The 7 Best Stools For A Standing Desk

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Whether you use a standing desk to promote good posture or increase circulation while you work, it’s natural to want to lean or sit periodically. The best stools for a standing desk provide a place for you to do just that, and generally fall into two categories: stationary stools and active stools that tilt or wobble to encourage movement and core engagement. Which style you choose is a matter of preference, but let’s take a closer look at some features to consider when it comes to choosing a stool for your work setup.

By nature, active or wobble stools have a slightly unstable design that’s meant to encourage movement, whether you choose an option with a rounded bottom that rocks or one with a tilting pedestal attached to a steady base. These designs will keep your body engaged and are generally best for leaning, rather than fully sitting. If you want the option of sitting, a stationary stool is the better choice. It should have a wide, stable base, and a footrest to help reduce strain and pinching at your hips.

A stool with an adjustable height will allow you to lower or raise it so that your upper body can rest in an ergonomic position — with your wrists straight and hands at or below elbow level. The seat of your stool can be simple, or you can opt for a wobble disc that challenges you to engage your core, or an ergonomic tractor or “saddle” seat — similar to equestrian saddles, these rotate your pelvis forward, which improves posture and helps your spine maintain its natural lumbar curve. And while most stools, by design, don’t have backs, if you want the option to sit for longer periods of time, you may like the support that a drafting chair provides.

Whether you choose an active or a static stool, its base should be weighted to prevent slipping, and ideally made of a nonskid material. With that, here are seven stools that will keep you comfortable and productive while working at a standing desk.

1. The Overall Best Wobble Stool

  • Height: adjustable from 18.5 to 28 inches
  • Seat size: 12.5 inches across
  • Standout features: wobbles at the base, can be used with both sitting and standing desks

The most budget-friendly option on the list, Learniture’s standing desk stool has a weighted, curved base that rolls and tilts to keep your body in motion, and a backless design that promotes good posture and core muscle engagement. The stool’s padded seat measures just over 12.5 inches across and can be adjusted between a height of 18.5 inches and 28 inches to accommodate a broad range of users. The wide height adjustment also means it can be used with both conventional and standing desk designs. The sit-stand stool has a weight capacity of 256 pounds and, according to several reviewers, the nonskid rubberized base is textured to prevent sliding on a variety of floor surfaces.

A reviewer wrote: “I have an adjustable standing desk that I love and was looking for a stool to relieve my back occasionally throughout the day. This arrived and was PERFECT! Easy assembly, easy to operate and comfy! It adjusts to standard desk height but I will be using it mostly for standing/leaning/sitting purposes.”

2. The Best Rocking Stool

  • Height: adjustable from 25.5 to 35 inches
  • Seat size: 17 x 13.75 inches
  • Standout features: steady base with a tilting pedestal

Rather than an unstable bottom like the Learniture stool, this Vari sit-stand chair features a wide, flat seat that connects to a stationary base via a hinged pedestal that tilts, allowing you to rock back and forth to activate leg, back, and core muscles while seated or leaning. The stool adjusts from 25.5 inches to 35 inches in height and has a cushioned 17-by-13.75-inch seat that can support up to 250 pounds. The sturdy base measures 17 inches by 15.75 inches, and reviewers have noted that the underside has a rubberized trim that keeps it in place. One important note: Due to the wide base of this stool, it could pose a tripping hazard if used in a high-traffic area.

A reviewer wrote: “Now I can take the breaks from standing that I need without leaving my architect's table. It's very sturdy and perfect for that half-stand, half-sit seating. I also love that it doesn't just swivel forward and back, but also left to right, so that it's great for a fidgeter like myself. Before the package arrived, I was a little concerned about the base and if it would stay put with all my movement. It is indeed solid and heavy, and I've never felt like I was going to tip over or fall off. If you're looking for a standing desk chair, this is the one!”

3. The Best Saddle-Style Wobble Stool

  • Height: 22 to 32.25 inches
  • Seat size: 17.5 inches across, according to a reviewer
  • Standout features: pedestal tilts on base, saddle-style seat rotates pelvis forward for better posture

Much like a bike seat, the seat of Varier’s wobble stool has a backless, saddle design that promotes good posture and relieves pressure on your tailbone, whether you use it for leaning or sitting. The ergonomic stool’s slightly convex base tilts with your body’s weight, and encourages you to change positions and move while working at a standing desk. The width of the saddle itself is not listed, however the stool can be adjusted from 22 to 32.25 inches in height via a lever below the seat. The saddle chair has a nonskid rubber base and can support up to 250 pounds. One more unique feature: When not in use, you can hang the stool on your desk by the seat.

A reviewer wrote: “I stand most of the time at a standing desk but need a break and oscillate between positions throughout the day. This is the perfect stool height chair because it allows for great mobility of foot and hip positions, including rotation of the hips and leaning forwards and backwards.”

4. The Best Tractor Seat Stool

  • Height: adjustable from 20 to 28 inches
  • Seat size: 17.3 by 13.8 inches
  • Standout features: can be used with both sitting and standing desks, higher weight capacity, saddle-style seat promotes good posture

The sturdy metal construction of this static tractor seat stool can support up to 400 pounds and is adjustable from approximately 20 inches to 28 inches in height, which means it can be used at both sitting and standing desks. The stool’s seat measures 17.3 inches wide by 13.8 inches deep, and it has a slightly raised back and a contoured front that helps promote good posture, much like a saddle seat. Despite being perforated to promote air flow, the metal seat has no padding, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on comfort preferences. The seat can rotate a full 360 degrees, and a rail on the stool’s pedestal provides a place for feet to rest in an ergonomic position while seated. The four-legged base features rubberized feet to protect floors and stay in place on a variety of surfaces. Due to the stable, non-wobbling design of this pick, it’s best for users looking for a resting place between stretches of standing.

A reviewer wrote: “I use it fully extended for my standing desk for short breaks from standing. Looks unique. Seems to be well built and designed.”

5. The Best Splurge

  • Height: adjustable from 25.5 to 40 inches
  • Seat size: not listed
  • Standout features: saddle-style seat promotes good posture, pivoting seat, anti-fatigue footrest placed at an angle

This unique hybrid design from Focal combines a pivoting saddle-style stool with an angled platform and anti-fatigue footrest that, together, encourage movement and wide hip-to-torso flexion. According to the brand, this lessens pressure on the spine and connecting muscles, while the pivoting seat leg promotes dynamic movement and helps support hip flexibility. This leaning chair has one of the most generous adjustment ranges featured here and can be lowered or raised to fit users from 4 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 10 inches tall — according to a reviewer, that translates to a stool height of approximately 25.5 inches to 40 inches. The seat’s dimensions are not provided, however its angle can also be adjusted using a dial on the underside. The platform base measures 25.5 inches by 45 inches, making it fairly bulky, but the two wheels at the back make it easy to move and store under a standing desk between uses. The underside of the base is lined in a nonskid material, and it can support up to 300 pounds.

A reviewer wrote: “With this leaning seat, I can rest my legs when needed without having to readjust my desk. I've been using it for ~6 weeks now, and after the initial 3-4 days of muscle adjustment, I now have zero leg and back pain (which had been a chronic problem for me), my posture is noticeably better, and I feel more energetic throughout the day.”

6. The Best Stability Ball Stool

  • Height: adjustable from 23 to 33 inches
  • Seat size: 17.7 inches across
  • Standout features: inflatable seat engages core

Rather than an unstable or rounded base, the half-dome, inflatable stability ball seat of Gaiam’s stool encourages micro-movements to help strengthen the core, back, and legs while leaning or seated. The five legs have lockable casters that allow you to secure the stool when in position or move it freely around your workspace. The half-dome seat measures 17.7 inches in diameter, and its pressure can be adjusted to suit your comfort preferences with the included air pump. The Gaiam stool can support up to 300 pounds, and it has a hydraulic lift lever for lowering or raising the seat to your desired height.

A reviewer wrote: “This was the perfect addition to my home office stand up desk. Perfect to just take a little break from standing but not so cushy that it prevents me from mostly standing during my work day.”

7. The Best Drafting Chair

  • Height: adjustable from 24.25 to 33.75 inches
  • Seat size: 18 x 17 inches
  • Standout features: traditional chair style allows for more rest, contoured seat back provides lumbar support

If you want a seat with a fully supportive back, this drafting chair from Office Star has a height-adjustable back with curved lumbar support that can be customized to fit a range of different torso lengths. The back of this high desk chair is made from breathable mesh and, according to reviewers, the cushioned seat measures about 18 inches wide by 17 inches deep. The chair has a weight capacity of 250 pounds, and the footrest can be adjusted up or down along the stool’s pedestal to help you find the most ergonomic position. The chair rotates 360 degrees, but note that the wheels don’t lock, so this option is not a good fit for anyone who wants the option of leaning.

A reviewer wrote: “The chair looks great and is very comfortable for a large guy to sit on. It's easy to transition from a lower sitting height to the taller standing height. The mesh on the back of the chair is very comfortable and keeps your back cool and your shirt from getting excessive wrinkles. The padded bottom is comfortable and very easy to clean. Best of all, the chair is very quiet when you move around in it - no squeaks, clicks or rattles.”