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The 5 best standing desk chairs: Top wobbly stools for your office

What is the best standing stool? ZDNet's choice is Songmics Standing Desk Chair. We researched and compared pricing as well as features like adjustable height, tilt radius, and weight capacity to come up with our No. 1 pick and other honorable mentions. Any of these standing stools can help you reduce back strain, increase core muscle strength, and even improve your focus.
joshua-cox-steib-2.jpg
Written by Joshua Cox-Steib, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Sitting all day can wreak havoc on the body. However, you can alleviate some of these problems with the right ergonomic furniture. Wobble stools work the core and keep the body activated, even when sitting. When used correctly, ergonomic-based active sitting can help keep all those hours at your desk from leaving you aching, twisted, and hunched.

Still, not all wobble stools are created equal, and some may help you more than others. We've reviewed five of the top wobble stools available online and picked the best. Each has its merits, and all can serve well as ergonomic seating. However, even amongst the top, there must be a best. Considering ergonomic design, comfort, maximum height, maximum weight capacity, tilt and swivel functions, stability, style, and price, we've determined the best standing desk chair among these top five.

Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool review | best standing desk chair
Amazon

Features: 

  • Tested by the Mayo Clinic and receiving of the Neat certification
  • Hydraulic adjustable height of up to 32.25 inches
  • Includes a rubber base attachment to protect floors and prevent slipping
  • Maximum weight capacity of 242 lbs
  • Manufactured in Europe

The Varier Move was first manufactured in 1985. This elegant standing desk chair utilizes a high-quality design and build to provide a tested active seating experience. While many wobble stools are ergonomic and can promote active sitting, the Varier is rare in that it has been tested by the Mayo Clinic and has received a Neat certification.

With an easily adjustable height range of 22 inches to 32.35 inches, the Varier Move is made to fit a diversity of workspaces. The saddle shape design of the seat can provide an extra sense of comfort and support. However, not everyone finds these designs preferable. While this stool offers more than most, it also comes with a significantly steeper price tag than many competitors.

The Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool was chosen as 'best overall' due to its high-quality production, time-tested design, impressive height range, and Neat certification. While its price is a barrier, we feel its merits more than outweigh that downside.

Pros:

  • Tested by the Mayo Clinic and Neat-certified
  • Tall maximum height of 32.25 inches
  • Norwegian tilting saddle seat design
  • Better than average warranty

Cons:

  • High price point
  • Low weight capacity for cost
Songmics Standing Desk Chair review | best standing desk chair
Amazon

Features:

  • Adjustable height from 23.6" to 33.3"
  • Anti-slip pads to protect the floor and prevent slipping
  • Ergonomic handles beside the seat
  • Has a swivel/tilt radius of up to 8 degrees 
  • Maximum weight capacity of 265 lbs

The Songmics Standing Desk Chair offers a comfortable seat, utilizing a three-inch-thick ergonomic cushion. As standing desk chairs go, this model delivers well on all fronts. Specifically, it encourages ergonomic posture support and promotes active sitting without risking slippage or falling. While many models of wobble stool allow for height adjustment, this one has a greater maximum height than many, at 33.3 inches.

The padded seat on this wobble stool can tilt up to eight degrees, offering a greater range of body movement than many alternatives. Thanks to the foam upholstery, the seat on the Songmics Standing Desk Chair breathes well, which helps to prevent trapped heat. Ergonomically placed handles allow for easy maneuvering of this wobble stool.

The Songmics Standing Desk Chair was selected due to meeting the needs of a standing desk chair with high quality and precision, without displaying an extreme in any direction. This is an affordable wobble stool that offers a quality active sitting experience without coming in at a high price tag.

Pros:

  • Adjustable
  • Handles attached to the seat
  • The foam seat breathes and dissipates heat well
  • The seat can tilt as well as swivel
  • Relatively high weight capacity at 265 lbs

Cons:

  • Few aesthetic options
Seville Classics Airlift 360 Sit-Stand Adjustable Ergonomic Active Balance Non-Slip Desk Stool review | best standing desk chair
Amazon

Features:

  • Breathable seating fabric helps to prevent sweating and discomfort
  • Height adjustment uses a pneumatic gas system
  • Non-slip grip beneath the base to protect the floor and prevent falling
  • Ergonomic height adjustment lever within sitting reach 
  • Seat tilt up to ten degrees

This standing desk chair has the core features for active sitting, without much in the way of bells and whistles. The seat is made of a breathable foam cushioning that allows for heat dissipation and body contouring support. This stool has an adjustable height that ranges from 20 inches up to 28 inches.

The height adjustment lever is a circular bar beneath the seat, within easy reach of your hands while sitting. That can make it easier to adjust height without needing to rise fully, although one should still take their weight off of the seat first for safety reasons.

The Seville Classics Airlift 360 Stool was selected as 'best valuel' because it provides the core functions of a standing desk chair for an affordable price, without any significant drawbacks or flaws. Beyond meeting these standards, the stool is also well designed for comfort.

Pros:

  • Moderate weight capacity at 250 pounds
  • Adjustable height
  • Highly flexible build

Cons:

  • The height maximum is only 28 inches
SUN-FLEX Ergonomic Height Adjustable Balance Foot Stool review | best standing desk chair
Amazon

Features:

  • Maximum load of 264 lbs
  • An anti-skid surface on the base to protect floors and prevent falling
  • Full horizontal swiveling
  • Height adjustable up to 27.9 inches

The Sun-Flex Ergonomic Height Adjustable Balance Foot Stool is the most affordable of our final five wobble stools. While this product offers a more barebones experience than the Seville Classics stool, it is in a similar vein. However, the Sun-Flex does have a higher maximum weight capacity than many alternatives, at 264 lbs.

This standing desk chair has an anti-skid base to prevent the chair from scratching the floor or falling over while you lean in it. The seat can swivel around a full 360 degrees, but there is no seat-specific tilt function. The seat can be adjusted from 24.5 inches up to 27.9 inches using an easy-to-reach lever.

The Sun-Flex Ergonomic Height Adjustable Balance Foot Stool was selected as 'best for affordability' due to its deliverance of core active sitting features at a highly affordable price, without sacrificing much beyond caveats. For those who want to try using a wobble stool and see if it may be right for them, this stool may serve as an excellent entry piece.

Pros:

  • Height adjustable
  • moderate weight capacity at 264 lbs
  • Full horizontal swiveling
  • Low price point

Cons:

  • No tilting features specific to the seat
  • The height maximum is only 27.9 inches
Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool review | best standing desk chair
Amazon

Features: 

  • The seat is a half-dome inflatable balance ball
  • Adjustable height up to 33 inches with a hydraulic system
  • Full horizontal swivel, five-wheel base with locks
  • 300-lbs maximum capacity

The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool offers an unusual mix of different seating designs. Unlike most wobble stools, the Gaiam has wheeled legs instead of a round base. While the wheels do lock, this can still present some difficulties and potential risks for those who like to lean in their seats. Another unique feature of this stool is the seat, which is a half-dome of inflated balance ball material. Much of the active sitting engagement in this stool comes from the inflatable seat.

This stool is well designed with quality materials, and it's higher than usual weight capacity of 300 lbs reflects that. The inflatable seat provides a strong, slightly contouring support that can dissipate heat well. However, the tradeoff with an inflatable seat is that the rubber material of these seats does not breathe.

The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool offers the greatest weight capacity and some of the tallest height options of our final five stools. Although its wheeled design breaks partly with the tradition of standing desk chairs, this stool still offers the same active sitting engagement, thanks, in part, to the inflatable seat.

Pros:

  • High maximum weight capacity at 300 lbs
  • Ergonomic seat design that allows the body to tilt without shifting the stool
  • High maximum height of 33 inches

Cons:

  • Wheels can make balancing trickier, even with locks

What is the best standing desk chair?

The Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool was our choice for best overall due to its Neat-certification, impressive history within the ergonomic seating industry, high-quality manufacturing, ergonomic saddle seat design, and tall maximum height. 

The high cost of this stool, when compared to alternatives, can be prohibitive, however. Still, despite its higher price, the Varier Move provides nearly everything a standing desk chair should, with style and quality. 

Standing desk chair

Price

Features

Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool

$349

  • Tested by the Mayo Clinic and Neat-certified
  • Norwegian tilting saddle seat design

SONGMICS Standing Desk Chair

$159.99

  • Tilt radius of up to 8 degrees
  • Adjustable height up to 33.3

Seville Classics Airlift

$129.99

  • Breathable seating fabric
  • Highly flexible design

SUN-FLEX

$110.90

  • Full horizontal swiveling
  • Maximum load of 264 pounds

 

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool

$139

  • Ergonomic half-dome inflatable balance ball seat
  • 300-pound maximum capacity

Which is the right standing desk chair for you?

Refer to the following decision tree breakdown when trying to decide which stool is right for you. It all depends on you, your feature wishlist, and your potential use-cases.

Choose this standing desk chair…

If you want or are…

Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool

If you want the best in standing desk chairs

SONGMICS Standing Desk Chair

If you want a tall wobble stool that includes tilting features specific to the seat

Seville Classics Airlift

If you are looking for a wobble stool that specializes in letting you tilt the whole thing while you sit

SUN-FLEX

If you want an affordable wobble stool without a lot of extra features

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair Stool

If you want a wobble stool that incorporates balance ball chairs into its design

How did we choose these standing desk chairs?

The above chairs were reviewed considering these comparative factors: ergonomic design, comfort, maximum height, maximum weight capacity, tilt and swivel functions, stability, style, and price. Initially, a broad range of wobble stools was considered. Then, those were winnowed down to five finalists using the above criteria.

These final five were then compared to each within this review using the same criteria as above. Of the five, one was selected as ZDNet's top choice for best overall. The four runners-ups were each chosen for exemplification within a specific parameter or a specific demographic. For example, while the Varier Move was selected for 'best overall,' the Sun-Flex was chosen as 'best for affordability.'

Some variables were given more weight than others, with ergonomic design and function being treated as the most important. Maximum weight capacity and height maximums were weighted as the next most important variables. For the most part, the price was relatively consistent between a majority of standing desk chair options, with some notable exceptions.

In what way are standing desk chairs better than ordinary chairs?

Wobble stools use ergonomic design to enable and encourage active sitting. Active sitting means your core and legs continue to be active and engaged while sitting. 

Active sitting can help promote healthy blood circulation, better spinal alignment and posture and generally helps to mitigate some of the harms that come with being sedentary all day at a desk.

Do I need a standing desk to use a standing desk chair?

standing desk chairs are often designed with a standing desk or similar structure in mind. However, they can fit with numerous types of desks, counters, and tables. You'll want some open space underneath the surface you intend to work at, allowing for leg and leaning room. Other than that, it's essential to make sure the height of your stool and work surface will work together.

How do standing desk chairs work?

These ergonomic seats encourage your body's core to stay engaged while you sit in them. By placing your feet solidly on the floor and sitting on one of these stools, you can wobble, tilt, and rotate yourself and the seat around. Doing this engages your body and practices balance.

Are there alternative standing desk chairs worth considering?

There are numerous standing desk chairs available nowadays, and the five presented within this guide are but a drop in the ocean. 

Consider the three listed below for those who want to see more wobble stool options beyond our top choices:

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