LAST UPDATED: June 3, 2019
Best Mechanic's Creepers: Make Undercarriage Automotive Work Comfortable
Reach those troublesome spots underneath your car with these top mechanic's creeper
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON June 3, 2019
Reaching the undercarriage of a car can be difficult when it comes to routine or unexpected automotive maintenance. A good mechanic's creeper does the job of getting you under a vehicle and supporting your body while working for long hours at a time. The best creepers are easy to move around, comfortable, and slim enough to get you under low vehicles if needed. Here's our guide to the best mechanics creepers.
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Why Buy a Mechanic's Creeper
- Reach hard-to-reach spots. Depending on the type of vehicle, the undercarriage can be very difficult to access without a creeper with swivel caster wheels. Low ground clearance, rough ground, and hanging automotive parts all create an obstacle course a good creeper can help you navigate.
- Stay comfortable. Longer automotive maintenance requires extra support and comfort to get through if you don't want a sore back at the end of it all. Padded shop creepers have a good deal of ergonomic support to keep your back comfortable as much as possible.
Types of Mechanic's Creepers
Traditional car creepers are nothing more than a large plank of wood with casters attached to the bottom. This design, while not the most comfortable, is very effective at reaching tight spots underneath a car due to the low profile. Some come with an adjustable headrest and extra padding to offer more comfort and support.
Contoured car creepers take the same basic design approach as traditional creepers but with some extra curves along the main surface. These curves contour to the body's shape, hugging these areas more for better support. These curves can be along the sides or top to support the back.
For some extra versatility, folding mechanic's creepers tend to transform into a seat or stool you can work from when servicing the sides of a vehicle. The padding tends to be thicker on these creepers, especially around the headrest that often doubles as the seat.
Top Brands of Mechanic's Creepers
Torin offers a wide range of different lifting products like service and bottle jacks and stands. In addition to the large vehicle lifters, the company also offers a line of mechanic’s tools, organizers, and creepers that make automotive maintenance easier, quicker, and more comfortable. For creepers, check out the Big Red Creeper for a great option to consider.
Owned by Shinn Fu Company of America (SFA), Pro-Lift is a line of creepers, jacks, stands, wenches, and other heavy-duty movers. SFA has been making automotive accessories for more than 40 years and has a large presence in distributing hydraulic lifting equipment. The company's Z Creeper line is a good contender for one of the best creeper lines available.
Mechanic's Creeper Pricing
- $50 and under: Budget mechanic's creepers tend to be relatively simple in design. Most will have a basic plank with minimal padding and average casters to move around.
- $50-$100: If you want a high-quality creeper that isn't necessarily professional-grade, this is the range to check out. Within this range, most creepers have better padding and casters to make automotive maintenance more ergonomic and comfortable.
- $100 and above: This is largely the professional-level range of creepers. Many creepers here have thick padding, large casters, and ergonomic contours to better support the body as you roll around under a vehicle.
Lying on a solid plank of wood or metal can quickly become uncomfortable after a while. Worse, it can lead to pain and other issues in the back. This makes padding along the top of a creeper important. With extra padding, you get extra support and comfort so you can work longer without worrying about the health of your back. Pay attention to the thickness of the padding when considering different creeper options.
To move around, a creeper needs a set of high-quality casters. Most come with either four or six casters placed around the frame to distribute the weight equally. The size and surface of the casters are important. Larger wheels with grippy edges make it easier to move around the uneven ground or over small debris.
- Mobility: Since a creeper is meant to move around to different parts of a vehicle, mobility is quite important in the design and function of a creeper. Beyond the rolling casters, mobility is influenced by the size and shape of the creeper. Low-Profile design makes it easier to get around vehicles with low clearance. Portability features like built-in handles also help store the creeper when not in use.
- Clearance: Good clearance, in general, is the most important thing to have for a creeper to be effective. Clearance is partly influenced by the vehicle itself and how much you can lift it safely, but the creeper's design also comes into play. Here, smaller caster wheels and a narrow frame contribute to a low-profile design.
Best Mechanic's Creepers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Omega 91400 Mechanic’s Creeper is our choice for the Best Overall creeper. This free-rolling creeper has a low-profile design for getting underneath cars, SUVs, and trucks with ease. You’ll have the extra workspace you need to maneuver, reach for tools, and get some leverage.
This Omega creeper has some nice premium features. For one, we like the extra padding throughout the length of the creeper, making long days working underneath a car a little more bearable. Also, the 91400 has six casters to let you roll easily and change angles without straining yourself. That feature alone will save fatigue and frustration when you’re completing a tough repair.
We know that we mentioned having six casters as being a great benefit of the Omega 91400, but they’re only a benefit if you receive all six in your package. Several users have stated they were missing casters when they first opened their package. Also, the material that coats the padding could use some improvement, as it’s prone to showing wear prematurely.
Like some of the other creepers in Pro-Lift's line, the C-2036D features the company's unique folding frame that transformers the creeper into a padded seat. Unlike some of the more expensive options in the lineup, however, this creeper is all about saving for the budget-oriented customers. As a result, you'll notice a slimmer build with this creeper that reduces weight and cost.
The versatility of this creeper, given its folding frame, is where it really shines. The configuration process is pretty quick, especially with the lightweight frame. Despite the slim build, the creeper does a good job of supporting larger weights near the upper end of its maximum capacity range. The six casters also roll easily over uneven garage floors with small debris lying around.
Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks created by the creeper's budget-oriented design. First and foremost, the small wheels require a relatively smooth surface that's free from major cracks; otherwise, the creeper will get stuck in its tracks. Second, the cushion's vinyl doesn't have the same high-quality construction as the frame itself. The fabric can tear easily, and the foam underneath starts to become loose after a while.
The Torin Big Red creeper sports a fairly traditional design with heavy-duty construction meant for professional or average use without spending too much. The full padded bench is meant to provide a high degree of comfort during casual automotive tasks, while the adjustable headrest offers a greater degree of ergonomic support than traditional creepers.
Using the Big Red, including moving around and adjusting the headrest all while lying down, is fairly straightforward. The padding along the entire length of the creeper offers a lot of support during lengthy automotive procedures without applying too much pressure to any particular spot.
The only trouble the creeper can encounter is on uneven garage surfaces. The casters roll smoothly but have a difficult time when the ground isn't even or there is small debris or rocks around. The creeper's bulk and length also add to the problem, since the awkward shape requires an even support surface for the best rolling performance.
The Lisle 97102 Plastic Creeper comes in black as well as a variety of other colors, including blue and red. It features lumbar support and an ergonomic design that molds to your body for comfort. It also has a padded headrest that is replaceable. The creeper has a 300-pound weight capacity, and it's 38 inches long, 17.5 inches wide, and 4 inches tall. It has a 7/8-inch floor clearance to provide space for air hoses, cords, etc.
One of the best things about this creeper is that it's easy to clean. The material is resistant to fluids such as fuel, grease, and solvents. It's also very strong and durable and made of impact-resistant, blow-molded, high-density polyethylene plastic. The creeper weighs 11.5 pounds and is relatively lightweight. It has handles and is easy to transport and store. In addition, it has six corrosion-resistant, 2-inch ball bearing swivel rollers that you can easily pop in and out.
However, users complain that the wheels aren't the best quality. In addition, the creeper is not particularly comfortable on your back, and you may get your clothing caught on the wheels if you're not careful.
This Black Low Profile Z-Creeper from Omega has a 450-pound weight capacity, making it ideal for larger individuals. It features a two-in-one design, so you can use it as a mechanic’s creeper or fold it into a Z shape to use it as a seat. The product features a thick padded material for comfort and six swivel casters, so it's easy to slide under tight spots. It also has a heavy-duty frame for durability.
The creeper is approximately 41 inches by 4 inches by 26 inches, and it weighs 31.5 pounds. It has a low-profile design, so you can use it in a variety of spaces. Plus, it's foldable to accommodate a range of sitting positions. The manufacturer provides a one-year warranty in case you have any problems with the unit. Overall, users love the wheels, which are good-quality and better than what you find on some rival options.
Unfortunately, there have been some complaints that the protective coating chips off prematurely, causing that particular section to rust. Also, it may look differently than it's depicted online, and you may not like the logos blazoned all over the unit.
You get two useful pieces in this set. The JEGS 81160 Creeper has a 350-pound weight capacity, while the accompanying air seat has a 250-pound weight capacity. The 42-inch-long creeper has a three-position adjustable headrest, while the seat (which is also adjustable) comes with an under-seat storage tray. The pieces are both made with memory foam padding for comfort.
The creeper has 1.75-inch ground clearance and is very sturdy. The items are also easy to assemble even if you're not mechanically inclined. The creeper is quite comfortable and rolls around smoothly. Plus, it's a great deal because you're getting two products at a decent price.
One downside is that the stool may lean to the side or sit crookedly during use. The wheels and hardware on the seat are also not the best quality.
The ATD 81051 Plastic Blow Molded Creeper is a great value and an upgraded version of the ATD 80150 with better casters and wheels. It is 39.75 inches long, 19 inches high, and 4.25 inches long. The creeper has a 1-inch ground clearance and comes with two molded-in tool trays. It can tolerate a weight of 300 pounds.
This creeper has six industrial-strength, three-inch rubber wheels that can traverse different types of terrain. It's also resistant to chemicals, grease, and oil. The creeper is easy to roll around and steer, and it doesn't flex or wobble. It's designed so you can turn on to your side without impacting your arms or shoulders. The biggest advantage is that it's less expensive than some other brands yet just as effective.
One downside is that this creeper doesn't provide any padding for your back, so it's not as comfortable as some other options. There have also been some complaints that some creepers are shipped with faulty casters on at least one wheel.
The AFF Heavy Duty 6-Wheel Padded Mechanic Creeper is 42-inches long by 21-inches wide by 3.5-inches high and weighs 21 pounds. It features a long and wide design so larger people can feel more comfortable when they're working on a project. The full-length center panel is padded with a 1 3/4-inch oil-resistant vinyl. It features six 2.5-inch swivel casters that move seamlessly in tight spots.
One of the notable features of this creeper is its drop frame, which aids in its mobility. It also features a two-bolt design, so the wheels are less likely to loosen and fail. It's a long-lasting unit that is very comfortable to use, and it has a weight capacity between 250 and 300 pounds. You can also adjust the headrest, which is a convenient feature.
However, since it's so wide, it may be a hassle to roll between big rigs near tandem trailers. Another downside is that this creeper is a little more expensive than some other brands.
If you're looking for a creeper with a large weight capacity, consider this one from Omega. It can accommodate 440 pounds and features a single piece of blow-molded HDPE plastic that is lightweight, strong, and impact-resistant. The creeper is 48-inches long and 23 inches wide, which is larger than many competitor options.
It comes with six 3-inch, industrial-strength, multi-terrain swivel casters that are very maneuverable and can withstand chemicals, grease, and oil. It's ergonomically designed with a padded headrest for comfort. The creeper also includes two molded-in tool trays for convenience. It has a carrying handle, so it's easy to position and move around. Even users over 300 pounds give this model two-thumbs-up for its heavy-duty construction. Overall, it's very stable, rolls well on concrete, and is easy to assemble.
One downside is the creeper may be missing some hardware, such as the bolts or bushings, when it’s shipped to your home. Also, the ball bearings in the wheels are a little small, which can decrease its effectiveness.
The Pro-Lift Mechanic Plastic Creeper is made of HDPE plastic in a single blow-molded design. It weighs just 10 pounds and is impact-resistant with a 300-pound carrying capacity. The creeper is 36 inches long by 16 inches wide and has a carrying handle for convenience. The six industrial-strength swivel casters are 2 inches in size and are chemical-, oil-, and grease-resistant.
This creeper features a rugged ergonomic design that is both comfortable and durable. It also has a padded headrest that provides added relief. No assembly is required, and it won't sag under your weight unless you exceed the weight capacity. Overall, it's quite sturdy and is a good investment even if you don't use it very often. In addition, it comes with a one-year limited warranty if you notice any issues with the materials or workmanship.
One complaint about this creeper is that the wheels aren't the best quality and can break rather easily, i.e., the ball bearings may fall out. You also have to be careful because some users received units without pillows.
- If you use a mechanics creeper with jack stands, make sure you use some redundant stands in case load-bearing stands fail.
- A tool tray or organizer makes it easy to keep tools within reach when using a mechanic's creeper. A sliding tool holder is the best way to roll your tools right along with you.
- For storage, hang the creeper on a wall when not in use. This is easy to do when the creeper has a built-in handle.
Q. How high should a mechanic's creeper be?
A. Lower tends to be better. A low creeper helps with clearance with the undercarriage. If you need to work on an uneven or rough surface, however, something taller with larger casters may be warranted.
Q. How do I clean a creeper?
A. A good mechanic's creeper should have an easy-to-clean surface, especially around the padding. Vinyl and other heavy-duty fabrics tend to be the easiest to clean with a good wipedown or disinfectant.
Q. How much padding do I need?
A. Most creepers come with less than an inch of padding, which is enough for most routine maintenance applications. The right amount is a personal preference, but more tends to be better. At the very least, you should have plenty of padding around the head.
Our top pick for the best mechanic's creeper is the Omega 91400 Mechanic's Creeper, which offers extra padding for enhanced comfort.
If you don't mind a slimmer build and lightweight frame, the Pro-Lift C-2036D offers some unique features with a smaller price tag.