Pilates mats need to provide comfort and warmth when lying and kneeling on the floor so a thickness of at least 10 mm is advisable.
Mats of 15 mm are available but are heavy and don’t roll up easily.
If you plan to take your own mat to class then it needs to be light and easy to carry.
Many come with a carry strap so you can carry it over your shoulder.
Be careful of buying mats over 10 mm if you need to transport your mat as it probably won’t roll up well and could weigh around 2-3 kg.
Pilates mats are made of foam, latex or rubber. Cheaper mats are made from open foam which harbours bacteria from sweat and leaves a horrible “gym locker” smell.
Closed cell foam mats are more expensive but do not harbour bacteria so will stay smelling fresh, and they are easy to clean too.
It’s important to also look for a mat made of NBR, which is heavy metal and phenol free.
Many Pilates exercises are performed lying on the mat so it needs to be long enough for you to lie full length.
It should also be wide enough for you to lie with your arms comfortably by your sides.