I am glad that you have chosen to continue your workout routine despite knee pain. Contrary to what most people believe, exercises like yoga and pilates can be performed even with a mild to moderate knee pain. If your pain is a result of an untreated injury or weakness in the muscles encompassing the knee joint, you can speed up the recovery process by indulging in yoga or pilates. This post will help you find the best yoga mat for bad knees.
Best Yoga Mat for Bad Knees
ProsourceFit is an extra thick yoga mat by a famous manufacturer named Prosource Fitness, a fitness and wellness company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. You know you are going for quality and flawlessness over anything else when you buy their products.
This yoga mat for bad knees is available in two thickness levels. Those with a mild or temporary knee condition can go for the half-inch mat, whereas there is a one-inch mat available for those who need more cushioning beneath their knees. Needless to say, the mat with a thickness of half-inch is more portable and lighter than the one-inch version.
Also, when rolled up, the one-inch thickness mat weighs about three pounds, which is considered quite heavy relative to a regular yoga mat. For comfort and convenience, you have to compromise on portability. This yoga mat is not intended to be carried in a tote bag. Prosource Fitness provides a convenient mat sling for easy carrying.
ProsourceFit is Suitable For –
The half-inch thickness version of this mat suits best for those with mild to moderate knee pain. The fact that this mat is made from a moisture-resistant material makes it more versatile. You can carry this mat on picnics, use it for lower seating in your living room, or take it near a water body like a swimming pool or a lake. For severe knee pain, I recommend the one with one-inch thickness.
- You have the option to select between half-inch and one-inch thickness.
- It has a non-slip surface.
- A strap is included for easy carrying.
- The NBR foam is water-resistant.
- Only one side of the mat is ridged.
- The mat could be a bit wider.
Best Overall Runner-Up
The Jade Yoga Fusion yoga mat makes it easy for a person with weak knees to draw or pull their body over the surface. Anyone with knee problems would know how much of a big deal it is to change the position of the body while lying on the back. Jade Yoga Fusion is made with 100 percent natural tree rubber. No memory foam or any other synthetic materials like (PVC, PER, TPE, or EVA) is used.
When looking for yoga mats for bad knees, most people seek extra thickness, more width, and sufficient length. This product checks all boxes as it measures 5/16-inches in thickness and 24-inch in width. On top of that, it is 68-inch long. You have more room on the mat than you need. Further, note that this extra-thick yoga mat is made in America. Even the raw materials are locally obtained.
Jade Yoga Fusion is Suitable For –
Jade Yoga caters to those who are environmentally conscious. Recently, they have stopped using plastic to wrap their products when shipping. This act has cost them some customers as the mats always arrive with a little mud or dirt on it.
But for the betterment of the environment, Jade Yoga has decided to stick with this initiative. This might be the right yoga mat for you if this sounds like you, and if you do care a lot about the environment.
- It provides a high level of traction.
- It is made in the United States.
- The mat is made with 100 percent nature tree rubber.
- It is long-lasting and durable.
- It may have a bit of rubbery smell initially.
MyEcoYoga is one of the best yoga mats for people with larger than average physique. Measuring 74-inches in length and 30-inches in width, it is one of the largest yoga mats available on the market. In addition to this, it is 8 millimeters thick.
Most people who use a regular yoga mat struggle to stay on the mat, and hence, they risk further injuries. With this mat, you don’t have to fold it in half or perform any other DIY tricks to get a good workout.
This company makes yoga mats for bad knees from a material known as Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE). Although this is not a 100 percent organic material, it is allergen-free and feels very soft on the skin. TPE combines the properties of plastic and rubber.
No matter how much you stretch this mat, it comes back to its original state once the pressure is lifted off or the mat is left alone. A strenuous workout like the Vinyasa flow can incur physical damages to a natural rubber yoga mat.
MyEcoYoga is Suitable For –
MyEcoYoga mat is suitable for those with height beyond 6 feet. The thickness of this product is sufficient enough if used on a hardwood floor. The problem with most thicker mats is the extra cushion makes you stumble or fall off when executing yoga poses.
The closer the base of your feet is with the ground, the better stability and grip you can expect to have during the workouts. This product checks all the boxes for a larger person with a knee problem.
- There are no phthalates and other PVC-additives included in the material.
- It comes with a strap for easy carrying.
- It is a portable mat (weighs just 2.8 pounds).
- It is well-suited for several types of yoga. It can also be used for Pilates and other core workout routines.
- It is made with TPE (not 100 percent natural rubber).
- The mat may be too thick for some people.
4. Manduka Pro
Best Value Runner-Up
Manduka is one of the most reputed companies in the yoga mats and other wellness products space. It is based in El Segundo, California. For more than two decades, Manduka has been producing one of the most elegant yoga mats for yogis all over the world. Manduka Pro is premium quality yoga mats for bad knees.
Also, they have used 100 percent organic material in the making of this product. The Oeko-Tex certification ensures that this product does not contain any toxic or potentially harmful substance. It is not uncommon for toddlers or even pets to chew on a yoga mat. Ingesting poisonous substances can lead to further health problems.
Manduka Pro is Suitable For –
Are you looking for a heavy-duty solid mat that will make your yoga sessions pain-free? Manduka Pro is both durable and offers the utmost comfort, although you should know that the top side of this mat has a fabric-finish.
Initially, working out on the mat might feel a little odd as you might not be used to its texture. But with time, the surface texture will improve. You are required to break into this mat with more practice.
- The closed-cell surface prevents sweat from sipping into the mat.
- You have the option to select between two heights.
- There are several options when it comes to colors.
- It is easy to clean.
- It is made with 100 percent natural rubber. No memory foam is used in the manufacturing of the mat.
- The top surface needs some work. You need to use this mat for a few weeks before it breaks in.
Sivan Health and Fitness is a leader in the yoga accessory industry, and it has been around for quite a while now. This Passaic, New Jersey-based company supplies yoga mats all over the world. Although this mat is not made from 100 percent organic materials, the Nitrile Rubber (NBR) foam is dense and extra thick. Measuring half inches in thickness, it is one of the best mats for bad knees.
Furthermore, it is available in a variety of colors. Similar to other yoga mats for bad knees, this one too is on the heavier side (2 pounds) and needs to be carried in a strap instead of a tote bag. Although, this mat is a lot lighter than the one made from natural tree rubber. You can take this product to the gym or a yoga studio without any problems. It rolls and unrolls quite easily.
This yoga mat measures 71-inch L x 24-inch W x 1/2-inch H. People with a larger and taller physique often wonder whether the yoga mat they are about to order online will accommodate their entire body.
I’d like to call you attention to the fact that this mat is one of the lengthiest and broader than most other mats. Sivan Health and Fitness guarantees that you will have plenty of room to execute your yoga poses comfortably.
Sivan Health and Fitness is Suitable For –
The versatility of this product makes it one of the best yoga mats for bad knees. If you are one of those people who like to workout outdoors, maybe near a nearby lake or a park, this might be the right product for you. The NBR rubber is 100 percent waterproof. You can leave the mat soaking in water for hours, and it won’t get affected.
- It is easy to clean.
- It is durable and long-lasting.
- Both top and bottom surfaces are useful.
- It has a non-skid surface.
- It is made with NBR foam. It is not made with 100 percent organic materials.
- It may give out a rubbery smell for the initial few days.
6. Manduka eKO
Best Budget Runner-Up
The eKO is another fantastic product on the list by Manduka. Before reading further, I would like to inform you that this yoga mat is not as thick as others on the list. With 5mm thickness, it can serve those who have mild joint problems. On top of that, it’s portability allows a user to use it as a travel yoga mat. It is only a couple of pounds heavier than Manduka eKO Superlite.
Furthermore, depending on your height, you can choose your mat height between a 71-inch or a 79-inch. If you look closely, the mat has a rippled surface texture. When executing your favorite yoga poses, you get the grip of natural rubber while enjoying the comforts of an ultra-dense cushioned top payer. Beyond that, the closed-cell surface makes this mat 100 percent waterproof.
Manduka eKO is Suitable For –
Manduka eKO is the best yoga mat for bad knees. Also, it is a lot softer than the Manduka Pro. eKO is suitable for those who need a well-cushioned yoga mat that is also portable and eco-friendly.
- It is made with 100 percent natural tree rubber.
- It is a reputed brand.
- The surface is water-resistant.
- It is a high-density and thick mat.
- It has excellent grip and traction.
- It has a strong rubbery smell that might last for a few days after purchase.
- The mat is heavier than a regular yoga mat.
What Causes Knee Pain? Is It Safe to Do Yoga Despite It?
There is no single answer to this question. Knee pain can arise due to a variety of reasons. Most commonly, knee pain is a result of an untreated injury in the past. It should be noted that the knee bears almost 70 percent of the body weight. Due to constant pressure, injured or untreated knee joints give out signals of distress. Hence a person experiences pain in the knee joints.
You will be surprised to learn that bad knees (even conditions like knee osteoarthritis) can be treated with yoga. Unless the condition of the knee injury is too severe, it can be dealt with by strengthening the joints and the muscle around it.
An Iranian study confirms that eight weeks of Hatha yoga can improve the overall quality of life in women with knee osteoarthritis. The women who participated in this study showed a significant decrease in pain and symptoms caused due to osteoarthritis. Also, the researchers did not observe any side effects or ill effects of practicing yoga with a bad knee.
How to Choose a Yoga Mat for Bad Knees?
Choosing a yoga mat for bad knees is not that difficult. Before purchasing one, it is advised to perform a proper assessment of the condition of the knee joints. Once you know how bad the injury (or any other condition causing the pain) is, you can pick a mat with adequate cushioning.
Secondly, it is also advised to go for a mat made from eco-friendly and allergen-free materials. That being said, semi-synthetic materials like Nitrile rubber (NBR) or Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) are not bad choices. Both organic and synthetic materials offer something unique to the user.
For instance, a yoga mat made from natural rubber is more likely to be free of toxins and other harmful chemicals, whereas a synthetic mat is soft and waterproof. It also offers more maneuverability while performing exercise routines such as yoga and pilates.
What is the Best Thickness for a Yoga Mat?
A yoga mat with half-inch thickness would be perfect for someone with a mild to moderate knee pain. However, some manufacturers like Prosource Fitness also provide mats with a thickness of one inch. In short, the severe the condition of the knee, the thicker the mat you will need. Extra thick yoga mats offer excellent comfort and safety.
In most cases, the anterior region (front) of the patella is where the main cause of knee pain is located. However, due to the shape and structure of the joint, pain is felt in the surrounding areas as well. An extra thick yoga mat prevents further damage to the joint. It also allows you to continue your workout so you can stay fit and healthy throughout the recovery period.
From the above list, I would suggest you go for the yoga mat from ProsourceFit. It is one inch thick and made from high-density durable foam. When it comes to working out with knee injuries, it is best to go for a synthetic material over an organic one.