Yoga knee pads can be a really useful accessory. A good yoga mat provides cushion for the joints but when I started practising more low lunge yoga sequences in backbend and hip opening classes, I always had to cushion my bony knees with a folded towel. So when I discovered the yoga knee pad, it was so convenient.
Knee pads are not just for senior folks with bad knees. Beginners with tight hip flexors or even regular practitioners could use some extra support. Some people may also need a seat cushion for poses like navasana (boat pose where you balance on your bottom) if your coccyx (tail bone) is protruding. These are foam pads that you can place over your yoga mat to provide cushion for your joints. You can bring it to the studio because it is lightweight and can be easily rolled up.
When choosing a yoga knee pad, you want to ensure that it provides enough padding to cushion and protect your joints but it should be dense enough to provide support as well. If you are bringing it to the studio, you also want it to be lightweight and portable. Cost is also a consideration. The price can range from US$10 to US$50.
The first one I bought gave some comfort in my practice but intensive regular practice meant the padding got dented. My second pad which I am still using is a Sukhamat which is one of the most popular in the market. I am happy with it. It is thick and firm enough. Friends also recommend Heathyoga and Florensi yoga knee pads so I have included them in this list. There may be cheaper options but they may not give you the same kind of support and protection. Also they will get dented more easily and may not be durable. In the end it will be more economical to invest in a better quality yoga knee pad. It is also more environmentally friendly to buy one that lasts longer.
Yoga Knee Pads We Like
26″ x 10″ x 12mm
Available from Amazon (link below)
Made from eco-friendly TPE material, PVC and latex-free. Certified Phthalates free. Heathyoga closed cell foam will not absorb sweat or liquids, and it can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth after your practice. Comes with a carry strap for easy packing. It has a good grip and can be used on any surface or mat.
24″ x 10″ x 15mm
US$6.95 to US$11.69 shipping
Available from Amazon (link below) and Sukhamat.com
Made from eco-friendly high density closed cell NBR foam, this is a highly popular choice and has been certified “Yogi Approved” by YogiApproved.com. Coming with a lifetime guarantee, it is designed for optimal comfort, balance and stability.
26″ x 10′ x 15mm
US$24.99 US$18.11 shipping
Available from Amazon (link below)
Made from eco-friendly TPE material, PVC and latex-free. It also has an excellent grip that works on any type of floor and mat. Extra thick support with alignment patterns.
Average price US$50
Available from Amazon (Link below)
They can come in pairs, one for each knee. Some are round while others can be in the shape of flower petals. Due to its small size, it needs to be adjusted and placed correctly when extra support is needed during yoga sessions. Good for posting in IG photos because it looks prettier and less cumbersome. Other than that we still prefer the rectangular mats for practice.
Strapped on Knee Pads
We do not recommend knee pads that are worn over the knees like volleyball players for yoga practice. They may provide protection but restrict movement and possibly circulation. If you have knee issues, we want to use yoga poses to heal but wearing a thick knee pad only provides protection and does not allow you to work properly in the pose and thus may slow down the body’s ability to heal itself.
Author: Nam Yogi