If you’re looking for an eco yoga mat that is durable, comfortable, and non slip, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve tried all of these yoga mats and my reviews will help you choose the right mat for you body and your practice.
Students are always asking me what yoga mat I use.
Because I’m a full-time travelling yoga teacher, I travel with the Jade Voyager travel mat (find out why by reading this). But, unless you travel full-time like I do, you’ll probably want to invest in a thicker mat that you can use at home and in the yoga studio.
(Don’t miss: My recommendations of the best travel yoga mats to take on your adventures) →
You CAN practice yoga on any mat (or with no mat), but a good mat of your own can make a huge difference to your practice.
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To me, owning your own yoga mat is about taking ownership of your own practice. Plus, only your gross, sweaty hands and feet touch it, so that’s way better than the “washed once a year” mat the studio might provide.
A good yoga mat is:
- Environmentally friendly
- Comfortable and sticky
- Durable and hard-wearing
While I’m travelling, I get to try out lots of different yoga mats. For this post, I’ve picked my favourite ones and then rated them on the criteria above. I feel totally confident recommending any of them. However, they are not all equal nor is the same mat right for everyone.
So read the reviews and pick the mat that sounds best-suited to your needs and your practice!
At the end of this post, I reveal which mat I would buy if I was buying one today. Skip ahead to see my favourite eco yoga mat!
Which is The Best Eco Yoga Mat?
JadeYoga Eco Yoga Mat
Jade Harmony, 1.8kg, 4.7mm
Mat stickiness & comfort
JadeYoga mats are soft and sticky right from the start. They are made from natural rubber and feel very different from a PVC mat — there is a little less support there but they’re also more forgiving to the touch. If you have serious issues with pain when making contact with the ground, the Jade Harmony might not provide enough cushioning for you. But for most yogis, it offers a nice balance between cushioning and connection to the ground.
The Jade Harmony comes in three lengths — 68, 71, & 74 inches — so if you need a long yoga mat you’re in luck.
Photo via JadeYoga
My very first mat was a Jade mat and though I loved it at first, it wore out within a year. That was almost a decade ago though. Current students who practice on the mat tell me that it is tougher now. You might want to steer clear if you are very rough on your mat or if you practice a LOT, but for a lighter touch, the Jade Harmony makes a great mat.
It’s also a great beginner yoga mat, since it’s less expensive than the other mats I recommend.
This is one of the original mainstream eco yoga mats. JadeYoga mats are made sustainably with natural rubber, a renewable resource that contains no PVC, EVA, heavy metals, or synthetic rubber. If you want to go all-natural with your yoga mat, JadeYoga’s mats are a great choice.
(Don’t miss: Our picks of the best eco retreats to restore your mojo) →
Manduka Eco Yoga Mats
Manduka PRO, 3.6kg, 6mm & Manduka PROlite, 1.8kg, 4.7mm
Mat stickiness & comfort
The Manduka PRO is an extra thick yoga mat, so is very cushiony. If you have lots of bony bits that stick out, or sensitive knees, the PRO is a good choice for comfort. It is also stable and non-stretchy which helps when you’re trying to really root down with your hands or feet.
If you want a grippy, non slip yoga mat, the Manduka PRO is a good one to consider.
Pro tip: I had two students in Hamburg recently who had turned their Manduka PRO mats over and used the bottom as the top. They said they find the mat slides around on the floor if it’s the “right way” up. Good tip!
Photo via Manduka
Manduka states that because the Manduka PRO is guaranteed for life, you can donate it to someone who can’t afford a mat or to your local studio should you want to buy a new mat. But there is a downside. The PRO is so rugged that if it does end up in landfill, where a lot of mats go to die, it will take eons to decompose. In my opinion that’s not ideal.
Manduka has started making a beginner yoga mat — the LiveOn — which is completely recyclable and reclaimable.
Manduka offers an extra long yoga mat option, too. At 85 inches it’s perfect for you super tall yogis out there!
Manduka are fairly open about their environmental efforts and have showed a dedication to consistently improving their line of eco yoga mats.
Though I wasn’t able to get in touch with Manduka for this post, their website states:
“As a company, we understand the impossibility of leaving no environmental footprint. But what we can commit to is 100% transparency, being clear about the decisions we make and, most importantly, where we have room to improve. We consistently strive to be better, stronger, kinder and more conscious of our actions and their global impact. Sustainability isn’t simply a story.”
Manduka now manufactures all their PRO mats with an emissions-free process. (Their other mats are made in a zero-waste facility while the LiveOn beginners yoga mat is recyclable).
The PRO mats are made from the high quality PVC and guaranteed for life.
Manduka admits that in general PVC is not environmentally friendly, as it seeps toxins into landfills. However, they strive to limit the toxins (there will always be some residual toxins, heavy metals specifically, but they are phthalate-free and latex-free) and the PRO manufacturing process is certified emissions-free.
(Did you know? You can get 30 days of free online yoga at Yogaia + Manduka where Stephen is a teacher) →
Liforme Eco Yoga Mat
Liforme Yoga Mat, 2.5kg, 4.2mm
Mat stickiness & comfort
I love the feel and stickiness of the Liforme mat. It’s comfortable, forgiving, and the surface just feels good under my hands and feet. It is a totally no slip yoga mat and doesn’t take any time to wear in — it’s sticky right from the start. Plus, the patterns printed on the surface of the mat are a huge help with alignment. I really love the ability to see so clearly how my hands and feet line up. Practicing on this mat is a great experience all around.
If you need a big yoga mat, the Liforme Yoga Mat is a little bigger than most, at 73 inches long and 27 inches wide.
Photo via Liforme
There’s a fine balance when it comes to mat durability. You want it to last for several years of practice, because buying a new mat frequently causes extra manufacturing waste and more landfill. However, you don’t want it to exist long after humans have left the planet.
The company was very responsive when I reached out to them to ask about their mats.
“We are proud of how durable the material is, even though they are clearly not meant to last a lifetime. That should be a selling point, not the other way round. Once discarded, all the materials we use in our Liforme mat will degrade within a few years in normal soil conditions,” Liforme founder James Armitage told me.
Before launching their revolutionary ethical yoga mat onto the world, Liforme did years of research into the best practices, and sourcing the best (for the environment and for use in a hot, sweaty yoga environment) materials. They created close partnerships with manufacturers and created one of the most environmentally friendly yoga mats on the market.
“The main thing is the biodegradability of the mat and the issues with certain other mats. For me, this is the single biggest ‘ethical con’ out there. Those very heavy duty PVC materials, apart from being potentially harmful, take far too long to degrade when they end up (as they inevitably will) in landfills. Those materials can take thousands of years to degrade (and they’re not doing any good for the soil/earth during the process),” Armitage told me.
P.S. Lots of people think it’s called the Lifeform yoga mat, but that’s putting the “e” in the wrong place!
(Don’t miss: Our guide to the best destinations for yoga travel) →
lululemon athletica Yoga Mat
The Reversible Mat, 2.4kg, 5mm / 1.76kg, 3mm
Mat stickiness & comfort
Though I know plenty of Hatha students who practice on lululemon mats, they are not ideal for everyone. They seem to be designed for hot yoga or really sweaty people. When they’re new, they start out pretty sticky, but after a lot of use, you might find yourself slipping around if you don’t sweat enough. Jane had to actually start pouring water on her lululemon mat to make it sticky enough to practice on.
Photo via lululemon
The lululemon reversible mat is a bit of a beast, though the lighter 3 mm version is more manageable. It’s thick and heavy and made from polyurethane, so will last you for a long time. However, the loss of stickiness is a problem for some students. Also, the light colours tend to get dirty and stained over time — so if this is going to bother you, make sure to choose black or another dark colour.
Though I made enquiries, lululemon never got back to me about their environmental policies and, compared to the other manufacturers on this list, they are far less open about their environmental practices.
The only thing I could really find out was a few blurbs on their website.
“lululemon is committed to sustainable business practices, including a focus on eliminating waste by removing anything that does not add value to our company, our guests, and our community.” Laurent Potdevin, lululemon CEO, 2015
The company also has a published Vendor Code of Ethics that states, among many other items, that vendors “must continuously work towards mitigating negative environmental impacts in daily operations.” Who knows how good the company is at enforcing these rules but it’s nice they have them, and post them.
But without more information, I don’t feel comfortable using the term “eco yoga mats” to describe the lululemon mats. I won’t consider buying another lululemon mat unless they become more transparent about their environmental impact.
Any Cheap Yoga Mat
The $5-15 mat at your local TK / TJ Maxx / Winners or other discount retailer is also an option if you’re on a tight budget. These mats are usually made of cheap, questionable material, so keep that in mind. You’ll be putting your bare skin on the mat several times a week, so you don’t want it to be made with toxic material.
And of course, the harm to the environment from this kind of “disposable” mat is terrible.
Keep in mind, too, that cheap mats start to disintegrate really quickly, so the money you “save” initially will likely get sucked up by buying new mats every few months.
And the Best Eco Yoga Mat is…
If money and weight weren’t deciding factors for me, the Liforme Yoga Mat would be my mat right now.
Every time I have tried out a Liforme yoga mat I have found it really supportive. I feel stable, yet mobile, the mat is sticky, and the alignment lines are a great idea. Plus the work the company has done to create the most environmentally and ethically sound mat they can is fantastic. I would love to practice on this every day.
If you decide to invest in this mat, I hope you love it as much as I do.
(Don’t miss: If you need a travel yoga mat, check out my favourites here →)
Just one final reminder. No matter what mat you use, the important thing is to practice. Even the best mat won’t help you if it stays rolled up in the corner of your living room. Plus, a mat you buy and never use is the least eco-friendly option of all!
So unroll your mat, stop, drop, and yoga!
Do you practice on one these mats? Do you recommend one that’s not on this list? Why do you love it (or hate it)? We’d love to hear your answers in the comment section below.
♥ Happy mindful adventures, Stephen & Jane
It’s easy to help us keep this blog going! Some of the links in this post are our personal affiliate links. If you book or buy something using one of the links in this post we’ll earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Of course we would never recommend anything we didn’t 100% believe in! Huge thanks in advance! –S&J