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This article was last updated on October 13th, 2021 at 12:27 pm

I was out in the garden today wearing my trusty Draper gardening knee pads I’ve had for years and they are finally wearing out – the sponge protective layer to comfort my knee is wearing thin basically. It dawned on me I hadn’t updated this article to reflect some of the newer, more improved knee pads (some even come gel filled now!) so thought I should take the time to do so after ordering some from Nocry, WOW! what a game changer, more on that in the review though where they demo just how well built these are. (by crazily crawling through beds of nails and hot coals!!! 😀 ) Here’s the NoCry Professional Knee Pads review link if you’re intrigued and don’t want to read all the way through!

I love knee pads because they have a massive advantage over garden kneelers. You don’t have to lug them about the garden when you’re flitting from spot to spot. And whilst a kneeler helps you on the way down with a couple of supports, you can get the same from from almost any other support in the garden without the need to lug what is essentially a chair about around the garden! Don’t get me wrong, I love my kneeler too, but for quick work it’s nowhere near as effective.

There’s some really compelling reasons to have the best gardening knee pads aside from the obvious comfort whilst weeding and kneeling over a flower bed. You might be thinking about the rain, wondering how to keep off the dirt a bit without carrying a mat or bit of plastic around. You might also be thinking about how to get down without putting so much pressure on your knees as you go down – some knee pads are really padded to help soften the blow if you can’t control the descent as gracefully as times gone by. We’ve taken all those factors, as well as price, built quality, manufacturer reliability, warranty, don’t slip off, and most importantly, just how comfortable they are in practise to deliver you the best gardening knee pads.

Given we are all different one size certainly does not fit all. So the best place to start is a look at my top picks and then finding the right gardening knee pads to fit what you’re looking for.

My picks for the best gardening knee pads in the UK:

  1. NoCry Professional Knee Pads. Must have gardening knee pads for enthusiast and professional alike.
  2. Rolson 82711 Gel Knee Pads. Best budget pick
  3. Professional Knee Pads for Work, Preciva Heavy Duty Gel Cushion and Foam Padding Knee Pads If you like Nocry but unavailable, these are a great alternative.
  4. Knee Pads for Work by Thunderbolt Perfect for Gardening. Must have for uneven ground when gardening.
  5. COGURD Professional Gel Knee Pads for Gardening. Nicely waterproofed
  6. Yoko WK006 Pad, Black. Best knee pad inserts

How to pick the right gardening knee pads?

When you’re picking knee pads you’ll want to take into consideration what you actually want them to do. Some are better for keeping your knees clean, some better suited to helping cushion you on the way down, while the majority focus on comfort whilst actually kneeling. Some of them are good at a combination, while others excel specifically at one of the main requirements. You might just be looking for a knee pad that is all material to use indoors and out and we’ve looked at that too. So please take the time to read my review, as I break them down for you as best I can to give you a way of making an informed decision but there’s one clear all rounder!

One thing not to do though is search specifically for garden knee pads on Amazon. The reason being those are the archaic models I was reviewing a few years ago and they are miles behind the modern ones.

Protecting your knees and safety

You should definitely take knee safety seriously, especially in the garden. The amount of pressure on the knee in weight is quite considerable, and a multiple of your actual bodyweight. If you want to understand the maths behind knee stress and understand what you can do better to look after yourself then this video is worth a watch. I know it’s not English sorry about that, but it certainly was the best I could find to help you.

How long have you got? I could write you twenty in depth reasons why you would want these knee pads and struggle for three reasons not to have them. I wish they were an option when I bought my Drapers those years ago and had sound feedback. I may have ended up with the best gardening knee pads and not been looking for replacements now!

The best place to start probably is the size, unless you have over 22 inch knee circumference then they’ll fit like a glove with adjustable straps.

But before we really get going on the nitty gritty. Let’s take a look at just how much stress these can put up with. Don’t like loud noises? I advise turning the dramatic music down before watching this on Youtube, it’s probably the worst part of this product 😀 I’ve also started you right where you want to be – you can see how easy these knee pads clip on and off with a simple slip buckle:

Now, I don’t advise doing anything on that video, from falling hard on your knees, to walking through a bed of nails, to chards of glass, and I definitely don’t fancy crawling through a bed of hot coals. They do make a sound point though, as far as protection goes, these are the best gardening knee pads in the UK and probably even the world that I can tell. If you want protection, then they are a must have and are used by almost all the professionals I know. It’s pretty easy to see why hundreds of thousands of customers have happily bought and recommended these.

So one thing that strikes true on these is just how well they stay put. If you’ve ever owned other knee pads you’ll know they have a tendency to slip out of place, that or you do them up so tight they are restrictive. Nocry knee pads bring an end to that, instantly. The neoprene straps with such a simple slip buckle are perfectly designed. They are actually so tough, I wonder if contractors are concerned about damaging customer floors when landing harder than they should! I know for a fact after wearing mine I feel that way!

In terms of kneeling on concrete, these are vastly superior to my old Drapers, I would go ahead and say at least twice as effective at reducing the pressure on my knee and light years ahead in terms of technology.

Early on these had a few issues but honoured their replacement or refund policy. The slip buckle buttons were not up to scratch on some it would seem. The number of failures has since drastically reduced. I presume they improved their build quality. Overall they are a great pair of knee pads and definitely deserve the best gardening knee pad spot.

Pros:

  • Incredibly robust
  • Well manufactured
  • Well priced
  • Can withstand hot coals – highly advise not testing that!!!
  • Hold in place well

Cons:

  • A few product failures gave them a bumpy start
  • Video demo music way too much for me.

It’s a bit hard to follow up the Nocry act! But alas, there are some other good alternatives and the Rolson 82711 Gel Knee Pads being one of them. Why have I picked Rolson next you ask given there’s probably a few others (that’ll be listed below slightly better? Well, the price. They are less than half the cost of the Nocry Knee Pads and still work very well taking a nice chunk of pressure off your knees as well as keeping you up out the dirt if you’re in the flower beds. They also look pretty good when you get them out of the packet too:

Rolson knee pads – look pretty good too

The first thing you’ll notice when you put on the Rolson knee pads is just how comfy these are. I would say they are one of the most comfortable knee pads available that work for gardening at the moment. The material isn’t bad in terms of waterproofing either. If you kneel in the rain for extended periods then yes they end up wet, but they delay getting wet for sure.

There’s a few really decent features on these. Firstly, the strap is pretty easy to use and whilst on the older model I reviewed a few years ago these wouldn’t stay put, now they have improved the strap and things sit more firmly and much better fit overall for averages size people (if you’re really thin they may not work still).

One complaint you might find is one size does not fit all. I agree on that. These have been built with the average person in mind so if you’re really small, I would say give these ones a miss. Unless you’re at the thin range then you’ll be just fine. Given they are loop straps you can put them on really firmly so its up to you how much movement there is.

You’ll like the soft cushioning of the pad. I have to say it’ll last pretty well and I was surprised to see they are gel knee pads given the money. This means they won’t wear out so quickly. If you think about it, solid material will compact, but an insert of gel will stay put and just lasts!

The plastic cap is stitched on solid, it looks raised but don’t worry, nothing gets behind there. If you’re looking for no thrills well priced knee pads for gardening then these are well worth buying.

Pros:

  • Total bargain
  • Easy loop strap to put on and take off
  • Nice enough design
  • Last well
  • Quality gel knee pad construction

Cons:

  • Not as good as Nocry
  • Tendency to slip about if not fitted firm
  • Small thin legs may struggle

Hang on. The first thing you notice about these pads and my top pick the Nocry? Oh, they look pretty similar don’t they! 😀 So since neither supplier is suing for design theft, can we assume neither actually designed these pads themselves? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I will be willing to update this listing if either manufacturer reaches out. You’ll have the answer soon enough following this update from the supplier 😀

So picking this option over the Nocry is not that tough given they have thousands of five star reviews online, but when compared to Nocry – they’ve ten times less reviews online and a myriad of people that have clearly shown they get their money back if they complain, and to be fair I hate sales videos but Nocry go the extra mile for sure proving the product they are selling. So why buy these? Well, the one thing that’s actually better on this is the thigh extension, and it’s a real two fold bonus for gardeners. Firstly getting up and down is what shifts the pad about most. The thigh extension also has a strap which holds the knee pad in place really effectively. Talking about that, I definitely prefer the slip buckle design on Nocry to the strap on these. Whilst this should hold in place better, I like the quicker release.

Secondly, what I noticed so far on my Nocry pads is that the front of my knee is still exposed to getting wet and dirty. These cover that as well if you’re willing to spend the extra couple of quid. It’s a difficult one. The sheer volume of reviews on Nocry pushed me in that direction. Perhaps on the next update of this article I’ll buy these pads and let you know what I think

If you don’t like these pads, you can ask for a refund and they’ll come good. What more can you ask for from a supplier? They tick all the right boxes and these are a great alternative to the Nocry

Pros:

  • Comfortable fit for sure
  • Well made
  • 100% money back guarantee is a nice touch like Nocry
  • They do take the pressure off the knees

Cons:

  • More expensive than Nocry
  • Some may prefer the slip buckle over a strap

The knee pads by Thunderbolt are a nice pick and give a good range of options on this review because these are definitely better at staying put on uneven ground or on shingle like material when gardening. These are nothing like the super tough Nocry pads but that’s not a bad thing. These are just comfy, good old fashioned knee pads that look sensible. They aren’t the archaic slip off your knee type though. If you look at the picture you’ll notice they’ve implemented the same slip buckle as the top pick:

Knee Pads for Work by Thunderbolt

This in my mind is the best way of securing a knee pad. The slip buckle grabs firmly and you can adjust the strap to keep them as tight or loose as you prefer. And with no hard pad on the front, they work much better on uneven ground giving a bit of flex rather than rolling your knee or simply sliding out the way. Aside from gardening, you don’t have to worry about scratching floors if you do go inside with them too which is a bonus.

I’ve noticed some online saying they aren’t great for prolonged use. Anywhere over a couple of hours and with the straps being fitted tight they will rub. However, this is a universal problem that is hard to get away from. Some like the Nocry are slightly better with this issue.

The other thing you can see the material isn’t going to workout great in the wet. So be prepared to use them outside and accept they’ll need drying out, but that said will still give plenty of protection from dirt and water for a good while.

All in all these are a really useful option, especially for gardening on uneven ground or shingle materials.

Pros:

  • Super on uneven ground
  • Lovely and comfortable
  • Quick and easy slip buckle
  • Well priced

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Not as heavy duty as other knee pads in this review

The COGURD Professional Gel Knee Pads made it onto my reviews as a competitor to the competitor of Nocry 😀 Hope that didn’t fry your brain! If you check out the Preciva you’ll note they are very similar to No cry but have an additional thigh extension. That’s exactly the same as these pads. And I’d have to say, if you are looking for a quality thigh extension to keep clean and dry then COGURD is an equally good choice.

Before we go right into the review, it’s worth taking a look at their demo video. It shows just how comfortable and large the pads are making them ideal for gardening in particular as your knees won’t roll or feel pressured on ground that’s uneven:

What I like about these in particular is the foam padding on the knees. If you go down a bit hard most of the shock will absorb nicely. Also, it bodes well for prolonged periods. The soft foam feels good. The pads are quite flat and I prefer this. It means you’re much more stable on ground, and especially uneven ground. The round type seem to do much better at protecting from shocks though.

Where they really win though – waterproofing. They protect from water very well. In fact, I would say these are one of the best knee pads in the UK to keep knees dry and clean. The thigh pad covering upwards makes a big difference on that front too.

So what’s not so good? My main problem is how narrow the knees are. If you have a really wide knee they will rub. The other issue is there are a few bad quality products that make it to the shelf. While these guys will replace no problem, it’s frustrating if you’ve ordered there and then for a job planned next day or on the weekend etc. I also think the top strap is a bit close the back of the knee so can cause rubbing but to be fair this is much down to individual fit, overall they are super knee pads!

Pros:

  • Good in the wet
  • Good on uneven ground
  • Nice flat knee pads give good balance

Cons:

  • Hard to justify paying the highest price
  • Some QC issues

Last on the list is a little different to the other selections and it’s the best value for money no doubt. These knee pads are designed to fit in the pouches of work trousers. This is very much a dry weather thing though because the fact they sit behind your trouser pouch means their only benefit is saving the knees so to speak. When I reviewed these a couple of years ago I was surprised just how good they are, since then, thousands of positive reviews have cropped up online and as a result made these one of the best sellers in the UK!

I actually really like this design as it keeps all the straps off my leg, just dangling in the knee pouch is far less annoying than having a strap tied around me. If you wear them for longer periods, you will actually stop noticing them, even when walking. That’s a real plus and definitely deserve their place on this review.Like with all pads though there are some issues with this type of knee protection!

Firstly everything hinges on how well fitting your trousers are. You need to ensure that the trousers lines up nicely with your knee, and if they are loose on the knee and you come down at an angle then it’s entirely possible the pad only half braces the fall! That’s a fail then! But, that is down to trouser selection, not the quality of this knee pad. Get the trouser right and this is probably the most comfortable and agile way to protect your knees of all the options out there.

With them not being waterproof you would probably say these are best used in the Summer or in combination with some other form of waterproof trousers leg. Talking of waterproof, don’t forge to take them out when you put your trousers in the washing machine. While they are a hard type of foam, the heat might not do them any favours over time.

In terms of padding they are not all that thick but they really do the job well. They are easily the best protection for the knees in the garden pound for pound, you just need the trousers too!

Pros:

  • Very comfortable
  • Best value for money hands down
  • Quality lasting knee pads
  • Made from pressure absorbing foam

Cons:

  • Need to fork out on trousers with knee pouches

Why buy gardening knee pads?

Knee pads make life a lot easier If you are into gardening, or a kneeler, that’s good too. There’s a lot of poking and digging in the soil to remove the pesky slugs and weeds. On all fours  with a hand fork or hand cultivator takes its toll without knee pads, I end up on my bottom, which ends up wet and dirty! The best knee pads offer excellent cushioning but not so bulky that it hinders movement or feels uncomfortable. Knee pads should not slip or cause discomfort, nor should they cost the Earth, so I have reviewed all the best knee pads to help save you a little time.


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence.

View all posts by Terry Smith