An Expert's Guide to Choosing the Best Yoga Mat Material for You

An Expert's Guide to Choosing the Best Yoga Mat Material for You

There are many different materials that comprise a yoga mat and it is important to choose the right one for you.

Choosing the best material for your needs will depend on your personal preference, as well as what type of practice you are doing. Below is a quick overview of each option and the benefits of each type.

Material for Top of Yoga Mats

What is natural Cork?

The Cork is an eco-friendly mat both practical and ethical for yoga enthusiasts of all levels. Cork is a renewable resource taken from cork trees which regenerate surprisingly fast. The trees are not cut down for harvest, but rather, the bark is harvested and used in the yoga mats.

There are two main types of cork yoga mats: cork + rubber, and cork + TPE.

  • Cork is both recyclable and biodegradable. 
  • Cork, by nature, is antimicrobial. 

What is AliceTod eco-friendly PU?

Polyurethane (PU) is a much greener alternative to PVC in production and after-care. Our unique eco-friendly PU does not require the same highly toxic chemical plasticizer and is degradable over time. It has incredibly high-performance qualities, has the ultimate grip, and is breathable which is why we use it as the top of our yoga mats over the natural rubber non-slip base.

Material for Bottom of Yoga Mats

What is biodegradable TPE?

Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE), known as thermoplastic rubber, is a copolymer class or a mix of polymers. The TPE material is eco-friendly, non-toxic, recyclable, and has better elasticity than PVC. TPE materials are usually used at the bottom of yoga mats

Our TPE material is biodegradable which is a perfect environmental choice for everyone who practices yoga.

The TPE is nice if you have allergies.

What is natural Rubber?

Natural rubber is probably the best material option there is for yoga mats, and has been in the market for a very long time; longer than foam and PVC. The rubber for these mats is derived from natural rubber trees and is very easily biodegradable. 

Note that this should not be confused with synthetic industrial-grade rubber. Natural rubber as a material is composed of organic polymers, a few other organic impurities, and water.

Pros of Natural Rubber Yoga Mats
  • The rubber mats have the minimum environmental threat. So if being eco-friendly is important to you, this can be your go-to mat.
  • The rubber mats are dense, heavy, and have a very firm grip.
  • Naturally hard yet flexible rubber provides a great cushion, and can even break fall impacts.
  • The natural rubber mats are high on durability as well; truly returning you your money’s worth.
  • High tensile strength, reduces tearing.
Cons of Natural Rubber Yoga Mats
  • The biggest drawback of natural rubber yoga mats is their price. The price is quite high when compared to its alternative material.
  • Natural rubber mats can be thick, heavy, and have a strong smell. These could add up to a negative superficial user experience. However, this cannot be considered a general drawback, as not all practitioners will find these qualities to be negative.
  • Thick and heavy rubber mats can be difficult to handle and travel with. However, you will find ultra-thin rubber mats in the market that have easy handling.
  • Building upon the previous point, ultra-thin rubber mats compromise considerably on durability. So eventually, you will have to make a choice between durability and portability.

Why we don't use PVC?

PVC is a type of plastic that is often used in the manufacturing of yoga mats. However, it's not the best option for this application because it is not environmentally friendly and poses health risks to people who use it.

PVC is a type of plastic that can be manufactured cheaply and easily, which makes it an attractive choice for manufacturers. PVC does not biodegrade, and as a result, when these yoga mats are disposed of they will just sit in landfills for decades or centuries to come.

It also poses health risks to people who use them because PVC contains phthalates which have been linked to cancer and reproductive issues.

Take Away

Yoga mats are an integral part of any yoga practice. They provide a clean, non-slip surface on which to practice, and they also absorb sweat and moisture.

There are many different types of yoga mat materials on the market today. The type you choose will depend largely on your personal preference and the type of yoga that you practice.

Choosing the right mat material can be difficult because there are so many options available. There is no one size fits all option for mats, but these are some general guidelines to help you choose the best mat for you.

Please comment below if you have any suggestions for us, we would love to hear from you.