Best knee pads for work

Medical Supplies & Equipment

If your work knee pads become wet, let them air dry in a well-ventilated area before their next use. When certain layers become saturated, they can compress — which compromises cushioning and protection.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which work knee pad is best?

Does your career or hobby involve kneeling on various surfaces? Direct contact between your knees and cement, pavement, or tough surfaces can result in pain and potential injuries. Invest in a pair of work knee pads, and you’ll wish you bought them sooner.

Work knee pads have a hard shell and inner padding to provide a winning combination of protection and cushioning. Most styles fasten with a flexible strap or Velcro system, so they’re designed to flex with natural movement. Different types of work call for different designs and materials, so finding the right style of work knee pads is crucial for maximum comfort and protection.

Protection at work is of the utmost importance, so take a look at our buying guide on work knee pads. Our favorite pair, the NoCry Professional Knee Pads, feature a crisscross strap design that keeps them in place all day long.

What to know before you buy knee pads for work

Choosing the right knee pads for the job

  • Flooring and carpentry: Some carpenters prefer leather-covered work knee pads for their flexibility and tough-wear qualities. They’re especially helpful if you need to slide or scoot across the floor, especially during carpet installation.
  • Roofing and hardscaping: Those who do roofing or hardscaping have direct contact with shingles, bricks, and pavement. It’s no surprise their work knee pads should have a hard outer shell or plate. This prevents the knee from touching jagged surfaces and provides better shock absorption.
  • Landscaping: Professional landscapers often choose work knee pads with hard plates, especially if they’re working on soil mixed with pebbles, rocks, or roots. Casual gardeners, on the other hand, usually work on grass and soft soil. Soft-shelled, flexible knee pads usually do the trick for them.
  • Commercial and residential services: HVAC technicians, plumbers, painters, and mechanics often use work knee pads. Because they spend time crawling or kneeling in uncarpeted areas, they tend to prefer styles with harder plates. For those who use a leaning pad, however, softer, flexible work knee pads can be used, since they’re a secondary form of protection.

What to look for in a quality knee pad for work

Padding and cushioning

This layer has direct contact with the knee, so it’s the softest part of the entire pad. More often than not, it’s made from gel, memory foam, or densely-packed polyester. Gel cushioning and high-quality memory foam are premium materials found in more expensive options.

Wrap

Work knee pads are covered in materials that are both durable and flexible, like neoprene, latex, or spandex. Some styles also feature mesh panels to promote airflow around the pad. Certain work knee pads also have materials that aren’t flexible, namely woven ones like Oxford, to help the pads retain their shape in specific areas.

Fasteners

Hook-and-loop Velcro straps are the most popular fastening styles for work knee pads. Straps are usually made from elastic or nylon webbing. The majority of work knee pads have two straps, whereas others include as many as four to provide a customizable fit.

Price

Work knee pads with modest cushioning and coverage cost around $20. For those with gel cushioning and protection that extends to the lower thigh, expect to spend closer to $30. If you need more involved articulation features or a speciality pair, expect to spend $40 to $80.

Best knee pads for work FAQ

Q. Can I use work knee pads for skateboarding or other extreme outdoor sports?

A. For all intents and purposes, you could, but they’re not ideal. While they look similar to skateboarding pads, they don’t offer protection and cushioning in the same areas. Work knee pads may also slide down pants while you’re riding, which is a safety hazard.

Q. The elastic straps on my work knee pads feel overstretched. Is this common?

A. Yes. After extended periods of wear, especially when elastic is stretched to be taut, the tiny bands degrade or snap. As a result, you’ll probably notice puckering or slack around certain parts of the strap, namely in high-friction areas in the hook-and-loop system.

What are the best knee pads for work to buy?

Top work knee pad

NoCry’s Professional Knee Pads

NoCry’s Professional Knee Pads

What you should know: Total cushioning with EVA foam padding and an inner gel layer.

What you’ll love: Double straps with quick-release detail. Polyester mesh is breathable.

What you should consider: Elastic can bunch up if they slide right behind your knee.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top work knee pad for the money

Minor Miracle Home Solutions’ Premium Knee Pads

Minor Miracle Home Solutions’ Premium Knee Pads

What you should know: Made to last and even comes with a five-year guarantee.

What you’ll love: Exaggerated curve at the top of the knee for superior protection. Straps are easy to adjust.

What you should consider: Straps must be adjusted for a tighter fit, otherwise they may slide down pants.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

DeWALT’s Professional Knee Pads

DeWALT’s Professional Knee Pads

What you should know: Triple-layer design with neoprene, gel, and EVA foam. Reputable knee pads from a recognized brand.

What you’ll love: Neoprene layer is popular among roofers for eliminating slipping. Clips hold pads in place.

What you should consider: Almost twice as expensive as some work knee pads but worth the investment.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.