The 8 Best Pilates Mats of 2022

The STOTT Pilates Deluxe Pilates Mat offers plenty of cushioning

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When you take a Pilates class at a dedicated studio, you’ll often find specialized equipment but when you’re not in the studio—whether at home or in the gym—you’ll need at least a basic mat for your Pilates workout. A yoga mat will work in a pinch but Pilates mats are specialized to provide a different surface and more cushion than a traditional yoga mat.

Reviewed & Approved

The STOTT Pilates Deluxe Pilates Mat is our best overall choice for its durable and thick cushioning to protect your spine and joints. The Amazon Basics Extra Thick Exercise Mat is a cushiony and budget-friendly choice that is also a little longer than typical Pilates mats.

Pilates is very fluid, so the mats are thicker, more slippery than yoga mats, and the mat allows the student to easily transition between exercises and repetitions," Julie Erickson, CPI, CPT, Romana’s Pilates trained and certified pilates instructor and certified personal trainer, says.

A good mat is the most basic form of Pilates equipment—and can make a big difference in your workout. Mats can vary in thickness and cushioning, size and portability, density, and surface type. We spoke with certified Pilates instructors and studio owners and conducted our own research to choose Pilates mats for our list. We considered the type of surface the mat has, its cushioning and density, how lightweight and portable it is, and its durability and affordability.

Here are the best pilates exercise mats on the market.

Best Overall: Stott Pilates Deluxe Pilates Mat

4.7
Stott Pilates Deluxe Pilates Mat

Amazon

Pros
  • Thick

  • Non-slip surface

  • Durable

Cons
  • Not portable

A favorite among Pilates instructors, The Stott Pilates Deluxe Mat checks all of the boxes we look for in a quality mat, which is why we chose it our best overall. It’s made of closed-cell foam, making it durable, while providing a soft, yet sturdy surface for your workout.

It’s on the thicker side and provides a good cushion for your spine, tailbone, and knees in different positions, which will make your workout more comfortable. It doesn’t come with travel straps, but if you need to take it on the go you could purchase a carrying case.

The mat comes in two colors—basic grey and midnight blue.

Dimensions: 72 x 24 x 0.6 inches | Material: Closed-cell foam | Weight: 3.5 pounds

Best Budget: Amazon Basics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat

Amazon Basics 1/2-Inch Extra Thick Exercise Mat

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Portable

  • Good for tall individuals

Cons
  • May not be as durable as other options

The Amazon Basics ½-inch Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat (don’t let the name fool you—it’s not just for yoga) offers most of the same features as higher-end mats for about a quarter of the price. It comes with a velcro carrying strap and is only 2.35-pounds, making it extremely portable. For those who like to stand out, it comes in seven different colors.

It’s slightly longer than standard Pilates mats, which is good for taller individuals and provides the thick cushion you want for support. Since it’s made from synthetic foam it may not be as durable as some other mats, but for the price, we think it's still worth snagging.

Dimensions: 74 x 24 x 0.5 inches | Material: Synthetic NBR foam | Weight: 2.35 pounds

Best Splurge: Merrithew Deluxe Pilates Mat

Merrithew Deluxe Pilates Mat

Merrithew

Pros
  • Thick

  • Durable

  • Smooth, non-slip surface

Cons
  • Not portable

Another favorite among instructors, the Merrithew Deluxe Pilates Mat is durable, thick, and made of closed-cell foam technology that withstands regular use. While it doesn’t come with straps or a carrying case to make it easily portable, it’s not too heavy, so it can still be taken with you in a pinch.

We love its non-slip, yet smooth surface, which makes it ideal for floor Pilates classes and works well even if you tend to sweat a lot.

The mat comes in two colors—graphite and midnight blue—and exercisers also get a free downloadable Pilates exercise guide with purchase.

Dimensions: 72 x 24 x 0.6 inches | Material: Closed-cell foam | Weight: 3.5 pounds

Best for Pilates and Yoga: Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

 Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Multi-activity

  • Portable

  • Environmentally-friendly

Cons
  • "Stickier" surface more suited to Yoga than Pilates

If you’re looking for a mat that can transition from Pilates to yoga, the Gaim Essentials Thick Yoga Mat is the perfect fit. While its grippier surface was designed with yoga in mind, it’s thicker than most yoga mats, providing that essential cushion we look for in a Pilates mat.

Experts told us that it's always better to use a yoga mat for Pilates than vice versa. Since Pilates mats are designed to be a bit more slippery to allow for fluid transitions, you might end up slipping if you attempt to use them for poses like downward dog.

This mat also comes in a variety of colors and is PVC- and 6P- (Phthalates) free, making it more environmentally friendly than other options.

Dimensions: 72 x 24 x 0.4 inches | Material: NBR Foam | Weight: 3.11 pounds

Best Eco-Friendly: Balanced Body EcoWise Pilates Mat

Balanced Body EcoWise Pilates Mat

Amazon

Pros
  • Non-slip surface

  • Environmentally-friendly

Cons
  • Not portable

  • Thinner than other options

Another favorite among Pilates instructors, we recommend the Balanced Body Ecowise Pilates Mat for those with sensitive skin or looking for an eco-friendly option. It’s free of Phthalates, latex, PVC, and chloride.

The mat comes in three beautiful colors and, although it doesn’t come with a strap, it can easily fit in a travel bag if you have one. It is a little thinner than some other Pilates mats, so if you’re looking for more cushion, you could opt to put a yoga mat under it (although not every Pilates-goer will find that necessary).

Dimensions: 72 x 23 x 0.3 inches | Material: Not listed (but Phthalates-, latex-, PVC-, and chloride-free | Weight: Not listed

Best for Travel: Stott Pilates Express Mat

Stott Pilates Express Mat

Amazon

Pros
  • Portable

  • Lightweight

  • Durable

Cons
  • Thinner than other options

For those regularly taking their mat on the go, we recommend the Stott Pilates Express Mat. It's lightweight and portable, complete with carrying straps that make it easy to take on the go. We also love that the mat boasts the same quality as other Stott products—it's made from durable closed-cell NBR foam, so it holds up to lots of use and transport.

At 0.38 inches thick, this mat is on the thinner side of others on this list. But it still provides a good amount of cushion, and we think it’s worth the tradeoff for something super light to carry with you.

The mat comes in two colors—deep violet and stone.

Dimensions: 72 x 23 x 0.38 inches | Material: Closed-cell NBR foam | Weight: 1.8 pounds

Best for Small Spaces: Manduka PRO Yoga Mat

4.1
 Manduka Yoga Mat PRO Pilates Sporting goods

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Latex-free

  • Available in two lengths

  • Compact

Cons
  • Thinner than other options

  • "Stickier" surface more suited to Yoga than Pilates

  • Expensive

Manduka is passionate about creating products that are made from responsibly sourced materials with as little waste as possible. That’s a mission we can get behind! While technically a yoga mat, this Manduka mat can double for Pilates if you’re tight on space and want to save a few inches both when exercising and storing.

This mat actually won our "best non-slip" category in the best yoga mats test we conducted in The Verywell Testing Lab, so it's a great pick for those practicing on slippery floors or doing Pilates moves that require some extra grip. But some may find more fluid Pilates poses to be a little more difficult to navigate, due to the mat's slightly "stickier" surface.

It comes in multiple colors and is made from OEKO-TEX Certified PVC, meaning it’s free of 100 harmful materials.

At 0.24 inches thick, it’s quite a bit thinner than other Pilates mats on this list, but you could add a towel (or second mat) for certain moves to provide more cushion if necessary.

Dimensions: (Two options) 71 x 26 x 0.24 inches and 85 x 26 x 0.24 inches | Material: PVC | Weight: (Two options) 7.5 pounds and 8.8 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"It takes time to break in the PRO. What the Manduka PRO lacks in traction right out of the gate, it makes up for in high-density, comfortable support." —Joy Merrifield, Verywell product tester

Best Cushioned: SPRI Pro Exercise Mat

SPRI Pro Exercise Mat

Amazon

Pros
  • Available in two lengths

  • Textured, non-slip surface

  • Durable

Cons
  • Not portable

The SPRI Pro Mat is a good option for those looking for some extra cushion. Thanks to its 0.62-inch thickness, we also recommend this mat for those who may want to use it for other types of exercises, like strength training or resistance bands workouts.

The textured, non-slip surface makes it good for both beginners and more experienced exercisers, and it’s made of durable closed-cell poly-foam, so you can trust that it will hold up to a lot of use.

While it doesn’t come with a travel strap, it should fit in a standard carrying case, if you wish to buy one separately. The mat comes in classic black and blue colors, and is available in two lengths.

Dimensions: (Two options) 55 x 24 x 0.62 inches and 71 x 24 x 0.62 inches | Material: Poly-foam | Weight: 3 pounds

Final Verdict

For a quality mat that is loved by both Pilates instructors and amateurs, the Stott Pilates Deluxe Mat (view at Amazon) is sure to fit your needs. It’s durable, well-cushioned, and provides a non-slip surface that isn't super "sticky" and still allows for the flow of Pilates.

How We Selected the Best Pilates Mats

After speaking with three certified Pilates instructors and studio owners, it was obvious that certain brands and products are favorites among industry professionals. In addition to sharing their favorite brands, our experts all agreed that there are specific things to consider when choosing the right Pilates mat for you—density, thickness, cushion, portability, and surface type.

We followed up the interviews with our own research by reading dozens of reviews online, comparing product specs, and searching for the products that best met the guidelines our experts recommend. Although we considered more than twenty brands and products, the ones that made this list were clear winners.

What to Look for in a Pilates Mat

Thickness

One of the main indicators of Pilates mats versus other exercise mats you might find in the gym or at a yoga studio is their thickness. “A Pilates mat should be thicker than those made specifically for yoga,” Anne Bertram, MFA, CMA, CHHC, Director of (se) LAB, and (se) Pilates Instructor, says. This is to protect your spine, as many Pilates exercises are done on your back.

Cushion

Some mats offer more cushioning than others—as some are softer and more pliable while others are thick and stiffer. The type of Pilates mat you choose can “really increase the challenge or provide more support for the student,” Erikson says. Mats with more cushion “make some exercises harder and others easier,” Erikson adds.

Those with compromised joint health may also benefit from a Pilates mat with more cushion.

Density and Material

Density is often mistaken for thickness, but these are two different things to consider. A denser mat typically means it’s more durable and will hold up to positions that are held for a longer period of time without leaving indentations in the mat.

Mats that are made of closed-cell foam or thermal plastic elastomer (TPE) are denser, better quality, and withstand longer use.

Surface

The surface of a Pilates mat is smooth and doesn’t provide the grip that most yoga mats offer. But you still want a non-slip surface to prevent you from slipping during the workout, especially if you tend to sweat a lot. Instead, you’ll see textured non-slip surfaces on many quality mats. 

Portability

If you’re planning to take your mat on the go, you’ll want one that rolls up well and comes with a handle for travel. Most mats are about 72-inches long and 2 feet wide, but some may be slightly smaller, making them a little easier to take with you. Most Pilates mats weigh between 2 to 4 pounds, so look for lighter ones for ease of travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I do Pilates without a mat?

    While not ideal, it is possible to do Pilates without a mat, but you’ll want to find a spot with some cushioning, like a carpet or thick rug. “Make sure you have a towel handy. There are a few exercises that require you to roll back and forth over your tailbone. Without padding under you, these exercises can be pretty intense on the tailbone and even cause some bruising,” Bertram says. 

    If you’re taking an in-person or live virtual class and don’t have a mat, the instructor may be able to help you modify the exercises. “A towel will do in a pinch, but it will be uncomfortable. A talented instructor will have no problem adjusting the repertoire,” Erikson says.

  • How do you clean a Pilates mat?

    A towel dipped in water with some dish soap or mild laundry detergent will do in most cases. Be sure to rinse it with a damp towel after wiping it with soapy water.

    Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of tea tree oil and spray down the mat with that. Then wipe clean with a damp towel. Hang to dry on a laundry drying rack or over your shower curtain rod.

  • How thick should a Pilates mat be?

    Most true Pilates mats are at least a half-inch thick. This is to support your spine and tailbone during the class. However, some more portable ones are as thin as 6 millimeters (about 0.2 inches) thick.

    As long as they provide some cushion, you should be good.

  • Can I use a yoga mat for Pilates?

    “In a pinch, it’s OK to use a yoga mat for Pilates,” Bertram says. You could even stack two yoga mats together for extra cushion. “A yoga mat is thinner, and some provide a grounding or 'stickiness' that allows the student to place their hands, feet, and bodies into a position and hold it,” says Erikson.

    Pilates mats are smooth instead of textured and the thickness is designed to support your spine during certain exercises. You may find that the grippiness of yoga mats makes some Pilates exercises more difficult.

    “Pilates actually has a lot more in common with gymnastics than it does with yoga. Some of the mat exercises designed by Joseph Pilates include backward and forward somersaults and walkovers,” Erikson says. If you have access to a gymnastics tumbling mat, that could be another option—though much less practical to store at home.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Sarah Anzolar, MS, RD is a private practice dietitian who works as a freelance writer, recipe developer, food photographer, and brand consultant. She enjoys pilates classes and knows how important the perfect mat is for maintaining proper form and getting through the most grueling workouts.

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