If you’ve ever spent even a few hours working at a desk, you know how important the setup is for overall comfort. But for the ideal ergonomic setup, you’ll need more than the right chair—especially if you’re on the shorter side. “A footrest is especially beneficial to shorter people, who need to scoot to the edge of the seat, for their feet to touch the ground,” says Dr. Matt Tanneberg, a chiropractor in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Even if that isn't your specific issue, people can use foot rests at their desk to help with blood flow and circulation, by changing the position of their feet, ankles, knees and hips, to help stay comfortable throughout the day.”
To help you find the right footrest for your own office, we evaluated the top-rated options on the market for quality, comfort, durability, and overall value. Our favorite footrest, the ErgoFoam Adjustable Footrest, is adjustable, manufactured with high-quality foam, and has a convenient machine-washable cover.
ErgoFoam Adjustable Desk Foot Rest
This under-desk footrest is our top pick because of its excellent overall value. While moderately-priced, the fabric footrest is made of a high-quality foam that retains its shape to offer the best support. Still, it’s soft enough for comfort over many hours of use. Its non-slip bottom allows it to stay firmly in place throughout the day.
Thanks to a second cushion that raises the contoured footrest, this footstool is adjustable (especially useful for shorter folks). We also love that this footrest comes in your choice of two different covers—a very soft velvety option or a highly-breathable mesh option that’s resistant to pet hair. Either way, the covers are machine-washable for convenience.
Price at time of publish: $55
Mind Reader Ergonomic Foot Rest
May be cold without socks
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can’t go wrong with the Mind Reader Rest. Although the plastic may be a bit cold if you’re not wearing socks or slippers, the 4.75-pound footrest is exceptionally sturdy underfoot.
It’s also a highly-adjustable option: you can tweak the base to sit at just the right height and angle for you, or you can have it sit flat, should you want to tuck it away for any period of time.
The massage balls on the surface are a nice touch, too, and can help further ease any tension as you work. Simply roll your feet over the pebbled surface of the footrest.
Price at time of publish: $30
Humanscale FM 300 Machine Footrest
Non-slip grippers are very rough
This under-desk footrest is essentially a large wooden platform that sits over a metal frame complete with ball-bearing rollers. As such, you can gently rock your feet back and forth for added circulatory benefits while you’re sitting at your desk. Just note: While the non-slip grips help you keep your feet firmly in place, they’re very rough—you’ll want to wear socks, but may note that over time, the grips may even wear your socks down.
Overall, the footrest not only looks great under your desk, but the solid wood makes it exceptionally sturdy. Because of this weight, you won’t want to move it from place to place. But the cost is justified, as you’ll undoubtedly have this one in your office for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $125
ComfiLife Foot Rest for Under Desk at Work
Only adjusts to two heights
This footrest may be made of comfortable memory foam, but it offers plenty of support for a long work day at your desk. Still, you can push your feet into the foam to gently stretch your feet, if you need to. You can even flip the whole thing over onto the contoured side, so you can gently rock your feet back and forth for added circulatory benefits.
The footrest is also exceptionally lightweight, so you can move it from room to room. Use it while you work, or bring it into the living room with you for added support while you watch TV at night. The base is detachable for varying heights, but note that there are only two distinct height options, which can be a bit limiting for some.
For convenience, this fabric footrest is nice and easy to clean. It’s all thanks to a removable, machine-washable cover.
Price at time of publish: $38
AMERIERGO Adjustable Foot Rest
Only adjusts to two heights
If you’re looking for a lightweight and portable option, this one by AMERIERGO is a great choice. The footrest weighs just shy of 1.5 pounds, so it’s easy to tote from room to room. You could even slip it into a tote and bring it to the office with you.
The footrest itself is also more plush than other options, which is nice if you want to be able to move your feet around and stretch them into the fabric. The material is a breathable mesh, so your feet won’t sweat, either. And even if they do, simply zip off the cover and toss it in the washing machine for a refresh.
Price at time of publish: $35
VIVO Black Ergonomic Height Adjustable Standing Footrest
Easy to wipe clean
Can be cold without socks or shoes
If you have a standing desk, this footrest is a must. It’s the most adjustable option on the list, as you can move it high enough to work as a platform to rest your foot while using a standing desk or low enough to use while you sit.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the footrest is entirely flat. But if you just need a platform to give yourself a little lift or a spot to rest your foot while you stand, this steel footrest is more than sufficient and highly versatile.
It’s easy to wipe clean, too. Just note that the steel makes it a bit cold to the touch, especially in the winter—but that’s nothing a pair of socks or shoes can’t fix.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best for Pregnancy
MyPlace Adjustable Height Foot Rest Under Desk at Work
Adjustable to six heights
Includes a heating pad
A little flimsy compared to other options
During pregnancy, ergonomics are particularly important while sitting at a desk. Without the proper setup, you’ll quickly start to feel all kinds of aches and pains. This footrest, although slightly more flimsy than other choices, is a good solution, since it’s adjustable to six different heights to help you get the right fit.
The under-desk footrest also comes with a heated mat to help soothe sore feet while you work—another common complaint during pregnancy. The temperature is adjustable from 80 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and is displayed on a digital control, so you know exactly how much warmth is being delivered.
Alternatively, you can use the footrest without the heating pad. It’s textured with little plastic pebbles, so you can massage your feet while you sit.
Price at time of publish: $56
StrongTek Under Desk Footrest
Versatile use cases
Sturdy wooden construction
Anti-slip grips on top and bottom
Consider this footrest a more basic version of the highly-coveted, but much more expensive Humanscale under-desk footrest. It has an equally sturdy wooden construction, complete with non-slip grips to keep your feet squarely in place.
Unfortunately, it’s not adjustable and doesn’t roll in the same way the more expensive one does. But it’s still relatively versatile. You can use this footrest to get yourself in an ergonomic position while you work sitting or standing. Or, you can use it as a support while you exercise—it’s great for activities like stretching or yoga. The anti-slip base ensures it won’t slide out from under you, even during more rigorous use.
Price at time of publish: $40
Best Memory Foam
Everlasting Comfort Footrest
Use as a footrest or a rocker
Super soft material and cover
When all-around comfort is most important to you, you’ll gravitate towards a memory foam option like the Everlasting Comfort Footrest. As the name suggests, this under-desk support is like resting your foot on a cloud. The memory foam is nice and plush, so you can sink your toes in, but it’s not so soft that you won’t get the support you need to establish an ergonomic position at your desk.
The foot rest may not be adjustable, but the unique teardrop shape offers a nice balance between flat and fully-angled, too. And if you prefer some movement, you can flip the whole thing over and use it as a rocker for your feet—great for relieving restless legs.
The velvety soft cover is comfortable enough to use without socks or shoes. And you don’t have to worry about the material getting dirty. The cover slips right off, so you can toss it in the washing machine when you need to.
Price at time of publish: $38
What to Look For
Under-desk footrests come in a number of different materials, including plastic, wood, and memory foam. They also come in different shapes—some are angled, while others are flat. To find the most comfortable fit for you, you may have to experiment with a few different footrests. While some people may prefer the softness of angled memory foam, others may prefer the stability of a flat wooden or plastic surface.
When selecting an under-desk footrest, adjustability is an important factor. That’s because you need the right height in order to position yourself ergonomically. Footrests should be high enough to keep your body in a neutral position in which the hips, knees, and ankles are all at 90 degree angles.
Shape and Size
Some footrests are rectangular, while others are more of a semicircle. Neither is blanketly better than the other. The best under-desk footrest is the one that’s most comfortable for you. You may have to experiment with a few, but ultimately you’re looking for a footrest that keeps your body in a neutral, ergonomic position.
How high should an under-desk footrest be?
Exactly how high a footrest should be depends on your own height. “Ideally, footrests should be angled and high enough to keep the rest of your body in a neutral position,” says Tanneberg. “Seated in a neutral position entails the hips, knees, and ankles all at 90 degree angles.”
Should I use a footrest at my desk?
The short answer: It’s an entirely personal choice. But there are many reasons why someone might want a footrest at their desk. “It can help to improve blood circulation, which is important for overall health,” says Lalitha McSorley, a physical therapist in Calgary. “Additionally, it can help to reduce stress and tension in the neck and shoulders, which can lead to improved productivity. It can also help to prevent discomfort and pain in the feet and legs. Lastly, it will have a positive effect on posture.”
Should a footrest be flat or angled?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether a footrest should be flat or angled—it depends on what feels most comfortable to you. “Some people find that having their footrest angled slightly helps to keep their feet in a more comfortable position, while others find that they prefer a completely flat surface,” says McSorley. Experiment with different angles to find out what puts you in the most ergonomically correct position.
Why is a footrest ergonomic?
“Footrests are ergonomic, because they offer support to the feet, which in turn helps to keep the body in a more neutral position,” says McSorley. When the feet are unsupported, the body tends to lean forward, which can lead to pain and discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and back. A footrest can help to correct this posture and improve comfort while working.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of buying guides for various publications for nearly 15 years. She has extensive experience testing, reporting on, and writing about consumer products, including items like under-desk footrests. To curate this list, she scoured dozens of retailers to find the most popular and highly-rated options on the market. When assessing each product, she looked for attributes like quality of material, adjustability, durability, and overall value. Brigitt also interviewed experts like Dr. Matt Tanneberg, a chiropractor in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Lalitha McSorley, a physical therapist in Calgary.