Roll out core comfort with the best Pilates mats

Roll up! Roll up! The best Pilates mats are in town.

Close up of a young woman unfolding one of the best Pilates mats

by Gemma Lavers |
Published on

Pilates, an exercise regimen that originated in the early 20th century, is still just as popular now as it was back then. Before you dive headfirst into your practice, take a second to think about your trusty Pilates mat, band and gear. If your mat is looking (and feeling) worn, tired and grotty, it might be time to replace it with one of the best Pilates mats on the market...

Off to a class? The best Pilates mats, at a glance

• Best overall Pilates mat: DOMYOS Pilates 15mm Floor Mat - View now on Decathlon
• Best Pilates mat with carry strap: Core Balance Yoga Mat - View now on Amazon
• Best high-end Pilates mat: Alo Yoga Warrior Mat - View now on Alo Yoga

The Pilates mat is more than just a piece of foam. It's a supportive sanctuary that cradles your spine and joints with its cushioned embrace. So that you can bend, stretch and flow with ease. Also, to prevent the dreaded wobbly balance and wonky form, a Pilates mat acts as a non-slip surface - so you can focus less on slipping, and more on your poses.

Plus, hygiene is a big positive to using a Pilates mat in your practice. Let's be real, who wants to get up close and personal with the gym floor. A Pilates mat is there to create a barrier between you and the floor, to stop you from touching any dirt or sweat that may already be on the floor.

All that's left is for you to take a deep breath, and get ready to discover the best Pilates mats to support your poses. Trust us, your core will thank you.

SHOP: The best Pilates mats

Please note: All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall Pilates mat

DOMYOS Pilates 15mm Floor MatDecathlon

Comfort is a massive part of Pilates, and DOMYOS' floor mat definitely gives you that. With its 15mm thickness it makes you feel like you're standing on a cushion, even in socks. After your class has finished, simply use soapy water and a cloth to remove any bacteria that may be sitting on the surface, and you're good to go for your next Pilates session.

Pros

  • 15mm thick to ensure a super comfortable Pilates session
  • Mat is heavy enough to not move around on the gym floor
  • Can be easily washed with soapy water and a cloth

Cons

  • The 15mm thickness isn't for those who are looking for a more grounded feel

Best Pilates mat with carry strap

The Core Balance yoga mat hits the sweet spot of mat thickness at 6mm. Delivering just the right level of cushioning, this mat ensures you stay comfortable, but can also still feel the ground beneath you. Crafted from PVC foam, this mat also boasts a uniquely 'stickier' surface compared to others, enhancing your grip during various poses. And, it comes with a handy carry strap.

Pros

  • 6mm thick - the perfect balance between stability and comfort
  • Made from a 'sticky' feeling PVC foam for grip
  • Comes with an attachable carry strap

Cons

  • Best for bare footwork as shoes leave a lasting mark on the mat

Best high-end Pilates mat

Alo Yoga Warrior MatAlo Yoga

Made to enhance both power and elegance in your routine, the Alo Yoga Warrior mat brings unparalleled support and traction to your practice. Its generous dimensions ensure you stay comfortably on the mat, complemented by its anti-odour, moisture-wicking, and non-slip features. Crowned as 'the best high-end yoga mat', it boasts a luxurious feel, with its matte finish and stunning array of colours.

Pros

  • Anti-odour, dry-wicking and slip-free, wet or dry
  • Oversized design so you never find your feet off the mat
  • Made with ethically sourced, premium, all-natural rubber

Cons

  • A little heavy

Best non-slip Pilates mat

The Core Balance Pilates mat is yet another great mat from the brand. This mat is 10mm thick and is made from high-density NBR foam to protect your joints while practicing. What's most interesting about this Pilates mat is its textured base with a groove pattern to stop it from moving around, and the closed-cell structure which minimises moisture from getting inside your mat. So you can work your hardest during your Pilates session, without worrying about the impact on your mat.

Pros

  • Features a special textured base with unique groove pattern for better grip and traction
  • Closed-cell structure to prevent it absorbing all sweat and moisture
  • 10mm thick to reduce impact on your joints and muscles during your practice

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it a little squeaky

Best black Pilates mat

Gaiam Essentials Fitness 10mm Yoga MatJohn Lewis
Price: $35.99

Arguably, the Gaiam Essentials mat hits the 'Goldilocks zone' for comfort. 10mm is the ideal thickness for a Pilates mat as it means you get a good amount of cushioning, without loosing any stability. For traction, there's little ridges on this mat to ensure you stay put during your poses, and it also comes with a nylon carry strap so you can take the Gaiam mat to and from your classes with ease.

Pros

  • Features non-slip ridges for traction
  • 10mm thick cushioning strikes the perfect balance between firm and cushioned
  • Comes with a nylon carry strap for easy transporting

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the mat squeaks a little

Best sweatproof Pilates mat

This Pro Fitness exercise mat is pretty basic, but it has all the features you'd need to practice your Pilates in comfort. At 10mm thick this mat strikes the perfect balance between a comfortable feel and a grounded feel, so you can feel supported as you pose. Plus, the Pro Fitness mat is sweatproof and easy to wipe clean, so you don't need to worry about any clean-up afterwards.

Pros

  • Easy to wipe clean
  • 10mm thick making it softer, more shock absorbent and comfortable
  • Lightweight to take to and from classes

Cons

  • Marks quite easily

Best Pilates mat for design

MAAT The Stand Out PUCult Beauty
Price: £45.50 (was £70)

www.cultbeauty.co.uk

You might not have heard of the brand MAAT, but they're all about mindful and meditative rituals that brings positivity to your practice. With its blue design, this PU topped mat will steal the show as you enter your Pilates class. Another great feature is that the base of the mat is made from sustainably sourced natural tree rubber, so you can be sure your feet will never slip on the mat again. The only thing to beware of is its thickness - at 4mm thick it's quite thin for some Pilates enthusiasts who might prefer a more cushioned feel.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing blue tonal design
  • Base of the mat is made from sustainably sourced natural tree rubber
  • PU-topped so it's suitable for Pilates

Cons

  • Thin for some types of Pilates - 4mm thick

Best folding Pilates mat

CORENGTH Folding Indoor And Outdoor Fitness MatDecathlon

Tight for space? Your living room isn't big enough for a really large Pilates mat? If these are struggles you find yourself having while practicing Pilates, the CORENGTH mat could be your solution. This mat can be folded to adapt the thickness to your comfort needs, and withstands grip on all surfaces. Use the mat unfolded for poses that require more balance, or fold it to change its thickness when you need it to protect your knees, neck or joints.

Pros

  • Abrasion resistant so you can get lots of use out of it without worrying about it tiring
  • Can be folded to make certain exercises more comfortable
  • Doesn't stick up at the end like some others Pilates mats do

Cons

  • The black colour makes it too hot to use in the sun

Best Pilates mat for travel

If you're someone who loves to travel and stay fit while you're away, the PROIRON travel mat could be perfect for you. When folded, this mat only measures 31cm x 25cm, which makes it small and convenient to take on any trips with you, and is small enough to carry in one hand. Even though its foldable, it doesn't take away from its stability, and with its sticky texture, you'll always find yourself posing with confidence.

Pros

  • Small foldable design is perfect for travelling
  • Sticky texture that provides stable footing during your poses
  • Middle layer has a tear-resistant mesh that's wear-resistant and tear-resistant

Cons

  • A little heavy

Best TPE Pilates mat

Finally, the TPE Pilates mat guarantees you grip, longevity and comfort. That's because of its rigid design, rippled back which allows for friction and laser engraved design that helps you with alignment. In addition, the Yogii mat is light enough for you to take to and from your classes with ease. And, at 6mm thick it falls in that 'Goldilocks zone' of ideal mat thickness.

Pros

  • Made from a TPE foam material that ensures grip and comfort
  • Rippled design on the back allows for maximum friction and stability
  • Laser engravings that help with alignment

Cons

  • Slips a little when in certain positions

Finding the best Pilates mat: FAQs

What is the best thickness for a Pilates mat?

Finding the best thickness for a Pilates mat is all about determining the perfect balance between firm and plush comfort - it's a bit of a Goldilocks situation. Saying that, a thickness of between eight to ten millimetres is often the preferred size for most Pilates enthusiasts. This level of thickness will provide just enough cushioning to look after your spine and joints during exercise, without sacrificing your stability.

Some individuals prefer a mat with a little more cushion. If you regularly practice on hard, cold floors, you might lean towards a thicker mat. For example, I don't have sensitive joints but I much prefer feeling too much cushion underneath me when working out, rather than not enough.

However, thicker mats do come with a downside - their weight. Thinner mats, within the range of five to six millimetres, are often easier to transport because they usually weigh less. Also, some individuals prefer the more yoga-esque grounded feel while they're practicing, so a thinner mat works better here.

Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough?

The old phrase: 'quality, not quantity' springs to mind. While some Pilates-goers prefer a longer daily session, others like a brief 20-minute one. In fact, 20 minutes of focused, mindful Pilates can work wonders for your body and mind - just look at the benefits of Pilates vs yoga. So, whether you're squeezing in a workout at lunchtime, or unwinding after a long day, rest assured that those 20 minutes of Pilates are enough to leave your body feeling stronger, more centred, and maybe even taller.

What is a closed-cell Pilates mat?

You may have seen us mention the phrase 'closed cell' Pilates mat before. And it has nothing to do with a nucleus or vacuole. Instead, it has everything to do with keeping sweat, dirt and bacteria out of your mat. A closed-cell Pilates mat is made of a material that stops moisture from getting into the mat. This provides your mat with added durability, use after use, as you can be sure that it won't turn into a soggy mess.

Gemma Lavers is a Health & Fitness Writer for What's The Best. From understanding nutrition to practising yoga and Pilates to delving into the psychology of motivation. She enjoys demystifying the latest fitness trends and staying on top of the dynamic health landscape, whether that's the best gym leggings, fitness trackers or the benefits of yoga.

When Gemma’s not writing, she can be found attending Pilates, yoga and Zumba classes. She’s also a bit of a home workout aficionado, constantly trying out new ways to keep her moving at home. Between writing, exercising and shopping, there’s nothing she loves more than hopping on a plane and exploring new cultures.

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