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An ergonomic workspace is becoming increasingly more important, especially for those who work from home. In addition to furniture like standing desks, kneeling chairs are a key element in setting up a healthy workstation.
“A kneeling chair is an ergonomic seating option for people looking for a comfortable workplace alternative while sitting at a desk all day,” says Dr. Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS of the Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pa. “Kneeling desk chairs are just what they sound like: a chair of sorts, reinforced by soft padding that you can kneel on while doing computer work.”
Most of these chairs have no direct back support, but they’re designed to keep your back straight. “This helps progressively strengthen your postural muscles over time,” says Dr. Conrad. And when kneeling chairs set your body at the proper angles, this can prevent the neck and lower back pain typically associated with sitting hunched over your computer, according to Dr. Conrad. Additionally, the knee support in these chairs reduces muscle fatigue in your legs. We did the research to present you with the best kneeling chairs for getting work done.
Best Overall: Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair
Though there are many kneeling chairs on the market, the Varier Variable Balans is the original kneeling chair designed by Norwegian industrial designer Peter Opsvik in 1979. As a “variable” chair, it can be used in various ways to help improve your posture at work; you can kneel on it or sit upright, and you can also place your feet on the floor or even sit sideways. The kneeling chair’s base is made of durable yet flexible wood in either black ash or natural ash, and fabric colors include black, dark blue, red, and more. The chair measures 28.8 x 21.3 x 4.1 inches, weighs 14.6 pounds, and has a weight limit of 240 pounds. It’s also the top kneeling chair choice of both Dr. Conrad and Tony Mazlish, founder and CEO of X-Chair.
Best Rocking: VIVO Wooden Rocking Kneeling Chair
If you like the feel of rocking chairs, even when at work, the VIVO Rocking Kneeling Chair is a great choice for you. It has a curved rocker frame and 4-inch thick mesh cushions, which are much thicker than many other kneeling chair cushions. This makes it ideal for rocking back and forth, a motion that can both calm you and relieve stress while strengthening your abdominal muscles and relieving spinal pressure. With a light wood base and a black cushion, this chair has dimensions of 17.3 x 28 x 22.3 inches, weighs 16.6 pounds, and can support up to 250 pounds. Plus, this kneeling chair is recommended by Dr. Conrad.
Best with Back Support: Fully Balans Kneeling Chair
With the added bonus of a backrest, the Fully Balans Kneeling Chair was designed through a collaboration with Hans Christian Mengshoel, who developed the concept of kneeling chairs in 1978. The chair supports your back at work and allows you to lean back and stretch, though it also positions your legs at a 120-degree angle, which alleviates pressure on your neck, back, and tailbone. Plus, the leg supports are adjustable for maximum comfort. The chair is made of natural beech wood, and the commercial-grade upholstery is available in red, grey, blue, and black. It’s 20.9 x 19 x 26.4 inches, weighs 19.8 pounds, and supports a maximum weight of 225 pounds. On top of that, this kneeling chair has wheels that make it easy to move.
Best Height Adjustment: Dragonn Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
If you need a work chair that can accommodate many users of various heights, consider the Dragonn by Vivo Kneeling Chair. It’s angled at 90 degrees to help reduce pain and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Additionally, the chair’s height can be adjusted from 21 to 31 inches, making it comfortable for adults of all sizes—or to just find the perfect height for yourself. The front wheels lock to ensure the chair stays in place but is also easy to move around. With a weight limit of 250 pounds, this kneeling chair is 26 x 21.5 x 16.8 inches and weighs 18.9 pounds. It also has a metal base and thick cushions covered in colors like black or white.
Best Folding: Flash Furniture Wooden Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
For those who are tight on office space, the Flash Furniture Ergonomic Kneeling Chair offers a great solution: it can be completely folded and moved out of the way. The height can also be adjusted from 20 to 26 inches for a more comfortable fit while working your core muscles, and the dual-wheel casters make it easy for the chair to glide around. Measuring 26 x 24 x 18 inches and weighing 13.2 pounds, the chair’s frame is made of natural wood and has 2-inch foam cushions, which are upholstered in colors like gray or black fabric. Best of all, this kneeling chair is more economically priced compared to other options on the market.
Best Weight Capacity: Dr. Lomilomi Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Sturdiness is particularly important when you’re looking for a business kneeling chair that has a significant weight capacity. One option is the Dr. Lomilomi Ergonomic Kneeling Chair, which supports 550 pounds, but has a recommended weight capacity of 350 pounds—which is at least 100 pounds more than most kneeling chairs. It uses a hydraulic system that can adjust the chair from 23 to 27 inches to help you find the right position. The chair’s cushions are extra wide and 4 inches thick, and the vinyl leather (available in colors like black and gray) resists water and oil. This kneeling chair measures 27 x 17.5 x 13 inches, weighs 22 pounds, and has locking wheels to keep it stationary.
Best Leather: Defy Desk Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
If you prefer leather chairs, you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on one for work. The Defy Desk Kneeling Chair is a reasonably-priced leather option with detailed stitching on the side, and it’s designed to help you maintain the ideal posture and reduce back pain while sitting. The chair has 3-inch foam cushions for comfortable seating, and it also has a metal base to provide durability. The chair’s height can be adjusted from 21 to 28 inches, and the two locking casters keep it from moving while you’re seated. Measuring 26.9 x 18.7 x 8.2 inches, this kneeling chair weighs 18.9 pounds and has a weight limit of 250 pounds.
Best Value: Papafix Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
For the price, the Papafix Ergonomic Kneeling Chair is an excellent value, as it provides knee support to reduce muscle fatigue, strengthens your core, and relieves neck muscle fatigue. Height adjustable from 21 to 28 inches, the chair is made of black iron and 3 inches of moulded foam covered in black faux leather. It also has four brake casters to easily move the kneeling chair or keep it locked in the desired place. With a weight capacity of 250 pounds, the chair’s dimensions are 27.2 x 18.9 x 7.1 inches and it weighs 17.7 pounds.
The Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair is our top pick (view at Amazon), and Dr. Conrad and Tony Mazlish agree. Made of a durable, flexible wood base, this chair is versatile enough to be used in several positions. If you prefer a kneeling chair with back support, the Fully Balans Kneeling Chair is the best choice (view at Fully). It’s also made of durable wood, is available in four upholstery colors, and includes wheels.
What are the benefits of a kneeling chair?
There are many health benefits to using a kneeling chair. Dr. Sapna Sriram, a chiropractor and injury expert at Integra Health Centre in Toronto, particularly recommends them to artists and designers. “A kneeling chair tilts the pelvis forward, which could help with aligning posture as it does require some enhanced engagement of the back and abdominal muscles compared to general desk chairs,” she says. “Kneeling chairs can also take some loading off the spine, which can alleviate back pain for some.”
Mazlish also believes that using kneeling chairs can be advantageous. “Some of the benefits include changing your position during the day, using the biggest bone in the body (femur or thigh bone) to support your weight, and working on improving posture and core strength,” he says. All in all, these adjustments to how you sit while working can provide significant health benefits. “People that use kneeling chairs tend to report less neck pain, improved ability to be on the computer, and better circulation,” says Dr. Conrad.
What are the different types of kneeling chairs?
Kneeling chairs for business are available in a variety of choices. “There are wood kneeling chairs and metal kneeling chairs, memory foam, and regular foam kneeling chairs, adjustable kneeling chairs, and fixed ratio kneeling chairs,” explains Mazlish. “They all put you in essentially the same position, thus the difference is based on the individual's comfort level and needs.”
When looking for the right kneeling chair, Mazlish recommends judging them on three criteria: design, fit, and durability. The chair should be designed to reduce pain and strengthen your abdominal muscles, fit you comfortably and accommodate your weight, and it should be built to last.
How should you use a kneeling chair?
Most kneeling chairs don’t have the type of back support provided by a typical office chair. “As a result, your muscles will build up strength as the kneeling chair forces your back to sit up on proper spinal alignment,” explains Dr. Conrad. “Just like a new exercise, it is recommended that you use a kneeling chair for 20 minutes or so at a time so that your body can get used to the unique sitting position.”
Why Trust Investopedia?
After researching dozens of highly-rated kneeling chairs for business (and consulting with experts), we narrowed down our picks using several factors. The most important was how well each product was designed to improve posture and hip position while providing a comfortable seating experience. We also evaluated the quality of each product, including the sturdiness of the base and the amount of padding used in the cushions. Considering that remote and small business workers have different needs and budgets, we also provided selections in various materials at a range of price points.
Terri Williams has tested hundreds of products. She has written product reviews for Tom’s Guide, The Spruce, Bob Vila, Apartment Therapy, and more. She also covers personal finance for Time, Yahoo, The Balance, Realtor.com, and more.