Manduka eKO yoga mat review

I always get tonnes of questions asked by my family and friends when it comes to yoga. One of the subjects of discussion is about yoga mat.

I often get the questions below when it comes to the yoga mat:
“What is the best yoga mat?”
“Why is yoga mat so expensive?”
“What is the most reliable yoga mat brand?”
“Which yoga mat would you recommend?”
“What yoga mat are you using?”

Yoga mats are more commonly known as non-slip mats, non-skid mats or sticky mats. They can enhance your yoga practice experience by preventing hands and feet from slipping during practices such as resting in the downward facing dog. It gives protection to your protruding joints such as knees and elbows when they are grounded.

There are a handful of yoga mats options in the market. In fact, that is the only thing I would recommend friends to get when they intend to practice regularly.

I am excited to share a review on Manduka eKO collection yoga mats as I have personally gone through a few yoga mats to finally found one that almost fulfills my checklist so far. 3 mats to be exact before digging from piggy bank to get the Manduka eKO collection yoga mat. I now owned two eKO collection yoga mat, eKO lite yoga mat, and eKO SuperLite yoga mat.

What are we waiting for? Let’s get started with the review!

What Manduka claims about the eKO collection yoga mats?

  • A  natural grip which ensures your practice is always in place.
  • Made from natural tree rubber and sustainably harvested tree rubber (non-Amazon harvested).
  • Closed-cell surface to keep moisture and bacteria from soak into its core,
  • Eco-friendly as it is biodegradable.
  • Use of a blend of polyester and natural cotton as the reinforcement instead of synthetic polyester.
  • Zero-waste during the manufacturing process, post-industrial scrap is collected and utilized in the production of other material.
  • Toxic-free softening process and free of harmful foaming agent and PVC (plasticizer).

What are the yoga mats options available under the eKO collection?

  • eKO yoga mat
  • eKO Lite yoga mat
  • eKO SuperLite yoga mat

What are the features of these eKO yoga mats?

For the eKO and eKO Lite yoga mat:

  • Comfortably cushioned providing comfort, grip, and support
  • Thickness: 5mm for eKO yoga mat; 4mm for eKO Lite yoga mat
  • Fabricated with Tri-Layer Technology to offer an optimal combination of grip, durability, comfort, and performance.
    • Top Layer: Natural sealed-cell surface keeps out moisture and sweat from soaking into the mat and breed bacteria.
    • Center Layer: Stretch-resistant scrim binds the unique layers together using a heating process which eliminates the need for toxic glues.
    • Bottom Layer: Thicker layer to provide lightweight cushion and excellent loft for your practice!
    • Discoloration can be a by-product of natural rubber products.

For the eKO SuperLite yoga mat

  • Ideal travel mat with a 1.5mm thickness which makes folding easy and able to fit into the bag, suitcase or purse.
  • Tightly woven scrim to resist tearing or stretching.

What do I love about the eKO yoga mats?

The first thing that attracted my attention when I was checking out on Manduka site for a yoga mat, is the word ‘eKO’. I love that the eKO collection yoga mats are sustainably made, eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Manduka eKO Lite yoga mat

Reasons I love the eKO Lite yoga mat that I am having:

  • Thickness: The thickness is 4mm and it is the perfect thickness in my opinion. It provides sufficient comfort and support during practices.
  • Density: I find the density of the mat is one of the reasons I felt grounded during my daily practice. It provides the protection yet doesn’t make me felt like I am not connected to the ground especially holding in arms balancing poses and leg balancing poses.
  • Textured surface: I have sweaty palms and the textured surface actually helps in gripping and reduce slipping during my daily practice. I stay put during transitions from pose to pose.
  • Weight: It weighs 4.5lbs (2.2kg) which is reasonable to me even to be brought along during traveling (the hub thinks it is heavy because he was the one lugging around for me LOL).

Manduka eKO SuperLite yoga mat

Reasons I love the eKO SuperLite yoga mat:

  • Portability: One of the best reasons to own an eKO SuperLite yoga mat is it is thin like a sheet (1.5mm) which enables folding and fit into the bag as promised. Here’s how I pack it and carry along when I am out for the day (just in case I might be able to lay out the mat for a short yoga session).
  • Weight: It only weighs 2.2lbs (1kg) and felt weightless to me (the hub got me and is very happy with his choice) to lug around.
  • Non-slip: The non-slip property remains with a reduced thickness which amazes me. Never once I slip during my practice using it.

Some points worth taking note (just in case you care):

  • Odor: As they are made from natural rubber, there’s always a smell on it. Especially after my practices, I felt like I am a rubber tree myself LOL. Good thing is, the odor is slowly fading.
  • Stain/mark: I wouldn’t attribute it to stains but more like marks. There are light marks against my dark colored mat. (I guess that’s because I have too much dead skin on my feet? LOL
  • Fray: As the reinforcement are made of a blend of polyester and natural cotton, it will fray a little at the side after using for a while (especially on the eKO Lite yoga mat). It’s the nature of the yoga mat I suppose because it is biodegradable. Here’s how it looks at the side of the mats which see some fraying of reinforcement.

Verdict: Great Performance

As mentioned by Manduka, the performance of the eKO collection yoga mats are great. It has provided protection, comfort, and grip that you need during practices. It is eco-friendly and it makes our practice more meaningful without harming the environment.

I have been using the eKO Lite and eKO SuperLite yoga mat for more than a year now. Never once I regret getting an eKO yoga mat and recommended it to my friends and family. I am glad that I have this platform to share my experience with Manduka eKO collection yoga mat.

Lastly, a yoga mat is not necessary. As yoga has been founded a thousand (or more) years ago while yoga mat is a fairly recent invention. Do not get impeded from practice due to the lack of a yoga mat. Practice can be done on carpeted areas and if you get sweaty easily, spreading a towel is also an option. A towel can also provide protection to your joint by making a couple of folds and placing it on your grounded joints that hurt.

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