Updated rankings for 2018!
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 2018
- 1. Sleekform Kneeling Chair M2– Best Overall Ergonomic Adjustable Stool
- 2. Varier Variable Balans– Most Stylish yet Functional Kneeling Chair/ by Peter Opsvik
- 3. DRAGONN Kneeling Chair– Comfortable Kneeling Chair with Lockable Casters
- 4. Sleekform Kneeling Chair– The Original Top Overall Adjustable Stool
- 5. MallBoo Original Variable Balans– Where Style meets Function and Affordability
- 6. Flash Furniture WL-SB-210-GG Mobile– Best Starter 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 2018
|Sleekform M2 Ergonomic Stool||22 pounds||250 pounds||$$||Check Price|
|Varier Variable Balans||14.2 pounds||240 pounds||$$$$||Check Price|
|Dragonn Kneeling Chair||18.7 pounds||250 pounds||$$||Check Price|
|Sleekform Original Stool||19.9 pounds||220 pounds||$$||Check Price|
|MallBoo Original Variable Balans||10.5 pounds||265 pounds||$$||Check Price|
|Flash Furniture Mobile||18 Pounds||200 pounds||$||Check Price|
1. Sleekform Kneeling Chair M2– Best Overall Ergonomic Adjustable Stool
When it comes to best ergonomic kneeling chair that not only alleviates back pain, but does so without shifting the discomfort to the rest of your body, the trophy goes to the Sleekform Kneeling Chair M2.
The hallmark of the M2 Kneeling Chair is the incredible 4″ thick cushions that leave most of the competition in the dust. Found on both the sitting and knee rest areas, the cushions use a combination of memory and regular foam to strike just the right balance between firmness and long term comfort. The result is one of the most comfortable kneeling chairs you’ll find, especially for prolonged sitting.
Another standout feature of the M2 Chair is the high level of adjustibility in terms of height. It goes from 21.7″ up to 28.5″ to suit a wide range of people or desk heights.
Sleekform’s Kneeling Chair M2 uses heavy duty rollerblade wheels instead of the cheaper casters found on other chairs. These wheels really make a difference on certain surfaces such as the carpet, gliding over it with ease. Even simple tasks like bringing the chair closer to the desk is less painful thanks to the smooth rolling wheels that don’t tend to lock up or go in different directions as much as traditional casters.
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 Sleekform Kneeling Chair M2 is the latest iteration in this well known company’s lineup of ergonomic kneeling chairs, and your best bet in taking your life back from constant aches and poor posture from sitting on traditional chairs.
- Thickest cushions in the industry, with 50% memory foam
- Versatile adjustable height
- High quality rollerblade wheels that don’t lock up
- 90 days money back gaurantee
- Some people complain the knee cushioning is too hard
2. Varier Variable Balans– Most Stylish yet Functional Kneeling Chair/ by Peter Opsvik
When it comes to kneeling chairs, function usually triumphs style, though with the Varier Variable Balans, you get both for an ergonomic kneeling chair that’s perfect for your home and for a variety of non office uses. The Varier has become very popular as a meditation stool, an ergonomic chair for children and teenagers, and an elegant yet functional art piece next to the coffee table. In a nutshell, it’s the opposite of all your typical kneeling chairs.
This chair is based on the original Norwegian designs from 1979, and still a classic. 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.
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. The advantage of the two piece knee design is that it automatically forces your hips to be open when you’re seated, engaging your abdominal and lower back muscles without any body adjustments. That’s why it’s especially ideal for kids.
The Varier Variable behaves a bit like a rocking chair, and does allow for some rocking motion as you sit. This dynamic or active sitting can further help prevent some of the back pain and other problems that arise from sitting still for too long.
Having said that, 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. You do 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.
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. DRAGONN Kneeling Chair– Comfortable Kneeling Chair with Lockable Casters
Lets start with the generous 3 inch cushions on the Dragonn that beats many competitors’ offerings. One of the biggest complaints users have with kneeling chairs in general is the lack of long term comfort, especially in the bottom or knee areas, after prolonged sitting. The Dragonn addresses this issue head up with the ultra thick, all mesh cushions that work remarkably well. Mesh fabric also 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 matters even more so.
The Dragonn ergonomic kneeling chair’s steel frame is sturdy and built to handle an upper weight limit of 250 pounds. The 4 well built casters allows you to move around in the chair relatively easily, with two of the wheels lockable to prevent unwanted movement. We did find that the casters tend to be stiff and lock up sometimes, however; for the ultimate in mobility, the Sleek Form Chair is still the one to beat.
Depending on your height or task at hand, being able to adjust the kneeling chair’s height is an important consideration. The Dragonn Chair doesn’t disappoint there either, with a base that can be raised from 21 up to 28 inches to achieve the most suitable angle to keep your back perfectly straight and your core engaged as you work.
All in all, the Dragonn ergonomic kneeling chair is one of the most functional chairs we’ve reviewed to ensure good posture and reduce back pain while you sit.
- Strong metal construction that supports up to 250 pounds
- Extra thick 3 inch mesh cushion for ultra comfort and cooling
- 4 wheel casters that are lockable to prevent unwanted movement
- Adjustable base height to cater to different people- chair raises from 21 inch to 28 inch
- Angled seat is sound ergonomic design
- Casters are sometimes stiff and lock up.
4. Sleekform Kneeling Chair– The Original Top Overall Adjustable Stool
With the debut of the Sleekform M2 Kneeling Chair and some new competitors, the original Sleekform Kneeling Chair drops a few notches in our rankings, but still retains our pick as one of the best overall kneeling stools you can get for your money. It’s around 10% cheaper than the newer Sleekform M2 while still offering most of the benefits of the later.
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.
The two biggest differences between this Sleekform Kneeling Chair and the newer Sleekform Kneeling Chair M2 are in the cushions and the casters. While both models’ cushions are thicker than most competitors’, the M2’s unique mix of memory and regular foam is slightly more comfortable to sit in than the original’s. The M2’s casters are also more heavy duty, with rollerblade wheels replacing the traditional casters that seem to have a mind of their own when moving. You will pay around 20% more for the M2 Model, however, and for the casual user, that could be the biggest determining factor.
- 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
5. 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
6. 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
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 M2 to get an idea of what’s involved in putting one together:Sleekform Kneeling Chair Assembly
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!