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Tired of doubling up your mat every time you need to kneel in yoga?
Even on a thick yoga mat, poses that involve kneeling can be very uncomfortable. Sometimes, all it takes is a little extra knee padding for yoga to make poses more accessible.
If you’re tired of knee pain getting in the way of your yoga practice, then check out this list of the best yoga knee pads and cushions to help you be more comfortable. Spoiler Alert – My #1 recommendation for the most comfortable cushioning is the Yes 4 All balance pad.
Bonus – all of these options can also be used for Pilates or other floor exercises to cushion and protect sore joints.
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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes and is not medical advice. Read the full disclaimer.
Here are the best yoga knee pads for cranky joints
These are the top picks for reference, you can read more about these below!
- Best cushioning: Yes 4 All Balance pad
- Best compact cushioning: Yoga Jellies
- Best low profile padding to roll up inside of your mat: Jade fusion mini mat
1. Yes 4 All balance pad
Balance pads are not specifically marketed as knee pads for yoga, but if you’re looking for some seriously comfortable cushioning, kneeling on one of these is the way to go.
There are many balance pads available on Amazon, but the Yes 4 All is an affordable option. I have the blue XL balance pad and it makes kneeling for yoga and other exercises comfortable instead of cringeworthy.
I recommend balance pads as a yoga knee cushion to anyone looking to ease discomfort, especially with knee arthritis or returning to yoga after a knee replacement. You can get a sense of how padded it is in the pictures below.
While it’s possible to take your balance pad to the studio, if you’re looking for cushioning that’s more compact, keep reading and check out yoga jellies.
2. Yoga jellies
Yoga jellies are small gel pads to use under your knees, wrists, or elbows and may also help prevent slipping on your mat.
The benefit of having two separate pads is that you can move them anywhere around your mat to adjust to your body.
They’re 5.5″ wide each and are made from non-toxic and latex-free silicon-based material.
Yoga jellies are smaller than a balance pad and may be better suited to toss in your bag for studio classes.
Yoga jellies come in a variety of fun colors inspired by the chakras and other gemstones.
Some reviews advised storing the yoga jellies back in their carry bag to avoid leaving a residue on your mat.
The yoga jellies website says any residue can be easily wiped off with an alcohol-based mat cleaner, however, depending on the material of your mat, I would check the cleaning instructions to avoid doing any damage to your mat.
3. Gaiam yoga knee pads
The Gaiam yoga knee pads are a set of two pads a gel-like material to cushion your knees, elbows, and wrists.
They are slightly larger than the Yoga Jellies at 7.6″ however are still fairly lightweight at 1 lb. making them easy to take anywhere you’re practicing yoga.
4. Heath yoga knee pad
At 12mm thick, the Heath Yoga knee pad has plenty of cushioning to support your joints.
This mini mat is made from eco-friendly TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) material and is latex-free, PVC-free, and phthalates-free. The closed-cell foam won’t absorb sweat or other bacteria and can be easily wiped clean.
The surface has a slight texture to help the knee pad stay put on your mat and avoid slipping.
This lightweight knee pad can also be easily rolled up with your existing mat.
5. Prosource Fit yoga knee pad
The ProSource Fit yoga knee pad is a super budget-friendly option.
This single strip of foam is ⅝” thick and lays across your mat like an extra mini mat.
The mat is constructed from NBR foam, which is waterproof and easy to clean, making it a good accessory for hot yoga.
This knee pad is latex-free and can be easily rolled up inside of your mat for easy storage.
Available on Amazon or the ProSource Fit website.
6. Clever yoga balance pad
If none of these other options had enough cushioning for you, definitely check out the clever yoga balance pad.
The Clever yoga balance pad is two inches thick, making it a solid option when returning to yoga from knee surgery or even a knee replacement. (After you’ve been cleared to return to yoga, of course.)
This thick cushion offers plenty of plush cradling for cranky joints and can also be used as a comfortable seat to elevate the hips or as a pad to make yoga poses or balance exercises more challenging.
You can even use this pad at your standing desk for a variety of balance exercises while you work.
For a budget-friendly version, check out the Prosource Fit balance pad.
7. Yoga blanket
If you want one prop to do multiple duties, try a yoga blanket.
The material is thick to cushion joints, but you can also use it as a seat cushion, roll it into a bolster, or use it as a blanket for restorative practices.
Yoga blankets are made of thicker material to cushion and cradle joints.
8. Mini mats
If you like to feel the floor but just want a little extra cushioning, try the Jade Yoga fusion mini mat or the Liforme yoga pad.
Both of these options are mini versions of their full-size mats that can be placed over your mat for added thickness.
Mini mats can be rolled up into your regular mat for travel and storage and you can buy the same color to blend in with your mat or get a pop of color.
Things to consider when looking for the best knee pads for yoga
You’ve probably noticed by now that there are a lot of options out there for yoga knee pads.
How do you know which type is best for you? Here are a few points to consider.
Thickness and cushioning are probably some of the most important things when looking for additional padding for joints.
Different materials provide different levels of cushioning and may make for a more comfortable experience.
If you have joint pain or painful scars from previous surgery, something more cradling like the Clever yoga balance pad might feel best for you.
Grip and traction
If you have a more dynamic or heated practice, making sure your props won’t slide around on your mat is a must.
An extra mini mat like the Jade or Liforme mini mats won’t get in the way of a fast-moving flow.
You may also like separate silicone yoga knee pads, like yoga jellies, that you can easily pick up and move independently around your mat as you go through your practice.
If you’re looking for a grippier mat, check out my article reviewing three outstanding yoga mats for sweaty hands.
As I said before, different materials provide different cushioning levels. Some are more dense and others are more squishy and cradling.
If you have a rubber or latex allergy, look for latex-free options.
Ease of moving around on the mat
You won’t want to spend a lot of time moving your props around your mat to get into poses.
Props should be easy to grab and pull into your practice at a moment’s notice and slide out of the way when not needed.
Look and feel
The last thing you want is to be distracted during your practice. It sounds silly, but there are enough distractions already.
Look for the color and texture that enhances your practice.
You don’t have to suffer from knee discomfort during yoga.
Having the right props for sensitive joints to make you comfortable is key to any successful yoga practice.
Give your sore knees a break and try some of these different options to make your practice more accessible and avoid knee pain.
Don’t forget to check out Knee Support For Yoga for more prop ideas to make bad knees feel comfortable.
Let me know which ones are your favorites!