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Which classroom chair is best?

Students spend nearly the entire school day sitting. The last thing they need is an uncomfortable chair making their day harder. Thankfully, classroom chairs come in a wide range of styles and designs, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some that offer an ergonomic working position for your students while helping you cultivate the right learning environment for your school.

Along with style and design, there are several other things you’ll want to take into account when deciding. First and foremost is what type of chairs you want. Most schools opt for traditional chairs with backs, such as the Flash Furniture Adjustable Height Black Student Chair, but you may prefer stools or active sitting chairs. After that, consider the features they offer, including their weight capacity, if they are padded and whether their height is adjustable.

What to know before you buy a classroom chair

There are three main types of classroom chairs, each of which offers pros and cons.

Classroom chairs with a back

Most classrooms still feature traditional chairs with backs. Though these come in many designs, they are all reminiscent of what you probably used in school. They feature four legs and are supportive and comfortable, which makes them good for learning. However, they tend to take up the most space when in use, so they may not be ideal for small or crowded classrooms. That said, many are stackable for compact storage.


Stools can be less comfortable if used for long periods of time, but they offer a bit more flexibility in regards to placement. Because they tend to take up less floor space than chairs with backs, they are great for teamwork when children need to sit close to one another. Also, they allow students to swivel to face the person behind them, which can be useful for certain activities.

Active sitting chairs

Active sitting chairs are a relatively recent invention. As with stools, they are generally backless, but they either have an unstable base or an unstable sitting surface. This requires users to activate their core muscles while sitting. According to proponents, this can not only help with postural issues and reduce the chances of neck or back pain but also help restless children focus better.

Unfortunately, most active sitting chairs are not stackable, so there is no way to store a lot of them without using up a lot of space. Also, it can take students some time to get used to them or feel comfortable using them.

Features to look for in a quality classroom chair

Weight limit

Every classroom chair should have its weight limit specified somewhere in the product listing. It is vital that you pay close attention to this, as letting students use a chair not designed to support their weight can result in injury. Choose chairs with a maximum weight limit well above that of the heaviest student.

Stackable design

Most schools need to keep extra classroom chairs on hand in case one breaks or you have guest students or parents visiting. You also may want to move all of a classroom’s chairs to an out-of-the-way corner for certain activities. Stackable chairs let you do both things without using up a ton of space.

Height adjustable

It is important for students to be comfortable when working, so it can be useful to purchase classroom chairs that are height adjustable. This lets each student raise or lower the seat to the level they feel offers the best working position. 


The majority of classroom chairs have a hard plastic seat, which can cause pressure points with extended periods of use. While not common, some models feature a thin layer of gel or foam padding that can mitigate this issue.


Every school likes to cultivate its own ambience in its classrooms, and this can even vary from class to class. For example, you might want to set up an art classroom or one for young students with brightly colored chairs. Conversely, for social studies or math, or for older students, you may want to create a more serious learning ambience. Classroom chairs come in a wide range of styles so you can achieve this.

How much you can expect to spend on a classroom chair 

Classroom chairs can be sold individually or in sets and tend to cost between $15 and $50 per chair. Most often, you will get a better deal if purchasing them in sets.

Classroom chair FAQ

Are standalone desks and chairs better than desk/chair combos?

A. Standalone desks and chairs offer more versatility than desk/combos because they let a student adjust the chair’s position to fit their body. They can also be used independently of one another, which can come in handy for certain activities. That said, purchasing desk/chair combos can be cheaper than buying them separately.

Do classroom chairs come fully assembled?

A. Most classroom chairs with backs require some basic assembly. While not complicated, you can expect it to be time-consuming if assembling 20 or 30 for a full classroom. Stools and active sitting chairs may require assembly or come fully assembled.

What is the best classroom chair to buy?

Top classroom chair

Flash Furniture Adjustable Height Black Student Chair

Flash Furniture Adjustable Height Black Student Chair

What you need to know: These sturdy, height-adjustable chairs can be used for students from elementary school all the way up through the high school.

What you’ll love: They allow for plenty of airflows and have a nice, supportive backrest. Also, the anti-slip feet caps dampen noise as children scoot their chairs in and out.

What you should consider: They are very expensive and may not be suitable for schools that don’t have a large budget.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top classroom chair for the money

FDP School Stack Chair

FDP School Stack Chair

What you need to know: These standard classroom chairs offer a lot of value for the money and come in a wide range of colors to fit every school.

What you’ll love: They are available in four heights, so you can get the same chairs for every grade level. They feature color-matching ball glides on the feet to prevent marring floors.

What you should consider: The plastic backs can crack if children continuously lean back in them. They’re sold in sets of six.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Studico Wobble Chair

Studico Wobble Chair

What you need to know: These active sitting wobble chairs are ideal for restless students who have trouble staying focused.

What you’ll love: They come in kids and preteen sizes, both of which have a soft cushion on top for comfort. You can choose from several bright colors, too.

What you should consider: Determined children can pull them apart.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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