Many yoga poses involve resting the body on the joints of the knees, hips, elbows, and other delicate areas. For some people, these pressure points can quickly become painful and distracting, taking you out of your practice due to discomfort.
For other people who may be recovering from an injury or suffering from a health condition like arthritis, these kinds of poses can be incredibly difficult.
For those people, choosing a thick, or even extra-thick, yoga mat can help to ease pressure points and reduce pain in sensitive areas, so that you can focus on your practice and get all the benefits of yoga.
These are the best thick yoga mats you can get today.
For a quick rundown of our three favorite thick yoga mats, here are our top picks:
This ½ inch thick yoga mat is made of high density foam for cushioned support, and is slip-resistant and moisture-resistant.
This NBR comfort foam mat is also ½ inch thick, and is durable and easy to clean.
This yoga mat is 5-6 millimeters thick, is made of non-toxic, 6P-free materials, and comes in a huge range of stunning colors and patterns.
Editor’s Pick Best Thick Yoga Mats
Thick Yoga Mats Buying Guide
Whether you are recovering from an injury or health condition, or simply need more comfort in order to concentrate on your practice, thick yoga mats can provide extra padding and protection for sensitive joints and pressure points.
When looking for a thick yoga mat, here are some things to look for.
If you want additional cushioning for whatever reason, a thicker yoga mat is the way to go.
They can be heavier than standard yoga mats, so keep that in mind if you are looking for a portable or lightweight option.
Many yoga mats are labeled as being 1 inch or ½ inch thick, others give thickness as 3, 5, or 6 millimeters.
Remember that 5-6 millimeters is about ¼ of an inch, so these yoga mats aren’t particularly “thick,” even when they are labeled that way.
A proper thick mat is normally around 9mm thick and is ideal when it comes to additional cushioning and durability, especially for longer workouts.
Padding isn’t just about thickness. Some foams and synthetic materials crush and collapse quickly, leaving temporary or permanent impressions at key pressure points on the mat.
Materials like rubber are more springy, and bounce back into shape after being compressed.
For that reason, a few millimeters of rubber can actually feel more padded and protective than a thicker memory foam material.
The thicker a yoga mat is, the heavier it is, and the larger it is when rolled up.
Many people love their thick yoga mats until it’s time to take them somewhere. Then they find that it’s bulky, heavy, and difficult to transport.
If you need a yoga mat that is thick and protective, but also portable, you may need to compromise and find a middle ground.
Some thick, cushy yoga mats have a grippy surface that is great when you need to hold a difficult pose.
However, the increased thickness of the mat can create lateral pressure in the mat itself, and be too sticky when moving pose-to-pose, or even tear the external surface of the mat.
Look for a high-quality mat with a durable exterior that will stand up to this kind of movement.
Don’t get stuck on the word… Stickiness is actually very important when it comes to choosing the right yoga mat.
Having a sticky mat will allow you to stop slipping and sliding all over the place when you are doing more intense yoga like hot yoga or Ashtanga yoga.
These types of yoga will definitely need you to use a slip resistant yoga mat, because you will get sweaty very quickly.
Ensure that the mat you select has a good, non-slip surface that will keep you safe and secure while posing.
The best surface for good stickiness is PVC, but some yogi’s prefer yoga mats with textured surfaces which improves the non-slip quality, even though others do not like this due to its texture being less comfortable for the user.
This all comes down to your personal preference. Either way, it is important to check that the yoga mat you select has non slip qualities.
7 Best Thick Yoga Mats Review
1. BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga Mat
The BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga Mat has dual-sided non-slip surfaces, and measures 71 x 24 by an impressive ½ inch thick. It is made of high-density foam for excellent cushioning of joints, with stability for balance. Moisture-resistant technologies allow the mat to be easily washed with soap and water.
This extra thick yoga mat by Balance From comes in 7 solid colors, and comes with a simple Velcro strap for easy carrying and storage. It is covered by a 2 year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Read Also: BalanceFrom yoga mats review
The BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose 1/2-Inch Extra Thick yoga mat provides excellent padding, with a soft, cushioned feel that won't slip or skid. It's perfect for people who need extra comfort during yoga.
2. Sivan Health and Fitness 1/2-InchExtra Thick 71-Inch Long NBR Comfort Foam Yoga Mat
The Sivan Health and Fitness 1/2-InchExtra Thick 71-Inch Long NBR Comfort Foam Yoga Mat is made from NBR synthetic rubber foam for superior cushioning and padding. It is 71 x 24 by ½ inches, with a memory foam that cushions joints.
The Sivan Health and Fitness Extra Thick Yoga Mat has a smooth surface that is comfortable on your skin, and a ribbed surface to grip the floor without slipping. It is easy to clean by just wiping with soap and water. It comes in 7 solid colors, and also includes a lightweight carrying strap for portability.
The Sivan Health and Fitness 1/2-InchExtra Thick NBR Comfort Foam Yoga Mat has an easy-clean, ribbed surface, for those who need a thick, padded yoga mat that can also manage sweat and moisture.
3. Gaiam Yoga Mat - Premium 6mm Print Extra Thick Exercise & Fitness Mat
This Premium Print yoga mat from Gaiam measures 68 x 24 inches, and is 5 or 6 millimeters thick. The mat is made of PVC that is non-toxic and free of harmful phthalates like DEHP, DBP, DNHP, BBP, DIDP, and DINP. It has a sticky, non-slip textured surface for secure grip, and is lightweight and portable.
The Gaiam Premium Print Extra Thick Yoga mat comes in nearly 40 stunning patterns and colors, and every purchase includes a free downloadable yoga workout from the experts at Gaiam. These mats are also backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Read Also: 5 Best Gaiam Yoga Mats
The Gaiam Premium Print Extra Thick Yoga Mat is an attractive, durable yoga mat that isn't as thick as some on our list. It provides a light layer of protection without interfering with stability or flow from pose-to-pose, and is perfect for people who just need a little padding at their pressure points.
4. REEHUT 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density NBR Exercise Yoga Mat
The REEHUT 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density NBR Exercise Yoga Mat is made from high-density NBR synthetic rubber foam for superior cushioning and padding. It is 71 x 24 by ½ inches, with a thick foam for cushioning joints. It is non-toxic and eco-friendly, approved by RoHS, PAHs, 6P, and REACH.
The REEHUT 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density NBR Exercise Yoga Mat has a smooth, non-tearing surface on one side that is comfortable on your skin, and a ribbed surface on the bottom to grip the floor without slipping. It is easy to clean by just wiping with soap and water. It comes in 7 solid colors, and also includes a lightweight carrying strap for portability. It is backed by a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, a 2-year warranty, and lifetime support.
The REEHUT 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density NBR Exercise Yoga Mat is a thick, padded yoga mat that comes with a carrying strap and is eco-friendly. It's a great choice for people who are concerned about unpleasant or toxic odors in a yoga mat.
5. Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
Manduka is famous for their big, thick yoga mats, and the Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is one of the best. It comes in a choice of sizes from 71 to a huge 85 inches long, and is 6 millimeters thick. The dual-sided yoga mat has a closed-cell fabric surface that resists moisture and bacteria, while allowing you to move smoothly between poses. The bottom has a proprietary dot pattern to resist sliding during use. In between, the high-density cushion protects your joints from strain on any surface. It is also latex free and non-toxic, made without emissions, and OEKO-TEX certified.
The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat comes in 16 colors and patterns, and is easy to clean. The surface improves with use, as the grip wears in. This yoga mat is backed by a lifetime guarantee to never peel, flake, or fade.
Mandukas are the gold standard for big, thick yoga mats, ideal for people who have health conditions and need a durable yoga mat that cushions and protects their joints without slipping or binding.
6. ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat
The ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat is made of high-density foam, measuring 71 x 24 inches and ½ inch thick. The NBR foam naturally repels moisture, and is easy to clean by just wiping with a sponge. The non-slip surface provides stability and grip for non-slip traction, while the thick mat creates a supportive cushioning for yoga and Pilates.
The ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat comes in 8 vibrant, solid colors, and comes with a carrying strap for easy transport of this lightweight yoga mat. It also has a limited lifetime warranty.
The ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga and Pilates Mat is a thick yoga mat that can stand up to heavy use and naturally repels moisture, making it a great choice for those who need a thick yoga mat for hot yoga or Bikram yoga in hot, moist environments.
7. Yoga Cloud Ultra-Thick 1" Yoga and Exercise Mat
The Yoga Cloud Ultra-Thick 1″ Yoga and Exercise Mat is an impressive inch thick, for extreme cushioning for fragile joints. It’s 4x thicker than mats that measure 5 or 6mm. It is made of high-density foam, and measures 72 x 24 inches. The non-slip ridges hold the mat to the floor, and the moisture-resistant surface is easy to clean.
This Yoga Cloud Ultra-Thick 1″ Yoga and Exercise Mat from Crown Sporting goods is so plush and comfortable it can also double as a sleeping pad when camping. It comes in four bright colors, and comes with an easy shoulder sling carrying strap.
The thickest mat on our list, the Yoga Cloud Ultra-Thick 1" Yoga and Exercise Mat is perfect for people who are recovering from illness or injury and need as much comfort and protection as possible during their recovery. It's also thick enough to act as a sleeping pad when camping, or floor mat for gym and play areas.
How thick should my yoga mat be?
One of the essential purposes of yoga is to cultivate our inner and outer balance and stability through a deeper connection with the earth.
In fact, in ancient times, yoga was always practiced in bare feet and on the ground, to deepen our connection with the earth, which is why so many teachers advocate barefoot yoga today.
From that perspective, a yoga mat should be as thin as possible, to promote better balance and deeper connection.
And a yoga mat that is too thick can impair your balance and stability; imagine trying to do a headstand on a mattress.
However, some yoga poses can also trigger pressure points, particularly on the knees and elbows, and a yoga practice should never be painful.
Some people, particularly those with sensitive joints, spines, and hips, simply need more cushioning.
The most important factor in your mat thickness is your comfort and ability to focus on your balance and breath during your yoga practice.
Choose the mat that is thick enough to provide you the comfort you need, without threatening your balance.
What do you do with a new yoga mat that smells?
It is unfortunate that many new yoga mats, even those that are made with non-toxic foams and plasticized materials, come with an unpleasant smell.
While these smells don’t pose a health hazard, it can still be a problem during yoga practice, because you are naturally quite close to the mat and breathing deeply, so an unpleasant smell can be very distracting.
In the worst cases, this smell can also get on your skin and stay with you for a while. Here’s what to do with a new yoga mat that has an odor.
Anticipate that it might have a smell. In many cases, you can check reviews and product descriptions to see if a yoga mat will have an odor.
In any case, it’s best to be safe and anticipate that there might be a smell, so don’t plan on using your new yoga mat for the first few days after you receive it. If you plan ahead, you can avoid being disappointed that you can’t use the mat right away.
Unpack the new yoga mat right away and hang it outside.
If the weather in your area permits, a day or two of fresh air and sunshine will go a long way toward dissipating any unpleasant smells.
Try to hang your yoga mat from the edge with clothespins (rather than draping it over something) to keep it flat.
If necessary, spray the mat down. If the odor persists after a couple of days of airing it out, make a spray that is half water and half apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar is naturally deodorizing, and also anti-bacterial, and will help to remove unpleasant odors.
If you like, you can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to leave behind a smell you like better. Spray the mat lightly with the solution and allow it to air dry.
In most cases, the smell will dissipate within a couple of days and no longer be a problem.
While your mat will always have a scent of some kind, it shouldn’t be overpowering or distracting.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to keep the mat clean and let it dry completely between uses, and you won’t have an odor problem.
Our top pick for a thick yoga mat is the BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose 1/2-Inch Extra Thick High Density Anti-Tear Exercise Yoga Mat.
It’s thick and comfortable, has a non-slip surface, is easy to care for, and comes with a convenient carrying strap. It’s a comfortable, affordable, lightweight thick yoga mat that will give you all the protection you need to enjoy your practice.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.