If you have a desk job and sometimes deal with neck pain, lower back problems or sciatic pain, a day at the office can feel like torture. You’ve tried an ergonomic office chair or even a standing desk already, but you still feel things are going in a downwards spiral. If that describes you, a ergonomic kneeling chair may just be what the doctor ordered. They are especially designed to maintain a natural curve in your lower back to remove pressure and put your entire back at ease.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve reviewed and compiled the best kneeling chairs that will help alleviate back pain, strengthen your core, and enhance the overall ergonomics of your sitting. When coupled with a standard office chair, by alternating your sitting routine between the two, many people can expect a dramatic improvement in their body postures, and as a result, reduction in body pains associated with sitting in the same position for too long.
- The Best Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs for 2017
- 1. Sleekform Kneeling Chair– Best Overall Ergonomic Adjustable Stool
- 2. Varier Variable Balans– Most Stylish yet Functional Kneeling Chair/ by Peter Opsvik
- 3. Flash Furniture WL-SB-210-GG Mobile– Best Starter Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- 4. MallBoo Original Variable Balans– Where Style meets Function and Affordability
- 5. Flash Furniture WL-1429-GG– Best Ergonomic Kneeling Chair for Limited Mobility
- 6. KHALZ Kneeling Chair– Excellent Office Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs- Brief History
- Things to Consider when purchasing an Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- What Features to Look For
- Are Kneeling Stools Hard to Assemble?
- Give Your Kneeling Chair Time
The Best Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs for 2017
|Sleekform Ergonomic Stool||19.9 pounds||220 pounds||$$||Check Price|
|Varier Variable Balans||14.2 pounds||240 pounds||$$$$||Check Price|
|Flash Furniture Mobile||18 Pounds||200 pounds||$||Check Price|
|MallBoo Original Variable Balans||10.5 pounds||265 pounds||$$||Check Price|
|Flash Furniture||22 pounds||250 pounds||$||Check Price|
|KHALZ Kneeling Chair||19.6 pounds||240 pounds||$$||Check Price|
1. Sleekform Kneeling Chair– Best Overall Ergonomic Adjustable Stool
The Sleekform Ergonomic Kneeling Chair combines quality and affordability. This kneeling chair has a steel frame and black faux leather upholstery. It looks a lot like the kind of ergonomic furniture that has become standard in the last few decades, making it a good stylistic fit in any modern office.
With twice as thick padding as most of its competitors, the Sleekfom ergonomic kneeling chair is comfortable even for prolonged sitting. The cushion may feel a bit dense and hard at first, but it gives you the kind of support you need for this type of chair. The sturdy steel frame can handle up to 220 pounds of weight. The height is also easier to adjust than most ergonomic kneeling chairs, so it’s a good choice if more than one person is going to be using the chair. Just turn a dial on the underside of the seat to raise or lower the seat.
The double thick mesh fabric is an excellent choice, making the chair comfortable and cool to sit in even after prolonged use.
Of course, any ergonomic chair is going to be a highly individual choice, and there’s no such thing as the perfect chair for everyone. The Sleekform isn’t the best choice for very short people, even at the lowest height setting. Some people have also noted that the angle of the seat is too horizontal, which means you have to make more of an effort to redistribute some of your weight to your shins.
I have to say that if you do have problems with your purchase, the customer service is excellent. In many cases they will replace the chair or even send you a new one, no questions asked, if you receive a damaged one. If the chair just doesn’t work for you, it should be easy to get a refund. Coupled with an extremely affordable price point, you really can’t go wrong with giving this kneeling chair a shot.
- Double thickness of cushion
- Generous sized knee rest
- Adjustable height
- Rolling wheels
- Easy assembly
- Sturdy metal construction
- Awesome customer service
- Unusual angle of main seat
- Not great for short people
2. Varier Variable Balans– Most Stylish yet Functional Kneeling Chair/ by Peter Opsvik
This chair is one of the original Norwegian designs from 1979, and still a classic. You will pay around $400 for this kneeling chair, making it the most expensive one reviewed here. What do you get for your money? The Varier Variable Balans is made of natural ash and polyester fabric. (The fabric comes from 100% recycled plastics, so there’s also an environmental incentive to choosing this model.) Although it can of course be used in any office setting, it’s a popular choice for living rooms and home offices because of its beautiful modern Scandinavian look.
This model looks a bit like a rocking chair, and does allow for some rocking motion as you sit. Dynamic or active sitting can help prevent some of the back pain and other problems that arise from sitting still for too long. You may be surprised by the lack of adjustment options – there’s no way to raise or lower the seat – but this chair works for a surprising range of body types even without the ability to customize the height and angles. It’s rated for weights up to 240 pounds.
With this chair you also have the option of buying a backrest, which is sold separately. Although you’re not really supposed to lean backwards on a kneeling chair, a backrest lets you take a break now and then without getting up.
One of the biggest differences between the Varier and other ergonomic kneeling chairs is the configuration of the knee rests. Most kneeling chairs have one large knee rest, while this model has two smaller ones. If you prefer to sit with your knees close together at least some of the time, this may not be an advantage.
Overall, this is one of those simple but effective designs that was destined to become a classic. If your budget allows, the Varier Variable Balans can be a great feature in your office or living space.
- Great Scandinavian style
- Comes in a few different colors
- Natural ash base
- Fabric made of 100% recycled plastics
- Optional backrest also available
- Knee rest design limits versatility
3. Flash Furniture WL-SB-210-GG Mobile– Best Starter Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
It’s not hard to see why this is one of the best-selling ergonomic kneeling chairs on the market, considering its unbelievable price point (check latest price). But this chair has a lot more to offer than just a low price.
The Flash Furniture Mobile Wooden Ergonomic Kneeling Chair has enough functionality to work in a professional office setting. The 2 ½ inch thick padding means that you can sit in it for extended periods. This chair also features dual casters for great mobility.
A kneeling chair certainly isn’t just solely for work. They’re also a great option for watching TV, gaming, or just sitting and playing around on your phone or tablet. With its natural wood frame, this model may blend into your home décor better than a lot of ergonomic office furniture.
The WL-SB-210-GG is rated at 200 pounds and the height is fairly easy to adjust by turning a ring on the central support post. This chair works well for both tall and short people.
This chair does have a few downsides, however. Although some buyers report that it’s easy enough to assemble, many people find that the instructions for assembly are confusing and hard to follow. Also, you get what you pay for in terms of materials. The fabric and stitching are a bit flimsy and may give out before long. Some consumers have said that the wooden frame eventually cracks and they have to replace the chair sooner than if they had gone for a more expensive model in the first place.
But at this price, you’re taking a very small risk. If you want to get a sense of how an ergonomic kneeling chair will work for you, this is one of the most affordable ways to do it.
- Ultra Affordable
- Wooden frame looks good in either office or non-office setting
- Thick padding
- Adjustable height
- Dual casters
- Cheap fabric and stitching
- Some report wood cracking
- Bad instructions for assembly
4. MallBoo Original Variable Balans– Where Style meets Function and Affordability
If you’ve fallen in love with the look and feel of the original Norwegian design that is Varier but don’t want to pay a premium for the design, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a more affordable option available. The MallBoo looks a lot like the Varier, but for less than half the price. It also comes in a wide variety of colors, so you’re sure to find one that will work perfectly in your space.
How do they do it? The wooden frame is made of birch veneer plywood, a less expensive alternative to ash. The polyester fabric also allows the manufacturers to offer this chair at a lower price. Cheaper means something has to give, of course. A few buyers have complained about the thin and overly soft padding on the seat and knee rests. There have also been some issues with the dowels that attach the seat and knee rests being the wrong length. Overall though the build quality is good, with a very sturdy frame that supports up to 265 pounds in weight, the highest of all of the kneeling chairs featured in this guide.
If you can afford the Variable by Varier, it’s a better choice. However, if you’re on a more restricted budget and are looking for something similar, the MallBoo is an excellent stand-in.
- Aesthetically pleasing design for home or office
- Natural birch frame
- Comes in several different colors
- Allows for rocking or other movement
- More affordable than other similar chair
- No casters
- Not adjustable
- Thin padding
5. Flash Furniture WL-1429-GG– Best Ergonomic Kneeling Chair for Limited Mobility
Many people turn to kneeling chairs in an attempt to deal with a lot of pain and discomfort caused by sitting. Pain may even be seriously interfering with your ability to earn a living. The WL-1429-GG Ergonomic Kneeling Chair from Flash Furniture may be just what you need. At less than $100 it’s one of the most affordable chairs reviewed here. It features rollers rather than casters, striking a happy medium between mobility and stability.
One common problem people have with kneeling chairs is getting in and out of them. How exactly do you sit on a kneeling chair? Do you straddle it from behind or stand beside it? If you’re in a lot of pain or have reduced mobility, it can be quite a conundrum. This model features polyurethane foam handles to make getting up and down easier. You can also choose not to install the handles if this feature doesn’t interest you.
That said, this chair doesn’t work for everybody. Some people have complained that the padding is too thin for comfort, though you may be able to remedy this by adding a gel pad. Other people have complained that the knee rest is quite small, which didn’t allow them to space their knees comfortably apart. And, as always, you get what you pay for. With a cheaper model you will find that the foam on the handles doesn’t last, and you may have to replace the chair sooner than with a more expensive model.
On the whole, this is an affordable and functional choice that has made working life easier for a lot of people with back pain.
- Handles make it easier to get in and out of
- Affordable (under 100 dollars)
- Adjustable with knob on back of seat
- Knee rest small for some people
- Some reviewers said the padding was not generous enough
- Handle foam doesn’t last
6. KHALZ Kneeling Chair– Excellent Office Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
The Khalz ergonomic kneeling chair’s steel frame is sturdy and built to handle an upper weight limit of 240 pounds. The mesh fabric keeps the contact areas of your body cool by allowing for adequate airflow between the surface of the kneeling chair. If you sweat a lot, the fabric of the kneeling chair should be an important consideration.
On the downside, some buyers have found that the casters on the Khalz Kneeling Chair to be of mediocre quality and don’t move freely. This can cause them to stick and dig into your floor when you try to move. However, the casters are of a standard size and aren’t hard to replace. Also, this model isn’t the best if you’re very tall or have very long legs. If you do run into problems, however, customer service is excellent and you won’t have a hassle returning or replacing you chair.
All in all, the Khalz ergonomic kneeling chair is a solid choice for the office, and it won’t set you back too much money.
- Strong steel frame
- Extra padding in both seat and knee rest area.
- Sleek, compact design
- Adjustable height
- Angled seat is sound ergonomic design
- Not the best for long legs/tall people
- Casters are sometimes stiff
- Some people find the padding too hard
Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs- Brief History
Kneeling chairs are nothing new. They’ve been around since about 1979 when Norwegian designers like Hans Christian Mengshoel and Peter Opsvik first introduced ergonomic kneeling chairs to the market. Since then, there have been all kinds of variations on the theme. Some look a bit like standard office task chairs, complete with casters, adjustable height, and the mesh-and-metal look that’s so popular in ergonomic office furniture. Other models use natural wood, textured fabrics and sleek Scandinavian design. Some of the best ergonomic kneeling chairs combine great function with a beautiful modern aesthetic to give you the best of both worlds.
Things to Consider when purchasing an Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
The more reviews you read, the more you start to realize how different people’s likes and dislikes can be. How do you even begin to find the right chair for you?
Kneeling chairs are designed to encourage you to sit up straight, but they don’t guarantee that you will. If you sit on a kneeling chair and lean more forward than back, you will probably end up with good sitting posture. If you lean back and slouch, you’re not getting any benefit from the chair. Look for a chair that makes it easy to sit upright and slightly forward. For best results, try to find a kneeling chair with an angled seat. An angle of at least 20 degrees will make it harder to lean back and easier to sit up straight.
Generally speaking, very tall people will have a harder time finding an ergonomic kneeling chair that fits. With a standard desk height, there’s only so much room for your legs, and you may end up with an uncomfortable amount of knee bending in order to fit.
Some people assume that if you have knee problems, you can’t use a kneeling chair. This isn’t necessarily the case. Ergonomic kneeling chairs take some of the pressure off of your back, but they shouldn’t put the weight on your knees. Instead, some of the weight is borne by your shins, though most is still carried by your buttocks as in a regular chair.
- Reduced back, neck or sciatic pain for some people
- Open hip position and better posture
- Can be alternated with a regular chair
- Active, dynamic sitting helps build core strength and reduce pain
- Easier to do tasks that involve reaching forward
- Many people find a kneeling chair more comfortable when working with a computer
- Leg movement restricted
- Pressure on shins can cause pain
- Can restrict circulation to legs with prolonged use
- Getting up and sitting down can be difficult
What Features to Look For
Some kneeling chairs come with backrests. The whole point of a kneeling chair is to tip you forward at the pelvis, so a back rest shouldn’t be necessary on a well-designed chair if you’re using it properly.
Look for a seat with at least 20 degrees of incline. This will make it harder for you to lean back and slouch.
Make sure you understand the weight and height restrictions before you buy. Err on the side of caution, and if you’re especially large, short or tall, be prepared to pay a bit more for what you need.
If more than one person is going to be using the chair, try to find one with adjustable height. Some chairs are theoretically adjustable but you need tools in order to change the height.
Are Kneeling Stools Hard to Assemble?
In general kneeling chairs are easier to put together than a traditional office chair, with less parts involved. It should take you less than 30 minutes to fully assemble a kneeling chair.
Take a look at the following instructional video for the Sleekform Kneeling Chair to get an idea of what’s involved in putting one together:
Give Your Kneeling Chair Time
When you first start using an ergonomic kneeling chair, don’t expect to be able to sit on it all day. Keep your main chair and just use the kneeling chair for 20 minutes or so at a time. You may find that this is the best way to use your chair in the long term. I tend to find myself going back and forth between my chairs to get the best results. Staying in any one position for a long time is never as good as moving around a bit – even if it’s just changing chairs!
For a lot of people, the benefits of using a kneeling chair outweigh the added strain on their shins. If you’re suffering with a lot of neck or back pain, an ergonomic kneeling chair may end up being your best option as as main desk chair.
Trying One Out
In the end, the only way to know if a chair will work for you is to try it. That may sound like a tall order when you’re shopping online, but it’s possible. Retailers know that some things need to be tried out, and they will usually let you return items for a certain period. Look for companies with good return policies and excellent customer service.
We hope that this buyer’s guide has given you a better idea of where to start. With a little research and persistence, you should be able to find the best ergonomic kneeling chair for you!