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TPE Yoga Mats
7/31/2013

What are they and are they eco friendly?

If you are unfortunate enough to be allergic to natural tree rubber or are looking for a lightweight mat that is eco friendly, TPE yoga mats may be the best earth happy option for you. The first thing you need to understand is that TPE is a type of plastic. TPE stands for Thermal Plastic Elastomer: a rubber-like plastic compound made of carbon, hydrogen, and other materials. TPE is recyclable, biodegradable, PVC-free, phthalate-free, and latex-free. Compared to PVC which contains unstable phthalates (toxins that are easily released into the atmosphere), TPE is a much more eco friendly option than regular yoga mats. Are they “all-natural” or “sustainable”? Not exactly. Are they earth friendly or considered a green material? I would say so. After all, TPE has replaced PVC plastic in children’s toys and pacifiers.

All-natural rubber, while an attractive option to some people, is not always practical. Natural rubber is wicked heavy: most rubber performance yoga mats weigh over 6 lbs! That’s a lot of weight to lug around, especially if you are a waif yogini. Did we mention rubber smells like … rubber? Read: tire store. This isn’t necessarily a bad smell. but it is certainly potent. Lastly, rubber fades in the sun. Your rubber mat will fade if left in prolonged or direct sunlight. To keep the color fresh, store in a yoga mat bag and indoors.

Most “lite” or “travel” mats on the market are made from TPE. TPE yoga mats weigh around 2 lbs., are thin (3 mm), waterproof, closed cell, very soft yet strong, and skidproof. TPE boasts superior elasticity and shock absorption. Dragonfly Yoga manufactures a TPE Lite Yoga Mat as part of it’s eco-friendly line. This mat is really neat because there are two textured surface designs to choose from: a repeating black dragonfly pattern or a blue and black two-toned mat with embossed dragonfly logo. We also make a lightweight TPE Hot Yoga Towel to absorb sweat and keep you rooted into the ground.

You can clean your TPE mat once a week or whenever necessary using a couple different methods. Do not use a washing machine or dryer.

  • Method One:
    Wipe the mat with cloth dipped in soap suds or mild and diluted laundry detergent. Rinse with water and wipe the mat with towel or cloth.
  • Method Two:
    Add 200 mL of white vinegar to a tub of warm water. Mix well. Lay in the mat and soak for 30 minutes. Roll mat in a dry towel to absorb excess water.
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