For knitters with hand pain, arthritis, or grip issues, finding a comfortable needle can be a challenge; but don't give up a favorite activity without trying one of these specially-designed ergonomic knitting needles. Our favorites are listed in this review of the best ergonomic knitting needles.
Square-sided, beautiful needles
Manufacturer KnitPro is a needle maker popular all around the world. Their needles — available in many different materials and styles — are distribued under the brand Knitter’s Pride in North America. You may already be familiar with their well-known KnitPro / Knitter’s Pride “Royale” needles in 11 radiant colors with electroplated brass tips, which we recommend in our guide to the sharpest knitting needles.
For knitters with hand pain or grip issues, Knit Pro / Knitter’s Pride produces a special line of needles with flat edges as opposed to a tubular shape, making them easier to hold without dropping or gripping tightly. You may be wondering would you ever want to knit with a non-tubular needle. Don’t worry, the stitches won’t come out like little squares.
First of all, the square edges of these needles keep the needle from rolling away — which would be convenient for nearly any knitter, not just one with hand pain. The square edges also keep the needles from rolling against eachother, for example, when working socks in the round with double-pointed needles). Most importantly, the flat sides of the needles lay naturally and comfortably against the flat sides of a knitter’s fingers. Imagine a needle that didn’t seem to always be ’slipping away’, and you have some idea of what it’s like to knit with a cubic needle.
When looking for a more comfortable needle, most knitters avoid cold, slippery aluminum needles – in fact, few metal needles will offer the warmth and texture needed by most knitters with hand pain or grip issues. Instead, look for more flexible acrylic, wood, or bamboo needles which warm up with use. The Cubics needles are available in straight, double-pointed, fixed, and interchangeable circular styles, and in two materials: brass and birch. The electroplated brass KnitPro Nova Cubics needles are marketed under Knitter’s Pride Nova Cubics Platina in North America, for those who prefer the speed or texture of a metal needle. For the ultimate in comfort, check out the Knitter’s Pride Rose Cubics (AKA KnitPro “Symfonie” Rose Cubics) have a laminated birch base stained and textured like rosewood, which warms in the hands with use. Both are excellent ergonimic knitting needles and are widely available.
Triangular with a tear-drop point
The award-winning German-engineered Prym Ergonomics knitting needles are made from a flexible, high-performance synthetic material shaped similar to the Cubics, but with three sides. Each tip ends in a characteristic teardrop shape, intended to prevent accidental dropping of the stitch or yarn. The Prym Circular Knitting Needles have a no-memory ultra-flexible coated steel cable and were awarded the “Red Dot Design Award” in 2016. In addition, these needles are available in double-pointed) and straight styles.
Some knitters have reported problems with the teardrop shape breaking off the needle tip, so if you find you use a lot of force in your knitting, these may not be the needles for you. They have a more ‘technical’ look to them, in a creamy white matte finish. As an added bonus, the rounded tip makes these needles ideal for getting past airport security when flying with knitting needles.
Olive Wood Needles Warm to the Touch
Addi Olive Wood needles offer a lovely alternative to the popular Addi line of nickel-coated metal needles. The Addi Olive Wood Needles crafted from non-fruit bearing olive trees and finished with a plant-based oil which defines the unique wood grain of each tip and keeps the surface slick for snag-free knitting. The smooth hardwood tips have a defined taper and warm to body temperature quickly, making them far more comfortable for knitters with arthritis or hand pain than conventional metal needles. Available both as fixed and interchangeable circular needles, the Addi Olive Wood needles are a gorgeous complement to or upgrade from the original nickel-coated Turbos.
Vibrant, lightweight acrylic needles
KnitPro/Knitter’s Pride has a affordable line of needles made from brightly-colored acrylic resin — a more grippy texture than aluminum or metal, and more flexible for knitters contorting their hands. The KnitPro Trendz are solid, semi-translucent and brightly colored; while the Knitter’s Pride Marblz are hand-mixed with a unique multicolor pattern to every needle. The acrylic material is ultra-lightweight and warms up quickly, which helped one reviewer who recently had orthopedic surgery on their elbow.