Is your yoga mat toxic? (Plus 3 safer options)

I don’t need to tell you about the many benefits working a yoga routine into your life will bring you. Personally, yoga not only helps me tone my muscles and stretch out, it also helps with my anxiety and ability to focus.

That was until I read an article about the toxic chemicals that go into commercial yoga mats. And suddenly, that was all I could focus on. According to the report, and many others since then, most yoga mats are made from polyvinyl chloride – or PVC, one of, if not the most toxic plastic to both humans and the environment.



PVC contains Bisphenol-A (BPA) which is a carcinogenic endocrine receptor. And according to an Toxtown report, simply touching PVC can expose your to these chemicals.

I thought about all the times I would lay on my mat, sweating, open pores, exposing myself to the many harsh chemicals in my or my gym’s yoga mats.

Were there safer alternatives? Absolutely.

1.) Ajna Eco Organic Yoga Mat


This is the yoga mat I purchased and absolutely love it and the packaging it came in.

From the company: Ajna Eco Organic Yoga Mat – Natural Jute Yoga Mats – Large Non Slip – Reversible Jute PER – Carrying Strap – Extra Long Yoga Mat 72 Inch – 5mm – All Yoga – Vegan.

Price: $49.95


2.) Manduka Mat Pro

41bHuy+e3PL._SL250_From the company:  Manduka Mat Pro  Yoga Mat – Premium 6mm Thick Mat, Eco Friendly, Oeko-Tex Certified, Chemical Free, High Performance Grip, Ultra Dense Cushioning for Support and Stability in Yoga, Pilates, Gym and Fitness

Price: $112.74 – $299.99


3.) Lush Valley Lifestyle


From the company: LUSH VALLEY LIFESTYLE | Premium Cork Yoga Mat for Everyday Use | Non-Slip Extra Grip for Hot Yoga | 100% Natural Cork & Rubber | Odor | Long/Wide/Thick for Knees | 71″x26″

Price: $109.95


These yoga mats certainly cost double, if not quadruple the price of regular PVC yoga mats, but they are much safer. I opted for the less expensive of the three, and I love it. It’s significantly better quality than any cheap PVC mat I’ve used – both at home and in the gym – and it makes me feel a lot better about laying on it.


What you can do with a PVC yoga mat:

If you’re like me, doing yoga on my old PVC yoga mat didn’t make me feel comfortable anymore. And being comfortable and able to relax is a significant aspect of yoga. However, despite what many websites say, recycling your yoga mat might not be possible.

Here are some alternative uses:

Transport protection: I use my old PVC yoga mat to wrap big items when I travel. For example, when we go skiing, we wrap our ski yoga mat for travel. Yoga mats do a great job preventing items from being scratched or scuffed in transit.

Make flip flops from an old yoga mat:




HuffPost: What’s The Difference Between A Cheap Yoga Mat And An Expensive One?

Is your yoga mat bad for the environment?


Image sources:,


Disclosure statement: I am not directly affiliated with any of the companies listed on this page. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases if accessed from this site. As always, use Amazon as a last resort to buy the items necessary to prevent future waste. For more information, check out 5 Zero Waste Shopping Tips


  1. Was thinking about getting a yoga mat last week and ran into this post. My order of the Ajna came in a couple days ago and I’m very pleased with it! No discernible toxic smells. I also like the simplicity of the carrying strap.


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