When I was eight, I attempted a back-flip on a trampoline, butchered it, and messed up my knee. I blame my hatred of jogging on that (even though I hated it beforehand), so yoga became my go-to for fitness and stress-relief. Thank goodness for the best yoga mats for bad knees, because without them, I think I would've given that up, too.
Yoga has a ton of benefits, including increased flexibility, improved muscle strength, higher energy levels, and even better mental well-being. That being said, because mindfulness of your body is a huge aspect of the practice, if your knee caps are jutting into the floor every time you're in tabletop position, you're probably going to notice.
I love yoga because, after staring at a computer screen all day, I desperately need something that engages both my mind and my body. However, when I was practicing every day on a mat that felt like a newspaper, my bad knee started to buckle in the shower. It hadn't done that in years, and I began to worry that I'd have to find a new post-work workout. Then I switched out my mat. The pain dissipated practically overnight, my knee stopped buckling, and I continued my practice.
Not only does the internet have a ton of mats that provide adequate cushioning for your joints, but they check off all the other necessary points, too — like non-toxic materials, eco-friendly construction, an extra long design, and a non-slip surface. Still, with all those options to sort through, picking the right one can be tough. But these nine amazing yoga mats are some of the best out there.
1An Amazon Favorite That's Got You Covered In Every Area
These Aurorae yoga mats have over 3,000 great reviews, and that's because they cover all your bases: extra long, extra cushioned, non-toxic, eco-friendly, non-slip, and they come with a free carrying bag. This one is ¼ inch thick, and reviewers say they "don't at all get a sinking feeling. I find it nicely cushioned so that makes it better for my feet, knees, and back, but I've never felt unstable on mine."
2This Extra Long, Extra Thick Mat That's Lightweight & Low Maintenance
This extra long Incline yoga mat is my go-to right now, and I haven't experienced knee pain since I started using it. It has half an inch of extremely soft high-density foam, it's resistant to moisture, and the ribbed pattern keeps you stable and supported. It also won't stay indented for more than a few seconds, unlike other extra thick mats, and it comes with a convenient carrying strap. You also get the choice of ten awesome colors.
3This Quality Mat That Comes With A Lifetime Guarantee
This Manduka PRO yoga and pilates mat is widely considered one of the best mats on the market. In addition to being extremely durable, it's also guaranteed for life and made with a closed cell surface prevents sweat and dirt from absorbing into the mat. Even though it's surprisingly thin, it's dense and cushioned to protect all your bones and joints: "I love this mat," says one reviewer, "I feel stable, not bouncy, and I don't need extra cushioning under my knees."
4This Non-Slip Option For Hot Yoga Or Heavy Sweaters
Made with thermal plastic elastomer, this Matymats non-slip yoga mat gives you excellent cushioning, high elasticity and resilience. "During my sessions, I no longer worry on the pains and cushioning for the safety of my knees," says one reviewer. "Its all catered for." Because the top layer is made for grip and stability, it's a great non-slip option for hot yoga or heavy sweaters. It's also made to be hypoallergenic, so it's a great option for those with sensitive skin.
5This Technologically Advanced Material That Supports Without All The Extra Fluff
This DynActive yoga mat TPE material — the latest technology in yoga mats. It's non-toxic, latex free, and made without PVC, and it's only ¼ inches thick. Still, it performs better than thicker yoga mats because of its extremely dense construction that cushions while supporting. In other words, you'll remain stable without sinking in, and your joints won't hurt. It's also eco-friendly and comes with a carrying strap.
6Reviewers Say, "You Won't Feel The Floor No Matter What"
Reviewers say that even though this Thrive on Wellness mat is extra thick, cushy, and squishy, it won't distort under your weight. It can be used for yoga, Pilates, or any kind of fitness, and it's ideal for people with joint or back concerns and worry about feeling comfortable on the floor. It also comes with a free carrying strap.
7Great For The Environment & Great For You
At 74 inches long and 30 inches wide, the My Eco yoga mat accommodates taller yogis and helps you carve out a larger space in class. The biggest selling feature, though, is that it contains no latex, rubber, metals, or PVC-additives, making it totally hypoallergenic and eco-friendly. And, of course, it provides adequate cushioning for your joints: "I'd been working with one of the cheap thin 1/8" mats previously and needed to fold it over once or twice to do work on my knees," says one reviewer. "No more! The thickness of this mat is perfect."
8Proper Knee Cushioning & Features That Help Prevent Injury
People are absolutely loving the Liforme yoga mat because of all its unique features. It's longer, wider, and thicker (4mm) than most other mats, and it has an innovative gripping material that protects you from twists, slides, and injuries. Best of all, the mat itself has an alignment system that helps you to do the poses carefully and correctly. "This is the only yoga mat that get stickier the more you sweat," says one reviewer. "It is a bit heavy, but it provides the proper knee cushion for poses that require knee bending on the mat."
9Half An Inch Of Foam For Gentle Or Restorative Yoga
Because it offers a ton of padding for an incredible price, over 3000 reviewers are raving about the Sivan Health and Fitness yoga mat. It's made from high density NBR foam that measures half an inch thick, and it has ribbing that grips the floor and you for ultimate stability. It's especially great for restorative or gentle yoga, and reviewers say, "This is a great mat! It is extremely comfortable to use for yoga and provides plenty of comfort for my tender arthritic knees."
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.