Sitting in a desk chair or airplane seat for long periods of time can cause your legs and feet to become stiff, sore and swell due to lack of circulation. Footrests offer a great solution to the problem.
Available in plastic, wood and foam styles, they elevate your feet to improve blood flow and prevent fatigue. They also provide firm support to encourage better posture, which in turn can help reduce soreness in the back, legs and knees.
Even beyond their health benefits, footrests are great for petite individuals whose feet may not hit the ground while sitting. Many are often tilt-adjustable to accommodate a range of body sizes and heights.
From sleek options for under the desk to slings designed specifically for in-flight travel, we’ve rounded up the best footrests on the market to fit a range of needs and budgets. Read on to shop them all.
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1. ErgoFoam Ergonomic Footrest
Ideal for work, home or travel, this velvety cushion can be used with bare or socked feet and is super-soft to the touch.
Pros: The design comes with a nonslip bottom to keep the unit firmly in place, plus a removable cover that's machine washable for easy cleanup. The crescent-shaped cushion has a flat base; it can also be flipped over to become a rocker if you prefer to keep feet moving. At 3.9 inches tall, it provides just the right amount of elevation to maximize comfort for people of all heights. It's also much lighter to carry than other freestanding styles, making it great to carry when you're on the go.
Cons: Due to its plush exterior, the unit may make feet warm — so it may not be for summer use.
2. AmazonBasics Under Desk Footrest
Designed to be used with or without shoes, this plastic under-desk footrest tilts back and forth so your legs can stretch as you work.
Pros: All you have to do is apply light pressure to the unit to adjust it to your desired positioning so you can perform everything from lower-leg to full-leg stretches. The design also features a textured surface for a massagelike feel on the soles of bare or socked feet. While looks aren't necessarily crucial when it comes to footrests, this design is sleek enough to easily blend in with your decor — complete with a low-profile silhouette finished in black.
Cons: The height of the unit isn't adjustable, so it may be too low to the ground to support people with shorter legs (it's only 3.4 inches tall, as opposed to the average 3.9-4-inches for many styles).
3. Sleepy Ride Airplane Footrest
Sleepy Ride's option is a must for travelers. While limited floor space on planes often prevents you from stretching out your legs, this hammocklike sling hangs on the arms of your tray table to elevate feet and legs and prevent stiffness and lower back pain.
Pros: Made of plush, thick memory foam, the sling can be used as a footrest or a cradle for the calves to make full-leg extensions possible. Its swinging design also allows feet to sway with the motion of the plane to improve circulation, while the straps can be adjusted for the right length to provide necessary support. It can be used with the tray table either open or closed, and it won't cause any disruption to the person sitting in front of you. It can easily be stored in luggage and comes with a handy drawstring carry bag for easy transport.
Cons: Since the sling doesn't include separate slots, your feet tend to slide together, which some users may find uncomfortable.
4. Office Ottoman Footrest Under Desk
Specifically designed to provide ample clearance under desks, this supportive, 4-inch tall cushion could work just about anywhere. Plus, it's made of an antimicrobial and hypoallergenic foam to prevent odor buildup.
Pros: The bottom of the unit features a microbead tread to subtly massage feet and prevent the unit from shifting when placed upright. Meanwhile, the design can also be flipped over to act as a roller. To help keep the velour fabric fresh, the cover is removable and machine washable.
Cons: The zipper is on the bottom of the unit, and it might dig into hardwood floors.
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