There is a significant portion of the population that thinks that having a desk job that involves no heavy lifting is a blessing. This line of thinking usually lasts until they actually find themselves sitting at a desk all day long. Sitting at a desk staring at a computer can actually be bad for your body. The computer and poor lighting will irritate your eyes and sitting in a chair all day can cause back and hip pain as well as lead to swollen ankles from poor circulation.
Thankfully the study of ergonomics led to the creation of the kneeling chair. While looking a bit odd compared to a traditional office chair, this type of seat has been shown to reduce the pain that comes from sitting at a desk all day while also supporting better posture.
What Is a Kneeling Chair?
Ergonomic kneeling chairs are not a new idea. They were first developed in 1979 by Norwegian designers Hans Christian Mengshoel and Peter Opsvik. The basic design is a seat that is slightly tilted forward and a padded area for your shins to rest so that you appear to be in a slightly kneeled position.
Some are like a traditional office chair with casters, adjustable height and that popular metal and mesh look. Other variations are much sleeker in appearance and are made of wood and feature beautiful Swedish design. The best knee chairs combine all these qualities.
Kneeling Chair Comparison Chart
We review each of the chairs below in detail, but here is a quick comparison chart for those in a hurry:
Things to Consider About Kneeling Chairs
The way to gain benefit from this type of chair is to have one that makes you lean slightly forward when you sit. If this doesn’t occur and you find yourself leaning backwards a bit, then you will not be getting any benefits. The best chairs tend to have roughly a 20° angle, which will help you sit up straight. It should also be taken into consideration that taller people generally have a more difficult time getting into the kneeling position in these chairs, and since there is a limited area for your legs under the chair, the wrong one can cause an uncomfortable sitting experience.
The main advantages of this type of chair are that they tend to reduce back, neck and sciatic pain in many people. These people also find doing tasks that require leaning forward such as using a computer easier to do. They also generally improve posture while building core strength.
Best Kneeling Chairs
Here are some of the best ergonomic kneeling chairs on the market right now:
This is one of the more expensive options on the market, but for the price, you are getting a chair that is designed to maximize comfort and durability. This model features some of the thickest padding you will find. Covered in a mesh material, the padded areas will stay cool. You will be able to move around easily as this model is built with lockable casters. It is sturdy enough to handle up to 250lbs and can be adjusted between 21 and 28 inches.
- The 90° tilted seat promotes better posture with more comfort than other seats
- Designed to keep you upright while distributing weight evenly throughout the lower body
- The mesh 3” cushions provide maximum comfort while keeping the seat cool
- Moves easily with 4 casters of which 2 are lockable
- Strong metal construction handles up to 250 lbs. in weight
- Sleek black design is adjustable between 21 and 28 inches – great for people of all heights
While expensive it is a great chair that is quite comfy. Its sturdy design makes it great for all but the largest people.
This choice is moderately pricey but is considered by many to be the best overall type of knee chair. The hallmark of this model is the 4” cushions, which provide the greatest comfort. The cushions are a mix of memory and regular foam, which provide comfort for extended periods. It is also adjustable between 21.7 and 28.5 inches, making it suitable for a wide variety of people and desk heights.
- Has the thickest cushions (4”) on the market providing maximum comfort
- Made of 50% memory foam, which makes this perfect for sitting in for extended periods of time
- All the cushions are made from recycled foam as well
- Adjustable between 21.7 and 28.5 inches
- Handles up to 250 lbs., making this chair great for people of all sizes
- Features rollerblade style wheels that are easier to move around
- Comes with a 90-day money back guarantee
This is the choice for people who care about comfort the most. You really can’t find fault with this model. It is considered the gold standard in kneeling chairs today.
This choice is considered one of the better-looking models on the market. It also happens to be among the least expensive. It features leather-bound memory foam cushions that ease more strain than most models. Sitting on 4 casters and available with an espresso finish, this is a great addition to your office.
- Sturdy metal frame accommodates up to 200 lbs.
- Great choice for smaller statured people
- Elegant black finish with four casters makes it look great in any office
- Leather-bound memory foam cushions provide long term comfort
- Adjustable between 21 and 25 inches.
While it may not have as much cushioning as other models, it is just right for smaller people. The leather-bound cushions and different finishes make it great to look at.
4. MallBoo Ergonomic Kneeling Chair for Office/Computer/Game/Home
This is a new take on the original kneeling chair design. Available in a variety of colors with a birch veneer plywood frame, it features elegant Swedish design that makes it look great as well as being comfortable. Designed to hold up to 265 lbs. and with a wider frame, it is perfect for even the tallest people. The seat is designed to be used in a variety of ways.
- Swedish design based on the original kneeling chair concept
- Aesthetically pleasing and highly functional
- Features 4” padding
- Available in a selection of colors with a wood frame for a professional look
- Can be used as a chair or a stool and allows a rocking movement
- Features a 5-year warranty with a new model if an issue arises in the first 2 years
This is the right choice for people on the larger side. The Swedish design makes it look elegant and highly functional. It’s one of our favorite picks for a traditional kneeling chair on the market.
5. KHALZ Kneeling Chair with 50% Extra Padding
This option was designed for taller customers. It is adjustable between 20.5 and 30 inches, making it great for a variety of heights. Its steel frame make is both durable and able to handle up to 240 lbs. The mesh covered cushions keep the seat cool while offering extra comfort on the knees due to increased padding.
- Extra padding on the lower leg cushions makes it excellent for taller people
- Mesh covering keeps the seat and knees cool throughout the day
- Adjustable between 20.5 and 30 inches
- Ideal for both the tallest and the shortest customers
- Durable steel frame is designed to accommodate up to 240 lbs.
- Ergonomically designed with optimal angle for posture and long-term comfort
This is a great choice for people of all shapes and sizes. The mesh cushions keep the seat cool, and the sitting angle keeps your posture upright, causing less stress on your lower body. One of the best nontraditional designed kneeling chairs.
Clearly there are a wide variety of options on the market to choose from. However, with a little research and testing, the perfect kneeling chair can be found so that you won’t have to worry about being in pain from sitting at your desk all day long.
What to Look for in a Good Kneeling Chair
While some kneeling chairs come with a backrest, it should be remembered that the point of having one is to make the body lean forward at the pelvis. This should eliminate the need for the backrest. If the chair is well-designed, you will naturally lean forward, so this should be remembered when testing out various models.
The best chairs feature a 20° incline on the seat because that makes it more difficult to lean back and slouch when you sit. It is also important to pay attention to the height and weight restrictions as many versions are not designed for taller or heavier people. You will pay more for a model that accommodates a person with a bigger frame.
Lastly, if the chair is going to be used by multiple people, look for a model that is easily adjusted as some types can only be adjusted with tools.
Using a Kneeling Chair
When you begin using one of these types of chairs, it won’t be possible to sit in it for the entire day. It is recommended that you start with sitting in it for 20 minutes at a time and then switch back to your usual seat. You can gradually work up to being able to sit in your model for several hours at a time.
It should be remembered that staying seated in any position for extended periods of time can cause circulation issues and stiffness in your joints. As such, you will want to seating position from time to time.
If you’ve never used a kneeling chair before, here is a good YouTube video outlining their use:
The difficulty in finding the perfect model arises because different people have different body types. For this reason, you’ll want to ensure that the manufacturer has a generous return policy. This isn’t as big of an issue when you purchase a model in a store because you can sit in it for a while and try it out. However, the return policy is important to pay attention to if you are purchasing one online. You may also be interested in our gaming chair reviews.