6 Reasons You Should Get A Cork Yoga Mat

Yoga is great. It’s great for stretching, great for building up your physical strength, it’s great for improving your breathing, and it’s great for relaxation as well.

It’s something that’s incredibly natural and wholesome but, surprisingly and unfortunately, a lot of yoga products aren’t: most yoga products, particularly yoga mats, are made from plastic and other non-sustainable materials. 

Thankfully it turns out that cork is not only great for storing wine, but it’s also perfect for making yoga mats and other yoga products like yoga blocks as well. If you’re looking for a new yoga mat, you should definitely get a cork one. 

Yoga mat from corkyogis
Source: Cork Yogis

It’s not that I’m biased. Portugal may be the world’s biggest cork producer, and this is a blog all about Portugal, but that definitely isn’t the only reason to buy cork. These yoga mats also look great, are completely natural, they’re sustainable, and they’re great for sweaty hands and feet. 

If you’re convinced, check out the following producers. Or, if you’re not quite convinced yet, read on to see what makes them so great. 

Cork yoga mats look great

Cork yoga mats also look much nicer than regular yoga mats, you have to admit. I’ve owned a few normal yoga mats over the years, and they tend to look quite scruffy (even when they’re new). 

corkyogis yogamat half unrolled
Source: Cork Yogis

These yoga mats on the other hand are very stylish and look incredibly unique. 

Cork is completely natural

Unlike many products that are used to make yoga mats and other products, cork yoga mats are completely natural which really fits with the yoga ethos. 

Thick pieces of cork
Large pieces of cork that have been boiled and pressed

Cork is entirely sustainable

The cork industry is completely renewable and sustainable: cork trees are never harmed or cut down, and there are strict laws in place that dictate how often producers can harvest cork. 

Cork drying in sun
Harvested cork drying in the sun

If anything happens to your yoga mat, or you decide to throw it away and get a new one, the good news is that cork is biodegradable. It’s not going to spend the next few centuries clogging up a landfill somewhere. 

Cork is great for sweaty hands and feet

Hippy dippy benefits aside, and those are definitely important, cork is actually the perfect material to make yoga mats with. The texture of cork is incredibly absorbent, and your grip actually improves the more you sweat (great news for those of us who sweat a lot). 

Easy to clean and maintain

Cork yoga mats are surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. You can wipe it down with a standard antibacterial product and, as with a normal yoga mat, it’s recommended that you do this at least once per week. 

Cork yoga mats benefit Portugal

Portugal is the largest cork producer in the world and it’s responsible for 50% of the world’s cork production. Although there are a lot of cork yoga mat producers in the United States, Australia, and throughout the world, almost all of them will use cork that comes from Portugal. 

Want to be certain? Corkyogis.com (UK), yolohayoga.com (USA), and theasanasyoga.com (Norway) all use cork that comes from Portugal. 

Spot a mistake? If you notice a mistake, or would like to suggest improvements to the article, please get in touch. This article was last updated in February 2019.

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4 thoughts on “6 Reasons You Should Get A Cork Yoga Mat”

Comments are the expression of the commentator and not of Portugalist.com.
    • Hi Johannes,

      I don’t know of any actually. I’m sure there are some, but it’s not something that I’ve seen. Most seem to focus on cork handbags, wallets, etc.

  1. I find my cork mat has very little grip unless I am very sweaty, which is not often. Is there a topping I can use? I am thinking of ditching the cork as it’s not fit for purpose – not enough grip!

    • Hey Jan,

      That’s a good question. I know some people lightly spray water on their mats to get the same effect. I guess you could also try wetting your hands.

      As for toppings, I don’t know of anything but hopefully somebody else can chime in with a suggestion or two.

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