No matter what you produce in today’s economy, there will always be someone who wants an eco-friendly version.
Let’s face it – products that are absolutely awful for the environment just don’t sell as well, so many companies are making an effort to make sure that their production process, as well as the materials they use, are friendly for the environment.
As someone who wants to reduce their environmental footprint, I also shy away from buying things that I know are environmentally unfriendly. That’s why I like the Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat.
In the market, there are plenty of yoga mats that aim to be environmentally friendly. This is usually done with recycled materials and a more friendly production process.
However, the Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat does this particularly well. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this yoga mat to see if it’s the right mat for you!
CHEAT SHEET: Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat vs. Lululemon’s “The Mat”
100% Recycled Polyester
Polyurethane and rubber
1/6 inch or 1/4 inch
3mm or 5mm
This mat is a little lesser known compared to giants like the Manduka Pro Mat and Lululemon’s “The Mat”, but at a fairly decent price point, it’s worth trying if you’re a yoga lover. This mat comes in two thicknesses (1/6 inch and 1/4 inch) and is made from 100% recycled polyester.
In an effort to be environmentally friendly, the mat is also wrapped in the biodegradable polyolefin. On paper, this mat is really great for anyone who is interested in reducing their impact on the environment.
1. Quick Overview:
The Product: The Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat is one of several yoga mat offerings by the company. There is an even more environmentally-friendly yoga mat, called the “Original Eco Yoga Mat”.
The hybrid version is one of their signature mats due to how sticky it is, its price point, and of course its environmentally-friendly production and materials.
The Company: Barefoot Yoga Company aims to “inspire the practice of yoga”, and has been around since 1996. They offer a variety of environmentally friendly products, all yoga-inspired.
2. Pros & Cons:
- It’s very environmentally-friendly since it is made from 100% recycled materials. Specifically, this mat is made from PER, or Polymer Environmental Resin. It is not toxic like PVC because it lacks phthalate, phenol, dioxins, furans, or heavy metals, and it is also latex-free. This makes it better for your health and the environment. The Manduka Pro Mat, on the other hand, is made from PVC.
- It’s very sticky, which means you won’t slip around when you’re doing a downward facing dog. You may have a little trouble if you’re particularly sweaty, but only enough to need slight readjustment.
- It’s really easy to clean, so even after those sweaty yoga sessions, cleaning it isn’t any trouble. Barefoot Yoga Company recommends their special mat wipes, but you can just as easily use water and a clean, terry cloth towel.
- You can get this mat in two different thicknesses, so if you know you need a little more padding, then you can choose the thicker option, or if you feel like you want more contact with the floor, you can use the thinner one.
- This mat needs a little prep before use – Barefoot Yoga Company recommends wiping it down with a wet, terry cloth towel before first use to remove any factory residue. This is to help improve the traction.
- Another con about the first use of this mat is that there is a strong plastic smell when you first receive it, so you’ll want to air it out before use.
- This mat does not come in many lengths, so it may be harder to find an appropriate size for taller users.
3. Who should buy this mat?
- If you’re interested in protecting the environment, this mat is a great option due to its environmentally-friendly materials as well as its non-toxic and latex-free production process.
- This mat is supposed to last a long time because of the materials it is made of, so if you want to buy a mat that will last you a long time through all of your yoga sessions, this is a great choice.
- This mat is also great for those who are looking for a great product at a great price. Many high-quality yoga mats are upwards of $50, so $40 and below for Barefoot’s mat is an excellent price. The Manduka Pro Mat is a full $70 more than the Barefoot Hybrid Eco Mat.
From the Crowd: Reviews of the Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat
Excerpt from a review on Barefoot Yoga Company’s website
“This mat is comfy, cushy, and the color is rich. It’s easy to clean and is very sticky, but I do slip a little when my palms start to sweat (usually downward dog I have to keep adjusting my hands because I start slipping).”
Excerpt from The Vegan Asana’s review
“When I received the mat and took it out of the packaging the first thing that I noticed was a slight plasticky smell. This didn’t surprise me, as the mat is made of a poly resin. After I left the mat laying out for several days, the smell almost entirely dissipated.”
Excerpt from Prana Journal’s review
“A few days ago, my daughter, Stephanie, told me that while I was traveling, she used my Barefoot Yoga mat for her practice. From the start, she found it had a great surface that kept her from slipping, even though it’s not ‘sticky’.”
Alternatives to the Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat
Manduka Black Mat Pro
Lululemon The Reversible Mat
PVC with fabric-like finish on top
Polyurethane and rubber
3mm or 5mm
Closed cell surface
This is one of the most reputable yoga mats today; however, it carries a much higher price tag ($110). It is extremely thick and despite being made of PVC, it is certified by OEKO-TEX in Europe to be safe for human contact. Their production process is also supposed to ensure that toxic chemicals do not enter the atmosphere. The Manduka Pro Mat, similarly to the Barefoot mat, is supposed to last a long time.
2. Lululemon’s “The Mat”
This is another well-priced option, though it is slightly more expensive than the Barefoot mat. At $68, it’s a good price for both those who are casually into yoga and those who can’t start their day without it. This mat is also known for being very
Final Notes and Tips About the Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat
You can pick up this mat from Amazon or from Barefoot Yoga Company’s website. The biggest thing to know when you first get it is that it has a slight smell right out of the box, so it will require some airing out.
Barefoot Yoga Company recommends cleaning this mat with their specially formulated wipes, which could potentially extend the lifetime of your mat. If you are interested in this mat for longevity, these wipes may be a good option.
Finally, you should remember to prep this mat after receiving it, which you can do by simply wiping the mat down with a wet terry cloth. This will improve the traction of the mat so you do not slip as much.
Should I Buy the Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mat?
This mat is an excellent price for good quality. It is supposed to last a long time due to its intensively environmentally-friendly production process, so if you want to buy a mat and never have to worry about replacing it, this is a good option.
It may not be as heavy-duty as the Manduka Pro Mat, but it is also much more eco-conscious and much less expensive.
If those things are important to you, then this is a great choice. For being such a good quality mat, the price almost makes it theft.