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Best Options for Pilates Mats Whether You Want Thick, Organic, Phthalate-Free or Least Expensive


October 10, 2015 by Bob Hannum

What follows are reviews, comparisons and information for my choice of the best Pilates mats. They are thicker, firmer and with minimal stretch. I am concerned about off-gassing of harmful chemicals so I also present PVC, phthalate, and latex-free options. 

There are many fine mats at lesser thicknesses, but for Pilates, thicker is better. For more about why a thicker mat is best and other tips for buying the right mat go here. I've also included the best organic options.


SISSEL® Gym Mat - Best Thick Mat Option

This is the mat I use. Not the cheapest at $45 plus shipping, but it's not the most expensive either, and after years of use and cleaning I can attest to the fact that this mat lasts! High quality closed cell, thick, minimal stretch and phthalate-free. In my opinion it's the best quality thick roll-up mat.

What Sissel Says Pilates Mats

This product "provides a pleasant, warm, hygienic, easy to clean surface for your workout. It has optimal shock absorbing qualities, and is easy to roll up for better storage and transport."


The size is 180cm (70.9") x 60cm (23.6") x 1.5cm (a bit over 1/2" thick). Colors are blue, red, and green. Made in Sweden. Non-slip ribbed surface. Does not stretch too much. Seamed around all the edges to eliminate fraying. No PVC, phthalates, or chemical off-gassing. Closed-cell foam. No straps but you can order a carrying bag as seen in the picture. Not made of recycled material, but is recyclable. With bag $63 plus shipping.
Thick exercise mat prices



Aeromats™ Dual-sided Premium ELITE AEROFIT Exercise Mats 

These are the thickest (5/8" and 3/4") and cheapest (starting at $33 plus shipping) phthalate-free foam rollup mats. These are now my favorite mats since Sissel stopped making a wider mat. Personally I much prefer a wider mat than the standard 2' and once you try one you'll never go back to the standard size. However, they are made in China where quality control is iffy - the contents of some foam products have been found to contain toxic chemicals. Aside from this well-deserved mistrust of China's quality control, this is a fine mat option.

The TPE in these mats is a healthier alternative to the cheaper mats made of PVC, but it's important to realise that TPE is not entirely safe either. For a detailed expIanation click here. For example, I found this comment from one user: "I bought and used one of these mats from Aeromat.Thick Pilates Mat I took it to the studio and removed it from its sealed packaging and then worked out on it for 90 minutes. It had a distinct chemical smell. The manufacturer has since told me that I didn't smell chemicals, but the "natural odor of the foam." In a later email I was told that the 'pvc, phthalate free matt' is "a blend of natural and synthetic rubber"..."


Four sizes ranging from 2' to 3' wide, and 4 1/2' to 6' long. Thickness is 5/8" to 3/4". Prices start at $19. Colors are blue, green, and black. You can also buy the mats with straps or a bag for easy carrying. There is also an "EcoWise" model that is "constructed from New EcoWise TPE closed cell foam material that is latex, PVC, and chloride free." This mat is 72” long x 23” wide and 5/8" thick in blue or green.

What Aeromat Says

The Aeromats website says: "these premium mats are constructed of tear resistant closed-cell polyfoam that provides extra cushion for added comfort plus insulation from cold floors. The mats are water resistant and each mat contains two non-slip sides; one smooth surface and another with a ribbed surface for added traction. Perfect for Pilates, stretching and daily workouts. All easy to roll up for storage or travel."

best pilates mat


Cheapest Thick Mats for Those Who Don't Mind Foam With Phthlalates 

All these thick mats are under $25 plus shipping. In many cases there are a variety of colors to Pilates Matchoose from and carrying straps included. All these products are PVC foam made in China. PVC foam has phthalates which have been proven to cause cancer, but to provide some perspective the smell (off-gassing) from these mats contain the same harmful odors found in a new plastic shower curtain or a new car. This somewhat harmful off-gassing does not pose any threat to your skin and dissipates within a few days after which there is no further harm to the lungs. I'm not suggesting ANY off-gassing is OK, but just keep it in perspective!

Several varieties are available at Amazon by pressing the button below.

Best Pilates Mat



Bean Products Natural Cotton Mat

This will be my next mat! From an exciting company, all contents are eco-friendly and made in the USA. You can even custom order if you want thicker, wider or longer dimensions. Most exciting of all - they have a 2" thick all-cotton mat. The company rep recommends that you also purchase theexercise mat all-cotton cover and wash that regularly instead of the mat. Only 10 lbs. And the price is extremely reasonable at $64 plus shipping. The mat comes only in natural white, but the all-cotton cover and carrying bag come in a variety of colors.

What Bean Products Says

From their website: "We're passionate about our planet. We're crazy about comfort. At our eco-friendly manufacturing facility we handcraft environmentally friendly home essentials designed with your wellbeing and our planet's future in mind. And we've been doing it long before "green" was cool, since 1987. Our products are different, and they make a difference by providing superior comfort utilizing sustainable resources such as Organic Cottons, Hemp, Kaprok, Buckwheat Hulls, Natural Latex, and Recycled Poly Fiber." 

cotton exercise mat



Cheapest Mat Straps                                                                                                 exercise mat carrying straps                   

If you want a strap to keep your mat rolled up and easy to carry, go with the least expensive one! Made of sturdy nylon, it will last longer than your mat!

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