The Best Yoga Mat I've Ever Used

by kajohu

The best yoga mat I've ever used is the eco-friendly, open-cell natural rubber Jade Professional Harmony Yoga mat.

I want my yoga practice to be healthy for me AND for the environment. So when it was time to replace my old, worn out yoga mat, I decided to "go green" and look for an eco-friendly mat.

After doing extensive research for deciding which ecologically friendly yoga mat would be best for me, and trying three different brands, I've decided that my favorite mat, and the best mat I've ever used, is the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat

Take a look at this mat if you're interested in an eco-friendly yoga mat.

The Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat

My Choice for Best Yoga Mat

A few years ago I started researching yoga mats to decide what would be the best eco-friendly yoga mat for me.

Up until then I had used the standard, inexpensive PVC (polyvinyl chloride) yoga mats for years, and for the most part they worked fine.  

However, I've since learned that during the production of PVC products, including these standard yoga mats, toxic chemicals are given off that harm the environment and our health.  Also, PVC yoga mats aren't biodegradable, and if they end up in a landfill, they may leach out more toxic chemicals.

Not good!

I want my practice of yoga to be healthy for me AND for the environment!  So I researched eco-friendly yoga mats, read many reviews, and tried three different kinds of earth-friendly yoga mats before settling on one that has worked great for me.

The eco-friendly yoga mat that works best for me is the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat

(Image is of me doing Adho Mukha Svanasana on my Jade yoga mat)

Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat
Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat

Why do I like my Yoga Mat? 

In a nutshell:

  • It has a great non-slip surface.
  • It's a little thicker (3/16") than my old yoga mats (1/8"), so offers a little more cushioning.
  • It feels sturdy and durable.  
  • It lies flat, rather than bunching up like cheap standard PVC mats often do.
  • It has worn very well over the two years that I've used it.

The Jade yoga mat that I bought is made of open cell natural rubber, a renewable resource.  That's what first drew my attention to this mat.  It also gets great reviews from owners.

Buy from - $63

As I mentioned above, my mat has worn well.   I use this mat many times a week, when I teach (9 classes/week) and when I practice at my studio.  After two years of heavy use, it's only shown minor signs of wear.    This is compared to another natural rubber yoga mat (see below) that I've tried, and showed major signs of wear after a couple months.


But the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat is not a cheap mat.   It costs about $63.  Because the price initially put me off, I tried a couple other kinds of eco yoga mats first:


YOGA Accessories 5mm Eco-Conscious Yoga MatFirst I tried the YOGA Accessories 5mm Eco-Conscious Yoga Mat, which is made from TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer), a relatively new material.    It's still a man-made, plastic material but no toxic materials are used, and it is biodegradable and recyclable. 

This mat is 5mm thick, and costs about $40.   I bought a few for my yoga studio and many of my students prefer this mat over the regular PVC mats.  I prefer a less "spongy" mat, though.   This one didn't do it for me, but if you like a thicker eco-yoga mat at a more affordable price, this would be a good option.


eKOlite Yoga Mat by MandukaThe next eco yoga mat I tried was the eKOlite Yoga Mat by Manduka.  This mat is made from closed-cell rubber (the Jade Yoga Harmony Professional Yoga mat is made from open-cell rubber -- a spongier material), and is 1/8 " thick.   The price was reasonable too, about $42.  

I liked this mat to begin with --  It had good grip, and it was reasonably light, but sturdier than the PVC yoga mats. 

BUT ... it started degrading after a couple months.   It left little rubber pieces on the floor and on my yoga pants.   I liked it enough that I bought a second one, hoping the first had somehow been defective.   But the same thing happened.    I know it's supposed to be "biodegradable", but I didn't want it "biodegrading" while I was using it!

PERHAPS ... I would've had a better experience with the eKO Yoga Mat Standard by Manduka which is 3/16" thick, the same as the Jade mat.    It has good reviews.  But the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga mat has even better reviews.

Are There Drawbacks to the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat?

Well, the cost initially was certainly a drawback for me.   I got over that. 

Otherwise, the biggest drawback of this mat for me is that at 5 pounds, it's significantly heavier and more bulky than the PVC mats, so it's not a great travel mat for those who want to travel light.   When I go out of town for yoga workshops I take one of my old, light-weight PVC mats.   And that way if the mat gets lost or "borrowed", I don't lose my favorite mat.  (Better to re-use my old mats rather than throw them away!)

I've heard that people who practice vinyasa-style yoga can't slide their feet easily on the Jade mat when transitioning from Chaturanga dandasana (plank pose) to Urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog pose).  That's true -- I can't roll easily to the top of my feet from plank to upward dog pose, but that's not a concern of mine since usually I don't do a vinyasa practice (I practice Iyengar yoga).

Apparently the Manduka Eko mat has enough slip to make this transition easier.

I've also read that the Jade mat gets too stretchy for some people after a hot yoga workout.  But I've never had that problem.  (Update -- after three years, it does indeed stretch and it is now time to replace it.)

Exposure to heat and sunlight will degrade the yoga mat.  A friend of mine says hers has started to show more signs of wear than mine, since she keeps hers in her car in between classes, and the excessive heat during the summer hasn't been good for it.

For me, the benefits of this mat far outweigh any drawbacks.   Take a look at it yourself, and I bet you'll love this mat too!

Prefer to Buy on Amazon?

You can these eco yoga mats on Amazon too, for similar prices as above
Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat

Jade Yoga's most popular premium mat, the Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-inch mat offers a perfect balance of traction and cushion. Jade mats are made with open-cell, natural ru...

Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat

The Manduka eKO Lite Mat is a wonder of eco-conscious innovation and convenience. Developed by yoga teachers looking for a high-performance,environmentally friendly ma...

YogaAccessories (TM) 5mm Eco-Conscious Yoga Mat

Updated: 09/12/2014, kajohu
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Do You Have a Favorite Yoga Mat?

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kajohu on 06/01/2012

Thanks for your comment, Brenda. Yoga has been such a boon for me. The mat is important...but the yoga is much more so!

BrendaReeves on 06/01/2012

This reminds me. I need to get back to my yoga. I need a yoga mat also. Thanks for the info.

kajohu on 05/31/2012

Thanks for your comment, Tolovaj. Yes, there are many options for yoga mats! I've been trying out the eco friendly options more recently. It's too bad that they're more expensive than other options, but if we can find the one that works well for us, it's a good investment.

Tolovaj on 05/31/2012

No, I don't have a yoga mat but if I will look for one, I know what I have to look for. I wasn't aware of so many options. For me they differed only by color and price...
And if there is an eco friendly option, it can be only better:)

kajohu on 05/31/2012

I'm glad you liked the review, katiem2. It's a great mat, although somewhat on the pricey side! But it's been a great yoga mat for me.

katiem2 on 05/30/2012

What a great article. I love Yoga and need a new yoga mat. I've been feeling and testing a lot of yoga mats between my fingers while out and about and just don't like what I'm feeling. This is a great and trusted review, I'd much rather buy a mat from a fellow lover of yoga. Thanks for the great product review on yoga mats. Namaste

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