Best Chairs & Stools
for Standing Desks 2019

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Ryan Fiorenzi the authorResearch by Ryan Fiorenzi
Updated March 5, 2019

What is Standing Desk Stool?

A standing desk stool, also known as a standing desk chair, is a type of seat 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 aside from standing and sitting while working at their desk. There are also other options like drafting chairs, yoga balls and active sitting stools that that can compliment a standing desk as well.

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

Standing Desk Stool

Why get a Standing Desk Stool?

Standing desk stools are quickly gaining popularity among standers. Here are the main reasons people use standing desk stools:

  • 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 in a chair. You are actively sitting to remain upright. While it burns fewer calories than standing, 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 decide which chair or stool will work best for you. Here are our criteria and what we've found to be important when considering a standing desk stool or chair.

  • Stability - Most leaning chairs and tools have a 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 - This is a little subjective but design matters. We see a wide variety of design and quality in the standing chair and stool market. Some are very boldly designed and others are 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 when reviewing any product.
  • Overall Value - Value is always very important to us. Our definition of value is getting the most benefit from the stool or chair for money spent.

Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks 2019

While we pick an overall top recommended stool, we realize that you may find one thing more important than another when shopping for a chair or stool for your desk. especially when it comes to standing desks, you can go in many different directions with your chair or stool. With this in mind, we have picked chairs and stools spanning multiple categories so you can choose which is best for you.

#1 – Varidesk

Varidesk Varichair - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

“Best Value Standing Desk Stool”

  • A great stool for sitting or leaning made by Varidesk, the makers of many standing desk products
  • Comes preassembled
  • Solid construction
  • Beautiful and simple design
  • Works great for sitting and leaning
  • Varidesk is one of the top standing desk companies with a stellar reputation and warranty

    #2 – Songmics Stool

    Songmics Stool - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

    “Best Budget Standing Desk Stool”

    • A less expensive option to the Varichair
    • Designed specifically for leaning and active sitting
    • Recommended for people taller than 5'1"
    • Great customer service that stands by their products
    • Innovative handles with more than one use
    • 8 degree tilting seat and a generally large range of adjustment.

      #3 – Modway Veer

      Modway Veer - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

      “Best Drafting Chair”

      •  If you prefer to sit at your standing height this is a great option
      • You can simply step down to stand at your desk
      • Can turn a fixed height standing desk to a sit-stand workstation
      • Adjustable armrests and great ergonomic design
      • Available in 4 colors
      • Ventilated backrest
      • Adjustable armrests
      • 330 lbs weight limit

        #4 – Flash Furniture Drafting Chair

        Flash Furniture Drafting Chair - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

        “Best Drafting Chair Runner Up”

        • Very similar to the Modway Veer offers an alternative look and feature set at a similar price and weight limit
        • Ventilated backrest
        • Adjustable armrests
        • 250 lbs weight limit
        • Drafting version only available in one color (currently)

          #5 – Learniture Stool

          Learniture Learning Stool - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

          “Best Stool for Active Sitting”

          • Designed for sitting rather than leaning the Learniture Stool makes your time spent sitting more active and incorporate more movement
          • Shorter height individuals can use this stool for leaning at a standing desk
          • Maximum height is 27 inches
          • Easy to assemble
          • Available in black grey or red

            #6 – Varier Move

            Varier Move - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

            “Best High End Standing Desk Stool”

            • Very high quality and proven design originally created in 1985
            •  Extremely versatile stool which works for sitting and leaning and a variety of in between positions  
            • Timeless design
            • Available with an optional rubber sole to prevent slipping
            • Seat available in black, green, blue, red, and grey
            • base available in 3 different colors: natural, mocha, & black-stained wood

              #7 -Vivora Luno

              Varier Move - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

              “Best Stability Ball for Active Sitting”

              • A yoga ball that is actually designed for office use at a desk
              • A great pair with a standing desk for times when you need a break but still want to be active and move.
              • Beats many yoga ball/chair hybrid products
              • Innovate patented design
              • A way to replace a conventional office chair altogether.
              • Available in two sizes that work for most heights and weights
              • Available in 11 colors

                #8 – Ergo Impact

                Ergo Impact Leanrite - Best Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

                Best Stool and Mat Combination

                • Very unique stool that was purpose built for leaning
                • Integrated mat platform provides unmatched leaning stability and comfort over other stools
                • Great for professions that spend a lot of time standing in a single area
                • Has won may ergonomic awards
                • Great stability
                • Currently only available in black

                  Compare Chairs and Stools for Standing Desks

                  Use the table below to compare the stats of our top recommended chairs and stools. You may want to pay special attention to the minimum and maximum height range. Depending on whether you prefer leaning, sitting, or both, shop for a stool with a height range that will work for you and your needs.

                  Chair/Stool Min
                  23" 32.8" 14" 13.75" $195
                  Modway Veer 21.5" 29.5" 20" 19" $102
                  Flash Furniture
                  Drafting Chair
                  17.5" 25" 20" 19" $133
                  18.5" 28" 12.6" 12.6" $93
                  Varier Move 22" 32.25" 16" 16" $425
                  Vivora Luno 22" 24" 22" 22" $49
                  Ergo Impact
                  22.5" 46.3" 15.2" 13.1" $527

                  Seating Types to Pair With Your Standing Desk

                  As you can tell from our list, there is a variety of seating types you can pair with your standing desk. While you may have something in mind, here's a breakdown of the different types of seating on our list and what they enable you to do differently than a conventional chair.

                  • Leaning stool - a leaning stool like the Varichair allows you to rest in a position between standing and sitting. You keep your desk at standing height, maybe a little lower and lean back on your stool to take the weight off your lower body. Most stools like the Varichair are designed to be sat on as well but require support from your lower body to prevent tipping over.
                  • Drafting chair - drafting chairs are basically a conventional office chair with a high minimum and maximum height that is designed for a fixed standing desk, reception counter or other high work surfaces. Drafting chairs are great because they allow you to simply step off your chair to begin standing. Some can be used for leaning as well.
                  • Active Sitting Chair - a somewhat new type of chair, active sitting chairs allow you, as the name suggests to be active while you sit. They are designed to allow your body to move while you sit due to the lack of a backrest, armrests, and stability. The objective is to use your lower body to stabilize yourself and encourage movement while you sit. These chairs/stools are a great pairing with a standing desk because you can stay active both standing and sitting. A yoga ball chair is also a version of an active sitting chair.

                  More Resources

                  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 or sitting at your desk. Check out our guide to Proper Sitting & Standing Desk Ergonomics
                  • Preventing Back PainStanding and leaning will help back pain but there is more you can do to help. Here are 17 things you can do to prevent back pain
                  • Avoid Common MistakesWhen 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.


                  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?

                      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:

                      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:

                    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!

                  4. On #8, Modway Veer, why are 4 of 5 points marked with red X’s. They all seem like positives to me.

                  5. Modway Veer Drafting Stool-Chair is Easy to assemble and feels very sturdy. Feels incredibly sturdy. I have a particularly tall desk, and this is great. I love that the arms can move up or down (not adjustable, just swing up and out of the way). The foot stool can be changed and the amount that the back leans or it’s resistance can also be adjusted. Seat is very comfy and large. Never even thought about being uncomfortable once. Some people were saying that they slipped out of the seat because it’s at a weird angle, but that’s only because they put the seat on backwards. I did that at first, but quickly realized that I needed to switch it around. I will say that the instructions are horrible, but it’s simple enough to figure out. There not a lot of pieces and the only slightly confusing piece is what direction the seat goes. It’s easy to fix if you get it wrong though. Overall, I’m happy with it and I think it looks really nice.

                    Over all i like this post very informative . I decided to buy this product via this reviews . and i am sure buy this product because you site information thanks

                  6. I tried the Varichair. For the price point, it was a good choice but after trying it for a day, I had to return it back. The seat is so uncomfortable it didn’t make sense to use it for more than a few minutes. I was disappointed because I have a Varidesk desk so I love their products. I’ll definitely have to try the Ergo Impact even though it’s a little pricey. I stand up all day at work so I need something to relieve my legs/back.

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