If you’re looking for a great yoga mat, you’re probably thinking of looking for one in terms of thickness, durability, grip, texture, and stickiness. But have you ever considered adding eco-friendly materials to your checklist? Year after year, humans release loads of harmful chemicals into the air just by using plastic. By looking for alternatives to items that are commonly made from plastic, we do our part in helping keep our earth a beautiful place to live in. And yes, that includes choosing the right eco-friendly yoga mat.

Most yoga mats are made from PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. And if you’re wondering why, that’s because this material is relatively easy to source and therefore cheaper compared to eco-friendly alternatives. You’ve probably heard a lot about PVC when talking about pipes. PVC mats are generally soft and pliable because of the added phthalates, but studies show that this key component has major health and environmental drawbacks.

For example, research shows that exposure to phthalates increases the risk of serious hormonal imbalance. Not only that, researchers have found that phthalates are also a major culprit in polluting landfills and sewers.

The bottom line: Stay away from plastic yoga mats!

Really, there are products out there that support your health and wellness goals without trashing the only planet we call home. In fact, here’s a short list of our favorite picks from Amazon for eco-friendly yoga mats:

Gaiam Yoga Mat

Gaiam yoga mats are on the top of our list for good reason. It’s functionality and sustainability at its best. These mats are extra thick at over a quarter of an inch in thickness, making it ideal for people who need extra cushioning for their knees and joints when doing yoga. It’s also great for those who are into intense yoga positions as these mats are non-slip, giving excellent traction and added safety to users.

What we love the most about Gaiam yoga mats is that it uses materials that do not harm the environment. It is free of the six most toxic phthalates and instead makes use of eco-friendly alternatives to manufacture it. The wide range of surface designs you can choose from to express your personal style is really just more of a bonus.

What other users are saying about it on Amazon:

  • It does not slip and has a nice grip to it. I have absolutely no complaints and am quite happy with it. Plus it’s a bit thicker than regular mats which helps my aging body a lot on wood floors. It lies completely flat on the floor and the color is pretty and much like what my monitor depicted. Go ahead and buy it!
  • Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase. If you are new to yoga and don’t know what to do like me, this mat provides great support with its thickness and it has gorgeous print on it. Highly recommend.
  • This is a really nice mat, good size and I especially love the thickness. So much better having this extra padding on a wooden studio floor. The design is really lovely and overall I really like it. It’s very comfortable and doesn’t move at all on the floor.
  • This was my first yoga mat and I am very happy with it. The quality of the mat is great. It’s made by a well known and trusted name in the industry.
  • It wasn’t slippery at all, right out of the packaging. I love the variety of patterns, and it comes true to the picture. It’s also thick enough that I don’t hurt myself doing yoga.

Manduka Pro Yoga Mat

Made only from materials that do not harm the environment and are perfectly safe for you and your family and pets, Manduka yoga mats are among the finest quality mats you’ll find on the market today. It’s stylishly simple and elegant and at the same time durable. One of the few brands that actually offer a lifetime warranty for a mat that will never fade, peel, or flake over time. Plus, it’s been crafted with the planet in mind and made only in an emission-free facility.

Its closed-cell design for the surface ensures that you don’t have to worry about the mat absorbing your sweat and giving off a foul odor because of it. The mat measures 71” x 26”, making it relatively wider than the usual yoga mats you’ll find on the market. And, it comes with a thickness of 6mm, perfect for those who need extra protection for their knees and joints when doing yoga.

What users are saying about it on Amazon:

  • It is the best mat ever because it is not slippery or slick during yoga in any way and it looks great because it is obviously very tough and will last forever. My other grippier mats that came that way out of the box now look terrible while the Manduka Pro still looks like it is new and it is a year and a half later.
  • This is one heavy-duty solid mat. It looks tough. It feels tough. It is tough. The mat is dense and feels extremely firm with all my poses. I feel more grounded when using the mat compared to my old generic soft 1/4 inch thick mat. The extra 2 inches width and 14 inches length is greatly appreciated as well. The extra room is helpful when moving about the mat and staying focused holding a pose.
  • No matter how many years I have left on this Earth, I will be dead before this mat wears out. This mat and the roaches may be the only things to survive the Apocalypse. Good God, is this a durable mat.
  • It’s comfortable but it’s not at all soft or squishy, it’s a very firm stable support. I’m so glad I decided to take the plunge and get a quality mat, it is so enjoyable I find myself doing even more yoga than ever almost every single day. The surface looks as perfect as when I got it. It unrolls perfectly after the first few months, with the weight and flipping over to roll it topside out from the feet first everytime it completely flat whenever I take it out.
  • I went back and forth between buying a Manduka Pro or getting another mat that doesn’t need to be broken in. I am happy I took the plunge and bought the Pro. This mat is fantastic and I love that it has a lifetime warranty and is latex free.

TOPLUS Yoga Mat

This TOPLUS yoga mat has just undergone an upgrade you’re sure to love. It now uses premium TPE material, which means that while it now costs more than its previous version, you can be assured that the mat is 100% eco-friendly. It’s designed to be reversible, which means you’ll feel the stickiness on both sides of the mat. While too much stickiness might feel uncomfortable to the skin, this one is just right and does wonders in helping you stabilize yourself as you transition between and execute different yoga poses.

It’s also lightweight without compromising the overall quality of the mat. The dual-layer feature contributes greatly to its durability, along with its tearproof design. And because it comes with a thickness of 6mm, you can comfortably do yoga even on hard floors. No need to worry about getting a knee injury or hurting your joints because of the hard floor. The whole mat measures 72” x 24”, making it even longer than the usual yoga mats. It also comes with a one-year warranty.

What other users are saying about it on Amazon:

  • I love this mat for the thick padding on our wood flooring. It gives my body the support it needs. It’s not hard to pivot your feet or slide your hands going from one pose to the next, in fact it makes it easier having durability and the stickiness to keep you in place. This mat is easy to wipe down and roll up, doesn’t take up space and it’s lightweight. 
  • I LOVE this mat! It has a perfect amount of padding for yoga on a hardwood floor. Much better than my other mat. The quality seems very high for the price. I didn’t really notice a smell when I opened the package. I unrolled it and left it out overnight. It flattens out beautifully. This is a great yoga mat for my practice!
  • So far so good. This mat is DESIGNED to be biodegradable and break down over time (hence the “Eco Friendly”). I’ll update this post with how long that takes. Stays in place, it’s the right thickness for me. It’s surprisingly looong. Still happy though.
  • I bought this mat after going a few times to yoga with a thinner mat. The extra thickness made a world of difference. I can sit and be on my knees comfortably now. Balancing is slightly harder on this mat but worth it to me. I recommend getting this mat.
  • This mat from Toplus, on the other hand, is definitely a better quality mat compared to what I’ve had. It’s made of high density foam which gives me a feeling of good quality mat with durability but not heavy to carry around. It comes with the shoulder strap for ease of carrying it around.

Aurorae Premium Yoga Mat

Aurorae yoga mats come in two types – classic and printed, both made from natural materials such as cork, so you don’t have to worry about one more plastic mat adding to the pollution. The mat has been tested and proven safe for humans and animals as it has no phthalates or Phenols. Plus, it’s latex-free, which is good especially for those who are allergic to latex.

 It comes at a dimension of 72” x 24”, making it suitable especially to those who have larger body frames. And, it’s 5mm thick too—just the right amount of thickness for comfort and your safety without compromising quality. These mats promise to be odorless and lightweight, making it the ultimate choice for those who usually do yoga with a group.

What other users are saying about it on Amazon:

  • Even with sweaty hands and feet I get a good grip and rarely slip. Finding how to distribute your weight and find stability is all part of yoga practice! This mat is my little yoga home wherever I take it. I find unrolling it and stepping on it almost magical- I relax and start to breathe and let go of stress!
  • After reading so many positive reviews about this line, I felt compelled to give it a try. It was such a good decision. This is the perfect mat! Although I still use a mat towel during my hot & bikram practices, this mat has great grip and is adequately padded. I feel completely secure on the floor and can really focus on my poses rather than worrying about slipping. The mat had zero odor. I would definitely purchase again.
  • I purchased this in November 2013, and I’m still using it: no problems, no wear and tear. I have hip problems, among other things, that mean a hardwood floor is pretty uncomfortable on its own. This mat is plenty thick and cushioned, and I don’t ever get up due to discomfort. I’ve used it on both wood floors and carpet, and it worked equally well on both. I’m very pleased with how it doesn’t slide. Between that and the cushioning, I feel very stable.
  • I got this mat to use with P90X (and more recently P90X3), and it performs very well both as a yoga mat and a jump mat for the plyometric routines. It has a good non-slip texture (no slipping issues even during intense routines), and just enough give to be supportive but not overly thick. Would definitely buy again.
  • Great yoga mat. I’ve only been doing yoga a little over a year, but for a new person to it, this is the only mat I need. I got this after a lot of research as my first yoga mat. The padding is easy for the knees, it’s nice and long, provides good grip for my hatha yoga and is so lovely.

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

This is everything you’ll ever look for in a yoga mat. At 3/16” thick, it’s got just the right thickness, which means it’s not too soft but at the same time not hard on the knees, back, and joints. It’s got a superior level of traction, primarily because these mats are not made from PVC or any other synthetic material but rather are made from natural rubber. So this one’s a good choice if you are doing some really intense yoga postures.

And here’s a bonus feature—for every Jade Harmony Yoga Mat you purchase, Jade will plant a tree. So far, they’ve already planted over a million trees since they started doing this last 2006.

What other users are saying about it on Amazon:

  • I’ve been using Jade Yoga mats since 2012 when doing heated Vinyasa upwards of 10 hours a week. I tried every other “sticky” mat out there, but when you’re in 100+ degree rooms doing a 90 minute flow and sweating, Jade mats are the only ones that will keep you from slipping.
  • This mat, while similar in thickness to my old one, provides me with more support. It also doesn’t move around on the floor. Although I tend to sweat, I feel that I have more grip, so that I’m not slipping in downward dog. So far, so good.
  • I work with a lot of jump-throughs, arm balances and other precarious poses requiring serious grip of my mat, and I just love how secure and confident I feel on the Jade Harmony. It’s nice to be able to do things like jumping into bakasana from down dog without worrying if your hands are going to slide out from under you! I have to get insanely sweaty to feel even the slightest hint of slipperiness.
  • The grip is phenomenal! This mat has definitely allowed me to take my head and handstands to a new level. The cushion on the mat is pretty minimal, and perfect for balance poses. It is not too hard on my knees either because of the slight spring it provides since it is rubber.
  • This is a really great mat, well worth the hefty price tag