As parents, our main concern when our children are out playing on their bikes is safety. Every year, many children go to the emergency room due to bike injuries (1).
We always tell our kids to wear a helmet to protect their heads. But just like a head injury, scraped knees and bruised elbows can dampen a child’s enthusiasm for biking or other sports.
By getting them to wear the proper gear, you can minimize their chance of injuries. Finding the best knee and elbow pads for kids is a great place to start.
Who Needs Knee and Elbow Pads?
Every child can use a little more protection when riding their bike or scooter. Whether they’re two-wheel newbies or mini daredevils, knee and elbow pads can help boost their confidence.
For timid children who are still learning, pads make them feel secure and not scared of falling. They’ll give them that much-needed confidence to get back up and continue if they do fall.
For more aggressive riders, perhaps doing stunts or riding on tracks, knee and elbow pads become essentials.
Going over jumps or up and down skateboard ramps can result in a trip to the ER. Pads can’t totally prevent injuries, but they can reduce them (2).
Even a small child who is just starting to ride a balance bike can benefit. At this age, falls are inevitable. Toddlers tend to fall with their hands first, which is why the elbows and hands, especially require protection.
But if your child is confident on their bike and only using it to go to school or cruise around the neighborhood, pads might not be necessary. For leisure riders, wearing a good helmet should suffice.
What to Look for
To ensure your little one is protected and comfortable, you must consider the materials used. The outer shell is generally hard and durable, often made of premium plastic to withstand falls.
Under the hard shell you’ll find padding. For knee and elbow pads, manufacturers usually utilize impact-absorbing foam or polyurethane. This is ideal to look for to ensure full protection.
Consider the fabric. Because sweating occurs during physical activity, you want something breathable to keep your child comfortable. Cotton or mesh are two excellent materials for this — some pads include both.
For comfort, it’s a great idea to pick flexible pads that can move with your child.
A superb choice is sleeve pads — these work similarly to compression pads, which increase the blood flow.
They’re comfortable since they curve with your child’s legs and arms.
The Best Kids Knee and Elbow Pads of 2020
After spending the week looking through expert blogs and parent reviews, we found our top five favorites. Here are the best knee and elbow pads for kids.
1. Innovative Soft Kids’ Knee and Elbow Pads
This set of knee and elbow pads from Simply Kids received stellar reviews with parents praising their softness. The collection is made of skin-friendly neoprene material — usually used for wetsuits. It’s stretchy and breathable, something your child will love to wear.
The pads will keep your child safe with three layers of buffer materials. These heavy-duty layers work to absorb impact should the wearer fall.
As well as superb protection, your little one still has a full range of motion thanks to the flexibility of the material.
This is a full set, suitable for a little biker. In the bundle, there are two knee and elbow pads, along with fingerless bike gloves, a mesh bag, and fun stickers. The sizes offered include small, medium, or large, ideal for children aged from 2 to 11 years.
There are also several colors and designs your youngster can choose from, suitable for girls and boys.
- Ultra-soft, flexible material.
- Three layers of impact-absorbing material.
- A full package of pads, gloves, and a mesh bag.
- Lots of fun designs and prints available.
- The fingerless gloves are a bit small.
|Recommended age||2 to 11 years|
|Color||A wide range of colors and patterns to choose from|
|Suitable for||All sports|
2. Child 3-in-1 Knee and Elbow Pads By JBM
For older children, we present this set from JBM, which has been well received by parents.
The set consists of soft EVA material with additional padding. For protection, there are robust plastic plates to absorb impact. The pads are suitable for most extreme sports such as skateboarding, inline skating, and bike riding.
Parents praise how adjustable they are. Each pad includes several elastic straps, which make them suitable for a range of leg and arm sizes. The elbow pads can suit sizes from 6 to 9 inches, whereas the knee pads suit 8 to 15 inches.
Included in the bundle are also wrist pads, and JBM provides a one-year warranty.
- Durable, soft material.
- Suitable for various sports.
- Adjustable elastic straps.
- Stays in place during activities.
- The wrist pads are small.
- The material can feel scratchy at times.
|Color||Red, blue, black, pink, or yellow|
|Material||EVA and plastic|
|Suitable for||All sports|
3. Knee Pad Elbow Pads By Bosoner
Our pick for girls is this cute set from Bosoner. The knee and elbow pads are drenched in pink and purple, available in sizes small and medium, and suitable for ages 3 to 15 years.
Your girl will adore these protective pads — they’re comfy and made of ventilated EVA foam. The material breathes, helping the rider keep cool, even during the hot days. There are elastic straps that can be adjusted to suit the wearer.
The set is multi-functional, so your little daredevil can use them while she skates, rides her scooter, or bikes around the park. They’re lightweight and flexible, while still capable of protecting from falls and tumbles.
Included in the bundle are wrist pads and a mesh bag to keep the set in. If your girl doesn’t like pink or purple, they’re also available in blue and silver.
- Breathable EVA foam material.
- Flexible and highly adjustable straps.
- Several colors are available.
- The wrist pads are too flexible, so they will only protect against scrapes, not jarred wrists.
- They don’t hold up well for repeated heavy spills.
|Recommended age||3 to 15 years|
|Color||Purple, pink, blue, and silver/black.|
|Suitable for||All sports|
4. Paw Patrol Knee & Elbow Pad By Nickelodeon
For toddler boys, we found this set from Nickelodeon. It’s a Paw Patrol-inspired bundle, decked out in fun colors and the famous patrol team.
Your little guy gets Chase, Rubble, Rocky, and Marshall. They’ll help him do tricks at the park or go faster on the bike path. Along with the knee and elbow pads, junior gets a pair of fingerless gloves.
In addition to the fun theme, the set is durable, too. It features adjustable Velcro for the straps, ensuring a comfy fit. Then it includes a breathable mesh material, which keeps the protected areas fresh and cool.
The set is recommended for children aged 3 to 5. However, a few parents have noted it’s more suitable for ages 2 to 4. The Velcro straps make it easy to adjust if the kit is a little large to begin with.
- Super fun for little Nickelodeon fans.
- Adjustable Velcro straps.
- Features breathable mesh.
- Also protects the palms with the included fingerless gloves.
- The size runs small.
- Could do with more padding, but still is adequate for light spills.
|Recommended age||2 to 4 years|
5. Knee and Elbow Pad Set By Strider
For the littlest riders, we recommend this set from Strider. Strider is a reliable brand, known for its durable balance bikes, so these protective pads are worth a look.
Suitable for children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years, they’re great for tots who are riding balance bikes. They will protect your little one from impact, thanks to the premium plastic shells.
The set is stylish and more adult-looking than others for this age group, with a minimalist black and white design.
Your youngster can play as much as they like. Once their day is done, you can throw the knee and elbow pads straight in the washer, which is a nice perk for parents.
The set is easy to put on and adjust. Strider included a hook and loop closure, so your child can put them on by themselves.
- Excellent for balance bike riders.
- Made of premium materials.
- Hard plastic shell gives great protection.
- The material behind the straps is scratchy and a little irritating.
- Some parents complained about the sewing on the straps coming apart with moderate use.
|Recommended age||1.5 to 5 years|
|Color||Black and white|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Recommended age||Color||Material||Suitable for||Warranty|
|Simply Kids Knee & Elbow Pads||Softest Pads||2 – 11 yrs||A wide range of colors||Neoprene||All sports||1-year|
|JBM Child 3-in-1||Older Kids||Youth||5 colors||EVA and plastic||All sports||1-year|
|Bosoner Knee & Elbow Pads||Girls||3 – 15 yrs||5 colors||EVA foam||All sports||N/A|
|Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Pads||Small Boys||2 – 4 yrs||Themed||Mesh||Biking||N/A|
|Strider Knee & Elbow Pad||Small Riders||1.5 – 5 yrs||Black & white||Premium plastic||Biking||N/A|
We always want our children to stay safe. Injuries can quickly convince a kid to give up their sport, which would be unfortunate. By finding the best knee and elbow pads for kids, you can help prevent this from happening to your child.
The best pads are made of good material that provides shock absorption, minimizing the impact on your youngster. They should also be comfortable to wear and flexible.
Make sure you’re there to cheer on your kid as they improve their skills. Every child likes showing off their new talent to their parents.