If you’re here, you’re must be wondering – do cork yoga mats ACTUALLY provide solid traction & support in your poses? Or are they too slippery?
Cork yoga mats have been on the market for a few years now – and they boast many benefits over traditional yoga mats. One of the main benefits of cork? It’s grip.
But do cork yoga mats really have better grip than a regular yoga mat? And how so? Let’s find out.
Do cork yoga mats have good grip?
Yes – many yoga instructors agree cork yoga mats have the best grip. In fact, many users say that they feel more stable and secure on a cork yoga mat than any yoga mat they’ve tried. Cork has a uniquely tacky surface – which creates perfect friction, even with sweat.
Are cork yoga mats good for sweaty hands?
Yes – in fact, yogis with sweaty hands SPECIFICALLY use cork yoga mats, since the grip improves with sweaty hands and moisture in general (especially for hot yoga). Many instructors agree cork yoga mats are the #1 option for grip.
What is a cork yoga mat made of?
Cork is a 100% natural and organic material – safely harvested from the bark of a cork oak tree. It’s an eco-friendly process that involves gently removing the bark, which leaves the tree unharmed. The bark naturally grows back and the tree remains in perfect shape.
Now, the reason why cork yoga mats have such good grip? Their surface is extremely textured – along with containing a natural substance called Suberin. This provides even more traction and makes it less likely that you’ll slip during your practice.
If you’re wondering are cork yoga mats worth it? Here are the pros and cons.
It also provides enough traction to keep you stable, without being so sticky that it interferes with your movement. In addition, suberin is naturally antimicrobial, which helps to keep your yoga mat clean and free of bacteria. So next time you’re shopping for a yoga mat, look for one that contains suberin – it just might be the best mat you’ve ever used.
Cork’s grip when wet
When the mat becomes wet with sweat, the suberin helps to prevent slipping and sliding. In addition, suberin helps to protect the cork from water damage. This means that your yoga mat will last longer – even with regular use in sweaty conditions.
So if you are looking for a mat that will provide excellent grip, even when your hands are sweaty, look for one that is made with cork (especially cork yoga mats for hot yoga). Thanks to Suberin, you can enjoy a stable and slip-free practice – no matter how much you sweat.
Cork’s grip when dry
When it’s dry, cork offers the perfect combination of friction and smoothness to keep you in your poses… while allowing you to slide into each new pose – without that “sticky” feeling many yoga mats have. Just make sure to know how to clean a cork yoga mat, since dust and oils can hurt the grip.
Comparing vs. other yoga materials
Cork vs. Rubber
When it comes to yoga mats, cork is the better option for grip. Rubber can be a bit too slick, making it difficult to maintain your balance in some poses. Cork also has natural cushioning, which makes it a more comfortable surface to practice on. If you’re looking for the best possible grip and comfort while practicing yoga, go with a cork yoga mat.
Cork vs. PVC
As anyone who has attempted a Downward-Facing Dog on a PVC yoga mat can attest… the material is notoriously slippery. This can be frustrating for yogis of all levels, as it makes it difficult to maintain proper form and alignment.
PVC mats are also more likely to cause injuries – as they offer little traction or cushioning in the event of a fall. This is another reason many yogis prefer to use cork. These mats provide more grip and support, making them safer and more comfortable to use.
In general, natural materials are more environmentally-friendly than PVC – along with being non-toxic. So if you’re looking for a mat that will help you stay safe and supported during your yoga practice, consider ditching the PVC in favor of a more natural option.
Cork vs. TPE
These mats are made from a Thermoplastic Elastomer, which is a synthetic rubber compound that is both durable and flexible. These yoga mats offer “average” grip your hands & feet – most yoga instructors have mixed opinions of TPE. You’ll need to try the specific TPE mat you’re interested in, before making a judgement.
That being said, TPE makes a excellent “bottom-side” support for cork yoga mats. Whether you’re on flooring, carpeting, concrete, or any flat surface – TPE’s traction works great between the ground and cork (much better than your hands and feet).
Cork vs. Jute
Anyone who has ever done yoga on a jute mat knows that they can be incredibly slippery.
The smooth, fibrous surface provides little traction, making it difficult to hold poses. This can be frustrating for beginners who are still learning how to balance, and it can even be dangerous for more experienced yogis who are attempting advanced poses.
Jute mats are also notorious for bunching up during Downward Dog, which can throw off your alignment and cause you to lose your balance. If you’re looking for a yoga mat that won’t slip and slide, you’re better off avoiding Jute.
How do I improve the grip of a cork yoga mat?
While cork already has industry-leading grip… there are a few things you can do to improve the grip of your cork yoga mat, in the rare case you need to:
- Be sure to clean it regularly with a mat cleaner or mild soap and water. This will help to remove any build-up of sweat or oils that can make the mat slippery.
- Avoid using any lotions or oils on your hands or feet before practicing yoga. These can also contribute to a slippery surface.
- Try occasionally sprinkling baby powder or magnesium carbonate powder on your mat (from time to time). This will help to absorb moisture and create a bit of traction. With a little care and effort, you can enjoy a slip-free yoga practice.
- Go through the step-by-step process in our how to fix a slippery yoga mat guide. This offers additional tips and advice to maximize grip of a yoga mat.
How long does the grip last? Are cork yoga mats durable?
You probably wondering – are cork yoga mats durable? And how long is their lifespan?
Cork yoga mats offer excellent grip for 1-2 years – and they’re made of natural and sustainable materials. They’re also lightweight and portable, making them ideal for traveling yogis.
It’s a naturally anti-microbial material, so it helps to keep your mat clean and free of bacteria. Cork is also eco-friendly and renewable – so you can feel good about using a cork mat. This organic material offers durable grip that will hold up to regular use, making them a great choice for those who practice yoga regularly.
Whether you are looking for a mat that offers excellent grip, or one that is environmentally-friendly, a cork yoga mat is a great option.