Manduka PRO vs eKO: Which Is the Right Yoga Mat for You?
Need help choosing your next eco-friendly yoga mat? We compared Manduka's PRO and eKO options to help you pick the perfect option for your practice.
We may as well get this out of the way: I love Manduka. I have had my Manduka mat for more than five years, and it’s a huge part of my yoga. It’s pretty, grippy, and easy to roll up post-practice, and I have always wanted to try the brand’s other offerings. My yoga mat has held up amazingly over the years, so I haven’t had the opportunity to expand my Manduka menu—until now, that is.
In general, the fitness industry can be wasteful: Many brands make low-quality equipment from unsustainable materials that aren’t built to last. There's also the issue of excessive production, which leads to increased landfill waste. Luckily, sustainability has been a “practice” of Manduka’s product innovation from the beginning.
Not only are the brand’s trademark mats designed to stand the test of time, Manduka also offers an eco option created from entirely sustainable materials. Both of the options are thoughtful in their own right and provide your practice with a sturdy (and chic) foundation.
If you’re looking to upgrade your yoga mat but are unsure which route is right for you and your fitness routine, read on—the Brightly team tested Manduka’s PRO and eKO mats to help you make a mindful choice.
Here, a look at Manduka mats, done two ways.
Shop now: Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
First things first: the Manduka PRO is a substantial yoga mat. It’s lengthy (71 inches) and well-cushioned (6 millimeters thick), and fairly weighty. That said, these factors combine in a mat that’s literally designed to last a lifetime, making these sturdy elements make a lot of sense.
The PRO is dense, and crafted with support and stability in mind for a successful practice. It’s also easy to clean and made from a closed-cell material meant to keep bacteria out.
Though the mat does contain PVC, the latex-free material used has been certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, ensuring that it's tested for toxic chemicals and safe and healthy for use—and all of the inclusions combine to help it last a literal lifetime.
I prefer to use the PRO for at-home practice and workouts. The mat is clearly made with endurance in mind (which is always a win in terms of sustainability), but the thought of toting it to a class is daunting. In the comfort of my living room, though, the PRO creates a reliable and motivational base for my fitness regimen—once I roll it out, there are no more excuses.
Shop now: Manduka eKO Yoga Mat
The Manduka eKO is an ideal choice for those who favor a lightweight foundation for their practice. The mat weighs only seven pounds and is a bit thinner than the PRO (5 millimeters)—an easy option for those who enjoy walking to their studio practice.
The eKO’s lightweight material comes courtesy of non-Amazon harvested tree rubber, which is natural, durable, and biodegradable once the mat reaches the end of its life (which is admittedly shorter than the PRO’s “forever” life expectancy). It was also developed by yoga teachers, meaning that all aspects of the mat as related to your practice have been considered.
I find that the eKO is perfect for an on-the-go workout. Whether you live in a city and like to stroll to your classes or simply find yourself carting your mat around, the eKO feels portable and sleek, rolling easily into the bag strap of your choice (or just under your arm). And while the material used is natural, the brand’s claim that it’s the most durable natural mat on the market feels true: the eKO offers enough stick and support to make it my go-to.
Between emissions-free manufacturing and the creation of the first-ever recyclable yoga mat, Manduka is a leader in the fitness sustainability space. The most important factor is that their mats are made to last, making constant replacement—and the production and post-use waste that comes with it—a non-starter.
Making mindful choices is an important aspect of becoming a better steward of the planet. So grab your reusable water bottle, throw on your tried-and-true fitness gear, take your workout outside, and invest in a mat that makes your practice feel as peaceful as possible.
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