There are various mind-body exercising practices that are extensively used by people in order to stay physically fit and have a sense of mental awareness. If you’re someone new to yoga and pilates, you would’ve noticed the fuss about mats and if there’s any difference between the mats of yoga and pilates. For the matter of fact, you can use yoga and pilates mats interchangeably once or twice but for effective results, you need to understand the differences between these two and use a separate one for each. Pilates exercises are used for various forms of body toning and involve the use of tools like pilates chair. This article focuses on extensively explaining the major difference between pilates and yoga mat so that you can pick accordingly. Having said that, let’s get started with the list.

  • Thickness: This is one of the major aspects in which these two mats differ from each other. Because of the fact that pilates exercises usually involve several rolling actions on the back and tailbone, a thick mat is used for them. In general, a yoga mat is around 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and is perfect for the postures involved in yoga routines. However, for practicing pilates exercises, you need to have a mat which has a thickness of somewhere around 1/2 inch. This increase in thickness is because of the need of support for the sensitive areas involved in pilates exercise.
  • Density: Density of the material is yet another major difference between pilates mats and yoga mats as these two routines involve postures of different kinds. The mat for pilates exercises should be chosen in a manner that it is dense along with being thick so that it can provide that firm support during exercise. Using a soft mat can make some of the exercises hard to carry out and can cause pain as well. For yoga mats, tightness of the molding of PVC foam material decides the density. Choosing a denser mat ensures more stability while exercising.
  • Material type: In general, pilates and yoga mats are manufactured using a foam or PVC. However, in the case of yoga mats, there is an option of choosing mats made from eco-friendly materials such as jute and recycled rubber. In the case of pilates mats, such earth-friendly options are not that much common regardless of being available in the market. This turns out to have a difference in the case of those who are genuinely interested in the well being of the environment.
  • Mat size: There is a considerable difference in the sizes of pilates and yoga mats because of the obvious difference in the types of exercising routines involved in these two. Yoga mats are usually 68 inches long (talking about standard size) and can also extend up to 74 inches in the cases of taller users. Pilates mats, on the other hand, have more width while the length is usually the same as that of yoga mats. The increased width of pilates mats is because of the fact that pilates exercises involve several routines that require a wider mat in order to be performed on the floor.
  • Texture: Difference in the texture of these two mats is again because of the difference in the exercise routine involved in these two. Yoga mats are usually manufactured in a manner that they have a nubby texture, thus making their surface somewhat sticky. However, in the case of pilates mats, a smooth surface finish is required so as to ease the rolling actions involved in pilates exercises. Having a sticky surface can hinder the movement in the case of pilates mats.