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Article Dec 21

What you need to look out for in a desk chair for children

Find the right desk chair for your child with our detailed checklist.

What do you have to consider when buying a desk chair for children? Does the children's chair have to have a backrest and armrests? And: Should the children's desk chair be ergonomic? Our checklist provides detailed answers to all these questions. So you can find the right desk chair for your child.

Not only we as adults sit for many hours at work and in everyday life. Our children also have to sit still for hours from the day they start school. Schoolchildren spend an average of almost eight hours a day sitting - and mostly on rigid chairs in a very uncomfortable sitting position. Movement? Zero!

We often forget what we are putting our children, and especially their backs, through at a young age. Chronic back pain and deformities of the spine even at a young age can be the result. It is therefore all the more important that children are enabled to sit dynamically on ergonomic chairs when home-schooling, learning or doing homework. But how can this be achieved and how can a good desk chair for children be recognised? The following checklist provides answers to the most important questions.

You can download the "Children's Desk Chair Checklist" here free of charge.

Girl playing laughing on the floor next to her Aeris Swoppster kids desk chair.

Children are always on the move and full of curiosity. This urge to move should not be restricted even when sitting.

1. how to adjust a child's desk chair correctly?

In order for you to be able to optimally adjust the swivel chair for your child, the chair must have individual adjustment options. It is important to be able to adjust the chair's seat height, to your child's body weight and need for movement. These are the most important things you should pay attention to:

Seat height

Sitting correctly means, above all, paying attention to the seat height. Adjust the height of the chair so that there is an "open" angle between the upper and lower leg when sitting (> 90°). It is also important that your child can touch the floor completely with both feet. To ensure this, pay attention to the height of the child's desk as well as the swivel chair (more on this later). A good swivel chair for children should therefore be infinitely height-adjustable and the lever should be easy to reach and operate. The greater the range (e.g. from 32 to 45 cm) of the seat height adjustment, the better.

Caution: Under no circumstances should the legs - whether child or adult - be placed at a right angle or even closer together when sitting. This makes it more difficult for the blood to flow back to the heart. Painful legs, swollen calves and numbness can be the result. An open sitting angle ensures blood flow all the way to the feet.

Weight adjustment

This adjustment is where the first wheat is separated from the chaff. Children's chairs in particular need to be individually adjustable to the body weight - e.g. the spring tension. Children grow very quickly and their weight changes accordingly. The important thing is that the desk chair should function according to the motto "one for all" and still offer the child a high level of seating comfort.

Range of motion

A widespread assumption is that children have to sit still. We see it differently! Children in particular need to satisfy their natural urge to move. Movement promotes neuronal networking in the brain and therefore mental development. This makes it all the more important that the chair can be adapted to the movement needs of boys and girls. With our children's desk chair Aeris Swoppster you can easily adjust the lateral flexibility and spring tension.

Maedchen sits on the children's desk chair Aeris Swoppster and paints at a children's table.

It is important that the desk chair can be adjusted to the weight and size of the child.

2. does a desk chair for children need a backrest and armrests?

No, a child's desk chair does not need a backrest and certainly not armrests. Armrests should be avoided at all costs! This is because armrests can lead to a tilted sitting position or to an unfavourable increase in the distance to the workstation. Sitting for long periods in such an incorrect position is particularly harmful.

Ergonomic backrest with lumbar support

However, if you want the chair to have a backrest, you should make sure that it is height-adjustable and that the angle can be changed. Good ergonomic children's desk chairs also have an adjustable lumbar support that is easy on the back. This part of the backrest can be adjusted to the (S-shaped) curvature of your spine and supports it in the lower area (lordosis) when sitting.

Why should you do without a backrest?

Children should keep moving even when sitting. The solution: active sitting. This improves blood flow to the brain and supplies it with oxygen. In addition, permanent changes of position strengthen the back muscles and improve posture. This prevents back pain. This is why the ergonomic children's stool Aeris Swoppster deliberately does not have a backrest. Because no matter how well upholstered, how comfortable or how perfect the lumbar support, a backrest hinders the free, natural movement that children need!

Tip: Not only active children should sit actively, but also adults. How to How to keep moving at the workplace, you can find out here.

Another negative consequence of the backrest: it relieves the back and supports it. However, humans are not made for this and the muscles slacken because they are no longer needed. When sitting on a stool, the muscles take over the support function and you automatically sit upright. Therefore, such a desk chair helps children to sit up straight.

3. what should the seat of a children's swivel chair be like?

Basically, you should make sure that the children's swivel chair has a convex seat. What does that mean? A convex seat avoids seat hollows and thus pressure points and a hunched back. On such a chair, you automatically adopt an upright and ergonomic position. If an office chair does not have a convex seat (or a convex seat cushion), you should always make sure that the back of your knees are free and do not rest on the seat. This is the only way to ensure sufficient blood circulation - especially from the legs back to the heart.

Tip: If you have already bought a desk chair without a convex seat, you can do something for your child's health with a convex seat cushion.

Overview of the variants of the children's desk chair Aeris Swopper in the colors blue, gray, pink and green.

A convex shaped seat supports an upright posture.

4. which cover makes sense for a children's desk chair?

Particularly with small children, there are sometimes one or two stains on the chair. Therefore, the cover should be removable and easy to clean. In the best case, the cover can simply be washed in the washing machine. But what argument appeals to children more than the "washable cover"? Correct, the different colours of the fabric. Of course, kids have different tastes ¬- girls and boys have different colour favourites. Besides the classic black and white, the most popular fabrics are blue, pink and green. When it comes to the type of fabric, it is important that it is not scratchy, soft and, in the best case, breathable.

5 Which is better? A children's desk chair with or without castors?

Whether with or without castors, it is important that the chair has a firm stand and is tilt-resistant. If the office chair has a stable foot ring or a base, you can buy it with castors with a clear conscience. It is ideal if you can simply replace the castors of the swivel chair with glides.

6 What does a good ergonomic children's desk chair cost?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. On the contrary: the most expensive ones are not necessarily the best. The chair with the lowest price is not necessarily the worst. So price is not a reliable sign of quality. The price range is also very wide for children's chairs, from 80 euros to well over 500 euros. You should therefore pay more attention to the chair's functions and compare them with each other. Very good ergonomic children's desk chairs with an excellent price-performance ratio are already available in the mid-range price range.

Tip: If you are unsure, you can take a look at independent children's desk chair tests, for example from Stiftung Warentest, or get advice from a specialist retailer. The experts know the advantages and disadvantages of the individual models. 

By the way: The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) named the Aeris Swoppster the test winner out of 11 chairs tested in its children's desk chair test 01/2024!

Do you need a matching children's desk to go with the desk chair?

The purpose is to ensure that children sit healthily, flexibly and ergonomically. However, no matter which model you choose in the end: The children's office chair is only as good as the desk it sits at allows it to be. In other words: a matching desk is often advisable. When choosing, make sure that the desk is infinitely height-adjustable. An infinitely height-adjustable desk grows with the child and can always be optimally adjusted to the child's size. Another advantage: for small children, a height-adjustable desk can easily be converted into a standing desk. To enable an optimal sitting position, the ergonomic desk should also have a tiltable tabletop.

You can download the "Children's Desk Chair Checklist" here free of charge.

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