Your yoga mat should be safe and comfortable place to sweat and stretch, but if you’re trying to find an option that’s also good for the planet, you'll have to do a little digging. The best eco-friendly yoga mats are made with materials that do minimal harm to the environment, like natural tree rubber, cork, jute, or recyclable thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). Plus, some offer helpful features like alignment lines or extra thickness to cushion your joints.
Natural materials such as cork, jute, and tree rubber (not to be confused with synthetic rubber) are renewable and biodegradable options, and they're definitely your best bet if you want to avoid plastics. Keep in mind that these eco-sustainable materials tend to have a little less give than synthetics, but generally, their natural surface texture will give you adequate grip. That being said, natural tree rubber will likely offer the most grip of the three, while jute will offer the least — so it's perfect if you're up for a challenge. Cork is also on the smoother end of the spectrum, but gets grippier when you sweat, making it a great option for hot yoga or intense flows.
If you want something that has the give and grip of a standard mat, however, know that certain synthetics are better for the planet than others. Your best bet is probably TPE, which is recyclable. Of course, it's made from a non-renewable fossil petroleum, so it's not at the top of the list as far as eco-friendly materials go.
Last, you might want to consider alignment lines to help you get your poses right, or an extra-thick mat that cushions your joints. (Keep in mind that thicker mats can make balancing poses a little harder.) With all that in mind, the best eco-friendly yoga mats below are designed to suit a range of preferences, so you can find one that complements your practice perfectly.
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