Yoga mats come in various different materials. Different types of yoga mats come with their respective pros and cons.
What’s the right yoga mat for you – it depends on what you value.
There are 3 things every yoga mat should be. The first is comfortable for you to be on. A yoga mat should be warm on the floor. It should also have decent grip. You don’t want to be slipping around, falling down in precarious positions, or putting yourself at risk of a serious injury.
Here are the best yoga mats in Canada and the materials they’re made from.
PVC yoga mats
PVC, aka polyvinyl chloride, is a type of plastic. It is the most common type of yoga mat.
PVC is a very toxic material to be making yoga mats out of but nonetheless, it is the case. Why PVC is popular is because it is cheap, carries a decent grip, is easy to wash, and has a long life.
TPE, aka thermoplastic elastomers, is a type of yoga mat that is similarly plastic however is less polluting than its PVC counterpart.
TPE yoga mats have excellent insulation from the floor, are portable, lightweight, and antibacterial, along with being relatively cheap and easily washable.
NBR yoga mats
NBR is nitrile butadiene rubber yoga mats. They are toxic and are prone to degrading over time.
Although cheap and available in various thicknesses, you’re once again relying on a non-recyclable material that’s only going to pollute after you’re done with it.
Jute yoga mats
Jute is a type of natural plant fibre. It is one of the most common plant fibres produced in the world, predominantly done out of Bangladesh and India.
Jute yoga mats are half-jute and half-PVC. They are therefore less damaging to the environment but can still carry some plastics in design. The downside to jute is that it can also be coarse on the skin.
Cork is the highest quality yoga mat you can get. Cork yoga mats are made from a totally renewable material, is the most eco-friendly material to make a yoga mat out of, and when combined with biodegradable rubber on the underside is the best you can buy.
Cork is impermeable, elastic, bacteria growth-resistant, recyclable, fire retardant, durable, and has a great grip! The only disadvantage is the upfront cost can be a little bit more expensive than synthetic mats a la PVC, TPE, and NBR.
Other Types of Yoga Mats
There are many other types of yoga mats though to a lesser degree. There are wool yoga mats that will last a lifetime. Organically-produced cotton yoga mats are on the rise, as are natural rubber yoga mats which is made from the sap of rubber trees. All in all, you’ve got a lot of interesting possibilities when it comes to what yoga mats to buy.