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Published Sep. 19, 2021

Sitting at a desk all day, especially with poor posture, can make you feel stiff and sore from head to toe. An ergonomic under-desk foot rest can help encourage better posture, adding to your comfort and wellbeing during long work days. 

A well-positioned foot rest will help you maintain an ideal sitting position, taking pressure off the back of your legs while keeping hips and knees level and thighs parallel to the floor. This simple addition that can increase comfort for anyone who spends lots of time at a desk may be especially useful for shorter folks, who may have trouble putting their feet flat on the ground.

Foot rests come in a variety of materials, textures, and sizes to help you sit better, and in various styles to suit your work space. Some have built-in features to encourage movement at the desk, which may diminish foot fatigue, and textured surfaces for massage. Learn what to look for and peruse some of the best foot rests on the market today so you can step up your sitting game every day. 

How We Picked These Products

Methodology 

We spend a lot of time working at our desks, so we know the importance of good seated posture. Through experience, product research, and consumer reviews, we chose a variety of ergonomic picks to suit different office setups. We started our research with 15 foot rest options, and narrowed it down to products designed for comfort, ease-of-use, durability, and style. We considered what different shoppers might want most in a foot rest. Most people prioritize comfort and support to last an entire work day, so those features were our first consideration, narrowing our list down to well-reviewed picks that boast stable, sufficient support. 

Factors such as firmness, material, height, and angle come down to personal preference. That’s why we included a range of foot rest types, featuring different materials and designs, as well as adjustability options. And since a foot rest should be sturdy and offer the buyer longevity, we chose well-made models that are built to last several years at least.

The Best Foot Rests: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Humanscale FM 300 Foot Machine Footrest

Attractive and Functional

A sleek metal and solid wood design and a ball-bearing rocking mechanism makes this foot rest a beautiful and comfortable pick. Humanscale

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Why It Made The Cut: This foot rest has adjustable height and a smooth rocking feature, as well as a particularly sleek design that provides good support and a professional vibe. 

Specs: 

  • Materials: Wood and steel
  • Dimensions: 11.88 x 16 inches 
  • Height Range: 3.75 to 6.75 inches

Pros 

  • Adjustable height
  • Extra smooth rocking design 
  • Attractive 

Cons 

  • Pricier than many other models

Designed to feel like a rocking chair for your feet, this Humanscale foot rest is a functional and attractive choice for your work space. Its height-adjustable design and gentle rocker mechanism add comfort while its sleek good looks truly set it apart from the competition. 

Unlike some plastic and foam foot rests, which can look cheap or clunky, the black steel and light wood build bring stylish and professional appeal. Plus, these materials are sturdy and easy to clean for years of attractive support. 

This foot rest boasts a superior rocking mechanism: Instead of a curved underside, ball-bearing rollers help the wooden platform glide back and forth over the frame. This creates an extra smooth and soothing rocking motion. 

To suit a variety of users, this foot rest is adjustable in height between 3.75 to 6.75 inches. Non-skid pads keep your feet in place while you work, and rubber feet keep the unit from sliding while also protecting hard flooring. 

Best Value: Mind Reader Ergonomic Foot Rest

Budget-Friendly Support

Foot support is affordable with this simple foot rest, which features a massaging pebbled surface and angle-adjustable design. Mind Reader

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Why It Made The Cut: Although budget-friendly, this foot rest still includes premium features like a soothing massage surface, a non-slip base, and adjustable angle.

Specs: 

  • Materials: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 17 x 4.4 inches
  • Height Range: Not adjustable

Pros: 

  • Provides affordable support
  • Pebbled surface to massage feet
  • Lightweight
  • Angle adjustable 

Cons:  

  • Less durable than metal or wood options 

Improve your sitting posture and give your soles a gentle massage with this affordable foot rest from Mind Reader. This foot rest sits 4.4 inches above the ground, to add just enough height to your work setup. Made of lightweight plastic, it’s an economical option for the budget-conscious buyer.

The pebbled platform adds a soothing touch to this basic model, featuring evenly spaced, raised bumps to massage the feet. This can bring tension relief and stimulation, a plus that can prevent sore legs and a reward for your hard work.

While the height of this foot rest is fixed, you can adjust the angle by simply pressing on the platform. This feature can allow for a more comfortable foot position and a bit of a stretch needed. Since this footrest is plastic, it’s not the most stylish option put there, but the neutral dark gray color is likely to suit most office spaces. 

Best Adjustable: VIVO Black Ergonomic Height Adjustable Standing Foot Rest  

Superior Sitting and Standing

A steel build, wide and stable frame, and broad height range makes this foot rest a sturdy and versatile choice. VIVO

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Why It Made The Cut: A broad adjustable height range of five to 10.25 inches sets this foot rest apart and makes it a great pick for both seated and standing desks.

Specs: 

  • Materials: Steel
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 15.7 inches
  • Adjustable Range: Five to 10.25 inches

Pros: 

  • Height adjustable from five to 10.25 inches 
  • Wide, stable base
  • Sturdy steel frame 

Cons: 

  • Minimum five-inch height may be too tall for some seated users

An adjustable foot rest allows you to modify its position to suit your height, which could be a huge benefit to your ergonomic desk setup. This footrest from Vivo has one of the broadest height adjustability settings on the market, from five inches up to 10.25 inches tall. This range makes the Vivo a great pick for both seated and standing desks; on the latter workstation, users can prop up one foot at a time to increase circulation and stave off sore feet. 

Instead of adjusting with a sliding mechanism, the platform secures into pre-drilled holes, so there’s no risk of the platform slipping down while in use. An anti-slip textured platform, non-scratch rubber padding, and foam carrying handle add to the design features of this versatile foot rest. 

While this tall foot rest is an excellent pick for average to short people, with its shortest height at five inches (higher than the average under-desk foot rest), it may not suit some taller seated users. 

Best Rocking: StrongTek Rocking Foot Rest 

Rest and Rock

Two deep rockers and a non-slip textured platform help this rocking wooden foot rest encourage frequent movement. StrongTek

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Why It Made The Cut: With deep, non-slip rockers, a wide design, and a textured top surface, this rocking foot rest inspires active sitting. 

Specs: 

  • Materials: Wood
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 17.7 x 4.4 inches
  • Adjustable Range: Not adjustable

Pros 

  • Anti-slip rockers and top platform
  • Durable wooden design
  • 350-pound weight capacity

Cons  

  • Not height adjustable

Encourage active sitting and add to your workout gear with this rocking foot rest from StrongTek. This dual-purpose rocker can be used while sitting at a desk or for practicing your balance when standing, whether at a desk or while exercising. 

The rocker not only rolls forwards and backwards, its deep design allows for a wider angle range than shallower foot rests. This depth encourages more foot and ankle movement, perfect for those who like to keep their lower legs active while sitting. At 4.4 inches tall, this rest also helps to elevate your feet and legs when working. 

At almost 18 inches wide, the platform is broader than most, ideal for larger feet and greater flexibility with movement. A grippy rubber layer on the bottom of each rocker ensures safe use and prevents floor damage. There’s also a non-slip, sandpaper-like top surface to keep your feet in place. The hardwood build looks attractive and supports up to 350 pounds, so you feel safe while sitting or standing with this simple foot rest.  

Best Foam: ErgoFoam Adjustable Foot Rest

Soft and Comfortable

Supportive and soft, with a high-density foam core and curved design, this foot rest makes sitting more comfortable while inspiring better posture. ErgoFoam

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Why It Made The Cut: High-density foam and a velvet cover makes this foam foot rest luxuriously soft, while also providing adequate seated support. 

Specs:

  • Materials: High-density foam 
  • Dimensions: 11.5 by 17.3 inches
  • Adjustable range: 3.9 or 5.9 inches  

Pros: 

  • Soft and supportive
  • Curved top surface 
  • Two height options
  • Plush and comforting velvet cover

Cons:   

  • Doesn’t roll as smoothly as harder options 
  • Black cloth cover collects hair, lint, and dust

This foot rest from ErgoFoam is a plush alternative to hard, potentially clunky plastic, metal, or wooden options. High-density foam provides support and softness, striking just the right balance between firm and cushy. The texture has enough give to let you move your feet around, staving off stiffness and aches, yet it’s not so soft that your feet sink.

This ergonomic pick also features a curved top, which allows you to place your feet at any angle without additional adjustment. You can also flip it over to use it as a rocking rest—just keep in mind that the foam has more give, so it may not roll as smoothly as hard rockers.  

The original ErgoFoam foot rest measures 3.9 inches tall, but this set includes an optional adjustment piece to boost the height to 5.9 inches. The bottom is lined with textured rubber grips to keep the foot rest in place. The luxurious velvet cover that feels great against bare and stockinged feet is removable and machine washable. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Foot Rest

Maintaining good seated posture can be a challenge; it’s all too tempting to slouch, twist, or droop in your seat, especially when focused on a task. A good foot rest can help you sit up straighter and work better. The best foot rests are sturdy and provide firm support. When shopping for a foot rest for your office setup, consider its material, adjustability, and any additional features. 

Material: Foot rests can be made of wood, plastic, metal, or foam. The material will affect the design, durability, and “feel”—either soft or firm. For example, a wooden foot rest will have firm support, while a memory foam option will feel cushy underfoot. Some rests use a combination of materials to create padded support.

When considering surface material, keep in mind whether you will wear shoes on the rest or not. Choose what best suits your needs, whether that’s a textured surface to keep shoes from sliding or a mesh or velvet cover that feels soft on bare feet. 

A slip-resistant bottom is also important to ensure that the foot rest doesn’t slide away from you while you’re working.

Adjustability: Foot rests can be height, width, and angle adjustable. An adjustable height is the most common and useful feature; it allows you to adjust the height to keep your legs at an ergonomic 90-degree angle. An adjustable width or angle is a bonus that can add to comfort. 

Additional features: A massaging surface, rocking base, or portable design can add to convenience. Some hard foot rests include textured bumps or rollers so you massage feet during work breaks. A rocking mechanism encourages movement, which can help with stiffness and circulation. A portable foot rest is easier to carry wherever you may need it. 

FAQs

Q: How do you sit with a foot stool?

Ideally, a foot stool, also known as a foot rest, should allow you to sit with your thighs parallel to the floor and your knees level with your hips. Place it under your desk and adjust accordingly to find the most comfortable position. 

Q: Do foot rests help posture?

Yes, especially if you have trouble placing your feet flat on the ground. A foot rest elevates your feel and reminds you to sit straighter. They can help position your legs into an ergonomic position to improve seated posture. 

Q: How tall should a foot rest be?

The ideal foot rest height allows you to sit with your thighs and forearms parallel to the floor while typing. To find a suitable foot rest, measure your work setup before you buy, or look for an adjustable model so you can raise or lower the height to your needs. 

Final Thoughts

The Humanscale FM 300 Foot Machine Footrest has several attractive features, including smooth rocking mechanism, non-skid features, and a sleek design. It’s on the pricier side for a foot rest, but the wood and steel build makes it a beautiful and long-lasting option that’s worth the splurge. 

A foot rest can be an integral part of an ergonomic workstation, helping to correct posture while sitting (and in some cases standing) to help prevent back and leg pain. Many foot rests come with rocking features to encourage active sitting, which can stave off fatigue and stiffness, as well as a textured surface to massage the soles and sides of feet. Consider the models described above to find a foot rest that will enhance your comfort and look good in your office space.

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