Choosing a Yoga Mat

It is important to understand that all good quality brands are manufactured based on years of experience and market feedback. The industry continues to fine tune their products to find the perfect balance between optimal grip and lifespan.

The different materials used to manufacture mats are probably the most important point to consider. In recent years there has been a major move away from PVC mats towards products that are more environmentally friendly and healthy. 

These different materials all offer their own unique properties.

PVC mats have been popular because their chemical composition makes them incredibly durable and cheap. Chances are, if a mat claims to have a lifetime warranty or above average lifespan it is made from PVC.  The downside to this is that most PVC products contain toxins, heavy-metals and chlorides. PVC also presents a major threat to the environment. Just because a label says "Toxin free" does not mean it is healthy or environmentally friendly.  If you think this alarmist please follow the link below for a detailed Greenpeace report;

Greenpeace Link

Natural rubber has been used for its anti-slip properties the world over and continues to be a sustainable, natural alternative to plastics. Due to the high cost of natural materials the yoga mat industry has also embraced newer synthetic alternatives that have similar properties to natural rubber but that are more affordable. The most popular of these is TPE which combines the characteristics of rubber with the recyclable and processing advantages of plastics.

So in making a choice you need to know that;

PVC is virtually indestructible and it's cheap, which is appealing for many cost conscious consumers but at the same time carries a huge environmental footprint. It cannot decompose, produces toxic gas if burnt and has the worst recyclable properties of any plastic.

Eco friendly alternatives cost more to manufacture and will have to be replaced more regularly. However they offer superior traction, tactile feedback and strong eco friendly credentials.

Your mat, your world, your choice...