The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats | Top 7 | UK


The Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats UK

The most eco-friendly yoga mats are made from natural materials organically produced from sustainable sources. Some yoga mats are produced from recycled materials. Some eco-friendly yoga mats are biodegradable and others can be recycled.

Using an eco-friendly yoga mat that’s right for your practice brings a whole new dimension to your yoga practice.

Here we’ve chosen 7 best and most eco-friendly yoga mats on the market today:

  1. Elephant-Yoga Organic Cotton Yoga Mat
  2. Valka Cork Yoga Mat
  3. Jade Harmony Yoga Mat
  4. Liforme Yoga Mat
  5. Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat
  6. Plyopic Natural Rubber Yoga Mat
  7. Yogistar Wool Yoga Mat

Let’s take a closer look at these eco-friendly yoga mats, their materials, manufacturing and disposal options. We’ll also see pros and cons for each one and a reason to buy.

Elephant-Yoga Organic Cotton Yoga Mat

Material: 100% Organic Cotton

Size78 x 26 in (198 x 67cm)
Thickness3 mm
Weight1.2 kg
Designseveral colours

Organic Cotton Yoga Mat Material

Growing organic cotton keeps farmers and their families safe. They are not exposed to toxic chemicals in the field or through their food and water supply. It also means farmers grow more than one crop which supplements their food and income. (Source)

Manufacturing

Elephant yoga is GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standards Organic Cotton and Dyes). Their yoga mats are made with handwoven organic cotton from sustainable sources. Elephant yoga helps local communities in India.

Using

Indian Cotton yoga mats are the traditional mats for yoga in India. Cotton and natural materials are the best to connect you with the Earth. Sadhguru, a yogi and mystic of our time, explains it in this video.

A cotton yoga mat will last a long time and you can wash it as much as needed. So it’s perfect for outdoor use.

If you plan to do Hot Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Hatha or if you generally sweat a lot, a cotton yoga mat is still a good option. A cotton yoga mat increases its grip when wet.

You can use a cotton yoga mat for any type of yoga but it’s not as cushy as cork and natural rubber yoga mats.

If you use your cotton yoga mat on a hard polish surface, you will need a grip it pad to keep it from sliding.

Disposing

You don’t actually need to dispose of a cotton yoga mat. You can convert it into a rug or a picnic blanket. But if you decide to throw it away, it will eventually biodegrade in a landfill without releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.

PROS

  • Good for all types of yoga
  • Washable
  • Very light
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable
  • Durable

CONS

  • A bit coarse to the skin.
  • Comes in only one size, however, it’s long enough for tall people.
  • You may need an extra layer to make it cushier for your knees and joints.
  • Not great for hard flooring as it will slide so you may need to buy a “grip it pad”
  • In my experience when I did my yoga teacher training in India I found cotton yoga mats were a bit slippery on carpet flooring.

Reason to Buy

An organic cotton yoga mat is the most eco-friendly of all and is one of the lightest to carry around.

Get it now on Amazon


Valka Cork Yoga Mat

Material: Portuguese Cork (top layer) and Natural Rubber (bottom layer).

Size72 x 24 in (183 x 61cm)
Thickness3.5 mm
Weight2.4 kg
Designplain cork, elephant and chakras

While there are many other cork yoga mats. We chose this one because it has SGS certification. It uses recycled organic cork for the top layer and natural rubber for the bottom layer. Other cork yoga mats use TPE instead of natural rubber.

Valka Cork / Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Material

Cork is a natural material made from the cortex of the oak tree. It’s a renewable source that doesn’t damage the trees during its harvesting. While there are 100% Cork yoga mats, most have one side made of cork and the other one made from a different material to make them non-slippery on the floor surface.

Manufacturing

Valka yoga mat is made from recycled organic cork and natural tree rubber. The SGS certification indicates it comes from sustainable sources and it’s friendly to the environment.

The natural rubber for the bottom layer provides good insulation and cushioning. The top layer made from cork is hot-pressed into a fabric which allows maximum flexibility and will not crack.

Using

Cork is antibacterial and provides a good grip when wet. This makes it a good yoga mat material for all types of yoga including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power and Hot yoga.

According to the manufacturer, this mat will last at least 2 years of everyday practice, maybe a bit more if you look after it well.

Disposing

Cork and natural rubber will biodegrade in a landfill without producing toxic chemicals in the process. It will take between 1 to 5 years to degrade. It’s also recyclable if the facilities in your area allow it.

PROS

  • SGS Certified
  • Produced from a sustainable source
  • Good for all types of flooring
  • Good for all types of yoga
  • Antibacterial
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable

CONS

  • Only one size and thickness

Reason to Buy

Valka offers 30-day money-back guarantee and 1-year free replacement warranty.

Get it now on Amazon


Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

Material: Natural Rubber

Sizedifferent sizes
Thickness3/16 in (4.8mm)
Weight1.4 kg
Designdifferent colours

Harmony is one of Jade Yoga’s mats

JadeYoga participates in community programs and donates a small portion of their sales to cancer research, raises awareness and supports children with autism and children who suffer abuse.

Jade harmony has a range of natural rubber yoga mats in different sizes, thickness and colours. Although they don’t have special designs, their mats come in different colours.

Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Material

Natural rubber is harvested from rubber trees in South America and South Asia. It helps local communities and is biodegradable. Natural rubber yoga mats provide all the comforts of synthetic materials without toxic chemicals.

Manufacturing

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat is made from natural rubber. It’s produced in the US according to FDA standards.

JadeYoga is an American company based in the United States. They contribute to the environment by looking after the production process as well as by planting a tree every time you buy one of their yoga mats. So far they have planted 2 million trees!

Using

Natural rubber is good for all types of yoga including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin yoga, Kundalini yoga, Iyengar yoga among others. You may need to wipe and let your yoga mat dry after a sweaty practice.

A natural rubber yoga mat has a rubber smell when new, so you will need to air it out for a couple of weeks. Natural rubber yoga mats are washable, water-resistant and provide good cushioning.

Natural rubber degrades quicker when exposed to sun-light or sea-water. If you will use it for Hot yoga, it may not last as long.

Disposing

The lifespan of natural rubber is only a couple of years. Biodegradation takes up to 5 years
Recyclable if the facilities in your area allow it

PROS

  • Good for all floorings
  • Strong grip
  • Produced from a sustainable source
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable if the facilities in your area allow it

CONS

  • Degrades in a couple of years
  • Even though Jadeyoga mats are free from latex, if you have a latex allergy it’s best to choose a different material to avoid allergy sensitivities.

Reason to Buy

It’s a high-quality eco-friendly yoga mat with a strong grip and cushioning. When you buy this yoga mat, JadeYoga will plant a tree.

Get it now on Amazon


Liforme Yoga Mat

Material: EcoPU (top layer) and Natural Rubber (bottom layer)

Size73″x 27″ (185x68cm)
Thickness4mm
Weight2.5 kg
DesignAlignment Marker System

Eco-PU Yoga Mat Material

Liforme yoga mat top layer is Eco-PU and the bottom layer is Natural Rubber. Liforme invested five years of research to develop their own Eco-PU patented yoga mat material. According to Liforme study, Eco-PU will degrade in between 1 to 5 years in landfill conditions.

Manufacturing

Liforme has invested years of research to come up with their own Eco-PU patented yoga mat material. They offer a variety of colours, sizes and thicknesses.

Liforme developed an alignment design printed on the mat to help your yoga practice. They donate 5% of their sales to Friends of the Earth charity and RSPCA among others. Liforme also helps small communities in India by providing them with microloans and education to empower disadvantaged women and children.

Using

Liforme yoga mat is good for most types of yoga except hot yoga and other heated yoga practices. The lifespan of the Liforme yoga mat is reduced if used in hot and humid climates.

Disposing

Liforme yoga mat biodegrades in 1-5 years in a landfill according to their own study made by Imperial College London. It’s difficult to say whether this study is biased or not.

PROS

  • Eco-PU provides good grip
  • Alignforme system helps to perfect your asanas.
  • Biodegrades in 1-5 years in a landfill
  • Different sizes and thicknesses

CONS

  • Natural rubber has a rubber smell for a couple of weeks until it airs out.
  • The yoga mat needs to dry after a sweaty practice.
  • This yoga mat is not recommended for hot yoga or to be used in hot and humid climates.

Reason to Buy

Alignment marking system to help you perfect your asanas.

Get it now on Amazon


Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat

Material: non-Amazon harvested Natural Rubber.

Size68 x 26 in (173 x 66cm)
Thickness2.5 mm
Weight2 kg
DesignAlignment Marker System

Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Material

The eKOlite is the only Manduka yoga mat that is made of natural rubber. Not all Manduka yoga mats are eco-friendly. The Manduka PRO line is made of PVC (Source).

Manufacturing

Manduka offers 3 lines of yoga mats PRO, eKO and GRP. The PRO line is made of 100% PVC according to the company. The eKO line is made of natural rubber. Manduka has a variety of yoga mat sizes, thicknesses and designs.

The eKO Lite yoga mat has a closed-cell surface that prevents the sweat from being absorbed and the build-up of bacteria.
It’s 99% latex-free but if you are sensitive to latex we would dissuade from buying this mat.

Manduka company offers a recycling program in the United States called LiveON that aims to collect your old yoga mat of any brand when you buy one from them.

The mat is recycled into other materials and the company is intending to implement the same program in Europe.

Using

The eKO yoga mats have a good grip. They are not recommended for people with a latex allergy as natural rubber may cause sensitivity.
This yoga mat has a rubber smell that will air out in a few weeks.

The mat will degrade quicker in hot and humid environments and if exposed to sunlight. The estimated lifespan of a yoga mat made of natural rubber is about 2-3 years, but some yogis have it for longer. It depends on the practice environment and how well you look after it the mat.

Disposing

Manduka is the only company we have come across that recycles their own yoga mats and any other yoga mat if you buy a new one from them.

PROS

  • Sustainable natural tree rubber
  • Recyclable

CONS

  • Natural rubber has a rubber smell for a couple of months until it airs out.
  • Need to wipe and let to dry after each sweaty practice. It lasts only a couple of years

Reason to Buy

Wide variety of sizes, thickness and designs.
They even have a round eKO yoga mat!

Get it now on Amazon


Plyopic Natural Rubber Yoga Mat

Material: Microsuede (top layer) and Natural Rubber (bottom layer)

Size71″x 25.5″ (180x65xcm)
Thickness3.5 mm
Weight2.3 kg
DesignThere is a huge amount of designs to choose from, so it’s a matter to choose the right size and thickness for your yoga mat.

Plyopic is a small company from the UK. Plyopic uses Natural rubber and Eco-microsuede in all their yoga mats. Plyopic plants a tree for every mat sold.

Manufacturing

Plyopic yoga mat microsuede is heat bonded to the natural rubber and heat-sealed around the edges of the mat. All materials are SGS certified and non-toxic.

Natural rubber is harvested from rubber trees in South America and South Asia. Natural rubber yoga mats provide all the comforts of synthetic materials without all the toxic chemicals released to the environment.

Plyopic Eco-microsuede is made from recycled plastic bottles and treated with Eco-pure, an organic additive that causes the plastic to biodegrade in a landfill. Microsuede is coloured with water-based inks.

Using

Plyopic yoga mat has a good grip. The company assures their yoga mats are more durable and have better performance than its competitors. These yoga mats are washable, water-resistant, and provide good cushioning.

Disposing

Plyopic yoga mats have a minimum lifespan of 3 years. How long it lasts depends on how you care for it. As we’ve mentioned before, the natural rubber degrades quicker in hot and humid environments.

Natural rubber can be recycled and the Microsuede will degrade in a landfill. Both materials don’t produce toxic chemicals when biodegrading in a landfill.

PROS

  • Good grip
  • Water-resistant
  • SGS certified materials
  • Biodegradable
  • Cheaper than other competitors selling natural rubber yoga mats.

CONS

  • Natural Rubber yoga mat has a rubber smell that needs a few weeks to air out.
  • You need to wipe your Natural Rubber yoga mat and let it dry after each sweaty practice.

Reason to Buy

This yoga mat comes with a cotton yoga strap to carry your mat.
Plyopic will plant a tree in the Amazon rainforest when you buy their yoga mat. There are lots of beautiful designs on offer and cheaper than other competitors.

Get it now on Amazon


Yogistar Wool Yoga Mat

Material: Organic Sheep Wool (top layer – 95%) and Rubber (bottom layer – 5%)

Size4 different sizes: 30″ x 65″/ 71″/79″ (75 cm x 165/180/200) and 39″x 79″(100 x 200 cm)
Thickness1.5 mm
Weight1-2.1 kg
Designone design plain wool

Wool Yoga Mat Material

This is a non-Vegan yoga mat.
Wool yoga mats are not so widely available. Yogistar yoga mat is made from Organic Wool and Natural Rubber with Polyester.

Manufacturing

Yogistar is a yoga product supplier. Within their products, they have an eco-line that includes a wool yoga mat. Yogistar support community projects.

Yogistar yoga mat uses organic virgin wool from New Zealand and 5% natural rubber mixed with polyester to make it non-slippery. Yogistar assured us that the nitrosamine content in the polyester material is below the legal limit to health hazard, therefore it’s harmless.

Using

The caring for a wool yoga mat is a bit more complex than other yoga mats. You need to pay more attention to its storage as excessive humidity and temperature fluctuations will damage it. The yoga mat needs to be air out regularly.

A wool yoga mat can be great for calm types of yoga where you don’t sweat too much. Wool yoga mats can be great for Kundalini yoga, Yin yoga, Meditation and Relaxation

Disposing

The latex/polyester material will start crumbling over time, this will be an indication that it’s time to replace your yoga mat.
It biodegrades in up to 5 years. You can upcycle and convert it into another pretty item in your home or into a mat for your pet.

PROS

  • Wool is a sustainable resource, it can last a lifetime.
  • Comes from organic sheep, so no worries about animal welfare by buying this yoga mat.
  • It can be washed, but you may need some special soap or washing powder for wool fabrics and allow plenty of time for drying.
  • Upcyclable
  • Biodegradable

CONS

  • No certifications to support organic and sustainability claims

Reason to Buy

It’s soft, cushy and beautiful.

Get it now on Amazon

Conclusion

When you are doing yoga you want to know that you are caring for the environment so you can focus on your yoga practice. Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly yoga mat options to choose from. So, you can consider the environment without compromising your comfort and the quality of the mat. 

An eco-friendly yoga mat is good for the environment, but it also needs to be good for your yoga practice. So, what makes a good eco-friendly yoga mat? 

Cork and Natural rubber yoga mats usually last a couple of years with everyday practice. Cotton yoga mats will last a lot longer. Here’s an article on how to choose the best yoga mat material.

Some companies offer warranties of up to 15 years. Here’s our complete guide on how to choose an eco-friendly yoga mat.

The best yoga mat for your yoga practice depends on the type of yoga you will practice and where you are going to do it. To learn more about choosing the right yoga mat, check out this article.

A good yoga mat needs to have a strong grip, be the right size and have some cushioning and insulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to pick a yoga mat?

When choosing a yoga mat consider these:
Where you will practice yoga: home, studio, gym, beach, park…
What style of yoga are you planning to do: slow/relaxing or hard/intense

How to choose a yoga mat size?

Your yoga mat needs to be big enough for you to lay on and move around without touching the cold floor. The yoga mat should be longer than your height and wider than your shoulder.

How to choose a yoga mat material?

Yoga mats come in several types of material. Some are eco-friendly and others are not so much. Most yoga mats are made of a combination of materials: one for each side. Eco-friendly yoga mats cost a bit more.

How to choose a yoga mat thickness?

Standard yoga mat thickness is 3 – 5mm. Travel yoga mats are 1.5mm. You can also get yoga mats of 6mm and even 10mm, but the eco-friendly versions are harder to find. Thicker yoga mats are better if you are planning to practice on the stony beach or if your joints tend to complain.

How to choose yoga mat design?

You may have come across yoga mats that have different prints of mandalas, chakras and other colourful designs. Some sellers let you print your name and others have a variety of affirmations to choose from. But did you know that you can also get an alignment yoga mat? These are yoga mats with guide-lines to help you get the correct alignment for your yoga poses.

What is the best yoga mat?

The best yoga mat is the right size for your body, comfortable, cushioned, has a good grip, and environmentally friendly.

Maria Mendoza

Hi. I'm Maria. I am a yoga instructor. I've created this blog to share my knowledge and experience with people who are interested in yoga and those who want to make yoga a part of their life. Through my articles, you can learn how to begin Yoga and discover the meaning of Yoga. Learn about Asanas, Pranayamas, Mudras, Mantras and Bandhas. Start your Yoga practice today.

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