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As many office workers know, remaining seated for most of the day isn't the healthiest thing for your body. Sitting for long periods of time as one takes care of their business accounting as a bookkeeper at a firm or working on a marketing plan and 20 hours of training as a communications professional can cause its own hardships, such as back and neck pain.
Peter Opsvik and Hans Christian Mengshoel came to the rescue in 1979 when they invented the first kneeling chair. The concept of ergonomics was refined sometime later. When you combine the two, it spells relief. But kneeling chairs are by no means all alike. What works for one person might not work for the next, and there are plenty of options to choose from to meet your own unique needs.
Keep reading to see our picks for the best kneeling chairs.
Best Overall: Dragonn Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
The whole idea behind an ergonomic chair is to adjust the angle of your lower body to ease the weight placed on your lower back in a conventional chair. Dragonn's 90-degree seating angle achieves this with a little help from the kneepads to keep you from tilting too far forward while you’re working away in ergonomic comfort.
But the best part is that all the padding is 3 inches thick—far superior to most other kneeling chairs that are available. And the fabric is mesh, so it’s breathable. The base is heavy-duty metal and can hold up to 250 pounds. It’s adjustable from 21 inches up to 28 inches, so it comfortably supports taller bodies as well, and two of the caster wheels lock.
Best for Tall People: Sleekform Posture Corrective Seat
The Sleekform kneeling chair has an easy-to-reach dial under the seat to adjust for up to an additional 7 inches in height, from 21 to 28 inches. The chair comfortably holds body weights of up to 50 more pounds than some of its competitors.
The frame is steel, the upholstery is black faux mesh leather, and the padding is double thick. This also makes it a good choice for taller people who will, by necessity, put a bit more weight on their knees when using a kneeling chair. The seat cushion is angled at a comfortable 90 degrees. And that padding is recycled material, so you’ll be doing your part for the environment as well, even as you work on your laptop.
Best for Storage: Flash Furniture Wooden Office Chair
One of the best things about the Flash Furniture wooden chair is the way it easily folds down flat for compact storage when you’re not using it to work on IT tasks or other work projects, or if you want to transport it between home and office. Yet, it still offers all the things most other kneeling chairs do.
The chair is adjustable, ergonomic, and it has dual-wheel casters for fluid mobility. It features a single kneepad rather than two separate ones, which is a nice touch, and it’s almost 18 inches long, giving you a lot of options for finding your most comfortable position. Its wooden frame looks nice, too.
Related: The Best Budget Office Chairs
Best for Durability: Boss Office Products Kneeling Stool
The Boss Office Products kneeling stool has a reputation for holding up long after other chairs give out, which is notable because this chair has some features that you might expect to break down or wear out after a while if using it extensively in say, a home office. One of them is the pneumatic airlift that lets you adjust your height and comfort zone with the push of a button.
The frame is steel, about 26 inches high, and designed for durability. The fabric is black, and yes, the chair is ergonomic, urging your hips forward to promote better posture. It’s also one of the less expensive kneeling chairs out there, which is great considering all you get for your money.
Best for Comfort: Office Star Knee Chair
Get optimal comfort while still supporting your posture with Office Star's ergonomically designed knee chair. The thick, padded memory foam seat cushion and kneepads allow you to sit comfortably at work all day. You can also manually adjust the height of the chair up to 25 inches, allowing you to align it to your desk. Plus, you can move around the office with the wood chair via the dual-wheel carpet casters. Note that it has a weight capacity of up to 200 pounds.
Related: The Best Office Chairs for Back Pain
Best Splurge: Varier Variable Balans Original
For one of the best kneeling chairs in the industry for an office space, look no further than the company that started it all: Varier. Its Variable Balans chair, designed by Peter Opsvik in 1979, is claimed to be the original kneeling chair. Made of high-quality, durable wood, this Norweigian-designed chair not only looks stylish, but it functions well, too. It helps keep your body in balance and gently tilts your pelvis forward for a natural, upright posture while stimulating your muscles and putting little pressure on your spinal discs. And though it comes with a hefty price tag, the chair includes free soft tape (a $50 value) for protecting your floors from scratches.
Best for Short People: Defy Desk Ergonomic Chair
Ideal for shorter people or children, Defy Desk's Ergonomic Kneeling Chair with caster wheels is height adjustable from 21 to 28 inches. The seat's foam cushions are also 3-inch thick with two times the cushion of its competitors for all-day comfort and added elevation. Still, it boasts a sturdy metal base and can support weights up to 250 pounds. In terms of ergonomics, the company states the chair is angled in a way that distributes weight evenly throughout your body—allowing for better posture than other competitive kneeling chairs.
Best With Backrest: BetterPosture Jazzy Kneeling Chair
Although traditional kneeling chairs are backless, the BetterPosture Jazzy Kneeling Chair is perfect if you're new to these types of chairs or like to switch between kneeling and standard office chairs, thanks to the backrest. Like most other kneeling chairs, this chair distributes most of your body weight to the legs, supporting your back and improving posture. The metal frame chair also has a weight limit of up to 275 pounds and can be positioned from 21 to 28 inches. Even more, it features memory foam cushions in the seat, knee pad, and removable backrest, as well as five-caster wheels for easy rolling.
Related: The Best Ergonomic Office Chairs
Best Rocking Chair: Sleekform Rocking Wooden Knee Stool
Rocking kneeling chairs prove that they're just as effective, if not more, as traditional kneeling chairs, like this Sleekform option. This style of this chair allows for active sitting, engaging your core, and supporting your back. By keeping your body in motion while sitting, this chair also helps increase energy and improve your focus at work. Its 70-degree open hip angle promotes better posture and eliminates pressure, while the four-inch-thick seat, three wood crossbars, and memory foam knee cushions offer comfort and durability. With a weight capacity of up to 265 pounds, the rocking kneeling chair is ideal for anyone between 5-feet 2 inches to 6-feet 6 inches.
Our top pick is the Dragonn Ergonomic Kneeling Chair (view at Amazon) for its 90-degree seating angle, thick padding, breathable fabric, and locking caster wheels. It also has durable construction and adjusts between 21 and 28 inches, so it comfortably supports people of all sizes.
What to Look for in a Kneeling Chair
While kneeling chairs don't have as many adjustability features as traditional office chairs, you'll still want to look out for height and angle adjustment ranges. The height adjustment range is the most important. Bigger ranges can help accommodate taller people, as there will be more wiggle room to find a position that is comfortable for longer legs. Meanwhile, the angle adjustment will help you correct your posture.
Thick padding, breathable fabrics, and rocking ability are just a few of the comfort features you can find in a kneeling chair. Thick padding for your knees will allow you to sit comfortably throughout the day, while breathable fabrics will keep you cool. A rocking feature can provide even more comfort, as it helps you move and remain energized throughout the day.
Who should use a kneeling chair?
Kneeling chairs are great for anyone who is experiencing back pain and poor posture. Their design opens up your hips and engages your core, which helps improve posture and relieve the pressure on your back that you may have from sitting in a traditional office chair day in and day out. If you find it's uncomfortable to sit in it for long periods, you can switch between a traditional chair and a kneeling chair.
How do I know if I have correct posture?
Generally speaking, your back should be straight and your shoulders back. Your butt should be at the back of the chair. It's also good practice to adjust your posture throughout the day and change your seating position. On a kneeling chair, you can sit with both legs in the knee pad, one leg in the knee pad with the other foot on the ground, or one foot on top of the knee pad with the other leg inside the knee pad like normal.
Meet the Expert
Beverly Bird has over three decades of writing and editing experience, including eight years of financial reporting. Her work has appeared on GOBankingRates, PocketSense, Zack's, Autoblog, and other publications.