Planting, digging, or pruning are enjoyable jobs, but they also can be the cause of sore knees and stiff joints if you’re kneeling for any length of time. Thankfully, garden kneelers come to the rescue, and providing they’re well-padded, allow you to carry on with garden chores in comfort.
Below, we’ve put together a guide to buying kneelers to make it easy to choose the best style for you.
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 to buy in 2021, seven of the best garden hand trowels and 18 best secateurs. Need to tidy up discarded prunings? We also have round ups of practical garden accessories, including eight of the best garden waste bags and 10 of the best garden trugs.
Which is 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.
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.
Below, we’ve included ideas for each type of garden kneeler – we’ve even found one that’s perfect for children, so everyone can get involved. Plus, if you’re looking for more ways to involve young gardeners, we’ve put together a list of some of the best kids’ gardening tools.
- 20 of the best kneeling or kneeler mats
- Four of the best knee pads
- Three of the best garden kneeler and seats
From wearable memory foam knee-pads to children’s ladybird kneeling mats, browse our selection of the best garden kneelers, below.
Bosmere Garden Kneeling Mat
This simple mat is a colourful and great value way to garden in comfort. Made from expanded polyethylene, the mat helps to cushion your knees and is light and easy to carry around the garden.
Spear and Jackson Kew 5 Layer Garden Kneeler
Spear and Jackson’s hefty, five layers of padding moulds to your knees for improved support. Lined with neoprene, it is also water resistant and quick drying after cleaning, while the handle makes it simple to carry.
Auto Kneeler Pad
Designed for mechanical work and other heavy duty tasks, the Auto kneeler should be easily up to the jobs in your garden. Two impressions in the circular kneeler support your knees and its simple, round shape take ups minimum space, so it shouldn’t get in the way while you work.
V&A Morris Garden Kneeler
For fans of the art world, the V&A museum’s floral kneeler adds a touch of William Morris style to weeding and planting jobs. With an original wallpaper print design the kneeler has plenty of padding for knee support and a handy handle to carry it with.
Coleli Memory Foam Kneeling Pad
This comfortable, memory foam kneeling pad folds in half and zips up into a handy case making it easy to carry around and store after use. Made from waterproof diving fabric, it should withstand wear in the garden and provide a thick, year-round cushion for your knees while working.
RHS Burgon & Ball Flora & Fauna Kneeler
With a garden-inspired, bird print design from the Royal Horticultural Society this stylish, oval kneeling pad is made from memory foam for added comfort. It’s waterproof, with a quick-dry nylon coating so if wet soil gets it damp, it’ll be ready to use again in no time.
Thick Kneeling Pad
This simple rectangular kneeling pad is thick enough for comfort and it avoids water absorption while drying quickly, so it’s great for using on soggier afternoons. It’s easy to wipe clean and the simple pop out handle and light weight make it easy to carry around.
Niwaki Garden Kneeler
A simple kneeler from Niwaki, the makers of Japanese-inspired products – a thick foam inner, 5cm in depth, is covered in waterproof, hard-wearing canvas. We like that there’s a zip so you can remove the outer layer to wash it if necessary. W 28cm, L 48cm, H 5.5cm
Senua Thick Kneeler
While this may not float your boat in the style stakes, this kneeler has a decent thickness, which, at 4cm, promises good support and cushioning. Water resistant, the high-density foam is designed to be durable, and the manufacturers claim it won’t tear or compress over time.
Garden Trading Garden Kneeler
Made from waterproof canvas and faux suede with a generously thick 4.5cm foam inner, this is a practical kneeler that should offer great cushioning. It also looks stylish and comes with a range of co-ordinating garden accessories.
Faithful Comfortable Kneeler Board
The soft foam layer is generously thick on this kneeler board, and it features two handles, which makes it easy to carry and store, but watch that the plastic board doesn’t slip if you’re using it on a slope.
RS PRO Black Polyurethane Kneeling and Sitting Mat
This is unlike most of the other products we’ve picked out, but we think, like the Auto Kneeling Pad, this ergonomically designed knee-rest offers an interesting alternative, which you can either kneel or sit on. Promising to reduce stress on knees with a foam-like material, it’s also water and tear resistant
Children’s Burgon & Ball RHS Dotty Kneelo
This bright, ladybird kneelo is just the thing for gardening children and will add a bit of fun to their weekend planting and weeding. It’s small and light enough for little hands to carry and will help keep their knees supported while they get their hands dirty.
Kneelo Memory Foam Knee Pads
Rather than carrying a keeling mat around the garden, why not try wearable knee pads instead? Made from memory foam and neoprene to help keep them warm and dry you simply attach a pad around each knee for ready-to-go support.
Spear and Jackson Kew Gardens Collection Knee Pads
Lightweight, water resistant and easy to clean, these look great knee pads. We like that they have three layers to provide extra comfort and a neoprene lining to keep water out. They’re simple to put on too, with quick and easy Velcro straps.
Bradleys Heritage Leather Knee Pads
The last word in luxury, Bradleys The Tannery are known for producing well-made leather garden accessories that have traditional values at the heart of their designs. While some might prefer their kneelers to be made using modern, lightweight material, if you’re after tough, long-lasting protection, these are for you.
Town & Country Memory Foam Knee Pads
Made using memory foam, these knee pads promise to be comfortable as well as ultra-cushioned. They feature an adjustable hook and eye safety strap so one size fits all, and come in four different colours.
Padded Garden Kneeler with Seat
Although this kneeler and seat is made from plastic, which might not appeal to some, we picked it for its truly multi-purpose features, including seat, kneeler and hollow legs that provide handy storage space. Before you buy, check the measurements of the cushioned pad to ensure it’ll be comfortable to use as a kneeler.
Garden Gear Rotating Seat and Tool Store
This looks more engineered than the other seat and kneeler combos we’ve picked, with it’s roomy storage box, robust wheels and rotating seat, which makes it a good option if your mobility is a little more restricted. It comes with a two-year warranty, too, which suggests that Thompson & Morgan have good faith in their claim that it’s durable.
Garden Kneeler Folding Seat
Another simple design, which is a practical 2-in-1 kneeler and stool. However, unlike the others featured in this category, we really like that this folds down making it easy to carry and store. We also liked that it comes with a tool pouch, which can be attached whether using it as a kneeler or seat.
This Product Guide was last updated in April 2022 and we apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.