Aug 22, 2023
Best Desk Chairs For Kids 2023
With all the homework kids have these days, a study nook at home is essential. While a pint-size kids desk anchors the operation, procuring one of the best desk chairs for kids is equally important.
With all the homework kids have these days, a study nook at home is essential. While a pint-size kids desk anchors the operation, procuring one of the best desk chairs for kids is equally important. Like standard office chairs, desk chairs for kids are designed to be comfortable and supportive as kiddos crane toward their Chromebooks or hunch over their papers. And while your child hopefully won’t be logging as many desk-side hours as the average adult, a quality desk chair for kids can prevent unnecessary aches and pains—especially after a full day of sitting in the classroom.
The best desk chairs for kids are highly adjustable and sized for their smaller bodies.
“A study space specifically suited for a child in terms of fit, posture and alignment may reduce feelings of discomfort, and thereby help increase or prolong a child’s focus on schoolwork,” says Erin Rasnake, a physical therapist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “A child who is experiencing pain will likely have a harder time maintaining their attention to schoolwork.”
Of course, ergonomics are important. “The chair should be able to be adjusted to a height where the child’s feet may be placed flat on the floor with their knees and hips bent to approximately 90 degree angles,” says Dr. Tom Oddo, a chiropractor, certified ergonomics assessment specialist and certified strength and conditioning specialist at City Integrative Rehabilitation. Further, “The pan of the seat should slope downward at the front so that there is no contact stress at the back of the knees,” he adds.
Sure, you can try to MacGyver your current seating options to find something that’s right for your little pupil. But, it would be better to pick a desk chair tailored to meet your child’s specific ergonomic needs. Here are some of the best desk chairs for kids to get you started—plus a few expert buying and sizing tips offered below these picks.
The Sidiz Ringo chair is packed with features to keep your child as comfortable as possible while they get to work. It boasts ample adjustable options, including both height- and depth-adjustable features, plus the built-in footrest can be moved to encourage proper posture. It holds more than 200 pounds, making this a chair that can grow with your child. It’s one of the most ergonomically friendly kid desk chairs you’ll find, which likely makes it worth its price for many parents. With four color options to choose from, your little one is bound to find a look they can feel excited about.
Just like a typical standard task chair—just designed for smaller bodies—this study chair checks all the right boxes. A solid back helps support your child while they learn, while a 360-degree swivel and wheeled bottom allows for easy movement. An adjustable height feature allows you to get the positioning just right (and continue adjusting as they grow), plus a 180-pound weight limit means most kids can safely sit in it well into their teens. Compared to other models, this chair’s $50 price is impressive.
Pottery Barn Teen
Acrylic chairs are having a moment right now, and this option from Pottery Barn Teen is definitely on trend. The chair features a clear body balanced on iron legs and caster wheels with a gold plate for maximum style. The chair’s height easily adjusts with the help of a lever, and the seat swivels 360 degrees, allowing kids to catch things from all angles. You’ll feel good knowing the chair is Greenguard Gold Certified; they’ll love the overall vibe. Worth noting: The chair looks good enough to have out if your designated homework space is in the living room or another shared common space.
Leave it to Pottery Barn to make a kid-sized version of a classic. The Square Upholstered Desk Chair is a bestseller, offering a clean silhouette and quality construction. It has a sturdy steel base plus it swivels, has rolling casters and its seat is height-adjustable. It’s as fun as it is functional, too, with 15 upholstery styles from traditional twill to cotton candy-colored sherpa. While it’s a bit of a splurge, the adjustable features and impressive 300-pound weight limit means your kid can use it for years—and you can too.
While the Adaline Modern Kids Desk Chairs aren’t adjustable, this is the ideal duo to compliment your child’s craft table or tea party setup. They’re designed for durability with birch wood legs, plus the plastic curved back and seat are easy to wipe down. So, go ahead and let your petite Picasso (and a sibling or friend) use all the paints—and sit comfortably—while making their masterpieces. Choose from three color options.
The Isabelle & Max Ergonomic Kids Desk doesn’t just look fresh, it’s specially designed to keep strain off the mid and lower back. While its spine is slim, this chair’s ergonomic shape and seat height adjustment allow your student to maintain proper posture and keep pressure off their back. Wheels are a bonus feature for kids who might need to roll from here to there. According to the manufacturer, this pick is ideal for kids ages 8 to 12, and it’s important to note its 150-pound weight limit before purchasing.
Elementary school kids grow fast and, with that, you want a chair that you can adjust as your little one gets bigger. The ApexDesk Little Soleil chair has both an adjustable seat and chair back, giving you a wide range of height and depth options for the perfect fit. The seat is perched on caster wheels and features an anti-swivel lock to prevent fidgeting. The chair supports up to 160 pounds, giving you plenty of mileage ahead, and comes in three cool colors—pink, blue and green.
By the time they get to high school, kids are usually ready for an adult-sized chair. Hdaba’s popular option has a weight limit of 250 pounds with a wider seat of about 19 inches, making it something nearly everyone can use. The wheeled chair has a sponge padded bottom to support long homework sessions, along with abrasion-resistant fabric to help stand up to regular wear and tear. A breathable mesh back helps lower the risk your student will get sweaty while they work. The arm rests also flip up to help scoot the chair under the desk when it’s not in use. The manufacturer recommends the chair for those between 5- and 6-feet tall, so ideal for growing kids in middle and high school.
At $499 and up, West Elm’s Roey Desk Chair isn’t cheap. But it has a wide range of upholstery options to customize your child’s chair to their workspace, along with a chic silhouette you can feel comfortable tucking into the corner of a high-traffic area, like your living room or kitchen. Choose from vegan leather, velvet and faux shearling options, along with bold patterns like Rainbow Strokes, the floral Cameila and Natural Fawn. The chair is on casters for mobility and has plush padding all around for your child’s comfort.
Some kids are more fidgety than others, making sitting in a more traditional chair less than ideal. This balance ball chair from Gaiam Kids has enough bounce to allow kids a little movement without being so much that they fall out of their seat. The chair has an impressive 175-pound weight limit, along with a support bar in back to keep kids from falling over backward. There’s also a bar across the front of the ball to hold it firmly in place. Wheels on the bottom allow kids to move from spot to spot without getting up.
Forbes Vetted has rich experience testing and reviewing furniture, from sofas to bean bag chairs, but also children’s furniture, such as cribs and bunk beds. We value safe, functional, stylish and durable furniture, especially in kids’ rooms.
The author of this story is a mom to four children and professional product reviewer who was able to rely on personal experience to assess these chairs, but also interviewed a number of experts to ensure quality picks. The editor of this story, Rose Gordon Sala, owns two of these chairs (the Pottery Barn Square Upholstered Desk Chair and the Hbada Home Office Desk Chair) that are actively in use with her children, and she also weighed in on selections.
To choose the best desk chairs for kids, I consulted with a physical therapist who specializes in children, along with a chiropractor for details on what they recommend parents look for in these important pieces of furniture. I took that information on the importance of ergonomics and adjustability and used it to assess desk chairs. From there, I looked at the most popular desk chairs for kids on the market and narrowed the field based on elements like support, ergonomics, materials and upholstery options. Reviews and ratings from real parents were factored in as well to ensure the best view of how these chairs perform across a range of households.
When searching for a chair that’s suitable for your child’s size and stature, the main goal is to keep them in a proper position to avoid aches and pains. For a customizable fit—especially for children who may be sitting for hours—adjustable chairs will be your best bet.
In term of ergonomics, material also comes into play. “The chair should be made from a material that provides firm support but is soft enough that there is no contact stress from the surface,” advises Dr. Oddo. “An easy way to tell if the surface is too firm is if it is painful to sit in good posture for more than a few minutes. Similarly, if the chair material is too soft, it will be difficult to get into a good sitting position in the first place.”
You’ll also want to consider feel; mesh materials will help keep kids cool and soft sherpa fabrics offer a cozier feel. Maybe it’s important to you to find a chair with certified safe materials, like our Pottery Barn pick, which is both Oeko-Tex and Greenguard Gold certified.
When considering durability, the sturdiness of the base and weight limit should be considered, but so should cleanablity. For instance, if you’re looking for an addition to a craft table for a little kid or toddler, an easy-to-wipe-down plastic chair like the Adaline Kids Modern Desk Chair set might be a good bet.
Other features to consider include whether your child would benefit from a chair with wheels or be safer on a stationary base. The Sidiz Ringo Kid Desk Chair has a built-in footrests that may significantly help with posture, and armrests may also be preferred (or not) by your kid. Adjustability is also crucial, Rasnake says. “An adjustable seat height and tilt angle are important as they impact alignment of the neck, back, hips, knees and ankles,” she says. “Adjustable armrests are also a great feature, to support the shoulders and arms in a relaxed position close to the body and to allow wrists and hands to be level.”
Comfort is largely individual and what may work for one child may not be a good fit for another. However, we like the Sidiz Ringo Kid Desk Chair with all its adjustments options and padded seat. The Isabelle & Max Ergonomic Kids Desk Chair is another comfortable pick, because it’s specially designed to help take strain off of your child’s middle and lower back, with padding on the top and bottom to help keep them cushioned while they work. The chair is also height adjustable and has colorful options kids will love. For younger kids, consider the ApexDesk Little Soleil Children's Desk Chair. It’s heavily padded and highly adjustable to help children get that just-right fit. Older kids might like the armrests on the Hbada Home Office Desk Chair, as well as its roomier and padded feel.
Rasnake recommends figuring in the height of the work surface your child will be using while they’re in the chair. “A child who is smaller in stature may need a chair that sits higher—or can be adjusted higher—to allow for good back, arm and wrist alignment if they will be working at a standard height table or desk,” she says. “If a child sits too low relative to the work surface, the head and neck may be tilted backwards to view material, shoulders may be elevated, arms may be outstretched, and wrists forced into excessive extension. Any of which can lead to muscle strain and abnormal joint pressures.”
She suggests taking measurements of your child before purchasing a chair, too. With your child sitting with their hips and knees bent at right angles and feet flat on the floor or on a stool, measure from the bottom of their heel to behind their knee to determine seat height; from the back of the hip to behind the knee to determine seat depth; and from the top of the shoulder to under the hip to determine the height for the seat back, Rasnake says. “There should be a couple of inches difference between the chair’s seat depth and your child’s seat depth measurement, to allow for space between the seat’s front edge and the back of the knees,” she says. “The chair’s seat back height and your child’s measurement for it should be approximately the same.”
It’s the same as it is for adults. Meaning, feet should be flat on the floor or a stool, with the knees and hips bent 90 degrees; the side of the shoulder in line with the outer hip to promote an upright sitting position and normal spinal curvature; the neck and head in a neutral position; and the shoulders relaxed with elbows, wrists and hands level.
“Proper sitting alignment for children is the same as it is for adults, but achieving that alignment can be more challenging for children due to body size versus chair and desk size,” Rasnake says. “It may be necessary to add a small pillow or pad behind your child’s back to support them in an upright position if the chair’s seat depth is greater than your child’s needs.”Best Desk Chair For Kids Overall:Best Budget Desk Chair For Kids: Most Stylish Desk Chair For Kids:Best Upholstered Desk Chair For Kids: Best Kids Desk Chair For Toddlers: Best Comfortable Desk Chair For Kids:Best Desk Chair For Kids In Elementary SchoolBestDesk Chair For Kids In Middle And High SchoolBest Splurge Desk Chair For KidsBest Ball Desk Chair For KidsKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey featuresKey features