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Hello to Manduka’s eKO Yoga Mat Series + Blissoma Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner

I hung onto it for as long as I could, but it was time. Holes grew bigger and pieces of mat fell to the ground when I rolled my mat after each practice. I knew it was time to say goodbye. With this being my third mat, in three years, I was tormented to think about buying another that I would use and abuse for a year before having to recycle it or (gasp) throw it out.

The Search for the Best Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

So I started doing my research for the best eco-friendly yoga mat out there. My criteria included the following:

  • No PVC or Synthetic Rubber
  • Free from harmful dyes and chemicals
  • 100% Biodegradable
  • Durable (i.e. will last me for years to come)
  • Slip Resistant

In other words, I wasn’t ready to completely sacrifice performance but I also wanted to ensure that when I was in child’s pose breathing deeply, I wasn’t inhaling synthetic chemicals nor filling up landfills when my new mat was at its life’s end.

I spent some time seeking out who was the best of the best – I spoke with my yoga instructors, I spoke with my friends and I rummaged through the internets for reviews and opinions. I heard about Jade Mats, Barefoot Yoga, Hugger Mugger, Lululemon, Gaiam and of course, Manduka. I made a makeshift matrix and compared them based on the traits above and ranked them (putting my MBA to good use). Manduka came out ahead on all counts and so, Manduka it was.

Manduka’s eKO Mat(s) Review

Well, I’ve fallen in love with Manduka’s eKO Mats. I picked up the 71″ eKO mat with seagrass texture (no slipping here) from the Manduka Shop. It’s sturdy, it’s sticky and I feel like a warrior when I use it. The one thing I heard about the natural rubber mat was a lot of complaints about the rubber smell that comes from the mat’s material. I have a nose like a hound dog, and I tell you, while I can tell it smells like rubber, it is not as strong as the claims I read on different forums. I have no problem with the rubber smell, especially given that other mats made with synthetic/toxic chemicals and plasticizers are actually doing damage to your body.

The mats are made from non-Amazon harvested tree rubber and are sans toxic chemicals of any sort. No glues, no harmful dyes, no foaming agents. Oh, and it will decompose naturally in a landfill (but that also means you shouldn’t leave it out in the elements for too long).  Below you can see the texture of the mat, preventing any slippage and keeping you stable even when you’re sweating out.

You can shop the Manduka eKO mat from their website for $76 USD in a variety of colours.

Manduka’s eKO Superlite Folding Travel Mat

As wonderful as the eKO mat is, it’s not the most convenient travel mat (at 7 lbs, it’s a little heavy and takes up a whole lot of room). Given that I travel more often than I stay in one place, the Manduka eKO Superlite travel mat is perfect to ensure you can get your practice on anytime, anywhere. It folds into the size of a medium textbook and weighs about 2 lbs. Throw it down in your hotelroom, or on top of a studio mat (to bump up the comfort).

Eco-friendly and biodegradable, this little mat will save you on those long haul flights and everywhere in between. It’s closed cell surface means no flaking mats and it will be difficult to stretch it out of shape. Since it is super thin, I’ve tended to throw it on the carpet (or if I’m at a studio when I’m traveling, over one of their studio mats) in order to keep things cushy, but if it’s not available, you can still have a wonderful practice without any slipping just about anywhere.

Shop the Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Mat for $40 – at that price, it’s hard to argue with not owning one.

Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat Cleaner – Blissoma Solutions Yoga Mat Cleansing Spray

OK, so we have our eco-friendly yoga mats, but what about keeping them clean, naturally? I’m a big fan of Blissoma Solution’s Mat Cleaner.  With lavender and frankincense, you could almost have an aromatherapy session while cleaning your mat. With just a light spray, and a clean wipe down you rid your mat of dirt, sweat and odor. The Soapbark is the magical ingredient in this one, loosening dirt and grime, while the tea tree oil is anti-microbial (bye bye germs).  The formula is so natural that you can actually use it as a hand and foot cleanser too – no need for any alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you have your natural mat cleanser in tow.

I pack this spray in my yoga bag and have never had a leakage problem. It is in a solid brushed metal bottle so it’s no victim when I drop my bag on the studio floor. You can pick a 4 oz bottle up for $10 USD online at Blissoma or on Amazon.

Namaste LPN’ers & Happy Canada Day to my Canadian Compadres!



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  • Sophie Bourguignon

    Hi Kate – thanks for going through all these mats. Did you consider the KharmaKhare one? It’s made from recycled rubber tires. I personally love that it is all existing materials, so they are helping address an environmental issue. The website is Take care!

    • Hi Sophie! Thanks for your note! I hadn’t heard of KharmaKhare, thanks for sending me the information. Certainly one I will keep on my radar! Much appreciated! xx

  • Pauline

    I LOVEEEEEEEEE your blog, you definitely have a new reader in me :)

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  • Sajtia

    Thanks for the comprehensive review, I was also leaning towards the Manduka, as I’ll be in the U.S. and just pick one up (I’m in Australia so that brings up its own range of distance, and buying local).

  • kenny

    I bought the same Manduka Eko mat, I love it but it’s so hard to clean! EVERYTHING sticks to it. Has the Blissoma been cutting through the dirt for you? I’ve tried my own vinegar and oil mixtures to no avail

    • Blissoma has been working for me, although I am out now. Currently I’m using apple cider vinegar mixed with tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle. It has been good so far. What concentration/ratio of vinegar to water have you been using?

  • Honey Tejero Comastro

    Hello, I just purchased the Manduka EKo Lite mat in Acai color. What is the best way to clean? Could I use my own mix, 50/50 Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and Water only? Or is it best to mix with an essential oil?

    • That’s a great way to clean ACV+essential oils are my favourite. I often add eucalyptus or lavender. xx

  • Brittany Flaherty

    Just out of curiosity…What were the cons to the Lululemon mat? I have the reversible mat and am now concerned about it….

  • Thanks for this informative blog. This is a well-informed blog for everyone.
    The most important thing for yoga postures is a yoga mat, always choose that type of yoga mat which is thick and have non-slippery surface. Because the thickness of yoga mat protect every type of physical injury & jerks and non-slippery surface provides you the better grip while performing yoga postures.

    We (Matsindia), are one of the largest manufacturer of Gravolite Yoga Mats, Yoga Accessories and Sports Mats.

  • theatregeek9

    Just wondering. With the eko mat… how do you roll it. I have a few friends that have mats you can use either way, but this one has a specific top and bottom. One friend has a yoga stick (Google that if you haven’t heard) another folds her mat face to face and then rolls it which makes me nervous because there is a bend. I am imagining you roll it top in but I want to know if that is correct or if you recommend anything special.

    • You can roll it as a normal mat, or to fit it in your bag, simply fold it. This one does have a top / bottom and is quite sticky. I often will just roll it like I do my normal mat and carry it that way, or, if I’m on a flight, I’ll fold it into a square and then take it out when I get to the hotel. It doesn’t ruin performance at all.

  • Mohit Raj

    Thanks for Given the information regarding for this blog.

    Shop highly durable and shockproof Yoga Mats at reasonable prices from us at Gravolite. Available in standard size, thickness and varied materials, our Yoga Mats help you perform your yoga poses uninterruptedly.
    We (Gravolite-, are one of the largest supplier of Gravolite Yoga Mats, Yoga Accessories and Sports Mats.

  • Anne

    Hi! I really like your blog! And I bought this yoga mat following your recommendation. Now I just read the German magazine Ökotest, where this mat only reached a “3”, (1-6, 1 being the best) because the mat contains nitrosatable pre-stages, which can cause cancer….Not sure what I’ll do with this pretty expensive mat now but I thought you should know…

    • Hi Anne, I’m so shocked to hear this, as it is a mat I continue to use now.. and have been for some years. I wrote to Manduka after reading your note and have rewritten them today asking for clarification and their thoughts. I wrote this post 6 years ago now, so I am hopeful for a positive answer from them. I will keep you posted here. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. xx Kate

    • Hi Dear Anne, I wanted to follow up on this as I did follow up on Manduka for several weeks now and finally received a response:
      Hi Kate,

      We take claims like this very seriously as we are aware of a report published by a German publication known as Oeko-Test.

      We have conducted our own individual testing and have reports verifying that nitrosamines were not detected. Nitrosamines occur in latex products, due to latex containing a protein found in Natural Rubber. Nitrosamines can also be found in cigarettes; e-cigarette vapor and trace amounts can be picked up in testing if someone handles a mat after having a cigarette.

      If you would like verification from our test report please let me know and I can provide you with this information.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions and concerns.


      manduka | practice on™
      call: 1.877.MANDUKA

      I hope this is helpful and helps put some rest on your heart. I still use my mat, after all these years.


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