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Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats: Safe or Toxic?

Written by Irina Webb

Eco-friendly yoga mats have become a popular search term on internet search engines.  More and more manufacturers recognize growing consumer demand for sustainable yoga mats.  But what does it mean exactly?  Does eco-friendly automatically mean that a product is safe for your health?  In this post, you will read about my experience with three yoga mats, namely, ThinkSport, Jade Harmony, and Scoria.  At first, some of them appeared non-toxic.  But then, as I dug a little deeper, they did not seem as safe as they claimed to be.  Read on to find out which mats I do not fancy and why, and which one is my favorite. 

Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats: Safe or Toxic? A picture of yogi sitting on sustainable yoga mats.

In assessing product information, I rely on scientific sources and the expertise of a medical doctor. 

To begin with, I have been researching consumer product ingredients since 2012.  I dove into this subject because I was looking for non-toxic products for my newly born son.  Do you know what I discovered?  First, that manufacturers’ claims often do not mean much.  And second, that as consumers we should take responsibility for raising our own awareness regarding product materials and ingredients.

So, using three university degrees and my bank analyst experience, I started doing research.  The scientific sources I use are comprised of reports from Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel, the European Chemicals Agency, PubMed publications, the Scientific Committees on Consumer Safety, and so on.  I also use the EWG Skin Deep database, despite its flaws.  (Learn how to use the Skin Deep Database the right way.)  Plus, functional medicine doctor Myrto Ashe, MD, MPH, IFMCP reviews medicine-related information in my posts.   

As a result of my commitment to reading ingredients, large consumer goods companies seek my professional counsel on their products.  And to find out what documentary they interviewed me for, visit my About Us page.

Eco-friendly yoga mats are not made with PVC. 

When I started looking for sustainable yoga mats, I quickly discovered that PVC mats were out of the question.

To begin, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is made from petroleum and is the most toxic plastic for health and the environment.  Its advantages are that as a building material, PVC is cheap, easy to install and to replace.  That is why it replaces wood, concrete, and clay in many areas.  However, as consumers, we hardly know the entire scope of its high environmental and human health costs.

Thus, PVC emits toxic compounds throughout its life cycle, starting with its manufacture and ending with its disposal.  When in use, PVC products can leach toxic additives, such as phthalates.  On top of that, PVC cannot even be recycled.   So, it continues emitting toxic substances in the landfill, or if incinerated, emits dioxins and heavy metals.   As of today, there is no safe way to manufacture, use or dispose of PVC products (source).

Is there such a thing as eco-friendly PVC?  No.

Wouldn’t it be great if eco-friendly yoga mats were made with eco-friendly PVC?  It would definitely narrow down our search for sustainable yoga mats.   But does eco-friendly vinyl exist, in the first place?

For starters, the term ‘vinyl’ encompasses a range of thermoplastic chemical compounds derived from ethylene.  In addition to polyvinyl chloride (PVC), there is ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA), polyvinyl acetate (PVA), and polyvinyl butyral (PVB).  What differentiates PVC from the other types of vinyl is a chlorine molecule (the “C” in PVC).  One of the concerns of PVC, a carcinogenic dioxin emission to the environment, is linked to this compound.  

The US Environmental Protection Agency classifies dioxins as highly toxic persistent organic pollutants.  Indeed, they increase the risk of cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, and interfere with the normal production of hormones.  Consequently, the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants prioritizes the restriction of processes that produce dioxin.

Although manufacturers have begun to replace PVC with non-chlorinated vinyl, the mere absence of chlorine does not make them safe.  Any petrochemical product has many toxic challenges and untested chemicals in its life cycle.  And most plastics pose some risk to the environment and contribute to the global waste crisis. 

Therefore, to answer the question, no, I do not believe there is such a thing as eco-friendly PVC.  Hence, PVC is not the right material for eco-friendly yoga mats.  To learn more on this subject, head to my post about PVC yoga mats.

Is TPE material the answer for producing sustainable yoga mats?  No.

A while ago, I got a ThinkSport yoga mat as a present from a family member.  Since another non-toxic blogger had researched the product and gave it the thumbs-up, I relaxed.  Obviously, there was nothing else for me to do but to practice yoga.  Then, while holding my pose, I took a deep breath on the mat.  It smelled of toxic chemicals.

After the yoga session, I went straight to my computer and saw tons of posts about ThinkSport yoga mats.  Apparently, many bloggers had received this so-called non-toxic yoga mat made of something called “TPE” in exchange for their enthusiasm.  So, I emailed the manufacturer and asked who tested it to make sure that it was non-toxic.  The answer is yet to come, and I asked years ago. 

What is TPE? It is a mix of undisclosed ingredients. 

In the meantime, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) are a mix of polymers, such as rubber and plastic (source).  Do these sound like proper materials for eco-friendly yoga mats? 

According to the British Plastics Federation, there are seven main TPE groups available commercially.  For example, one of the most common and least expensive ones is Styrenic Block Copolymers.  To clarify, these are based on two-phase block copolymers with hard and soft segments.  Thus, the styrene end blocks provide thermoplastic properties, and the butadiene mid-blocks provide elastomeric properties.  Considering its properties and areas of application, I venture a guess that some so-called sustainable yoga mats are made with this kind of TPE.

If we look at the individual chemical polymers, this is what we will see. 

First, they produce styrene in industrial quantities from ethylbenzene and use it to make plastics and rubber.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers styrene a possible human carcinogen (source).  

Second, butadiene is a chemical that they produce from petroleum and use to make synthetic rubber.  The Department of Health and Human Services, IARC, and EPA classify it as a human carcinogen (source).

Based on this, I am skeptical about TPE.  If a manufacturer describes their yoga mat as made of TPE material without specifying the ingredients, I interpret it as lack of transparency.   In short, TPE is a blend of undisclosed synthetic materials that have not been proven safe. 

Are TPE eco-friendly yoga mats biodegradable?  No. 

You would expect sustainable yoga mats to be biodegradable, right? 

However, the term “biodegradable” is hard to regulate, in the first place.  How long does the break down process take – days or years?  What conditions can the object break down in – a plastic bag in the landfill, a compost bin, a specialized municipal facility?  What chemicals will it break down into?  Some biodegraded compounds may be more toxic than the original ones.

So, I am not buying the ThinkSport claims that TPE is free of BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, dioxins, or other offenders.  Such claims make me wonder what they use instead of these toxic chemicals.  

Additionally, according to CertiChem, founded by George Bittner, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Texas-Austin, “substitutes for BPA or phthalate containing products can leach other chemicals having more total estrogenic activity (EA) than the EA released by the original products; the solution can be worse than the problem.”

My strong recommendation is not to rely on BPA-free labels but to avoid all type of plastic, to the extent possible.

Is rubber better than TPE?  It depends. 

After my disappointment with ThinkSport yoga mats, my research led me to Jade eco-friendly yoga mats.  When I received the mat, it had a smell, too, but not as strong as the ThinkSport mat.  Despite its excellent properties – non-slippery and thick – I did not like it because it still smelled after several weeks.  

According to the website, all Jade’s sustainable yoga mats are “made with natural rubber and contain no PVC or other synthetic rubbers.”  However, the description also says that the mats contain both natural and man-made components, and the precise components are proprietary.  In my correspondence with the company, Jade revealed to me that “these other ingredients are necessary to give our mats their properties (including color).”

Additionally, Jade states that their yoga mats contain no heavy metals, ozone-depleting substances, PVC, TPE, phthalates, and formaldehyde.  (Note that they list TPE as one of the things you do not want in your yoga mat.)  Plus, in their email to me they said that they had changed their production process to eliminate all nitrosamines.  So, there are no nitrosamines in Jade eco-friendly yoga mats now.  (This is in reference to the fact that a German agency tested Jade yoga mats and found nitrosamines that have a link to cancer.)

It sounds good, but what bothers me is that there is no proof of any of those claims.  I requested third party reports from Jade that would confirm the statements above.  When I get them, I will update this post.

In my opinion, the best exercise mat is Scoria cork yoga mat.

After having no luck with ThinkSport and Jade Harmony, I was excited to try one of Scoria’s sustainable yoga mats. 

This biodegradable non-toxic yoga mat is made of cork and has a natural rubber backing against sliding.  Also, it comes in two thicknesses (which is important for me), is not bulky, and is not slippery.  It does have some smell, but it is minimal, and it rolls well. 

I really like this yoga mat!  It is comfortable, has a unique design, and makes me feel good.

You can learn more about it by reading my review of Scoria yoga mats.  So far, it has been the best workout mat I have used.  You can purchase it on the Scoria website.  It is a Canadian company, but they ship to the USA without any taxes and duties.

Conclusion about eco-friendly yoga mats

In conclusion, out of the three yoga mats I have tried – ThinkSport, Jade Harmony, and Scoria – Scoria is my favorite.  It is a cork mat with a natural rubber backing.  I find it safe and well performing.

As for the ThinkSport yoga mat, it is made of TPE material which is a mix of undisclosed synthetic ingredients.  And Jade Harmony yoga mats contain both natural and man-made components which are not disclosed either.

While sustainable yoga mats are convenient for your yoga practice, they are not a must.  I mean if your body type permits, you do not have to do yoga on a mat.  Thus, there are options of organic cotton rugs that do not arouse the health concerns that mats do.  In my case, thickness is important; that is why I choose a mat over a rug.  I hope you will find this post useful.

Check out my shop for healthy products for your home, body, and wardrobe.  Book a consultation with me to get timely help with healthy living.  Join the Savvy Consumer Circle to improve your savvy consumer skills and save your time and money on an ongoing basis.  

59 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats: Safe or Toxic?”

  1. Avatar

    This is great to hear other people are also concerned about what is in their yoga mats. I have been shopping around for a safe yoga mat for myself, and my toddler – but have yet to purchase one because I cannot find one that meets my standards. Would love to find a company who cares enough and is responsible enough to produce the kind of mat we are looking for!!! Thank you!

  2. Avatar

    Irina- thank you so much for digging into the details– this is such an easy to overlook route of exposure to chemicals –

        1. Irina Webb

          Hi, Miriam: Nice to hear from you again! Which mattress did you end up choosing? An independent agency in Germany found that The Original Eco Yoga Mat sold by Barefoot contains Nitrosamines. I am updating the post. ~Irina

          1. Avatar

            Hi Irina! Thanks for the update – bummer!!

            Do you feel it is still “better” than the traditional yoga mat?

            We went with Essentia mattress – love it but hate the pillows we got from them 🙁

  3. Avatar

    Hello, thank you for all of this great information! What a lot to sift through though? I have a new student who is severely allergic to latex so organic rubber is out of the question. I was all excited to hear the manduka pro line was 100% latex free only to find out it is made out of PVC! I have eco mats in the studio now made from SEBS, no latex is all I know about this. The more exposure to latex the higher the risk of allergy, if you are allergic to latex most hospitals are pretty dangerous places for you to be. Please help.

  4. Avatar

    Hi, Im also concerned about these “eco-friendly” mats. I found a test (in German) that found a loot of nasty stuff in the jade mat (Harmony Mat Standard). For example “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” and “Nitrosamines”. cheek out the test here http://emedien.oekotest.de/cgi/index.cgi?artnr=104105&bernr=23
    However it costs 2.5€ and is one year old. I can send you the test as a pdf if you like.
    I’am about to buy a manduka mat but this one has not been tested and I’m not feeling convinced by the manufactures promises….

  5. Avatar

    I recently came across Dr. Mercola’s Earth Friendly yoga mat that is made from polymer environmental resins (PER). Did your research look into this one?
    Thank you for any info. you can provide.

  6. Avatar

    Hi Irina,

    I also red about the Jade Yoga mat in the German sustainability magazine called “Ökotest”.

    From a scale 1 to 6, where 1 is best and 6 a No-Go, the “Jade Harmony Mat Standard” got a 6!
    Even it’s made from natural rubber, it contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrosamine, both carcinogenic substances!

    Most of the fifteen tested Yoga mats contains toxic substances.
    For consumers, there is actually no way, to see if a mat ist free of toxic substances, even if it’s named “eco”, “natural”, is claimed to be natural rubber or got an eco label/certification, you shouldn’t trust! A lot of these substances are not smellable neither!

    Unfortunately this is the case for all consumer products which are in close skin contact, like bed linen, shoes or just clothes. In Germany we have strong consumer rights and a lot of critical substances are forbidden to use, but we still get them everywhere, cause it’s allowed to import such goods and nobody will control it anyway.

    I still not found a durable, non-toxic Yoga mat. Does anybody know if Manduka natural rubber mats are free of toxic substances, used in the vulcanization process?

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Paul! Thank you for letting me know. Is there a way you can email me the article. I am so curious to see it. I used to speak German so I think I can still read it. Yes – this is a huge problem. Until we test a product, we can’t know for sure what is in it. Currently, I am trying to find a bau-biologist who can help me with the actual testing of some products I use but keep wondering about.

  7. Avatar

    I want to thank you for this incredibly thoughtful series on yoga mats. My partner and I are looking forward to getting pregnant in the near future and cutting down on our exposure to hormone disrupters is one of our top priorities.
    I recently purchased a Gaiam Sol Power-Grip Yoga Mat (4mm) for her as a birthday gift, I called and informed me the mat is pvc free and 100% rubber. Any thoughts from your research on this product?

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Max! I have not researched this particular mat. I would be curious to know where these mats are made, what is used to reinforce natural rubber, and if the company could share their test results for toxic chemicals. If you email them, could you share their response with us? Does that mat smell toxic? Thank you!

  8. Avatar

    Have you checked into the Kharma Khare mats? Their website says, “Kharma Khare’s yoga mats are sourced from recycled rubber tires which undergo an innovative patent-pending process that removes all the bad stuff, leaving a material that is safe and healthy for your skin in your practice, and good for the earth! The Reincarnated and Reincarnated Lite yoga mats are completely hypoallergenic, and all of Kharma Khare’s yoga mats even pass FDA’s ingestion tests. That means you could eat them, though we don’t recommend it!” Sounds almost to good to be true, doesn’t it?

    1. Irina Webb

      I am still skeptical about the process of removing all the bad stuff. The tires are pretty toxic. While recycling tires is good for the earth, I am not sure I want to use this yoga mat at this time. But I would love to sit down with the company to learn more about their manufacturing processes at some point. You might want to ask them if they can provide with test reports that show that there are no toxic emissions. Let me know what they say. Thank you!

  9. Avatar

    Hi, Irina,

    Okay, I emailed the company and asked for test reports verifying the claim that there is absolutely no toxicity to these mats. I’ll let you know if and how they respond.

  10. Avatar

    A company rep emailed me back promptly and attached a pdf. file of some of the research that they utilized in their development process, Recycled Tires in Track and Playground Surfaces. He/she said the report is also available on the web. I then asked if this is the same tire crumb material used in artificial turf fields that’s been in the news recently because of a suspected link between it and goalies developing lymphoma. Again I received a prompt reply stating, “Artificial turf fields do not process out the carbon black which is known to be carcinogenic. We take the time to process that out so that the material is the same as what has been used in children’s playgrounds for decades across the US.”
    If you can think of any other questions to ask them, they seem more than willing to discuss any and all concerns. I sure hope the mat is all they claim because I have one and in all other regards, it’s great!

    1. Irina Webb

      Lorri, could you please email me the pdf. file? In general, what happens is a lot of companies claim that their products are free of toxic chemicals but very few can actually back up these claims with test results. I think you could ask them what is a composition of tires initially and what they process out. And if they do testing to make sure what they process is actually out without traces. And if they could provide those test reports, that would be great. Thanks!

  11. Avatar

    Hi Irina, thank you for the article and for your research. Have you found any non toxic yoga mats yet? I have yet to find one for bikram yoga where you can really smell the toxins from these terrible mats and companies. Please let me know. Thanks again

  12. Avatar

    I’m trying to access the page that goes to the yoga mat you have decided to keep and feel is safest. The link doesn’t seem to be working anymore. I’m excited to see which one you decided on since I’m in the market for a new one. Thanks!

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi Amy: I am updating the post. I just learned that one of the yoga mat I recommended was tested in Germany and there were some harmful substances found so I took the post offline for now. Stay tuned. Thanks. ~Irina

      1. Avatar

        Hi Irina,
        Just saw this that you took that post down – I had purchased the barefoot yoga mat based on your post – please let me know if that is one of the ones that had the harmful substances!
        Thanks for all the work you do!

  13. Avatar

    Hi Irina,

    Thanks for all your intelligent research and perspicacious caring. Sorting through all this is a lot of work, I know!

    Like Amy, I also followed/found the link https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/products-i-like-non-toxic-yoga-mat/ broken. I’m doing similar research now, to replace what I thought was a great, enviro-conscious, healthy mat (DynActive Premium Eco Yoga Mat), but now am not so sure about their claims about TPE.

    DynActive claims their mats are, “Made from SGS tested and approved premium TPE material which is non-toxic, PVC free, phthalates free and free of any harmful chemicals unlike the traditional pvc, nbr, eva or eco-pvc (still a pvc) yoga mats which all contains carcinogen components. It is also latex-free unlike rubber yoga mats.” I don’t really know what to make of that, do you? (I sent an email to the SGS to ask. Due to other stuff I’ve read, I think I’ll stay away from TPE and PER mats.)

    I admire both your smarts to unravel all this, and your mindfulness not only about human health but especially of the effects to our non-human cohabitants and to the ecosystems on which well all depend – Thanks for this!

    As such, I’d love to know what you’ve found, so I can incorporate it into my research / buying decisions.

    Thanks,
    Rich

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi Rich, thank you for letting us know about your interest in safe yoga mats. The more people ask for them, the more companies will start making them. Yoga mats is one of those black hole where ingredients are not fully disclosed and we consumers are kept on dark. I used to recommend a yoga mat that I thought was safe but then I read test results in a German magazine that dispelled my belief. Anyway, be assured that I am working on finding yoga mats we can all like. I will share my research as soon as I can. ~Irina

  14. Avatar

    help, I cannot source a non toxic and environmentally friendly yoga mat for my adult son’s birthday present. I googled eco friendly yoga mats and loads came up, however, they’re full of nasties! Where can I find one and what description should I be looking for to trust it’s safe?

      1. Avatar

        Thank Irina. I bought one which was described as an eco friendly linen mat, sold by John Lewis, however it’s pvc on the underside. Nowhere in the description was this information available. At £48 it’s overpriced. I guess I will need to keep it as a pure rubber mat isn’t suitable due to latex allergy.

  15. Avatar

    Hi, some questions:
    1. have you found a safe yoga mat yet?
    2. in the pdf of the German tests the topmost 3 options are on green, does it means they were found safe in the test (I don’t read German :))
    3. Any hazards in cork made yoga mat?

    Thanks!

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Ron: I will answer all your questions in the upcoming post in a couple days. Yes, the green ones did not have any bad chemicals. My German is enough to say that. However, my German is not good enough to tell which chemicals they tested for. If anybody reads German, please let me know. I did look for those green mats but could not find them. Two of them are made of wool… ~Irina

  16. Avatar

    Thanks for this. I have also serious concerns about using something that is supposedly safe and non toxic, but still cannot be ‘named’.
    Companies selling non toxic mats should be required to adhere to strict regulations just like the food industry I think.. a list of ingredients. I am shocked at the amount of happy customers on Amazon buying ‘Eco Friendly Mats’ which are not certified as safe.

  17. Avatar

    Irina,

    Do you have any info on Theraband exercise mat, made of high density polyethylene? After receiving this mat, it had noticeable chemical smell, although less than other brands or materials. HDPE should have no odor.

    Any comments on this product?

    Bud

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Bud, I am not familiar with this mat at the moment. I thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will certainly look into it when I update my safer yoga mat guide. Thanks. ~Irina

  18. Avatar

    I would love for you to continue your research!! Please. I began on my wellness journey by becoming a personal trainer, researching nutrition, meal planning, and including exercise into my daily life. I am so grateful I made my health a PRIORITY. One of the first things I needed was a mat so I could do workouts at home and not be restrained by gym hours. Unfortunately the cheapest mat at Walmart, all I could afford, smelled of toxins the second I opened it. I was also shocked and upset to see in tiny print, right on the package, that the yoga mat contains materials that may cause cancer. I still have the mat, but am disappointed since I am inhaling all these terrible pollutants as I plank and do yoga trying to be healthier. I hope we all can eventually find mats that we can bring anywhere that won’t secretly kill us. In addition I am working on a wellness blog to provide all natural skincare options, as well as, individualized workouts. A mat to review would be amazing. I’d be so grateful.
    Thank you so much for your time and efforts!!
    Lana

  19. Avatar

    Hi Irina,

    An interesting article for sure. I am providing a couple links that might be of interest to you or your readers concerning TPE.

    TPE is a whole family of products with different formulations for different applications and because they are different may need to be treated slightly differently in their use and maintenance. For Example; many TPE products leach or evaporate an oily substance (over time). TPE is more absorptive than Silicone and therefore may absorb body oils and body residues that may, over time, produce fungus and/or mold spores. Yuck! .. It is very important to know how to clean and maintain it no matter what product is being used.

    Here is a chemical compatibility guide from the Graco company who produce pumps not yoga mats but TPE is TPE .. perhaps.
    http://www.graco.com/content/dam/graco/ipd/literature/misc/chemical-compatibility-guide/Graco_ChemCompGuideEN-B.pdf

    You would see in this very long list vinegar, an eco friendly cleaning agent, is not recommended as it reacts to the TPE. On the other hand Isopropyl alcohol is not reactive with TPE and might be a better cleaning agent choice. This is not to say that TPE is a good product but it is in so many things we use and live with because of its natural flexibility and low cost, it is sometimes best to understand that if you own it, know how to maintain it properly.

    Perhaps your readers could come up with a natural fiber cover for yoga mats that eliminates contact with the skin and thus avoid chemical absorption into the body without compromising the usefulness of the mat.

    http://www.bpf.co.uk/plastipedia/polymers/thermoplastic_elastomers.aspx
    This is a link to the British Plastics Foudation and it might be worth your while to contact them for additional information regarding TPE and its ECO fit.

    TPE and other plastics are all around us. From running shoes, tool and bicycle handle grips to sex toys and yoga mats. Very hard to get away from low cost, high integration plastics such as TPE. Perhaps it is better to mitigate the risk then completely eliminate the product.

    Just my two cents worth.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Mark, so can you give a list of every day cleaning products that can be used on TPE? I am looking for something that can be used to deodorize a new yoga mat. I originally thought to put the yoga mat in the tub and just pour big bottle of vinegar and water and soak the yoga mat until the odor wears out, but now I know it’s not a good idea, I suddenly have no idea what to do any more.

      The comprehensive table in the link you provided did not mention whether baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, mixes well with TPE.

      I am trying to avoid bathing soap because I don’t want the soap to sink into the mat.

  20. Avatar

    Well from the graco chart, vinegar would not be a good choice, your right. Since it is a rubber derivative, you could use a mild antibacterial soap such as Dawn soap or anything you might use on an infant child to gently clean it. For myself, I first use 70% rubbing alcohol to clean TPE and wipe it all down. Then gently clean it with Dawn soap. Also, once a quarter (3 months) or so, depending upon use, I will apply Baby oil (leaving it on for a few hours to be absorbed) to replenish any lost mineral oil from the product, and clean again with Dawn. The mineral oil will help replenish lost oils and block any bacteria from being absorbed. There is such a wide variety of TPE combinations it is hard to nail down which cleaning method is best. Also keep in mind TPE, once stained, is reasonably difficult to remove the stain from. Yoga mats may have to be replaced after a few years of constant use and should be cleaned regularly. Note. Essential oils have not been tested on TPE anywhere I looked but from a personal perspective I have put a few drops of peppermint oil in my baby oil and it seems to be fine and smells wonderful. Not all Essential oils are compatible with TPE in their concentrated form.

    Baking soda is a ground mineral and should be fine. A fine dusting of talc (also a mineral) would give it a nice smell and help absorb and foreign odors. If you use anything like talc or baking soda remember to clean and rinse off the residue.

  21. Avatar

    Not sure if any of you have heard of this company, but their mats are hand made in India and 100% cotton. You can also purchase a rubber floor grip to keep the mat in place. I haven’t bought one, but it seems like the strongest contender for me at this point.

  22. Avatar

    Thank you very much for this post! Please do let us know if you find a more non-toxic mat, as I’ve been holding off on buying one until I can find one that I want.

  23. Avatar

    Awesome page, thank you for doing the homework for all of us, but what are your thoughts on recycled foam? One example being the harbinger eco fit mat that is stated to be 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Haven’t found much info on this type of foam.
    Thanks.

    1. Irina Webb

      When I evaluate a product, I contact a manufacturer for a list of ingredients and in this case a list of materials that go into making a product. We can’t rely on marketing claims. Please do the same. Please contact them to learn the names of the materials they use. Thank you. ~Irina

  24. Avatar

    Thank you SO much for your research!!! No one else comes close to being as detailed and informative as you, and in fact most websites/blogs are vague and actually recommend PER and TPE yoga mats, grr!
    I read and re-read your blog posts numerous times and it has helped me become so much more informed.
    I ended up purchasing a Scoria mat, but I don’t do hot yoga and I am constantly slipping unless I spray it every 2 minutes, which is super impractical 🙁 Back to the search. I’m thinking of trying the Original Eco Mat next… would that be the next one you would recommend by chance?

  25. Avatar
    Dan Davenport

    I bought an ecoYoga 4mm mat (made in Edinburgh UK) a few weeks ago. It is made from rubber tree sourced latex and jute fibre. I should have gone for a 6mm or 10mm mat as I find I need more cushioning especially when I am supported on my knees. I also find the rubbery smell that transfers onto my hands a bit too much, even after many weeks of use. I am now at a loss where to go because it seems TPE isn’t guilt free either!

  26. Avatar

    Hi Irina,
    Thank you very much for the detailed review of these brands. I am glad I came across your website, I subscribed for it.
    I just purchased the Yoga Design Lab rubber/microfiber combo mat, very pretty:) The rubber part smells a bit, I don’t think it can be avoided. I am airing it outside now after my daughter exercised a bit. Do you think microfiber is a safe choice? Thanks in advance!

      1. Avatar

        Thanks, Irina! Do you mean it can be injected through being on the surface of the mat and breathing it in?

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