Product Review : A Yoga Mat Made From Cork


I recently connected with Christina Cavaco who founded Cork Leaf, a fresh, holistic and innovative online yoga mat company. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to try out her newest product - a beautifully designed yoga mat made out of sustainable cork. 

A yoga mat made from cork?! It certainly piqued my curiosity too! Here is my review of this mat after a few months of practicing on it!

The Corky Surface


The cork material has been meticulously pressed into a sheet leaving a smooth corky finish. The surface was firm but supportive and comfortable for my wrists and ankles. The natural element of the cork was a delight to practice my yoga on. I loved the sense of grounding I got from placing my feet and hands on something natural, rather than on something synthetic. Something as subtle as the texture and feel of the mat actually created a very different yoga experience for me.

The Yoga Grip

In terms of traction and grip, I found this mat to be pretty good. Occasionally, I found it a little difficult to find my footing because the cork surface itself is so smooth. Once I was warmed up though, a little perspiration on the hands actually provided a much better grip. It is also recommended to wet your hands a little too if you want even better grip if you have your water bottle nearby!

The Design


From an aesthetic perspective, I loved the design of this mat. The corners are slightly curved and the logo is pressed cleanly into the cork like a stamp. I also found the earthy,  natural colour of the cork to be very calming - a big departure from all the intensely coloured yoga mats that I usually see.

Environmental Impact

Something that I really loved about Cork Leaf is their environmentally considered approach to product design. The mat is created from 100% natural, sustainable and renewable sources. The cork is 100% biodegradable, extracted from the bark of the tree which means that the tree is never cut down. The cork bark regenerates on the trees over 9 years before it is harvested again, which also helps to facilitate a greater rate of carbon dioxide absorption. In addition, Cork Leaf has teamed up with Carbon Neutral where one tree is planted for every mat sold!

Looking After the Mat


I found myself treating this mat with more care than I would other yoga mats because the pressed cork surface appears to be delicate. I found myself concerned that the cork surface would crack if I folded it or scratched it by accident. It was also advisable to store the mat flat to avoid any cracks forming but I have been keeping it gently rolled up. So far, I have been using it for about 2 months and haven’t noticed any cracks (fingers crossed)! 

Despite the fact that cork is very water resistant and the material is meant to be naturally anti-microbial, I would still be hesitant to take this mat into a heated yoga room as I would be worried that the humidity may damage the material. The website does say that the mat is suitable for bikram yoga too, but I am yet to try this myself. Currently, I treat it as my deluxe yoga mat for my home practice!

Value for Money

At $125 AUD, the price point is definitely higher than a lot of other mass produced PVC yoga mats on the market. But its not a mass produced product. In addition using sustainable cork and a completely different process for making the yoga mat means we cannot really make a direct comparison against a normal PVC mat. However, I would definitely hope to see the value of this mat deliver in its durability.

Overall, I think this is a brilliant eco-friendly yoga mat alternative. More importantly, I think it is so inspiring to see so many small companies and entrepreneurs such as Cork Leaf that have a strong environmental or social focus, inspiring consumers to think more consciously about the products they choose to bring into their lives. 

Have tried an eco friendly yoga mat or have you also been using a cork mat too? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below! 

Jo ChunYan - Intuition Coach & Graphic Designer

I'm Jo ChunYan. I am an Intuition Coach and Graphic Designer, currently enjoying a deeply soul nourishing experience in my spirit home, Japan. This sanctuary is devoted to cultivating CONSCIOUSNESS, CONNECTION & INTUITION.