Best Overall Kneeling Mat
Pep Step Memory Foam Kneeling Pad
Comfortable cushion that’s easy to carry around large or small gardens.
Best Overall Combo
TomCare Upgraded Garden Kneeler and Seat
Steel construction, ergonomic, versatile and has a high weight capacity.
Best Overall Knee Pad
NoCry Professional Knee Pads
Professional-grade protection against rocks, cement and other hard surfaces.
Your knees can definitely ache after spending some time working in the garden, and that’s where a garden kneeler can be a real lifesaver.
I’ve had the same problem myself- it’s usually those “quick” tasks that always end up taking longer than I thought. I kneel down to work, and upon finally standing up, my knees have some painful indentations from pebbles, mulch, grass… And of course, getting yourself back into a standing position after kneeling for a while can be tricky, too.
Whatever the case may be, using a garden kneeler can help you get back to enjoying your time outside.
Garden kneelers come in 3 main categories:
- Kneeling mats
- Combination kneeler/seats
- Knee pads
Today, we’ll be looking at the details of my top picks for the best garden kneeler. After that, we’ll go over the specifics of each of the 3 categories so you decide which one is best for you.
Here’s a quick breakdown of our favorite kneelers:
Our Top Picks
1. Best Overall: Pep Step Memory Foam Kneeling Pad
2. Best Runner Up: Gorilla Grip Premium Thick Kneeling Pads
3. Best Budget: Foam Creations Garden Kneeler
4. Best Overall: TomCare Upgraded Garden Kneeler and Seat
5. Best Runner Up: Vertex Garden Kneeler Bench
6. Best Budget: Luckymore Folding Garden Kneeler and Seat
7. Best Overall: NoCry Professional Knee Pads
8. Best Runner Up: Knee Mate Knee Pads
9. Best Budget: NoCry Lightweight Foam Knee Pads
Let’s jump in!
Best Kneeling Mats
1. Pep Step Memory Foam Kneeling Pad
**Best Overall Garden Kneeling Mat
- Material: Memory foam
- Product weight: 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions: 24 inches long, 12.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall when fully opened
- Weight capacity: No weight limit
This versatile and comfortable mat takes the top spot for a garden kneeling mat for several reasons. Firstly, I love that the kneeling surface is extra-large at 24 inches long and 12.5 inches wide. This generous surface area accommodates gardeners of all sizes and gives you a little extra reaching room before you need to pick up your mat and move.
But when you do need to move your mat, the lightweight material and carrying handles make it easy to grab and go. A center seam divides the two foam sections, and the clever carrying handles are easy to grasp.
Besides being handy for transport, the folding design is also helpful for keeping your kneeler stashed out of the way between uses. Two-inch-thick memory foam keeps a squishy but protective layer of cushioning between your knees and the ground.
Especially if you like to wear shorts while you work in the garden, the smooth fabric cover adds a little extra touch of softness. One drawback is that while the fabric has water-resistance, the mat itself is not waterproof or washable.
- Large kneeling surface
- Thick, soft memory foam
- Carrying handles
- Folding design
- Fabric is not washable or waterproof
2. Gorilla Grip Premium Thick Kneeling Pads
**Best Garden Kneeling Mat Runner-Up
- Material: High-density foam
- Product weight: 11.7 ounces
- Dimensions: 17.5 inches long, 11 inches wide, 1.5 inches tall
- Weight capacity: No weight limit
Made from 1.5 inches of firm foam, these pads have a feel similar to foam carpet tiles. The dense foam provides excellent protection for your knees and stands up to the elements, but you don’t get the same “squish factor” as some of the other options. If you’d prefer a softer option, the CharGuy kneeling pad is a great choice.
Measuring 17.5 inches long and 11 inches wide, you have a fairly spacious area to place your knees. Transport is a snap thanks to an easy-grip handle and lightweight material.
For water-resistance and easy cleaning, the foam core has a protective vinyl outer coating. The textured surface on both sides of this kneeler provides additional traction to keep your pad from slipping during your work.
The only drawback to this design is that the raised texture could dig into your skin with extended use. While this is obviously a transient issue, it could cause a little discomfort for a while.
- Dense, firm foam offers excellent protection
- Light and readily transportable
- Textured surface provides traction
- May leave imprints on your skin
3. Foam Creations Garden Kneeler
**Best Budget Garden Kneeling Mat
- Material: XL Extralight foam
- Product weight: 15 ounces
- Dimensions: 17.8 inches long, 9.25 inches wide
- Weight capacity: No weight limit
Foam Creations uses foam injection molding and a unique material called XL Extralight, which is free of the following substances:
- Heavy metals
Foam injection molding is a pretty cool process with various applications, and you can learn more about it on the Foam Creations website.
Besides the innovative material, the contoured knee areas help keep the kneeler positioned correctly under your body without slipping away. A deeply ridged underside provides some extra traction and enhances the stay-put factor.
Most foam products are incredibly lightweight, and at just under 15 ounces, this kneeler is no exception. I really like how the curved handle sits a couple of inches off the ground, making it very easy to grab your kneeler and go.
This kneeler has a fully waterproof outer coating that helps you stay dry while you work and is also easy to wipe or spray clean.
The ergonomic shape provides comfy cushioning and also cuts down on excess bulk and weight. However, one downside is that this kneeler is smaller than some of the alternatives, measuring 17.8 inches long and 9.25 inches wide.
- Lightweight and easy-grab handle
- Free of several potentially harmless substances
- Waterproof and washable
- Ergonomic design and textured underside
- The shaped knee area is a little cramped
Best Combination Garden Kneeler/Seats
4. TomCare Upgraded Garden Kneeler and Seat
**Best Overall Combination Garden Kneeler/Seat
- Material: Stainless steel and EVA foam
- Product weight: 6.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 23.43 inches long, 10.83 inches wide and 19.3 inches tall
- Weight capacity: 330 pounds
Even though steel frames aren’t uncommon for garden kneeler/seat combos, some of the key components are often made of plastic. Needless to say, this could lead to problems, especially if you need a kneeler that can accommodate a high weight capacity.
One of my favorite aspects of this kneeler from TomCare is the all-steel construction in the frame, seat, hinges and springs. Thanks to the solid design, this heavy-duty garden kneeler can support up to 330 pounds and stand up to frequent use. And that’s why this product gets my vote for the best garden kneeler/seat combo.
Jen Stark, master gardener and founder of Happy DIY Home, recommends this model as her favorite garden kneeler. “This multi-functional bench offers great shock absorption, ergonomic design, heavy-duty construction and a reversible kneeler/seat option, making it incredibly versatile. The folding legs allow easy storage, making it super convenient for gardeners.”
The EVA foam pad measures just over 16 inches long, 7.88 inches wide and 2 inches tall. However, despite the thickness, the foam itself can be a bit on the firm side for some people.
- Sturdy, all-steel frame
- High weight capacity
- Includes 2 large storage pouches
- Cushion could be a little softer
5. Vertex Garden Kneeler Bench
**Best Combination Garden Kneeler/Seat Runner-Up
- Material: Plastic
- Product weight: 6.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 26 inches long, 13 inches wide and 18 inches tall
- Weight capacity: 220 pounds
This Vertex garden kneeler and seat combo features a frame and contoured seat completely made of heavy-duty plastic. Plastic material eliminates the chance for a few steel-related problems:
- Rust damage from moisture exposure
- Snapped joints at solder points
- Thin frame pieces that may feel wobbly
Legs that double as a stand-assist feature are one of the best assets of the kneeler/seat combo class. Thanks to strong, thick plastic grips and a non-hinged frame, this option offers top-notch stability.
One of the things I like most about this kneeler/seat is the spacious kneeling area. The seat portion measures a generous 26 inches long, beating many other models by several inches. The kneeling pad is just slightly smaller, so you should have plenty of room to work comfortably.
As an added bonus, all Vertex products are made in the USA.
Unfortunately, with the premium design and materials also comes a premium price tag, and it is, by far, the most expensive kneeler. On the bright side, it also has the potential to deliver the most years of use.
- Exceptional frame strength with no rust vulnerability
- Sturdy stand-assist handles
- Generous kneeling area
- Made in the USA
- High Cost
6. Luckymore Folding Garden Kneeler and Seat
**Best Budget Combination Garden Kneeler/Seat
- Material: Stainless steel frame and EVA foam pad
- Product weight: 5.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 22.5 inches long, 10.6 inches wide and 18.5 inches tall
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
If you like the idea of a 2-in-1 garden kneeler and seat but storage space is at a premium, this foldable option may be the answer.
Two hinge mechanisms are located on either side of the seat/kneeler pad. These hinges allow the side panels to fold inwards, and the kneeler stands a mere 5 inches tall when collapsed.
To fold, squeeze the bars on either end of the seat to compress a set of four springs and release the side hinges. Then, fold the legs flat. This two-step mechanism provides a reliable safeguard against the kneeler accidentally folding up during use.
Although the folding safety system lends some extra peace of mind, it can be a little tricky to master the technique. This can be especially true if you’re a senior or have decreased grip strength.
When unfolded, you have an 18.5-inch tall seat. The EVA foam seat/kneeling pad measures 16 inches, and the total weight is 5.7 pounds.
- Folding hinges for easy storage
- Safety mechanism prevents accidental collapse
- Challenging to fold down at first
Best Garden Knee Pads
7. NoCry Professional Knee Pads
**Best Overall Garden Knee Pads
- Material: EVA foam, gel and neoprene straps
- Product weight: 1.19 pounds
- Dimensions: 7 inches wide, 9 inches tall
- Weight capacity: No weight capacity
These pads take the top spot thanks to their rugged construction that protects against almost anything in the garden/yard and comfortable construction.
NoCry used a dual-cushioning combination of EVA foam and shock-absorbing gel to provide top-of-the-line knee protection. You’re likely to appreciate this generous cushioning if your outdoor tasks include the following:
- Pulling numerous weeds in large gardens
- Laying stone pathways or borders
- Kneeling on concrete or cement
- Working with rocky or rough ground
The hard plastic outer shell provides an additional layer of protection. You probably wouldn’t even notice if you knelt down directly on a rock!
The pads feature 2 rivet closures that keep your knee pads firmly in place while you’re hard at work and allow for a quick release at the end of the day. The neoprene straps have a good bit of stretch, so they can comfortably fit almost any size legs.
The only downside to the straps is that they may chafe or feel uncomfortable on bare skin, so you may want to consider wearing long pants under your knee pads.
- Exceptional protection against rocks and hard surfaces
- Dual cushioning materials
- Stretchy, quick-release straps
- Washable hard plastic shell
- May not be comfortable on bare skin
8. Knee Mate Knee Pads
**Best Garden Knee Pads Runner-Up
- Material: EVA foam, alloy steel, ethylene vinyl acetate
- Product weight: 8 ounces
- Dimensions: Not stated
- Weight capacity: Medium size: 130 pounds; large size: 220 pounds
Hilary Bidwell is a Harvard-educated landscape designer and co-founder of Talk Flowers To Me. She finds that these knee pads are her go-to for working in the garden, for several reasons.
“I find I am much more comfortable and can work faster with them on, which is great for the casual or serious gardener. Unless you’re kneeling through rough gravel and sharp twigs, they give you the right amount of protective cushion, without being too thick or cumbersome. The thick Velcro straps keeps the pads in place without bothering the back of your knees.”
These pads come in two size options, medium and large, and choosing the correct size is primarily based on your weight. At a more compact size, these pads are perfect for smaller adults and teenagers. On the flip side, though, these knee pads have a limited amount of adjustability, and they may be too small for some people.
The dual Velcro straps sit above and below your knee joint, making it easy to get a comfortable, custom fit. Memory foam pads protect your knees while you’re hard at work, and the slightly stretchy fabric helps maintain a snug fit throughout the day.
- Ideal for teens and small-to-average adults
- Generous layer of foam padding
- The straps are comfortable and easy to adjust
- May be too small for some people
9. NoCry Lightweight Foam Knee Pads
**Best Budget Garden Knee Pads
- Material: EVA foam, neoprene
- Product weight: 2 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.9 inches long, 7.48 inches tall
- Weight capacity: No weight limit
These pads use a single securing strap that combines a Velcro closure with elastic sections. This construction makes it a breeze to adjust the pads to your comfort, and the thin strap won’t impede your range of motion. If you prefer, these knee pads also come in a 2-strap design.
Weighing in at less than 2 ounces, you may even forget you have knee pads on. Thanks to the dense EVA foam, your knees stay comfortably cushioned, even if you’re working on bumpy or gravely soil.
Gardening obviously means getting at least a little dirt on you, and your knee pads are especially susceptible to looking grungy. These pads have a waterproof surface that you can quickly clean off with the hose and a little gentle rubbing.
- Extremely lightweight
- Washable surface
- Affordable price point
- Comfortable straps and cushioning
- Not ideal for frequent heavy-duty use
Why You Should Use a Garden Kneeler
Here are a few reasons why these simple tools deserve a spot in your garden tool lineup:
Makes Gardening More Comfortable- No Matter Your Age!
Gardeners of every age can benefit from a cushioned surface to kneel on while working in the garden. And you don’t have to take my word for it!
Shelby DeVore, garden expert and founder of Farminence, agrees. “When people see garden kneelers, they tend to assume that they are designed for elderly people. However, I’ve found that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Anyone that does gardening needs a garden kneeler.”
And Shelby has experience to back that claim up:
“I spent 5.5 years teaching high school and college students about growing plants and managing a nursery and greenhouse. Starting seeds, transplanting, pulling weeds, and caring for plants requires a lot of stooping, squatting, kneeling, and bending over.
“All of those things can be hard on your knees, back and joints. I wasn’t the only one that was getting an achy back. Some of my young students that were in great physical condition would also get backaches and sore knees.”
Take care of your knees and back now, and enjoy gardening for years to come!
Helps Prevent Knee Damage
We’ve all felt a little sore for a day or so after a hard day’s work in the garden. However, repeated stress from kneeling on the ground can lead to long-term knee problems, with bursitis being the most common.
WebMD defines bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, which is the natural cushioning sac for the kneecap. When the bursa gets irritated, often through repeated strains like frequent kneeling, it can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in your knees. If the irritation continues, bursitis can become chronic.
A good-quality kneeler can be your biggest ally against developing bursitis by absorbing some of the impact between the ground and your knees.
But a kneeler alone can’t do all the protective work! You’ll still need to use proper body mechanics, like good posture and frequent breaks. Physical therapy company Choose PT offers some great tips on staying strong and comfortable during the gardening season.
Protects Clothing from Stains and Rips
In the more short-term realm, gardening can really do a number on your gardening pants, either from grass stains or from wearing out the knees.
As a barrier against the ground, a kneeler can really help extend the life (and appearance) of your gardening gear.
How to Choose the Best Garden Kneeler
Now that you’ve had a closer look at some of the options, which garden kneeler is right for you?
Here’s an overview of the 3 types, and some points to help you decide which category best meets your needs.
Typically made of foam, kneeling mats are a small, flat surface that provides a layer of cushion between your knees and the ground. They usually weigh next to nothing and have handles that let you grab your mat and quickly move on to the next work site.
Since they’re such a simple item, kneeling mats tend to be fairly inexpensive. However, there are some premium models on the market that cost a little more.
Kneeling mats often have a waterproof or water-resistant outer layer. These can help you stay dry on damp ground, and they’re also easy to clean.
You might prefer a kneeling mat if:
- You want a compact product that doesn’t take up a lot of storage space
- You want something that’s easy to move around the garden
- You’re looking for an inexpensive option
- You want to protect your knees from wet ground
Combination Garden Kneeler and Seat
These products do double duty as both a sturdy, elevated kneeling surface and, when flipped over, a garden seat.
Do you have trouble getting back into an upright position after kneeling for a while? If so, the legs on a kneeler/seat also function as stabilizing handles to help you stand up. This feature alone makes a kneeler/seat a perfect choice for seniors.
Not every garden job requires kneeling, and having the option to use your combo kneeler/seat as a gardening stool can come in very handy. Whether it’s for jobs like harvesting tomatoes or just taking a break, it’s nice to be able to sit down.
You might prefer a garden kneeler and seat combo if:
- You like having a 2-in-1 product
- You need help standing up after kneeling
- You like the idea of your knees staying a couple of inches off the ground
- You have a little more storage space to work with
- You’re willing to pay a little more
Since many construction workers, contractors and other skilled tradespeople need reliable knee protection, it’s not hard to find heavy-duty knee pads for gardening.
Do your projects include tasks like transplanting a large number of seedlings or intensive landscaping? If so, professional-grade knee pads can be a lifesaver.
Even if your garden jobs are on the lighter side, thin knee pads still make it easy to go about your work in comfort and convenience.
You might prefer to use gardening knee pads if:
- You like the idea of effortless portability
- You do frequent labor-intensive outdoor projects
- You spend a great deal of time kneeling
- You like the option of light and professional-grade models
Frequently Asked Questions about Garden Kneelers
Gardening is a rewarding hobby and in my experience, using a well-chosen garden kneeler is a fantastic way to keep enjoying your time outdoors with less pain.
Whether you prefer a mat, a kneeler/seat or knee pads, there’s no shortage of options to pick from. Use your garden’s size and your regular tasks as a guide to choosing the best garden kneeler for you, and get to work in comfort!
I want to hear from you! What kind of garden kneeler is your favorite? Have you tried more than one kind, and what were some of the differences you noticed? Share your thoughts in the comments!