Is sitting on a stool better than a chair

In Malaysia, stools and chairs have been used for decades. In some places, people use chairs while at some places, people use stools. There has been a tough competition between both and people want to know which one of them is better for sitting. Are stools better than chairs? Or the chairs are better than stools? Which is better for your health and which one should you use?

If you are seeking answers to these questions then you have made the right choice to be here. In this article, we have a complete detailed comparison of stools and chairs along with the pros and cons of both. After reading this article, you’ll be able to determine whether if a stool or chair is right for you.

Is sitting on a stool better than a chair

Comparison between stool and chair

Here are all the factors that make stool and chair different and similar to each other:

1. The basic definition

First of all, the definitions of stool and chair are different from each other.

Stool: It is defined as a single seat that has 3 to 5 legs, no armrests, and no backrests.

Chair: It is defined as a single seat that has exactly 4 legs and features an armrest and backrest.

2. Presence of armrests

The second main difference between stool and chair is the presence of armrests.

The majority of the chairs come with an armrest that allows the user to relax their arms and shoulders.

On the contrary, stools do not have any kind of armrest on them.

3. Presence of backrests

The third and major difference between stool and chair is the presence of backrests.

All the chairs have a backrest that allows the users to rest their backs.

On the other side, stools do not have any kind of backrest. Some of them may have a backrest but that’s just an optional case and the majority of stools don’t have a backrest on them.

4. Presence of footrest

A footrest is an optional case in both; stools and chairs.

If the stool and chair are a little bit taller than the average height then they come with footrests so that the users can easily relax their legs and stay comfortable.

5. Quantity of legs

The next unique difference between the stool and chair is the number of legs.

All of the chairs have four legs.

Stools have three to five legs.

6. Height & material

Different stools and chairs have different heights depending upon their use.

The material used in the construction of chairs and stools can be wood, metal, plastic, or even carbon fiber.

7. Space consumption

A chair is bulky and bigger because it has an armrest, backrest, and footrest. That’s why it consumes more space.

A stool doesn’t have an armrest and backrest and that’s why it is smaller in size. Therefore, a stool consumes less space.

Pros and Cons of Stool

Here are all the benefits and drawbacks of using a stool:

Pros of stool

1. Prevention of backpain

Since a stool doesn’t have a backrest and armrest, the user cannot slouch and go into a drooping posture. You always sit in the right posture. Thus, it will prevent backpain.

2. Good for people who stand at work for the whole day

Stools are also an ideal choice for the people who have to stand at work for the whole day. Whenever your feet get tired, you can sit on the stool for a while. This way, your body will be in a position between sitting and standing and you will get rest at the same time.

3. Stools help burn more calories

When you completely sit down on a chair, your body becomes lazy, slow. As a result, the metabolism in your body slows down and fewer calories are burnt.

But when you sit on a stool, you’re in a position between completely sitting and actively standing. This way your metabolism doesn’t slow down that much. So, you will burn more calories as compared to sitting.

4. Stool keeps you alert and ensures easy movement

Since the stools don’t have anything like a backrest and armrest, so whenever you sit on a stool, you are more alert, active, and vigilant as compared to sitting on a chair where you become lazy.

Moreover, it is easier to move around on a stool because as there are no hindrances like an armrest.

5. Stool takes less space

The stools are small in size. You can easily store them wherever you want.

Cons of stool

1. Not comfortable for prolonged sitting

The only drawback of stools is that they are not comfortable for sitting for a long time. Because they don’t have any backrest, armrest, or footrest.

Therefore, if you will sit on a stool for a long time, then you will feel unusual tension building up in your body. You will feel tired and experience pain in your body.

Pros of chair

1. Comfortable & easy to use

The best thing about a chair is that it is comfortable and easy to use. Chairs come with a footrest, backrest, and armrest, that allow you to keepyour body relaxed and comfortable.

 This way your body and muscles will feel less tense even if you sit on a chair for long hours.

2. Less pressure on your spine

Chairs are more comfortable as compared to the stools. They offer great support to your muscles, which reduces the pressure on your spine and prevents any pain or injury.

Cons of chair

1. More slouching

Chairs provide you high level of comfort due to which your body can become lazy and go into a slouching and drooping posture. As a result, you can suffer from pain.

2. Less burning of calories

When you sit on a chair, your body becomes over-relaxed and comfortable. Due to this, the metabolism of your body also slows down and you burn fewer calories. 

Chair vs stool: Which one is better for sitting?

Now as we have seen all the differences, pros and cons of stool and chair, you must be thinking that which one of them is better for sitting. Should you sit on a chair or a stool?

Well, it depends upon how long you are going to sit and how much space you have available.

When to choose a stool?

If you want to sit for a short time to take quick rest or you have less space available, then ergonomic stools are the best choice for you. Because they will keep you alert and also provide you rest.

However, if you want to sit for long hours then a stool will be uncomfortable for you because it doesn’t have any backrest or armrest. Your body will feel tense and uncomfortable due to sitting for hours on a stool.

When to choose a chair?

If you have to sit for hours or even the whole day then we recommend you choose a chair. Because chairs have armrest, footrest, and backrest that will keep your body relaxed.

 You will feel easier and comfortable even after sitting for a very long time on a chair. On the other hand, you will get tired if you sit for a long time on a stool.


If we sum up our whole discussion about stool and chair, their pros and cons, then we can conclude that:

  • Stools are better for sitting if you want to sit for a short time.
  • Chairs are better for sitting if you want to sit for a long time.

You can take a look at all the important factors that we have mentioned above and then make your choice depending upon how much space you have and how long you want to sit.