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Yoga is what we do here, and we would be talking about what your yoga mat is made of and the various pros and cons it comes with. We would also talk about how it affects the environment and you yourself. Yoga mats, I believe, are the most important item when practicing yoga. It provides us with the surface we need to stretch and pose, giving us that stability, comfort and warmth.

Types of Yoga Mats - Kati Kaia

Following the history of yoga mats, they have been made with various materials that affect their durability, comfort, texture, environmental impact and even impact on the body itself. The kind of material it's made of then affects which yoga mat you would choose. Let’s explore the various materials and their pros and cons.

PVC Yoga Mats

PVC Mats - Kati Kaia

This is the most common material used for making yoga mats and you would probably see it everywhere. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, and it is a synthetic plastic material that is very durable and difficult to decompose, inexpensive and they are very easy to clean, just wipe it with cloth and water, haha. PVC mats are mostly lightweight, and they may not be very thick and cushioning, but they are good for class yoga since they are easy to transport.

As mentioned earlier, PVC mats are nowhere near being eco-friendly. With everything going on in our world today, we have to be eco conscious. We even need to help the planet cure itself. We are working with Rainforest Trust on that and you can join in by purchasing our mats and a percentage would go to helping the planet heal itself. That said, the production of PVC emits harmful toxins which is not good for the environment and the mats are also not suitable for people with latex allergies.

As you would guess, PVC yoga mats are quite cheap, and they range between £10 to £40. You might even get it cheaper if you spend enough time searching.

Natural Rubber Yoga Mats

Natural Yoga Mats - Kati Kaia

Let’s come to the good part. Natural rubber is also a common material used to make yoga mats. The rubber is sapped from the tree and then processed to make the mats, making them very sustainable, biodegradable and environmentally friendly. The mats made from rubber provide excellent grip and cushioning and they are suitable for everyone. That is why we use natural rubber for our mats. Theta are also hypoallergenic which makes them suitable for people with latex allergies. The only downside to mats made with natural rubber is that the mats can be heavy and may allow you sweat more during the process. For cleaning, you might need to add some lemon juice to cut through the sweat and even a drop of organic tea tree can freshen if it has a strong odor.

Mats made from natural rubber are a little bit expensive and they range between £50 - £100. Remember to shop with us to get the best yoga mats made with natural rubber.

TPE Yoga Mats

TPE Yoga Mats - Kati Kaia

TPE stands for Thermoplastic Elastomer, and it is a mix of plastic and rubber. Mats made with TPE are more eco-friendly than mats made with PVC since rubber and non-toxic recyclable plastics which are biodegradable. TPE mats also consume less energy during their production than other materials and can often be recycled by molding or extruding. They are also lightweight, and some people record them to be easy to clean. TPE mats are hypoallergenic, making them suitable for people with latex allergies. The downside of mats made with TPE is that they are often slippery. Their price ranges from £20 - £60, mostly in-between the high and low price.

NBR Synthetic Rubber Yoga Mats

NBR Synthetic Rubber Yoga Mat - Kati Kaia

NBR stands for Nitrile Butadiene Rubber which is a synthetic rubber material and It is actually produced using petroleum-based materials and is a synthetic rubber copolymer of acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene. This means that it is not a natural product, and its production can have some detrimental effects to the environment. NBR mats are very resistant to abrasions, tears and chemicals which makes them ideal for intense yoga practice. NBR mats are sometimes heavy and they often have a strong odor after a long use which might take time to dissipate. You would be able to get mats made of NBR the same price as mats made with TPE which is between £20 - £60.

Natural Rubber and Polyurethane (PU) Yoga Mats

Natural Rubber and Polyurethane (PU) Yoga Mat - Kati Kaia

Some yoga mats are made of the combination of natural rubber and polyurethane which is basically a liquid plastic. The natural rubber layer provides the grip while the PU layer is the finishing, and it provides cushioning and durability. Since the mats are made from rubber and plastic which are both eco-friendly, the mats are therefore eco-friendly however they may be a little bit heavy due to the rubber material in it, they also lose their grip pretty quickly, after 6-12 months with daily use, so if you are practicing daily vinyasa on a PU mat, your mat would wear out pretty quickly. Some mats are made of natural rubber alone and some PU alone. The price of mats made with natural rubber and polyurethane ranges between £60 - £150 which is a little bit on the high side.

EVA (Ethylene Vinyl acetate) Yoga Mats

EVA Yoga Mat - Kati kaia

Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is a plastic made by combining ethylene and vinyl acetate. It's very soft and elastic and it can be made into a plastic that's like rubber, yet extremely tough. It's considered to be a safe alternative to PVC. EVA can also be made into EVA foam, with the use of a plasticizer. It's this foam that is then used to make yoga mats which makes it lightweight, durable and provides excellent cushioning. They are recorded to be easy to clean and they come in various colors and patterns which makes them a popular choice. The downside is that they do not provide very good grip like other materials, and they are also not as eco-friendly as natural rubber which is what our mats are made of. We simply sell the best. The price of mats made with EVA ranges between £10 - £50.

Jute Yoga Mats

Jute Yoga Mat - Kati Kaia

Jute is a long, soft, shiny bast fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads which are then used to make yoga mats. It is durable, eco-friendly and provides good grip due to its rough texture, but jute mats are a little bit heavy and they do not provide cushioning at all. You can buy a jute mat with about £30 - £80.

Cotton and Hemp Yoga Mats

Cotton and Hemp Yoga Mat - kati Kaia

We all know what cotton is but did you know what hemp is? Are you thinking of Indian hemp? Well, Hemp fabric is a type of textile that is made using fibers from the stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant and it is very strong and lasts longer than cotton. It actually lasts for years. Just like Jute mats, they do not provide cushioning, but they have good grip due to their texture. The price of mats made from cotton and hemp ranges between £30 - £60 which is not that expensive compared to its durability.

Cork Yoga Mats

Cork Yoga Mat - Kati kaia

Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak tree and it is 100 percent natural, reusable and recyclable, cork is arguably one of the world's most versatile materials, it is durable, lightweight and sometimes has just enough cushioning for any practice. However, cork yoga mats quickly wear out if not properly taken care of. Cork mats are on the pricey side and they range between £70 - £150.

Microfiber Yoga Mats

Microfiber Yoga Mat - Kati Kaia

If you have a soft hand cleaning towel or a kitchen towel, it is probably made of microfiber. That same material is used to make yoga mats which makes them lightweight and easy to clean, coming in a variety of colors and patterns but they can be slippery when wet. They are generally cheap and cost between £20 - £60.

Wool Yoga Mats

Wool Yoga Mat - Kati Kaia

Wool mats provide insulation and keep you warm during practice. They are also eco-friendly and biodegradable. However, wool mats may not provide as much grip as other materials, and they can be heavy. The price of yoga mats made with wool ranges between £50 - £100.

There you go, I think all major materials have been compared. The best material for making yoga mats remains the natural rubber, not just because that is what our mats are made of it is because the material provides you with everything you need - cushioning, grip, not too heavy and not too light, so it can be easily carried around.

Kati kaia Natual Rubber Yoga Mat

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