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Your Non-Toxic Yoga Mat Guide

Written by Irina Webb

Looking for a clean yoga mat?  You probably expect it to be comfortable for your yoga practice and to have no bad chemical smell.  You may also want it to contain zero potentially harmful chemicals and cause no environmental issues.   Clearly, looking for a comfortable natural yoga mat can be frustrating in and of itself.  And it only gets more complicated when you try to factor in potential harm to your health from its materials.  Here is the good news: this non-toxic yoga mat guide will give you a comprehensive idea about yoga mats.  With this knowledge, you will be able to make an informed decision about what a truly toxin-free yoga mat is for you.  As a bonus, you will learn how to clean yoga mat materials.  Read on to find out what healthy yoga mat I use and like practicing yoga and Pilates on.

Your Non-Toxic Yoga Mat Guide. A picture of a natural yoga mat.

I have divided yoga mat materials into four categories: worst, bad, better, and best.

To begin with, I have been reading product labels since 2012.  What used to be a hobby has turned into a full-time job which I love.  My consulting services are popular with both consumers and manufacturers.  To get to the true essence of an ingredient, I incorporate a wide range of materials into my research.  Hence, I study scientific literature and utilize credible sources such as the European Chemicals Agency and the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety.  I also employ the EWG database, but one must know How to Use the Skin Deep Database the right way.

In addition, I constantly try new products to be able to speak of their performance from my own experience.  Thus, I have bought my share of exercise mats while searching for the perfect non-toxic yoga mat.  I have smelled them, read Amazon reviews, and practiced yoga on them.  At this point, having maxed out my yoga mat budget, I have finally found a keeper.  Stay with me to learn about my favorite natural yoga mat. 

In my opinion, PVC is the worst material.

Conventionally, yoga mats are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is toxic during every stage of its life cycle.  The main component in PVC is vinyl chloride, which is a human carcinogen (source).  We get exposed to it through inhalation and skin contact when we exercise on a PVC yoga mat.

Further, dioxins are byproducts of PVC manufacturing and disposal, and they have also been classified as human carcinogens.  Sadly, dioxins build up in the human body and do not break down easily in the environment.

Furthermore, PVC needs plasticizers to become soft and flexible.  The most common plasticizers are phthalates, some of which are rather toxic.  Scientists link them to birth defects, asthma, neurodevelopmental problems in newborns, fertility issues, obesity, and cancer (source).  Clearly, a PVC yoga mat is not an option for a non-toxic yoga mat and is out of the question. 

Another reason I prefer a natural yoga mat to a PVC yoga mat is that PVC needs additives to make it more durable.   These additives can be heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium.  Because of their cumulative effects, heavy metals are very toxic to humans (source).  (Note that there may be Heavy Metals in Makeup and Lead in Lipstick, too.)

You can read my post about PVC Yoga Mats to learn more about this material and what it entails.  

I place PER and TPE material into the bad category.

Recently, both PER and TPE have been used as materials for eco-friendly yoga mats.  Conversely, my research shows that neither of them is the right material for a non-toxic yoga mat.  

As I mentioned, I have tried several yoga mats for the sake of the experiment.  One of them was a ThinkSport TPE yoga mat that I had received as a gift.  Unfortunately, it did not pass my smell test as it had a clear toxic odor.   As for a PER yoga mat, I have not tried any, but I know that some Aurorae mats are made of this material.

What exactly are TPE material and PER?  Are they natural yoga mat materials?

First, TPE, i.e., thermoplastic elastomers, are a blend of polymers, such as rubber and plastic (source).  Basically, TPE is a petroleum product with undisclosed ingredients.   Moreover, there are seven types of thermoplastic elastomers, some of which are made of carcinogenic styrene.  Feel free to read more about TPE and Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats in my post on this subject. 

Second, PER stands for “polymer environmental resin” which does not sound bad, right?  However, in essence, PER is petroleum-based plastic whose main ingredient is carcinogenic vinyl chloride monomer.  Even though it is made without phthalates and heavy metals (unlike PVC), there is almost no information on their substitutes.  As we have discussed above, plastic needs additives to be flexible and durable.  Therefore, lack of clarity in this aspect arouses my concern regarding PER.

Natural rubber is a better option for a non-toxic yoga mat material.

For starters, natural rubber is made from rubber trees.  First, they make incisions in the tree bark and collect latex in the process called ‘tapping’.  Then, they turn latex into rubber by adding vulcanizing agents and chemical additives.  Because it is not completely free of chemicals, natural rubber is not a totally non-toxic natural yoga mat material.  Nevertheless, it is safer than synthetic rubber, which is made of petroleum-based materials including 1,3-butadiene, a human carcinogen.

Have I exercised on a natural rubber yoga mat?  Sure, why not?! 

Jade Harmony made natural rubber yoga mats with a good grip on the floor.  I also appreciated the fact that they were open-cell mats allowing a continued good grip for my hands.  Their downside is that you must clean them often because the mat absorbs the sweat.  Keep reading to find out how to clean yoga mat products.

However, later it turned out that German scientists tested this eco-friendly yoga mat and found a concerning ingredient.  You can read more about that in my post about Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats.

The best natural yoga mat materials are cotton, jute, and cork.   

I have defined a non-toxic yoga mat as one made from plant fiber or cork tree bark.  This is my experience with some of them.

The Original Eco yoga mat

Pros: The bottom layer was natural rubber and the top layer was jute fiber.   Unlike cotton, jute plants do not require many fertilizers or pesticides to grow (source). 

The rubber allowed the mat to stay put on the floor.  And jute fiber allowed even heavy sweaters not to slip and feel stable.  It was on the thinner side, so if you need extra cushion like me you might wish for more.  Overall, I found this healthy yoga mat comfortable enough to use.  Plus, the manufacturing location is the UK, not China.

What I liked the most about this natural yoga mat was the absence of a toxic smell.  At first, it had a mild smell resembling diluted vinegar – nothing unpleasant.  But when I pressed my nose against it, the smell did not bother me at all.

Cons: Because of poor bonding, the jute layer started coming off and shedding all over me after four months.  The seller recommended washing it in the tub and drying it with towels.  That did not help either.   Now it looks like The Original Eco mat is not available for sale anymore.

Yoloha non-toxic yoga mat

Pros: It is made of two materials – cork for the top layer and recycled synthetic rubber for the bottom layer.

The synthetic rubber layer on the bottom prevents this cork yoga mat from slipping.  It does not seem to have a bad chemical smell.  Also, it is made in the US and looks durable.

Cons: My concern with the synthetic rubber is that it may contain Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals.  However, the manufacturer informed me that the recycled rubber went through a triple washing process to dispose of heavy metals.  The fact that this layer is on the bottom, not in your face, helps as well.  Additionally, the Yoloha mat is on the expensive side.  

Yogasana cotton natural yoga mat

Pros:  This non-toxic yoga mat is handmade of cotton in India.  Except fertilizers or pesticides used to grow cotton, you won’t find other chemicals or smell in this mat.  

Cons:  It won’t grip to the floor, so it is best to use it on a carpeted floor or over another yoga mat.

Organic cotton yoga mat

Pros: If you want to be sure there are no potentially harmful chemicals in your yoga mat, consider this mat.  It has cotton batting, so it should be good for people who need extra cushion.

Cons: Definitely, it will require some adjusting and figuring out how to use it on a wood floor.  Unlike rubber, cotton just does not have any gripping power.

My favorite non-toxic yoga mat is Scoria cork mat.

Scoria natural yoga mat is what I currently use and love.  I think it is the safest out of the practical options.  

Pros: The top layer is made of cork and the bottom layer is made of natural rubber. 

The cork is made from the bark of cork oak trees grown in Portugal.  Cork production is sustainable because they do not cut the trees down to obtain cork.  Instead, they strip the bark every 9 years leaving the trees to live up to 300 years. 

Further, the Scoria cork yoga mat does not slip because of the natural rubber layer on its bottom.  For backing, natural rubber is a better option than synthetic rubber.  The chemical smell is only detectable if you press your nose to the natural rubber side.  However, you do not need to do so because you will be facing the cork layer.

In addition, it is thick enough for me, is not heavy, and does not smell like tires.   Read my review of this cork yoga mat for more details.

Cons: The manufacturing location of this non-toxic yoga mat is China.

How to clean yoga mat materials

After researching how to clean yoga mats, I can conclude that the easiest way is to use soap and water. 

Basically, a solution of two cups of warm water to every four drops of soap will be fine.  Too much soap can leave a slippery residue on your mat, making future yoga practices dangerous.  You can wet your washcloth (not paper towels!) in the solution or use a spray bottle.  Be sure to rub the mat gently, though, to keep its naturally sticky nature intact. 

Note that your natural yoga mat may have special care instructions.  For example, cork is anti-microbial, so there is no need to clean cork yoga mats frequently.  Just lay the mat flat to air dry after practice.  To get rid of dirt or body oils, wipe the mat down with a soft cloth wet in warm water.  You can also use mild soap with water now and then.  And, of course, do not use a washing machine for rubber or cork yoga mats.

So, do you need a special yoga mat cleaner?  I have looked at several “special” yoga mat cleaners and can say that their ingredients are the same as those of a laundry detergent or all-purpose cleaner.  Here are options of non-toxic cleaners that I recommend: Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap and Branch Basics All-Purpose Cleaner.  (For more information, read my Branch Basics Safe Cleaning Products post.)

Conclusion about finding a non-toxic yoga mat

In conclusion, there are several types of materials for yoga mats.  In my opinion, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the worst material for your mat.  Then come polymer environmental resin (PER) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE).  Natural rubber falls into the better category, and cork, cotton, and jute are the best natural yoga mat materials.  My favorite yoga mat is the Scoria cork yoga mat.

In sum, unless a yoga mat is made of plain cotton or thoroughly tested by an independent agency, we cannot be sure that it is 100% void of any potentially harmful chemicals.  However, the materials I detailed in the post are better for our health and the environment.

To get a concise PDF file of 11 types of yoga mat materials, subscribe to receive it by email here.   

Visit my shop for non-toxic product options and book a consultation with me for help with healthy living.  Also, join the Savvy Consumer Circle of people who are passionate about turning their homes into a non-toxic habitat.

63 thoughts on “Your Non-Toxic Yoga Mat Guide”

      1. Avatar

        Hi Irina,

        I’m considering the Manduka eKO Lite, so I’d be interested to read your update on the eKO!

        I’m just wondering how you found out about the materials of the mat and if you have any thoughts on the polyester that’s in the mat. Do you reckon that’s hazardous either to your health or to the environment when the mat meets to be broken down?

        Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

        1. Avatar

          I notice you did not respond to this latest post Irina. I am too looking to purchase a new mat and found this article and had concerns with the Manduka eKO. I would really like to buy a new mat this week, but I first want your opinion on this mat. Thanks so much, and I too look forward to reading your thoughts

          1. Irina Webb

            Hi, Tim, to answer your question I would need to get a hold of them and ask a few questions. I am stretched thin right now. I’ll try to do as soon as I can. Thank you for the reminder. ~Irina

    1. Avatar

      I just want to add something here about the Maduka Eko. I had very high hopes for this mat after deciding to replace my Jade Harmony mat with it. I wasn’t never thrilled with the Jade Harmony because it never stopped smelling quite strong of rubber, even 5 years later. But, whew!, the Manduka smell blows my Jade Harmony out of the water. I left my new Manduka Eko outside on our screened porch for 3 weeks to air out, and it still smells just as strong. As in, when I left it in my bedroom with the door closed for a few hours and came back, the smell was overpowering. I am very sensitive, but sheesh! So bummed about this, since I’d pretty much determined this was the best option out there. Rethinking that now…

    1. Irina Webb

      Yes, if it is 100% natural rubber then I should include them in the list. It is a good idea to call and verify that it is in fact 100% natural rubber though. Let us know if you call them. ~Irina

    2. Avatar

      Update: They replied it’s not 100% rubber but rather that the rubber is 100% natural (misleading if you ask me but apparently that’s what all the companies do, it seems that all the so called natural mattresses contain hidden toxics).

      I think maybe I’ll just buy the Nike’s mat which came up fine in the German test.

      1. Irina Webb

        Hi, Brian: I could find the Nike yoga mat listed in the German review. The Nike yoga mats I am seeing are made of PVC. Let me know if you find it. That’s why I always to talk to the companies instead of relying on the website description. I had made that mistake a few times. 🙂 ~Irina

  1. Avatar

    Hello Irina! This is great that you are researching on this. My interest for non-toxic yoga mat has led me to work with my partner to make our own yoga mat in Nepal which is made of wild hemp and cotton canvas (undyed and natural dyed)with nettle trimming. I use it all the time and we are now producing it to sell as well.

  2. Avatar

    Hi Irina!
    I found your site while searching to see if there is any form of a “Safe” PVC. I bought a Rody Horse toy for my son for Christmas that is made by this company. When I ordered it online, the site said nothing about PVC, it just said that it was BPA-free, Phalate – free and made of Latex vinyl. I never thought I would get it and see the PVC symbol on the box!! I am so frustrated as it is pretty much his ONLY Christmas present. I was wondering what you think of what this company that makes it says on their site about the PVC it is made from.

    http://www.gymnic.com/en/about-us/

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Brianne

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Brianne: I understand your predicament. And I want to help you so much that I emailed them. Unfortunately, they did not provide more information than it is already on the website. It looks like their PVC is a safer one at least according to their claim. I understand that PVC can be made without phthalates and lead. However, I am puzzled by their claim that their PVC is made without chlorine because chlorine is a building block of PVC. When vinyl is made without chlorine it would be something else such as EVA. Since it is the only toy for your child for Christmas, I would give it to him. The factor of joy is important. ~Irina

  3. Avatar

    Hi Irina, Thanks for this post! But I was wondering if the Manduka Pro and Manduka Pro Lite have PVC in them? Not to be mistaken with Manduka’s Eko series of yogamats. I’ve been scouring the net to check if the regular Pro Mats have PVCs in them but haven’t found a source reliable enough. Let me know what you find! Thanks!

  4. Avatar

    I can not say Thank You enough! I am always wondering what is in products. I really appreciate you doing this work to help educate consumers. You are on the leading edge of a new wave, keep flowing!

  5. Avatar

    Hi Tayna
    Can you tell me why natural rubber latex mats are bad? And how can some companies say that natural rubber mats are latex free?
    Thanks

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Bridget: Could you send me an example of where you saw that a natural rubber mat is advertised as latex-free? Often, natural rubber mat have other synthetic materials added to it without a proper disclosure so this can make it hard to get comfortable with its safety. And some independent tests showed the presence of potentially harmful chemicals in them and they do smell pretty strong. So they are not bad but can’t really say with confidence that they are safe either. More transparency is needed. Does it help? ~Irina

      1. Avatar

        HI Irina
        This is what yogaeverywhere.com.au says
        WHY ARE YOGAEVERYWHERE MATS ECO-FRIENDLY?
        – Our mats are made of a biodegradable, recyclable 100% natural tree rubber base and microfiber top layer
        – They are free from latex, silicone, toxic glue, and phthalates

        And this is Bowern.com.au
        WHAT ARE BOWERN YOGA MATS MADE OF?
        3mm biodegradable & recyclable tree-rubber with a micro-fibre suede top. We’ve made sure there is no latex, silicone, toxic glue, PVC or other nasties.

        1. Irina Webb

          Hi, Bridget: It is possible that there is a process to remove latex protein but I do not think it is normally guaranteed 100%. Ask them if there is a process they use or is it a typo? It is also possible that there is so much synthetics on top that they use very little natural rubber. It is best to have a conversation with them ~Irina

  6. Avatar

    For those who have Latex allergies or have had many medical procedures ie. born a premature- you do not want to use natural rubber- it is latex. Many times too- people are allergic to the chemicals used to process the natural rubber and also the synthetic materials as well.

  7. Avatar

    Hi. I have emailed lifeforme as well as Bowern bc I’m in the market for a new mat. lifeforme sent me so much info that I can’t even dumb it down and understand it. I’d love to email it to you if you’re willing to help. This is Bowern’s Response: Certainly, we use recyclable tree rubber on the base and a micro-fibre suede upper to ensure the non-slip for you practise. There are no toxicities, PVC or harmful dies used in production.

  8. Avatar

    Hi Irena. I emailed Jade Yoga about the nitrosamines in their yoga mats, and they said that they have since revised their formula to remove all nitrosamines.

      1. Avatar

        Hi Irina. I did not ask for a report. That’s probably a good idea. I will ask them if they could send me a test. For now, here is the email they sent me:

        [email protected]
        May 1 (6 days ago)
        to me
        —–
        Hi Alex,

        First, the German test you mention is a number of years old. Even though, as discussed in more detail below, our mats have always been safer than baby bottles, we changed our production process several years ago to eliminate all nitrosamines in our mats. So that report is not correct as currently there are no nitrosamines in our mats.

        While not applicable to our mats, you might be interested to know that the potential harms associated with nitrosamines are related to ingestion (eating/drinking) or inhalation (through smoking and tobacco and specifically tobacco specific nitrosamines), not contact exposure. Further, the level of nitrosamines in our mats was found in that study to be .248 ppm which is 40 times below the level allowed in infant pacifiers and baby bottle nipples in Germany (which has very stringent health laws). You might also be interested to know that the average German ingests more nitrosamines in beer every year than you would ingest if you ate three of our mats.

        Thank you again for letting us know your concerns and please let me know if you have any questions.

        Namaste!
        Alanna

  9. Avatar

    Hi Irina!

    I just really wanted to thank you for doing all of this research cuz I’m pretty exhausted and fed up with only doing about two hours of research myself. I’ve only just begun though and have just started to wonder about the toxicity of yoga mats while starting to search for a replacement for myself and new one for my boyfriend’s birthday so we can stretch together. Now I’m afraid of purchasing altogether…though I know that actually getting to do what makes us feel good (yoga/stretching) is very important as well. So I’ll eventually have to bite the bullet and compromise as I do not have a very large budget.

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Kim: You are right, the benefits of exercise outweigh the potential exposure to toxins. And remember stress is the biggest toxin of all. When we are stressed, our body becomes incapable of detoxifying. Please let me know which you mat you decided to buy (know that they have sales, too). Is there anything I can do to make you less stressed? Have a great weekend! ~Irina

  10. Avatar

    Great article and good comments by many people. Thank you Irina for taking the time to research and provide us with all this information related to health and yoga mats – it is super helpful. I wanted to check with you – would you rate the Jade mat as the least toxic (since they have lowered nitrosamine levels?) Also, do you still think the Scoria mat is still a good option? – Though it is made from natural rubber there is no indication where the rubber originates from. I’m also curious if that German report is available in English. Google translate doesn’t format the report very well. Thanks Irina!

      1. Avatar

        Hi Irina,

        I have not. I guess I was basing it on one of the comments above that showed a response from Jade’s customer service indicating that they had changed their production processes. I just ordered a Scoria mat.

  11. Avatar

    Found this on Reddit:

    IMPORTANT UPDATE regarding Jade Mats (still waiting for a reply from Manduka):
    A blogger I have been discussing this with contacted Jade Yoga in regards to the study, and they replied with the following (edited to shorten it); “we (Jade Yoga) changed our production process approximately 2 years ago to eliminate all nitrosamines in our mats – so while the levels of nitrosamines in our mats were well below the stringent German requirements for baby pacifiers, we removed the precursor from our process (we did not add nitrosamines, but they were created from reactions of other substances in the manufacturing process) so that there are no nitrosamines in our mats now.”

  12. Avatar
    walter monici

    Dear Irina, you worry so much that some carcinogenic substance contained in the material of your yoga mat only comes into contact with your skin but you do not consider whether this substance will actually move into your body. In the meantime you do not realize that you drink and eat the most powerful carcinogens every day.
    Think about when you wash dishes and pots. You are using detergents that have the ability to dissolve fat mole and kill living cells.
    Are you used, as we in Italy do, to rinse the dishes in running water or you just dry them with a dishcloth that has been washed with detergents.
    How many of these detergents that you do not wash well or that you carry with the cloth remain on the surface of the dish and pots and end up in the food you eat every day.
    These detergents gradually dissolve the skin, make it loose and soft and destroy the internal structures of muscles and vital organs.
    I have seen things in England and America that we in Italy would never do: toasts heated in plastic bags, dishes washed in soap and dried with again the foam on top , people who rinsed dozens of dishes passing them once only in the same bowl. I believe you have lost the sense of reality and measure: you worry about a substance that is permanently contained in the product you are using and will never enter your body and you do not worry about eating and drinking in containers covered with detergent. In Italy a study had calculated that if we don’t rinse the dishes well we can ingest a glass of detergent in a year. if you drink it all at once you go straight to the cemetery. Think about it, Irina.

          1. Avatar

            I asked and here is their reply:
            Thank you for reaching out and I hope you are doing well! I’ve listed information on the composition of our mats below which should answer all your questions!

            B MAT Education & Sustainability:

            B MATs comprise a combination of both natural and synthetic rubber in order to provide optimal performance. B MATs do not contain known carcinogens such as PVC, and are manufactured in full compliance with air, water, and land emission requirements worldwide.

            The B MAT’s unique rubber compound provides unsurpassed grip, resilience and cushioning. Proteins that have been linked to possible skin irritation in some people are removed prior to producing the mats, meaning the B MATs are considered hypoallergenic.

            The small amounts of synthetic rubber used in the B MAT provides durability and excellent cushioning. The main component of synthetic rubber is a by-product (waste stream) of the plastics industry, providing a safe and beneficial outlet for those products. Thus, material that would have been otherwise waste has been repurposed and used for this synthetic component, ultimately reducing our overall impact and environmental footprint.

            B MATs are manufactured in a water based process which is deemed to be more environmentally friendly than other manufacturing methods. The B MAT is Oeko-Tex certified, meaning that the B MATs have been tested for harmful chemicals, dyes and finishes. Oeko-tex textiles and fabrics are certified free of harmful chemicals and are safe for human use.

            We always want to leave as small a footprint in this world as possible. This ties into our hand cutting process. One less machine. One more quality control checkpoint.

            The B MAT is biodegradable. We take pride in the fact that the B MAT will not last in a landfill for hundreds of years. As such, you will see natural wear and tear on a B MAT throughout the course of its life. Life span is dependant on a number of things, of note: 1) How often you practice, 2) Your style of practice, 3) How you store your B MAT and 4) How you care for your B MAT.

            Examples of common natural breakdown:
            Crumbling and peeling where your hands and feet are most heavily placed
            Scratches or nicks from hands and feet
            Light discolouration over the course of its 2-5+ year life span.
            Hopefully this information helps, but please feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns. I’d be happy to help!

  13. Avatar

    Hello, just wanted to first say thank you for doing all this research!! Its highly appreciated and reassuring amidst all the corporate greed out there.
    My question is about the Manduka GRP mat. I had a pro and from whit I could find it was hard to determine if the Pro was safe. I was lucky enough to trade it in for a GRP which is large enough for me and also designed for towel less hot yoga.

    Manuka says this about the material:
    “The GRP’s core and bottom layer are made with sustainably harvested natural tree rubber. Manufactured in a sustainable factory in Spain to ensure no toxic emissions are released into the atmosphere, the GRP is good for the planet and your practice.”

    I was just wondering if you have had the chance to research these claims or your opinion on this mat? Is it too good to be true or have I finally found a mat that meets all my needs?? Thank you in advance!!

      1. Avatar

        Hello,

        I have not ask. They describe it as a leather like top layer, open cell to absorb the moisture. Thank you for the reply.

      2. Avatar

        Hello Irina,

        Thank you for the prompt response. No I was not able to find out the top layer but I know they advertise the GRP mat with an open cell leather like top layer which is better for moisture absorption.

  14. Avatar

    Hi Irina,

    Thanks for your post. I bought a mat (and an expensive one) before I knew what PVC was. I asked the seller just today and this is what he said:
    The base layer is made from Polyester yarn, with a very light PVC coating on top, this prevents the mat from absorbing sweat and bacteria from growing on the surface.

    The mats come OEKO-TEX 100 certified before being available for sale, which is a must for us as a business. This in turn means you can be confident that every component used in the production of the mat has been tested for harmful substances and that the mat is therefore perfectly safe for human use.

    Furthermore, the mats are manufactured following strict environmentally friendly requirements. We have in place a permanent inspection of our processes with regard to environmentally relevant aspects of production.

    Does it seem okay to use? I use a towel over it anyway, would that help?

    1. Irina Webb

      Hi, Grace: it seems that this PVC mat is a bit better than other PVC mats. However, it is still PVC. As for whether it is okay for YOU to use it, well, it depends on your health, how much you have done to detoxify other areas of your life, even your diet, and whether buying a new mat would cause you undue stress. We can talk more about it all that in a consultation. ~Irina

  15. Avatar

    Hi,
    Thanks Irina for all this! I bottomed out looking for a non-toxic yoga mat a few years ago… nad have been dreading revisiting the topic. It’s nice to see there are a few more options available now. I’ve been fantasizing about buying a jade or manduka, and letting it air out for several months (because I’m really sensitive to latex smell). But after reading this, I’m wondering about the Bowern mats. Have you (or any other readers) noticed/heard whether they have a noticeable rubber/latex smell please? And what do you think about the micro-suede top layer? Does it provide any traction/grip? Thank you!

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