|Best overall||Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair||SEE IT||
First designed in 1979 by Norwegian Hans Christian Mengshoel and popularized by industrial designer Opsvik, this model was—and is—considered a game-changer in the world of ergonomic office chairs.
|Best rocker||Sleekform Austin Rocking Kneeling Chair||SEE IT||
This reinforced-plywood option has a 4-inch-thick seat cushion and memory foam knee pads, with a weight capacity of 265 pounds—and it rocks back and forth, of course!
|Best budget||Office Star Ergonomically Designed Knee Chair||SEE IT||
More expensive does not necessarily mean more ergonomically sound. You sacrifice aesthetics with this bargain model, but it gets the job done.
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Human beings were not meant to sit at a 90-degree angle for eight-plus hours a day, and we weren’t meant to stand for that long either—but a kneeling chair can help. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “A chair that is well-designed and appropriately adjusted is an essential element of a safe and productive computer workstation. A good chair provides necessary support to the back, legs, buttocks, and arms while reducing exposures to awkward postures, contact stress, and forceful exertions.” At the most elemental level, kneeling chair benefits include taking pressure off your back by shifting your body forward, opening up your pelvic area, engaging your core muscles, and taking pressure off your spinal discs. (The name is a bit of a misnomer, as the chair doesn’t shift weight into your knees but rather your butt and your shins.) As a result of that sloping, you could also see improvements to your breathing and digestion (by taking the pressure off your internal organs), as well as improved circulation. Here are our picks for the best kneeling chairs.
- Best overall: Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair
- Best with back support: CINIUS Professional Ergonomic Wooden Height-Adjustable Kneeling Chair with Backrest Support
- Best rocker: Sleekform Austin Rocking Kneeling Chair
- Best for short person: Posture Pro Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- Best for tall person: Master Massage Ergonomic Steel Kneeling Chair
- Best budget: Office Star Ergonomically Designed Knee Chair
How we chose the best kneeling chairs
If you’ve ever gotten a seated massage, you’re acquainted with the general shape of kneeling chairs. Because they take pressure off your spine, kneeling chair benefits include that they can help improve posture and give you lumbar support. (On the downside, you won’t have much lower-body mobility when you’re in it, so if you’re at all claustrophobic—e.g., you dislike the feeling of your legs being stuck in place—this might not be the option for you, though you can and should play around with positions: one foot up, one foot down, ankles crossed, etc.).
To make our recommendations for the best kneeling chairs, we vetted the available options on the market. We researched the science on the detriments of sitting and considered OSHA’s guidance in this kneeling chair review. With that in mind, we looked at kneeling chairs that provided ergonomic design, options for a range of people of different sizes, adjustability, style, and price.
The best kneeling chairs: Reviews & Recommendations
When you first start using your knee chair, you might notice some discomfort, and that’s because you’re likely engaging muscles you don’t when you’re in a conventional office chair. A kneeling chair forces you to sit up straight, which requires your abs, thighs, and lower back to engage. You may not be used to that. Eventually, you’ll be better for it, but as with any big change in life, there may be some growing pains! Any one of our picks is a suitable introduction to the world of kneeling chairs.
Best overall: Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair
Why it made the cut: The original kneeling chair, this Scandinavian design has stood the test of time. It’s made with flexible wood and comes in a range of colors to suit any office.
- Material: Beech plywood, recycled polyester
- Dimensions: 14 inches D x 14 inches W x 28 inches H
- Weight: 14.35 pounds
- Elegant design
Though not the most important quality in a knee chair, this one is aesthetically pleasing in that classic Scandinavian way and comes in loads of colors. The wood design is simple, iconic, and lightweight, so you can easily move it from room to room, creating an ergonomic workstation wherever you go.
Best with back support: CINIUS Professional Ergonomic Wooden Height-Adjustable Kneeling Chair with Backrest Support
Why it made the cut: If you’re looking for additional support in a kneeling chair, this kneeling computer chair comes with a cushion for your back and has casters for easy movement.
- Material: Rubberwood
- Dimensions: 33.86 inches D x 18.31 inches W x 6.69 inches H
- Weight: 17.6 pounds
- Provides back support
- Comes with wheels
- Ergonomic design
- Less stationary
This kneeling office chair is on casters, which gives you the freedom to roam without getting out of your chair. The knee-pad angles and the distance between the seat and knee pads are adjustable, so this posture kneeling chair is a more inclusive option than some others. The company recommends that anyone taller than 6-foot-5 remove the wheels to lower the overall chair height. Note also that it requires some simple assembly.
Best rocker: Sleekform Austin Rocking Kneeling Chair
Why it made the cut: This posture-correcting chair also comes is designed with a soothing rocking motion and memory foam cushions for maximum comfort.
- Materials: Reinforced plywood, fabric
- Dimensions: 28 inches D x 16 inches W x 22 inches H
- Weight: 14.7 pounds
- Rocking function
- Pads affix it to the floor
- Cushions designed with memory foam
- No option for back support
A 20- to 30-degree seat-cushion slope is considered ideal for a kneeling desk (whereas a traditional computer desk is 90 degrees), and this kneeling chair hits right at 30, shifting weight into your sit bones to gently tilt you forward. The best part of a rocker is that if you’re having trouble adjusting to your kneeling chair, the rocking motion can be a great distraction.
Best for short person: Posture Pro Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Why it made the cut: This affordable kneeling chair is designed for shorter people and comes with casters for easy mobility.
- Material: Metal
- Dimensions: 22.5 inches D x 18.25 inches W x 25.5 inches H
- Weight: 17.96 pounds
- Three adjustable height settings
- Comes with a three-inch-thick cushion
- Lockable casters
- Great price
- Not an option for big or tall people
This heavily-cushioned, wheeling, ergonomic kneeling chair can sit as low as 13 inches off the floor. This adjustable kneeling chair has wheels for easy mobility and folds neatly at the end of the day.
Best for tall person: Master Massage Ergonomic Steel Kneeling Chair Posture
Why it made the cut: With thick cushions for the seat and knees, this kneeling chair is ideal for massages and comes with a two-year warranty.
- Material: Wood, alloy steel
- Dimensions: 17.5 inches D x 21 inches W x 28 inches H
- Weight: 16.5 pounds
- Six adjustable height settings
- Comes with wheels for easy transport
- Folds down for storage
- Plastic cushions
A steel base in this posture chair makes your feel secure as you sit, and mesh cushions keep you cool. The front-locking brake mechanism adds an extra layer of security. Remember: Your work surface is at the correct height when your elbow is at 90 degrees. Too low and you’ll hunch; too high and you’ll have to reach.
Best budget: Office Star Ergonomically Designed Knee Chair
Why it made the cut: This serviceable kneeling chair takes care of all the basics at an affordable price.
- Material: Metal
- Dimensions: 25.25 inches D x 17 inches W x 20.5 inches H
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Ergonomic design
- Sturdy frame
- Affordable price
- Weight limit is 275 pounds
The key elements of a kneeling chair are here—pressure relief, a memory foam seat cushion, casters—but it does have some limitations. Its weight capacity is a not-particularly-inclusive at 275 pounds, and the chair itself weighs 16 pounds, making it one you likely won’t want to schlep from room to room.
What to consider when buying the best kneeling chairs
The key to any great seating setup is variation. Eight hours on a kneeling chair is no better than eight hours on a regular desk chair. (Your legs, in particular, could cramp in the kneeling position.) Changing up your position is key, so try to get into a rotation of sitting, kneeling, and standing throughout the day whenever you can. Here’s what else you should know when shopping for the best kneeling chairs.
Key factors in choosing the best ergonomic chair for you include height and adjustability. For example, your shins should rest comfortably on the leg pad, and not be squeezed or pinched, so read the measurements carefully to make sure you’ve picked a chair that’s compatible with your size and weight. The best kneeling chair is one that adjusts to you, not vice versa.
Because of the way a knee chair shifts you forward, a seatback isn’t necessary or recommended, but there’s also no harm in having one if it makes you feel more comfortable. The key is to use it sparingly, when you need a break or if you have a medical condition that makes it difficult to maintain the sloped-forward position for too long without back support. It’s great for building stamina in terms of how long you can engage your core muscles to support you in the kneeling position, but there’s no shame in relaxing onto the backrest when you need to. Remember: The whole point of getting a kneeling desk chair is to help you feel better.
It might sound counterintuitive—or just complicated—to add rocking to the equation of a kneeling chair, but there are benefits to rocking out! Especially for fidgety folks, the subtle rocking motion can make sitting more comfortable, enhance blood flow, and possibly even help with focus and attention. If sitting still isn’t your thing, try this more active way to sit.
Size of user
If you’re looking for a kneeler for a child or someone smaller than average, the best features you can look for are tilt, knee-pad, and height-pad adjustability, because what’s comfortable for someone 4-foot-8 will differ from someone who’s only a couple of inches taller. (In fact, adjustability is a key factor no matter what kind of kneeling chair you’re buying, and no matter your height.)
There are kneeling chairs for big and tall users, but not enough of them. Until that changes, you’re often unfortunately left to decipher based on your measurements. Some things to keep in mind: the height of your desk, and whether you have a long or short torso, or long or short legs. All of those things factor into whether a particular kneeler is the best kneeling chair for you just as much as your weight does.
What’s great about kneeling ergonomic office chairs is that there hasn’t been much innovation since the original design, and that’s because the basics don’t need improvement. Remember that the key elements of kneeling office chairs are that they give you lumbar support, alleviate back pain and contribute to your overall ergonomic home office setup. Everything else—a rocking feature, a pretty design—is gravy. So you should be able to find an option that suits you at a reasonable price.
Q: How much does a kneeling chair cost?
A kneeling chair can start at $80 and go up into the $400 range, depending on the manufacturer.
Q: How should I sit in a kneeling chair?
Begin by sitting down as you would in any chair. Then place your legs on the knee pads, keeping the majority of your weight in your tush. You may then be naturally inclined to slouch, which is where your core comes in: Engage your muscles to keep your posture strong and upright, and voilà: You’re sitting in a kneeling chair! Remember to switch the position of your legs from time to time so they don’t get tired or fall asleep.
Q: What should the angle on a kneeling chair be?
Ideally, you’ll find a chair you like with an adjustable angle, so you can play around until you find the setting that’s exactly right for you. If you can’t, a chair with an angle of 25 to 30 degrees (dropping you from the usual 90-degree angle) is a safe place to start.
Q: Are kneeling chairs really good for you?
Like anything else, they’re not for everyone and have their downsides, but yes, they are really good for you! In addition to aligning your neck, shoulders, and back, they naturally roll your shoulders back. The key is not to overdo it with this piece of home office furniture. Alternate your kneeling chair with your regular computer chair, and take breaks from both of those by getting up and going for short walks, even just around the living room.
Q: Who should use a kneeling chair?
A kneeling chair is designed for people who are looking to improve their posture. Because they rely on core strength, they can also help alleviate back pain, which can help people who are used to sitting in a regular office chair all day.
Final thoughts on the best kneeling chairs
If you end every workday with a big stretch and various involuntary noises that indicate your back is killing you, it’s time to change your chair. A kneeling desk is a great option for lots of people, and worth working into your rotation. When you find the best kneeling chair for you, your neck, your back, your shoulders, and your six-pack will thank you.