The best standing desk chair in 2022
The phrase best standing desk chair might sound like a contradiction in terms. Isn’t a standing desk supposed to be for, em, standing? Well, yes it is, but experts agree that you shouldn’t spend more than a portion of your working day standing up. Instead, it’s better for your posture and general energy levels to keep switching between standing, normal sitting, and what’s known as ‘active sitting’. And that’s where the best standing desk chair comes in.
One type of standing desk chair is known as a ‘leaning stool’. You don’t so much sit on it as lean or perch on it while working at a standing desk. This way it reduces the pressure on your feet, knees, hips, and lower back, but without the increased lower back stress of sitting. It also makes it much easier to move on and off your chair and take breaks, because you don’t get as comfortable and shouldn’t have the tendency to slump like you might when you’re sitting in a normal office chair for long periods of time.
Another type of standing desk chair is known as a ‘drafting chair’. This is similar to a normal office chair but can be adjusted to the height of a standing desk, or indeed other tall work surfaces such as a reception counter. Some of these can also be tilted like a leaning stool.
So what’s the best standing desk chair available today? In the guide below, we’ve gathered together our favourites for a range of budgets and in a variety of styles. We start with the best leaning stools, but you can skip ahead to the best drafting chairs if you prefer that type of chair. Meanwhile, if you’re shopping in general for office furniture that can help your posture, then don’t miss our guides to the best office chairs, the best standing desks and the best office chair for back pain.
The Safco Twixt Active Seating Chair is our choice as the best standing desk stool if you want something you can easily move around. A patented ring underneath the chair base lets you adjust the angle of the seat, letting you perch, lean or sit as you desire. You can adjust the height between 22 and 32 inches, and swivel through 360 degrees. It’s a very portable option, firstly because a finger groove under the seat makes it easy to lift and carry and secondly because, at just 14lbs, this is the lightest chair on our list.
If you need a slightly higher standing desk chair, then we recommend this Wobble Stool from Uncaged Ergonomics, which adjusts up to 84cm / 33in in height. It’s well built and does a good job of naturally tilting and leaning under your control. You can adjust the height between 28.5 and 84cm (23-33in) and swivel your seat through 360 degrees.
That plush, padded seat is very comfortable, and it’s well supported and stabilised by a counter-balanced base that benefits from a non-skid, non-scratch, non-marking cover. You don’t need any tools to assemble this stool, but be warned: you do need to apply a fair amount of force.
The Learniture Active Learning Stool is another good choice if you’re looking for a standing desk stool. A pneumatic gas lift adjusts the seat height from 47 to 71cm (18.5 to 28in), and the non-slip, curved base allows you a fairly wide range of motion. The vinyl-covered polyurethane seat is comfortable and easy to wipe clean. And it has a slightly larger weight capacity than other models on our list, at 120kg / 265lbs. Otherwise, there’s nothing particularly exciting about it, but it does do the job well.
Here’s a fresh, fun take on the best standing desk chair. Half balance ball, half chair, this unique design provides an alternative way to position yourself. The inflatable cushion swivels through 360° and works as an active seat, causing micro-movements that strengthen your core and improve your posture.
The stool adjusts between 45.7 and 58.4cm (18-23in), and the whole thing sits on five lockable, easy-glide caster wheels. You get an air pump to inflate the seat, and the stool supports a weight of up to 136kg / 300lbs. If you love using a balance ball at the gym, this could be your dream chair for your standing desk. Gaim also makes full exercise balls designed to be used as chairs.
This sit-stand stool is another of our choices as the best standing desk chair. It’s well-made and very robust and also it’s super-flexible, allowing a huge degree of adjustability that makes it suitable for both leaning at a standing desk, and sitting normally. You can raise the seat height between 20 and 28 inches, and the stool leans up to 10° off centre and rotates through 360°, letting you spin, wobble and tilt to your heart’s content.
The plush foam seat cushion supports up to 250lbs (113kg), and there’s a non-slip base that keeps everything nice and stable. Plus it’s easy to assemble, with no tools required. Overall, this stool does a great job of letting you lean when sitting, stretching your legs, aiding your posture and giving you an extra feeling of energy while working at a standing desk.
The best standing desk chairs: drafting chairs
If you’re looking for something you can use as both a normal office chair and a standing desk chair, this offering from Hylone is our number one pick. This chair allows you to adjust the height, seat tilt, and tilt tension. And with a breathable mesh back, padded flip-up arms, and a height-adjustable footrest rest, you have a high degree of flexibility to help you into the perfect position.
With built-in lumbar support, you’ll find this chair works well whether you’re working at a standing desk, a normal office desk, a high reception desk or a bar table. The Waterfall edge seat is nice and comfortable, its dual-wheel casters offer a good level of stability and mobility, and the chair offers a maximum capacity of 129kg / 285lbs.
Another good quality drafting chair for your standing desk, this model from Flash Furniture features a ventilated curved back with good lumbar support and a circular footrest. A pneumatic adjustment lever lets you adjust the seat to your desired height, between 58cm and 76cm (23 and 30in)
A tilt lock mechanism rocks/tilts the chair and locks it in an upright position; and there’s also a tilt tension adjustment knob to tweak the chair’s backward tilt resistance. As with the Hylone model above, you get flip-up arms and wheeled castors. This chair supports people weighing up to 136kg / 300lbs.
If you’re looking for a cheap option, this drafting stool from Amazon Basics is a good choice. It’s also a great option for tall people, as it’s the tallest chair on our list, being adjustable from 30.3 to 36.2in in height.
The 16-inch diameter leather cushion is nice and comfortable, and can be swivelled through 360 degrees. It comes with a 21-inch footrest and 24-inch base, which makes everything nice and stable. Otherwise, though, this is a pretty basic chair, which lacks the tilting features of the other models on our list. At the time of writing, this standing drafting chair hadn’t yet been released in the UK but was available for preorder.
Why should I buy a standing chair?
The idea behind standing chairs is to accompany a standing desk so that you spend the best part of your working time standing, but you still have the option to sit at regular intervals in order to rest.
“Standing desk chairs are great for improving your posture and general health says James Crow from Posture Stars. “They give you an active support that can keep you upright and able to shift position much more easily than a standard chair. Plus they’re fantastic for keeping you lively and alert for your online meetings too.”
In short, standing chairs allow you to get the best of both worlds: to use a standing desk for a more active work setup, but also to be able to rest and change your position to avoid getting tired, especially if you’re not used to standing up for long periods of time.
” I love the way you can quickly switch from standing to perching, to get a variety of good postures,” Crow adds. “And they help to avoid the aching feet that can come from standing at a desk for long periods of time.”
What’s the point of a standing desk?
The best standing desks have become popular in recent years and for good reason. People have realised that a sedentary lifestyle can cause a wide range of health problems, including back pain and poor posture. Spending more time on our feet can help correct that.
“Standing desks may be a great solution for those who may not be comfortable sitting, either because of pain or just preference,” says Dr Amy Hoover, physiotherapist at P.volve. “Standing vs sitting may also encourage better posture and spinal alignment. Standing allows us to engage more postural muscles, and helps encourage muscular support, and distributes forces throughout our body to lessen stress on one area.”
How should you stand at a standing desk?
Using a standing desk doesn’t mean you can completely forget about paying attention to posture. You need to be aware of how you’re standing, just as you would try to sit in the most healthy way possible in a chair.
“You need to be mindful of your posture when using a standing desk,” says Dr Amy. “Try standing with your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles in a line, and keep your joints soft, and distribute your weight evenly between both legs. Moving often is still necessary, and arguably more when you use a standing desk. Doing some waking every 30 minutes can help encourage blood flow and keep your muscles from tightening up.”