We love yoga and are on the mat every day. That's why we were quite shocked when we discovered that many yoga mats are full of poison . From hormone disrupting phthalates (which can 'leak' from the mat) to PFAS , BPA , benzene, parabens, formaldehyde and azodicarbonamide. The latter is used as a foaming agent in the production of synthetic rubber yoga mats and irritates the eyes, respiratory tract and skin. Not really a good idea. Long Story Short… we went looking for a natural yoga mat, so that we can continue our yoga and pilates without any worries. Read on to view our top 3 non-toxic yoga mats.
Bad idea: PVC yoga mat
But first this. If you currently have a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) mat, we recommend that you replace it. PVC, a plastic, is toxic at every stage of its life cycle. The main component of PVC is vinyl chloride , which is carcinogenic to humans. You are exposed to it through inhalation and skin contact when you train on a PVC yoga mat. In our opinion, PVC is really the worst material for a yoga mat. No matter how cheap they are and are promoted as safe; we're not buying it!
PER and TPE yoga mat
We are also not fans of synthetic yoga mats such as TPE and PER. In fact, they often involve mixtures of unspecified synthetic materials whose safety has not been proven. TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) is a mix of rubber and plastic and can simply be a petroleum product. Additionally, there are several types of thermoplastic elastomers, some of which are made from potentially carcinogenic styrene.
PER (Polymer Environmental Resin) is also essentially a plastic. It is important to remember that plastics almost always require chemical additives to make them flexible and durable. It is therefore important to consult the manufacturer's specific product information to understand the exact composition and properties of a specific TPE or PER product. Don't fall into the greenwashing trap!
Yoga mat natural material
We believe that the best non-toxic materials for a yoga mat are: natural rubber, jute and cork. Of course you can also go for organic cotton, but we find that less suitable due to the limited grip. And wool is probably wonderful for a relaxed yin session, but a bit warm for more active yoga forms. In our opinion, natural rubber, jute and cork are ideal for all types of workouts.
Natural rubber is made from the sap of rubber trees which is turned into rubber by adding vulcanizing agents and chemical additives. Not completely chemical-free, but much safer than synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum-based materials including 1,3-butadiene, a carcinogenic substance.
Cork is made from the bark of cork oaks. Cork production is sustainable because they do not cut down the trees to get cork. Instead, they strip the trees of their bark every few years so that they can grow quite old.
Jute is obtained from plants of the genus Corchorus. They mainly occur in warm, humid areas, such as India, Bangladesh and China. Unlike cotton, jute plants do not require a lot of fertilizers or pesticides to grow.
This natural yoga mat from aGreenie is made of natural cork and natural rubber, is easy to maintain and has a good grip. The bag and strap are made of 100% cotton. According to aGreenie, the mat does not contain PVCs, phthalates and other chemicals that are harmful to you.
The bottom layer of this natural yoga mat is natural rubber and the top layer is jute. The natural rubber ensures that the mat stays firmly on the floor, while the jute fabric on the top provides excellent anti-slip, even when sweating heavily. The natural rubber yoga mat is made in the UK, not China.
The bottom of this natural yoga mat from Lotus is made of 100% natural rubber and the top of 100% natural cork. Thanks to the optimal grip, you can use this yoga mat on any surface.
Cleaning natural yoga mat
Keeping your natural yoga mat fresh and fruity is very easy. A little warm water mixed with natural soap and a cloth does the trick. We like to use pure castile soap, such as Dr. Bronner . You can also make a solution in a glass spray bottle , so you don't have to make new soapy water every time.
Furthermore, keep in mind that your natural yoga mat may have special care instructions. For example, cork is naturally antimicrobial, so you don't have to clean cork yoga mats often. Simply let the mat air dry after training and occasionally use a damp cloth (possibly with a mild soap). Never scrub hard as this can damage the material. And don't throw rubber or cork yoga mats in the washing machine.
Disclaimer (Do Your Own Research): We are happy to share with you our experiences and knowledge that we have gained in our search for a toxic-free life. At the same time, we would like to emphasize that you are solely responsible for your health (that goes without saying, right?). The information we share here is for general educational purposes and is not personalized medical advice. Everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.
*This blog contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the affiliate link and purchase an item, we will receive a commission. This allows us to test new products and expand the less toxic community. Want to know more about how we select products and maintain our integrity? Check out our selection procedure .