Eco-friendly Yoga Mat: Cork vs TPE vs PVC

June 16, 2021

Common materials for yoga mats are PVC, TPE, rubber, etc. From my own experience that there are 3 key points for choosing a yoga mat. The first is safety, the second is comfort, and the last thing which everyone is paying more and more attention to is whether the material is environmentally friendly or not. Today, we will compare them based on material, price, durability, and performance.

See into the table below, you may have an overall view of yoga mat types.

Item 

CORK

TPE

PVC 

Cost

⭐⭐⭐⭐

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Softness 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Slip Resistance 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Resilience

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Clean Hardness

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Eco friendly 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Price

Generally, the price of TPE material is lower, and the price of rubber or cork material is more expensive. You can choose according to your budget.

Security

Unless you are going to a restorative class or an elementary yoga class, you will definitely sweat at some point. Compared to slippery, hard wood and tiles, a good yoga mat is your best friend, and help you avoid slipping. Even if you accidentally fall, the huge cushion can protect you from a heavy fall. For this situation, a TPE yoga mat or, or in the case of a hot session, a PVC is recommended.Eco-friendly TPE yoga mat

Which material is good? 

The material of the yoga mat is the most basic choice, because the material will determine:

The service life of the yoga mat;

Whether the yoga mat is environmentally friendly;

Whether it can be recycled;

How good is the grip when the surface of the mat is wet/dry;

How easy it is to clean the mat;

Cork Yoga Mat 

The cork yoga mat is a combination of tree bark and natural rubber or TPE (as a base). Cork is a good environmentally friendly material: renewable, biodegradable, and natural antibacterial. But the most interesting part of the cork yoga mat is: the wetter the surface, the better the grip-because it has better water absorption. On the other hand, due to its high water absorption, cork yoga mats may be more difficult to clean. Advantages of yoga mats: environmentally friendly and renewable materials, cork yoga mats have certain antibacterial properties, which are very suitable for yoga lovers with sweaty palms. 

Disadvantages: heavy, more difficult to clean, and cork mats sometimes chip and fall off.

TPE Yoga Mat

TPE is a synthetic material that combines the qualities of rubber and plastic pads. Like PVC, there are many chemical components in the production process, but the output material itself can be recycled and will not cause harm to the environment.

PVC Yoga Mat

Yoga mats made of PVC (vinyl) (also called foam mats) were the first to appear on the market, and they are still one of the most mainstream choices. Because this kind of mat is cheap, very durable, and easy to clean. PVC is a non-environmentally friendly material that cannot be recycled, and it may be potentially harmful to your health. Yoga mats made of PVC may contain lead, cadmium.


Hope you have an overall view of eco-friendly yoga mats, cork, TPE, and PVC.