There you are, ready to flow into your favorite yoga poses, but those pesky bad knees have other plans for you. As someone who used to suffer from runner’s knee, I know this plight all too well – and have embarked on a quest to find the best yoga mats for bad knees, so we can all practice our warrior pose without starting a war between our joints and the hard floor!
The average yoga mat is only a 3mm thick, but I have found some thicker ones that are way friendlier on the joints. So say goodbye to wincing in knee pain and hello to the sweet relief of cushioned yoga mats that cradle your delicate knees like a yoga cloud, allowing you to focus on your practice and find your inner zen.
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Time unroll the proverbial mat and reveal the secrets of a knee-friendly yoga session!
Top Picks Overview
1. Gorilla Mat: The Pro Yoga Mat!
My number one pick is the Gorilla Mat because it checks all the boxes. This extra thick yoga mat boasts an impressive 8mm high-density padding, perfect for those with sensitive knees or joint pain.
Built to last, its unmatched performance features a sticky, textured, non-slip surface, providing both grip and comfort during your yoga practice. And if you thought that was all, this versatile mat comes complete with a microfiber towel, storage bag, and two Velcro straps to round out your workout accessories.
Personally, I can’t get enough of this heavy-duty mat. With a durability that rivals the best yoga mats on the market, my Gorilla Mat still looks brand new after two years of use, even after multiple HIIT sessions with shoes on!
And with it being as large as it is, I can exercise in my living room with the confidence of knowing my hardwood floors are protected!
While it may not be as sticky as the Jade Mat, it’s undoubtedly the most versatile mat I’ve ever owned. The extra thickness does provide adequate cushioning for my sore knees without sacrificing stability during challenging yoga poses.
Plus, I just love the included microfiber towel!
For a more in-depth look at this beloved mat, check out my detailed review.
|✔ Durable and long-lasting||✖ Expensive|
|✔ 8mm high-density padding|
|✔ Sticky, textured, non-slip surface|
|✔ Includes microfiber towel, storage bag, and Velcro straps|
2. B Mat Strong: Performance and Eco-Friendliness Combined
The B Mat Strong is a premium yoga mat that caters to various exercise styles. With a thickness of 4mm (1/8-inch), this mat strikes the perfect balance between grip and comfort, making it suitable for everything from high-impact Vinyasa to restorative yoga and Pilates.
The B Mat utilizes 100% non-slip rubber and synthetic rubber to create an eco-friendly, biodegradable, and highly durable product. Its ultra-grippy, sticky top ensures superior traction, stability, and grip during your workout.
What I personally love about the B Mat Strong is its unparalleled stickiness and quickly became my go-to for intense, sweaty sessions (which is why it’s also my top pick of yoga mats if you sweat a lot . With the stickiest surface I’ve ever encountered, slipping is a thing of the past, allowing me to focus on perfecting my poses.
It’s not as thick as some of the other mats on this list, but it’s still very comfy for those with bad knees. The mat’s eco-friendly and responsibly-produced nature also sits well with my conscience, knowing that I’m contributing to a sustainable approach to yoga accessories.
However, it’s worth noting that the B Mat Strong is a bit on the expensive side. Additionally, it has a slight rubber smell initially, but this dissipates over time.
|✔ Premium 4mm (1/8-inch) thickness for grip and comfort||✖ Expensive|
|✔ Eco-friendly, biodegradable, and highly durable||✖ Slight rubber smell initially (which goes away with time)|
|✔ Ultra-grippy, sticky top for superior traction, stability, and grip|
|✔ Suitable for various exercise styles|
|✔ Responsibly produced and available in thin and extra-thick versions|
3. Jade Yoga Mat: Tree-Loving and Odor-Free
Step up your yoga practice with the Jade Yoga Mat, a premium quality mat crafted from natural rubber for superior traction and grip. Boasting an ultra-comfortable 5/16″ thickness, this latex-free mat is perfect for restorative yoga, Pilates, and core fitness workouts.
But what sets it apart is its commitment to sustainability: Jade Yoga plants a tree for every mat sold and uses toxin-free materials to create an eco-friendly yoga mat that’s easy to clean with plant-based Mat Wash.
Not only is it comfortable on my sensitive knees, but its eco-friendly nature also makes me feel good about supporting a brand that gives back to the environment. I also enjoy the complete absence of that weird chemical smell often found in other yoga mats. (A true blessing during child’s pose!)
Alas, it does degrade over time, and after a couple of years of heavy use, it did start breaking down in areas. Regardless, it remains one of my favorite mats. (And to be fair, I did use it a lot.)
|✔ Natural rubber for superior traction, grip, and durability||✖ Wears out over time|
|✔ 5/16″ thick, perfect for sensitive knees|
|✔ Signs of disintegration after two years of hard use|
|✔ Eco-friendly and toxin-free materials|
|✔ Tree planted for every mat sold|
4. Gaiam Essentials: Best Budget Yoga Mat
Looking for a budget mat that doesn’t compromise on cushioning? Enter the Gaiam Essentials yoga mat. This fitness and exercise mat is suitable for yoga, Pilates, and floor exercises, providing a 2/5-inch thickness for ample cushioning and support.
Made from soft NBR foam, it ensures comfortable stretching and posing for those with sensitive joints. The Gaiam Essentials mat also comes with a convenient carrying strap, making transportation to and from yoga classes a breeze.
What I appreciate most about the Gaiam Essentials mat is its affordability without sacrificing quality. The variety of fun colors adds a touch of personalization to your yoga practice, and the extra thick mat offers a soft surface for bad knees.
While it might not be as durable or provide as much traction as the Jade Yoga Mat, it’s still a good choice for those on a budget or just starting their yoga journey.
|✔ Affordable||✖ Not as durable or grippy as other mats|
|✔ 2/5-inch thickness for cushioning and support|
|✔ Soft NBR foam for comfort|
|✔ Includes a carrying strap|
5. LFS Yoga Mat: Extra Thick & Wide Surface Area
Discover the perfect balance between comfort and stability with the LFS Yoga Mat. This extra thick and wide yoga mat offers a generous 10mm thickness and a 72.8″ x 31.5″ size, providing ample space for all your poses.
With a high-density, non-slip surface, you can practice yoga with confidence, knowing you’ll stay put while practicing yoga. Plus, cleaning the LFS Yoga Mat is a breeze; simply wipe it down with gentle soap and water, then hang it to dry.
Its durable construction means it can withstand daily use, and it’s affordable. (Sometimes, you can even score a $5 coupon!) Although some users might find it offers less traction than other mats, the extra thickness provides the perfect amount of cushioning for sensitive knees without compromising stability.
|✔ Extra thick (10mm) and wide (72.8″ x 31.5″)||✖ Less traction than other mats|
|✔ High-density, non-slip surface|
|✔ Easy to clean|
|✔ Durable for daily use|
6. Feetlu Yoga Mat: Lightweight Eco-Friendly Comfort
Embrace the perfect blend of style and functionality with the Feetlu Yoga Mat. Made from premium quality POE material, this certified eco-friendly mat offers a spacious 72 x 24 inches and a 10mm thickness for cushioning.
Its non-slip, textured surface on both sides ensures traction during your practice, while its lightweight design (weighing only 1.2 kg) and included strap make it easy to carry to and from yoga classes.
I adore the Feetlu Yoga Mat for its vibrant colors and lightweight design. This good yoga mat adds a touch of personality to my practice while providing the extra padding my sensitive knees crave.
Some users report it doesn’t offer much traction if you get really sweaty during your workouts. That said, its eco-friendly construction makes it a good pick for your conscious.
|✔ Certified eco-friendly||✖ Less traction for very sweaty users|
|✔ Extra-large & thick (72 x 24 inches, 10mm)|
|✔ Non-slip & portable|
|✔ Lightweight with strap|
7. JELS Extra Thick Yoga Mat: Squishy Support for Sensitive Knees
Experience the ultimate in joint protection with the JELS Extra Thick Yoga Mat. Boasting an extra thick 10mm TPE yoga mat, this non-slip, PVC-free option offers 369 cushioning anti-slip modules for unmatched stability during your practice.
Its extra-large size (6′ x 2′ x 10mm) and included carry strap makes it a proper yoga mat for practitioners of all level
The JELS Mat can be a lifesaver for knee discomfort. Its squishy, cushioned material provides ample coverage and support without feeling like you’re sinking into too much cushioning.
However, be aware that prolonged exposure to sunlight may cause the mat to disintegrate, and it might have a chemical smell at first. Despite these minor drawbacks, it’s a great mat for alleviating knee and joint pain.
|✔ Extra thick (10mm) TPE material||✖ May disintegrate if exposed to the sun too long|
|✔ Non-slip on both sides|
|✔ Chemical smell|
|✔ Extra-large size (6′ x 2′ x 10mm) with carry strap|
8. BeautyOvo: Extra Width for Extra Comfort
Expand your practice and give your knees the support they deserve with the BeautyOvo Yoga Mat. Made from eco-friendly TPE material, this mat has a smooth texture, boasts a generous 1/3-inch thickness, and comes in an ample 72”x32” size. The grippy, non-slip texture ensures added stability during poses, while the included strap allows for easy carrying and stretching.
I’m a big fan of the BeautyOvo Mat for its extra width, which allows for more sprawling poses and exercises.
Although it might be less durable than premium brands, the cushioning and space it provides make it perfect for those with sensitive knees. It’s eco-friendly construction and convenient carrying strap make it a reliable and comfortable yoga accessory for any practice.
|✔ Eco-friendly TPE material||✖ May be less durable than other brands|
|✔ Ample cushioning & space|
|✔ Grippy non-slip texture|
|✔ Yoga mat with strap|
9. Blogilates Vegan Suede Yoga Mat: Stylish, Sustainable Support
Elevate your practice with the stunning and eco-conscious Blogilates Vegan Suede Yoga Mat. This mat features an absorbent vegan suede top layer for better grip and a lightweight TPE lower layer for durability and comfort.
With a total thickness of 6mm, it provides premium cushioned support while remaining easy to roll up for quick storage and transportation.
I’m in love with the Blogilates Vegan Suede Mat for its gorgeous pattern and muted colors.
The vegan suede material is not only stylish but is said to provide an excellent grip during practice. While availability on Amazon might be limited, it’s worth the effort to get your hands on this beautiful and functional mat. It’s truly a perfect yoga mat for those who value aesthetics, sustainability, and comfort.
|✔ Absorbent vegan suede top layer||✖ May have limited availability on Amazon|
|✔ Easy to clean|
|✔ Lightweight TPE lower layer|
|✔ 6mm total thickness|
How to Choose the Best Yoga Mat for Bad Knees
Thickness and Cushioning
When looking for the best yoga mat for bad knees, thickness, and cushioning are crucial factors to consider. Very thick yoga mats provide extra padding and support to alleviate pressure on sensitive joints and reduce discomfort during your practice.
A mat like the JELS Extra Thick Mat, with its 10mm TPE material, is an excellent option for those seeking additional cushioning. The Feetlu Mat also offers a generous 10mm thickness for optimal support.
However, it’s essential to strike a balance between cushioning and stability. Too much cushioning can make it difficult to maintain balance in certain poses. In this case, the Blogilates Vegan Suede Mat, with a 6mm total thickness, is an ideal choice because it offers adequate cushioning without compromising stability.
Material and Durability
The material of your mat plays a significant role in its durability and overall performance. Natural rubber, TPE, and POE are some common materials used in yoga mats, each with its unique properties.
For instance, the Jade Mat is made of natural rubber, known for its superior traction, grip, and comfort. On the other hand, the BeautyOvo Mat features eco-friendly TPE material, which boasts higher elasticity and abrasion resistance.
When considering best yoga mats for durability, pay attention to how well the mat can withstand regular use and cleaning. The Gorilla Mat, with its unmatched performance and high-density padding, is a fantastic example of a durable yoga mat that can last for years with proper care.
Non-Slip Surface and Traction
A non-slip surface is essential for maintaining proper alignment and balance during your workout session.
The best yoga mats for bad knees should have a textured sticky surface that provides good grip and traction, preventing further knee injury from slips and slides during poses. The Jade Yoga Mat is well-known for its stickiness, offering a slip-free surface that allows you to focus on your practice without worrying about losing your grip.
The LFS Yoga Mat also features a high-density, non-slip surface, ensuring stability during your yoga session. Its non-slip wave shape material further enhances balance and floor grip. When selecting a yoga mat, keep in mind that different materials may offer varying levels of traction, so consider your individual needs and preferences.
Size and Dimensions
A larger mat provides more space for movement and can accommodate various poses without putting pressure on your joints. The LFS Yoga Mat, with its extra-wide dimensions of 72.8″ x 31.5″, offers plenty of room for a comfortable yoga session.
The BeautyOvo Yoga Mat also boasts a generous size of 72”x32”x1/3″, providing ample cushioning and space.
When choosing the right yoga mat, consider the space you have available for practice and your body size. A larger mat may be more suitable for taller individuals or those who enjoy a more spacious practice area.
Obviously, if space is limited, you’re better off sticking with a narrower, lightweight mat that’s easy to roll up and move out of the way when not in use.
Eco-Friendliness and Sustainability
For environmentally-conscious yogis, eco-friendliness and sustainability are crucial factors when selecting a yoga mat.
Many yoga mats on the market are made from eco-friendly materials, such as natural rubber, TPE, or POE. The Jade Yoga Mat, made from sustainable rubber, not only offers excellent comfort and grip but also contributes to environmental conservation through its partnership with Trees for the Future. With every mat sold, a tree is planted, making it a socially responsible choice.
The Feetlu Yoga Mat, made from premium quality POE material, is another eco-friendly option to consider. Its certified eco-friendly construction ensures that you’re making a responsible choice while enjoying a comfortable and supportive practice.
Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
A yoga mat that’s easy to clean and maintain is essential for a hygienic and hassle-free yoga practice. Most yoga mats can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap or a specially formulated mat cleaner.
The Gaiam Essentials mat, for example, is an exercise mat that is easy to clean and maintain, ensuring a fresh and comfortable yoga session every time.
The Blogilates Vegan Suede Mat is another excellent option, with its easy-to-clean vegan suede top layer that can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth, cold water, and mild detergent. When selecting a yoga mat, consider its cleaning requirements and whether it’s suitable for your lifestyle and practice frequency.
A low-maintenance mat will help you focus on your practice without worrying about extensive cleaning routines.
Portability and Carrying Options
If you go to yoga class outside the home, portability and carrying options are essential factors to consider when selecting a mat.
Lightweight mats with carrying straps or bags make transportation to and from the yoga studio or outdoor practice locations much more manageable. The Feetlu Mat, weighing just 1.2 kg, is a lightweight option that’s easy to carry, while the Gaiam Essentials mat includes a strap for effortless transportation.
The JELS Extra Thick Mat also comes with a free carry strap, providing a simple solution for those who want a thick cushioned yoga mat without sacrificing portability. When choosing a mat, consider your travel habits and how frequently you’ll be moving your mat between locations.
Price and Budget Considerations
The price of a mat can vary widely, depending on factors such as material, thickness, size, and brand reputation. While investing in a premium yoga mat like the Gorilla Mat or Jade Mat may be worthwhile for those seeking top-quality performance, there are also budget-friendly options available for those with financial constraints.
The Gaiam Essentials mat is an excellent choice for those seeking a budget yoga mat that still offers good quality and performance. Similarly, the LFS Mat is a durable option that sometimes comes with a $5 coupon, making it even more affordable.
When selecting a mat, consider your budget and the features most important to you, and remember that the best yoga mat for bad knees is one that meets your unique needs and preferences.
We’ve explored several of the best yoga mats for bad knees, but remember that the perfect mat for you is one that aligns with your personal preferences and requirements, providing the support and comfort you need for a fulfilling and pain-free practice.
Embrace your yoga journey with confidence, knowing that the right mat can make all the difference in your yoga experience. With the right support and determination, you can continue to enjoy the numerous benefits of yoga and cultivate a practice that nurtures both your body and soul!
The lifespan of a yoga mat depends on factors such as the material, frequency of use, and how well it’s maintained. Generally, a mat should be replaced every one to two years, but this can vary depending on the quality of the mat and how often it’s used.
Ideally, your mat should be made from cushioned material that provides adequate support and comfort for your joints during your practice. Another essential feature to look for in a yoga mat material is a closed cell surface. This type of surface prevents sweat, dirt, and bacteria from penetrating the mat, making it more hygienic and easier to clean. Additionally, closed-cell surfaces contribute to the mat’s durability and overall longevity.
While a thicker mat can provide more cushioning and support for sore knees, it may also slightly affect balance, especially in standing poses. However, many individuals with bad knees or sensitive joints find that the benefits of extra cushioning outweigh the potential impact on balance.
es, some people with knee problems choose to use thick mats, yoga knee pads or, folded blankets, or towels under their legs during certain poses to provide additional cushioning. These can be used in conjunction with a regular mat to customize the level of support needed for your practice.
Most mats can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap or a specially formulated mat cleaner. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s care instructions for your specific mat, as some materials may require special cleaning methods to avoid damage.
Eco-friendly yoga mats are typically made from materials like natural rubber, TPE, or POE. These materials are sustainable and free from harmful chemicals. Look for product descriptions and labels indicating that the mat is made from eco-friendly materials to ensure you’re making a responsible choice.
While it’s not necessary, using a carrying strap or bag for your mat can make transportation easier and protect your mat from dirt and damage. Many mats come with straps or bags included, or you can purchase one separately to fit your specific mat.