Are you curious about the materials used to make yoga mats before you buy one?
It’s a legitimate fear, to be sure. Furthermore, yoga mats are a safety measure for your skin and overall health because of their materials. The greatest yoga mats can only be purchased after an in-depth understanding of the components of a yoga mat.
Manufacturers today use various synthetic and natural materials to make yoga mats comfortable while also guaranteeing that the mats are environmentally beneficial by recycling the materials.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE), and Polymer Environmental Resin are the most common synthetic yoga mats on the market today (PER). However, jute, cotton, cork and natural rubber yoga mats are more environmentally friendly than synthetic mats.
We’ll take a look at some of the different materials used to produce yoga mats in this article. After that, we’ll examine the benefits and drawbacks of each mat material to determine which sort of yoga mat is the most ideal in terms of the materials used in its production.
1. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
As the most popular and inexpensive yoga mat material, polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, is the most widely used. Due to its low cost, lightweight, extremely gripping surface, and flexibility, PVC is one of the most widely used plastics today.
PVC yoga mats are available in a wide range of quality levels. Low-quality PVC yoga mats are available from some manufacturers. High-density PVC mats, on the other hand, high-density PVC mats are available for improved cushioning and moisture resistance. Polymer Environmental Resin (PEE) is a greener version of PVC.
You might also be interested in reading 7 Reasons Why You Should Start Practicing Yoga.
2. Natural Rubber
For yoga mat materials, the best option is definitely natural rubber, which has been on the market longer than foam and PVC. Hevea brasiliensis rubber tree is the source of the rubber used in these mats, making them easily biodegradable. Although the surface of the natural rubber yoga mats is a little rough, its firm grip more than makes up for it.
Please keep in mind that this is not to be mistaken with rubber of a synthetic industrial grade. Organic polymers, a few additional organic contaminants, and water make up natural rubber.
3. TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)
Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is yet another popular and cutting-edge material for yoga mats. You get the best of both worlds with this material, a blend of plastic and rubber. Thermoplastic and elastic characteristics coexist in TPE. Polyethene terephthalate (PET) mats can be recycled and reused because of their thermoplastic qualities. Because of their elastomeric qualities, these mats are extremely flexible and heat-resistant.
4. NBR: Synthetic rubber
Industrial-grade rubber, such as synthetic rubber, is extensively used in automobiles. While synthetic rubber offers excellent performance and long-term durability, it also has a significant environmental impact. In terms of insulation and cushioning, NBR, or Nitrile Butadiene Rubber, is one of the best options.
5. Natural Rubber and Polyurethane (PU)
This material is a modern breakthrough that deserves serious study. Combine natural rubber with polyurethane to create yoga mats that are both durable and eco-friendly at the same time.
As we’ve already established, natural rubber makes an excellent yoga mat surface. Essentially biodegradable, polyurethane is a plastic that may be recycled. Polyurethane has been added to the mat, making it more insulated, flexible, and cushioned than natural rubber. Polyurethane is less expensive than pure rubber because of its inclusion.
6. EVA (Ethylene Vinyl acetate)
Foam in the form of EVA is a more affordable alternative. It lasts longer than standard foam since it doesn’t degrade as quickly. EVA mats are widely available and reasonably priced, making them a popular choice for many consumers. EVA is the predominant material used in today’s low-cost, high-style floor mats. Flip-flops can also be made of EVA, which is a popular material.
As a natural fibre, jute should be self-explanatory. Vegetable fibre has long been a favourite of humans. Jute has long been a staple in our home decor, whether it be in the form of drapes, cushion covers, rugs, or carpets. The real question is how it performs on yoga mats. Polymer Environmental Resin is commonly used as part of the manufacturing of jute yoga mats.
8. Cotton and Hemp
Cotton has long been the fabric of choice for all kinds of clothing worldwide. The early yogis utilised cotton towels as one of their original yoga mats. Cotton is one of the most comfortable and soft fabrics on the market, but it’s also one of the most fragile. Cotton is more suited for delicate and refined applications. Practising asanas can cause cotton to overheat, making it unsuitable for clothing. Most yoga mats are made of cotton and hemp because they have the necessary tensile strength and durability. Hemp mats, on the other hand, do exist.
In terms of yoga mats, cork is a relatively new substance that has only recently been introduced. Tree bark is used to create this product, making it completely natural. All cork yoga mats have a PTE or rubber foundation to keep them in place on the floor, as cork is naturally prone to slipping. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using cork mats, just like any other natural material.
It all depends on what you want and what you need at the time. TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) yoga mats are the greatest option for beginners who are concerned only with safety and comfort. Yoga mats made of PVC material give you a wide range of options when it comes to cost. Mats made of organic cotton, natural rubber, and jute are all examples of eco-friendly mats.
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