Hands rolling up a yoga mat next to large green, leafy plants.

top 8 environmentally friendly yoga mats

(Last Updated On: August 27, 2021)

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Let’s face it – with constant warnings of impending doom regarding the ongoing climate situation, we can all afford to be a little more eco-conscious. How does your yoga mat measure up? Are you in the market for something new? Regardless, these are the market’s top environmentally friendly yoga mats to accompany you in your practice.

I initially thought about writing this post with the intent to focus on environmentally friendly travel yoga mats. However, when I was compiling my list, I realized that my all-time favorite eco-friendly yoga mat is not exactly travel-friendly, but I couldn’t omit it from the list. I’ll specify which of these are travel-friendly as well.

what makes a yoga mat environmentally friendly vs. toxic?

There are a number of qualities to consider when shopping for your next eco-friendly yoga mat. How it is sourced, what it’s made of, ethics and sustainability, whether or not it’s biodegradable – all of these are important factors to contemplate.

Look for mats that don’t contain PVC – this is a plastic that’s responsible for that ‘new yoga mat’ smell. PVC also emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that we inhale when our faces get up-close-and-personal with our mats. Before embarking on my digital nomad journey, I was actually a VOC analyst, and trust me, you don’t want these compounds making their way into your body!

Cork and natural rubber are both great options for environmentally friendly yoga mats.


Woman doing seated garudasana on a 2nd wind Yoga mat, one of the top environmentally friendly yoga mats on the market.
Woman doing a modified gate pose on a 2nd Wind Yoga Mat, one of the top eco-friendly yoga mats you can purchase.

best environmentally friendly yoga mats

best for travel

liforme travel

I couldn’t choose between my two favorite travel mats, so I didn’t! I love the Liforme Travel Mat for extra stickiness if I know I’ll be practicing in a humid climate or taking heated classes. It’s on the pricier side, so it’s probably best for frequent travelers or people who just want to have a more lightweight mat regularly available to them.

But let me tell you, this eco-friendly yoga mat was an absolute lifesaver when I was practicing in a cloud forest in Ecuador!

jade travel

The Jade Travel Mat is more portable given its greater flexibility and being made solely from rubber. While I prefer the Liforme Travel Mat for hot classes, I prefer the Jade Travel Mat for just about any other type of class.

Not to mention, Jade is a great brand for the environmentally friendly yogis – they plant a tree for each mat sold to offset the amount of rubber they use in manufacturing their products. Rubber is an awesome eco-friendly option for mats!

best for daily use

tiggar yoga

The Tiggar Yoga Mat is a solid choice for someone who has a daily practice. I noticed very little wear-and-tear on the Tiggar mat while maintaining a regular practice. Like the Jade mats, Tiggar mats are made from 100% biodegradable rubber, which comes from trees. Jade has a leg up on Tiggar, however, since they actively work to plant trees in local communities.

Still, the Tiggar Yoga Mat is a solid choice if you’re in the market for an eco-friendly yoga mat that doesn’t break the bank.

jade harmony

The Jade Harmony is one of my favorite go-to mats. It’s slightly thicker than the Jade Travel Mat, providing a little extra cushion for arm balances and inversions than its travel counterpart. I also find the rubber texture of the mat quite comfortable for Yin and Restorative yoga, anything that requires longer holds of the poses.

I love old, worn Jade mats, since they have a natural floppiness to them that comes over time. They’ve got plenty of traction for room-temperature classes, but I personally prefer something stickier for a heated practice.

best for inversions & arm balances

manduka eko

I love the thickness (5mm) of the Manduka Eko Yoga Mat for inversions and arm balances. Something about knowing I’ve got a little padding underneath me helps with the anxieties and uncertainties that can accompany more advanced, complicated poses. Despite its thickness, it provides perfect stability when you’re upside-down or balancing on your hands.

This mat also has pretty good grip for room-temperature classes. For heated, super-sweaty classes, consider investing in a Manduka Yogi Toes towel to keep your footing.

The main downfall with Manduka mats is that they don’t recommend using homemade or natural cleaning solutions on the mat (which is what I prefer to use). They suggest using your Manduka mat only with their cleaning spray, which is kind of a pain to keep ordering. The spray is also eco friendly.

Manduka Eko Yoga Mat
319 Reviews
Manduka Eko Yoga Mat
  • eKO YOGA MAT: Eco-Friendly and biodegradable-- The eKO mat has a natural rubber grip that catches you if you start to slip. With its sustainable construction this non-Amazon harvested natural tree...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE: High-density, closed-cell surface prevents sweat from seeping into the comfortable mat cushion. The eKO mat offers superior joint protection and unmatched grip and support for your...
  • PREMIUM MATERIAL: Rippled surface texture for superior traction. Naturally made, and 99% latex free. Closed-cell surface prevents sweat from seeping into the mat, tightly woven scrim resists tearing...
  • SUSTAINABLE: Every eKO mat is made from biodegradable, 100% natural tree rubber with non-toxic foaming agents, non-azo dyes, no PVC or harmful plasticizers. All scrap is used in the production of...
  • PRODUCT DETAILS: 71" x 24", 5mm thick. Keep your mat in the best condition by wiping down after every practice with Manduka All-Purpose Mat Wash-- Specially formulated to clean your mat without...

best for yin & restorative

jade fusion

This is another environmentally friendly yoga mat that has a really nice, comfortable thickness. It’s thicker than the Manduka Eko (above) at 7.95mm. This gives it slightly less stability, yet makes it ideal for soul-warming, close-to-the-ground classes such as yin and restorative.

Add a blanket for more comfort and support, and you’re good to go!

best for heated yoga

liforme

I really don’t think other mats can come close to the grip that the Liforme Mat provides during a hot yoga class. I’m definitely a sweater when I practice, regardless of the room temperature, so you can imagine how soaked I get in a heated class! This is the stickiest mat I’ve found thus far (and trust me, I’ve tried plenty of them!).

The fact that it’s an environmentally friendly yoga mat just makes it that much more special.

If you’re taking exclusively heated classes, this bad boy is definitely worth an investment.

my personal favorite

2nd wind cork mat

The 2nd Wind collection of cork yoga mats is by far my preference when it comes to my personal practice. As an added bonus, the founder of the company is a local Rhode Island-based yogi I’ve had the opportunity to practice with a few times! Unfortunately for me, I opted to leave mine at home when I left for Europe.

The thickness of the mat is ideal for those who like a little cushioning while in inversions and arm balances, the soft cork feel of the mat is perfect for chill, relaxing classes such as yin or restorative. Spritz it with a bit of water and it’s good for heated classes as well!

sorry to disappoint…

It was disheartening to learn that my OG yoga mat, the Lululemon original mat doesn’t make the mark when it comes to eco or environmentally friendly yoga mats. Nor does the Kind Mat, which was my favorite for practicing inversions and arm balances.

But, in my case, adjusting to more eco-friendly options was the right decision.


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Last update on 2021-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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