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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
158 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for the best ergonomic footrests

Last Updated May 2019

If you sit behind a desk for most of the day, the way you position your feet can throw off your body’s alignment and cause aches and pains. Investing in an ergonomic footrest, though, helps encourage proper positioning for your body, so you stay comfortable no matter how long you have to work. 

An ergonomic footrest is exactly what it sounds like — a platform or device that you rest your feet on when you’re sitting in a chair. It helps support your lower body when you’re sitting for extended periods, so you’re less likely to experience foot, ankle, and leg discomfort. A footrest can also improve the circulation in your legs and encourage proper posture by aligning your spine and keeping your hips above your knees, which can prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain. No wonder many users find that a footrest even boosts their productivity.

Whether you want a footrest that comes with massage rollers or one that’s lightweight and portable, our shopping guide will help you decide on the best one for your desk. If you’re ready to buy, check out our recommendations to make shopping simple.

Using an ergonomic footrest while you’re sitting can help prevent varicose veins and blood clots by improving circulation to your lower body.

Key Considerations

Style

Adjustable-height footrests, which usually have an angled platform that you can move up or down, are the most common. If you’ve been unable to find a footrest that fits your body comfortably, an adjustable model is the best bet.

Cushion or pillow footrests are typically constructed with padded foam that helps cushion your feet while providing the necessary support and elevation. They’re often designed to be used without your shoes to increase your comfort.

Hammock-style footrests are essentially a fabric sling that you hang from your desk or the seat in front of you to rest your feet on. They often allow you to place your feet and legs so they’re almost level with your seat, which many users find more comfortable. A hammock-style footrest is one of the most portable options, so you can easily bring it with you on a plane or back and forth between your home and office.

Surface area

It’s important to consider the surface area of an ergonomic footrest before you purchase a model. It should be large enough to fit both of your feet side by side. For most people, a surface area of approximately 15 inches by 11 inches is ideal. If your feet are particularly large, though, you may want a model that offers you more space.

EXPERT TIP

An ergonomic footrest is especially helpful if you’re short and your feet don’t reach the floor when you’re sitting.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Height and angle options

Height: If you opt for an adjustable ergonomic footrest, it’s important to consider how many different height options it offers. Some models only have two height levels, while others offer as many as four. The more height options that a footrest offers, the greater the chance that there’s a comfortable level for you. Ideally, you should opt for an ergonomic footrest that offers at least 2 to 5 inches in height adjustment.

Angle: Pay attention to an ergonomic footrest’s angle options, too. Some models sit completely flat, while others allow you to adjust the angle that the footrest sits at for greater comfort. For the most customization, choose a model that allows at least 0º to 35º of inclination.

Nonskid surface

Your feet should sit comfortably on an ergonomic footrest, so if you opt for an adjustable model made of a hard material, such as plastic or wood, make sure it has a nonslip or nonskid surface. This will keep your feet stable, so they don’t slide off the footrest when you’re trying to get comfortable at your desk.

Portability

If you travel regularly or just need to move your ergonomic footrest between your home and office, portability is an important feature. Hammock-style footrests are typically the most portable option, because you can easily fold them up and stash them in a suitcase or bag. If you prefer a cushion or adjustable model, choose an option that’s as light as possible — avoid options that weigh more than 2 or 3 pounds.

Foot lever or pedal

The height levels for an adjustable ergonomic footrest must be adjusted manually. For the easiest operation, opt for a model with a foot lever or pedal that you simply tap with your foot to raise or lower the footrest. This will save you from having to bend down to adjust the height setting.

If you opt for an ergonomic footrest with heating and cooling action, make sure that there’s an outlet near your desk where you can plug it in.

Massage action

Some models have built-in massaging balls to help soothe tired feet, while others feature massaging rollers that you can run your feet over to help relieve any aches and pains you might be feeling.

Rocker design

Sitting down all day can often mean poor circulation in your legs and feet, so some ergonomic footrests are designed specifically to help improve blood flow in your lower body. Choose a model with a design that allows you to rock the platform back and forth to keep your legs and feet active and promote more effective circulation.

Heating and cooling function

If your feet are really in need of some T.L.C., you may want an ergonomic footrest that has a heating feature to help soothe aches and pains in your feet. A cooling feature can also keep you more comfortable in warm weather when your feet may get hot and sweaty.

Ergonomic footrest prices

Hammock-style ergonomic footrests are usually the most affordable. They typically cost between $4 and $14 and are ideal for travel.

Cushion ergonomic footrests cost more because they offer better support. Most models range from $12 to $60 and are ideal if you like to take your shoes off when you’re sitting behind your desk.

Adjustable-height ergonomic footrests are the most expensive. They usually cost between $16 and $70 and allow for the most customization, because you can choose the best height setting for your height and body type.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cushion-style ergonomic footrests are often made of antimicrobial foam, so you don’t have to worry about the footrest harboring any bacteria.

Tips

  • When you position your feet flat on an ergonomic footrest, there should be at least 7 inches of space between your thighs and the bottom surface of your desk, table, or another work surface.
  • Most cushion-style footrests have a removable cover that’s machine-washable. Wash the cover at least every couple of weeks to keep it clean and germ-free, particularly if you wear shoes when you use the footrest.
  • An ergonomic footrest isn’t just handy if you sit at a desk all day — place an adjustable footrest below your standing desk, so you can periodically rest a foot on it and reduce pressure on your leg muscles.

Other products we considered

The ErgoFoam Ergonomic Under-Desk Footrest is an ideal option if you prefer a cushion-style footrest that provides comfortable, firm support. The footrest is lightweight enough to take with you when you travel and can be flipped over to use as a rocker to allow you to move your feet and boost circulation. We also love the StarTech Under-Desk Footrest because it allows you to adjust both its height and angle for maximum comfort. The wide design can accommodate a variety of foot sizes, and the rocking feature makes it easy to keep your feet moving as you work.

While a footrest is not meant for standing, many models do have weight limits so you know exactly how much weight it can safely bear.

FAQ

Q. Does an ergonomic footrest slide on hard flooring?
A.
The backsides of most footrests have a nonslip surface to prevent sliding on hard flooring, carpeting, and most other surfaces. This allows a footrest to grip the floor, so when you rest your feet on it, it stays in place.

Q. Does an ergonomic footrest have to be assembled?
A.
Cushion-style and hammock-style footrests are usually a single piece, so they require no assembly. Many adjustable footrests also come fully assembled, though some models do require minimal assembly. In most cases, you can put a footrest together in less than 10 minutes.

Q. What’s a good weight for an ergonomic footrest if I want it to be portable?
A.
If you want a footrest that’s easy to carry around, aim for a model that’s 2 pounds or less. Hammock-style footrests are the lightest models because of their simple fabric design, but cushion-style models can be an effective travel option, too, because they’re usually made of lightweight foam.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Daniel
    Daniel
    Writer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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