The 5 Best Nontoxic Yoga Mats
Any good yoga mat should be nonslip, comfortable, and the right size for your practice. That said, some people choose to skip any potentially harmful materials, and finding the best nontoxic yoga mats require that you pay close attention to the materials. Typically, you have two options here: You can opt for mats made from only natural materials, or you can seek out a mat that’s made from safer synthetic ingredients.
The former is a bit easier to identify right off the bat. All-natural yoga materials include cork, jute, and genuine rubber to create cushioned, nonslip surfaces. Since these materials come from nature (assuming they don’t have any unwanted chemicals added in during manufacturing), they’re often nontoxic and eco-friendly.
Good synthetic options are a little more challenging to identify. Most synthetic mats are made from thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), both of which are man-made polymers that can mimic the look and feel of rubber. While PVC is often cheaper and more durable, it may contain phthalates, which some people choose to avoid. Mats made from TPE or polymer environmental-friendly resin (PER) are often touted as better synthetic alternatives to PVC since they’re made without phthalates. However, some still have raised concerns about them for leaching synthetic estrogens, so keep that in mind.
These five yoga mats are all made from quality materials, but they come in all different sizes, colors, thicknesses, and designs to suit anyone’s yoga practice.
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1. The Overall Best Nontoxic Yoga Mat
Manduka mats are widely considered some of the best of the best — especially when it comes to durability. If you’re willing to splurge on a nontoxic purchase that’ll last, the Manduka eKOlite is the way to go. First off, it’s made from nontoxic, biodegradable, non-Amazon-harvested tree rubber, and it skips all of the harmful foams and glues. (It’s also 99% latex-free.) Second, it has a sealed-cell surface for superior stability and traction. Plus, reviewers still say that once broken in, it’s one of the most "durable" and "reliable" mats out there.
- Made from: Natural tree rubber
- Thickness: 3 millimeters, 4 millimeters
- Available colors: Acai, Midnight, Charcoal, Resound, Truth Blue, Ebb, Mint Marbled
- Available sizes: 68 by 23 inches, 71 by 24 inches
One reviewer wrote: "I purchased mine over a year and a half ago….It is still in great shape. […] When I used the regular sticky mats I would have to replace them by-monthly. I actually saved money with this mat, It has been well worth the cost."
2. The Most Affordable Option
Gaiam is known for affordable, beginner-friendly yoga equipment, but the brand’s cork mat pays close attention to its materials. Instead of PVC, this one uses sustainable, nonslip cork on top and TPE synthetic rubber on the bottom. As a result, it’s lightweight and comfortable to use, all for less than $35.
- Made from: Cork and TPE
- Thickness: 5 millimeters
- Available colors: Classic, Print
- Available sizes: 68 by 24 inches
One reviewer wrote: "Sustainable cork that is easy to clean plus grippy for yoga practice, what more could anyone ask for?! I’ve had a few yoga mats before and always questioned the toxicity of the material and dyes."
3. The Best Travel-Friendly Yoga Mat
Instead of synthetic, rubber-mimicking materials, this mat by Jade is made with real, natural rubber, which offers superior grip, cushioning, and durability. That said, it sets itself apart in another hard-to-ignore way: Because it’s foldable, extra thin, and lightweight (less than 3 pounds for the smaller size), it’s great for the yogi who’s always on the go. Plus, with every purchase, the company plants a tree to contribute to its sustainability and eco-friendly promise.
- Made from: Natural rubber
- Thickness: 3 millimeters
- Available colors: Black, Olive Green, Purple
- Available sizes: 24 by 68 inches, 24 by 74 inches
One reviewer wrote: "It is lightweight and made from natural rubber which is a must for yoga practice. I use it when I travel mostly or light practice, as it is low slip."
4. A Yoga Mat Made From Recycled Materials
Yes, it’s made using synthetic ingredients — but all of said ingredients are free from PVC and phthalates, and made entirely out of recycled wetsuits that can be recycled again. No wonder the SUGA recycled mat is such a great eco-friendly choice. In terms of your yoga practice, the closed-cell foam resists dirt, bacteria, and sweat, while the consistency is both nonslip and well-cushioned for support and comfort.
- Made from: Recycled wetsuits
- Thickness: 5 millimeters
- Available colors: Black
- Available sizes: Regular, Extra Large
One reviewer wrote: "So glad someone has created such a durable, sustainable mat. Even prettier in person. Good for you and good for the earth. Yay!"
5. A Fan-Favorite Jute & PER Mat
The top layer of the Anja organic mat is made from all-natural jute — a plant fiber that’s nonslip while also repelling sweat and odors. On the bottom, you’ll find PER, which is a rubber-mimicking polymer that’s made without phthalates like PVC. This mat is extra-long to support taller yogis and relatively thick for cushioning, all for a moderately affordable price. Last but not least, it comes in five color options, all of which are beautifully designed.
- Made from: Jute/PER
- Thickness: 5 millimeters
- Available colors: Aura, Cloud Blue, Earth Brown, Moss, Sand
- Available sizes: 72 by 24 inches
One reviewer wrote: "I love that this a non-toxic mat that has just the right amount of grip and padding. I love the look of it too!"
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