Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best garden kneelers and mats for seniors and heavy people with handles and seats: heavy duty commercial options
This article was last updated on March 8th, 2023 at 5:22 pm
I don’t know about you but I need a garden kneeler these days. There’s several good reasons but the handles either side help me get back up again – something that otherwise may not happen with much grace :). Recently I was reviewing and wearing gardening knee pads (you’ve got to see some of those demos I’ve included, they’ll blow you away!) – I wanted to be able to move around the garden quickly but I soon realised they didn’t have a thing on a decent garden kneeler in practical terms.
Since writing this I have decided I now prefer a mat over handles (so some of the review may contradict itself but I want you to understand how my opinion of garden kneelers has evolved with time testing and using them). This is mainly because the handled versions dig into me and aren’t as soft ( I hadn’t tested both types at the time). So side by side it’s no contest on comfort at ground level. Let’s not forget the handled version turn over to make a GREAT seat (and so why the Garden Foldaway Seat and Kneeler is staying top pick again this year). Though at ground level for me personally it is these new heavy duty plumbing/sparky/tradesman mats (Redbacks Cushioning’s Double Comfort Kneeling Mat) that win (they are so much more padded and I guess designed for all year round, everyday use and therefore much more engineered than garden kneelers). The downside is they are expensive, the upside is they are literally unrivalled in comfort by any garden kneeler I’ve used in the last 20 years, more so than knee pads too. Here’s a look at the two side by side:
For a start, you can’t just sit on your knee pads for a rest, they don’t help you get up (in fact some hinder it), and they don’t give you a raised or variable platform to set yourself for maximum comfort. Not just that, on the way down there’s nothing to hold on either, so it’s hands in mud, or down hard on ones knees. So a garden kneeler (especially the handled variety) gives you some additional support whilst working.
But did you know there are two types of garden kneeler? One with handles, and one, a foam board simply designed to make kneeling on ground more comfortable. The type with handles cover most of those issues but I’d highly recommend taking a look at my guide to buying the best garden kneeler before taking the plunge – there’s a bit more to this than simply handles or no handles!
Basically, the best garden kneeler solves all those problems, so let’s take a look at what we’ve got in the UK:
Best garden kneelers for the UK: top editor picks:
Best garden kneeler overall: Foldaway Garden Kneeler & Seat by Gardman [personally tested and proven for nearly two years now]
Heavy duty pick: Redbacks Cushioning’s Double Comfort Kneeling Mat for Gardening, Work and Home [personally tested and proven – absolutely the best of the best for comfort and what the professionals use]
Best garden kneeler with handles: Crystals Folding 3In1 Garden Kneeler With Handles, Tools Bag
Best garden kneeler and seat: Foldaway Garden Kneeler & Seat by Gardman – proven so reliable over the last couple of years.
Good alternative and this combines the mat and seat best being lower: Draper gardener’s kneeler seat [personally tested and proven – it finally broke after 4 hard years – great kneeler/seat]
Best garden kneeler for seniors: Burgon & Ball if you don’t need a handle, otherwise look at the Foldaway Garden Kneeler.
Heavy duty garden kneeler: Garden Kneeler and Seat with Thicken & Widen Soft Kneeling Pad – must have if you need 150kg weight rating [personally tested and proven]
Most comfortable garden kneeler: Burgon & Ball GKN/MOSS Memory Foam Garden Kneelo® Kneeler – must have if you need comfort.
Budget pick: Crystals or the Foldaway – while I like the Burgon and Bosmere – it’s hard to recommend them in value terms personally speaking.
What to look for when buying a garden kneeler
The thing about garden kneelers is they are definitely not the same, some come with handles, others don’t. Some are rated for just 14 stone, others over 150kg (23 stone or so). You’ll find some come with handy tool pouches on board, one even has a tool box built in! Some are constructed of plastic while others have a metal frame. So here’s a rundown of what you can expect.
Weight rating and frame quality
This is pretty much the most important thing. Whilst comfort is high up on my agenda (and price :D), there’s no point buying a tool not fit for purpose. Kneelers like the Burgon and Bosmere are basically a slab of foam and can take any weight. However, if you go with a seat / handle type garden kneeler there’s big differences. The Draper is made of plastic and can only take 14 stone. By contrast the heavyweight picks like the Garden Kneeler and Seat from Ohuhu are weight rated around 300lbs. Somewhere in the middle you have the Foldaway which takes my 14 stone weight with ease – I’d hazard a guess up to 17 stone would work just fine. Hopefully I don’t get to test that 🙂
Price is a difficult one for me. The Crystals or the Foldaway represent super value for money in my eyes. I just feel like for the same price as the Burgon you get a frame and seat as well. I suppose you can argue the Burgon get’s you closer to the ground and is a different animal all together, that though, to me doesn’t justify to the cost difference.
If you need to move up the weight ranks you won’t have to pay much more either. The heavy duty Ohuhu is less than a tenner more than the mid range stuff and you get a tool bag thrown in either side.
When I mentioned price and value earlier I was really alluding to the fact the Burgon is the EVA foam and that’s appreciated, but I can assure you the Foldaway foam is lovely (high density too) and lasts well. In short, both are good. I will say this though, EVA foam is waterproof and therefor given it’s intended use – absolutely bang on.
All of the handle varieties are constructed with a steel frame – this is more than adequate for stability and generally wears well. The Draper is made of plastic which I have to say handles itself very well over time – if you look at my listing you’ll be surprised to see one still going strong years later!
Handles or no handles
This is pretty much the most important choice you’ll have. Do you essentially want a foam mat to sit on the floor, or a raised platform to work from with handles to assist on your way up. Without question I would take a look at the Foldaway if I needed handles and the Bosmere or Burgon if you don’t. The handled versions are almost always better for senior citizens and certainly strong enough to assist you when getting up and down.
Does it convert into a seat?
Basically, if it’s got handles, you have a garden seat. They basically reverse by flipping it over. Here’s a look at that. First used as a kneeler:
And then it just flips up the other way to double up as a comfortable seat:
On board garden tool bag
If you’re looking for an on board tool bag I would highly recommend taking a look at the Crystals or the Ohuhu in particular. This one is loaded with two massive pouches and absolutely ample for storing your usual garden hand tools. A slight curveball is the Draper as that comes with a fixed tool box. I actually prefer this as it doesn’t have the obvious problem of needing the tools removed when you reverse your garden kneeler and use it as a seat.
Update since I bought this a couple of years ago:
This is not the best of the best, that is the second pick, the Redbacks, but that costs considerably more. I have left this in the garden for two winters now and whilst it’s rusted a bit, the foam is still solid. Talking of the foam, at the time I didn’t realise it get’s more comfortable (the Redbacks) but this foam has stayed put and really in good nick:
Where this really wins is the fact you turn it over (as you can see in the picture above) and it becomes a seat. The wife who is much smaller prefers this to my mat, so if you’re slight in weight, or you have trouble getting up then this is still the right pick for you (not to mention it is literally a fraction of my heavy duty mat).
You can’t go wrong and I’ve proven that by testing it hard – you don’t get much worse than being left to rot in the garden for two years 😀 – great product and deserves the positive feedback I personally give it.
When I first wrote this review the Gardman garden kneeler come seat was the best. I’d happily say it’s still the best pick. Some things don’t change! And here’s why.
This affordable, foldaway garden kneeler from Gardman is proving to be very popular with gardeners around the UK, so we thought we’d see what all the fuss was about and take a closer look ourselves.
We weren’t disappointed. For the money, this is a sturdy bit of kit., and could easily handle my 20+ stone weight on it, both in a kneeling position and also when sat upon as a stool come eat. There was no visible warping or bending of the frame, and I was pleased with the overall stability while I knelt and worked a flower bed.
The side handles felt strong and gave me no reason to worry about them carrying my weight, although, like a lot of these lightweight kneelers, you have to get your weight balanced out right before you try to stand – here’s a look at it:
As I just mentioned, the Gardman foldaway garden kneeler is very lightweight due to its aluminium frame, which keeps the total weight down to around 3 kilograms. This, combined with the garden kneeler’s foldable design, make it super easy for anyone to carry around the garden.
The aluminium frame has the added benefit of increasing the durability of the product, thanks to the metal’s rust fighting properties, so there’s no need to worry about leaving it in a damp shed or even out in the garden on occasion.
Even the kneeling pad can be wiped clean easily, and while it isn’t the softest I’ve ever tested, it is not uncomfortable at all, and with the addition of a small pillow, I felt I could use it for as long as I liked:
So, a lightweight, foldable garden kneeler made from strong and rust resistant aluminium. Not bad for twenty pounds of anyone’s money.
2. Redbacks Cushioning's Double Comfort Kneeling Mat for Gardening, Work and Home
There’s no way I could make the Redbacks kneeling mat top pick because of the price tag. It is the heavy duty, high quality commercial pick though, and without doubt if budget not an issue you’ll thank me for putting this your way. I can say without question it is the best kneeler I have ever used. I would be thoroughly upset if I lose this as it’s become a vital part of my tool kit both in the garden and on any building work I do. If you’re heavy then this is a game changer. If you’re smaller / medium build perhaps you could get by without but it’s still better.
I took the covering off to find out how the magic is happening. It seems to have some kind of woven absorbable rubber which I am presuming is trademarked and hence the prices involved. When I compare this to any garden kneeler I’ve tested, it is in a different league of comfort. To test that theory (that the rubber mat is the real magic) I kneeled on it firmly without the cover. I have to say I way right, the magic is all happening in this woven mesh:
Here ‘s a quick video that discusses that without the cover:
I am 20 stone plus and have never felt so comfortable working at low levels. Here’s a look as you can see my legs although very large still fit on the mat comfortably:
Honestly though, you could throw away the external cushioned cover and still feel very comfortable. I mention this because if you’re in the wet the rubber only body will keep you much drier – this outside covering absorbs moisture a fair bit.
When I compare this to the Burgon & Ball I would say that both are comfy if you’re light weight, but the memory foam of the Burgon & Ball crunches too hard for heavier people and the result is not the comfort you experience from this garden kneeler when comparing the two mats together directly.
I don’t often get excited by a product but this really works. You won’t be disappointed if you’re hefty like me! 🙂
3. Burgon & Ball GKN/MOSS Memory Foam Garden Kneelo® Kneeler
The ‘Kneelo’ comes to us courtesy of Burgon & Ball, and is priced at around a very affordable.
But, is it any good? My answer has to be a resounding ‘yes!’ to that question and probably the best pick for seniors too if you don’t need handles.
This is one of the most comfortable garden kneelers I’ve ever used. The teaming of the shock absorbing EVA foam with memory foam is a match made in heaven for your poor old knees, and really makes longer gardening sessions in the kneeling position far more bearable.
This super-comfortable padded layer is covered in durable neoprene, making it waterproof, easy to clean, and ensuring it dries out quickly.
I’m a keen scuba diver, and as our wetsuits are made of the same material, I’m used to the beneficial properties of neoprene and am surprised it isn’t used more in products like this.
A common problem with the foam knee pads on garden kneelers is that the foam starts to compress and stay sunk in after a while, and this obviously reduces the comfort level of using them. With the Kneelo having memory foam inside, this isn’t an issue and the knee pad will return to its original shape and condition after each gardening session, no matter how long you used it for – so continued protection and seems to be the most comfortable – hence being my pick for seniors.
At 50cm long and 30cm wide, there’s more than enough space for you to get both of your knees comfortably on there without feeling cramped up, and because the Kneelo only sits you a 5cm off the ground, you never feel like you’re leaning too far over or as if you are going to tip forward like you can when the kneeling platform is set too high.
The only downside I can see with this product is that it can’t double up as a seat or stool like with many other garden kneelers, but for working low on the ground, I couldn’t recommend the Burgon & Ball Kneelo enough. It’s easily affordable, extremely comfortable, durable, and very compact and easy to store away. A great little product.
4. Garden Kneeler and Seat with Thicken & Widen Soft Kneeling Pad
Garden Kneeler and Seat with Thicken & Widen Soft Kneeling Pad is straight up the top pick for the most heavy duty garden kneeler. With a weight rating of 300 plus pounds most people capable of getting down on their knees are covered. The platform is a tad over 40cm – this is the actual kneeling area so wide enough for most people.
That’s not even the main thing I like about this kneeler though. Firstly the kneeler pad is nice and thick an inch of foam both sides for the seating too – ideal if you are a bit on the heavier side as you won’t find your knees hurting after five minutes.
The handy tool carry is a nice touch too – easily enough room for your secateurs and bits and pieces:
Being fold away it’s practical in terms of storage and use – there’s really not much to dislike but I’ll try!
Some have mentioned it’s a little uncomfortable – whether this is naivety in understanding the constraints of a kneeler, I don’t know? For me, this is pretty much as good as it gets for a heavy duty version. To add some balance though, there’s been a few broken – it’s reasonable to say these were manufacturer duds though as over the tens of thousands sold we really are just talking about a handful.
5. Crystals Folding 3In1 Garden Kneeler With Handles, Tools Bag
Sporting a strong, metal frame and thick foam knee pad, this garden kneeler from Crystals is an Amazon choice product, meaning that it has been selected to be highlighted due to it’s mix of quality and affordability.
Now, I find these Amazon choice products to be a little hit and miss, but I think we this garden kneeler they’ve got it right.
As I said, the frame on this kneeler is made from metal that feels fairly heavy duty and not at all flimsy like some similar products can, especially in this price range.
The foam kneeling pad is about on par with its rivals and offers the same pros and cons: It’s hard wearing and easy to clean, but will start to compress and sink in after a while so you’ll probably need to add a thin pillow for longer gardening sessions to stay really comfortable.
To make storage and transportation easier, the Crystals garden kneeler can be folded up by pulling back a couple of metal bars situated on each side. It takes seconds and the mechanism works well.
A free polyester garden tools bag is included in the price, and is a nice little extra that is found on many of these products. Still, I’m not complaining about any freebies, and it is nice to have a place for your trowel, secateurs, and such close at hand.
This kneeler has dimensions of 36x19cm, or thereabouts, and is light enough to be carried around easily, but it can still hold the weight of a fully grown man in both the kneeling and sitting position. The handles feel nice and solid when you use them as support when standing, and there aren’t any big wobbles or instability going on.
This is another good garden kneeler option for around twenty five quid, and the free tool bag is a nice little bonus.
6. VonHaus garden kneeler/seat with 3pc tool set and bag
If you are in search of the perfect garden kneeler for your task then this is what you need. This 2 in 1 design kneeler is the just the thing you need to make your gardening experience a better one. I’ve moved it up the list a bit this year as it’s proven to be a good buy.
Whether you are digging, wedding or planting you can use this product for any type of gardening task you want. The best thing about the product is that it comes with a complete toolset using which you can handle most of your gardening tasks.
The durable design makes the kneeler a long lasting one. This product is made for comfortable gardening. It is also very lightweight and thus, you can easily move it around.
- 2 in 1 function garden kneeler
- Comes with a complete toolset
- Equipped with soft foam pads on each side
- Foldable design with a spring release mechanism
- 2-year warranty
- Could do with being a bit better constructed for weighty people
7. Draper gardener’s kneeler seat
Update: I finally broke this after 4 years!!! However my weight is 20 stone so unsurprising! If you are under 15 stone then this is going to work for you just fine for a long time, as I say I managed 4 years at my weight 🙂
This is a heavy-duty and impact resistant plastic frame kneeler from Draper surprisingly considering it is plastic. It comes with a rubber inset seat and foam to make it more comfortable. You can not only this product for gardening but even for other general household tasks like cleaning windows, and works pretty much like a hop up if you’re on the lighter side – further warning on that below as it’s not designed as a hop up.
What I really like about this model unlike the foldaways, this one is a fixed, ready to go unit that is pretty light weight to carry and move about the garden – you can thank the lightweight but strong plastic for that advancement over the foldaways – however, as with all things good it brings some drawback – the maximum carrying weight is 90kgs but I’ll say it again, it can take a fair beating given the plastic is pretty heavy duty:
The toolbox type storage is nice and they’ve obviously realised it’s going upside down and things will fall out so they’ve incorporate a clip type lock that’ll stop any mishaps. The handles are pretty much overkill, they are probably the strongest part but I guess that for overall frame integrity – and it’s fair to say that’s needed.
If there are ever any failures on this model it is almost always with the structure giving way from people sitting or standing on it and remember it’s not designed for standing. Please remember it’s 90kg rated, so if you weigh 80kg and you jump off it pushing up, you will exert more than 90kg of pressure! Food for thought.
Overall it’s a nice bit of kit and if you’re not going to go heavy then this works nicely. The kneeler is clear far superior to the seat/stool.
- Maximum weight carrying capacity is 90kgs
- High-quality plastic construction – doesn’t go brittle in the sun quickly
- Seat gives way sometimes
7. Draper 64970 folding seat and kneeler
We have yet another product from Draper. You should know that Draper is a company that has been serving people with its high-quality tools for over 90 years now. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any doubt on the quality.
The product comes with robust tubular iron construction. It is also equipped with folding legs and handrails that make it easier for you to use it. The kneeler has a double sided pad. This is the ideal gardening tool you can get for your use.
Other than gardening, you can even use this tool for another household task as well. The kneeler also comes with handrails which makes it easier for you to reach places that are otherwise hard to reach.
The seat is made with weather-proof plastic material. In short, this is one of the best garden kneelers listed on the market for the UK – but not my top pick.
- Sturdy, tubular iron frame
- Comes with folding legs and handrails
- The double-sided pad acts as a kneeler or seat
- Suitable for a variety of tasks
- Maximum carrying weight is 125kgs
- Some mention the weight rating seems off
Bosmere is known to manufacture a wide range of garden tools and this product is just a fine example of the quality of their products.
The product has been designed to provide you comfort while gardening. It is made keeping in mind the needs of the users. The product is made from EVA foam covered in neoprene fabric and is designed pretty similar to the Burgon and Ball. I would say I still prefer the other option though as better the devil you know – Burgon less and is always top notch for customer services.
The best thing about the product is that you can use it both in the garden and even in your house. The product is also lightweight and easy to clean. Not just that, but it also comes with a waterproof bottom that protects it from wet grass and soil in the garden.
- Luxury kneeler made with high-quality materials
- Easy to use
- Waterproof bottom
- Suitable for both garden and house
- Portable and lightweight
- Some complained it arrived not in new condition
So these are 8 of the best garden kneelers you can choose from. With these products, gardening becomes a lot for fun and enjoyable. After going through the details of each of the products you can select any of them you want.
Why buy a garden kneeler – final thoughts
When it comes to gardening, you need the right equipment to get your work done. Each of them has its own particular purpose. One of the must-have gardening tools is the best garden kneeler. This is a very important tool as it helps you protect your knees from the wet grass and dirty soil, they really come into their own when you’re doing the garden weeding or using a fork and trowel in amongst the flower beds. Most importantly, it protects you from the hard or uneven surface while gardening. You can place your knees on the kneeler and make gardening a completely different experience. The other option is a set of knee pads but many find them restrictive and a garden kneeler better for comfort.