Our Rating: 5/5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
- Naturally antimicrobial and doesn’t absorb heat
- Cork layer offers an excellent grip for sweatier sessions
- Mats are made with natural, sustainably sourced cork and rubber
|Country of Origin:||Made in China. Rubber sourced from India and Southeast Asia, Cork from Portugal.|
Gurus offer two Natural Cork Mat options, the Roots Yoga Mat (View Price on Amazon) which has a natural rubber base layer, and the Sprout mat that is made with TPE. As such, the Roots Mat makes the ecoDirectory cut, but the Sprout does not.
The Roots mat measures 72” by 25” and is versatile thanks to its cork top layer and rubber bottom layer. You can use this mat whichever way up you like, with the cork layer offering excellent grip for sweatier sessions and the rubber ideal for cooler, calmer practice. Cork naturally absorbs moisture, meaning that you won’t need to use a towel on top of this mat, making it even easier to take your practice with you when you travel. That said, the mat does weigh in at about 5 pounds, despite being quite thin. This is still much lighter than most regular rubber mats, though (the Manduka eKO is 7 pounds).
Cork is naturally antimicrobial (making this mat a breeze to care for), and it doesn’t absorb heat, so you can use this mat for outdoor yoga in the sun (cork side up). Just be sure to roll this mat instead of folding it, so you don’t risk cracking the cork.
The Roots mat offers a good balance between comfort and stability as it is firm but forgiving on the joints.
Gurus mats are made with natural, sustainably sourced cork and rubber, some of which is tapped right on the family farms of the company’s creators in Kerala, India. The company is clearly committed to environmentally-friendly practices and has partnered with Trees For The Future, a non-profit that plants trees with rural communities in the developing world, enabling them to restore their environment, grow more food, and build a sustainable future. For every Gurus product purchased, Trees For The Future plant a tree.
Gurus vs. Mantra, Basically Perfect, and Repose
The Gurus Roots Yoga Mat is one of the best eco-friendly yoga mats around. It is versatile thanks to its rubber and cork construction and is made by a company committed to environmental sustainability. It also looks, feels, and performs fantastically. The only downside is that it’s a little heavy as a travel yoga mat, but it’s still lighter than any rubber mat that would provide the same level of comfort (with less grip). Other options for fans of cork include the Mantra Cork Yoga Mat (View Price on Amazon), which you can have personally laser engraved! There are other cork/rubber mat options out there, such as Basically Perfect’s Cork Yoga Mat (View Price on Amazon) and the Repose Yoga Mat (View Price on Amazon), but these companies do not have a ‘giving back’ branch to their business.