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  1. Hello Irina,

    What do you think about Manduka PRO lineup? They are one of the most sold mats in the world, PVC too, and Manduka boldly claims that they are non-toxic.

    There is also a famous older article claiming Manduka is unsafe.

    Just today I’ve found about dangers of PVC yoga mats… and I’m freaking out because I used it for the past 2 years…

  2. I have been trying to find out the answer to this question for days …. I am wondering if the toxins released with PVC yoga mats decrease over time. I have been using 2 PVC mats for many years – and have just recently learned of the carcinogen laden chemicals inherent in them. My mats no longer have any smell and are still in perfect condition. I am hesitant about throwing them in trash to go to landfill for obvious reasons. If the worst of the chemicals have been released over the years, I would be inclined to continue to use them until the end of their life cycle. I purchased a Haute Health cork mat backed with natural rubber from Amazon a couple of weeks ago and it is still airing out on my front porch. It has a very strong odor which gave me a headache when I tried it out. I also found the mat to be slippery and have poor grip. I thought the mat was made in northern USA, only to find when it was delivered that it was made in China, which makes we question the validity of advertised ingrediants on Amazon. No manufacturing ingredients were listed on the mat when it arrived – besides natural cork. Have you researched this particular brand? Thank you so much for your helpful information. Destini

  3. Hi Irina,
    Thank you very much for the article. What are your thought regarding PVC certified with EKO TEX STANDARD 100 – Class I (highest- approved for contact with skin for babies). Can these mats be regarded as safe?

  4. Hi Irina,
    Thanks for the informative blog, recently I start looking into sustainable yoga mat products after reading about PVC, TPE, etc. Have you tried jute yoga mat? I hesitate to try cork mats before because of its weight but since covid, I been working from home so I gave it a try. There are some cork yoga mat with TPE backing and more lightweight but I went with a rubber backing mat and pretty like it.

  5. Hi Irina, thanks so much for this blog! I already have this baby-friendly mat and am thinking of buying another but am more conscious now about PVC and vinyl. The mat is made of 100% PVC but company says that the PVC they use is “eco friendly” which has undergone and met rigorous EU and US standards for safety. Would you still trust this product? You can see there are over 2,000 reviews and everyone seems to love it.

    1. Hi, Jenny:
      The reason it says eco PVC is that this is a type of PVC made without phthalates, which is a huge step forwards. However, we are not informed what they use instead and whether the substitutes have been tested for health safety. Also, formamide can present in some EVA foam. With this said, since they claim that the mat is tested to EN71 and not made in China, it should be okay. However, it is best to contact the manufacturer directly to confirm that because I find that some Amazon product descriptions are not always accurate. Please let me know what you think and what you find out. I know that the mat looks really good. ~Irina

  6. Well I read through your article.. And I have couple of points to make. If your investing in the most appropriately made PVC mat, you need not dispose it off! Such mats are neither allergic nor release toxic materials for they are free of all the toxins. In fact, they are so durable that you need not replace them at all. So indirectly you are helping not to release toxins in environment through its disposal. But having used the rubber mat, blanket n cotton mat, I still found PVC mat to be the best in terms of #grip and #anti-skid texture!

    All said, there is no replacement to the most naturally available ‘grass’ mat of course.

  7. Hi,
    I bought a yoga mat from amazon it is natural tree rubber yoga mat, as a new yoga person, I don’t know what type of yoga mat is the best. Also, I don’t know what’s different PVC VS Rubber.

    Thank you for this nice article.

  8. Hi!!
    So I myself have done tons of research on which mat is in fact the SAFEST. My conclusion is that the Barefoot original eco mat may be the most natural and non-toxic. I was originally looking into the Manduka mats, but after much research I learned they may in fact contain some of that “non metal” PVC.

  9. There is a yoga mat company in Colorado called Sweet-Mat and they are marketing their scent infused mats as safe, latex and rubber free. I was told that the owner of the company has conned and stolen money from many people through his failed companies in Iowa and Kansas. He appears to be in it for the money and from the comments from many previous customers of his, he doesn’t seem to have a conscience. So BEWARE! Who know what chemicals his mats, made in China, contain. Google: “Sunroom design by Ron”, “The amazing patio cover”, “Sunroom escapes ron williams”, and “FUNDRAISING SCAM: Family of Child With Cancer Conned – WHOtv”.

  10. Hi there! What was the outcome for suggestions for least toxic yoga mat? its so difficult to figure out with all the horrible false advertising out there. It’s horrific that these companies get away with this. Thanks so much for any feedback!!

  11. Thank you! I splurged on a yeti yoga mat because it was advertised as “pthalate free”, and because it’s from a small company out of Portland I trusted I’m getting something good. After 3 uses and feeling nauseous from the toxic smell, and sliding around on it due to it’s strange oily surface texture, I’m just upset and feel duped. Unfortunately, I purchased another before I tried this one out, only because I like the patterns and I wanted one as a gift for my husband. I’m so disappointed and tired of false advertisement. Upon looking into the composition, it’s made of PVC. I’m finding that even small companies that you expect better from are misleading consumers and you always have to question everything.

  12. Hi Irina,

    First, this is really weird, as I was just looking for a Yoga Kit
    with mat, blocks, etc. and I saw some that supposedly were
    Non-toxic….some even said Non-toxic PVC. Also, how about
    the blocks? What are they made of?

    Anyway, what did “they” make their mats out of, hundreds of
    years ago when there wasn’t any plastic or PVC?

    I’m really interested to find out…..maybe “they” didn’t use
    anything but what they had, like hand-woven blankets, etc.,
    or just did their Yoga on grass.

    Just thought I’d take a shot and ask, thinking you might
    know or would be interested in finding out.

    I want to Thank You for what you do, supplying “us” with
    non-toxic information (little play on words there, HA!) and
    I look forward to detoxing my home!

    All My Best,

  13. That’s a very interesting conversation. And I’d like to broaden a little bit the scope: toxicity should be evaluated on the complete life cycle of the product, and it’s then not only about the product, but also the logistic of moving the product from Asia to let say the USA. Then my concern: while PVC mats are more toxic than others, they are also more durable. And the toxicity cost of moving a mat from Asia to the USA is the same. So, are we better overall with a PVC mat that will lat 5 years, or eco friendly mats that need to be replaced every 6 or 12 months, and therefore will generate 5 to 10 times more ecological footprint with their logistic?

    1. And yes, I take into the considering transportation toxicity. I am still hoping that we do not have to make that choice. I do not think I would make a choice toward PVC as everything is so toxic about it from manufacture to disposal. From my experience natural rubber lasts longer than 1 year as long as you do not expose it to direct light too much.

  14. Hello Irina,
    Today I purchased a yoga mat without knowing what PVC was and how harmful it is. However, after reading this article I am worried about what to do with my mat. I do not feel comfortable using it knowing it contains toxins, but I would also feel guilty about throwing it away since I know it’s bad for the environment. I don’t know what to do, it’s very frustrating. I would love to hear any comments or advice you may have.

    1. Hi Janet,

      Thank you for asking the question. Unfortunately, there is no ideal solution to this. We face this problem as individuals and as the humankind – what to do with toxic chemicals we have created and now know that they are toxic. I was glad to learn that there are emerging recycling facilities for PVC (vinyl). They process PVC to make it less toxic. It is not ideal but better than putting vinyl in landfill or burning it releasing dioxins in the area. Here is the link to see if there is one close to your location

  15. Hi Irina,

    I absolutely love reading your write ups and after reading this one, I have started doubting whether the playmats my husband bought recently for our 8 month old son are safe. There are 2 kinds I found in shops – one type comes in different pieces which one needs to put together like a jigsaw puzzle and each piece/square has a different color, number or letter on it. The other type is a single large piece with some animated characters made on it. I think both these types are made of EVA foam though I’m not very sure. Do you think the kids playmats available in the market are safe or is there some toxic element in them. Apart from sitting and crawling on the playmats, I’ve seen my baby lick the mats sometimes too. If these are toxic, then what would you suggest would be a safe substitute. Thanks for being there for worried moms like me!

    1. Hi Pallavi, EVA is a safer alternative to PVC. However, it may still contain toxic chemicals such as formamide, a reproductive and developmental toxin. Since you already got them, you might want to call the manufacturer to find out how they are made and tested for toxins. And yes, natural yoga mat is good alternative for your situation. Stay tuned for my research results and let me know what you find out.

  16. Thank you for this article. As a new mother I find I’m thinking even more about what products are made of and how my use or consumption of various products affect this new life I’ve created. I requested that no one give the baby plastic toys and have chosen glass bottles for those times when I can’t nurse because as I tell my friends and family: BPA isn’t the only harmful ingredient in plastic. I’m looking forward to your article on environmentally sound yoga mats.

    1. Hi Hannah, you are right about the fact that BPA is not the only toxin in plastic. As a matter of fact, there is evidence that BPA-free plastic is as toxic as its BPA-containing relatives. Read more, here.