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How Thick Is A Pilates Mat

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How Thick Is A Pilates Mat


How Thick Is A Pilates Mat: When it comes to practicing Pilates, one of the key elements that often goes unnoticed but plays a crucial role in the comfort and effectiveness of your workout is the thickness of the Pilates mat. A Pilates mat, also known as an exercise or yoga mat, is not a one-size-fits-all accessory. Instead, it comes in various thickness options, and choosing the right thickness for your practice can make a significant difference in your overall experience. In this introduction, we will explore the different thickness levels available for Pilates mats and discuss how the choice of thickness can impact your Pilates routine, ensuring you make an informed decision to enhance your fitness journey.

Thick mats offer the most cushioning and are best suited for individuals with joint issues or those who desire extra comfort during their Pilates sessions. These mats are particularly helpful for exercises that involve lying on your back or performing movements that put pressure on sensitive areas, such as the spine or hips. The choice of mat thickness should depend on your personal preferences, fitness level, and any physical considerations you may have.

It’s important to note that a thicker mat may provide better cushioning but can make balancing exercises slightly more challenging due to the increased distance from the floor. Ultimately, the thickness of your Pilates mat should contribute to your overall comfort and safety during your workouts. Experiment with different thicknesses to find the one that best suits your needs and enhances your Pilates practice. Additionally, make sure to invest in a high-quality mat that offers durability and proper grip to prevent slipping and ensure a safe and effective workout experience.

Woman rolling her mat after a yoga class

Should Pilates mats be thick or thin?

Around a half-inch is a good thickness. If it’s much thicker, you may feel you are sinking into the mat. If it’s much thinner (like a yoga mat), you may not be comfortable when performing the rolling exercises on your spine.

Purpose of the Mat

The choice between a thick or thin Pilates mat often depends on the specific type of Pilates exercises you plan to perform. If you primarily engage in exercises that require cushioning and support for your spine, like rolling exercises, then a thicker mat may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you mainly do Pilates exercises that involve standing or balance, a thinner mat may provide better stability.

Comfort and Support

Thick mats, typically around 10-15mm in thickness, offer superior cushioning and comfort. This can be especially beneficial if you have joint issues or prefer a softer surface. Thin mats, usually 6-8mm thick, are less cushioned but provide a firmer surface. The choice here often depends on personal preference. Some individuals find thick mats more comfortable for exercises that involve lying down, while others prefer the stability of thinner mats for standing and balance exercises.


Thin Pilates mats are generally more lightweight and easier to carry, making them a practical choice for those who travel frequently or attend group classes. Thick mats, while more comfortable, can be bulkier and less portable. Consider your lifestyle and how you plan to use the mat when making your decision.

Are Pilates mats thicker than yoga mats?

Since pilates mats are much thicker than yoga mats, they can sometimes be very bulky. While that additional density can be helpful for stability, it does make pilates mats less portable. The density of a yoga mat can range depending on the materials, thickness, and size.

Material and Texture

Both Pilates and yoga mats can be made from various materials, including PVC, TPE, natural rubber, and cork. However, the texture and surface of Pilates mats may differ slightly from yoga mats. Pilates mats often have a smoother, cushioned surface to provide comfort during rolling exercises. Yoga mats, on the other hand, typically have a textured, non-slip surface to prevent slipping during poses and flows.


Due to their thicker padding, Pilates mats are bulkier and less portable compared to yoga mats. Yoga mats are designed for easy transport to and from classes, while Pilates mats are often used in a dedicated space at home or in a Pilates studio.

Exercise Versatility

While Pilates mats are specifically designed for Pilates exercises, yoga mats are versatile and can be used for a wide range of activities, including Pilates, stretching, strength training, and meditation. If you practice both Pilates and yoga, you may opt for a thicker Pilates mat for Pilates sessions and a standard yoga mat for yoga practice.

Is a 10mm mat good for Pilates?

NBR Pilates Mat (Beginner)

With a thickness of 10mm, it’s the thickest mat in our collection, making it perfect if you’re new to Pilates and are after a spongier mat. Also, because NBR is a closed-cell foam, it won’t absorb moisture or sweat.

Exercise Comfort

One of the primary reasons people opt for thicker Pilates mats, such as a 10mm mat, is the added comfort they provide. Pilates often involves exercises where you lie down on your back or perform movements that put pressure on your spine and tailbone. A thicker mat can cushion these areas, making your Pilates practice more comfortable and enjoyable, especially during exercises like rolling or supine leg circles.

Spinal Support

Pilates emphasizes core engagement and precise movements. A 10mm mat offers better support for your spine, reducing the risk of discomfort or strain during exercises that require you to roll or articulate your spine. This is particularly important if you have a sensitive lower back or are recovering from an injury.

Tailbone Protection

A thicker mat can also protect your tailbone during exercises that involve sitting or lying back on the mat. This can be especially beneficial if you are a beginner or if you find standard yoga mats or thinner Pilates mats uncomfortable for these positions.

Surface Texture

When selecting a 10mm Pilates mat, pay attention to the surface texture. Some mats have a smooth, cushioned surface, while others have a slightly textured or grippy surface. The choice here depends on your preference. If you prefer a non-slip surface, look for a mat with a textured top to help you maintain stability during exercises.

Is 5mm mat good for Pilates?

Designed for frequent use the BAHE Studio Pilates Mat is made for any yoga or Pilates practice. The 5mm high density PVC provides cushioning and a stable base to start your practice from the ground up. Ideal for wooden and concrete floor surfaces. We recommend use with bare foot or studio socks on.

Support for Core Engagement

Pilates emphasizes core strength and precision in movement. A 5mm mat can still provide adequate support for core engagement, as long as it has good density and quality construction. However, if you feel discomfort or strain in your lower back during exercises, you may want to consider a thicker mat for added support.

Surface Texture

Pay attention to the surface texture of the 5mm mat you choose. Some mats have a smooth, cushioned surface, while others have a slightly textured or grippy surface. The texture can affect your grip and stability during exercises. Consider your preference and how it aligns with your practice.

Type of Pilates Exercises

The type of Pilates exercises you plan to perform is a significant factor in mat selection. If your Pilates routine includes a mix of standing, seated, and lying-down exercises, a 5mm mat can work well. However, if your practice primarily consists of rolling, supine exercises, or exercises that require more padding, you might find a thicker mat more comfortable.


Thinner mats like a 5mm option are generally more lightweight and easier to carry than thicker mats. If you need a mat that’s portable and convenient for taking to classes or traveling, a 5mm mat may be a better choice.

Is 6mm mat OK for Pilates?

Thick or Thin? Most Pilates mats are over 6mm in thickness, if you’re looking for a dual mat to use for both Pilates and Yoga, then a 6mm mat is the sweet spot, something like our Evolution or Deluxe Warrior Mats. That being said, the best thickness for Pilates is between 8mm – 15mm.

Surface Texture

Consider the surface texture of the 6mm mat you choose. Some mats have a smooth, cushioned surface, while others have a slightly textured or grippy surface. The texture can affect your grip and stability during exercises, so select one that suits your preference and needs.


A 6mm mat is versatile and suitable for a wide range of Pilates exercises, including those that involve standing, seated, and lying-down positions. If your Pilates routine incorporates various types of exercises, a 6mm mat can offer the flexibility you need.


While thicker mats can be more comfortable, they may also be heavier and less portable. A 6mm mat strikes a balance between comfort and portability. It is typically lighter and easier to carry than thicker mats, making it a practical choice if you need to transport your mat to classes or other locations.

Is 12mm too thick for yoga mat?

If you have sensitive joints, and experience knee pain, then an extra thick mat might provide you some welcome cushioning. Extra thick mats generally fall within the range of 6mm to 12mm, the thicker end of the spectrum being as thick as a regular woolen blanket and may be overkill for the needs of many users.

Pros of a 12mm Yoga Mat

Excellent Cushioning: A 12mm yoga mat provides significant cushioning and comfort, making it ideal for individuals who have sensitive joints, knees, or a history of injuries. The extra thickness can help protect your body during poses that involve kneeling or lying down.

Insulation: Thicker mats offer better insulation from cold or hard surfaces, which can be particularly beneficial if you practice yoga outdoors or in a drafty room.

Joint Support: If you have joint issues or conditions like arthritis, a 12mm mat can provide added support, reducing strain on your joints during yoga poses.

Restorative Yoga: For practices that focus on relaxation and restorative yoga poses, a 12mm mat can be an excellent choice. It enhances comfort during long-held postures.

Cons of a 12mm Yoga Mat

Stability: Thicker mats may reduce your stability and balance during standing poses, as they create a less firm surface. This can be a disadvantage if your yoga practice includes a lot of standing and balancing postures.

Portability: 12mm mats are bulkier and heavier compared to standard yoga mats, making them less convenient for carrying to classes or for travel.

Price: Thicker mats are typically more expensive than standard mats due to the additional material and padding.

How thick is a Pilates mat in MM?

Thickness and Density

Pilates mats are generally around 6mm or ¼-inch thick and up to 12 mm or ½-inch thick. This thickness is best suited for more traditional Pilates. Traditional moves like roll ups, swan and jackknife. Extra cushioning, comfort, and support is required for body parts.

Standard Thickness

The most common thickness for Pilates mats falls in the range of 6mm (approximately 1/4 inch) to 10mm (approximately 3/8 inch). Mats within this range are versatile and suitable for a wide range of Pilates exercises. They provide a good balance of cushioning and stability, making them suitable for both beginner and experienced practitioners.

Thicker Pilates Mats

Thicker Pilates mats, typically in the range of 12mm (approximately 1/2 inch) to 15mm (approximately 5/8 inch) or more, are available for individuals who prefer extra cushioning and support during their Pilates practice. These mats are particularly beneficial for exercises that involve rolling or lying down on the mat for an extended period. Thicker mats can help protect the spine, tailbone, and joints, making them suitable for those with sensitivity or discomfort in these areas.

Thin Pilates Mats

Some Pilates mats are thinner, measuring around 4mm (approximately 1/8 inch) to 5mm (approximately 3/16 inch). While thinner mats may lack the cushioning of thicker options, they provide a more stable surface, making them ideal for Pilates exercises that involve balance work and standing postures. These mats are also lightweight and easy to carry, which can be advantageous for those who attend group classes or need a portable mat.

Can I use the same mat for yoga and Pilates?

You cannot perform Pilates on a yoga mat as both the mats have different thickness, density and are designed as per the nature of the specific exercises. In Pilates, you are required to roll around on your back or tailbone, so the mat used for it should be thick enough to support your back.

Mat Thickness

The thickness of the mat is one of the most critical factors to consider. Yoga mats are typically thinner, with standard thicknesses ranging from 4mm (approximately 1/8 inch) to 6mm (approximately 1/4 inch). These thinner mats are designed to provide stability and a firm connection to the floor, which is essential for maintaining balance in yoga poses.

On the other hand, Pilates mats are often thicker, with standard thicknesses ranging from 6mm to 15mm (approximately 1/4 inch to 5/8 inch) or more. Pilates mats prioritize comfort and cushioning, especially during exercises that involve lying on the back or rolling movements.

If you choose to use the same mat for both yoga and Pilates, you’ll need to decide whether the thickness of your mat adequately serves the requirements of both practices. Thicker mats are more suitable for Pilates, whereas thinner mats are better for yoga.

Exercise Style

Yoga and Pilates have different exercise styles. Yoga encompasses a wide range of poses, flows, and stretches, including standing, seated, and lying-down postures. Pilates, on the other hand, emphasizes core strength, controlled movements, and precise exercises that often involve lying down or sitting on the mat.

While you can use a yoga mat for Pilates and vice versa, the mat’s characteristics may be better suited to one practice over the other. A thinner yoga mat provides the stability needed for yoga poses, while a thicker Pilates mat offers more comfort during Pilates exercises.

Personal Preference

Your personal comfort and preference play a significant role in the decision. Some individuals may find that a middle-ground thickness, around 6mm, works reasonably well for both yoga and Pilates. However, if you have specific needs or preferences for either practice, you might consider having separate mats to optimize your experience.


The thickness of a Pilates mat is a crucial factor that can significantly impact your Pilates practice. Pilates mats come in a range of thickness options, from thin to thick, each offering unique benefits to practitioners. Choosing the right thickness for your mat is essential to ensure your comfort, stability, and safety during Pilates exercises. Thin mats provide a strong connection with the floor and are excellent for exercises requiring precise control and balance. Standard thickness mats strike a balance between comfort and support, making them suitable for a broad range of Pilates routines. 

Thick mats offer the most cushioning and are ideal for those seeking extra comfort, especially if they have joint issues or prefer exercises that put pressure on sensitive areas. Ultimately, the choice of mat thickness should align with your personal preferences, fitness level, and specific physical considerations. Your mat should enhance your Pilates experience by providing the right amount of support and cushioning for your needs.

Regardless of thickness, investing in a high-quality Pilates mat with durability and proper grip is essential to ensure a safe and effective workout. By understanding the importance of Pilates mat thickness and selecting the right one for your practice, you can optimize your Pilates sessions, enhance your comfort, and progress toward your fitness goals with confidence.

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