Whether you are a yoga beginner looking for your first yoga mat or an experienced practitioner looking to update your equipment, you must have realized that the offer in terms of yoga mats is very large. So which carpet to choose, which materials guarantee quality, which thickness, which covering and which composition to choose?
This article will allow you to choose a quality yoga mat, ecological and efficient, but especially that corresponds to your practice and your needs and values. We will study the ecological composition of the yoga mats available on the market and their technical characteristics.
First of all, it is important to be informed about the materials and components for environmental reasons but also for your health.
The importance of the composition of a yoga mat
At first sight on the market, you can find all types of products made with different materials and it can be difficult to find your way! So to speak, some materials are harmful and toxic (like PVC), others are recyclable or biodegradable, others are made of natural materials (cotton, cork). Therefore, it is important to choose a quality yoga mat in line with your own convictions and adapted to your profile.
For example, be sure to choose a mat made from non-toxic materials. You can also ask yourself about your allergies (if you are allergic to latex, for example, be careful not to choose rubber equipment). Otherwise, if you are sensitive to odors, find out what odors are emitted from the materials used, because to have an odorless yoga mat, you will have to turn to recyclable TPE, cotton or cork. Finally, to benefit from hypoallergenic properties, choose TPE again.
Choose a yoga mat according to your expectations
Depending on your values, your commitment, your health (allergies, sensitivity), but also your expectations in terms of performance and comfort, you will be able to orient yourself differently. It may be towards natural materials such as cotton, cork, wool, therefore ecological but less efficient and less comfortable to practice. Or choose recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials (e.g. recyclable TPE or natural rubber).
Why avoid PVC in the composition of yoga mats
PVC is a plastic-based material (43% petroleum-based) that in addition to being bad for health and the planet (not recyclable, not biodegradable) does not offer good performance for the practice of yoga. In reality, PVC carpets have a sticky texture, they smell bad (a plastic smell), although stable on the ground they are very poorly adherent and non-slip and crumble quickly, which does not make them last in time. Finally, the PVC is not dense enough to practice comfortably. So to speak, they are often thicker, but this is also because you sink more into them, and they often keep the shape of the supports. It is therefore a material that is not suitable for balancing postures in yoga, as you will lose your footing on the ground and tend to wobble in your asanas!
What is the composition of the yoga mats on the market?
The “first price” yoga mats of the big sport brands are often made of plastic and PVC, which, as seen previously, are both harmful for the planet and health and not very efficient (sticky, smelly, not sticking to the ground or rolling up on themselves…). On the contrary, at Yogom, we have chosen to offer non-toxic, recyclable (TPE recyclable) or recycled equipment, made from natural materials when possible (for example, merino wool for soft yoga such as Yin Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Meditation, Restorative Yoga, Nidra Yoga…, natural rubber). Finally, you will also find yoga mats made of 100% natural cotton or cork, but the technicality and performance of the material will be limited according to your practice.
To conclude on this point, it is important to be well informed about the composition of a product for environmental, sanitary and technical reasons.
Today, a multitude of brands and equipment are offered on the market and one can quickly get lost! On the other hand, you have the opportunity to buy and choose your quality yoga mat with a conscience by taking a closer look at the manufacturing and composition!
How do I know if a yoga mat is eco-friendly?
First, find out about the manufacture and composition, i.e.: what materials are used, is it recyclable, biodegradable, where is it made and why, why are there price differencesIs it resistant in time…? Thus, identify the the most important criteria for you. Indeed, to choose an eco-responsible yoga product implies to inquire about the places of manufacture, the sustainability in time, but also on the composition because it will impact your health! You can choose materials that are not harmful or toxic, recyclable, recycled or biodegradable (see our paragraph dedicated to the composition of mattresses). In addition, certifications are also a good indicator for you to choose an eco-friendly quality yoga mat. There are several certifications such as the GOTS (natural cotton), Oekotex standard (certifies the non-presence of certain dyes/toxic products) and SGS including latex and toxic substances). To learn more about the subjects, you can also look at this Page from Wedressfair which reviews a large number of subjects! The organic yoga mats do not exist if you are looking for a technically efficient product.
Look for transparency
Secondly, it is important to make an informed choice. Do the yoga brands you are interested in communicate transparently and are the information explicitly stated about the products? Are the prices justified? What are the social commitments in addition to theenvironmental commitment? We must not forget that sustainable development is based on several pillars: ecological, economic and social. At Yogom, we want to emphasize transparency, which is why we explain all our commitments and biases in detail on a page dedicated to our Commitments We are committed to providing you with the best possible service, and we explain in detail the composition of each of our yoga mat ranges in the video below
Look at the presentation of the yogom carpet ranges
Is there a compromise to be made when choosing a yoga mat?
You will quickly realize that finding a quality yoga mat made in France, from 100% natural materials, offering high performance technical features and at an affordable price is not an easy task! There is simply no such thing! Indeed, you will have to make compromises according to your own convictions…
What do you prefer above all?
What is most important to you? Is it the place of manufacture for thecarbon footprint related to transportation? or the materials used (non-toxic, non-harmful)…? You should know that a rubber yoga mat made in Europe will have the same carbon impact as a natural rubber product made in Asia… simply because rubber does not grow in Europe! In this case, which criterion will be more important for you: its price, its technical characteristics…? Likewise, would you prefer a toxic and harmful PVC carpet made in Europe or a natural rubber mattress made in Asia? Ultimately, all of these questions are important and you need to ask yourself about all of these aspects to make a choice and be aligned with yourself.
In conclusion, be critical and ask yourself the right questions when looking to purchase an environmentally friendly product. In a word: focus on the Transparency !
How long does a yoga mat last and at what price?
First of all, be aware that a quality yoga mat can last a long time, but rarely a lifetime! Indeed, if you practice regularly or every day, it will wear out after a few years and this is normal! On the other hand, a mattress that crumbles or is damaged after a few weeks or months is not of good quality! And there are some things that can make you think twice before buying, for example the price (with a 15€ product, don’t expect a quality product, durable, technically efficient and comfortable!) But also the composition (for example PVC is not at all durable, while natural rubber is very resistant!) Sometimes investing a minimum (a good first price for good quality is around 50€) can be more profitable, more sustainable and more eco-responsible. The Performance Yoga Mats from Yogom for example are very resistant and durable over time, with a natural rubber base and a microfiber cover.
What price ranges are there for yoga mats?
You will find yoga mats from about 20 euros to 120 euros. However, the first prices (15 euros to 30 euros) will not last long, will be slippery, will not adhere to the ground and will be damaged quickly. They will not be comfortable (thick but of low density and therefore not adapted to the postures of balance and support) and not ecoresponsible. Also, in the price, do not forget to take into account the place of manufacture, materials used and thickness. Indeed, for a good product, count minimum 50 euros. In addition, you should know that foam mats are less expensive than rubber mats and that PVC (which is to be avoided from our point of view) is less expensive than TPE. Finally, it is also possible to use the mattresses of studios and gyms and add an overlay for the hygienic side, which will be less expensive but just as effective. For example, the Travel Yoga Mat from Yogom is light, thin, very durable and made of the same materials as the Performance (however, it is only 1.5mm thick compared to the Performance’s 4mm, so it is ideal as a yoga mat or travel mat).
In conclusion, be sure to check what is behind the posted prices, and you can also take advantage of the brands’ old collections. At Yogom, check out the business corner to benefit from quality yoga mats at good prices all year round, our stocks are made up of non-renewed products, to match all budgets and to promote the development of yoga in France!
To help you in your choice, we have conducted a comparative study of yoga mats in France ! All the important criteria are studied to bring you a maximum of information and transparency (composition, adherence, dimensions, place of manufacture, price, cushioning, comfort or certifications) on 21 models. In more detail, our study compares 9 yoga brands (Yogom, Decathlon, Manduka, Chin Mudra, Yuj, Baya, Yogamatata, Liforme, EQ Love and Jade) and aims to simplify your research, giving you a summary of the main features for each yoga model among the main brands. Below, we give you a small overview of the different brands and their products, but be careful to compare similar models (e.g. Yogom’s Performance range with Baya’s Intense range) as well as Yogom’s cork mat with that of Yogamatata or Baya).
Overview of yoga mats brands in France
In a few words, Yogom is a French brand (small structure) that focuses its positioning on quality products with a clean composition, an excellent after-sales service (our priority is to satisfy you 100% and quickly!) and cheaper than its competitors. We try to develop French and European production as much as possible. For example, all the Softness range (Natural yoga mats, Bolster yoga, Zafu, Plaid, Mini knee mat…) is made in Lithuania and the other yoga accessories are mostly made in France or in Europe. On the other hand, Yogom mats are made in China because it is simply not possible to do it in Europe at the moment (no specialized factory or at exorbitant prices, in this case we would have to sell our Star yoga mat at a unit price of 250€, to give you an idea…). Moreover, as our flagship ranges (Performance, Star, Voyage) are made of natural rubber, the problem of transporting the material remains the same because the natural rubber comes from Asia and not Europe. The other yoga brands in our study are mostly French as well (except Manduka, Liforme and Jade), and produce mainly in Asia (except for the PVC equipment which is produced in Europe). Secondly, all these brands have in common that they were created by women :).
Natural rubber and microfiber yoga mats
Yogom ( Performance range ), Baya (Intense Range) and Yuj offer natural rubber products with a microfiber coating. However, the element that will allow you to compare them is the thickness(do not choose a thickness lower than 4mm to keep a certain comfort) as well as the dimensions (Yuj is smaller with 173 cm length). In addition, whether it is Yogom, Baya or Yuj, all three are made in China. On the other hand, Yogamatata offers a yoga mat with a natural rubber base but a cork cover, which may suit some people perfectly but cork remains a very particular material on which to practice (thin, little cushioning…). Yogamatata rugs are also made in China, for the same reasons as Yogom.
Yoga mats made of natural rubber and polyurethane with non-skid properties
The Star range of Yogom is the equivalent of Baya’s Power range (note that its base is made of PVC and not natural rubber, PVC being a polluting, sticky, smelly material with a low density and therefore not adapted to support and balance postures) and of the Liforme or Chin Mudra yoga mats. It is important to know that the printing technique of the motifs can differ (Yogom by laser, Liforme by printing) and does not last in the same way over time. In other words, with a laser, the design is engraved and will not move, whereas with a print, the pattern may fade over time.
Foam yoga mats
Finally, the Yomad by Yogom (made of TPE foam) can be compared to the EQ Love mat, the Soft mat by Baya (made of PVC) or the Standard mat by Chin Mudra (PVC) and the Pro mat by Manduka (PVC). These products are ideal for beginners or occasional practitioners because they are comfortable and non-slip, and less expensive to start with. Know that TPE is a recyclable, dense and light material while PVC is a poor material (it is not dense so you sink into it, it has a sticky feel and is polluting). It is also possible to compare the TPE/PVC foam mats with those of Decathlon, however, the mats of the behemoth Decathlon at low prices do not offer the same technical performance (they come off the floor, stretch and slide, polluting materials, low density, thickness not suitable for balance postures …), which are above all fitness mats
We have given you a brief overview of a few models according to certain criteria but feel free to discover all our quality yoga mats!
You now have all the keys to choose the quality, ecological and performing yoga mat that will suit you, and we hope that this article has allowed you to better understand the stakes of ecological production in the yoga world!