Yoga and Pilates are frequently mentioned together, along with other floor-based exercise but each practice demands different mats. Choosing the right mat can help improve your performance – choosing the wrong one can mean slipping, sliding and imbalance. What matters most in a yoga mat is thinness, sweat-absorption, portability and, often for ahimsa-practicing yogis, eco-friendliness. For Pilates practitioners, cushioning, traction and support are more important. For those who are pursuing general fitness, or more athletic exercise, a thicker, firmer mat is best. You will want to make sure your body is supported well during intense exercises like planks, push-ups or bicycle sit-ups. If you anticipate sweating buckets in your workout, consider a closed-cell mat. These do not absorb moisture, making them easy to clean up after a vigorous workout.