Cork is a unique material used in the creation of certain Yoga Mats and it’s one you likely haven’t heard of before. If you take a look online or in stores you’ll mostly be presented with a series of natural rubber mats of all different shapes and sizes.
But there is a reason to choose cork over this! Picking the best cork yoga mat can be difficult, but there are a lot of reasons why you might opt for this material over others.
They are typically great for non-slip surfaces, durability, and environmental consciousness. Cork mats are typically made from completely recyclable materials and are easy to maintain over the years.
So let’s say you’re sold - you want to buy a cork yoga mat! The problem you’ll run into is the sheer variety of different mats out there. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the options, don’t panic! We’re here to help.
This article is going to take you through 5 of the best cork yoga mats on the market right now. We’ll take you through each one and outline some of their key features with a handy pros and cons list.
We’ve also made sure to include an extensive buyers guide and a short FAQ to help you understand why we made the choices we did.
So let’s get right into it with our first cork yoga mat!
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Best Extra Wide
If you’re looking for a simplistic cork yoga mat then this is a really good choice. The cork frontside of this mat is sweat-resistant and allows you to hold grip even during a vigorous yoga section.
The bottom is made of natural rubber which means the mat won’t slip around when you’re moving.
One of the best things about this mat is its extra size. With a 72x26 inch surface area, it’s easily big enough for most body types.
We found it to be generally well made and easy to maintain, with antimicrobial materials meaning it won’t hold odor even after a hot yoga session.
The one thing you might worry about is its general thickness - which although perfect for someone who wants something light, might not be suitable for somebody who needs extra support.
- Width: Extra wide to suit different body types.
- Sweat Resistant: Suitable for hot yoga like Bikram.
- Thickness: 5mm which is a good middle ground for support.
- Rubber Backing: Whilst it makes it more durable, it’s also much heavier.
Best For Environment
This cork from Yogamatters is an incredible choice if you’re a person who really cares about the environmental impact of your purchases.
Yoga and love for the environment often go hand in hand, so it can be important to make the right choices.
This is a mat made from oak trees and natural rubber that comes from sustainably sourced farms.
It’s quite a thin mat at 4mm, but it has enough support for sessions of yoga. It’s also been designed to have a grip surface that increases in friction as you begin to sweat.
Some of the other environmental benefits are that it's vegan, biodegradable and recyclable, and completely free from toxic chemicals or dyes.
This means that it’s perfect if you’re looking for a completely conscious yoga mat that you can keep for years to come, then recycle when you eventually get a new one.
- Biodegradable and Recyclable: Good for the environment.
- Vegan: If you’re conscious about animal products.
- Great Grip: Amazing grip that increases when you sweat.
- Thickness: only 4mm thick which is not suitable if you need extra support for your feet/legs.
One thing you’ll struggle to find with cork yoga mats is a good design. Cork isn’t the best material to paint interesting designs on, but that doesn't mean that you have to go without it.
This mat from AQ features a gorgeous ocean design that looks great without overstating itself. This mat has been made with renewable materials
It’s a fairly large mat with dimensions of 72” by 24” and it has been created to have enough room for you no matter your body type. AQ recommends folding the mat for additional thickness and support, but that makes it a lot less stable.
- Design: Awesome design that will turn heads.
- Grip: Made with a non-slip material which means it’s suitable for hot yoga.
- Durability: Some reports say it’s not the most durable over time.
Best For Hot Yoga
If you’re doing hot yoga classes like Bikram, then you’re going to want something that can really deal with sweat. That’s where this mat from SatoriConcept comes in.
It has great non-slip and sweat-resistant properties, a thickness of 4mm, and a size of 72” by 24”.
It’s surprisingly lightweight considering its dimensions, at only 5.5 pounds - which means it’s much easier to take around with you whilst still giving you the joint support you’ll need.
Another thing you’ll notice is its great design - with colors on the surface - which is not something you’ll often find on cork yoga mats.
It also comes with a strap included, meaning you can roll it up and fasten it securely to yourself when you’re traveling. Overall this is a great lightweight mat that you can take with you to hot yoga classes.
- Sweat Resistant: Perfect for hot yoga classes like Bikram.
- Weight: Uniquely light considering its size.
- Strap: Comes with a strap for easy transportation.
- Color Dye: The dye sometimes comes off, especially after repeated use.
This is another good option if you’re looking for a versatile mat that will give you everything you need to enjoy yoga sessions over a long period of time.
It is made with environmentally sustainable materials, has an anti-skid design, and has extra layers of padding for support on your joints and knees.
One good thing is they have different options on size, so if the mats so far have looked too large for you, you might be able to find something that will suit you better.
The way it has been designed means that you’ll have support for the entire mat from its bottom layer of natural rubber, and a top layer of cork that adjusts to give you extra grip even when you’re sweaty.
- Easy Clean: The cork surface is very easy to clean and maintain.
- Non-Toxic: Made with completely non-toxic materials.
- Size Choices: This means you find the size that’s right for you.
- Weight: The larger size is quite heavy at 7.2 pounds so it can be difficult to take around with you.
Best Cork Yoga Mat Buying Guide
So that was our list of the 5 best cork yoga mats out there - but there’s still more to go through on this topic. Choosing a yoga mat can be difficult, especially one made of less common materials.
When choosing a yoga mat you’re going to need to find something that is perfect for your own yoga journey. There are a few different things to keep in mind here, so we’re going to outline each one in a short buyer's guide.
Yoga mats vary greatly in size, and you’re going to need to make sure you get one that’s the right fit for you.
The best way you can determine this is to see a mat in person, but if you’re shopping online then check to see if there are any pictures that show the mat in relation to a human.
You can also physically measure the dimensions to work out if it’s right for you.
One of the main troubles people run into when it comes to yoga mats is grip. If you’ve ever used a cheap mat before then you’ll know how frustrating (and potentially dangerous) a bad grip can be.
Yoga is all about sustained positions and relaxation, so you’re going to make sure you have a mat that supports you throughout your session.
How much grip a cork mat has is going to be one of the most important things to consider when choosing.
You’re going to want to take a look at the surface of the mat you’re considering.
Does it have a design that lends itself to better grip? Certain mats will have ribbed surfaces or certain patterns that will help you.
When it comes to cork mats, the detail you need to watch for is the composition of the wood.
If you’re checking out the mat in person, then take some time to place your hands on it to see how it feels.
Another thing that you’ll want to consider is how easily your potential mat absorbs moisture. Sweat causes moisture to form on your mat and it can be one of the main problems that yoga practitioners run into.
Thankfully, cork is a good material for absorbing moisture - but you’ll want to make sure the mat in question has been specifically designed to support you.
Cork is actually one of the best options you’ll have if you’re going to be practicing hot yoga.
The material naturally lends itself to absorbing moisture - however, you’ll want to make sure it has been designed in a way that makes cleanup easy.
For example, cheap cork mats have a tendency to hold odor which can be really gross and difficult to deal with.
One thing you won’t find with cork yoga mats is excessive thickness. Soft rubber mats or foam are always better for support, as they are naturally springy. This is both a blessing and a curse.
Cork mats are naturally hard so you’ll always have a strong surface to stand on, but the negative to this is it might not be suitable if you need extra support on your joints - especially your knees!
There is a way around this. You’ll want to keep a close eye on the thickness of your mat, and how it has been designed.
Has it been layered carefully, so that you get additional support? Keep an eye on either the product description or customer reviews to see if it is suitable for your personal needs.
Before you commit to a purchase, make sure you are sure that a cork yoga mat is right for the kind of yoga that you’re doing.
Cork mats are the best for hot yoga sessions, where you’ll need something that is strong, sturdy, and able to resist excessive sweat.
A cork mat is a lot less suitable for calmer versions of yoga like Hatha or Vinyasa - especially if you are a person who needs additional support.
Design is more important than you might think. There are a lot of different designs on a yoga mat, and you’ll need to make sure you’re selecting one that is right for you.
Cork mats have the unique disadvantage that it’s much harder to print unique designs onto wood. You’ll find quite a lot of designs that feature simplistic engravings, but you’ll want to be careful with anything involving dye.
If a dye has been applied cheaply, without any kind of long-term solution, it’s possible that it will rub off.
This is especially true if you’re going to be sweating onto your mat a lot - the worst thing is getting dye on your body or clothing after a long session.
For this reason, you’re best to go with a simpler design or one that has been built to withstand anything you throw at it.
So that was our list of the 5 best cork yoga mats around. Trying to choose the right yoga mat can be a difficult process but it’s important that you take the time to make the right decision.
A good yoga mat can last you for years, as long as you choose one that is right for you and built to last.
It’s important to first consider the type of yoga class that you’re looking to go to before selecting one, and it’s the main reason that beginners often take a few classes before committing to a more expensive mat.
We hope that this guide has given you some good ideas of where to start when looking for a cork yoga mat.
If you still have some questions, make sure to keep reading for our extensive FAQ section that will guide you through some of the most common questions about yoga mats in general.
Yoga is a fantastic practice to add to your life and we wish you the best of luck on your journey!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Thick or Thin Yoga Mat Better?
This is a common question, but one that has no easy answer. It all depends on your own personal needs. Generally, if you’re a person who has problems with their joints or bones, you’re going to want something thicker.
This will support you as you get more accustomed to holding static positions. Yoga is all about balance and mindfulness, so you might want something that will allow you support as you navigate through difficult positions.
Thinner mats, on the other hand, are going to give you a lot better ground to balance on. They are more suitable for people who are looking for something that will allow them to perform more complex positions.
Is PVC Bad for a Yoga Mat?
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic material that has a lot of problems when used in gear for sports purposes. PVC can be a very harmful chemical that can cause health problems in humans.
This is why most yoga practitioners avoid it and opt for other materials such as natural rubber or cork.
What Is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga that involves a set series of movements over a 90-minute session. It usually takes place in a room that is heated up to 40 degrees Celsius with an incredibly thick climate.
Hot yoga can be a great way for practitioners to lose weight, mostly because of the amount it makes you sweat. It’s a fairly intense version of yoga, and only for beginners who are looking for a great workout.
If you want to focus on the more reflective aspects of yoga, then it’s not the best choice for you. In this case, it’s much better to opt for something like Hatha - which is the more basic form of yoga focusing on mindfulness, static poses, flexibility, and posture.
A good middle ground is Vinyasa yoga, also known as flow yoga, which will allow you to move through a fluid series of poses whilst also focusing on your breathing.
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