness
Kaashi Wellness makes way for the humble rug, the equipment of choice of traditional yogis. Their yoga mats are handwoven by artisans from Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, the largest hand-knotted carpet weaving industry hub in South Asia. A yogini necessity, it has been made using 100 per cent natural cotton for your physical comfort, so that you can concentrate on your sun salutation and spirituality. Its anti-skid treatment and breathable fabric will ensure an extended practice and no sweat. Shop here.
Other Yoga Mats We Tested
If youre looking for a greener yoga practice, the Jade Yoga Harmony Mat is a solid choice. PVC-free and made in the USA, the 4.5-millimeter thick natural rubber mats textured surface offers up a sticky resilience perfect for low-impact and high-octane workouts alike, while the underside stays put on hard floors and carpeting. Available in two lengths , the mat comes in a slew of cute colors, from fire engine red to a pretty slate blue. One downside was that the flat texture of the mat tended to pick up lots of dust and debris off our floors, which made wiping it clean a bit tougher. Bonus: Jade Yoga plants a tree for every mat sold, and even the mats label is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. Unfortunately, the brand offers only a one-year warranty.
Hot yoga devotees, listen up: The Gaiam Performance Dry Grip Yoga Mat 5MM was created specifically to wick away moisture even as practice temperatures increase, and we can attest it holds up to its promise. During one particularly sweaty yoga session, the mat stayed dried the entire time . We liked the PVC mats smooth surface, and the soft support of its 5-millimeter density. Free of latex and phthalates, this a good option for those looking for a thick, rubber-free mat that is relatively lightweight .
More from CNN Underscoreds hands-on testing:
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Types Of Yoga Mats Manufacturers Produce
Yoga mats are usually classified according to the material they are made of. There are more than 20 of them in the market but we will just cover those that have the strongest demands.
Its the properties of each material that gives the unique features of the yoga mats. We will give you a quick rundown of the highlights of each material type.
The Bengal Mat By Proyog
Keeping you safe while you hold a tricky pose is the Bengal Mat that offers great traction. Crafted using natural rubber, it is from Bengaluru-based label Proyog by Priyanktha Iyengar. Jute is added to each mat to keep it fresh longer and offer the perfect non-slip grip to not just do yoga but any kind of exercise. With no PVC or any other environmentally harmful components, it is entirely biodegradable and recyclable. Shop here.
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You Dont Have To Use A Yoga Mat Loaded With Toxic Chemicals
Yoga mats are one of the most widely used products used by about 300 million yogis around the globe. For many years, most of the yoga mats made available on the commercial market were made with PVC — these are the conventional, plastic sticky mats you see in stores or at your local yoga studio.
However, many yogis have started to question whether yoga mats are toxic and want to know their options when looking at yoga mats.
Rolled up conventional yoga mats: something you might see in a typical yoga studio
As more people enjoy the benefits of practicing yoga, a lot of companies are seeing a potential in marketing yoga mats and other accessories. Quickly, the market has been saturated by the parade of colors, textures, and materials used with prices as cheap as $10 and going up to $360 and beyond.
PVC yoga mats are the most widely used variant making a large portion of global production in that year. It is so common that many yogis don’t know they have other options — they only know about the plastic, sticky yoga mats that can be found at their nearest retail store. Its not a surprising number given its great specs and cheap price. Mass overseas production and cheap materials make the sticky mats affordable. However, it comes at a cost.
What most people do not know is that PVC-made products actually pose a great danger on a massive scale. The risks are far reaching and environmental organizations and those in the medical field are warning the public about them.
The Truth About Dioxins: The Persistent Organic Pollutants
According to the World Health Organization , there are certain effects to human health when dioxin is released depending on the length of exposure. Learn more about persistent organic pollutants on the EPA website.
For yogis looking to achieve better physical and mental health, know that:
WHOs International Agency for Research on Cancer also classified dioxin as a known human carcinogen when we get exposed in certain amounts.
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Fpc The Future Of Eco
One exciting innovation in yoga mat material technology comes courtesy of a Taiwanese company called eTouch Innovation Inc. This company developed an eco-friendly material called Fiber Particulate Composite made mainly from agricultural waste.
FPC contains fiber as its main ingredient, mixed with a proprietary Compatibilizer made from converted starch derived from rice waste products. FPC is made without adding any man-made chemicals and can be mixed with recycled plastics where it serves as a binder. This means FPC could be used to make textiles from recycled plastic rescued from the oceans and landfill. And, because the rice used in the product is waste from the food industry, it does not create competition for food sources and actually reduces air pollution .
If a product is 100 percent FPC it is also 100 percent biodegradable and compostable, and as the material uses waste products, it creates a closed loop system that requires very little energy input to upcycle materials into new goods. This probably makes the FPC Yoga Mat designed by eTouch the worlds most eco-friendly yoga mat.
The FPC yoga mat is manufactured in a reversible purple and gray design that is 4.5 mm thick and 71 long, with a standard 24 and extra wide 26 width. Unfortunately, the mat does not yet seem to be available to the public.
While were on the topic of yoga mats, here are the companies I recommend that make eco-friendly, non-toxic options.
Caring For A Yoga Mat
Youve chosen to invest in a non-toxic yoga mat, and here are my best tips to keep your mat clean and well-maintained:
- Use a natural laundry detergent for cotton mats like Eco Nuts.
- Try a combination of Dr. Bronners non-toxic liquid soap and baking soda for rubber mats
- Air your mat outside unrolled to get rid of any rubber smell
- Use a damp cloth and air dry cork yoga mats
- Avoid leaving your rubber or cork mat in the sunlight
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What Makes A Yoga Mat Eco
The answer is simple: if it has been made from natural materials. The super eco-friendly ones use materials that are sustainably sourced, and for full marks, the mats should really come in recyclable packaging as well.
We should be trying, in every area of our lives, to think about our impact on the planet, says yoga expert Nadia Narain. “I use Jade Yoga mats. They are environmentally-friendly and not slippery, which is usually the main problem with such mats. Jade Yoga also plant a tree for every mat they sell, and the mats last a good while too.”
If you care about the environment and are in need of a new yoga mat or looking to buy your very first check out our edit of the ten best eco-friendly mats on the market.
Yin Yoga Mats $119 $129au
You know its a good yoga mat when the print inspires you to use it daily. I am certain Yin Yoga Mats do exactly that. Their completely unique patterns are works of art, although microfibre on the top, the bottom of the mat is sustainable rubber and the mat is completely PVC-free.
The mats are shipped without plastic, using recycled and recyclable cardboard only. What I love most about Yin Yoga Mats is their openness to questions about their supply chain and sustainability.
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The Following Toxic Chemicals Are Released In The Air During Manufacturing:
Chlorine gas is poisonous and classified as a pulmonary irritant. It has intermediate water solubility and can cause acute respiratory tract damage. Typically, exposure to chlorine occurs due to accidental industrial or household events.
When it is released from rock and enters the atmosphere and water, mercury gashas a negative effect on our environment.
Exposure to vinyl chloride increases the risk of liver cancer, brain, lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia.
Even after it has served you well, theres no way possible to dispose of it without posing any risks to your health or the environment. Since there are numerous difficulties with recycling PVC, anything made with this material tends to either end up piling in landfills, clogging waterways, or thrown in the incinerator.
Either way, harmful chemicals will transfer to the air or leach chemicals into the soil. When these products are incinerated in facilities that do not have the proper equipment, the release of a toxic pollutant called dioxin will contaminate the soil and transfer to the food we eat.
Tiggar Yoga Natural Yoga Mat
Made with natural tree rubber, this is a great non-toxic yoga mat option thats a little more budget friendly. The natural rubber provided a great non-slip surface to flow even when a little sweaty. At 4mm thick it also provides great cushioning for those poses that need it. It also comes in many different colours and designs.
This yoga mat is free from any kinds of toxic chemicals and materials including foaming agents and AZO dyes. Its also biodegradable when eventually you feel like upgrading.
- Available in many colours and designs
- Made with 100% natural tree rubber
- Free from all kinds of toxic materials and chemicals
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Chenhong Plastic & Rubber Products Co Ltd
Yangzhou Chenhong Plastic & Rubber Products Co., Ltd, also known as Chenhong which is their brand name, specializes in manufacturing yoga products. Founded in 1996, theyre a major exporter of yoga mats in China.
Some of their most popular products are listed below:
- Yoga mats
- Yoga kits
- Yoga balls
You can also find a wide range of different types of yoga mats, that include double-sided pattern design mat, natural rubber mats, and other mats made of different materials.
The company owns a large 15,000 sqm factory, with an annual output of 18,000 cubic meters of the foaming material.
According to the company, they are ISO 9001 certified company, while their products have passed REACH, and other tests for quality and meeting US and EU standards.
They sell around 60% of their products to the local market, while rest is exported to North America and Europe.
Address: Room 502, Building 11, Guangling Dist. Information Industrial Park, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China
Changzhou Yangyuan Buffer Material Co Ltd
Changzhou started as a plastic and rubber manufacturer in 2010 and later added yoga mats to their production line. They can produce EVA yoga mats, TPE yoga mats, and NBR yoga mats.
In Changzhous company profile, they divulge that their products have passed RoHS, PAHS, and REACH quality testing. The company also is ISO 9001 certified.
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