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Is the Pilates Exercise Mat The Same as a Yoga Mat?

Pilates is quite effective at lengthening, strengthening, and toning the muscle despite being a low-impact workout. It does this through repetitive and controlled movements. Both Pilates and yoga are done on mats and may offer similar benefits such as balance, flexibility, and posture. Many people wonder if the Pilates exercise mat is the same as the yoga mat. If you are one of those people, you’ll find your answer in this article. 

The simple answer to this is no. The Pilates exercise mat is not the same as the yoga mat. While you can perform your Pilates exercise on a yoga mat and vice versa, this is not ideal in most cases. This is because both mats do not have the same density and thickness. This article will highlight the differences and similarities between the Pilates mat and the yoga mat as well as some product reviews for the best Pilates mat.

Differences Between Pilates Exercise Mat And Yoga Mat

There are a few differences between Pilates exercise mats and yoga mats. They include thickness, material, and texture.


Pilates mats are much thicker because of the nature of the exercise. It often requires a lot of rolling around on your tailbone and back. So you need a thick mat to support you and give you comfort when you do mat pilates at home. Pilates mats need to be ½ inch thick to offer enough support for your back and other sensitive body parts. 

A standard yoga mat is ⅛ to ¼  inch thick. This may not provide enough support for the back and tailbone during Pilates. It is often thinner because yoga involves a lot of standing and balancing. A thick mat will make this more difficult. Other yoga exercises involve lying down and you may be able to use a Pilates mat for them but it isn’t recommended. 

However, for the standing poses, you will need to use a designated yoga mat to connect with the ground.


Both mats are similar when it comes to the material used to make them. The mats can be made of rubber or PVC because both materials help prevent slipping during exercise. However, Pilates exercise mats need to be made with foam for extra cushion. Some manufacturers use memory foam to provide extra comfort.

Yoga mats, on the other hand, can be made from materials like cotton, bamboo, and fabric. These materials cannot be used to make Pilates mats because they do not provide enough traction. 


There are slight differences in the texture of the Pilates and yoga mats. Pilates mats often have a smoother texture as opposed to rougher yoga mats. The rough texture makes it grippier. The reason for this texture is that Pilates involves spending a lot of time on the mat. You will likely need to lay down often and turn from side to side or back to front.

It is a lot easier to slide around on a smoother surface. A grippy surface would twist each time you try to turn. For yoga, however, it is important to have a rough surface. When the surface is sticky or rough, it will help you to keep your feet on the ground during standing poses. It also prevents the mat from moving around so much while you’re exercising. 

It is not ideal to use a yoga mat for Pilates and vice versa, because you will not be able to move freely. 

What to Consider Before Buying a Pilates Exercise Mat

There are a few things you need to consider before buying a Pilates exercise mat. They include weight and size.


The weight of the Pilates mat matters if you work out in the gym. You would need to carry it to and from the gym every day. This is why you need to choose a lightweight mat that you can roll up and pick without any discomfort. 

In some cases, Pilates mats come with a carrying strap that you can wrap the mat in and hang it on your shoulder. This could help reduce some of the weight you need to carry. Nonetheless, you should opt for a lighter mat. If you do mat Pilates at home then, you can consider a weighty mat. 


It would be a mistake to overlook the size of your Pilates mat. Some are shorter than usual and you may find yourself rolling onto the bare floor while exercising. Be sure to check the size options before selecting. Most mats are 24 inches wide and 71 inches long. You may also be able to find a mat that is 72 inches long. 

Best Pilates Exercise Mat to Buy

Retrospec Solana

One of the more affordable options, this thick mat offers a non-slip surface to help you stay balanced while exercising. The mat is also suitable for daily use and intense exercise. It was made with foam for extra comfort and is quite easy to clean. The mat also has a strap for portability and it is the best pilates mat if you are looking for affordability.

BalanceFrom GoCloud

At a much steeper price, this mat was designed with a non-slip surface to keep you balanced while exercising. It is also lightweight and thick. The mat was made with high density foam and is 1 inch thick. It is also ideal for home or gym use. 


This pilates mat is slightly expensive, however its features make it a good buy regardless of the price. It is non-slip as well for stability and water resistance. This also makes it easy to clean after daily use. The mat has a carrying strap for easy transportation.


Both the pilates and yoga mats are similar in so many ways. They are both used for exercise, providing support, and balance. However, they are quite different and should not be used interchangeably. The pilates mat is denser and thicker because it supports your body while you are rolling and twisting. Yoga mats are thinner and offer stability while practicing different standing poses. This article has explained the major differences between the pilates exercise mat and yoga mat as well as what to look out for while buying a pilates mat. This should help you while making your next mat purchase.

Looking for more pilates accessories? Check out our review of the best pilates accessories for 2022

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