Sitting at a desk for long periods can be extremely uncomfortable.
But even worse, it can cause aches and pains, leg cramps, and even blood clots.
Extended periods of sitting can also increase strain on your lower back and this is a particularly common source of lower back pain.
To prevent the issues associated with sedentary jobs that require you to sit in one place for hours on end, you will be surprised to know that even improving your feet placement can help your posture.
If you want to improve your posture and reduce lower back pain when sitting you may find an ergonomic footrest helpful.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of owning an ergonomic footrest and how to choose the best one for your home office setup.
Then, we’ll review 10 of the best footrests and choose one as our top recommendation.
What Is An Ergonomic Footrest?
An ergonomic footrest is simply what it sounds like! A place to rest your feet when in a seated position.
These devices are designed to take the pressure off your legs, feet, and back.
They come in many forms and are meant to increase your overall comfort when sitting in a chair.
Sitting for too long can cause lower back pain, leg cramps, swollen ankles and fatigue.
WebMD also reminds us that it can also cause deep vein thrombosis – a clot that forms in the legs.
A footrest helps to encourage ‘active sitting’ by supporting your feet while you sit, and reducing pressure on your legs.
It is also a good solution for shorter folks whose feet are unable to touch the ground while sitting.
Office chairs are adjustable, but they have their limits so the footrest allows for proper weight distribution.
What Are The Benefits of Getting a Footrest?
An ergonomic footrest makes life a lot more comfortable while sitting at your desk all day.
However, there are health benefits to be gained as well.
Sitting for too long can lead to poor blood circulation, especially in your legs and feet.
An ergonomic footrest allows you to elevate your feet and legs or encourage movement to keep the blood flowing.
Sitting in an office chair for long hours can put strain on your spine and cause back pain.
A footrest allows you to sit properly in your chair and take the pressure off your back.
An ergonomic foot rest can be used as a tool to improve sitting posture.
It takes the pressure off the back of your legs and allows you to rest both feet on the device.
An under desk footrest can be adjusted to ensure that you sit with your back straight and your hips positioned a little bit higher than your knees.
It can also be much more comfortable to have a footrest especially if your feet tend to dangle off the edge of your chair.
Types of Ergonomic Footrests
Footrests come in all shapes, sizes and variations.
Here are some of the types to look out for.
Literally a hammock for your feet where you can rock your feet back and forth.
These are made from cloth and are very easy to pack and carry.
They come equipped with fastening clamps that attach to both sides of the desk.
However, some hammocks are not suited for all types of office desks and tables.
Often times these types of footrests can be used on aeroplanes as well as under a desk.
These are light and portable and very easy to travel with.
They can also serve different purposes such as back support or even a seat cushion.
A cushioned footrest is plush and soft on the feet and they are also machine-washable.
These are made from thick, durable plastic material and are ideal for people who want firm support.
Some are equipped with rigged surfaces to massage the soles of your feet.
Plastic footrests are often height adjustable and can be cost-effective.
These heavy-grade, durable footrests are designed to withstand rough and tough environments.
They tend to be larger and heavier than other options are more convenient for persons who have large desks with lots of leg space underneath.
What to look for when Choosing a Footrest
There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing the best under desk footrest.
Memory Foam or Plastic
Footrests tend to be split into two categories.
One’s that are made of memory foam and one’s that are made out of plastic.
Which one you choose depends on what type of support you require.
If you want a firmer support then you should go with one made from plastic, however, the trade off is that they won’t feel as padded.
On the other hand, if you like the more padded feel then the memory foam footrests would be preferable.
Do bear in mind that memory foam footrests are far softer.
This could be an issue If you don’t want your feet to sink into the footrest.
Choosing whether to go for a footrest made of memory foam or plastic is likely to be the most important decision you make in finding the perfect footrest for your needs.
Your footrest should be adjustable for your height and comfort level.
Additionally, not only should it be height adjustable, but it should also give you the option of altering the angles and positions to relieve specific pressure points at your convenience.
Your footrest should lay flat on the floor and remain in that position whether on hardwood, carpet or tiles.
Make sure your selection comes with non-skid features to avoid slippage and scratches on your floor.
The surface of your footrest should be made with comfortable material –especially if you plan to put your bare feet on the surface.
Foot rests made of memory foam are a great option in these cases.
You should also take into consideration whether you need your footrest to be easily transportable or put away when not in use.
Plastic footrests can usually be folded flat, are light and easy to store.
Metal footrests may be more durable but they take up more space and are heavier.
The 10 Best Under Desk Foot Rests for Your Home Office
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a footrest. Here are some of the best footrests worth trying out.
1. Amazon Basics Foot Rest
This footrest by Amazon is simple and easy to use and has a multi-position design which helps to reduce physical stress.
It has a free-floating platform that allows for ideal lower leg movement and allows you to fully stretch your legs.
This works by slightly applying pressure to the device, allowing it to tilt back and forth.
You won’t find this feature in any of the other footrest on our list!
The geometric circular bumps on the surface gently massage the soles of your feet.
Whether you are barefoot, wearing shoes, or just socks, simply move your feet over the textured surface in any direction you choose.
The Amazon Basics footrest encourages improved sitting posture, alignment and ergonomics by elevating your legs and feet.
It is constructed with durable plastic and offers secure placement underneath your desk.
If you want a cheap and cheerful footrest, this one may be for you.
Pros: Offers a massaging effect on the feet, multi-position design, free-floating platform – the footrest can tilt back and forth
Cons: Height cannot be adjusted, works better on carpets than tiles
2. Everlasting Comfort Office Foot Rest Under Desk
This high-quality footrest is 17″ x 10″ x 5″ and made with premium memory foam to support your feet.
It has a teardrop design meaning that you can use the footrest at various angles to find the right incline for your needs.
You can even try the inverted option where it can be used as a foot rocker.
This foam footrest also has a non-skid tread surface which prevents slippage.
If you experience numbness, cramping or fatigued legs and feet this antimicrobial, hypoallergenic footrest is the ideal solution.
The Everlasting Foot Rest can also help to relieve pain associated with maternity, sprains, gout, varicose veins, and arthritis.
A consistent complaint from users is that the memory foam is actually too soft and doesn’t provide much support as your feet can sink in too far.
If you are looking for firm support then you’re better off with a plastic footrest instead.
Pros: Non-skid surface, can be used in various positions, washable cover
Cons: Some users complained that the memory foam is too soft
3. Safco Products Ergo-Comfort Adjustable Footrest
This sleek and sophisticated footrest helps to improve posture by reducing pressure on your legs and spine, while aiding with sitting fatigue.
It can also be repositioned to a 40-degree angle, thanks to the easy glide design, which can help to reduce weight on your spine.
Furthermore, you can choose between a 5-inch footrest for those on the shorter side, and an 8-inch option for taller people.
The footrest is made from 94% recycled materials. It has a steel chrome frame and a vinyl covered board.
This item ranks on the higher end of the pricing scale compared to the others on the list, and there have been a few customer complaints about its durability.
However, the Safco Ergo Comfort Footrest is ‘Greenguard certified’ so it is also good for the environment.
Greenguard Certified products are specifically designed to improve indoor environs.
They help reduce your risk of chemical exposure and air pollution inside your home or office.
Pros: Helps reduce the risk of indoor air pollution and chemical exposure, offers two different size options, made from 95% recycled material
Cons: Expensive, board material breaks easily
4. Nekmit Adjustable Foot Rest
This lightweight footrest has a cylindrical design with a rectangular bottom cushion, providing a comfortable elevation of 4 inches.
The adjustable option also allows an additional 2 inches by attaching an extended cuboid cushion to the item.
It can serve multiple purposes as a footrest, back support, seat cushion or even a travel pillow.
It can also be flipped on the opposite side, which allows a rocking motion for promoting movement of the legs and feet.
The Nekmit Adjustable Foot Rest is portable; it has a convenient handle with easy-to-carry straps so you can bring it with you from home to office and back.
The fabric cover is also made from nylon, making it easy to wash and dry.
There have been complaints about the two pieces easily separating, but the good news is that the product is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.
Pros: 1 year limited warranty, multi-purpose; seat cushion, travel pillow or back support, portable and easy to carry
Cons: The two pieces separate easily
5. Kensington Comfort Memory Foam Adjustable Footrest
This memory foam footrest aims to soothe your tired legs and feet by moulding to the contours of your feet. It’s the only one of its kind on the list.
Additionally, it has a foot pedal control – allowing you to make adjustments between 3.5 to 5 inches in height –without having to leave your chair and interrupt your productivity.
For added comfort, you can also adjust the angle up to 30 degrees.
Another unique feature of this product is the patented SmartFit System which lets you customize your device.
This is done with the use of a personal colour-coded system where you can input your height and tilt options using the chart included in the package.
This option also comes with a 1-year warranty.
Pros: Comes with 1-year warranty, patented SmartFit System to customize your footrest, height adjustable
Cons: Difficult to adjust, some users found that the locking mechanism breaks off easily
6. ErgoFoam Adjustable Desk Foot Rest
A lot of complaints about standard memory foam footrests is that they don’t provide enough support and are too soft.
However, this ergonomic footstool is made from high-density foam that won’t flatten out with constant use.
This foam density offers the greatest balance between comfort and support; offering improved leg and spine alignment while providing relief from fatigue of the legs and back.
The underside of the footrest is also made with anti-slip tread so that it stays in place on most surfaces.
Another reason why the Ergofoam footrest stands out is that it comes with a removable base should you want to increase or decrease the height of the footrest.
Without the added base the Ergofoam footrest is 3.9″ inches tall and with the base, the footrest reaches a max height of 5.9″ which is taller than most memory foam based footrests.
The curved surface can also be flipped upside down so that you can rock your feet back and forth while you work.
The ErgoFoam is slightly more expensive than other footrests, however, it does comes with a lifetime warranty.
Pros: Great for shorter people who want more than the standard 5″ in height, curved surface can be turned upside down to promote active sitting, high-density foam, adjustable height, washable cover
Cons: Slightly more expensive than other options
7. Safco Task Master Adjustable Footrest
This heavy-duty footrest is constructed with tubular steel and can help get you through your roughest days at the office.
The Safco Task Master Adjustable Footrest has a unique feature; it is also a standing footrest.
It aims to relieve pressure points whether sitting or standing in your office for long periods.
The footrest comes with a textured, anti-slip platform and can adjust to 9 different positions.
It is 5 ½ inches at its lowest and can extend to 15 inches, which is perfect for tall office chairs.
The platform can also be mounted at an 8-degree angle.
This is the priciest option on our list, but it’s also one of the two footrests that can be used for both standing and sitting.
Pros: Standing and sitting footrest, can adjust to 9 different positions, textured anti-slip platform
Cons: Large and heavy, footrest surface is rough
8. StrongTek Foot Rocker
The StrongTek foot rocker is built to improve blood circulation by allowing you to move your feet and legs while you work.
One of the great features is that you can use this footrest while sitting or standing.
The rocking nature of this footrest helps improve circulation in your legs as you sit at your desk.
Despite the rocking feature, you’ll still have stability thanks to the non-slip surface which helps to keep the footrest stable while you rock.
Another enviable feature that will come in handy at the office is the natural wood construction which can look more premium than other standard footrests.
It is light and easy to carry from home to office at only 3.75 pounds, and it can accommodate up to 350 pounds in weight.
Pros: Rocking footrest, can be used sitting or standing, can be used away from your desk to simply stand on and improve posture and balance, made from natural wood
Cons: The max height is around 4″ which may be too low for some people
9. Under Desk Foot Hammock
This under desk foot hammock is the only one of its kind on our list.
It comes equipped with a universal fastening system. This means the foot hammock can be mounted on any type of table or from cubicles and L-shaped desks to roll tops, and corner desks.
Complete with universal clamps and high tension rope stoppers this option is comfortable and customizable.
The foot hammock is designed to improve blood circulation and acute fatigue.
It can also prevent back pain, swollen feet and other related conditions caused by sitting for extended periods of time.
It is made from durable fabric which is reinforced with double stitches and can support a maximum weight of 110 pounds.
As a bonus, the company is also offering a free phone stand with your purchase.
Pros: Foldable and easy to carry, comes with bonus phone stand
Cons: Roper stopper snaps off easily
10. VIVO Standing Foot Rest
This heavy-duty footrest is not just for sitting but standing as well, which is evident by the sturdy steel design.
You can alleviate tension in your back and legs by utilizing one of the many height adjustment offers.
The lowest position for the device is 5 inches and it can be extended up to 10 ¼ inches tall.
This standing/sitting footrest will prevent your feet from slipping thanks to the textured platform surface.
Furthermore, the rubbing padding underneath the frame keeps the structure in place and prevents scratches.
The VIVO Standing Foot Rest has a 9.8″ x 15.7″ frame which provides the platform with adequate space for your feet.
Due to the minimalistic design setup is quick and easy. The product is also backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty.
Pros: Great for sitting and standing, 3-year manufacturer warranty
Cons: Steel construction makes it heavy
The Best Under Desk Footrest: Recommendations
Affordably priced and well-loved by users, this footrest from AmazonBasics is the best all-rounder on the list.
Offering both quality and cost-effectiveness, it takes up minimal space in your office, yet it offers substantial benefits.
It comes in a sleek black colour, perfect for an office environment and it features a free-floating platform –unique to all the other options on the list.
Another enviable feature is the textured surface which creates a massaging effect on your soles while you work.
It is made from durable plastic and fits neatly underneath small, medium or large desks and tables.
If you prefer a softer foam footrest, the ErgoFoam cushion is a great alternative.
It’s made of high-density foam material and also includes a removable base for height adjustability.
Before this article ends we must remind you to read the product descriptions carefully when choosing a footrest.
Assess the different features of each product and figure out which one will be more effective for you.
If you are experiencing, backaches, leg cramps etc. you can always check with your doctor for advice on the most effective products to use.
Ergonomic footrests are cost-effective solutions to helping improve your posture and reduce lower back pain whilst sitting.
Hopefully, this guide has set you on the right path to helping you choose the best under desk footrest for your workplace.