As hobbies go, crochet is a very gentle activity as it involves a lot of soothing, repetitive stitches. Over long periods, however, this repetitive movement and constant tension in your wrists, palm, and digits can lead to discomfort and pain, especially for those with arthritis and similar conditions. For this reason, many crocheters opt for ergonomic crochet hooks over regular ones.
Ergonomic crochet hooks are designed with thicker/wider handles making them more comfortable to grip compared with standard slim hooks. Many crocheters report reduced pain and the ability to crochet for longer periods with an ergonomically-designed hook.
Whether you suffer from a painful condition such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or tendinitis or simply wish to crochet for longer without getting cramp, an ergonomic crochet hook is well worth trying (I tried one a few years ago and never looked back!). Let’s look at these hooks in more detail, plus our round-up of the best ergonomic crochet hooks on the market both for beginners and those with existing nerve and joint pain.
What are Ergonomic Crochet Hooks?
Ergonomic crochet hooks are unique hooks made with enlarged or curved handles that fit the contours of your hand. Compared to regular basic hooks that have a straight, uniform design, ergonomic hooks are designed with a soft cushion grip or a thicker handle in the case of a handmade wooden Furls hook which can be made specifically to your palm width measurements.
Bespoke designs like the latter are inevitably quite pricey, but the majority of ergonomic hooks are super affordable and come in various shapes to suit your crocheting style from wide and flat aluminum thumb-grip hooks like these, to curved handle hooks that sit perfectly in the palm of your hand like this style.
Why are Ergonomic Crochet Hooks Better?
Ergonomic crochet hooks are generally viewed as the more favorable hook to choose from simply because they help to alleviate pain in your hands, arms, and wrists while crocheting, allowing you to crochet for longer and get more out of your hobby!
At the end of the day, the hook style best suited to you will depend on several factors including your hook-holding preference (i.e. ‘knife’ or ‘pencil’), the hook material you prefer (metal, wood, plastic), the overall hook length, and whether the hook tip is tapered (rounded head and smooth throat) or ‘inline’ (flat deeper hook with a pointier end).
How Do You Crochet Ergonomically?
To do anything “ergonomically” is defined as doing something in the safest, most efficient manner possible. So to crochet ergonomically, crafter Andee Graves from Interweave recommends “sitting upright with your feet on the floor or a footrest, shoulders relaxed and elbows at your side. Crocheting at the table or with a pillow on your lap can also help minimize tension and muscle fatigue.”
Top Tips for Pain-free Crocheting:
Other than using ergonomic crochet hooks, you can also try these things to crochet more comfortably…
1. Don’t forget to stretch – gently roll out your shoulders and stretch your fingers, arms, and wrists in between long crochet sessions. Here are some great exercises to follow.
2. Try thumb stabilizers – these glove-like devices provide greater stability and support in your lower thumbs to help you craft with sore/weak thumbs.
4. Wear compression gloves – these gently compress the hands to increase blood circulation and provides warmth and greater stability when crocheting. This can be very helpful for those with arthritis as the compression helps to reduce inflammation and promote faster healing.
3 Best Ergonomic Crochet Hooks for Arthritis
These cute color-coded hooks by Boye are made with soft-grip rubber handles that are thick and rounded at the base to sit snugly in your palm. They also feature a wide, flattened thumb rest at the tip, making it perfect for those with joint pain and fatigue to crochet for much longer periods without experiencing aching or discomfort.
Customers also report that the non-slip rubber handle is warm to the touch, adding to their comfort while crocheting with arthritis and similar conditions.
Clover crochet hooks are engineered to be the most user-friendly crochet hooks ever due to their elastomer rubber handle with a wide thumb rest that extends the length of the hook (a feature that customers recovering from thumb surgery have praised immensely!)
The neck of the hook is also somewhere between a tapered and inline style, combining the best of both worlds as it allows the hook to insert more easily into tight stitches whilst hooking the working yarn more efficiently.
These hooks by Yarniss are slightly longer than a standard hook size with a chunky soft-grip handle and finished aluminum hook tips. These features make them ideal for those with arthritic hands as the thick silicone handles provide a more comfortable grip, whilst the smooth metal head means less yarn snagging, allowing yarn to glide more easily.
The slightly longer hook tip of these hooks also helps to reduce strain and tension while working as the lengthier hook portion allows you to work with multiple loops and chunkier yarn with greater ease.
3 Best Ergonomic Crochet Hooks for Carpal Tunnel
The user-friendly shape of these hooks by Athena’s Elements ensures those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome can crochet for longer periods without feeling pain.
The solid non-slip handles are designed to provide a sturdy grip at the base of your palm and at the thumb to provide greater control. The hooks themselves have a much longer shaft than regular hooks too and with a smooth metal finish, making it much easier to hook on multiple loops without snagging and glide into stitches with less effort.
For those that prefer the feel of a wooden crochet handle, these beautiful hooks by Coopay are made with hand-polished carbonized bamboo which reflects back the warmth of your hand as you work to ward off aches.
The long, smooth aluminum tips encourage more precise, effortless hooking in and out of stitches whilst the handle’s wide flattened panel allows for comfortable and secure thumb placement – adding up to a hook that doesn’t need to be held too tightly, reducing pain and fatigue in your wrist, hand, and digits.
These hooks almost resemble a kid’s toothbrush in their curved design, but this is what makes them so comfortable and effective for people with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and similar joint conditions.
The S-shaped silicone handle molds perfectly to your palm and thumb and has a hint of flexibility to it, maneuvering with you as you crochet to reduce cramping and discomfort in your hand and wrist. The smooth steel tip also aids in silkier yarn hooking and stitching.
3 Best Ergonomic Crochet Hooks for Beginners
For comfort and overall value, Clover Armour hooks are pretty hard to beat. These come in budget-friendly sets of the most popular hook sizes and are color-coded to help beginners distinguish between the different hook sizes needed for the project.
Whether or not you suffer from joint discomfort, these are well worth upgrading to from basic aluminum hooks when you start out to prevent any discomfort from long-term use down the line.
These pretty, lightweight hooks by Prym are made from plastic with colorful silicone handles for a comfy grip. The smooth and elongated hook tips make it ideal for gliding all yarn types across the shaft and allow you to work with multiple loops at one time.
The silicone handle material gives these hooks a slightly flexible quality and the rounded ergonomic base makes these super comfortable to hold. Again, these hooks are also color-coded to help beginners easily tell the sizes apart.
Clover Soft Touch hooks are loved by beginners and experienced crocheters alike (these are personally my go-to hooks for any project!). Unlike the colorful rubber handle of the Clover Armour hooks, Soft Touch hooks are made almost entirely of lightweight aluminum with a wide thumb rest and a resin grip pad in the center.
This makes them a joy to work with as the hook feels feather-light in your hand and you can crochet for hours without feeling like your hands or thumb becomes fatigued.
At the end of the day, you can’t be sure of which ergonomic hook will be a match made in heaven for your hand until you try them for yourself, so practice with a few different types to find the perfect crochet hook for you!