How to Choose a Pilates Mat

Pilates is a type of exercise that can improve your health by increasing your body's flexibility. It requires little equipment to do and can be performed at home, in a gym, or a studio. Workout mats specifically made for Pilates are available and they come in different sizes and thicknesses. Having a good Pilates mat is vital to protect your back and spine as you do certain Pilates exercises. The sort of mat you choose depends on what floor surface you are doing Pilates on, such as a hardwood floor or a carpeted floor, as well as your personal preferences. Try these tips to choose a Pilates mat.


  1. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 1
    Examine your workout space and floor surface. If you do Pilates in a small, carpeted area, you may be able to get a thinner, narrower mat. If you have more space or a harder floor surface, get a thicker, wider mat.
  2. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 2
    Get a mat that is at least 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) thick. The purpose of the Pilates mat is to help support and cushion your body as you do exercises on it, so it is important not to get a mat that is too thin.
  3. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 3
    Buy a mat that is long and wide enough for your body. Measure your height and body width to check against a mat's dimensions at the store or when reading product details online. If possible, lie down on the mat to see how it accommodates your body.
  4. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 4
    Judge the mat's texture. Touch the mat if you can to see how it feels and whether it will provide you with a good grip. Find a mat that will prevent you from slipping or sliding as you exercise and may perspire.
  5. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 5
    Find a mat that can be easily transported or stored away if necessary. This may be important if you do Pilates at a gym or other location where you need to bring your own equipment or simply want to put away your mat after exercising. Consider getting a mat that can be rolled up or carried by a strap.
  6. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 6
    Consider using 2 mats. The extra thickness can give you more support and protection against potential injuries. You may want to have a mat made of foam underneath a thin mat.
  7. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 7
    Include yoga mats in your selection process. Certain mats may be manufactured and marketed for either Pilates or yoga, but you can try using a combination of both types in your Pilates workouts.
  8. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 8
    Try out Pilates mats in a studio. This may be an option if you are taking classes at a Pilates studio that provides equipment for their students. By using different mats, if offered, you can decide which ones you prefer.
  9. Image titled Choose a Pilates Mat Step 9
    Choose a mat's color and/or pattern based on your personal preferences.


  • Look for Pilates mats at stores that carry sporting goods or exercise equipment. You can also try searching for mats online.
  • If using a mat that may be difficult to distinguish between other peoples', consider labeling or marking yours with your name.

Things You'll Need

  • Pilates workout space
  • Workout area's floor surface
  • Mat thickness
  • Length and width of mat
  • Mat's texture
  • Mat's transportability
  • Yoga mat
  • Studio mats
  • Mat color and/or pattern

Article Info

Categories: Pilates