8 Yoga Mats That Won’t Leave You Breathing In A Bunch Of Harmful Chemicals
Most dedicated yogis know that the quality of your yoga mat can impact your practice in dramatic ways. Some folks prefer the stickier mat styles to help them hold postures for longer periods of time while others like extra cushioning for when they’re resting on their knees or balancing in inversions. But what many don’t realize is that your yoga mat can affect your overall health, too.
Think about it for a second. How much time do you spend with your nose and mouth close to your mat’s surface in child’s pose, prone postures (where you lie on your stomach) and beyond? Quite a lot. And your skin maintains contact with it 99 percent of the time. So the materials that comprise your yoga mat really matter.
A ton of common yoga mat brands use vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to make the foamy structure both supportive and flexible. But exposing your body to endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates is known to have negative health impacts. Others include polyurethane and latex, which don’t do your body any favors, either.
So we decided to tackle all of that label-reading for you and narrow the pool down to non-toxic, eco-friendly yoga mat options that you won’t have to think twice about buying. Below are our eight recommendations.
1. PrAna ECO Yoga Mat — $48
This lightweight mat from PrAna is void of all PVC and chlorine, and it’s entirely recyclable since it’s made of 100 percent, non-toxic thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Thanks to its closed-cell construction, you won’t have to deal with sweat, bacteria and other gross stuff penetrating the mat’s surface, either.
2. Barefoot Yoga Original Eco Yoga Mat — $90
This eco-friendly option is made of all-natural rubber and jute fiber, which is the same vegetable fiber used to make burlap fabric. These two materials make the mat highly durable, slip-free and non-toxic.
3. Manduka eKO Lite Mat — $68
Manduka offers a wide variety of yoga mat options, but if you want to be safe from all chemical additives, pull from their eKO Lite line. This supportive, 4-millimeter mat uses non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber to create the non-slip yoga practice every yogi craves. It’s also recyclable when it comes time to trade it in for a fresh one.
4. Affirmats Yoga Mat — $68
All Affirmats are free of phthalates, latex and metal compounds. Similar to Barefoot, these mats use jute fiber to keep your yoga practice eco-friendly and non-toxic. Not to mention, each mat comes with a mantra-like affirmation inscription, like “I am enough” and “I am magic.”
5. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat — $75
This mainstay brand of the yoga world definitely knows how to make a quality yoga mat. Jade’s harmony mat is, by far, its most popular option. Skipping the PVC, it’s made with sustainably-sourced, renewable rubber. Bonus: Every time Jade sells one of these mats, they plant a tree.
6. Thinksport Yoga/Pilates Mat — $40
The most economical buy on this list, the Thinksport yoga mat is free of all BPA, PVC, lead, dioxin and phthalates and is made with only biodegradable materials. So whoever thinks you can’t score a high-quality and healthy yoga mat on a budget, we’re calling you out (in the kindest, most yogi-like way, of course).
7. Yoloha Nomad Cork Yoga Mat — $99
This baby is the priciest on our list, but it’s different from the others in one critical way: It uses anti-microbial, premium-grade cork for its top layer, making the mat both self-cleaning and biodegradable. And the bottom layer is comprised of a closed-cell, slip-resistant foam so you stay put even when you’re dripping with sweat in hot yoga class.
8. Dragonfly TPE Lite Mat — $43
Similar to PrAna, Dragonfly uses non-toxic, recyclable and biodegradable TPE in this mat. Its closed-cell surface keeps bacteria at bay, and despite the mat’s luxury thickness, it’s a lightweight option that can work for pretty much anyone. Plus, if you look closely, you’ll notice a bunch of little dragonflies printed directly into the pattern of the mat. Too cute.