The best cork yoga mat

From bestreviews.com
By
Ana Sanchez
BestReviews

Cork yoga mats are nontoxic to the body and safe for the environment.

In recent years yoga has exploded in popularity as an activity to promote physical and mental well-being. This yoga craze gave birth to a whole market of yoga gear, including yoga mats, yoga pants, and yoga socks. With increased focus on eco-friendly materials, manufacturers have been racing to make yoga mats more sustainable. Consumers are no longer limited to PVC or vinyl mats that aren't renewable, they now have more sustainable options such as cotton, jute, and cork.

If you've never heard of a cork yoga mat, we've created this guide to give you all the information on this eco-friendly material that'll keep your feet rooted and bacteria-free during your practice. We've also included a few recommendations, like this cork yoga mat by Gurus that's built to last.

Benefits of a cork yoga mat

Eco-friendly and sustainable: The cork used in yoga mats is sourced from cork oak tree bark. Once these trees have been stripped of their bark, it grows back right away, making it a renewable source. In addition, cork oak trees absorb more carbon dioxide in their stripped state.

Antibacterial: Cork mats are easier to keep clean than other mat materials because cork is naturally resistant to bacteria growth. Be aware that you still need to clean your cork yoga mat.

Considerations when choosing cork yoga mats

Size

Select a cork yoga mat that's the correct width and length to accommodate your size. There are a few sizes to choose from: a standard mat is 24 x 68 inches, and longer mats are available in 72, 74, and 84-inch lengths. For even more space, look for a mat with a 30-inch width.

Thickness

The thinner the yoga mat, the smaller the amount of space it takes up when rolled. A travel mat typically has a thickness of 1.5 millimeters. For a cork mat that provides extra cushioning to protect sensitive knees, select one with six millimeter thickness. An average thickness of around four millimeters works for most yogis. 

Backing

All cork yoga mats employ a non-slip backing. Rubber is typically used. While it isn't as sustainable as cork, you can find recycled rubber that leaves less of an ecological impact. Backing can also be constructed from latex or foam. Any backing material labeled "natural" should be free of petrochemicals (what PVC mats are made from).

Cork yoga mat prices

Cork yoga mats range in price from $30 to upwards of $90. Inexpensive cork mats are thin and may be susceptible to chipping, which is why we recommend investing in a mat with thicker cork. Generally, the higher the price you pay, the more eco-friendly and natural the mat material.

FAQ

Q. How should I clean my cork yoga mat?

A. For a quick clean post-workout, spray the mat down with water or wipe it with a damp cloth. You can also use gentle soap and water if you've used it in a public setting. Be sure to let the mat dry completely before rolling to prevent mold or bacteria from growing.

Q. How much grip does a cork yoga mat provide?

A. Despite the appearance of a smooth surface, cork mats provide quite a lot of grip when wet. This is perfect for hot yoga conditions, but you can always activate its stickiness by spritzing the mat down with water right before use.  

Cork yoga mats we recommend

Best of the best: Gurus Roots Yoga Mat with Natural Rubber Bottom

Our take: A high-end quality cork mat boasting long dimensions and longevity.

What we like: Very durable. 72 inches in length. Non-slip rubber backing can also be practiced on. Odor free.

What we dislike: Feels a bit heavy. High-end price.

Best bang for your buck: Mantra 100% Natural Cork Mat with Rubber Padding

Our take: A mid-priced cork yoga mat with high-end construction.

What we like: Ample cushioning at five millimeters thick. Natural cork surface is dense. Comes with carrying strap in three colors. Rubber backing.

What we dislike: A little heavy to carry.

Choice 3: REPOSE Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

Our take: A very eco-conscious cork mat that's a hit with hot yoga practitioners. 

What we like: Non-slip and reliable grip, even in hot yoga classes. Lightweight. Made from sustainable cork and 100% natural rubber. No plastic used in packaging.

What we dislike: On the pricey side.

Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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