What is the difference between a yoga mat and a pilate mat?
Which mat to choose according to the type of physical activity and its level of practice?
While browsing through our collection of yoga mats, you may have felt lost with all this choice of sizes and dimensions, and also textures.
We will try to make a quick and clear point in this article to help you make an informed choice and a conscious purchase.
Depending on the activity practiced, YOGA or PILATE, there are 3 criteria to take into account when choosing your mat:
THICKNESS - COMPOSITION - DIMENSION
The mats have a different thickness and density because they are simply designed according to the nature of the exercises that are specific to their practice.
Many exercises are performed on the floor and you have to roll onto your back or tailbone, so the mat used should be thick enough to support your back.
A Pilates mat has an average thickness of 10mm with compact foam which provides greater support to sensitive parts of the body, such as the spine and the coccyx but also the joints...
It is therefore thinner in thickness so that one can stand and balance without difficulty. A standard yoga mat is 3-6mm thick.
- Thickness between 3 and 4 mm = confirmed and beginners / suitable for the studio and at home -
- Thickness between 5 and 6 mm = beginners / suitable for studio and home -
- Thickness of 1.5 mm = towel / mat during your classes or as a yoga mat when traveling (in nomadic mode)
Most yoga and Pilates mats are made of NBR foam (new generation of eco-friendly, durable rubber.) or PVC.
However, some yoga mats are also made from eco-friendly materials, such as jute , natural rubber , or cork .
- The most common, the TPE! (thermoplastic elastomer)
TPE is asynthetic equivalent of c rubber , which is also lighter. (considerable advantage!) It is the most used material because it is the most economical on the market.
It is a material that is known as " ecological " because of the low amount of energy to be produced, its durability , its resistance over time and the fact that it is recyclable (another good point)
This material still comes from the petrochemical industry and purists like it less, despite the advantages mentioned above: economical, durable, light and recyclable (still, it's not bad…)
Natural rubber (product of Hevea) is the darling of high-end carpet brands.
With growing demand, prices are rising all the more as parts of Southeast Asia and South America face overexploitation of rubber and rampant production…
It is therefore necessary to ensure that the production does not come from Amazonian exploitation.
It is a natural material and adheres well to the ground.
A weak point, however, is that the use of the rubber mat outdoors is not recommended because it is poorly resistant to sunlight.
Jute is a fiber from rainfed cultivation , which requires few water resources and almost no use of pesticides. One of the first countries exploiting Jute is Bangladesh and unfortunately, the respect of the workers in this country is not taken into consideration.
The texture is quite particular and can be very pleasant or not at all.
Cork is an Eco-friendly material that is becoming more and more known in vegan leather goods and for good reason, cork is a very interesting option on several levels!
The exploitation of the cork oak and its harvest (annual) contributes to the eco-system and is beneficial for the biodiversity of both the fauna and the surrounding flora , allowing the absorption of 20% additional CO2!
Cork production does not generate waste and the vast majority of cork oak is in Portugal .
Cork has antibacterial properties, it is naturally waterproof and even better, it becomes more and more adherent , as you sweat on contact with it.
Its texture is particularly soft with optional thermoregulation of the carpet: stays cool in summer and in winter is never cold. A must!
Maintenance is simple : It can be cleaned with a little water and 2 drops of soap if necessary.
DIMENSIONS: Which size to choose?
The standard width is 61 cm but you will easily find other widths in 66 cm, 68 cm and XL formats of 80 cm!
The large widths are adapted to the different variations performed during Pilates sessions.
In general, a yoga mat measures between 172cm and 183cm.
For the length, it will depend on your height so that your feet do not protrude from the mat when you are lying down... it's more pleasant ;-)
Pilates mats are also usually the same length, but sometimes they are a bit wider than a yoga mat.
It is essential to choose your mat according to the type of activity practiced (pilates or yoga), its level (beginner or confirmed), its constraints (physical), its grip (non-slippery for yoga) and its composition …
And beyond the practical and technical considerations, it is essential that this mat gives you joy to look at it, to touch it so that each session is tinged with pleasure and satisfaction.
Loving your yoga mat is very important for engaging in a sustainable practice.