The Bottom Line
- Made of non-toxic TPE
- Latex free
- Lightweight, portable
- A delicate mat that can be damaged easily
- Not enough padding for some Pilates exercises
- 34"W by 68"L
- 4mm thick
- reversible purple/light purple and orange/light orange
- $39.98 at Gaiam
Guide Review - Reversible Eco Pilates and Yoga Mats from Gaiam
Pilates and yoga mats made from latex free, non-toxic materials can be quite expensive. This one, the eco conscious mat from Gaiam is not. At less than $40.00 it is middle of the road price wise. It is also middle of the road quality wise. But if a non-smelly, earth friendly mat is important to you, this could still be a good choice.
I have the idea that the eco concious mat isn't very sturdy. It seems like it wouldn't take much to end up with a lot of dings and creases in it. I laid my mat over a fence to air it out when I first got it (just on principle) and it dented badly. Weeks have gone by and the dent has not smoothed out. That was a dumb move on my part. Still, I think of classes where one is asked to fold ones mat and sit on it, or days when I just throw a mat in the car and wonder if this one could take it.
On the upside, I am happy with the look and color. I like the dusty purple in two shades front and back. This mat also comes in a citrus orange for those who like things a little brighter. There is a slight raised pattern on this mat that enhances the grip. We don't need a lot of grip for most Pilates exercises. Grip is more of a concern in yoga. So, yoga folks take note: This mat does give some traction but it is not a sticky yoga mat. I wouldn't trust myself in a sweaty sequence on it, even though the Gaiam site says you can.
What we need in a Pilates mat is firm padding that will protect us in spinal articulations and rolling exercises. The thickness on this mat isn't ideal for Pilates, but it is in the category of mats that roll up small and light, so thinner is what you get. On that subject, I have another roll up mat from Gaiam that has been a workhorse of a mat for many years now. It's their premium sticky mat, which is also latex free. I have carried that mat everywhere with nary a dent or scratch.
My advice is this: If the full eco conscious package is important to you (it is to me), and you are willing to baby it a bit, consider this mat.