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If you suffer with painful knees and sensitive joints, then the choice of yoga mat can be the difference between a happy yoga session and one that leaves you in pain or even injured, and worse off than you started.
Since nearly all yoga sessions take place on a hardwood floor, it puts excess pressure, especially on your knees. This makes it essential that you do a little homework in finding a yoga mat that your joints will be happy with. After all, pain equates to no practice, and nobody wants that scenario!
We decided to do some digging for you and came up with our best 5 yoga mats for bad knees and joints, so you can have a happy session.
What Makes a Good Yoga Mat For Bad Knees
It’s only natural to think that the thickest yoga mat will provide the best support for your knees and joints, however, this is not always the case.
Many popular materials used in yoga mat manufacturing, are cheap and harmful to both body and environment, so you need to consider both the thickness AND density of the material used.
A thick mat made from softer material can sometimes indent more when you apply pressure on your knees. When this happens, you’ll feel the floor and this will irritate your sensitive joints, creating pain.
So it’s best to consider a mat made from denser materials such as natural rubber or PVC (Eco-friendly) Find one that’s between 5/12 mm thick and made from the materials mentioned. This will minimize the effects of the hardwood floor and enable you to balance better, easing the pressure on your joints and making your session more enjoyable.
If you have really bad knees you should consider a yoga knee pad which is used on top of your mat. This will ensure you have maximum cushioning under your knees which will obviously lessen your discomfort.
We have reviewed best 3 yoga knee pads as a bonus for you at the end of the review.
Here’s our best 5 yoga mats for bad knees review:
1. Sivan Health and Fitness 1/2-Inch Extra Thick
This is a great yoga mat, especially for beginners and yogi with dodgy knees, as its just so cheap! But it’s also quite good. It hasn’t got the longevity of some of the other mats, but if your starting out and want to get a feel for yoga, then this will more than suffice.
It’s 1/2 inch thick so it’s definitely one of the thickest mats on the market and the 71 inch length makes it 3 inches longer than standard.
Of course, the extra thickness may initially tamper with your balance, but once you get used to it, you’ll understand the trade-off between thickness and cushioning for your joints.
- Extra thick and soft making it a versatile mat that can be used in yoga, Pilates and as an exercise mat
- At the time of writing, a very affordable mat
- Memory foam feel makes it very comfortable for sensitive knees
- Closed-cell surface so its easy to wipe clean
- Ribbed surface to prevent slipping
- The softness of the mat can interfere with balance
- Has a little bit of stretch when you put weight in opposing directions
2. Manduka EKO Yoga and Pilates Mat
At the other end of the thickness spectrum is this Manduka Eko yoga mat. It’s only 5mm but don’t let that put you off as it still provides excellent cushioning for dodgy joints.
This mat has an advantage on the previous mat in that it’s so easy to clean. Simply wipe down with soap and water and allow to dry.
I also like the fact that it’s completely free from harmful dyes, heavy metals, toxic foaming agents and everything else that could harm your body. The natural rubber scraps that come from the manufacturing process are also collected and made into other products so it’s a zero waste mat.
All in all, a great yoga mat, especially if your knees are dodgy but not too bad!
- 71 x 26 inches so it can accommodate individuals up to about 6 feet tall
- High grip surface helps to prevent slipping
- Currently offered in multiple fun colors
- Provides great cushioning for sore knees and hips
- Closed cell rubber surface is super easy to clean
- Natural rubber has a rubbery smell
- Does not include a lifetime warranty
3. Jade Yoga Fusion Yoga Mat
This mat from Jade is one of my all time favourites as it’s thick about 5/16 inch, dense and slip resistant.
It’s made from natural rubber, and to be fair, it smells like it, especially when new. But the benefits of the mats quality far outweigh the mild pong.
- Extra thick to provide plenty of padding for sensitive joints
- Made from natural rubber which is both dense and recyclable
- Non-toxic and contains no harmful chemicals
- A tree is planted for every mat sold
- 74″ long so it can accommodate taller yogis
- Has a rubber smell
- It’s a heavier mat
4. Liforme Yoga Mat
Now this mat by Liforme is only 4.5 mm but don’t let that put you off as it really is a great mat especially for those who knees are sensitive but not terribly painful. For a thin mat it really does have great cushioning.
What really makes this mat stand out is its unique alignment system. A series of lines embedded into the mat which let’s you know exactly where you are on the mat. It might sound easy, but you can easily get lost around your mat when you’re concentrating so hard, so this alignment system is really useful.
Another plus is it’s fantastic stickiness. It benefits from the ground-breaking Liforme “GripForMe” material that gives unparalleled warrior-like grip whilst practising.
- “Gripforme” material makes it extra sticky
- Extra long (72 inches) meaning it works well for taller people
- Lightweight material which makes it easy to transport
- Unique “Alignforme” system
- Includes a free Liforme yoga mat bag
- Currently offered in 4 different colors
- Not as dense as other mats in this range
- Quite pricey at around $150 at time of review
5. Incline Fit Ananda 1″ Extra Thick Yoga Mat
Right at the thicker end of our choices is this 1 inch thick yoga mat from Incline.
If you suffer with sensitive knees or hips, in fact any joint problems, then this mat will suit you very well. For a cheaper mat it really ticks all the boxes. It’s even non-slip and non toxic, being free from Phthalate, heavy metals and latex.
- Extra 1 inch thick for comfort
- Non slip for safety
- Toxin and latex free so its a good option for those with allergies
- Closed-cell surface is super easy to clean
- 72 inch long so ideal for 6ft yogi
- Can be a little heavy although comes with a carry strap
- Pungent smell when first used
I hope you enjoyed this review of the best yoga mats for bad knees. As always, every product as it’s pros and cons, some offer excellent support for sore joints, other make it easier to keep your grip when in a sweaty yoga session helping to alleviate slippage which may harm joints.
Some are more expensive, so it’s basically a combination of pros and cons and we have to at some point make our choices.
Here is the Best Knee pads review:
Best Yoga Knee Pads
SukhaMat Yoga Knee Pad Cushion
This was quite easy. We were initially going to enter 3 knee pads for our review, but there is only one choice really and it’s this SukhaMat Knee Pad Cushion.
You may already have a yoga mat that isn’t quite right for your bad knees or other joints, or you may be interested in buying one of our previewed mats but just need that extra protection after injury or arthritic joints.
This knee pad cushion will be a great addition to your yoga accessories. It’s 1/2 inch thick with a very portable 24 in x 10 in which can be easily rolled up for carrying. And it comes with a lifetime guarantee!
- No more pain! Experience true knee, elbow and wrist comfort for the first time!
- 1/2 inch thick, 24 x 10 inches
- Lifetime guarantee
- 700 amazing reviews on Amazon
- Durable, should last forever!
- Under $20 at time of review
- Arrives tightly curled, so needs straightening before use
Many thanks for your visit. You may have missed our last post 5 BEST YOGA MATS FOR NOT SLIPPING – NUMBER 3 WILL AMAZE YOU!