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The best garden kneelers on test

Published: Thursday, 1 September, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Find the best kneelers with our expert tests.

Planting, digging, or pruning are enjoyable jobs, but they also can be the cause of sore knees and stiff joints. Thankfully, garden kneelers come to the rescue, and providing they’re well-padded, allow you to carry on with garden chores in comfort.

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Best Buy kneelers to buy at a glance


Our expert reviewers have spent many hours kneeling in the garden to find the best designs. Each review has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to comfort and fit, materials, durability, and value for money. Only the stand out kneelers have made our list, so you can buy with confidence.


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We’ve also tested a range of tools and accessories that might come in handy when you’re using your kneeler, so check out best bulb planters, garden hand trowels and secateurs. Need to tidy up discarded prunings? We also have round ups of practical garden accessories, including garden waste bags and garden trugs.


Best kneelers

1

Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Kneeler

RRP: £16.99

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

The Kew Gardens Collection Five Layer Garden Kneeler from Spear & Jackson - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Kneeler

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Generously proportioned

Cons:

  • Can’t remove cover

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for comfort, this kneeler is made using five layers of memory foam and ordinary foam, which means it’s squishy and moulds to the shape of your knees. It also provides some rigidity to support your body, which is helpful if you have stiff joints. Kidney-shaped, it’s generously proportioned too, measuring 48cm in length, which makes it one of the longest kneelers on test, and its 25cm wide at its narrowest point and 5cm deep. The neoprene cover is water resistant and quick to dry if it gets wet, but it can’t be removed and washed separately, so it needs to be wiped clean with a cloth. There’s also an integrated handle so it’s easy to carry around the garden and hang up to store. Made to last, we like that the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew receive a donation for every kneeler sold.


2

Burgon & Ball Kneelo

RRP: £16.99

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Burgon & Ball Kneelo Kneeler
Burgon & Ball Kneelo Kneeler

Pros:

  • Longest kneeler on test
  • Comfortable
  • Supportive with shock-absorbing foam centre
  • Available in lots of colours
  • One-year warranty

Cons:

  • Can’t remove cover

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for size, this is the latest version of Burgon and Ball Kneelo. With more memory foam than the original, it’s extremely comfortable to use and it also features a shock-absorbing foam centre that provides the necessary rigidity to support your knees, which is helpful if you suffer with stiff joints. As with most kneelers on test, the cover can’t be removed, but as it’s neoprene it’s quick-drying and durable. At a generous 52cm in length, this is the longest kneeler on test, offering plenty of room to kneel comfortably while you work. The integrated handle is nice to hold when you’re moving about the garden, and also means you can hang it up for storage. Unlike many of the kneelers on test, this comes with a one-year warranty. Available in 12 different colours, we think this kneeler makes a super gift for the garden lover in your life.


3

Senua Garden Kneeling Pad

RRP: £15.99

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Senua Kneeler
Senua Kneeler

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Generously proportioned
  • Hard-wearing

Cons:

  • Might be too firm for some users

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for durability, this kneeler is a simple design made from a single piece of rectangular foam. However, it has several features that make it a good choice if you’re looking for a basic, hard-wearing, easy to clean kneeler. Generously proportioned, it’s 4cm deep, which makes it the second thickest on test. However, it’s much more rigid, without the softness of the memory foam kneelers. Though it’s still comfortable to use, some gardeners might find it too firm for their knees. As it isn’t covered with fabric, there aren’t any rough seams that can cause discomfort, and the coating on the front and back means it’s water resistant and very durable - it didn’t tear or catch on jagged stones. It also has an integrated handle so it’s easy to carry around the garden and hang up to store.


Best of the rest

Although some models didn’t quite achieve a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award, they still have features that make them worth recommending. Browse our pick of the best of the rest on test:

4

Bosmere BosNeeleze Kneeler

RRP: £18.49

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

BosNeeleze Kneeler
BosNeeleze Kneeler

Pros:

  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Shock-absorbing foam centre
  • Generously proportioned
  • Textured backing for durability

Cons:

  • Cover can’t be removed

This kidney-shaped, neoprene covered kneeler looks very similar to the Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Kneeler. While it features a shock-absorbing foam core covered with memory foam, it isn’t as firm, which makes it a great choice if you prefer to feel plenty of cushioning around your knees. However, it’s fractionally longer, measuring 49cm, and is one of the most generously proportioned kneelers on test, with a width of 36cm at its narrowest point and a depth of 4.5cm. The cover isn’t removable but is waterproof and can be wiped clean and unlike the Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Kneeler, it has a textured backing, which is hard-wearing. There’s also an integrated handle so it’s easy to carry, as well as hang up and store. It’s available in six colours - burgundy, navy, dark green, fluorescent green, purple and orange.

More like this

5

Niwaki Garden Kneeler

RRP: £28

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Niwaki Garden Kneeler
Niwaki Garden Kneeler

Pros:

  • Thickest kneeler on test
  • Comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Removable cover

Cons:

  • Expensive

Simple but stylish, this rectangular foam kneeler from Niwaki, makers of Japanese-inspired garden products is generously-proportioned measuring 49cm long and 29cm wide. It features a 5.5cm thick foam inner - the thickest on test - and feels sturdy and comfortable. Most notably, it also features a hard-wearing, waterproof canvas cover, which is the only one on test that can be removed and machine washed after muddy days in the garden or allotment. It comes with a woven fabric handle, so it’s easy to carry it around the garden, and hang it up to store. One of the most expensive kneelers on test, we feel the removable cover goes some way to justify the price, but if you won’t be doing much dirty work, others on test offer better value.


6

Garden Trading Kneeler

RRP: £25

Our rating: 3.75 out of 5

Garden Trading Kneeler
Garden Trading Kneeler

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Supportive

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Can’t remove the cover

While the combination of canvas and faux suede is the last word in style, this kneeler is smaller than others on test, measuring just 40cm in length and 26cm wide but at 4.5cm deep it’s one of the thicker kneelers in our review. Unlike the equally-chic, but slightly more expensive, version from Niwaki, the cover on this kneeler can’t be removed and must be wiped clean with a cloth but it comes with a faux suede handle so it’s easy to carry when you’re in the garden and hang up to store. There are other accessories in this range, like a garden apron and bag, which makes it a lovely idea for a gift, too.

Buy the Garden Trading Kneeler from Garden Trading


7

Bosmere Gardening Kneeling Mat

RRP: £5.99

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bosmere Garden Kneeler
Bosmere Garden Kneeler

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Small
  • Tears and marks easily

This lightweight, kidney-shaped kneeler is made from expanded polyethylene and surprisingly comfortable, despite measuring just 2.5cm thick. However, at slightly less than 40cm in length and 28cm at its narrowest point, it’s one of the smallest on test. The foam isn’t coated, and it tears and marks very easily, so this won’t last long if used on sharp stones, but it doesn’t compress, even after a few months of use. It features an integrated hole to make carrying and storage a breeze. Though a few pounds cheaper than the Senua kneeler, it isn’t as big and doesn’t offer the same durability. If you’re after something compact that won’t get too much wear and tear on grass or paving, this is a good, inexpensive option. It’s available in four colours, green, pink, purple and blue.


The best knee pads

8

Burgon & Ball Kneelo Knee Pads

RRP: £14.99
Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Burgon & Ball Kneelo Knee Pads - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Burgon & Ball Kneelo Knee Pads

Pros:

  • Comfortable and flexible
  • Easy to put on with adjustable strap
  • Integrated handle
  • Lots of colours

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

These lightweight knee pads are easy to put on and very comfortable. The adjustable velcro straps hold the knee pads securely in place without pinching behind the knee, while offering enough flexibility so you can keep them on when you’re walking around the garden. Featuring a shock-absorbing foam core surrounded by memory foam, there’s plenty of cushioning to protect your knees. The nylon cover means they’re water resistant, not waterproof, so they’re best used in dry weather, but if they do get wet, the fabric is quick-drying, and can also be wiped-clean. We like the integrated handle, which means you can carry them easily as well as hang them up to store. They’re available as one-size fits all, with a maximum leg circumference of 45cm, and there’s a choice of 13 colours.


9

Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Knee Pads

RRP: £16.99
Our rating: 4 out of 5

Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Knee Pads - BBC Gardeners' World Magazine
Spear and Jackson The Kew Gardens Collection Knee Pads

Pros:

  • Comfortable and flexible
  • Water-resistant
  • Adjustable strap

Cons:

  • Slip off the knee
  • Flatten over time

At 4cm thick, these garden knee pads are very comfortable. With three layers of EVA memory foam, they swell back to shape as you move around the garden, so you’re always comfortable when you next kneel down. While Spear and Jackson say this is water-resistant and not waterproof, we found that no water goes through these kneelers even after working on wet surfaces. The straps are tough and secure comfortably around your leg. However, a big drawback with these pads is that no matter how tightly you attach them they gradually start to slip to the outside of the knee when you move from kneeling to standing, and it can be a little frustrating to keep adjusting this. They also aren’t fantastic if you’re kneeling in one place for a while. Though always very comfortable when you first sit down, the foam flattens after a while, so they slowly become less comfortable. That said, these are hard to beat if you’ll be up and down a lot. They’re available in green and navy, and like the kneeler above, every sale gives a donation to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.


What's the best type of garden kneeler?

There are three types of garden kneeler, all of which offer some form of protection and cushioning. However, depending on your mobility, budget, and taste, you may prefer one style over another. Read on to find out which garden kneeler best matches your needs:

  • Kneeling mats: Simply a protective pad you put down before kneeling, whether they’re oval, rectangular or kidney-shaped, the best kneeling pads are at least 2.5cm thick, waterproof and have a handle to carry and store. Ideally, they’ll feature several layers of cushioning foam, with at least one made from memory foam – while this pushes up the price, this material offers all the support, comfort, and protection you’ll need, as it moulds to the body, evenly distributing body weight to provide excellent pressure relief.
  • Knee pads: Designed to be strapped over each knee, you wear them whether kneeling or not, so flexibility is important. Made from malleable foam or durable leather, they must be generous enough to cover your knee, so it’s often a good idea to try them on before buying. The best designs are also easy to put on, as well as providing enough flexibility to move and walk in comfort. As with kneeling pads, keep an eye out for those made using memory foam for maximum support and protection.
  • Garden kneeler and seat: The perfect combination if you’re looking for plenty of support, as it gives you the option to use it in the seat mode if the task in hand doesn’t require being at ground level, or to flip it over and use it as a kneeler. When in kneeler mode, the legs can also be used as a handle to hold onto when you’re getting into position and standing back up again, which is useful but some are sturdier than others, so consider this when making your choice. Some also have pockets for storing hand tools and packets of seeds, which are also handy. Avoid narrow seats, which can be uncomfortable, as well as hard edges near the cushion padding, which can rub or cause bruises. Folding legs are a great feature and helpful if storage is an issue.

Buying a garden kneeler - video

Five things to look out for when choosing your garden kneeler:

  • Is it waterproof? This is a useful feature as it means moisture won’t soak into the kneeler, which is not only uncomfortable, but eventually will ruin the kneeler.
  • Is it easy to wipe clean? The best type of garden kneeler can withstand a quick wipe with some hot, soapy water to keep it in tip-top condition.
  • Does it have a layer of memory foam? While you’ll have to pay a bit more for this material, we feel it’s worth the extra expense as it moulds to the contours of your knees for maximum comfort and support.
  • Is it made using a slippery fabric? Check that the underside of a kneeling mat has some form of grip so it won’t move if you’re gardening on a slope.
  • Is it durable? A flimsy, thin kneeler tends to be a false economy as it’s uncomfortable to use, and ultimately won’t last as long as a more substantial alternative.

How we tested garden kneelers

Our experts trialled each kneeler throughout the gardening year across a range of gardening tasks from bulb planting to weeding, and for varying lengths of time. Once the test was complete, each product was rated out of five and the gardening kneelers that really impressed our experts were awarded Best Buy status.
The kneelers were assessed according to the following criteria with equal marks attributed to each:

  • Comfort and support. Looked at how comfortable they were. Were they supportive? Did they use memory foam or have a shock-absorbent layer of foam? Was their a handle for carrying and storage?
  • Materials. Focused on quality of inner foam and the material used to cover the kneeler. Was it water resistant?
  • Durability. Assessed how sturdy and strong the kneelers were, and if they would cope on gravel or muddy ground. Could they get wet or be washed?
  • Value for money. Considered all of the above as well as plus any special features, overall design, quality and style, and the RRP.

For more information on our testing process see How we Review


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This Product Guide was last updated in September 2022 and we apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.

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