For those who wish to avoid traditional yoga mats made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), no other eco-friendly option receives more positive expert and consumer feedback than the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat. While it may not be as durable as PVC mats, users say it lasts a decent amount of time, provides excellent traction and -- at 4.5 pounds -- is light enough to haul around in a gym bag.
Take it anywhere. One of the most common criticisms of high-quality yoga mats is their hefty weight. At 4.5 pounds, the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat is light enough for most people to carry from home to class and everywhere in between.
Not nose-friendly. The Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat is crafted from an open-cell natural rubber, which is biodegradable, and comes in two lengths, 68 or 74 inches. It's not very thick (just 3/16 of an inch) or as durable as other PVC-made mats. However, most reviewers say it still offers good support without bunching. Because the Jade Harmony is more eco-friendly, concerned consumers can feel a bit better when replacing it.
One major drawback users note is the distinct rubber smell the mat puts off. Some note that the smell fades overtime, but those who are particularly sensitive to smells may want to avoid this mat.
Excellent traction. Open-cell yoga mats, like the Jade Harmony Professional, have great grip and stability because they absorb sweat and water, making them less slippery than their closed-cell counterparts. However, since the mat readily absorbs sweat, it is harder to clean. This is the biggest downside mentioned in reviews, though many reviewers also provide smart tips on how to properly clean it. At just 3/16 inches, the mat is thin enough that yogis feel well grounded while practicing various poses.
1. Women's Adventure magazine
Women's Adventure magazine gives the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat an overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5). Testers say the mat provides excellent grip, even when hands and feet get sweaty.
Review: Winter 2011 Editor's Choice Awards -- Yoga, Editors of Women's Adventure, Nov. 15, 2010
2. Om Shanti: A Yoga Blog
In this roundup of eco-friendly yoga mats, the author of the Om Shanti blog provides decent coverage of the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat. While he finds it fairly durable and not slippery, he is wary about the open-cell construction, which is hard to clean and can attract bacteria. He also notes a strong rubber smell.
Review: The Best (and Worst) Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats, "Eugene", March 29, 2009
The Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat gets an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 320 user reviews at Amazon.com. Reviewers praise the sticky surface, which helps prevent slipping even during hot yoga classes. However, they note that the open-cell construction makes the mat hard to clean.
Review: Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of June 2013
4. Yoga and Joyful Living
Jancy Langley calls the Jade Harmony Professional one of the magazine's top picks for sustainable and biodegradable yoga mats. Langley says it is one of the best natural rubber mats, but she notes that "even with a soap or vinegar rubdown, the rubbery scent can persist."
Review: Your New & Improved Eco-Mat, Jancy Langley, Winter 2009
YogaConsumerReports.com hosts a small selection of user reviews, but the site's editors also select a top pick in three categories. They say the Jade Harmony Professional is the best eco yoga mat, thanks to its thick and slip-resistant design.
Review: Yoga Mats Go Eco, Editors of YogaConsumerReports.com, Not dated
Cassandra Evanas selects 10 yoga mats in this roundup. The Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat is a top pick. However, it is unclear whether the author tested each of the selections. The information provided is brief, but helpful.
Review: Ten Yoga Mats Perfect for Your Needs: Form Meets Function, Cassandra Evanas, Not dated
Fitness expert Nora Tobin selects her top 10 fitness items, including the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat. Tobin hails the mat for its use of natural rubber and lack of heavy chemicals.
Review: The Fitness Gear I Can't Live Without, Nora Tobin, Not Dated
Here the editor of PopSugar: Fitness (formerly FitSugar) praises the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat for its nice traction and eco-friendliness, but she notes the distinctive rubber smell and finds that it is not as durable as other options.
Review: Ease Yoga Mat Confusion With This Buyer's Guide, Jenny Sugar, Sept. 1, 2011
Ann Pizer, the yoga guide at About.com, details the pros and cons and provides helpful insight into the strengths and weaknesses of several yoga mats. Pizer praises the Jade Harmony Professional Yoga Mat for its natural materials and nice thickness. She does note that the mat has a distinctive rubbery smell, but she says that she was not bothered by the scent during practice.
Review: Jade Harmony Yoga Mat Review, Ann Pizer, Updated June 24, 2012