Whether you want a non-toxic bath mat to keep yourself from slipping in the shower or to keep your babies from sliding around, we made this list just for you!
Why bring toxins in your home when you don’t have to? It’s a little more understandable when it comes to food, makeup, and other treasured products. In those cases, you aren’t sure if it’s going to taste the same or apply the same way. But bath mats?
A toxic bath mat is absolutely NO better than a non-toxic one in any way! So this is a natural swap that isn’t hard and not doesn’t involve much label reading.
(Once you’re in the tub, you may be interested in our picks for non-toxic bath bombs too.)
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
What Kind of Bath Mats are Toxic?
When you’re on the hunt for a non-toxic bath mat you’ll find that most regular bath mats are fabricated from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which can be extremely harmful. PVC alone is hard and rigid, so companies add plasticizers to make them soft and limber.
Phthalates are a type of plasticizer that you may have heard of before. Some phthalates are used as solvents in other materials such as detergents, cosmetics, and shampoo. No matter what form they come in though, they can still be toxic to our health.
Within the phthalates category, there is another chemical called DEHP, which has had more exposure in recent years. This exposure has shown DEHP’s harmful effects and created more government regulation.
You can look at any bath mat and decide whether it’s toxic or non-toxic just by looking to see if the brand makes it with natural materials. PVC is the most common toxic chemical in bath mats, and, unfortunately, it’s also the most common.
Synthetic rubber is another nasty material we have to watch out for. It is made from oil byproducts and contains two chemicals that are actually on the Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS) list, regulated by the EPA.
You may also see mats that are made from PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate). While they are not as dangerous as PVC, there are still better non-toxic options on the market.
How a Bath Mat Can Be Harmful to Your Health
When the average person is thinking of purchasing a bath mat, they really aren’t thinking of the dangers in the materials. (This goes for many other common household products we purchase too, of course.) More times than not, no one talks about the chemicals they are made of or the effects of exposure to them.
While we can’t be protected from every toxic exposure, we can definitely try to limit them.
PVC bath mats are harmful due to their high chlorine content. Over time, due to moisture and heat in the bathroom, bath mats can release toxins on a normal basis.
Have you ever purchased a plastic item that smelled weird when you opened it? That smell is the harmful chemicals (phthalates) leaching into our environment. This happens constantly with PVC bath mats.
Studies show that the emissions (volatile organic compounds; VOCs) from PVC not only disrupt our hormones and endocrine system, but can also cause respiratory issues, and increase our risk of cancer. Synthetic rubber also releases VOCs, just like PVC.
What is a Non-Toxic Bath Mat Made of?
Most non-toxic bath mats on the market today are made from natural or synthetic rubber. Both of these materials are free from PVC and phthalates, but as just mentioned synthetic rubber is not actually non-toxic.
Natural rubber is made from latex, which is taken from plants and trees. Most bath mats used to be made with natural rubber until PVC emerged as a cheaper manufacturing option. Fortunately, natural rubber is making a comeback.
Our Favorite Non-Toxic Bath Mats
HEVEA Bath Mat
Today around 99% of natural rubber is taken from a tree called Hevea brasiliensis. The HEVEA bath mat is made from natural rubber (hence the name), and it’s also biodegradable and compostable. It stays in place well due to the 200 suction cups on the bottom of the mat.
As long as you air dry it completely after each use, you won’t have to worry about mold and bacteria, but for routine cleaning Hevea recommends mixing 4 parts white vinegar to 1 part water. You can totally submerge it or use a sponge, then rinse the solution off and allow the mat to air dry.
As much as we love the HEVEA mat, it’s better for small bathtubs due to its size.
Mantto Non-Toxic Bath Mat
The Mantto bath mat is actually made from TPE material that is free from PVC, BPA, and latex (which makes it great for those with allergies).
This non-toxic bath mat is larger and is better suited for standard bathtubs in terms of size.
It comes in 12 different colors and is machine washable, making it super easy to clean.
According to current reviews, the suction cups don’t stick as well to textured bathtubs, but overall they have almost a 5-star rating out of 5,000+ reviews.
Puj Grippy pads are perfect for children. These come in packs of 6, 6-inch diameter rings that you simply peel and stick onto the bottom of your bathtub.
They are BPA and PVC-free and stick to textured surfaces. Don’t worry about that stickiness though because when you’re ready to remove them they don’t leave behind residue or damage your tub.
The Original Refinished Bathtub Mat
Here is another all-natural bath mat made from nontoxic rubber!
This mat is made for larger bathtubs and doesn’t damage remodeled porcelain and fiberglass tubs with textured surfaces.
Unlike other bath mats, this one doesn’t have suction cups. Instead, it works by using reversed suction rings.
It’s also easy to clean by just using warm water! They are soap scum resistant too!
OTHWAY Non-Slip Bathtub Mat
The Othway natural rubber bathtub mats come in 5 different colors with a cobblestone look! The cobblestone pattern also helps with texture to make it more slip-resistant. It’s thicker and softer than most mats and fits in standard tubs.
The company recommends hanging it up to air dry after each use to prevent mold and mildew.
If you are just starting your road to non-toxic living, we hope this list is informative and helpful! We would love to hear which bathtub mat you chose and can’t wait for you to try it out!
Don’t forget that when you are looking for non-toxic products in any category you have to check the labels beforehand and really read into what they are made of. Labels are for marketing purposes not to disclose all of the nasty things the products are made with!