From PVC to rubber: these are the things you should look out for when buying yoga mats

From PVC to rubber: these are the things you should look out for when buying yoga mats

Yoga stands for centering, balance and mindfulness. The right equipment is an important part of ensuring that you can concentrate on your exercises and not be distracted. While you are already in the right place for the perfect yoga clothing, our online shop, in this article we explain what you should pay attention to when buying your yoga mat:

The perfect yoga mat: the most important purchase criteria

Many studios offer yoga mats for their students. However, if you prefer to use your own mat and practice yoga at home, here are some tips that can be particularly useful when buying your own yoga mat. In addition to the design, which will probably catch your eye first as a buyer, these factors play an important role:

  • Price
    Yoga is booming and this is also noticeable in the growing range of yoga studios, clothing and accessories. No matter how tempting the offers may be, it is definitely worth investing a little more when it comes to clothing and mats. Cheap mats often contain dangerous and unhealthy ingredients and are therefore not always recommended. In the Material section you can find out more about which ingredients are particularly questionable.

    According to the yoga mats guide there are the following 3 price categories

    • 15-35 €: The entry-level model
      Yoga mats in this price range are mostly made of petroleum-based PVC, as this is relatively cheap to work with. When buying, pay attention to the pollutant test with the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100. The yoga mat should be made without AZO (solvents) and DOP (benzene in the plasticizer) and free of phthalates and heavy metals. When buying a cheap mat you should also consider that it wears out after a year, even with occasional yoga.

    • 35-70 €: The good investment
      In this price range you will find yoga mats that have good density and abrasion resistance. This means that you can assume a longer service life even with heavy use. The materials range from PVC, PER and natural fibers such as natural rubber, jute or hemp. The new wool yoga mats for quieter yoga and the light travel mats are also available at this price. As a vegan label, we do not recommend buying animal products.

    • 80-200 €: The luxury and pro version
      You will find yoga mats in this price segment that are particularly long, particularly dense and very durable. Manufacturers of these mats often offer a lifetime guarantee on their products.

Junge Frau liegt auf Yogamatte

    • Slip resistance
      Anyone who has already tried yoga on a towel or blanket will quickly realize how important the slip resistance of the mat is for the correct execution of the exercises. So that you have a firm footing with your yoga mat, you should make sure that it is tight enough. Slightly harder mats made of natural rubber or jute usually do particularly well in terms of slip resistance. Generally valid statements are difficult here, since the ground and your own weight also play a role. If possible, try the mat in the store before buying it.

    • Good cushioning and density
      Active and dynamic yoga exercises demand a lot from our joints. So that we can continue to enjoy them, good cushioning and density of the yoga mat is particularly important. The yoga mat guide recommends a thickness of 5 mm in Asthanga yoga.

      Remember: the denser the mat, the more cushioning it offers, but it also makes it heavier. When transporting the mat, you should choose a model that you can carry well. 2 kg with a 2-4 mm density is a good average here.

    • The right length and width
      Your yoga mat is the right length if you can lie stretched out with your head and feet on it

      Frau beugt sich vornüber auf Yogamatte

    • Material
      The list of materials for yoga mats ranges from PVC, natural rubber, organic cotton, flax, natural latex to virgin wool and recycled fibers. Anyone who searches the Internet before buying a yoga mat will quickly come across alarming reports about dangerous and harmful ingredients in them. Last year, 50% of all yoga mats by Öko Test were classified as questionable, with not only many PVC models performing poorly, but also some yoga mats made of natural rubber or natural latex. The naturalness of the material does not guarantee 100 percent safety in terms of its hazard potential.

      When buying, therefore, pay attention to the Oeko-Tex 100 seal, which distinguishes mats that have been tested for toxins. And choose manufacturers who transparently identify their processes and materials in the manufacture of the yoga mats.

      The following ingredients should ring your alarm bells:
      • Nitrosamines: suspected of being carcinogenic
      • Plasticizers (e.g. phthalates): Are suspected of being carcinogenic and have an effect on the hormonal balance
      • AZP / AZO dyes: are suspected of triggering allergies and diseases such as ADHD.

        With this app from the Federal Environment Agency you can easily find out whether a certain product contains dangerous pollutants. By scanning the barcode, information is requested from the dealer. He is legally obliged to provide information about carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproductive and particularly environmentally harmful substances from 0.1 percent concentration.

      Good plastic mats:

      Öko Test has rated all plastic mats with modern, foamed thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) as "very good". In contrast to other plastic materials, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), TPEs do not need any controversial plasticizers for a smooth consistency. The foamed plastic is already elastic enough.

        Good mats made from natural materials:

        The advantage of natural materials such as rubber or flax lies in their biodegradability. They are also not based on crude oil like many of the plastic mats. When buying, however, pay attention to where and how the mats were made. The bluesign certificate ensures the highest level of fair, ecological and sustainable production of the yoga mats.

          Now it's time: on the mats, get set, go!
          If you are still missing the right outfit for your mat, then take a look at our online shop . A large selection of sustainable and fairly produced yoga and sportswear for women and men is waiting for you.