The 10 Best Garden Kneelers
Bench Kneeler Or Kneeler Pad: Which Is A Better Option?
This can be a hanging bag with pockets, or a built-in lidded compartment.
They are also prone to cracking if exposed to the sun for too long.
The first choice you must make when buying a garden kneeler is whether to buy a pad or a bench-style model. Kneeler pads are ideal for people who don't spend countless hours gardening, have a small garden, or can't spare much storage space. They are comprised of a simple foam pad, usually with one or two cut-out handles for easy lifting. Most are water resistant and extremely lightweight, so if you struggle lifting heavy objects, they are a very good choice.
There are a few drawbacks to kneeler pads, however. While they work well for short gardening stints, they can get uncomfortable if used for long periods of time. You can't use them as a bench if you get tired of kneeling and want to change your position for a little bit. Another serious drawback is their tendency to crush anything underneath them. This makes them best for use in grassy areas or on sidewalks. Unlike bench kneelers, they are not safe for use between columns of plants, unless there is a large gap between them.
Kneeler benches are slightly more complex. They are comprised of a frame of some kind and a pad. This allows you to flip them over, and use them as either a bench or pad. Bench kneelers are generally made with a metal or plastic frame, each of which has its own benefits. Metal frame models are slightly heavier and prone to rusting if left in the elements, but they are often foldable, which allows for easy and compact storage. Plastic models are lighter, but usually cannot be folded. They are also prone to cracking if exposed to the sun for too long.
Bench kneelers offer a few notable advantages over pad models. The ability to flip them over and use them as a bench makes them considerably more comfortable to use for long periods of time. Many bench kneelers will also have some form of storage for gardening tools. This can be a hanging bag with pockets, or a built-in lidded compartment. Finally, bench kneelers are more suitable for use in between rows of flowers. Unlike pads, they don't make contact with the ground over a large surface area. Instead, the only contact points are the two legs, which are relatively thin. This makes it easy to place them between even the closest-planted flowers.
Additional Features To Consider When Choosing A Garden Kneeler
Now that you have decided whether you need a bench kneeler or a pad, it is time to consider additional features you may want. If choosing a bench kneeler, it is always important to check the weight capacity. Ideally it is best to choose a model that can support your weight and then some. This way you don't have to worry about it breaking if you happen to be holding on to a heavy bag of dirt while sitting on it. It also ensures that all other members of your family can use it.
For others, a folding bench kneeler can be easily stored and offers more versatile usage options.
Ease of transport and storage should also be major factors in your buying decision. It is never a good idea to buy a model that you don't have room to store. If you have to leave your kneeler outside all of the time, it won't last as long and you will probably wind up having to buy a new model sooner than you would like. For some, this may mean buying a thin pad that can be stored just about anywhere. For others, a folding bench kneeler can be easily stored and offers more versatile usage options. Neither bench models nor kneeler pads are particularly heavy, but the two do vary significantly in weight. Bench kneelers will generally weigh in the three to six pound range, but pads may weigh as little as a few ounces. If carrying heavy objects is difficult for you, you might be better off choosing a pad, despite their other limitations.
Finally, you should consider adjustability and storage capacity. It is always nice to have a kneeler with on-board storage for gardening tools. This allows you to keep everything you need on hand as you work your way around your garden. A model with adjustable height can be extremely convenient, too. When you are working on plants in the ground, you can set it to a lower height, so you don't have to bend as much. Then, when trimming leaves or pruning plants at waist or chest level, you can raise the height a bit, so you don't have to reach up as high.
Avoiding Knee And Back Pain When Gardening
Many people who garden regularly suffer from gardener's knee, which often takes the form of tendonitis or prepatellar bursitis. It is also not uncommon to suffer from back pain and soreness after long gardening sessions. Luckily, in addition to using a kneeler, there are a few simple tips you can follow to reduce the chances that you will experience such symptoms.
It is also not uncommon to suffer from back pain and soreness after long gardening sessions.
Just like before exercising, you should always take a few minutes to stretch before you start gardening. Take a brisk 10 minute walk and do a few stretches that hit your lower back, hamstrings, and quads. This will help to loosen up your joints, which will make kneeling more comfortable. This is especially important if you plan to lift heavy bags of dirt or mulch. When lifting heavy bags, know your limit. If something is too heavy for you, use a wheelbarrow or put some of the dirt or mulch into a smaller container for easier transport.
Don't forget to take your time when gardening, as well. Just like Rome wasn't built in a day, neither will your garden be. Don't strain yourself by trying to get everything done in a single day. Instead, garden in short sessions, take breaks as needed, and take time to smell the roses, as it were. This also gives you a chance to sit back appreciate the progress you have made. One last tip is to vary your tasks to prevent over-stressing a muscle group. If you have been kneeling for a while, move on to another activity that requires you to stand, like pruning branches.