Before 1979, there were no kneeling chairs. Like none. Zero. Zilch.
But thanks to the innovators Hans Christian Mengshoel and Peter Opsvik, we’re here talking about the best kneeling chairs of 2021.
Working a 9-5 daily shift can take a toll on you, especially when you sit in the same chair for a huge chunk of those 8 tiresome hours.
That’s why we should thank Hans and Pete again for inventing the kneeling chair. As a matter of fact, Pete’s original design, the Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair is this article’s top pick.
Our best kneeling chairs at a glance
- Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair
- DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- SLEEKFORM Kneeling Chair
- Papafix Adjustable Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- VIVO Wooden Rocking Kneeling Chair
- Bathwa Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- BetterPosture Jazzy Multifunctional Kneeling Chair
- Office Star Ergonomically Designed Knee Chair
- Ergonomic Rocking Kneeling Chair
- Himimi Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- Kneeling Chair with Orthopedic Back Pain Seat
The 11 Best Kneeling Chairs in 2021
1. Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair
Type: Double padded rocking Balans | Weight: 14.15 pounds | Adjustable Height: NO | Frame Material: Wood
Let’s start on a lighter note. Imagine an animated series with every character in it being a kneeling chair. The Varier Variable Balans kneeling chair would be the main star of season 1.
Last week on “The Originals.” …
This Norwegian classic is the original kneeling chair which was designed by Peter Opsvik back in 1979.
Weighing a mere 14.5 pounds, this is a lightweight chair, hence despite not having wheels, you can easily move it around the room.
This beauty is pricey, no argument there. However, it is worth every cent—it is attractive, made with high-quality material, feels comfortable, and is excellently designed by very adept Scandinavians. When you purchase this chair, not only are you buying all these benefits, you’re also building your core muscles.
It also comes with free soft tape which prevents the chair from scratching your hard floors.
- Excellent build quality
- Great knee/shin comfort
- Allows more trunk mobility
- Less maneuverable since it doesn’t have wheels
2. DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Most Sturdy X-design
Type: x-frame Kneeling Stool | Weight: 18.86 pounds | Capacity: 250 Pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Metal
Like most metallic frames, the chassis was built for respectable loads; the chair can support up to 250 lb, and it has 4 sturdy casters (wheels) which give it more mobility but can also be locked to offer you stability.
Comfortability is sorted by the great padding; your shins and ‘behind’ are well taken care of by the thick cushions on the seat and knee pads. Moreover, the seat and knee pads are adjustable—you can raise the seat from 21 inches up to 28 inches.
If you have terrible sciatic pains which won’t let you sit on a regular seat but you just want to sit down for some minutes, I recommend a chair just like this.
- Tilted and adjustable Seat
- Thick cushions
- Easy to assemble
- The leather material means sweaty knees in a warmer environment
3. SLEEKFORM Kneeling Chair
Type: x-frame Kneeling Stool | Weight: 20 pounds | Capacity: 220 pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Alloy Steel
This chair is one of the most popular kneeling chairs on the market. It has an x-base frame design with 4 replaceable rolling caster wheels, so you can effortlessly move the chair around. When you want to set a fixed position, you can simply lock the front castors.
The SLEEKFORM Kneeling Chair is adjustable and allows you to adapt it to your preferred position. The seat pivots between 91°-117°, and the height can be adjusted from 21 inches up to 28 inches.
The super comfy padded cushions on the seat and knee pad which are wrapped in a vinyl upholstery offer your body very smooth support. The vinyl also makes the seats easy to clean.
- Metal construction
- Easy to assemble
- Thick comfortable cushion
- The seat angle is not steep enough
4. Papafix Adjustable Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Good Build Quality
Type: x-frame Kneeling Stool | Weight: 17.65 pounds | Capacity: 250 Pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Iron
Want to grab a notepad from the adjacent table? Sink into this chair, and simply slide to the other table on the 4 caster wheels. The locked wheels also come in handy when you don’t want the chair to swivel around.
The Ergonomic Kneeling Chair has a typical x base design with a 90-degree angle of the seat and knee pads. The chair is built around a strong metal frame which is so sturdy that it can support a load of up to 250 Pounds.
The cushioning is made with 3 inches of molded foam, which I would say is better than most recycled padding material. The foam is packed in faux leather, that’s why the seat and knee pad are easy to clean.
The kneeling chair comes with 3 levels of height adjustment— from 21 inches to 28 inches —which enables you to adjust the kneeling chair to a height that suits a particular task or table height.
- Easy to assemble
- Good quality caster wheels
- Some users may get sweaty knees
5. VIVO Wooden Rocking Kneeling Chair
Best for Kids
Type: Rocking Kneeling Chair | Weight: 16.61 pounds | Capacity: 250 Pounds | Adjustable Height: NO | Frame Material: Wood
Another rocking kneeling chair. As you might have noticed, rocking chairs lack the sophistication that the other types have.
However, rocking allows your body to swing back and forth without changing your posture, thereby allowing your upper body more freedom than other chairs. Rocking on your chair might just be the best way to goof around while working.
‘You just gotta love a rocker’.
The VIVO Wooden Rocking Kneeling Chair has a seat and a knee pad which are both tilted and have comfy 4-inch thick cushions—sufficient support for your bottom, shins, and knees.
As I said, not a lot of features, but it does the job.
- Easy to assemble
- Provides excellent support
- good quality wood
- A bit harsh on the shins
6. Bathwa Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Most Comfy X-base design
Type: x-frame Kneeling Stool | Weight: 17.71 pounds | Capacity: 250 Pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Iron
The Bathwa Ergonomic Kneeling Chair is sturdily built around an x-shaped iron frame with a steeply sloping seat and a comfortable knee pad. Sitting on this chair, your spine goes back to a default upright position, and your weight is evenly distributed throughout your bottom and legs.
The chair’s height is adjustable; you can adjust the chair to a height that fits your needs—between 21 inches and 28 inches. To top that, the chair is fitted with wheels (4 Locked Casters), which greatly improves the maneuverability of the chair, and has soft cushions made with thick molded foam.
- Easy to assemble
- Has a thick cushion and is comfortable
- Indecipherable assembly instructions
7. BetterPosture Jazzy Multifunctional Kneeling Chair
Type: Kneeler Chair with Back Support | Weight: 28 Pounds | Capacity: 275 pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Steel
This kneeling chair—from Jobri—is the only kneeling chair with a backrest on this list.
It has a durable tubular metal frame that can support up to 275 pounds. Then there’s the more than convenient gas lift height adjustment, which allows positioning of the seat between 21” to 28”.
Jobri used memory foam for the padding on the seat and knee pads, resulting in a pretty comfy experience.
When brands make kneeling chairs to accommodate people of all sizes and heights, they forget ‘the not so tall’ folks, and it’s a similar case with this chair. The distance between the seat and the kneepads might be a bit long for short people.
And you can’t adjust that gap, damn. This for me is a major negative for chairs like this one.
- Gas lift (Pneumatic) height adjustment
- Great sitting mobility
- Has an adjustable backrest
- Memory foam padding
- Bulky/Not portable
8. Office Star Ergonomically Designed Knee Chair
Type: Single knee pad | Weight: 16 Pounds | Capacity: 200 pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Metal
If you want a good kneeling chair that’s literally not a big-ticket seat, this is your chair.
The tough steel frame is padded by comfortable memory foam cushions on the seat and cushions. Underneath the seat is a pivot that can be cranked to adjust the seat’s height.
There was one thing that I didn’t like about this chair; it has a 200 lb limit, which is a frustrating fact for people above that weight limit.
The office Star kneeling chair has four wheels and the package includes an extra set of caster wheels.
I wouldn’t rank this above most chairs on this list, but it’s still my recommended budget buy.
- Has height adjustment
- Easy to assemble
- Stiff Caster wheels
- Poorly built
9. Predawn Ergonomic Rocking Kneeling Chair
Easiest to Assemble
Type: Rocking Balans Kneeling Stool | Weight: 17.6 pounds | Capacity: 330 pounds | Adjustable Height: NO | Frame Material: Wood
The great thing about rocking kneeling chairs is that they allow you more freedom without affecting your posture because they move along with you. I don’t know how many times I will have to say this in this article; it’s so important.
This ergonomic rocking chair has an angled seat (90 degrees), which rests on a sturdy wood frame and is covered by highly elastic sponge linen fabric. The kneepad is also angled and comfy (uses the same padding).
The wood frame makes it a good furniture piece for your cabin, not that it isn’t great for other living spaces, but the wood just makes it a natural chair for a house in the midst of nature.
And if you’re worried about your hardwood floor, then you will love to hear that it has a protective tape for the protection of your floor.
- Very Comfortable
- Good size for tall people
- Doesn’t damage your floor after constant rocking
- Restricted mobility (has no wheels)
- Height not adjustable
10. Himimi Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Most Lightweight Adjustable Chair
Type: x-frame Kneeling Stool | Weight: 15.92 pounds | Capacity: 250 Pounds. | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Iron
Himimi gives us this sturdy and comfortable kneeling chair. The chair rests on a super-strong iron frame that has a nice black coating.
Whether you are concerned with maneuverability or having a chair that sits sturdily in one spot, this chair has lockable wheels so you can swivel around your home or office and sit fixed and sturdy when you don’t want the chair to move around.
The height you set during the chair’s assembly can be adjusted; once you have completely and correctly assembled the chair, you can adjust the height by turning a knob under the seat.
For such a strong ergonomic chair such as the Himimi Ergonomic Kneeling Chair, the weight is a bit misleading. It’s one of the most lightweight chairs on this list, weighing a meager 15.92 pounds.
Still, the load capacity is claimed to be 250 pounds.
- Firm foam cushions provide good comfort and support
- Convenient Lockable casters
- Adjustable height
- Comes with unexplained instructional pictures
11. Kneeling Chair with Orthopedic Back Pain Seat
Best for Shorter User
Type: x-frame Kneeling Stool | Weight: 22.2 pounds | Capacity: 230 pounds | Adjustable Height: Yes | Frame Material: Metal
It seems like I have flooded this list with kneeling chairs that have an x-base frame design. I believe that caster wheels and the height adjustment are essential features for a kneeling chair.
With this kneeling chair, Fedmax did not make a unique chair; still, it’s a sturdy and comfortable one. They packed the tilted seat and knee pad with thick foam, which is gentle on your shins and knees.
The seat was supposedly designed to support 250 pounds, but the foam isn’t good enough for weights above 230.
The chair features a lever that is used to adjust the seat’s height between 20 inches and 27.5 inches.
Just as I said, a typical kneeling chair that’s just good enough for strengthening your back and abdominal muscles and providing ergonomic benefits.
- Easy to assemble
- Strong wheels
- Wheels have no locks/brakes
Buyers Guide To Picking The Right Kneeling Chair
What is a Kneeling Chair?
In order to ease the injuries and pains caused by sitting in a right-angled hip posture on a regular chair for long periods, our Nobel laureates for office chair design—Hans and Pete—invented a chair that positions you with an open hip angle (angled between 110 and 130 degrees).
This means that instead of the right-angled C-shaped posture in a regular sitting chair, you have a more upright S-shaped posture, there’s less spinal compression, and your spine curves as if you were standing.
At first, your muscles and bones might feel a bit stiff and uncomfortable, they will need to become accustomed to this new sitting position. After that, with the help of exercises, you might notice an improvement in the way your back and legs feel in this position.
Why Should You Buy One?
Immediately after sitting on a kneeling chair, you feel your abdominal muscles tightening. That’s why, over time, one of the benefits of a kneeling chair is building core muscles. Basically, an ergonomic kneeling chair;
- Improves posture
- Alleviates non-severe back, neck, or hip bone pain
- Provide better hip position than standard chairs
- Promotes “active sitting“, which helps build core strength
- Easier to do tasks that involve reaching forward
Is Price an Important Determining Factor?
Come on now, you know you can’t put a price on your health.
What seems to be nominally cheap today might turn out to be expensive in real terms. Imagine the accumulative costs of medication for your back or the costs of repairing a rickety kneeling chair.
It’s always a good idea to buy a chair that’s durable and more ergonomic than the rest.
When and How Should I Use a Kneeling Chair?
It would do you no good sitting on a kneeling chair for half an hour or a full hour straight without standing or stretching.
You see, when you are sitting on a kneeling chair, your legs are almost stuck in one position and pressed against the pads, so blood circulation in your legs slows down as a result of increased pressure on the shin.
After every 15-25 minutes, you will need to stand up, walk around, and stretch.
Do not try to use your knee pad for support. The kneepad is there to mainly offer support to your shins and, to a smaller degree, your knees. The onus of carrying the bulk of your weight should be on your bottom.
Furthermore, during the day, always change your sitting position on the kneeling chair, and you ought to know that it’s prudent not to throw away your office chair when you get yourself an ergonomic kneeling chair. In fact, you should always alternate between the two chairs.
What to Look for When Buying an Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
1. Tilted Seat
A kneeling seat with knee pads has no ergonomic benefits if the seat isn’t angled. An angled seat is by far the most important aspect.
The slope in the seat opens up the hip by forcing your thighs to slope downwards. In effect, your hips are tilted forward, and your back, neck, and head all align in an optimal position.
If a kneeling chair has a flat seat, then the seat places your body in the same right-angled position just like regular sitting chairs.
2. Mobility in The Chair
Does the kneeling chair allow your body some pockets of space for adjustment? Are you able to move the chair while sitting in it?
An ergonomic kneeling chair needs to allow your trunk to move so that your body doesn’t become stiff from a long fixed sitting position.
The Chairs Mobility and Maneuverability
With the exemption of rocking kneeling stools, kneeling chairs come with wheels and are very maneuverable.
The wheels are a convenient feature when you want to move the chair while sitting in it.
3. Knee & Shin Support and Comfortableness
A good ergonomic kneeling chair needs to have elements and features that offer knee and shin support and improve comfort. It needs features like a knee pad, padding, fabric, and a good size.
Like I have already said, the seat and knee pad angles and height adjustability are essential. As previously posited, although we call them knee pads, they are supposed to mainly support the shin, and the weight placed on your knees should be less.
Moreover, the knee pads should have the best padding and softer fabric that caresses the skin on your shin and knees instead of bruising it.
Having found a comfortable chair that allows you some mobility, it should also be adjustable. We are looking at things like chair swivel, height, angle adjustment, and once again, knee pad adjustment.
If the chair has no height adjustment, it has to have a good height that is high enough for your desk. But it’s better to buy a kneeling chair with seat adjustment because you might want to use it on another desk with a different height.
Major Types of Kneeling Chairs
Before you go window shopping for your kneeling chair, you ought to know that there will be loads of chairs built differently as you have seen on the list. You need to know the different types that are available on the market.
X-Frame Kneeling Chairs
This list is littered with kneeling chairs of this design. This design has an x-shaped frame that is intended to provide better structural stability. Most chairs in this category are equipped with caster wheels and the seat and knee pads are adjustable.
Generally, this type is cost-effective and is very mobile.
Rocking Balans Kneeling Chair
The original kneeling chair by the Godfather of kneeling chairs, ‘Pete’, was a rocking kneeling stool, which has also been featured on this list.
Usually constructed with wood, the Balans rocking kneeling chair has a forward tilted seat and backward sloping knee pad(s). The curved wood frame allows you to rock when you lean back and thrust forward.
The rocking movements help you free your trunk and ease some back pain that arises from sitting for long periods.
Kneeler Chair with Back Support
When it comes to kneeling chairs, a backrest isn’t usually necessary as it goes against the building core muscles, one of the main benefits of a kneeling chair.
However, for people who have medical conditions, it might just be an essential feature. So if you really need a backrest, you can buy this type or you can just alternate between a kneeling chair without a backrest and a regular office chair.
Some chairs come with a backrest, while others have it as a detachable option.
Saddle Kneeling Chair
The seat looks like a saddle, well, it is a saddle. The saddle seating pad is just one of the many added ergonomic edges to the traditional Balans design.
The saddle is designed to improve sitting posture, mainly around the hip and cervical area.
The Seats of All Seats
Go get yourself one of these best ergonomic kneeling chairs. But, before you click the links, let me give you the top recommendation again—The Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair.
A rocking stool with high end build quality, environmentally friendly, portable, comfortable, and it provides sufficient in-seat motion.
All the best as you decide on which ergonomic kneeling chair to buy.
As I said, tout de suite!