How do you choose a standing desk chair or stool? Start with your purpose. Why are you here, reading this?
Your doctor might have told you that your sedentary lifestyle will have long-term effects. You might be a musician or painter. You might have limited space in your office. You might have back pain. Or, you might simply think it’s a cool trend.
I bought a chair for a standing desk because I’ve had hip surgery and my doctor recommended one. So I did a lot of research on what’s best, and I’ve discussed things with my doctor and chiropractor.
All the models in this review are stools and chairs I considered getting myself. I reviewed their pros and cons with my doctors, so I could understand which chair is best for which purpose.
Now, I want to share all that information with you plus answer all your questions. Read on!
What is a Standing Up Office Chair?
A standing desk chair is a chair you can use for your standing desk, so it should be at least 30-inch tall, considering that most standing desks are 44 inches high.
Standing desk chairs don’t look like typical standing office chairs, so they’re not plush, they don’t have tall backrests with headrests or highly-adjustable armrests. Standing chairs keep your spine moving, so they’re best for back pain.
Top 11 Best Standing Ergonomic Desk Chair & Stool Models Review:
Aren’t all standing chairs ergonomic? No. Plus, all the models are completely different. Keep your purpose and shape in mind before making any purchase. I’ve selected a winner for each category to make things easier.
1. Harwick Evolve All Mesh Heavy Comfortable Ergonomic Chair With Back Support – Best #1 Model
The Harwick Evolve has an ergonomic design that helps you maintain a correct posture thanks to its curved seatback and comfortable seat. The waterfall seat edge doesn’t dig into your thighs, so your blood can circulate unrestricted.
Harwick Evolve is a sturdy chair backed by a 10-year guarantee. Notice the strong and supportive materials used for manufacturing the Evolve: the Duragrid mesh that’s patented and supportive, plus the heavy-duty gunmetal-coated base that supports people up to 325 pounds.
Harwick Evolve keeps the pain away thanks to a combination of factors, like the elastic Duragrid mesh, the ergonomic design, and the lumbar support, which together prevent muscle stiffness and joint pain. These features support good posture, with aligned hips and spine that rest in a natural position.
You even get good upper body support. If you want to relax, you can flip-down the armrests and use the Evolve as a regular chair. Use the pneumatic height-adjustment mechanism to lift or lower your chair 20-inches.
Harwick Evolve offers dynamic support in all positions. Thanks to its Synchro-Tilt technology, the seat lifts with the seatback when you recline. Thanks to its Infinite tilt lock, you can secure the Evolve at any recline angle you want.
Summary: The Harwick Evolve is an ergonomic and versatile chair with several adjustments that help you keep a correct posture in all positions.
2. Varidesk Standing Desk Adjustable Chair by VARICHAIR – Best Value Budget Tall Chair
The Varidesk Varichair is the best value budget standing chair because it’s ergonomic and comfortable enough. The bonus is it will come fully assembled.
The Varidesk uses medium-quality materials. Although the base and seat pan are plastic-made, the plastic used is durable enough for a few years.
The Varidesk sports basic adjustments. You can pivot thanks to a 360-degree swivel, and the side handle is conveniently placed. This chair has a forward tilt to keep your hips and spine aligned, but it doesn’t offer wobbling or bouncing movements.
The seat is ergonomic. You will rest on a small and convex seat that keeps your hips open, but the seat padding is firm, so not extremely comfy for long hours.
The Varidesk keeps your correct posture. The combination of 135ᵒ leg angle and forward tilt allow you to sit upright in a natural position, and to move how you want. This constant movement fights stiffness and pain, but it comes with a steep learning curve.
Summary: The Varidesk Varichair is a good budget option if you need an ergonomic standing up chair that lets you move a lot.
3. Ergo Impact LeanRite Ergonomic With Mat – Best Leaning Stool for Standing Desk
This leaning stool received various awards because it works great for mobility-challenged people. Ergo Impact LeanRite changes the meaning of ergonomics with its adjustable stool and mat that help people stand more.
LeanRite makes your core stronger because you will sit in a neutral position. The corollary advantage is no numbness in your tailbone area, which usually happens with most stools.
You can sit on the LeanRite for hours. This stool allows you to move when you’re at the office, which means you can adjust your position, but still be supported. The result is less joint pain and stiffness.
LeanRite is a sturdy and stable chair courtesy of its quality materials, including the aluminum frame, urethane wheels, an anti-fatigue mat.
Summary: The Ergo Impact Leanrite is an award-winning leaning stool that helps mobility-challenged people to strengthen their core.
4. Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool – Height-Adjustable Standing Stool
Varier Move has a proven reputation because it has been manufactured and bought for almost 35 years by people all over the world.
Varier Move is sturdy and durable, which you can infer from its long warranty and quality materials, such as the hardwood base.
The Move keeps you moving during the day because it lets you wobble in every direction, including back and forward, thanks to an upward curving base.
The Move lets you stay put. Just use the bases’ flat section, and you’ll find that this is a stable chair.
The Move is comfortable for hours because it has an ergonomic saddle design that opens your hips to help you keep a correct posture. You’ll also like the thick padding that’s the right combination of firm and supportive. However, the saddle seat has a learning curve too.
Varier Move adjusts to your size and sitting preferences because it offers a height adjustment up to 34 inches, with a total of three height levels.
Summary: Varier Move is a good choice for tall people thanks to its wide range of height adjustments, as well as for people who appreciate a wobbling design.
5. AERIS Muvman Sit-Stand Stool – Great Mobile Standing Chair
The Aeris Muvman is a representative of German quality. Its design has won it many awards thanks to its user-friendliness and durability.
The Muvman uses top materials, such as glass-fiber reinforced with precision-coating polyimide for the base and seat pan, with breathable microfiber upholstery. The result is a strong and light chair that’s not prone to scratches. The rim is made from non-slip rubber, and the mounting plate is steel, which is also resistant to materials that make the Muvman stable.
The Muvman offers firm support because the seat pan is small and has little padding. The aligns your hips to your spine, but it might not be comfortable for hours.
The Muvman helps you maintain a correct posture in all positions because the chair has a 4ᵒ front tilt to open your hips and to offer reliable support when you’re changing postures.
The Muvman offers a wide range of height adjustments for leaning or sitting. It can be lifted up or down within 13 inches, but you get three extra inches for tall people.
Summary: The Aeris Muvman is a good option if you want to be supported in all your positions.
6. Luna Standing Desk Stool by Fully – Good Stand Up Desk Chair
Luna Standing accommodates a wide range of users thanks to its height adjustments between 23.6 and 33.5 inches and 300 pounds max accepted weight, although petite users might have issues sitting down completely.
The Luna is a resistant, non-slip chair thanks to its sturdy aluminum base coated with rubber for enhanced grip.
Luna Standing strengthens your core muscles thanks to its innovative design that has you halfway between standing and sitting in a dynamic position that makes you feel more energized.
The chair promotes a correct posture and enhances your blood circulation because you’ll be almost standing up all the time, which allows you to move however you want, while still receiving enough support to maintain a neutral position. Even tall people will have their legs at a 120-degree angle.
Luna Standing offers firm support because the seat cushion isn’t plush for long hours sitting, but it keeps your hips in a naturally open position.
Summary: The Luna chair by Fully is elegant, but it also promotes blood flow, works your core, and alleviates back pain because it keeps you in a correct posture.
7. SONGMICS (Sitting Balance Model)
The SONGMICS Balance Chair raises your energy levels and enhances productivity because it has an ergonomic design that allows you to swivel 360-degree and tilt to 8-degree. Your muscles are constantly working, so they won’t get tired or stiff.
The seat is supportive and comfortable thanks to its high-density reflex foam that adjusts to your shape and keeps your hips aligned to your spine and open at a correct angle. The 2.6-inch thick padding is comfy enough even for those who prefer plusher chairs.
It’s better for sitting because the two-seat height adjustment levers lift or lower the stool between 19.7 and 27.6 inches.
The chair is safe thanks to its large 16.1-inch base covered with an anti-slip PVC pad, which protects you from the risk of falling and your floor from scratches.
The chair is made with quality materials, such as polypropylene and steel for the frame and base, quality memory foam and polyester for the upholstery.
Summary: This SONGMICS is a good option for painting, reading, teaching or practicing the guitar, but doesn’t work that well with a standing desk.
8. Modway Charge Drafting Chair
Modway Charge keeps you in a relaxed, neutral position because it has a human back construction, with a spine in the middle and flexible ribs on the side, which contour and support your back however you move.
The backrest is comfortable and breathable thanks to its elastic mesh that promotes good airflow.
The seat also promotes good circulation because it’s slightly curved and boasts a waterfall edge that doesn’t press into your thighs.
The seat is comfortable for hours thanks to its cushiony padding covered with breathable mesh upholstery. The seat padding offers reliable support, aligning your hips to your spine and keeping them slightly open.
You get good support for your whole body. The padded vinyl armrests are easy to flip down if you want arm support, while the steel foot ring is secure and large enough to take the pressure off your feet.
Summary: If you want to sit down once in a while at your standing desk, move your stool aside and get the Modway Charge, which is an ergonomic, comfortable, and supportive model.
9. UPLIFT Motion Stool – Good Ergonomic Stool for Standing Desk
The Uplift Motion Stool keeps you moving because you can wobble on it to enhance blood circulation and to give your core muscles quite a workout, plus it also rotates. The problem is that it’s difficult to keep the chair stable.
The Motion is sturdy and anti-slip thanks to a molded rubber base with a top grip and a polypropylene body that’s a resistant material.
The seat is comfy and ergonomic thanks to its padding and waterfall edge that enhance blood flow and keep your hips in a slightly open-angle.
The height has a 10-inch adjustment range. Although other chairs have bigger height adjustments, 10 inches are enough to find a comfortable position.
Summary: If you want a self-balancing stool that moves when you move, Uplift Motion engages your core muscles and promotes a natural, dynamic posture.
10. Modway Attainment Drafting Chair – Mobile Model for Standing Desk With Back Support
This chair can be used for a lot of purposes, not limited to a standing chair. You can use it for painting, teaching, reading, playing the guitar, gaming, or even as a reception chair.
The Attainment is comfortable for long hours because the mesh backrest is breathable and elastic enough for top support, while the seat is the right mix of support and plushness thanks to its quality foam.
Pro tip: Don’t wear shorts on the seat because its vinyl upholstery makes you sweaty.
This chair is good for people with chronic back pain thanks to its lumbar support and waterfall edge that takes the pressure off your thighs, so you don’t have to lean forward in the hopes of minimizing thigh pain.
The Attainment has various ergonomic options for full-body support, including 22.5-30 height, reliable chrome-plated foot ring, and height-adjustable armrests to minimize upper body aches and pains.
Summary: The Modway Attainment is a good replacement for your standing stool because it’s adjustable, offers good support to your whole body, and decreases back pain.
11. Active Collection FWS-1000-BK Pivot Stand-Up Leaning Seat
The FWS-1000 encourages you to move while you’re sitting because your legs form a 130-degree with your chest, so you will lean on the chair instead of sitting down. However, this angle is uncomfortable for short people.
The chair offers firm support thanks to its Tri-Flex seat padding that opens your hips and aligns them to your spine so you can maintain a correct posture. Although the seat is ergonomic, some people prefer plush and thick paddings for long hours.
The seat doesn’t put pressure into your hamstrings and tailbone because it has a waterfall design and sitz bone contours that allow proper weight distribution. Basically, your weight isn’t supported by your tailbone or thighs, but by the chair.
The chair offers good height adjustments between 26 and 33.5 inches, and the two side grips are conveniently placed within easy reach.
Summary: The Active Collection FWS-1000 offers dynamic support, promotes a natural posture and dynamic movements.
Types of Standing Up Chairs
- Active sitting chairs are good for core engagement and constant movements. They’re recommended to people who want to minimize their sitting time and who want to stay focused.
- Drafting chairs have a backrest and comfy seat, but they don’t fit under the regular desk. These chairs are multifunctional because you can use them for reading, painting, teaching, or playing an instrument.
- Leaning stools allow a variety of postures, whether you sit, lean or stand on them.
- Stability balls are best for core engagement, but not very stable.
Standing Desk vs Kneeling Chair
Kneeling chairs have support for your knees and arch your lower back to lower the pressure in your spinal discs. If you have chronic back pain or are at risk for it, kneeling chairs are a good solution because they keep you in an upright posture. If you have knee pain, these chairs might put too much pressure on them.
Standing desk chairs enhance your overall posture because they support active movements, so your spine is flexed throughout the day. The advantage is that you can move more and that they don’t press into your knees.
Standing Desk vs Ball Chair
Ball chairs come with a seat frame-like support, or you can purchase a stability ball. Either way, these balls might not be high enough for a stand up desk, and definitely not as easy to adjust as a standing desk chair.
While ball chairs engage your core more, especially when you’re using them without their support, they might put too much pressure on your tailbone, and they’re especially wobbly.
Standing chairs allow free moving and dynamic support, as well as stability, though they’re not as bouncy as ball chairs.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing the Standing Desk Stools or Chair
- Long warranty. Look for a chair backed by a few years of warranty to rest assured it’s a durable model.
- Height adjustment. You need to make sure the chair supports you in every position, regardless of your needs and body size.
- Portability. Ensure that the chair is easy to move because it’s light and/or has incorporated handles.
- Quality build. The materials have to be sturdy. The base and seat pan should be metal or glass fiber, or at the very least durable plastic.
- Dynamic support. Make sure the chair keeps you in a correct posture regardless of how you’re moving.
- Seat comfort. Your seat should be accommodating of your shape and size, with a quality padding that cradles your bum and doesn’t put pressure on your tailbone or thighs.
- Seat design. Convex seats are good for improved blood circulation thanks to their round edges. Concave seats with an inward curve are ergonomic because they curve to your shape. Saddle chairs are dynamically supportive and correct your posture by opening your hips and forcing you to sit up straight.
- Stability. Make sure the chair doesn’t tip over and that the base has a good grip.
- Upholstery. You need a breathable upholstery that doesn’t rip easily, and that doesn’t scratch your skin.
- Adjustability. Look for various adjustments that fit your purposes, such as seat height for various postures, arm height for upper body support if you get a drafting chair, or the ability to change between wobbling, bouncing, sitting, and standing positions for extra mobility.
- A standing desk. Make sure you can use the chair you’re getting for your standing desk. Wirecutter has some good advice on which desk to choose important buying advice here.
Are Bar Stools and Standing Support Chair Good for Posture?
A traditional ergonomic sitting position has your knees and elbows bent at 90ᵒ. Recent research suggests that people have an evolutionary need to move as much as possible and that sitting is bad for posture because it makes your spine and joints stiff.
Standing chairs and high-top chairs are better because they allow you to keep moving. Standing support chairs engage your core and keep you in an upright position that’s closer to what your body needs.
Quality standing chairs are ergonomic. They help your blood circulation; they align your hips to your spine and open your hips at a comfortable angle. These features decrease long-term joint and bone aches.
Are Standing Chairs Good for You?
Staying in one place is probably not very conducive to getting things done, but with a standing desk, you can shift your workstation from place to place, even if you only switch back and forth every few hours. But the key is to keep your body still, even if it’s just for a few seconds, as your back will not recover the same way. Staying still for long periods of time, however, can interfere with your posture, causing stiffness, which can make it more difficult to perform tasks, says McQueeney. One big concern about standing desks is that they reduce fitness, with studies suggesting that they can lead to muscle atrophy, lower endurance, and weight gain. But as real-world experiences tell us, they can be a healthy way to boost fitness while also leaving a lower carbon footprint and leading to more energy savings for employers.
Here’s what it takes to design a standing desk that’s both helpful and good for you. All-metal designs As far as I can tell, the only thing standing metal can do better than wood is to keep you from falling over. If you care more about building strength than aesthetics, all-metal desks are a must. These metal models are heavy-duty and heavy, so you won’t be slipping or trying to sit down to adjust your laptop. If you do want a lighter desk, metal and plastic-framed designs are a safe option. This classic desk is just the right size for a small office, and it weighs just 3.3 pounds. You can find all sorts of solid metal desks with built-in stabilizers, adjustable legs, etc. They’re popular among architects and the heavy-duty set. Most of them are fairly affordable, too.
Where to Buy. What Customers Are Saying
There are many places where you can get desk chairs and stools, such as Ikea, Staples, or Office Depot, but that entails a lot of research work on your part.
I’d recommend checking the websites for the products I listed here to see if you can get any discounts or deals.
Otherwise, your best bet is to check Amazon for fast shipping and low prices. The advantage of Amazon is that you can also read some customer reviews.
Speaking of that, let’s see what customers are saying about some of the products I included in this review.
- Harwick Evolve. Andy Fitzgerald likes how comfortable and versatile the Evolve is, comparable to his previous Aeron, but Rick Graichen warns that the armrests are too low for some people.
- Varidesk Varichair. Some people, including Tom, complain that the Varidesk doesn’t last as long as they’d like, although it’s an expensive model. Other people, like Geochick, found that the Varidesk is comfortable and durable, so this is probably a matter of getting shipped a bad product.
- Ergo Impact LeanRite. Brian emphasizes both the strong points and the negative ones when he says that this is a 5-star leaning stool, but a 3-4-star is sitting chair because it’s not as comfortable as a recliner or couch, but it keeps you moving.
- Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool. This model has only good reviews. Sarah C. says it’s a great stool for musicians, Sparebanken NOR says that his first Varier Move lasted for years, and Peter Jones is happy about getting rid of his back pain courtesy of this stool.
- AERIS Muvman Sit-Stand Stool. Zach Nathan offers a comprehensive review of the Aeris Muvman because he owned one for over six years. While he admits that the stool is good, he also admits that it’s not perfect. While he says the Muvman is durable, comfortable, and sleek, he feels that the cushion is too firm and claims that his height adjustment buttons malfunctioned after a year.
- Luna Standing Desk Stool by Fully. This stool is lacking in user reviews on Amazon, but those who have written about it claim it’s a good, durable stool, although its firm seat padding isn’t great for long-term sitting.
- SONGMICS (Sitting Balance Model). Patrick Pruitt says that the Songmics helped him recover after his hip surgery and appreciates the customer service, but Johanna Miller is not happy about the chair’s firm cushion.
After reading these reviews, it’s important to remember two key things:
1. Comfort looks different for each person, but standing chairs are made for standing, not sitting. Standing chairs have to give you ergonomic support and ensure you’re always keeping a correct posture, so that’s why their seat cushions are firmer than a plush model, such as Harwick Tall Office Chair or the La-Z-Boy Delano.
2. You may be shipped a damaged product, especially if you purchase a used one. Make sure you get a reliable warranty and contact the company’s customer service as soon as possible to remedy this issue.
Final Conclusion on Standing Desk Chairs. What to Choose?
If you read this article or any of my other articles, you know how important it is to get products that cater to your needs.
Consider the type of standing chair that is best for your needs, then choose from the list above. The first question you should ask is, “why do I want a standing chair?”
That’s exactly the question I tried to answer throughout this article, so let’s recap:
- Best ergonomic budget option: Varidesk Varichair
- Best for mobility-challenged people: Ergo Impact LeanRite
- Best for tall people: Varier Move
- Best for support in all positions: Aeris Muvman
- Best for back pain: Luna chair by Fully
- Best for versatility: SONGMICS Adjustable Chair
- Best for sitting comfort: Modway Charge
- Best for core engagement: Uplift Motion
- Best for total body support: Modway Attainment
- Best for natural posture: Active Collection FWS-1000
And of course, the best overall model is the Harwick Evolve because its ergonomic design corrects your posture and minimizes back or tailbone pain.
The Evolve offers good upper body support and foot support, as well as dynamic support in all positions thanks to its Synchro-tilt technology, for short and tall people. Bonus: a 10-year warranty backs it.
Harwick Evolve is an all-in-one type of standing desk chair, so it’s the best investment you can make. Order it now and get the best total body support, core engagement, and correct posture right in your office.