Best Chairs & Stools for Standing Desks

Last Updated May 23, 2018

What is Standing Desk Stool?

A standing desk stool, also known as a standing desk chair, is a type of seating that is often paired with a sit to stand desk. It allows you to rest in a position between sitting and standing. Many avid standers appreciate the third option other than standing and sitting while working at their desk. There are also other options like kneeling chairs that can compliment a standing desk as well.


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If you'd like to learn more about standing stools and chairs, what to look for and the various types, check our in-depth guide: Buyer's Guide to Standing Chairs and Stools

Why get a Standing Desk Stool?

Standing desk stools are quickly gaining popularity among standers, here are the main reasons people use them:
  • More Options - Simply having another position to choose from is one of the main benefits of getting a standing stool or chair. Changing positions frequently is one of the keys to staying active at your desk and avoiding pain and soreness.
  • Reduced Pressure on Your Joints - Leaning takes a lot of pressure off your feet, knees and spine without the increased lower back stress of sitting. It's a great middle ground.
  • Less Sitting Time - As more people become aware of the risks of excessive sitting a leaning stool or chair can significantly reduce your time spent sitting. While it burns less calories than standing free, you're still getting the majority of the benefit over sitting.

Our Criteria and Testing Process

Our team spent several weeks testing chairs and stools in our own offices to provide unbiased reviews so that you can figure out which chair or stool will work best for you. Here's our criteria and what we've found to important when considering a standing desk stool or chair.

  • Stability - Most leaning chairs and tools have single tube supporting the seat. With the high pressure applied when leaning it's important for the stool to be stable and confidence inspiring.
  • Height adjustment - Just like the standing desks these are often paired with you will want to adjust the height to your exact posture needs.
  • Seat Comfort - fairly self explanatory, we look for seat surfaces that are forgiving and ergonomic.
  • Design A little subjective but design matters. There is a very wide variety in design and quality in the standing chair and stool space. Some are very bold statements and others more generic.
  • Quality - What is the fit and finish like? Is it going to last? What areas, if any, are likely to fail with continued use?We ask ourselves these questions whne reviewing any product.
  • Overall Value Value is always very important us. Or definition of value is getting the most benefit from the stool or chair for money spent.

Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018

Varidesk Varichair

Varidesk Varichair - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
Our Winner and Best value
  • Comes preassembled
  • Solid construction
  • Beautiful design
  • Works great for sitting and leaning
  • Varidesk is one of the top standing desk companies with a stellar reputation
  • Price: $$

VIA Seating Swopper

VIA Seating Swopper - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks
Highest Quality, but Expensive
  • 4.6 stars
  • The chair bounces as you move with an adjustable spring, encouraging movement which will engage your quads and core
  • Subtle bounce can be good for vertebrae
  • You can reach to the sides of your desk without getting up
  • Very comfortable
  • Also available in black, blue, grey, and orange
  • Price: $$$$
  • Doesn’t work as well as a leaning chair

Focal Locus


Focal Locus - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks
Combines footrest platform with leaning seat
  • Highly rated leaning stool
  • High quality construction
  • Has rollers underneath so you can move the unit easily
  • Beautiful design
  • Price: $$$$
  • Takes up more space than most standing desk chairs and stools

Aeris Muvman


Aeris Muvman - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks
Received multiple design awards
  • 3.7 star rating
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Comes in microfiber or textured vinyl
  • Has non-slip rubber base that's good for all floor types
  • Price: $$$$
  • Some claim that the chair digs into the back of their legs when used for leaning as the seat pan doesn’t tilt (although seat leans at 4 degrees)

Focal Upright

Focal Upright - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
Great value for sitting and leaning
  • Rubber “Octogrip” base for control
  • Seat pan is angled for comfortable leaning
  • Price: $$$
  • Doesn’t come preassembled-you can pay for assembly

Varier Move

Varier Move - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
Concave base for easy tilting
  • The base is available in 3 different colors: natural, mocha, & black-stained wood
  • Optional rubber sole to prevent slipping
  • Seat available in black, green, blue, red, and grey
  • Price: $$$

Focal Mobis

Focal Mobis - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
Beautiful design
  • 4.4 stars
  • High quality design and materials
  • Price: $$$
  • Some users claim that the seat isn’t comfortable
  • Several reviewers claim that it isn’t great for leaning

Uncaged Ergonomics Wobble

Uncaged Ergonomics Wobble - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
One of the Least expensive sitting and leaning chairs
  • 3.4 stars
  • Rounded base for a wide range of movement
  • Rubber bottom so it doesn’t slip
  • Easy 5 minute assembly
  • Price: $$
  • The cushion compresses to the point that you can feel the ridge on the edges of the seat

Focal Mogo

Focal Mogo - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
One of the few super lightweight and mobile stools
  • A great option if you need to move your stool to different areas, or to use at sporting events or other venues
  • Price: $
  • Chair won’t stay upright unless you sit on it
  • Many say that surface of seat is uncomfortable
  • Not much cushion for comfort

Learniture Learning Stool

Learniture Learning Stool - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
Great low cost option for ergonomic sitting
  • 4.2 stars
  • Easily assembled
  • Available in grey or red
  • Price: $
  • Maximum height is only 27 inches, not high enough for most people to use for leaning

Flash Furniture Kneeling Chair

Flash Furniture Kneeling Chair - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2018
Best Hand Crank Option
  • 3.7 stars
  • 2.5 inches of padding for comfortable kneeling
  • Easy assembly
  • Available in black and grey
  • Price: $
  • Some complain that casters can damage a wooden floor
  • Cannot be used for leaning
  • Not to be used for long periods of time-some users report tighter hamstrings and calves

More Resources on Leaning and Standing

If you're interested in leaning chairs and stools or standing desks in general, we encourage you to check out the following related resources:

  • Proper Posture - Even with the use of a leaning chair you're likely to spend a decent amount of time standing and or sitting at your desk. Check out our guide on Proper Sitting & Standing Desk Ergonomics
  • Preventing Back Pain - Standing and leaning will help back pain but there more you can do to help. Here's 17 things you can do to prevent back pain
  • Avoid Common Mistakes - When you're just getting into standing or leaning it's easy to make a few mistakes. We've compiled a list of 10 common problems and what you can do to avoid them.
  • Interested in Kneeling? - Our resident chiropractor Dr. RJ Burr lends his expertise on the cutting edge topic of kneeling and how it can benefit you and your spine.

If you have any questions, concerns or see something missing from our list of best chairs and stools for standing desks, please reach out via email or leave a comment below. We usually respond within 24 hours and are happy to help.

Startstanding.org is supported by it’s readers. If you purchase any products from this page, our educational website will receive a small commission from the Amazon.com and/or other affiliate programs, which will help cover our costs, and doesn’t affect your price.

Comments

  1. Which chair would you recommend for switching all the way between fully upright to fully sitting on an adjustable standing desk? Preferabely I would like it to be the highest value for the money rather than a premium option.

    1. For the money, I would take a look at the Varichair. If you don’t think that fits your needs, you would probably want to take a look at the options that Focal is providing. One final and sound alternative is to explore drafting chairs as an option.

    2. I believe the only product that allows for changing between fully upright and fully seated is the LeanRite chair from Ergo Impact. I don’t know why they aren’t on this list? http://www.ergoimpact.com

      1. Jeremiah, thank you for calling this out. We will look into this chair and consider putting together a review if everything checks out.

  2. The weight recommendation is 220 lbs. What about if you’re heavier than this? How does it work for someone a bit over 6′?

  3. Do you recommend using a footrest? Also, how long do you recommend sitting all the way down vs. standing vs. leaning?

    1. Ryan, all great questions!

      We do think most people would benefit from a footrest. We discuss that a bit in our varichair review which you can find here: https://www.startstanding.org/standing-desks/best-chairs-stools/varichair-review/

      As for switching your working positions, we find that most people benefit from taking a break from one position fairly often. I personally switch from sitting or standing to another position about every 30 minutes. Some of the doctors that we work closely with recommend switching positions as often as once every 15 minutes. There are many free desktop or mobile timers you could purchase that set an alarm as a reminder at whichever interval you prefer. Either way, try to ease into changes over the course of a few weeks so that you can develop a healthy, sustainable habit.

      Two other alternatives you could consider to standing and sitting are walking and kneeling. Walking around the office as a break or on a treadmill desk can be an option. Kneeling is a bit less common, but we think it is tremendously underrated. See our guide here: https://www.startstanding.org/kneeling/

    1. Hi Mak, we have not, but we are looking into that chair as a potential future review opportunity. Thank you for writing in with your question!

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