With the rising popularity of yoga, many yoga mat materials have also emerged on the market. On the trend lately is the cork yoga mat which offers more benefits than standard yoga PVC or vinyl mats. Such benefits include sustainability, ease of maintenance, and odor-free.
I know looking for the best cork yoga mat is a challenge. For easy selection, let me narrow your choices with these reviews and guides.
The Body By Yoga cork yoga mat is quite massive with its extra length and width. My favorite is the lines marked on the surface to help you find the right posture. It features the right thickness to give the best of both worlds – comfort and stability.
The Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat impresses with its reversible design to give more versatility. The topside is made of cork, while the underside is made of TPE. Fortunately, there was no horrible smell when it came out of the package.
If you want a good travel yoga mat, Gurus Sprout might be an excellent choice. This lightweight cork yoga mat doesn’t smell horrible at all. I like that the cork top surface is fairly smooth and it’s easier to grip when you sweat.
Editor's Pick: The Best Cork Yoga Mat
Why Are Cork Yoga Mats Better?
Cork yoga mats are better than traditional ones because they provide a better grip, especially when you start to sweat, making them ideal for hot yoga. Also, cork is known for its natural antibacterial properties, which means less maintenance.
Since cork naturally kills bacteria, the mat stays odor-free.
Compared to PVC or vinyl materials, cork is eco-friendly and free of dangerous chemicals. Cork is sourced from the Cork Oak Tree’s bark. This sustainable material is also durable, lightweight, and won’t absorb heat like other materials.
What to Look For in a Good Cork Yoga Mat
If you want the mat to be 100% biodegradable, look for a backing that’s as sustainable and eco-friendly as cork. The popular choice is natural rubber which offers excellent traction and grip. TPE is a more eco-friendly option for rubber because it’s made of recyclable material.
The size depends on your height and body shape. If you’re tall, look for a mat that’s longer than 68 inches. A mat wider than 24 inches is the best choice if you’re on the heavier side.
The thickness depends on your practice and desired comfort level. If you do more balancing poses or travel constantly, a thinner mat (2mm-5mm) might be more helpful. Mats thicker than 6mm are ideal for support to fragile joints and bones.
When cork yoga mats use a different material for the backing, make sure that it’s tightly bound to the cork topside. The most durable yoga mats offer a long warranty to ensure quality and durability.
5 Best Cork Yoga Mat Reviews
1. Body By Yoga Luxury Cork Yoga Mat
The Luxury Cork Yoga Mat from Body By Yoga is beautifully crafted with high-quality Portuguese cork to give a non-slip surface. Unlike standard cork mats, Body By Yoga uses six times more cork to give superior performance. I love the extra cork padding because it feels comfortable to my knees and back.
The premium cork offers an extra “give” when doing intense poses while offering a smooth surface. The size is longer and wider than standard mats to give more room for comfort. Surprisingly, the mat unrolls flatly each time, perhaps due to the sturdy natural rubber underside.
Best of all its features is the fact that this Body By Yoga cork yoga mat comes with alignment lines to help achieve the perfect pose. With a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, I’m confident with its quality. My only dislike is the weight because it’s quite heavy at 9 lbs.
The Body By Yoga Luxury Cork Yoga Mat is perfect for beginners with its alignment lines. This mat also suits taller and heavier yogis because of its extra-large size.
2. Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat
This cork yoga mat by Gaiam is pretty standard with its 68” x 24” size. I love its reversible design because you can choose what side to use depending on your mood. One side is made of all-natural cork, while the other is made of TPE natural rubber.
I like to use the cork surface when doing hot yoga because the grip is stronger when I sweat. The 5 mm cushion is good enough to support my back and knees when I do some complicated yoga poses. I’m pleasantly surprised that there was no awful smell when I took it out from the package.
I have no problems with the cork breaking because it’s fixed securely to the rubber. Like other Gaiam products, this cork yoga mat boasts a lifetime guarantee to give me peace of mind. However, the mat tends to curl when unrolled so it takes a little ironing to flatten it out.
The Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat is the best for durability because it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
3. Gurus Sprout Eco-Friendly Cork Yoga Mat
The Sprout is a lightweight cork yoga mat that weighs only 2 lbs. The topside is made with 4.5 mm cork while the bottom is made of latex-free TPE foam. The TPE backside features a nice grip on any surface, so you can do Bikram outside of your home or studio.
This eco-friendly cork yoga mat is longer and slightly wider than regular mats. It measures around 72 inches long and 25 inches wide. I like that this mat is virtually waterproof. The mat dries the moisture fast, approximately 5 minutes, while still maintaining its excellent grip.
The mat is firm, yet comfortable for the joints. However, this mat isn’t fit for air travel because it’s too large. It also takes a long time to uncurl the ends since it’s very lightweight.
The Gurus Sprout Cork Yoga Mat is perfect for travel because it’s very lightweight.
4. Hautest Health Original Cork Fitness Mat With Strap
The Hautest Health cork yoga mat has a cork topside and a natural rubber backside. This mat is longer, boasting a length of 72 inches and width of 24 inches. The 4.5 mm thickness offers a little extra cushioning to protect your joints while practicing.
The cork mat comes with a jute rope string to serve as an eco-friendly strap. I’m amazed at how the cork and rubber are tightly bound, that’s why I feel like this mat can last a long time. Since both the cork and rubber are biodegradable materials, this mat won’t pile up to the landfills.
I’m glad that there’s no smell on the mat after unwrapping. However, the jute rope is a bit uncomfortable on the shoulder. I recommend looking for a thicker, softer strap.
The Hautest Health Original Cork Yoga Mat is the best for the environment. This mat is completely biodegradable as it uses eco-friendly materials, like cork, natural rubber, and jute string.
5. Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mat
The Yoloha Original Air is the first cork yoga mat in the world. Due to recent developments, Yoloha has fused foam with the highest-quality cork in Portugal. The backside is made of rubber, so it stays in place on the floor.
The Original Air dries moisture fast to make it easy to clean. I love the micro-holes on the cork surface because it keeps sweat from accumulating on the surface. While the top surface of the cork shows excellent firmness, the foam underside is soft to create the highest level of comfort.
This mat is available in two lengths (72 inches and 80 inches) and wider than normal mats at 26 inches. The mat doesn’t smell awful, which is great. However, the mat tends to be a little slippery when your hands are dry.
The Yoloha Original Air Cork Yoga Mat is perfect for any practice, especially hot yoga since it absorbs moisture fast.
Q: Are cork yoga mats safe?
Yes, cork yoga mats are safe because they don’t contain any chemicals. Cork is naturally antimicrobial, so no bacteria can soak into the pores of the mat. There’s even less chance of slipping because cork has superior traction and grip, especially when you sweat.
Q: How do you clean a cork yoga mat?
The simple way is to wipe it down with a soft cloth damped with cold water. Never use an abrasive sponge because it might damage the mat’s cork surface. If your mat needs a deep cleaning, spray it with a mixture of water, white vinegar, and your favorite essential oil.
After wiping or spraying the mat, let it dry. Once all dried up, roll the mat and store it away.
Q: How often should I clean a cork yoga mat?
The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you use the mat and how much you sweat. The rule is to clean the mat after each use. If you don’t sweat much, you can clean the mat once a week. Every month, make sure to deep clean the mat to maintain its top shape.
After reading this article, I hope you have a clear idea of what cork yoga mat to decide on. Out of all the mats above, my pick as the best cork yoga mat is the Body By Body Luxury Cork Yoga Mat because of its premium Portuguese cork quality. This mat also stands out with its alignment lines that help correct poses.
If you want to be assured of durability, the Gaiam cork yoga mat is a good alternative. This mat offers a generous lifetime guarantee to give you more security. Also, I love its reversible design because it adds variety to your practice.