The 7 Best Footrests For Under A Desk

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by Kim Quindlen
Originally Published: 

If you spend most of your days at a desk, then you're probably familiar with the various aches and pains associated with prolonged sitting. Luckily, the best footrests for under a desk elevate your feet anywhere from 1 to 6 inches, which can help keep your body in a more neutral position. They can be made from a variety of materials, like foam or solid wood, and some even rock back and forth, so you can get in a little movement while you type.

When sitting at a desk, you’ll ideally want to keep your feet resting on a surface, with your knees at a right angle and roughly at the same level as your hips. To make sure you get the right footrest height to achieve this, it’s worth measuring the clearance between your feet and the floor when you’re sitting in this position. If you don’t have anyone to help you measure (it’s a bit of a tricky task), it may be worth investing in a footrest with multiple height settings. That being said, almost any footrest may help reduce the contact stress that occurs on the back of your thighs when your feet are dangling.

Footrests come in a wide variety of materials. Foam and memory foam options will offer soft and steady support, while hard-surface options like plastic and wood may offer extra features, like automatic tilt adjustment or the option of using the footrest at a standing desk as well as a sitting desk. In any case, you’ll want to keep an eye out for nonslip surfaces that keep your feet in place or machine-washable fabric covers that can be freshened up from time to time.

Ready to say goodbye to painful days at work? Check out the best footrests for under a desk, and once you’ve got one added to your cart, check out these other clever items that make your workspace comfortable and ergonomic.


A Hammock Footrest That Works Under Any Desk

Although it may not be as ergonomically correct as some of the other options on the list, this under-desk foot hammock is nonetheless a comfy office companion, and is useful any time you want to kick back while you’re on a Zoom. It features straps that are length-adjustable from 23 to 32 inches, and which can fit over a myriad of desk shapes and sizes (as well as airplane tray tables). The hammock itself features reinforced ribs to give it extra structure, and there’s a divider to keep your left and right feet separated, which helps distribute weight more evenly. Plus, the sling is lined in soft memory foam. Last, it comes with a carrying case that makes it easy to take along while traveling.

According to a reviewer: “This works great for my long flights and at my desk while working from home! I fly a lot and when I’m not in the air I’m sitting at my desk all day. This definitely helps keep the blood circulation going in my legs while I’m sitting for one periods of time. I love that it has a carrying case so I can transport it to and from destinations in my backpack. Easy assembly and adjusting!”


The Self-Adjusting Footrest That Tilts With Your Body

This footrest from Mind Reader is adjustable to three different height and angle positions between 1 and 6 inches, which means you can find the most comfortable configuration for your body. Even better, the tilting platform automatically adjusts to your natural foot position as you lean back or forward in your chair, so you’ll get support no matter how you’re sitting. Plus, it has a nonslip surface with a pebbled texture that offers tired feet a mini massage

According to a reviewer: “I've been using this footrest for about a year, 30+ hours per week, and it's fantastic. It's really flexible and adjustable to exactly the right height. It also has a variable incline, and moves to meet your feet at their angle. I really can't recommend it highly enough.”


This Simple Footrest Made From Natural Wood

If design is a consideration for you, it may be worth considering this rustic footrest that comes in two finishes: vintage gray and burnt wood. Featuring simple slats, the ergonomically designed footrest has an angled top platform with a height of 4.25 inches at the toe end. While there’s no nonslip surface on the platform, the bottom of the footrest does have rubber bumpers to protect your floors.

According to a reviewer: “Perfect for my work at home situation. My desk is a little taller so my feet dangle with the raised chair making it really uncomfortable overall. This footrest has solved that problem.”


An Inflatable Footrest That’s Travel-Friendly

For those who travel frequently, this inflatable footrest is a must-have. Using a double air valve, you can inflate this travel companion to three different heights — 7, 13, or 18 inches — making it a customizable pick that you can use as a footrest or leg rest. Weighing less than 1 pound it’s flocked for a soft-touch feeling and comes with a convenient carrying case. While it won’t offer as sturdy support as some other options on the list, it’s a great choice if you travel frequently for work.

According to a reviewer: “Love this foot rest. I bought it for my office to prop my feet up when I sit at my desk. It loses a little air by the end of the week but not a huge amount. I love that I can deflate one section to make it shorter if I want, and I plan to use this during road trips as well! The material feels a little like a microsuede too. Easy to inflate, no need for a pump in my opinion.”


A Memory Foam Footrest That's Extra Comfortable

If you're ready to rest your feet on what's basically a memory foam foot mattress, this ergonomic footrest is the one for you. Measuring 4.75 inches high, the teardrop shape is designed to conform to the arch of your foot, and the responsive material will self-adjust to offer soft support. And while the soothing foam material feels soft on your bare feet, it's also tough enough for shoes, so you can use it at the office and still look professional. What's more, you can flip the footrest over and use it as a rocker. The velvet cover is removable and machine-washable, and it has a nonslip bottom to keep it planted in place on the floor.

According to a reviewer: “I sit at a desk most of the day. My back and knees hurt, my feet swell. This foot rest has been a lifesaver. After just one day of use, I noticed my back feeling better. After a couple of weeks, I've noticed that my feet no longer swell, my back and knees don't hurt like they used to. Being under 5'6", I have a hard time finding chairs that are comfortable so I really needed this foot rest. It's the perfect height! I also suffer from cold feet and I can put my heating pad over my foot rest and be comfortable all day.”


The Rocking Footrest For Sitting & Standing Desks

Just under 4 inches high, this rocking footrest features curved, nonslip feet that allow you to tilt the platform back and forth while you sit — in other words, it doesn’t just elevate your feet, but keeps you moving as well. This unique pick can also be used at a standing desk, where you’ll be challenged to engage your core and maintain balance. Made from solid wood, it has a weight capacity of 350 pounds and a nonslip surface.

According to a reviewer: “It’s under my feet all day long, primarily because my desk was too high for my feet to touch the ground. So I got this stool to rest my feet on while sitting. I love the motion in the stool, it’s very comfortable to rock my feet and flex and point my ankles. I also got a standing desk, and I like to stand on the stool and balance/rock also.”


This Foam Footrest With 2 Height Options

Made from durable foam, this half-moon adjustable footrest is actually composed of two different pieces; use the top layer on its own for 3.9 inches of elevation, or add the sturdy base for an additional 2 inches of height. The customization takes some of the guesswork out of shopping, and it also gives you some wiggle room if you’re still trying to configure your chair and desk height. When flipped over, the half-moon cushion doubles as a rocker, which can help keep your muscles and joints limber while you work. Each piece has a nonslip bottom that keeps it in place, and the covers are removable, machine-washable, and available in your choice of mesh or velvet.

According to a reviewer: “I LOVE this foot rest for under my desk. I work from home and I am uncomfortable sitting "normally" in my desk chair, so I normally end up sitting cross legged in it which is not good for my ankles or knees. This keeps me from sitting like that and even helps my posture!The foam is firm enough to hold its shape while being used and soft enough to be very comfortable under my feet. I like the width and height of it as well, it's larger than I thought it would be and I was pleasantly surprised!”

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