Whether you’ve made the switch to a standing desk or you still prefer being a little closer to the ground, the best ergonomic stools can make for a healthier alternative to the traditional desk chair.
A great way to encourage active sitting, stools can help stave off the pain, pressure, and long-term health complications that usually arise from hours of sedentary sitting in a standard office chair.
The only question, of course, is which one should you buy?
Below, we’ve reviewed what we consider to be the ten very best ergonomic stools on the market, as well as offering a comprehensive buyer’s guide so that you can determine which one is right for you.
Top 10 Best Ergonomic Stools 2021
1. PULUOMIS Balance Perch Stool
The three key things we looked for when determining our picks were quality, comfort, and health-promoting ergonomic features.
The mesh leather seat cover ensures durability while the solid construction means this stool can bear up to 300 lbs of weight without any problems.
Meanwhile, the seat cushion is made from premium molded foam which not only adapts to the way you sit for maximum comfort.
In terms of ergonomic features, the very well-made wobble base so that your stool can rock, tilt, and swivel as you move around, making it a great option for anyone interested in active seating.
Elsewhere, we’re also fans of the 22″ – 27″ height range which ensures it can work just as well for perching at a standing desk, working at a draft desk, or sitting at a typical office desk.
2. Learniture Adjustable Height Active Learning Stool
The first thing we like about the Learniture Adjustable Height Active Learning Stool is right there in the name – the adjustable height settings.
The stool’s simple-to-use pneumatic gas lift can adjust the seat from 18.5″ to 28″ meaning a range of almost 10″.
The reason this is so impressive is that it makes the Learniture stool suitable for both standing desks as well as your regular office desk. If you’re using a standing desk converter, for example, then the stool makes a great addition to your ergonomic office set up.
Elsewhere, the ergonomic padded seat and backless design promote good posture and ensure that your core muscles get a subtle-but-noticeable workout throughout your work day, while the lightweight design belies a strength and stability that outranks many others on this list.
3. Antlu Saddle Stool
Offering a height range of between 21” – 28″, the Antlu Saddle Stool may not be the best option for using at your standing desk, but if you’re looking for a quality active sitting alternative to a regular office chair, it may well be the way to go.
The unique curve of the saddle seat is thicker than your average chair, providing ample support and exceptional comfort while alleviating pressure on the spine to help you stay healthy throughout your work day.
In fact, most of the user reviews from owners of the Antlu praise the way it helps with their back pain, while others praise the impressive 400 lbs weight capacity, which makes it a suitable alternative to standard big and tall office chairs.
4. Boss Office Products B16245-BK Be Well Stool
Another quality stool for standing desks, the Boss Office Products B16245-BK Be Well Stool is one of the few products on this list to come with a backrest.
This makes it a great choice for anyone who likes the option to completely lean back and take the weight off their feet while working at a standing desk.
Speaking of putting your feet up, the stylish chrome frame is complimented by a stylish foot ring, adding to an already superior level of comfort offered by the plush, vinyl-upholstered seat.
Add in an almost-silent pneumatic lifting mechanism for effortless adjustability, solid, heavy-duty caster wheels and long-lasting durability, and what you’ve got here is a great addition to any office, creative studio, or salon.
5. ErgoErgo Ergonomic Stool for Active Sitting
Undoubtedly one of the most unique ergonomic stools we’ve come across, the ErgoErgo Ergonomic Stool for Active Sitting certainly looks like nothing else we’ve ever come across and is guaranteed to attract attention among a sea of boring old office chairs.
The innovative design and vibrant range of color choices are certainly a great choice for modern offices where looks matter, but this is certainly not a case of style over substance.
Sitting on the ErgoErgo engages your core muscles as you move through a range of positions throughout the day.
In doing so, you take active sitting to another level, a process which not only helps you to maintain good physical health, but also helps you stay alert, awake, and focussed.
If you like the idea of active seating but find that the usual options such as ergonomic kneeling chairs don’t really do it for you, this may well be the best alternative you’ll find.
6. Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool
If you want all the active seating benefits that you’d get from a balance ball but still want the flexibility offered by a standing desk, you may find that using the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool offers you the best of both worlds.
Though the price tag is certainly higher than many other chair alternatives, we feel that it’s more than justified when you consider what it offers.
First of all, there’s the impressive height adjustment range from 23″ to 33″ which means you can use it comfortably at your standing desk before blowing it down to work at a normal desk later in the day.
Then there’s the ergonomic features and flexibility.
The stool comes with 360 degree swivel base and a half-dome inflatable cushion which allow you the freedom of a full range of motion as well as the benefits of proper posture and even strengthened back muscles.
Looking through user reviews, some users found this chair worked wonders for helping their sciatica pain, though others were less impressed by the fact that the balance ball deflated or punctured far too easily.
7. HON Sit to Stand Backless Stool
Regular Office Chair Picks readers will know what big fans we are of the HON brand.
Products such as the HON Convergence will usually always feature in the conversation when talking about a desk chair that offers quality construction and superior comfort.
Thankfully, the brand has taken everything that makes their standard office chairs so special and applied them to this, the HON Sit to Stand Backless Stool.
Although the backless design does mean you lack the kind of exceptional lumbar support you’d get with a desk chair such as the aforementioned Convergence or the popular HON Ignition, the brand’s sit to stand stool does come with an ergonomically designed saddle seat that can be adjusted to help you find the most comfortable seating position
The level of adjustability is equally as impressive. Not only does it offer the largest height adjustment range of any stool on this list (23″ to 35″ for a total of 12 inches), it can also be tilted forwards and backwards and swivel from side to side to encourage micromovements throughout the day.
8. Focal Pivot Chair
The health benefits of a leaning ergonomic chair like the Focal Pivot Chair simply can’t be understated.
The unique Tri-Flex Seat Cushion comes with sitz bone contours and a waterfall-edge design which promotes good posture, while the pivoting seat leg creates a leaning position which provides the same kind of workout for your legs, core and back muscles that you’d get if you were using an exercise ball.
The adjustable seat can be moved from 26″ to 35.5″, and while that’s not the biggest height range we’ve seen, it’s still more than enough to ensure it functions as a quality sit stand stool that provides excellent comfort no matter whether you’re working at a sitting or standing desk.
9. Coreseat Original Balance Fit Ball Office Chair
Promoting itself as the ultimate alternative to your regular sitting chair, the Coreseat Original Balance Fit Ball Office Chair provides a full workout for your entire body.
This ergonomic office chair takes everything you love about using an exercise ball and adds the convenience of a stool.
In doing so, it creates a stylish-yet-practical option that helps you maintain the natural S-shape of your spine, alleviate back pain and activate your core muscles. Meanwhile, the 360 swivel and active seating properties give your legs a good workout too.
Really sets this one apart from other ball chair options is the ball itself. This one offers a full adjustment of the inflation levels thanks to the in-built pump.
This means that you can move between a flat (yet still perfectly comfortable) deflated seat when you want to rest and a fully-inflated yoga ball seat when you want a maximum body workout.
Elsewhere, the sturdy chrome base and frame adds a strength and durability that makes it a great option for long-term use as well as for larger users.
10. Seville Classics Airlift 360 Sit-Stand Stool
Designed specifically for standing desks and standing desk converters, the Seville Classics Airlift 360 Sit-Stand Stool helps take the weight off your feet and the pressure off your lower back when working for long periods.
The solid, sturdy wobble base moves up to 10° off-center and then bounces back so that you can stretch your legs and back muscles and keep up the kind of active movements that help you to stay awake, alert, and focussed.
The height of the stool itself can be adjusted between 20″ – 28″ with an adjustable seat height of 3.5″.
Sure, that doesn’t make this the largest stool in this guide, but it’s still plenty big enough to provide ample support for most standing desk users.
Finally, we should point out that the seat cushion itself is a real highlight of this premium-quality stool. The plush, foam cushion offers the perfect combination of soft, inviting seating with ample support, helping you to maintain good posture, alleviate pressure on the spine and engage your core.
How to Choose the Best Ergonomic Stool: A Buyer’s Guide
We carefully chose our top ten picks to reflect the full range of options out there, from stools that make perching at a standing desk effortless to those that are better designed to provide the health benefits of active sitting such as the Coreseat Original Balance Fit Ball Office Chair.
Each one of those picks represents the very best of its type, but how do you decide which stool is best designed to suit you, your body, and your ergonomic office environment?
Below, we’ll discuss the key factors we looked at when picking our top ten stools, and how each of these factors may ultimately influence your purchasing decision.
It’s very rare that you’ll find a good stool that doesn’t offer some flexibility in terms of its height, and each one of our top 10 picks offers this feature to varying extents.
How much this matters to you is all going to depend on how you’re planning to use your new stool.
If you’re simply looking for a healthier alternative to your regular ergonomic chair for working at a normal desk, then you clearly don’t need the tallest stool in the world, whereas if your goal is to work exclusively at a standing desk, you may find that the taller your stool can get, the better.
Not that you necessarily need to pick one or the other. In our experience, we found that the best stools are those that offer the greatest amount of adjustability. That way, you have the freedom to choose whether standing, sitting, perching, or leaning is right for you at any given moment during your workday, and to switch between each one in accordance to the kind of support your body needs most.
Even more so than height, comfort was the one factor we placed the greatest amount of importance on when making our selections. After all, you could have the greatest-looking chair in the world with all of the next-level features and functionality any office user could ever ask for, but if it’s uncomfortable to sit on, then what’s the point?
To that end, we looked at several key features.
The seat itself was important, with those that had memory foam cushioning scoring particularly high thanks to the way they minimize discomfort on the pressure points and help you to sit for long periods.
That said, some may prefer not to use a padded, foam seat at all and may prefer one with a saddle design. It pays to think carefully about what’s going to provide the most long-term comfort for you and choose accordingly.
Yet it isn’t just the cushioning itself that we considered. Seat depth and width also played a factor, as the last thing anybody wants is to find themselves crammed onto a seat that’s too small.
Let’s be honest, the reason most people use a stool rather than a standard ergonomic office chair is due to the way it can help to improve their long-term health.
Whether you suffer with pain in the lower back and simply need something to help with that by ensuring you maintain good posture throughout your working day, or you’re looking to reap the rewards that active sitting can bring to your whole body, you’ll find that different options typically yield different results.
Chairs that use a ball or a unique design such as the one you’d get with the ErgoErgo Ergonomic Stool for Active Sitting can all help to engage your core, strengthen your back and leg muscles and encourage the kind of micro-movements that help to improve focus and minimize fatigue.
If, on the other hand, it’s reducing strain on your lower back while working at a standing desk that is most important to you, a product like the HON Sit to Stand Backless Stool may be more appropriate.
Last but by no means least, strength, durability, and overall build quality should be an essential factor to look out for when choosing the best stool to spend your hard earned money on.
Think about it:
Though the typical price of a stool is lower than what you’d pay for a regular sitting chair, they’re still by no means cheap, so you want to be sure that the one you buy is going to keep supporting you for many years to come.
With that in mind, we picked products that we were confident came from reputable brands who we could count on to combine quality materials with excellent construction standards.
The warranty also played a factor, as even though we had every confidence in the quality of our choices, having at least a one year warranty ensures you’re well covered should something go wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are ergonomic stools good?
An ergonomic stool can be particularly good for people who work at standing desks as they offer some oft-needed support to alleviate the kind of pressure, stiffness, and soreness that can result from long periods of standing.
Providing you find one with suitable seat height for your size, you’ll find that having the flexibility for some occasional perching or leaning can make your entire working day much more comfortable.
What is the difference between an ergonomic stool and a saddle chair?
While these two popular alternative sitting designs are similar, there are some basic differences. Both engage the core more than a regular office chair. And both are great options for transitioning between a standing and sitting position during the day.
But stools can have a variety of seat designs, including flat, rounded, and curved, while the best saddle seats generally have a curved design with downward sloping sides and a raised center (like an actual saddle). Some stools use this design and could qualify for either category. But many saddle chairs also come with split designs for maximum hip relief.
Stools also tend to be taller and many come with a leaning or movement-oriented design, like the Puluomis featured above, to encourage even more core activation than the average saddle chair.
Are stools better for posture?
Studies have yet to conclusively prove whether using a stool is better for your posture than your average office chair, there is a strong argument for this being the case.
This is because of the way each type of seating is designed. Chairs often have wide, plush seats, tall backrests, and built-in lumbar support which inadvertently encourages you to slouch, slump, or sit in a position that is simply no good for your spine.
Most stools retain the comfortable seat but strip out the backrest which encourages you to sit properly and maintain a healthy posture while you work.
Are wobble stools good for you?
Wobble stools are a fantastic way to engage in active sitting while you work.
The stool’s round, weighted base lets you wobble around back and forth, side to side, with both feet firmly on the floor to steady yourself.
They can be great for leaning on while working at a standing desk, or simply to help you move around, burn calories, and strengthen your muscles while sitting.
What are the best chairs for sitting all day?
In an ideal world, nobody would be sitting all day, but if you absolutely have to put the hours in, you might find that a stool with a backrest such as the Boss Office Products B16245-BK Be Well Stool works best.
Products like this one still support good posture but at the same time offer added lumbar support and comfort so that you can stay pain-free and fully focused for hours at a time.
Which is the best stool for active sitting?
The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool is designed to be the ultimate active sitting option, combining the ergonomic features of a high-end office chair with the health benefits of a balance ball. Though some users say that ball chairs aren’t a great option for working long hours, they can otherwise be an excellent choice for staying active during shorter desk sessions.
Which Ergonomic Stool Should You Buy? Our Verdict
So, you’ve seen our top ten picks and you’ve learned everything you need to know to help you make a fully informed decision about which stool to buy, but if you still haven’t made up your mind, let us leave you today with a few final recommendations.
If the health promoting properties of active sitting is what matters most to you, then the innovative design and functionality of the ErgoErgo Ergonomic Stool for Active Sitting should be high on your list.
If you care more about a chair that will allow you to spend some time leaning back while working at a standing desk, the Learniture Adjustable Height Active Learning Stool may well be the way to go.
However, if you’re simply looking for the best all-around stool money can buy, we have to give the nod to the PULUOMIS Balance Perch Stool, a premium option that offers the ultimate combination of maximum durability, exceptional comfort, and world-class ergonomic design.