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eco friendly yoga mat review - woman using jute yoga mat

The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats in The World (2020 Review)

Are you worried that you're absorbing chemicals every time you do Pigeon Pose? Well, the good news is that more and more companies are catering to our needs for an eco-friendly yoga mat. But not everyone has the time to research all the different products on the web, so we put together a list of the best eco-friendly yoga mats available on the market today. 

While some yoga mats claim to be eco-friendly, that’s not really the case. Below we have the real deal options for you based on our many, many hours of research and reviews.

If you're in a rush check out our top three picks below...

Our top picks for the best eco-friendly yoga mats

#1

Our Top Pick

Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat

#2

Editors Choice

Liforme Yoga Mat

#3

Best Value

Manduka Pro


Lottus Life Jute Yoga Mat


Summary

Best mat for philanthropy-minded yogis

Why we love it: Made from natural, biodegradable materials and gives back to charity. 

If you're looking for comfort, Lottus Life's Jute Yoga Mat offers a premium, extra-thick 8 mm mat that's extra long for more room. It boasts the title of the most comfortable mat and is stable enough to give you a platform, whether you're doing Pilates, yoga or any other activities such as meditation, stretching, or simple relaxation. 

Using eco-friendly and SGS-certified natural jute fibers, along with its antimicrobial and anti-fungal features, the Lottus Life Jute Yoga Mat is easy to keep clean.

The natural jute mat is also suitable for use by active seniors, kids, and expecting mothers looking for a mat that will comfortably support their back, hips, and joints. Jute offers an excellent grip and some sweat absorbency so it's potentially usable in hot yoga, although we haven't tried this one in that environment.

What makes this mat special?

  • Enviro-Smart Design using high-quality materials
  • 1% of profits go to the Karma Project
  • Woven from natural Jute fiber

Specs

  • 8 mm Extra Thick Mat
  • 72”x 24” Extra Long Size 

Suga Recycled Wetsuit Yoga Mat


Summary

Best mat for surfers 

Why we love it: These mats are made from recycled wetsuits, putting them to good use. 

Having just started in 2019, the company aimed to reduce waste that hits landfills and turning them into something usable. Using old non-recyclable and non-biodegradable wet suits, they were able to create a high-quality yoga mat.

Suga products carry a C2G symbol, signifying its "cradle to grave" option, where you can get a guaranteed mat for life in exchange for a little extra cash. 

This 5 mm thick mat is dense enough to give you a firm base to ground yourself for standing poses and arm balances. We recommend at least a 6 mm thick mat for those with sore joints, rather than a 5 mm mat where you get decent cushioning but get the floor feel with it. Even so, SugaMat has received numerous positive reviews for their products and offer a confident promise of durability. 

What makes this mat special?

  • C2G Durability Guarantee
  • Has been built to specific tolerances of density, elasticity, liquid permeability and retention whether it is for wet or dry use

Specs

  • Made from recycled materials 
  • 5 mm Thick Mat 
  • Weighs 5 lbs, making it more durable for a stable and grounded feel

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat


Summary

Best high-quality beginner mat

Why we love it: Uses renewable materials and has no heavy metals, PVC, EVA or synthetic rubber. 

Jade Yoga is one of the pioneers in the market for eco-friendly mats, and to this day are still one of the best. Known for their high-quality mats which are made from ultra-durable natural rubber, their products are an excellent example of sustainable design and development. And because they don't use any plastic and instead use natural rubber, they feel different from usual PVC mats. 

For most people, this mat offers a pleasant balance between their connection to the ground and cushioning. At 5 mm thick, it offers plenty of cushioning for most people and the natural rubber base feels very dense and stable in every pose. Jade Yoga is highly recognized for its durability and will last for years with proper care and maintenance.

What makes this mat special?

  • Comes in three lengths: 68", 71" and 74"
  • Well regarded for its long durability 
  • Made from sustainably harvested natural rubber

Specs

  • 4.3 lbs
  • 5 mm Thick 
  • Comes in three lengths: 68", 71" and 74"

Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat


Summary

Best for hot and sweaty workouts

Why we love it: Super lightweight and beautifully designed with recycled materials. 

Yoga Design Lab uses recycled material in its manufacturing process and are a highly environmentally aware company.

The bottom layer of the mat is made from natural tree rubber and the top microfiber layer is actually made from recycled plastic water bottles. 

The Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat provides a well-balanced layer of padding at 3.5 mm thick, which is just right for those who prefer the feeling of the floor beneath them but not enough cushion for those with sensitive joints or who prefer a little more padding. 

Their mats are not only beautiful, but they're also very soft. The combination mat is specifically designed for use in hot yoga. It's soft microfiber top layer is designed to absorb buckets of sweat while its grip increases as it gets wet.

As an added bonus, it can be machine washed, so you can sweat on it as much as you want and toss it in the washer when done. As for durability, it's built to withstand years of use, so you can be sure you'll have this mat for a long time. 

What makes this mat special?

  • Top layer made from recycled materials 
  • Absorbent and can be machine washed
  • Several beautiful designs using body-friendly dyes

Specs

  • 70 x 24 inches
  • 5 lbs
  • 3.5 mm 

Liforme Yoga Mat


Summary

Best mat for alignment junkies

Why we love it: The price is totally worth it, as it not only feels good to use but it's also one of the most environmentally-friendly yoga mats. 

Liforme is one of those rare companies that really dug into research for the best practices and sourcing the best materials before launching their revolutionary yoga mat.

It's 3 inches wider than most yoga mats which provides plenty of room on the sides so your knees don't slip off the mat. At 4.2 mm thick, it features a bottom layer made from a dense, natural rubber which provides excellent cushioning and limits the floor feeling, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a mild floor feel.

According to Liforme founder James Armitage, it's his mission to make sure that harmful materials such as PVC don't end up in landfills. 

Liforme products are designed with a polyurethane top layer that's ultra absorbent, making it a versatile mat that performs extremely well in hot yoga and just as well in non-heated forms of yoga.

It also features a closed-cell surface that doesn't harbor bacteria and makes it a breeze to wipe clean after class.

In addition, the patterns printed on the surface of the mat are a big help with alignment, which clearly shows when hands and feet are in place.

When it comes to durability, Liforme takes on a different approach — it's built to last for several years of regular use. And when you're done, the natural materials break down in the landfill which makes this yoga mat both good for yogis and the environment.

What makes this mat special?

  • Works extremely well in both hot and non-heated yoga's
  • Functional alignment marks on the surface
  • Extra wide and long for maximum space

Specs

  • Comes in 73"x27" size for more space 
  • Weighs in at 5.5 lbs
  • 4.2 mm thick

Manduka Pro Yoga Mat


Summary

Best mat for support and comfort

Why we love it: Not only do they support the environment, but they also offer lots of support for yogis who need extra cushioning. 

Manduka has always shown dedication to consistently improve their line of environmentally friendly yoga mats. These Pro mats are made from high-quality PVC and are guaranteed for life.

To this day, their Pro mats are manufactured with an emissions-free and zero-waste process where they are recycled at the end of their use. When you're done, you send it back to Manduka where they re-purpose them into packing materials and send you a brand new pro yoga mat as a replacement. 

Their other mats are either made in a zero-waste facility or are recyclable. In addition, their pro mats come with a dimension of 71" x 26", making it longer than the traditional yoga mat. The Pro mat is extra thick at 6 mm, providing more cushioning and making it suitable for those that have sensitive knees or joints. It's also stable and non-stretchy, so if you're in the market for a grippy and non-slip yoga mat, then the Manduka Pro mat is an excellent choice.

What makes this mat special?

  • Multiple large sizes available for maximum space
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Extremely stable and durable material

Specs

  • 6 mm thick
  • Comes in 71" x 26" and 85" size
  • 7.5 lbs
  • Grippy, non-stretchy and non-slip for a stable surface  

Yoloha Aura Yoga Mat


Summary

Best eco-friendly cork yoga mat

Why we love it: This is the lightest choice in the list, and is the perfect companion for yoga on the go. 

After cork yoga mats set the trend in 2019, they have seen an increase in demand and many companies listened. Yoloha has made these super sticky, renewable cork yoga mats so you can fully unlock your yogi potential. The company also takes its commitment to the environment one step further by having all its shipments made with recycled cardboard or paper, meaning every product is plastic-free. 

Although new to the industry, Yoloha Cork Yoga Mats have already been hailed as being the ultimate choice when it comes to stickiness and can perform well in dry or wet environments.

It's also super absorbent and non-slip while maintaining a smooth surface. If you're wondering about the durability, Yoloha mats are built for longevity as they are made out of cork. This is the bark from cork trees — which are harvested by hand — allowing these trees to live a long and healthy life, while keeping you sanitary with its naturally antimicrobial properties. But if you want something even tougher, you can opt for the Yoloha Native Yoga Mat, a blend of recycled rubber and recycled cork. 

What makes this mat special?

  • Sustainably sourced by hand from cork trees
  • Plastic-free yoga mats
  • Naturally antimicrobial to prevent bacteria and smelling

Specs

  • At only 2.8 lbs, it is one of the lightest choices
  • 6 mm thick 
  • 72″ x 26″

group of people using eco friendly yoga mats

Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat FAQ's

Before you buy anything, whether it's an eco-friendly yoga mat or something else, there are a few important things to keep in mind...

Why Not Buy Cheap Yoga Mats?

You might be tempted to go to your local shops or other discount retailers for those $5-15 mats if you're on a tight budget. However, these mats are usually made of questionable and cheap materials, so durability won't be the best. Your bare skin will also be in contact with the mat several times a week, so it's best to know whether or not it's made with toxic material.

It's also good to keep in mind that it's unlikely that you'll actually "save" money — cheap mats tend to tear and break down quickly, so you'll probably end up buying new mats every few months. Last but not least, these kinds of disposable mats cause harm to the environment. 

Do You Even Need a Yoga Mat?

Those who are new to yoga might assume that they need a mat to perform their poses effectively. Fortunately, you can practice yoga with any mat or no mat at all. You can even do so on the beach, on grass, and on cold hotel room floors. However, if you desire padding or plan on doing yoga in a studio, you will need a yoga mat. You don't want to use the yoga studio yoga mats as these are breeding grounds for bacteria and can be very dirty.


What to Look for in an Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat 

Ultimately, you know your budget, style, and whether you need your mat for hot or non-heated yoga. But there are a few other questions to ask yourself before making your final decision...

Sticky and Comfortable

Depending on your routine, you might end up spending a lot of time on your yoga mat. If that's the case, it's best to get one that feels comfortable when you touch it with your bare skin. When doing all kinds of yoga, you'll want a sticky surface that helps to keep you in place whenever you're doing arm balances, wide-legged poses, and other balancing poses. 

Environmentally Friendly

As yogis, we should always take into consideration how the products we use and purchase will affect the planet and the things that surround us. While yoga is about our bodies, relaxation, and meditation, it should also be about how we can make the world better. Choosing an eco-friendly yoga mat is a significant step towards feeling good about your yoga practice and the world around you. 

Durable and Robust

A mat that comes with a high price likely comes with high quality. If you end up buying a cheap mat that you have to replace frequently, it wouldn't be eco-friendly. Instead, you'd end up adding to the environmental cost of manufacturing and landfill as well.

Picking a mat that is built to last will help you reduce your yoga mat's carbon footprint. Plus, you get the chance to be comfortable on your mat over the years, until it's magically a part of your life, like a favorite sweater that you want to use again and again. 

Ethically Made

There are plenty of eco-friendly, socially responsible companies that run their businesses ethically. Every mat manufacturer on this list has programs designed to give back in one way or another to the communities they operate in or to support yoga programs around the world. Whenever you decide to buy a yoga mat, make sure to keep this mind because whether you want a mat that's portable, thick, long, wide, or has aesthetic appeal, you can find the right one for you while supporting the manufacturers, their people and what they stand for. 

Conclusion

All in all, our search for the best eco-friendly yoga mat has brought us to the Yoloha Aura Yoga Mat. Its superior quality and unbeatable price have cemented its place at the top of the ranks, where it is joined by Manduka and Liforme respectively. While Yoloha may be a newcomer comer in the industry, it has shown the veterans a thing or two about sustainable innovation on their mats, and it's probably safe to say that they'll be providing us with yoga mats for the years to come.


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