Key Factors to Consider When You Buy a Pilates Mat
Reformer Pilates is a fun and effective way to get fit, but a reformer machine isn’t something that many people have at home. If you want to practise Pilates outside of your classes, you might consider buying a Pilates mat and some other equipment that you can use on your own. Most Pilates equipment for the home certainly isn’t going to cost you a lot, so you probably won’t hesitate before you make any purchases. You will find a difference in quality, though, so it’s worth spending some time considering what makes a good Pilates mat.
You might think that a mat for yoga and one for Pilates are essentially the same thing. They’re certainly similar, but there are some differences to note. One of them is that a Pilates mat is generally thicker, offering you more cushioning for exercises on your back and stomach. You don’t want a thin yoga mat when you’re on the floor and rolling your spine. The extra cushioning from a thicker or denser mat is important for Pilates. You also want a mat that has a sleeker, smoother surface and doesn’t have the “sticky” feel that a yoga mat has, which is meant to provide greater stability. A bit of sliding around can be helpful in Pilates.
You’ll find that many mats designed for fitness, including yoga and Pilates mats, are roughly the same size. 2-foot by 6-foot is standard, and usually large enough for anything you might want to do. However, sometimes it makes sense to explore some slightly larger options. It can give you more space to move around and might be better for any larger Pilates practitioners too. If you’re tall or wide, you might find that a standard mat isn’t comfortable enough for you. Consider how much space you have at home too because you need enough to lay out you mat
Are you planning on taking your mat anywhere? Many mat-based Pilates classes don’t require you to have your own mat, but you might want to take yours along to a class anyway. You could also be thinking about taking your mat to the gym or perhaps even going on holiday with it. Portability is a factor you might think about, but remember that any mat could technically be made more portable. Some Pilates mats will come with a carry handle or a bag, which makes them easy to carry around right away.
Price is usually a factor in any purchase but you won’t find a huge price difference between different Pilates mats. The cheapest ones start at under £10, while you could be paying £15 or £20 for something that’s slightly better quality, going up to around £30. Of course, if you’re looking for a designer mat, you could pay £50 for a Stella McCartney or something similar. Generally, you don’t need to shell out a lot of money for a Pilates mat, but you might want to avoid the very cheapest options.
You don’t need to spend too long choosing a mat, but stop to think about it for a minute before you make your purchase. You could regret it if you go for the wrong one.