Top 7 Best Yoga Mats for Bad Knees - Taking Care of Your Pain Point

Doing yoga is a great way to stay healthy and stay in shape. However, yoga can be very tricky if you have bad knees. 

These types of issues can make regular things like going up or down a set of stairs hard, let alone something as demanding as yoga. Because of that, we will show you our picks for the top 7 best yoga mats for bad knees. 

Some of these are among the best yoga mats overall. After we go over our picks, we’ll dig into what makes a good mat for this set of requirements. Let’s dig in!

Top 7 Best Yoga Mats for Bad Knees:​

Pros

  • One of the thickest mats available on the market
  • Features good quality materials and robust construction that lasts
  • Folds up for easier storage when not in use and features carry handles

Cons

  • It is not really an affordable mat by any means
  • It is not the best model for those who need a portable mat

Our top pick comes from Ultimate Body Press and represents something very different from what most people think of when they imagine a yoga mat. As you can probably tell already, this mat is thick. It has to be folded.
Thicker mats work better for those who have knee problems. Whether or not you need something this thick is up to you, but the fact is that you won’t feel a thing while using it. It is extremely comfortable.
What defines this model aside from its thickness, is easy maintenance and great durability it offers. It may not be an ideal mat for traveling, but it’s unbeatable comfort wise for home use. It’s a good choice for comfort-oriented users.

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Pros

  • A great bang for the buck option for those on a limited budget
  • 1 inch thickness makes it just right for most applications
  • Comes in a variety of different colors for that aesthetic value

Cons

  • It falls within the most basic models on the market

Next up is a great model from Incline Fit. This mat is much more in line with what regular yoga mats offer, only much thicker. With that said, this is a simple mat. It features a solid color aesthetic.
It’s utilitarian through and through. The brand behind this model has used good quality materials which give the mat the decent durability overall. The mat comes In a variety of colors, including teal, neon and a few other similar options.
One of the best things about this mat is its thickness. At 1 Inch, it’s neither too thick nor too thin. It’s right at that point where you’re getting all the benefits in terms of comfort, without the usual drawbacks.

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Pros

  • Durable build quality and decent materials ensure resistance to wear
  • It is half inch thick which means plenty of stability and comfort
  • Comes with a set of simple yet effective carrying straps

Cons

  • Made out of polyester which might bother environmentally conscious yogis

Reehut is another brand that recognized the importance of thicker yoga mats. The model we’re looking at here represents one of the best from their offer. With that said, Reehut went with a slightly thinner setup than most other brands.
The went with a half inch thickness instead of a full inch or more. This is arguably the optimal balance between comfort and versatility. While it ultimately comes down to personal preference, it’s arguable that half inch works better overall.
The mat is made of lightweight polyester that is durable and rather comfortable. It’s not an eco-friendly mat by in that regard, but it is more than adequate at this price. If you’re after something budget friendly, this is it.

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Pros

  • Affordable model that features good build quality all around
  • 0.5” thick meaning that it offers more stability while still being comfortable
  • Easy to clean and lightweight design give this model an edge

Cons

  • Designed using non-natural materials which some yogis might find problematic

What Node Fitness offers with their yoga mat is simplicity and durability at an affordable price. The idea here was to deliver something that was cheap, large and reasonably padded. You will notice that it’s thinner than most other models.
This is the first 0.5” model on our list. While half an inch of padding is on the lower end of thickness suitable for bad knees, it adds that extra stability factor. On top of that, this one is oversized.
It measures 72” by 24” and rolls up nicely. Transporting it comes down to using the harness that arrives with the mat. The fact that it’s thinner means that it’s going to be lighter overall, which might matter to some.

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Pros

  • Great bang for the buck value that brings decent durability
  • Comes in a variety of colors which makes it aesthetically pleasing
  • Offers more stability on average due to its slimmer nature

Cons

  • Made of NBR foam that is not all that eco friendly

Next model on our list comes from Sivan Health and Fitness. It represents another half inch mat that is great for those who appreciate a bit more stability on top of the comfort. These come in various colors and prices.
Saying that this mat is a great bang for the buck option would be an understatement of the day. Although it is a little bit smaller than the rest, at 71” by 24” it is still more than big enough.
One thing that defines this mat is its easy to clean exterior and plenty of grip it offers. Needless to say, you won’t be sliding around on this one. Additionally, this model comes with a removable carry strap as well.

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Pros

  • Great value for the money choice for those on a budget
  • Comes with a great Mandala design that gives the whole mat depth
  • Easy to clean and rugged design makes it a great choice overall

Cons

  • It’s not eco friendly which could be an issue for some yogis

If you thought that all yoga affordable yoga mats in this segment come in solid colors, you would be mistaken. Incline Fit’s extra thick mat features a bit more graphical diversity than you’ll usually see on our list of models.
This is a 72” by 24” mat that is half inch thick. The top features a mandala design that pulls everything together. The mat comes in various colors, which also black, green and a few other flat colors as well.
One of the main selling points of this model is ribbed texture that keeps the mat firmly planted on the ground. The grip, both on the floor and your grip on the mat, is great. It’s a great beginner model.

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Pros

  • One of the cheapest mats you can get right now
  • Features a carrying harness that makes it easy to bring with you
  • Durable foam ensures that your mat will work great for a long time

Cons

  • Made of NBR foam that is not biodegradable or eco-friendly

Last but not the least we’ve the Amazon Basics’ half inch yoga mat. The generic Amazon yoga accessories have always been a decent ticket into the world of yoga. With this mat, you can get a great mat for cheap.
As far as dimensions go, this is another 72” by 24” mat that measures 0.5” in thickness. This means that you are getting decent thickness and great stability at an affordable price. The mat is durable and easy to clean.
One thing to note about this mat is that it’s made of that same NBR foam our previous few models were also made of. In other words, it is not an eco-friendly mat by any stretch. It’s still great, though.

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How to Choose The Best Yoga Mat for Bad Knees?

Choosing a proper yoga mat can be difficult as it is. Things get even more complicated when you introduce the bad knees variable. Bad knees are a delicate issue. 

However, not everyone’s shot knees are going to behave the same. So how do you find the model that fits your knees the best? Let’s break it down to a few categories and then go from there.

Thickness

This is by far the most important aspect of yoga mat selection when you have bad knees. Thin mats simply don’t cut it. Those paper-thin mats have their benefits, but none of those mean much if you can’t do even the simplest things due to the pain. 

Because of that, you will definitely need something thicker. We are talking at least half inch thick while one-inch thick mats are the norm.
This extra thickness has its drawbacks as well. Thicker mats aren’t all that great for traveling. If you want to check out some of the best yoga mats for traveling, check out our dedicated guide.

The real trick is finding the right amount of thickness. The idea is pretty simple. Thicker mats are more comfortable, but they compromise stability. Thinner mats offer improved stability but take away in terms of comfort. Finding what works best for you will come down to balancing stability and comfort.

Materials

Despite a growing trend of eco-friendly yoga mats sweeping the world, the majority of mats these days are still made of various foams and other artificial materials. 

This is even more true with mats designed for bad knees. The issue is that natural rubber materials are rarely made thick. Instead, most manufacturers still use NBR foam or similar PVC solutions that deliver the necessary performance as well as thickness.

One thing you should pay the most attention to is how you react to these materials. Not everyone is comfortable using NBR foam and some people have adverse reactions to this material. 

People who have sweaty hands and need good yoga mats for sweaty hands will definitely want to find something catered to that issue.

Price

This is an easy one to figure out. Due to the nature of yoga mats suitable for bad knees, you will most often find them to be quite affordable. This is mainly because most yoga mats in this category are made out of artificial materials. Hence, the end price tends to be rather low.

Such low prices are among the main reasons why thicker mats are what beginners turn to. If you are someone who is just getting int yoga, investing into a mat from our list is a fairly logical move. 

Not only are you getting the necessary thickness for your knees, but you are getting all that at a very affordable price.

It is just work pointing out that cheaper mats are generally going to be devoid of any special features. In other words, you are dealing mainly with the most basic models.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we know a thing or two about how to select the right model for bad knees, let’s take a look at some questions that keep on popping up when these mats are being discussed. Some of these will most likely feel logical to you, but some might bring a piece of information you weren’t aware of previously. Let’s dig right into it.

What is the best thickness for a yoga mat?

As we have previously mentioned, the answer to this question will depend on a few things. The most important factor are going to be your knees. 

No one but you knows what will or won’t work for your knees. One of the easier ways to figure out how thick you’ll need your mat to be is to test your knees with a blanket.

Take the blanket and put it on the floor. Kneel down on it and gauge whether the thickness is enough or if you need a thicker surface. In case you do, just fold the blanket over and give it another try. Repeat this until you find what feels best.

While this won’t give you an exact measure of the mat you’ll need, it will give you a ball park figure of what thickness will work the best for your knees.

What is The Thickest Yoga Mat You Can Get?

Yoga mats come in a variety of thicknesses. That much is obvious by now. But what is the thickest mat you can get? The consensus is that 2 inches is probably the thickest you want to go with yoga mats in general. 

We have to mention the stability issue once again because it is a major factor when it comes to doing proper yoga.

Thicker mats are attractive because they are comfortable. And while some yogis will absolutely benefit from a 2-inch mat, not everyone should go straight for such a thick mat. 

All of that added cushioning makes it hard to keep the balance and do some of the more demanding poses.

Is a 4mm Yoga Mat Good?

While 4mm mats can be great for regular yoga under normal circumstances, chances are it won’t cut it if you have bad knees. However, you shouldn’t take that as gospel. 

Some yogis will find that 4mm is just the right measure for their case of bad knees. The best thing you can do is try things out for yourself and find what works and what doesn’t.

All of our bodies are different and on top of that all of us have different tastes when it comes to what we like. You will easily find yogis that appreciate a thinner mat despite the added discomfort. 

However, if you’re not sure it’s better to err on the side of caution and choose something that is closer to quarter inch thick if not thicker.

How Long Should a Yoga Mat Last?

This is a great question considering that thicker models are often considered to be more durable. 

You will often see people talking about never having to replace their yoga mats. In reality, all yoga mats should be replaced somewhere between 6 months to a year.

 That timeframe allows you to get the most out of your investment without having to deal with a dirty and damage mat.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, we went with the 2” mat as our overall best model. While this might be an overkill for some, we have decided to put it at the first place due to the sheer amount of comfort it offers. 

It simply doesn’t get much better than this. With that said, any one of the models listed above will get you the necessary comfort and cushioning that makes doing yoga painless and worry free. All you need to do is pick the one that best fits your needs and you are pretty much good to go.