If you are serious about your Pilates or barre workouts, you are definitely gonna want to invest in a good mat.
A good mat is like a good pair of running shoes to a runner…absolutely necessary for optimum performance and enjoyment.
You may hold off on purchasing a Pilates chair, reformer, or bands but you should have have a Pilates mat from the very start.
There are many brands of Pilates mats available on the market and choosing the right one can be a bit confusing.
So I wanted to write an article about what to look for and give you all some tips on finding the right mat for you.
If you plan on working out at a Pilates studio, you don’t necessarily need a mat, as they will provide one for you. Very few places, if any, will require you to bring your own mat. However, you’ll find it convenient to have your own Pilates exercise mat for those occasions when you want to work out at home.
Regardless of where Pilates is performed – in a class or at home – an exercise mat will cushion your body while you work out. This way you will be comfortable and more likely to stick with your workout, which is what we want, right? 😉
Here are some of the things to look for in a Pilates mat:
Exercise mats come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. The Pilates mat is very similar to a yoga mat, but it’s much thicker. You would not want to use a yoga mat when doing Pilates at home.
Yoga mats are thin because it’s essential for the user to be able to feel the floor when performing some of the challenging balancing moves in yoga.
A Pilates mat should be at least half an inch thick to cushion the spine from the hard floor when performing rolling exercises. Yoga mats usually have a non-slip backing while Pilates mats do not.
When choosing a Pilates mat, make sure it’s big enough to accommodate the exercises to be performed on it. Look for a mat that is at least 6 feet long and 2 feet wide. Some mats can be as wide as 3 feet. Mats used in Pilates studios are typically bigger and thicker than those for home use.
Pilates workouts often involve rolling exercises where the spine is pressed hard against the floor. Look for a Pilates mat that is firm enough to provide support for tough and challenging exercises. Keep in mind that a thick mat does not necessarily mean that the mat is firm and durable.
Portability and Storage
You can find both rolling mats or folding mats. Folding mats are typically more expensive. They are often bigger in size than rolling mats and are designed to be permanently placed on the floor. Folding mats are often heavy and bulky, so they are not considered to be portable.
If you are looking for a Pilates mat that is portable and easy to store, your best option is a rolling mat. This is the kind of mat you would take with you to a Pilates class.
Rolling mats cost around $30-$50. They are more affordable than folding mats which can cost as much as $300. Folding Pilates mats are more expensive but they are of better quality.
3 of the Best Pilates Mats on the Market
1. GoFit GF-PMAT Pilates Mat – Extra thick mat, but no velcro straps for traveling. If you plan on using it at home, this is a non-issue.
2. Yoga Direct Pilates Aero Cushioned Yoga/Exercise Mat – Extra thick mat with velcro straps for traveling.
3. Stott Pilates Express Mat – This mat was definitely made for Pilates. It’s extra thick at 10mm which makes it the optimal mat for comfort and durability. It also has velcro straps which makes it nice for taking to Pilates classes.
You can always find a Pilates mat that suits your needs and budget. The important thing is to just pick one you like and get going!
Talk to You Later!