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What Is the Best Thick Yoga Mat for Bad Knees?

Like many others, I can point back to a childhood adventure that went wrong and permanently caused some damage.

I was lucky enough not to have a permanent limp or injury.

The first (and last) attempt at a back-flip off the trampoline meant I messed up my knee.

That was at eight years old, and my hatred of jogging, running, or anything really heavy on the knees has existed ever since.

Getting older I still needed exercise not only for good health and fitness but also for stress-relief. But it had to be easy on the knees and that’s where yoga really saved the day as my go-to exercise.

Not only is yoga a normal part of my everyday life now but it’s important to recognize just how important thick cushioned yoga mats have been to allow me my yoga time – otherwise I just might have eventually given up on that, too.

Yoga brings a fantastic array of benefits to the table.

Just a small sample includes:

Yoga is the perfect bit of exercise after a long day in a cubicle, forced to sit, staring at a computer.

Yoga not only works as a great physical workout but it also really does wonders for clearing out the mind and dropping the stress levels. This has been great as an exercise for me, but there was a time I worried that I’d have to give it up.

I practiced on my original yoga mat and felt some knee pains that led my knees to eventually buckling that night in the shower. This was after years of relatively good health…and that worried me.

The original mat was thin and cheap, and not wanting to give up on yoga after it has given me so much, I decided to take the chance with buying a thick premium yoga mat that featured deep cushioning.

The knee pains went away, and my yoga sessions became even more effective!

There are many great options for premium yoga mats out there and that includes extra long options as well as extra thick ones.

The internet makes it easier than ever to find top quality yoga mats at budget-friendly prices, and that’s a combination I love.

If you’re looking at good yoga mats for bad knees then you will want to make sure to look at the following advice.

#1: The Aurorae Classic Is Popular Fan Favorite

The eco-friendly Aurorae Classic is an extra thick, long yoga mat that includes non-slip rosin. The mat is ideal for those of us who are a bit larger or taller than others, or who have old injuries that require a little bit extra padding.

These yoga mats are extremely popular and it’s not hard to see why. They’re a great size, have plenty of extra cushioned padding while also being non-slip, eco-friendly, and made from non-toxic materials, as well. That pretty much hits all the check marks of everything you want to see in a yoga mat.

#2: The Incline Fit Yoga Mat with Carrying Strap

The Incline Fit yoga mat is designed to be extra long. It will give cushioned support on even the longest and most challenging of stretches during your yoga routine.

This incline yoga mat has a full half inch of high-density comfort foam that is not only sweat resistant, but very soft, comfortable, and includes a light ribbed pattern that allows you to keep your grip and stay steady even during the longest of holds. As a bonus, the mat comes with a carrying strap.

#3: Can’t Beat a Manduka PRO Lifetime Guarantee

Advertised as a yoga and pilates mat, the Manduka PRO yoga and pilates mat is consistently rated as one of the top options widely available on the market.

Sporting a reputation for a unique design that is great at keeping sweat, dirt, and stink out while lasting over years of constant use, this mat looks thin but provides surprisingly dense cushioning.

Your bones and joints will really thank you when switching from a cheap thin mat to one of these, and the lifetime guarantee that Manduka offers is second to none.

#4: Great Non-Slip Option for Hot Yoga (Or Heavy Sweaters)

The Matymats Yoga Mat is great for hot yoga or heavy sweaters. Hot yoga is a great exercise, but it definitely brings its own additional challenges, especially when it comes to being able to maintain your grip when wet and prevent getting completely soaked from sweat.

Even for those of us who don’t go to hot yoga, or don’t go that often, but are naturally heavy sweaters, having a great mat that can help lessen those issues makes a big difference.

Nothing like a sudden slip and banging the knees to undo a lot of good, which is why it is great to see a serious non-slip mat like this designed for your needs.

#5: The Yoga Mat Designed Thanks to Science

The DynActive Yoga Mat sounds about as science fiction a name any yoga mat will have, and there’s actually a pretty good reason behind that. The DynActive mat is made from a specially created, crafted, and engineered the material that is widely seen as the best in modern design.

Technology and science are being used to create better yoga mat materials that are strong, dense, light, and yet maintains amazing cushion and comfort. That’s one heck of a package, and this is a solid mat that many of my friends in yoga rave about.

#6: The Thrive on Wellness Mat

The Thrive on Wellness Mat isn’t the top choice if thin and very portable are primary goals, but for a thick mat that will provide padding and comfort, it’s hard to compete with what these guys bring to the table.

This mat is extra thick, squishy, and very comfortable. More impressively, unlike many mats with this description, the Thrive on Wellness Mat will not distort over time, losing its effectiveness. Whether you want that extra bit of support for your knees, your back, or just extra cushion from a versatile mat, this one does it all.

#7: The “Green” Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

These are impressively sized yoga mats that help accommodate even taller yogis and people who need their little bit of space, even during a group class.

The Eco Yoga Mat is an impressive size at 74 inches in length, as well as 30 inches wide. The size isn’t the only plus side, however. This is a thicker mat that really lives by its motto of being eco-friendly.

There are many materials, but none of them are rubber, metal, PVC, or latex. This makes the mats very hypoallergenic in addition to being one of the best options for environmentally conscious shoppers who need their padding for yoga but also have a very specific conscious while shopping.

#8: Liforme Yoga Mat for Bad Knee Support

This Liforme YOGA Mat claims to be the world’s best eco-friendly yoga mat.

This 4 mm thick mat has plenty of fans because of its size, gripping material that prevents sliding or slipping (and the injuries that can come with them), as well as an innovative “alignment system” that helps individuals practice their yoga poses correctly.

One of my classmates in yoga loves it. She swears it has made the class much better for her since the mat gets sticker the more she sweats instead of slicker.

#9: Foam Yoga Mat for Gentle Yoga Stability

The Sivan Health & Fitness Yoga Mat is one that was recommended to me a few times during my last new yoga mat search. The price jumps out instantly because it’s very budget-friendly.

The mat offers great stability and is especially recommended for use among yogis who have tender knees, arthritic knees, or sensitive joints. Gentle yoga, restorative yoga, are just a few of the places where this mat thrives.

Extra padding does good things for the knees and it’s not surprising to me at all just how popular this mat has become, and is likely to continue to be.

How to Choose a Yoga Mat for Bad Knees

There are several key features that yoga mats for bad knees should have in common. Understanding this checklist will help you to make intelligent buying choices whenever you’re looking for the perfect yoga mat to meet your specific needs.

Premium Thickness: Yoga mat thickness can actually vary quite a bit from one model to another. These can be as thin as a paper thin 1/16 of an inch (not recommended for anyone with knee/joint issues) up to a standard 1/8 of an inch thick. Thickness matters, but remember some thinner mats can have more cushioning so this is just one important factor to consider.

Cushioned Material: Materials matter. Does the material provide plenty of cushion or padding? Will the mat give support? Does it get sticky or slick? Absorb water or deflect it? This matters and you’ll want to choose your yoga mat carefully based on the materials.

What’s the Texture?: Some people like the bumpy or ridged textures while others really like smooth. Try both to figure out the one that is right for you and purchase accordingly.

Sticky Is Good: You don’t want to slide and bump your elbows or knees. Look for a sticky mat that helps you keep form during the entire workout.

Can You Do Yoga If You Have Bad Knees?

I’ve found that practicing yoga is an incredible workout for your entire body, really clears the mind, and to be honest the way it affects the mind, body, and soul means it really can be transforming.

There are many different types of yoga and it’s worth checking out the various yoga practices to see which ones really connect with you. Even at times when I’ve tried a new form once or twice, I still feel more enriched for having participated in the experience even if that particular style didn’t catch on.

That being said, many of us with knee or joint pain have had problems getting into yoga and some of the poses can be challenging. Getting a truly good yoga mat for bad knees can help mitigate that obstacle.While there are many different types of yoga mats available on Amazon, this article provides our recommendation on the best thick yoga mat for bad knees. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced yogi, we're big fans of both Lululemon and Jade Yoga brands and the products they offer, but do they make a good thick yoga mat? Read this article to learn more about the best yoga mats.