Best Balance Ball Chairs
When computer-centric jobs began to overtake the workforce, employees around the world began to suffer more and more from neck, back and body pains in general from being cooped up near their desk all day long. While there are new fangled desk options out there that are designed to help alleviate the muscular pains office workers face, another great item you should consider adding to your arsenal is a balance ball chair. These chairs are designed to help provide employees who sit at a desk all day with a way to help strengthen their core and stabilizing muscles. Beginning to hunt for a chair like this can be a little overwhelming which is why we’ve taken the guesswork out and created this buying guide for you. Let’s take a close look at what products are on the market and just how balance ball chairs can help you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research
Helps to relieve pressure from the lower back
The ring does a great job of not letting the ball roll away
Bright color options
Easy to set up
Great for sciatic pain
- Gaiam Adjustable Custom-Fit
- Gaiam Classic Backless
- Safco Products Zenergy
- Waliki Toys
- Gaiam Ultimate
- Gaiam Stool
- Gaiam Kids
- Sierra Comfort SC-0131
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
Helps to relieve pressure from the lower back
The ring does a great job of not letting the ball roll away
Bright color options
Easy to set up
Great for sciatic pain
Included inflating equipment isn’t effective
At first glance, this balance ball chair from Trideer is a little different than what you might be used to seeing as it is not just a dedicated balance ball chair. You can feel free to use it as an exercise tool as well.Read more
Our research suggests that this product is as durable as expected. Some users suggested that the included inflating equipment isn’t very effective so we would suggest using another method for inflation. This item does come with a 30-day return policy as well as a one year warranty.
The price associated with this product is amongst the lowest on our top ten list. This is likely due to the fact that it’s a pretty basic chair option. One feature that adds value to this chair is the fact that it comes with resistance bands so users are able to use this equipment during their workouts as well.
There aren’t any features of this product that make it adjustable other than the fact that you can add and remove the resistance bands to make it a piece of workout equipment. This chair is available in two different sizes – one for customers 5’3” to 5’10” and one that’s made for users between 5’11” and 6’4.”
This product is about as basic as they come and is essentially just one step up from sitting on a normal balance ball. There is no back or fancy features but sometimes going back to basics is just as effective. Trideer has given consumers the option of 13 different styles and colors to choose from.
Admittedly, this option from Trideer is more of an exercise tool than a standalone balance ball chair but we felt its benefits were too great to not include it on our list. It comes with an inflatable ring you can set your ball into in order to provide it with some stability when using it as a chair. Need to get a quick balance workout in? Remove the ball from the ring and you have yourself an exercise ball upon which to do your exercises.
2. Gaiam Adjustable Custom-Fit
Wheels work well on tile and linoleum
Included extras – exercise book and DVD
Easy to assemble
Some questions as to long term durability
Gaiam is one of the most recognizable names in fitness products made for overall health. This chair is a great option for folks who want one with the ability to adjust the height.Read more
For the most part, this product is rather durable. The plastic construction holds up well provided that the customers pay attention to the advertised weight limit. There were some questions as to the long-term durability of the product.
While this isn’t the cheapest option on our list, it’s also not the most expensive either. We loved that the design of this chair makes it adjustable, something that some of the other products are missing. This adds a lot of value.
This chair from Gaiam is designed for customers who are between 5” and 5’1.” It is rated to hold up to 300 pounds. The legs on the chair are adjustable which allows users to choose a height that works best for their desk set up.
The ball that arrives with this chair comes in either blue, grey or purple. The chair itself is black with a small padded backrest and five legs with lockable wheels.
Because the ball is removable, it can double as a piece of exercise equipment. This product arrives with a booklet for stretching at your desk as well as a DVD with a few different workouts on it.
3. Gaiam Classic Backless
Great customer service
Easy to assemble
Some reviews suggest the wheels don’t lock as well as they should
Here we have another product from Gaiam. This one utilizes a backless design and arrives with an exercise guide to follow when you don’t have the ball in office mode and is available in a number of different color options.Read more
It seems as if the durability of the plastic chair portion of this product exceeds expectations. If there are any questions about the durability of this product, they come from the ball itself which can easily be replaced for relatively cheap if required.
This option from Gaiam is one of the most affordable ones on our top ten list. An included exercise guide for workouts that can be completed at your work desk adds to the overall value of this product.
There doesn’t seem to be much in terms of adjustability with this product. It is rated for customers between 5’ and 5’11” and will hold up to 300 pounds. Customers are urged to purchase the leg extenders that are sold separately if they need a chair with a taller height.
This product utilizes a backless style that is designed to help with the aching legs, arms, and back that desk workers sometimes face on the daily. It is two feet tall and just 22 inches wide from wheel to wheel.
Like the previous option on our list, this product from Gaiam is useful as an exercise tool as well as an office chair. The ball is removable so users are able to take it off the chair portion of the device and use it for any of their stability ball exercises.
4. Safco Products Zenergy
Unique and pleasant-looking design
Easy to assemble with clear instructions
This unique looking chair from Safco Products is the perfect addition to any home and office that prides itself on its modern aesthetic.Read more
The cover of this product is made of vinyl fabric and is extremely durable. The steel base of the chair has a powder coat finish that helps to add further durability as well as provides protection from potential chips and scratches.
This is the most expensive option on our top ten list but when you take a good look at this chair, you will see why. It is not only extremely well made and durable, but it’s aesthetically pleasing as well, something not all of the chairs on our list can say.
There are no adjustable options with this chair. It is rated for users up to 250 pounds.
This chair is incredibly modern looking and, in our opinion, the most interested and aesthetic option on our top ten list. It comes in eight different color options from black to hot pink and is a perfect addition to any home that prides itself on modern décor.
This chair is very light, only 15 pounds, which means it can be easily moved from room to room without any issues at all. While the balance ball is likely removable, it seems like it would be more effort to remove it than its worth.
5. Waliki Toys
Different colors to choose from
Fun to sit and play on
Encourages children to strengthen their core muscles
Easy to pump up
Great for classroom use
Some people were surprised that the ‘feet’ were not load bearing
Did you think we could have a balance ball chair buying guide and not include something for the little ones in our lives on the list? This option from Waliki is designed for use by children and will help your little one have fun and improve their posture all at once.Read more
This product comes with a one-year warranty so you can rest assured that Waliki has your back if any issues arise though it seems to be made of high-quality materials so you may not need the warranty as a back-up after all.
This is the cheapest option on our top ten list. For less than $20, you can get your child a nice seat as well as a bouncy toy they can play on.
This ball is available in two different sizes. One option is for children between 3 and 5 while the other is made for kids between 8 and 12.
Though the legs on this ball aren’t actually functioning as they won’t bear any weight, their existence ensures that the ball won’t roll around when it is not in use. It comes in several bright colors that even your little one is sure to love.
A fun feature of this ball is that it can double as a toy for your child. If they flip the ball over and grab two of the “legs”, it can be used as a ride-on hopping ball.
6. Gaiam Ultimate
Included exercise guide
Some users had problems with the wheels
Back on the Gaiam train, we have this balance ball chair called the Ultimate. This looks similar to the other options from this company but with some vast differences. Let’s take a closer look.Read more
There were some questions about the overall durability of this product from some of the reviewers, though our research indicates it is a sturdy option that will withstand forces put upon it provided they are within the recommended height and weight range.
This is one of the more expensive options on our top ten list. Though the price tag might be higher than people are used to seeing in this product type, it comes with a satisfaction guarantee and knowing the well-respected company behind it stands behind their products.
This chair has no adjustability features. It is designed for users up to 5’11” in height and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
This chair looks the most like a standard desk chair in comparison to the other products on our top ten list. It utilizes a sleek modern design.
As with the other Gaiam products on this list, the ball is removable, making it a product that is as effective as a balance ball chair as it is as an exercise ball.
7. Gaiam Stool
Great for people who need access to 360-degrees of movement
Perfect for professionals (doctors, dentists, etc)
Very comfortable by design
The hydraulic lift is a nice touch
Wheel locks seem ineffective at times
Here we are with another product from Gaiam though this one is vastly different from the others both in design and in investment required to purchase it. It is a bit costlier the other Gaiam options on our list but it a highly praised product that we believe is worth the cost.Read more
This product seems to be much more durable than the other Gaiam options on our list. It was widely praised by current users and, as with the other products from Gaiam, it comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Though this is not the most expensive option, it is priced quite high when compared to some of the other products on our top ten list. We think that the price tag is still affordable, however, especially when you consider how much an ergonomic office chair can cost (often times an upward of $1000).
This product comes in a few different options. Users can first choose which color they prefer – black or granite - and then they can choose which size – 23” or 33.” This chair is equipped with an adjustable hydraulic lift that will allow you to adjust the stool height.
This balance ball chair looks more like a BOSU ball on a stool than it does a typical balance ball chair. It features a half dome design meaning only half of the ball is present.
Since this chair utilizes a half dome design, it is not as versatile as other balance ball chairs on our list. It can only be used as intended – as a desk chair.
8. Gaiam Kids
Sturdy, yet lightweight
Great for increased focus in little ones
Works as an incentive item for kids
Some reviewers had a hard time inflating their ball properly
Did you think we were finished with the best balance ball chairs from Gaiam? Well, we have one more for you. This product is another one aimed at children and we think your little one will love it.Read more
Our research indicates that this product is one of the most durable ones offered by Gaiam. It is incredibly sturdy, thanks to the high-quality construction and users should find that this chair will last long after your child outgrows it.
This chair is priced about the middle of the line when we compare it to the other products on our list. We do believe that the value provided here is more than worth the minimal price tag, however. This is especially accurate if you find that your little ones are less restless and able to focus better when they’re seated on a chair like this.
This chair is designed for children between ages five and seven, but it can be utilized by children who fall within the recommended height and weight range. It’s made for kids between 42” and 51” and has a weight capacity of 175 pounds.
This chair was designed for use in a classroom setting. Studies have proven that children who sit in balance ball chairs are able to focus on their studies more by reducing instances of restlessness that little ones are sometimes known for.
This option really only serves one purpose – as a chair for your little one.
9. Sierra Comfort SC-0131
Comfortable and sturdy
Wheels work well
Some users struggled to get the ball to inflate properly
Finally, we have reached the end of our top ten list with this product from Sierra Comfort. Though this balance ball chair may look a lot like some of the other options we have provided here, it does stand apart in a number of ways. Let’s take a closer look at some of the feature provided here.Read more
The hard plastic construction of this chair makes it incredibly durable. It is made to last and you should find that it will exceed your expectations in this regard.
This chair is priced quite high when we compare it to other options on the list, but it is not the most expensive. We believe that it is an aesthetically appealing option and the health benefits it provides users will far outweigh the cost of the item.
This chair is a great choice for users who are between 5’2” and 6’2.” It is capable of holding up to 300 pounds.
This chair looks a lot like some of the other options on our list. It features a comfortable backrest that you can remove if you so wish. The included balance ball is black.
Since users are able to take the ball out of the chair, they can use this product both as a balance ball chair as well as an exercise ball.
Easy to put together and inflate
Backrest is extremely stable
Not as nice looking as other options on the market
J/fit is a well-known company when it comes to producing high-quality equipment and accessories for fitness fanatics. This balance ball chair is certainly no exception to this rule. Though the chair is a little less aesthetically appealing than some of the other offerings we have on our list, it is still highly effective.Read more
Our research indicates that not only is this product well-constructed and made from high-quality materials, but it is long lasting as well.
We must admit that we were a little surprised at this product carrying such an expensive price tag. It doesn’t seem to offer much more in terms of functionality or benefits than other very similar options on our list that are about half the price.
This chair is designed to be used by people between 5’ and 6’1.” If you find yourself to be taller than that height restriction, you can purchase risers separately that will add up to an extra 2 inches.
While this chair looks similar to others on our list, a closer look will prove that it features an ergonomic shape that has been proven to be more functional than other options that have more of a large-sized seating area. It does have a backrest as well which some people might find comfortable.
This ball chair is not as versatile as other options on our list. Its oblong shape makes it not effective to use as a balance ball.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Pay close attention to what materials your chair is made from.
When taking durability into account, we looked at thousands of reviews from current users of these balance ball chairs. A huge factor that plays a part in the durability of these products is the materials that it is made out of. We don’t want to recommend to our readers a chair that is going to crack the first time it is used. High-quality construction is of the utmost importance to us.
There are definitely some options that are geared towards the budget-conscious consumer.
Let’s face it, the investment required for any product that we are looking at buying is an important criterion to consider before purchasing. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us will be turned off by products with a higher price tag, at least initially. Why buy a chair that costs over $100 when there are options that cost less than half of that? Of course, we all know the old adage ‘you get what you pay for,’ and while that may not always be the case, it is something to at least consider. While we believe that all of the balance ball chairs on our list are worth the rather small investment required to call one your own, there are definitely some options that are geared towards the budget-conscious consumer.
Not every balance ball chair is going to be compatible with your body type, height or room design.
Not every balance ball chair is going to be compatible with your body type, height or room design. It’s important to ensure that you are paying attention to the restrictions of each chair so as to avoid disappointment when your product arrives and you are too tall for it. Some of the options on our top ten list are able to be height adjusted with risers sold separately. Some have levers on the side so you are able to adjust the height up and down depending upon where you are seated.
The design that you choose for your home or office will depend upon what your needs are
Surprisingly enough, there are a number of different styles of balance ball chair. As we began our research into this topic, we assumed that there was only one main design but as we went deeper down the rabbit hole, it became clear that there are many different styles available on the market. It makes sense when you think about it. Not every style will appeal to every person so there needs to be a variety of options for the consumer to choose from.
The design that you choose for your home or office will depend upon what your needs are. Do you need a balance ball chair with a back on it to provide you with a more stable seated environment? Do you prefer to have one without a back so as to engage your core more thoroughly? Do you want an option that has wheels so you can treat it as a real office chair? Do you want your balance ball chair to be disguised as a regular chair so your neighboring office mates don’t know that you care about your core strength? Some of the options on our list are available in different color schemes so you can choose what best suits your décor. No matter your answer to the above questions, we have products on our list for you.
Some options can double as a standalone exercise ball for home workouts.
If you plan on using your balance ball chair at home, one thing to take into consideration is whether or not you are able to actually physically remove the balance ball from the chair. Why would you want to do that, you may ask? Well, if you can separate the ball from the chair that means you are then able to use the exercise ball during any home workouts you may want to complete. Using a stability ball for your exercises is an incredibly effective means of further increasing your core strength. Some of the products on our list feature a ball that is built right into the chair which will then take away from the overall versatility of the product.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
You should find that any air pump will work great at inflating your ball. It is important that you do not overinflate your exercise ball beyond what the recommended size is. A great rule that many people do not follow is that when first inflating your exercise ball, you should only inflate it to around 80% full and then once 24 hours have passed, you can fill it the rest of the way. It is recommended that you do not use it until the first 24 hours have passed.
We have gone over how to inflate a balance ball and our FAQ tackles how to find the correct size, but how do you actually sit on one? Remember the 90-90 rule? First, ensure that your hips and knees are both at a 90-degree angle. Once this is established, you should find that your feet are able to rest flat on the floor. Think about tightening your ab muscles and sitting up as straight as you can. Relax your shoulders, pulling them away from your ears. You may find that you need to separate your feet to increase the stability necessary to keep you stable. If you are at work, ensure that your computer is at eye level so as to avoid neck strain.
Other Factors to Consider
Of course, comfort is an important consideration to take into account as you begin your journey into the world of balance ball chairs. While one might think that all chairs are created equally, this most certainly is not the case. You should always pay close attention to the specifications of the chair you’re looking at buying. You can save yourself some money (and possible backache) just by ensuring the chair you are investing in is made for your height and weight. As we have gone into in our buying guide, sitting in a chair that isn’t sized properly for you can cause some pretty serious aches and pains and isn’t that what you’re trying to avoid by getting a balance ball chair in the first place?
Other factors that can determine the overall comfort of your chair is whether or not it has a back. Backless options are great for people who are capable of reminding themselves to sit up straight and don’t require the back of the chair for added stability. If you know that you tend to sit with your back against your chair and you purchase one without a back, you might find your new investment to be entirely uncomfortable.
There are plenty of possible positive side effects one can expect to garner from their new balance ball chair - stronger core muscles, better balance and stability in day to day life, and stronger back muscles just to name a few. It is very important to pay close attention to your form as you begin to use your new chair, however. If you find that you are relying too much on your desk for balance or are falling into a slumped back posture, you could actually be doing more harm than good.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why should I invest in a balance ball chair?
There are plenty of reasons one should invest in one of these products for their home or for the office. First of all, a balance ball chair is actually cheaper than most ergonomic chairs you will find at your local office supply store. Secondly, when your body is sitting on top of an unstable surface such as a balance ball, it is consistently making tiny adjustments in order to stay balanced. You may or may not even notice these automatic adjustments that your body is making in response to being situated on something even slightly unstable. While your body is adjusting itself to this new environment, you are strengthening the core muscles.
q: Why do I need to strengthen my core muscles in the first place?
Having a strong core is vitally important to your overall health. Just so we are clear about which muscles we are talking about, the muscles of the core are the ones found around your trunk and pelvis. When you strengthen your core muscles, you are essentially training all of the muscles in your pelvis, low back, hips, and abdominal area to work in sync with one another. This will eventually lead to better balance and stability in your day to day life.
q: Are balance ball chairs good for my back?
They can be. The important thing to watch out for is that you are using the ball inflated to a size that is appropriate for your height. A great rule of thumb is the “90-90” rule. This rule states that your knees and hips should both be at a 90-degree angle. If the ball is inflated too much or not enough, you run the risk of putting undue stress on your spine. If you have a lower back injury, it is important that you speak with your doctor or physiotherapist before investing in a balance ball chair just to ensure that it’s going to be safe for you to use. It’s important, especially when recovering from an injury of this type, that you slowly work your way back into strengthening your stabilizing muscles and a chair like this at home or the office is a great way to do just that.
q: Are these chairs adjustable?
Not all of them are adjustable, no. The Gaiam Half Dome does feature a hydraulic lift that makes it able to raise up and down to an appropriate height.
q: What are the benefits of having a backless balance ball chair?
It all boils down to personal preference when it comes time to decide whether or not you will invest in a balance ball chair with or without an attached back to it. The backless options may demand more work from your stabilizing muscles to keep you upright so that is something to take into consideration.
q: How do I know what size exercise ball I’ll need for my chair?
While most of the options on our list do already come with an exercise ball, you may want to eventually look at getting one that suits you better than the factory option. If you are able to test the balls out beforehand to ensure the aforementioned 90-90 rule is in play, that is the most ideal way of ensuring you get the right size for your height. If you don’t have access to a number of different sized exercise balls, there are some general guidelines that take your height into effect. If you’re less than 5 feet, a 45 cm ball should work for you. If you’re between 5’1” and 5’8”, you should look at trying a ball that is 55 cm. Folks between 5’9” and 6’2” can try an exercise ball that is 65 cm while those who are between 6’3” and 6’7” can get away with a 75 cm option.