Not all yoga mats are created equal. Some are more environmentally friendly; others are more durable. When searching for the perfect yoga mat to do your business, you have to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of the many types available, and factor in such elements as ease of care and cleaning like a terminal consumer.
As everyone knows, there are several common yoga mats on the market, including TPE/PVC/NBR/Jute/Cork/Natural Rubber/EVA yoga mat. Let’s get to learn the difference of yoga mat materials.
TPE YOGA MAT
Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. Thermoplastic elastomers show advantages typical of both rubbery materials and plastic materials and can be recycled and reused which do no harm to environment after discarding.
TPE yoga mat is mainly composed by Thermoplastic elastomers and other material closed-cell foamed under high temperature which makes it anti-microbial and easy to clean.
TPE yoga mats offer the best of several worlds. They’re lightweight, resist the growth of bacteria and are both recyclable and somewhat biodegradable. Marketed as a more Earth-friendly alternative than NBR and PVC, TPE is soft yet durable, making it a great choice for anyone searching for the perfect yoga mat.
Disadvantages to TPE include the fact that while it contains no PVC or latex, it’s still manufactured using heat and chemical processes. It’s also still a synthetic product. TPE is often used in yoga mats that combine materials. It may serve as the bottom layer of a mat that’s crafted mainly from cork or cotton fabric, for instance. And mats made from TPE are typically quite affordable. TPE mats are easy to clean and care for as well, simply spray with an organic
PVC Yoga Mat
PVC yoga mat is made of PVC resin powder and anti-tearing fiber open-cell foamed under high temperature. Open-cell technology means the mat retains sweat (good for gripping, but bad for bacteria) and oils, but making it more difficult to clean.
Mats made from PVC have several advantages. Manduka, one of the most popular manufacturers of professional yoga mats, uses high-density PVC. These types of mats are often noted for their thick cushioning, resistance to moisture and non-skid coatings. They score high on comfort and functionality, but at the same time, they’re deceptively easy to clean. Additionally, they hold up exceptionally well.
NBR Yoga Mat
Nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) is from butadiene and acrylonitrile by emulsion polymerization method. NBR mainly uses the low-temperature emulsion polymerization production. This material’s oil resistance, heat resistance and elasticity are very nice.
NBR stands for nitrile butadiene rubber. Mats made of NBR are crafted of a synthetic type of rubber that’s not naturally harvested, but rather manmade. NBR mats are popular among those who practice yoga because they tend to be the thickest, most comfortable mat. Squishy, durable and typically well-padded, NBR mats are also among some of the more affordable ones on the market.
JUTE Yoga Mat
Jute is a natural vegetable plant that takes only 45 months to grow to maturity, making it a sustainable resource. Jute cleans the air by consuming carbon dioxide, and the leaves are a natural soil conditioner. It’s clearly a smart and naturally beautiful choice for a cleaner and safer environment.
Jute mat also known as linen mat or hemp mat is two-in-one yoga mat. Made from combination of natural jute fiber and eco pvc. The fiber of a jute plant keeps you in place due to Polymer Environmental Resin (PER), a nontoxic material. This mat’s unique look and feel are created by meshing jute fibers with patented PER, which is phthalate-free and safer for workers during manufacturing.
This kind of material mat is very eco-friendly. Jute yoga mat is both recyclable and biodegradable. It’s a natural product that’s safe to use, and it has great staying power. Jute can be a bit scratchy, however, unless it’s combined with another, more skin-friendly material.
CORK/PU Yoga Mat
Cork yoga mat made by the PU material of cork texture and the bottom of TPE or Natural rubber material. This mat is a combination of incredible slipperiness and great environmental protection. Countless yogis have converted to cork for its persistent non-slip surface, even during the sweatiest hot yoga. Yogis will never have to use a towel during hot yoga practice.
Cork is environmentally friendly because it’s an exceptionally renewable resource. Cork mats are exceptionally grippy, making them perfect for yoga. And because they’re made of natural products, cork won’t off-gas harsh chemicals. Cork is also exceptionally durable, hence the higher price tag.
Natural Rubber Yoga Mat
Natural rubber mats are made sustainably with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, a renewable resource and unlike other mats contains EVA or other synthetic rubber. In a sense, natural rubber mat is everything a yogi want in a yoga mat – eco-friendly, incredible grip and great comfort. This mat also has antimicrobial properties that help keep it clean.
Natural rubber mats are crafted of natural rubber — a fully sustainable and easily renewable source. Extracted from the rubber tree that grows in parts of central and South America, these mats are durable, but they’re also heavy and take a long time to dry out if they get wet. Rubber is comfortable on the body, however, and makes the perfect surface on which to perform yoga. If you’re someone who’s allergic to latex, however, rubber could cause an allergic reaction.
EVA Yoga Mat
Ethylene-vinyl acetate makes up the EVA yoga mat. It’s a synthetic material that’s both lightweight and resistant to cracking. EVA yoga mats are moisture-resistance and easy to wipe clean after your session. Thinner versions may tend to stretch a bit, however, as you work out.
There is no denying that EVA still contains chemicals and odors that can be undesirable. Widely used in the construction of flip flops, EVA is also used in many types of floor mats, including those used in gyms and schools. If you’ve ever purchased those puzzle-like pieces of foam mat at the toy store, you’ve probably encounted EVA foam. It’s soft and pliable, but may become flat and less serviceable with frequent use.