Pilates Mats

If you’re only going to buy one thing for your Pilates practice, make it a good quality mat. Why? Because it will provide a stable base to work out on, stop you slipping and sliding, cushion your bony parts and keep you off the dirty floor!

Here are a few things to consider before buying one:

Thickness

Pilates exercises involve rolling, kneeling, sitting, and lying on your stomach, back and sides. If your mat is too thin, you’ll spend the class in pain.

To give you an idea, a standard Yoga Mat is 3mm thick. For Pilates, I wouldn’t recommend anything less than 8mm thick. Your spine and sit bones will thank you.

I recommend this Yogabliss mat. At 15mm thick, there’s plenty of padding to go round!

Length

When it comes to Pilates mats, size matters. You don’t want to be in the middle of a Roll-Over and find you have no mat beneath your head, neck and shoulders.

This Extra Thick, Extra Long Pilates mat by MeTime is 21cm longer than the average mat. It’s also 12mm thick, so has plenty of padding for your spine. Two birds, one mat!

Texture

Another consideration is how much you sweat when you’re exercising. If you’re a heavy sweater or your hands and feet tend to sweat a lot, you’ll want to make sure your mat has an anti-slip ribbed surface.

Material

Most Pilates mats are made of medium density foam, but you can also buy sustainable cork and rubber ones. They’re pricier than the foam ones, but if sustainability is important to you, they’re a great choice.

This Mandala Cork Yoga mat from YogaBliss is made of 100% natural materials. The underside is made of natural rubber and the upper surface of cork. The benefit of cork is it’s a closed-cell material, so dust and dirt can’t easily penetrate. This makes them particularly easy to keep clean.

Bear in mind, cork mats come out a bit thinner. The Manada one is 4 mm thick.

A good Pilates mat will have a textured bottom to keep it from sliding around as you move. This is especially important for Barre Pilates classes, as they involve lots of large, dynamic movements.

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