Which kneeling chair is best?

Most people who sit all day for work have experienced back pain. Sitting in a normal desk chair puts significant stress on your lumbar region. Kneeling chairs, however, force you to engage your core while sitting and more evenly spread out your weight.

Like with any type of chair, comfort is mostly determined by the type and amount of padding, upholstery material and size of the seat. The Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair stands out in all of these areas, making it a top choice for most users.

What to know before you buy a kneeling chair

There is no doubt that kneeling chairs look a little odd when compared to standard desk chairs. However, this unusual design serves many purposes that could potentially not only make you healthier but also more productive.

Posture is a big issue for most people who sit all day at work. It is not uncommon to hunch your shoulders or arch your back — both things that can eventually lead to neck and back pain. Kneeling chairs force you to sit up straighter, which keeps your spine in a more neutral alignment and takes pressure off the discs in the lumbar region. They also force you to keep your core tighter, which strengthens these vital muscles.

Another benefit of kneeling chairs is the slightly forward-leaning position they keep you in. This helps increase focus on the task at hand, which many find results in increased productivity.

The first time you sit in a kneeling chair, you may find the position to feel awkward and even slightly uncomfortable. You may also find it fatiguing for your core. This is not unusual, and you shouldn’t take this as an indication that a kneeling chair is not for you. It just means that your body needs to get used to the new sitting position. It also needs some time to build up the necessary core strength to sit in a kneeling chair for extended periods.

It is best to start using your kneeling chair for short 15- to 30-minute sessions and then switch back to your old office chair for a while. Do this several times throughout the day. Over time you’ll begin to find the kneeling chair more and more comfortable and eventually you’ll no longer need to switch back to a regular chair.

What to look for in a quality kneeling chair

The materials of a kneeling chair play a role in its aesthetics, durability, comfort and price. Most models have either a wood or metal frame. Both can be equally durable but the latter tends to be more attractive. It is often more expensive though, as well.

For the upholstery, nylon is a smart choice because it is affordable, breathable and stands up to a lot of use. Leather is a premium option that has a classier look, and which is also breathable, but its high price tag may put it out of reach for some. You can save some money and achieve a similar refined look with faux leather, but you sacrifice on breathability and durability.

Thick and supportive padding is vital to a kneeling chair’s comfort. Memory foam is one of the best options because it retains its loft well. However, it’s density can make it hot. Regular foam is less dense, which allows for more airflow, but it has a tendency to lose its loft quicker.

Best kneeling chair

Like with any other type of chair, the ability to adjust a kneeling chair allows you to customize it to better fit your body type. Depending on the model, you may be able to adjust the height of the seat and the knee rests, the angle or both.

Some kneeling chairs have a small backrest in the lumbar region. These can be a good choice for those first testing out a kneeling chair who are worried about not having enough support.

One downside of kneeling chairs is how they almost lock your legs in place. This makes it a bit more of a hassle to get up every time you need something that is just a bit out of reach than when sitting in a regular office chair. Choosing a model with casters mitigates this issue since you can simply roll around.

How much you can expect to spend on a kneeling chair

The most affordable kneeling chairs start at around $50. High-end models made with premium materials often cost between $200-$400.

Kneeling chair FAQ

A. As long as it is comfortable for you, there is no reason you can’t use a kneeling chair for a full workday. That said, you should still get up and stretch or walk around for a couple of minutes every hour or so no matter what type of chair you are using.

A. While kneeling chairs can be very beneficial for some people, they may not be right for others. If you have poor circulation in your legs, kneeling chairs can exacerbate this issue. Likewise, if you tend to suffer from knee or shin pain, a kneeling chair likely won’t be a good choice.

What’s the best kneeling chair to buy?

Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair

What you need to know: This refined model comes in several colors and is made from premium ash wood that gives it a distinctive style.

What you’ll love: It can rock slightly on its base, which aids with circulation and allows you to relieve pressure on certain areas of your body when needed. It’s made in a factory that focuses on sustainability too, so you can feel good about buying it.

What you should consider: The frame tends to flex even under users well below its maximum stated weight capacity.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Office Star Kneeling Chair

What you need to know: This affordable model gets the job done and has more bells and whistles than many higher-priced options.

What you’ll love: The seat height is adjustable to customize it to your body. It also features smooth-rolling casters to provide you with some mobility while sitting.

What you should consider: The tilt and height are not independently adjustable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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VIVO Wooden Kneeling Chair with Wheels

What you need to know: With skin-friendly fabric and 4 inches of supportive memory foam cushioning, the VIVO kneeling chair can keep you comfortable all day long.

What you’ll love: The contrasting colors of the light wood frame and dark fabric give it an attractive aesthetic you don’t often get in its price range. It comes with a one-year warranty too, so you can feel confident purchasing it.

What you should consider: Adjusting the height is time consuming. Also, the maximum weight capacity is only 200 pounds.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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