Jade Yoga Mat Review

What to Expect from the Leading Natural Rubber Yoga Mat

Jade Yoga Mat Review
Jade Yoga Mats. Photo Courtesy of Jade Yoga

Most yoga mats are made from synthetic polyvinyl chloride (PVC). There are many reasons to avoid PVC mats, the most salient of which is concern for the environmental impact of their manufacturing process. Since the material does not biodegrade, a PVC yoga mat is going to be taking up space on the planet long after your last downward facing dog upon it. While premium PVC mats like the Manduka PRO have an exceptionally long use life, most bargain PVC yoga mats wear out in less than a year, meaning that your yoga practice is leaving a trail of used mats in its wake.

So what are the alternatives? One of the most popular is natural rubber yoga mats which can be manufactured ecologically from renewable resources and will break down naturally when their lifespan is over.  

The Pros

Jade Yoga was one of the first companies to make rubber yoga mats, starting in 2000. Their Harmony mat remains the rubber mat gold standard, because people who like their Jade mats are really passionate about it. Aside from its ecological bona fides, the main attraction of the Harmony mat is its excellent traction.  If you are used to slipping around on the PVC mat provided by the gym, you will be amazed at the difference. It seems almost impossible to slip while using this mat. The Harmony is also a nice thickness, providing a cushy practice surface.

The Cons

There are a few downsides to a rubber mat, which may or may not be deal breakers, depending on how you plan to use the mat.

First off, it's pretty heavy. Natural rubber weighs more than synthetic materials. The Harmony mat weighs about 5 pounds, which is twice as much as a basic PVC Gaiam mat. It may not sounds like a lot, but you will notice it if you carry your mat from home to work to class. This isn't so much a concern if you can keep your mat where you practice.

 

The other thing you should know is that the mat has a distinct rubbery smell, not unlike that of a new tire. The smell does wear off a bit eventually, especially if you air the mat regularly. You may also get used to it over time, but it can be a real problem for people who are very sensitive to odors. 

Tell Me More

Jade's Harmony mat is available in many colors and three different lengths. Other options include an extra wide mat, and extra thick mat, and a travel mat, so there really is something for everyone. The mats wear very well, lasting several years even with regular use. They can be washed by hand or machine but must air dry fully, which can take a while since the rubber is absorbent. To further strengthen their eco cred, Jade works with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for every mat they sell. Jade is a family owned business and the mats are made in the USA. 

To see how the Jade Harmony mats stacks up against four other popular yoga mats, check out our Best Yoga Mats Comparison Chart.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.

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