From desk-designed to DIY ideas, a footrest helps reduce back and hip pain by aligning your spine in a neutral posture. Footrests reduce fatigue, pain, and discomfort in your lower body and parts of your upper body.
You can use footrests with a design purpose for desks and couches, or you can use items found inside your home. Both a mixture of bought and repurposed items, we have compiled a list of 15 ideas for footrests just for you.
Table of Contents
- 1. Rocking Footrest
- 2. Tilting or Slanted Footrest
- 3. Ergonomic Foam Pillow Footrest
- 4. Adjustable Footrest with Massage
- 5. Inflatable Footrest
- 6. Office Chair Legs
- 7. Stool Chair with Ring Footrest
- 8. Stair Stepper Machine
- 9. Miniature Desk Elliptical
- 10. Small Cycling Machine
- 11. Computer Bag
- 12. Storage Box or Bin
- 13. Plastic Bucket
- 14. Small Bean Bag Chair
- 15. Ottoman or Pouf
1. Rocking Footrest
A rocking footrest is easy to find online and in stores. They are made of wood or hard plastic and are designed with either a smooth flat surface or a surface with ridges or sandpaper to prevent your feet from slipping.
To use it, you rock your feet forward and backward. This type of footrest circulates blood to your feet, ankles, and calves and keeps those cold toes warm.
Rocking footrests are ideal for people who sit at their desks for long periods and struggle to force themselves to get up and walk around. They are terrific for people with bad circulation, cold feet, and tight calves.
2. Tilting or Slanted Footrest
Many tilted footrests are adjustable to suit your footrest preferences. They are made of various materials: hard plastic, metal, wood, foam, or rubber.
Some of these footrest types keep your heels lower to the ground. Others are adjustable, allowing you to point your toes up, down, or neutral.
To tilt the footrests, place pressure on the front or back and the footpad will slide. Some slanted footrests require you to use your hands to move the footpad.
Tilting or slanted footrests are ideal for people who enjoy flexibility in a footrest. If you like to change the position of your feet, then this is a terrific option for you.
3. Ergonomic Foam Pillow Footrest
Foam pillow footrests are ultra-comfy. They keep your feet warm compared to other footrests made of hard and cold materials like plastic, leather, metal, or wood.
To use an ergonomic foam pillow footrest, set it on the ground underneath your desk and place your feet on top. That’s it! Super simple and painless.
Foam pillow footrests are great for anyone with cold feet because the foam material stays warm. It is often wrapped in a soft fabric material like polyester or cotton, which helps keep the heat in.
There are different types of foam material to choose from. Ergonomic foam footrests are often constructed with memory foam, which mold to your feet, making sure they are properly supported.
Though there are cheaper foam options if you are on a tight budget.They may not be as comfortable, but they get the job done.
4. Adjustable Footrest with Massage
These adjustable footrests are hard plastic and come with a massage feature. The massage feature is made up of lines of lifted circular bubbles.
Rub your feet against the hard plastic geometric-shaped bubbles and you have a manual massager attached to your footrest. The incline on the footrest can be adjusted similarly to the tilted footrests.
Footrests with massage parts are best for people who need a little more relaxation at their desks. These types of footrests are perfect for people who live in dry environments whose feet tend to get dried out and itchy.
5. Inflatable Footrest
Inflatable footrests are simple to inflate and can be changed to different heights. They are made of soft PVC plastic and coated with a flocked velvet-like material.
They come with one to two air valve openings to inflate your footrest to the proper height. You can blow it up by mouth or electric air pump.
Footrests that inflate are fantastic for people who don’t have a stationary office but instead work on the go. They can be inflated in cars, on airplanes, in cafes, and anywhere else you visit.
6. Office Chair Legs
If you have a rolling office chair, then you have a makeshift footrest. The metal legs on the bottom of your desk chair can act as a footrest.
They may not be the most comfortable; however, they manage to lift your legs off the ground an extra few inches. Most office chairs come with legs that run parallel to the floor, making this option both a free footrest and a quick option.
This footrest idea is one of the lazier options. We wouldn’t be surprised if you are currently using your chair legs as footrests or have in the past.
To make office chair legs more comfortable to rest your feet on, look for office chairs with thicker legs extending further away from the chair’s base. This will help prevent strain on your knees and keep your calves vertical.
7. Stool Chair with Ring Footrest
Desks that sit higher off the ground have the pleasure of using a stool office chair with a ring footrest. The ring is often made of smooth metal for a longer-lasting footrest.
The ring sits around the center pole that connects the legs to the seat. Rest your heels or the pads of your feet on the ring.
Stool chairs with ring footrests are ideal for taller than average desks or people who like to work at kitchen counters. If your knees tend to feel tight when sitting, this isn’t the best choice of chair. Choose a footrest that sits away from you to prevent pinching the nerves in your knees.
8. Stair Stepper Machine
A stair stepper machine serves two purposes: an exercise tool and a footrest. They are miniature to fit beneath a desk and are made with acrylic and metal, making them easy to wipe and maintain.
Place your feet on the footpads and push against them in an alternating movement. The stair stepper is easiest to operate when standing, which makes this a great choice for fitness-focused individuals.
The stair stepper machine may not be the most comfortable footrest as it has a set foot separation. If you have narrow hips, then this will not be a problem for you.
9. Miniature Desk Elliptical
We love the idea of using a miniature desk elliptical as a footrest. They can be used both standing or sitting without any issues.
Similar to a full-blown elliptical, you will place your feet on the footpads and push against them. Your feet will glide along with the machine’s mechanisms in an alternating pattern. If you aren’t in the mood to use the elliptical, turn it sideways and rest your heels on the top centerpiece.
This type of footrest is another terrific option for fitness gurus who enjoy both a nice relaxing footrest and an active piece of equipment at their desks.
10. Small Cycling Machine
Like a desk elliptical, cycling machines can be used both sitting and standing. Cycling activates the muscles in your knees and upper thighs and is a great way to re-circulate blood to your lower half.
They are made of plastic and metal and come with a handy strap to make sure your feet stay on the pads. If you are using it as a footrest you can either use the straps or not.
People who tend to fidget at their desks and need to continue to move, benefit from these types of active footrests. Also, if you are a cycler but work a desk job, this is a great option.
11. Computer Bag
Now we get into more of the DIY ideas for footrests. Most people who work from home have a computer bag. If you aren’t using it often, why not use the computer bag as a footrest?
Thicker computer bags work best as footrests as they elevate your feet higher off the ground. You can fill them with printer paper to make them more solid and thicker.
If you choose to use a computer bag as a footrest, then make sure you use one made of a tougher fabric that is water-resistant. This will prevent your bag from accidental tears or ugly water stains.
12. Storage Box or Bin
Use a box as a footrest. It can be as simple as a short cardboard moving box, to something as fancy as decorative wood and metal boxes.
Plastic bins and totes can work as well, as long as they sit lower to the ground and the cap is solid enough to withstand the weight of your feet. To make a box or bin stronger, you can flip it upside down.
Check your storage closet or garage, and you’re bound to find a box somewhere in your house. They are universal, and most of us already own them.
13. Plastic Bucket
Maybe you wash your car using a sponge and bucket. Repurpose your plastic bucket as a footrest. This is an easy option to do during the wintertime as you won’t be washing your car as frequently.
If you live on the south coast near beaches or lakes and have children, then you most likely own a sandcastle bucket. It’s not the most stylish footrest, yet it can be used as one.
Flip the bucket upside down and place your feet on top. Voila! You have yourself a footrest.
Make sure the rim of the bucket is even for a better-balanced footrest. Also, check to see that the bottom of the bucket is smooth and doesn’t have hard edges or this may be uncomfortable to rest your feet on.
If your bucket does come with hard edges on the bottom, you can fix it by placing a small hand towel or blanket over the top of it. You can place a flat pillow on top as well.
14. Small Bean Bag Chair
Bean bag chairs are not only for your bottom. They can easily be used as a plushy footrest.
They are made of soft, pliable fabrics. The beans inside the chair are easy to move around, allowing your feet to sink into them.
The key to a bean bag chair as a footrest is its size. Unless you use the bean bag chair as a footrest on your couch, it needs to be small enough to sit beneath your desk.
This choice of footrest is suitable for young adults or parents who own bean bag chairs. It works great for anyone wanting a super comfy and soft footrest option.
Because of the width of a bean bag chair, they let you rest your entire lower leg on them. Your calves will thank you later!
15. Ottoman or Pouf
Ottomans or poufs don’t have to be restricted to your living room. You can also add them beneath your desk as a trendy footrest.
They come with wonky designs, colors, and patterns, or elegant designs, with neutral colors, and delicate stitching. Ottomans can be bought to match every type of interior style.
Ottomans come with harsher lines and are easy additions to rustic, traditional, industrial home styles. While poufs are made of soft knitted fabrics and are terrific in modern, contemporary, and cottage interior styles.
Ultimately we think ergonomic-built footrests and soft material footrests like poufs, make the best footrests of all. They are created to ensure a healthy body position and are comfortable for long sitting times.
But in the end, you decide what the best ideas are for you. Maybe you’re an athlete and like the idea of the dual-purpose elliptical footrest, or maybe you’d rather chill and save money using a cardboard box.
We’ve given you fifteen interesting ideas for footrests. Whether you choose a desk-specific footrest or a DIY footrest, you are bound to have a comfortable and functional footrest.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.