Garden knee pads are one of the most underrated gardening tools with so many gardeners thinking they’ll be fine without them, only later discovering they’ve bruised themselves, scraped their knees or just utterly damaged their cartilage.
You know Tennis Elbow? Well Gardener’s Knee should probably be on your list of illnesses to watch out for too, given that almost all lifelong gardeners report bad knees as a result of their hobby, leading to weakened joints and often serious illnesses including arthritis over time, but commonly causing short term bursitis too.
To help you avoid knee problems of your own, we’ve pulled together a full guide to gardening knee protection below, with links through to our favourite kneelers and knee pads to buy online.
Best Garden Knee Pads for 2022
Why Do I Need Garden Knee Pads?
Garden kneelers protect you from developing long term conditions like chronic bursitis, but even without the worry of injury, they’re useful tools to keep you clean in the garden and stop you rolling around in the dirt.
For most gardeners, 8 hour days in the garden are a rare joy, so convenient tools like keeling pads make those quick trips into the garden more enjoyable and keep your trousers clean so you can get out of the house without needing to change.
Depending on what garden kneeler you’re after though, you can even save your back from long-term pain too, with kneeling stools and reversible kneelers having adaptable heights so you can even sit down and move your kneeler around the garden with you to slow down fatigue.
What is a Gardener's Knee?
Gardener’s Knee is a common form of bursitis caused by friction and repetitive impact from kneeling. It’s a fluid build up on top of the knee cap that causes a pillow of fluid.
I regularly get it when I’m doing education sessions and kneeling down at tables to talk to students, and I used to get it all the time after gardening, so my doctor suggested I buy some knee pads to help limit the cause.
It’s amazing how effective a simple bit of foam can be to prevent impact damage and fluid build up on the knee, but if you do ever find yourself suffering from gardener’s knee, the best way to treat it is with anti-inflammatories, with ibuprofen being effective for most cases.
While the swelling is at its worst it can be incredibly uncomfortable and very painful to move your knee, so cold compresses are really useful to have in the freezer.
When the swelling has gone down, and you feel confident to return to the garden make sure you have proper protection like knee pads, kneeling pads or kneeling stools to protect your joints.
Different Types of Garden Kneelers
Wearable Garden Kneelers
Wearable garden kneelers, or garden knee pads, are generally made from soft foams and covered in washable fabric. They differ from most knee pads which are usually made from hard plastics and designed to limit impact, either in sports or construction environments.
Knee pads usually strap around the leg, but you can buy trousers with kneepads already stitched into the fabric.
Garden Kneeling Stools
Garden kneeling stools come in all shapes and sizes, but the best garden kneelers ones are reversible so you can use them as kneelers for weeding or stools for pruning. They are designed to prevent back and knee injuries from repetitive strain.
Garden Storage Stools
Garden storage stools are super handy garden tools, which double up as tool boxes. While they aren’t usually padded, they are the perfect height to support you while you’re bending down in the garden, and have the added benefit of carting your tools around the garden, so you’ve always got your basic garden kit to hand.
Garden Kneeling Pads
Garden kneeling pads are the budget option, but are probably the most familiar to most gardeners. Garden kneeling pads are usually made from basic foam, and while you can buy some really beautiful ones from garden centres and online, they all serve the same purpose.
One reason to spend a little bit more than the basic models though is actually quite practical; if you’ve got a beautiful garden kneeler, you won’t hide it away in the garage, you’ll be happy to hang it up by the garden door, which means you’ll use it more often and not just forget to use it.
Best Garden Kneeler Reviews
By far the best garden knee pads on the market. They’re available in garden centres and Bunnings garden kneeler sections, but Burgon & Bal is nearly always cheaper online.
These super thick knee pads are breathable, and built from memory foam and fully washable fabric, with great quality stitching.
I only bring these out for special occasions, but if you know you’re going to be spending the day up and down around the garden, they’re far more convenient than garden kneelers that you need to carry with you.
PS. Don’t make a fool of yourself when you first put them on like I did. I wore them upside down for a week without realising. The hole matches your knee cap, and the pads sit underneath, so you kneel on the pad, not the hole.
While I swear by the folding garden kneelers at the allotment, I keep this closer to home. I can’t bear the thought of this lying around forgotten at the back of my allotment shed, so we keep it in the kitchen and it gets rolled around the garden with me every time I’m pruning.
The detachable kneeler and stool gives basic support and some comfort for long weeding jobs, but this garden kneeler is all about the storage.
Miracle-Gro are best known for their fertiliser range but they have an amazing product line full of garden accessories too. This rolling tool box with added kneeler and stool is a genuine must have.
I love this garden kneeler from TomCare. Granted I’m a bit of a fangirl for TomCare, and obsessed with their entire garden range, but that’s because I’ve never found a more reliable brand.
The tool pouches are really well stitched so will last a lifetime, and it’s one of the few brands that actually offer a warranty with their garden kneeler.
The Good GAIN Garden Kneeler Stool is amazon’s top-rated garden kneeler, topping the charts over garden knee pads, kneeling pads and storage kneelers.
I swear by this style of garden kneeler, but I do find the hanging tool storage frustrating as it flops to the ground when you turn the kneeler over to use - ironically - as a kneeler.
What’s really great about the Good GAIN model though is that the tool storage is detachable so you can attach it to your belt with the easy velcro tags.
The frame is super sturdy and gives you support while you stand up, and it’s generous padding protects your knees from common injuries.
The only reason I’m marking this down slightly is because it only has one tool pouch, but otherwise it’s an almost identical kneeler to the Good GAIN garden kneeler.
It’s slightly cheaper too, so if you don’t want to stretch your budget that extra step, this might be the best choice. It’s incredibly durable and easily holds up to the occasional bash with a wheelbarrow.
Pep Step’s waterproof garden kneeling pad is at the high end of kneeling pads, and is suitable for all sorts of uses; from gardening, to yoga to bath support.
It’s designed to protect your knees for life, and comes with an incredible lifetime warranty too, so if you ever have any issues you can easily get a replacement.
It’s nothing fancy, and takes up less space than folding kneelers, so it’s just a really great value basic kneeler. You can’t go wrong here.
All fashion conscious gardeners should be aware of the V&A’s range of garden accessories, with classic wallpaper designs adoring their surfaces.
This garden kneeler is definitely style over substance, but there’s an argument that if you’ve got beautiful tools, you’re more likely to enjoy using them, so even though it doesn’t offer that much protection for your knees, this kneeling pad is one you’ll be itching to use.
BosNeeleze’s memory foam kneeling pads offer extra support, especially for anyone worried about rocking or balance in the garden.
The compromise you make with memory foam pads is thickness though, because memory foam is typically more expensive than EVA, so while you’re getting firmer support, there’s more chance of feeling rocks through the pad, which might be uncomfortable for many gardeners.
MoreBuy are known for budget options, and that’s what you’re getting here, with a product that’s just as thick as the Pep Step kneeling pad but for almost half the price.
Obviously, that price cut comes with a quality cut and the kneeler is made from cheaper materials, but if you’re just after something really basic and lightweight to carry around the garden, this is more than enough for most home gardeners and allotmenteers.
I wanted to include these as a warning to knee pad buyers. There is nothing wrong with the brand, the manufacturer or the product itself, so if you decide to go for hard kneeling pads these are a great choice, but…
Hard capped knee pads are incredibly bad for your knees. Even padded hard capped knee caps increase impact and lead to rubbing on your joints, which can lead to massive amounts of discomfort later.
Gardeners should be aiming for fully soft knee pads for any wearable protection, and leave the hard knee pads for hockey.
Our Top Picks - Best Garden Knee Pads Australia
Best Garden Knee Pads for 2022
Quality? Tick. Comfort? Tick. Support? Tick. Price? Tick. Burgon & Ball Memory Foam Garden Kneelo® Knee Pads are the perfect garden knee pads, manufactured by one of the most trusted gardening brands in the world, and somehow still affordable.
Burgon & Ball are not known for their value, and are usually pretty pricey, but for a good price tag, you can get your hands on these amazing knee pads, which will give full protection for your knees without having to drag an awkward garden kneeler around the garden with you.
Best Value Garden Storage Tool
All gardeners love a gadget. It comes with the territory (I’m pretty sure half of the tenants on my allotment site are only there because they want an excuse to buy new tools).
Anything by Miracle-Gro is going to work as standard, so I have no fears in recommending this Miracle-Gro 4-in-1 Garden Stool.
It’s got really generous storage space, and a really convenient kneeling pad that detaches easily from the tool box for quick use. It’s not the thickest garden kneeler in the world, but it's enough for quick jobs when you just need some extra support.
Premium Choice Garden Kneeler
OK, so the TomCare Garden Kneeler Seat is definitely not cheap. It’s the most expensive kneeler we’ve got on review here, and there are definitely cheaper options that do the same job, but you won’t find a sturdier garden kneeler.
The wide tool pouches are really handy for gardeners too and detach really simply if you just need to keep your tools with you around the garden, saving you money on a tool belt.
Garden Knee Pads FAQs
Are garden knee pads worth it?
Yes, garden knee pads are 100% worth every penny you spend on them. They will protect from short term and long term problems with your knees and back.
With the best models giving you multiple options for use, meaning you can sit or kneel depending on the job and with a stand that helps you get up from the ground without putting too much pressure on your knees.
How do you use a garden kneeler?
Most garden kneelers come as fold out stools which can be turned upside down to kneel on the ground, and flipped over for use as a stool.
They also come with tool pouches that can either be kept attached to the kneeler, or detached and strapped to your belt for easy access tools.
What are garden knee pads made of?
Garden knee pads are almost invariably made from foam, and finished in waterproof fabrics to prolong their life and keep your knees dry in the garden.
More expensive garden knee pads include memory foam, which will add to your comfort and add to stability while you kneel in the garden.
For on garden wearables, be sure to check our guide on gardening clothes for 2022.
Protect Your Knees By Using the Best Garden Knee Pads
I’ve had pins in my knees since I was teenager thanks to an injury when I was 16, so I have to be more careful than most with my knees, but knee injury is a much higher risk for gardeners than most other hobbies.
However often you spend in the garden buying the best kneeling pad, whether it’s your back or your knees you need to protect, is really important.
Have a look back through the reviews above before you decide what to buy though, as they are all tried and tested styles by everyone at Aussie Green Thumb, myself included. Good luck choosing your new garden knee pads.