Top 9 Best Non Toxic Yoga Mats [Eco-Friendly]
Let’s avoid using too many chemicals, shall we?
You’ve probably heard stories on the dangers of PVC yoga mat materials. They are bad for humans and don’t biodegrade.
If you’re concerned about your well-being as well as the planent’s, then this will be the review for you.
As a yoga instructor, I know the importance of balancing a quality yoga mat while keeping in mind the impact your buying habits will have on the planet.
I’ve read dozens of reviews and have summarized it all in this post. Here are the top 9 non toxic yoga mats I’ve been able to find.
If you want the purest mat you can find there’s really no beating this first choice...
It’s certified organic.
It doesn’t smell.
Most importantly, it’s not harmful to you or the planet.
This is the number one choice because it hits all of the markers. As I was reading through tons of reviews I actually could only find 1 organic cotton yoga mat that has a decent rating.
If your 2 primary concerns are the quality of material you have touching your skin and the overall ecological footprint, then look no further.
Beyond that, it’s actually a darn good mat too! It will be unconventional if you are used to regular cheap-o yoga mats at first, but at least you don’t have to worry about doing more harm than good to your body or the world in which we live.
Cotton Yoga Mats
Call it a, “mat” or a “rug” it’s basically the same thing…
Cotton mats are the only way to go if you have an ultra strict stance on things being non toxic. I’ve put mats made of cotton at the top of the list because everything else below will have at least some type of processing done to it.
As seen in the first choice above, you really can’t beat this material.
The only two downsides to these types of mats is shrinkage, and padding. These mats will start out about 28 inches wide, but then go down to about 24 inches after the first wash.
As far as padding goes - well, its a rug.
If you are looking for the unique feeling of a more industrial strength yoga mat then cotton may not be the way to to go.
Nonetheless, let’s dive into the 2 next best options.
Bliss Peak Cotton Yoga Rug 3-in-1: Yoga Rug
This 3 in 1 mat is pretty cool…
I genuinely like how it does fold up nicely to use as a small bolster or even a meditation seat/cushion. It's also good as a knee pad for joint support.
If you are looking to have something that could double as a towel over your existing yoga mat then I’d go with this one. Why? Because of the price.
This is the cheapest option of the 3 cotton yoga mats I recommend. But it’s definitely not cheap quality. The quality is overall good, and the only thing you’ll need worry about is shrinkage if/when you wash it.
If you sweat some then this will be a nice addition to your practice. Moist palms and feet will actually benefit you when using this mat. The moisture dampens the fabric and helps you dig in a bit more, thus providing more traction.
Yogasana Yoga Mat 100% Cotton Rug
Here’s another quality cotton mat, but there’s a reason it’s number three.
The size of this mat is 72 inches by 25 inches. Now that’s fine if you are just going to be using this mat by itself and never on top of an existing yoga mat.
What’s not fine however, is when you end up washing the mat and it shrinks. Follow me for a moment and this will all make sense.
Most yoga non-cotton mats are 24 inches wide. When you wash this yoga mat (that’s only 25 inches to start with) then it’s going to shrink down to about 21 inches!
What does that mean? We’ll now you’ve got a smaller practice area than you are used to and and now you’ll have your mat underneath showing - when it didn’t used to before you washed your cotton mat.
If that is something that bothers you then you should avoid this mat. However, if you are going to use this mat as a stand alone yoga mat then it’s a wonderful choice.
Jute And Hemp Yoga Mats
Next up we have jute and hemp fibers…
We are all familiar with hemp. It’s used in rope, clothing and bracelets.
Jute is a material used to make burlap, chair backings, rope and other ties. This material is sustainable because it only takes about 4 or so months to grow before you can harvest it for usage.
These are second in line overall behind cotton because, unlike cotton, you can’t have yoga mats made 100% from this material. It wouldn’t feel very nice doing yoga on a burlap sack would it?
This means they are made with a mix of things. Most of those things are still non toxic, but again, it’s not ultra pure cotton.
Let’s take a look...
This one is made from two different things…
Jute is part of what’s in this mat, but there’s also a good amount of PER.
PER stands for Polymer Environmental Resin. Ironically enough, this material starts out as PVC - yes the bad yoga mat chemical. However, because of how it’s made, it’s free of most of the chemicals that are harmful.
PER is actually biodegradable as well, which is a big bonus. So while at first it may seem like it’s bad, it’s not TOO bad…
Again, if you are a die-hard purist, then go with cotton. Otherwise you’ll have to start making some sacrifices here and there.
EcoStrength Hemp and Jute Natural Thick Yoga Mat Eco Friendly
This mat is made from jute, hemp and rubber.
This is a strong and thick mat (6mm). It’s durable and will last you a very, very long time.
We’ll go into much more depth about the use of rubber in the next set of mat’s, but for now just know that it is a natural material that goes through only a small amount of processing.
Overall, this is a good mat. If you have never used a jute or hemp mat before then you can expect it to be a bit rough to the touch. Some people enjoy this tactile feel while others do not.
Rubber Yoga Mats
You may be wondering why I put rubber mats in this review…
Many people find rubber yoga mats to smell awful. Therefore, they think that it’s a toxic yoga mat filled with chemicals.
The two mats I have listed below are not filled with toxic chemicals, but they do have a rubber smell to them.
Long story short, if you don’t like the smell of rubber then avoid these mats. However, I can assure you these are made with natural rubber from rubber trees.
It all comes down to personal preference.
The thicker the rubber the more it’s going to stink.
Manduka for example, has a yoga mat that is 9.5 lbs and 85" x 26” that’s 6 mm thick. Don’t get me wrong - that beast of a mat is good, but it’s a fat hunk of rubber that’s going to stink for a long time.
Jade has a big mats as well, that’s why I’m recommending the travel size… It’s only 3mm thick and won’t smell for nearly as long as a 6mm mat.
Their products are made from rubber from rubber trees. And, Jade plants a tree for every mat sold. Their company practices are ecologically friendly and they make a darn good product too.
Their mats take a small amount of breaking in, but once you do you’ll love them. Their travel mats are a good happy medium because they are kinda thick for being a travel size.
Just be warned with rubber mats, the thicker the mat, the longer it’s going to take for the smell to dissipate.
Manduka eKOlite Yoga Mat – Premium 4mm Thick Mat
If you need just a tiny bit more padding than the Jade travel line, then consider the Manduka eKOlite.
The eKOlite is one of Manduka’s cheaper mats, but don’t let that fool you.This is a very high quality mat that is good for all around use.
Some hot yoga teachers swear by Manduka mats, but you’d best use a towel on top because they can be slippery for a while until you break them in.
It does rank as number 7 on this list of non toxic mats, but Manduka is still a top reputable company. Many of their products are manufactured in Germany with very high ecological standards.
These mats are not toxic by any means, it’s just ranking somewhat low because as I’ve mentioned before - the smell can linger for a while.
TPE Yoga Mats
TPE stands for thermoplastic elastomers…
They are made up of a mix of rubber and some plastics. What’s good however, is that TPE is actually biodegradable unlike traditional plastic.
TPE doesn’t leach into your skin like the toxic PVC yoga mats you’re probably trying to avoid.
While they are technically non toxic, they still rank at the bottom of this list because there is a fair amount of processing that needs to go into making these mats. And as you could imagine, the factories producing a lot of these mats is where some ecological damage is being done.
Nonetheless, if you are really strapped for cash then these are the most affordable options that won't totally ruin the earth or your body.
What’s good about most TPE yoga mats is the smell…
There isn’t one. At least at first...
Granted it will have that “new” smell for a bit, but after a while it will slowly start to take on that cliche yoga room smell of essential oils, sage, and rosewater - yum!
Eventually this mat will become unusable because of the smell - but that takes literal years.
It is “closed cell” which means it shouldn’t absorb any bad bacteria. It really is a wonderful yoga mat, but after about 2 years of regular use, you’ll find that it just starts to fade from its former glory.
If you want a quality yoga mat that has wonderful grip, costs less than $50, and good padding then the Ewedoos is perfect.
TOPLUS Classic Yoga Mat
This yoga mat is last on our list because it is just barely good enough to make the non toxic cut.
As I stated before, these mats have gone through some manufacturing, and being that this one is made in south east Asia I can only guess that the factory isn’t as clean as we all would like.
It is made from TPE material so that means it will biodegrade, but just not as quick as cotton. It’s a good mat because I often find that hybrid mats like these have a fantastic grip and overall good feel.
If you can’t spare the change, then go with a TOPPLUS TPE. If you do have $80 to $100 for a quality non toxic mat then look at the top 3 on this list.