10 Best Chairs for Students with ADHD

If you have a student who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you know that it is a STRUGGLE to sit in a regular chair. These students need something that allows them to do active sitting so they can move their bodies while still listening and learning.

It can be hard to find the right chair that allows for good posture while allowing students to also get their excess energy out. When you find the perfect seat for your student, you can see a change in students’ ability to focus.  Remember, you may have to play a bit of Goldilocks and try a few chairs with a student until you find the best option. However, keep trying it out until you find one that works for you.

Below is a list of ten of the best adhd chairs and adjustments to chairs that you can try with your students.

Why you need different chairs for students with ADHD

Students with ADHD are many times in constant motion. This leads to them struggling to attend and focus which will ultimately impact their learning. Many times, students don’t just impact their own learning, but those around them as well. That is why it is so important to find chairs that support your students. You want to allow them to have constant movement while possibly giving some sensory input and while still making sure it is a ergonomic chair.

While investing in ADHD-friendly chairs can significantly benefit students’ learning experiences, cost is often a consideration for schools and educators. The price of these chairs can vary depending on factors such as design, features, and brand. However, it’s important to view them as a long-term investment in creating a supportive classroom environment. 

Below, I have offered a range of options to fit different budgets, and some schools may also explore funding opportunities or grants to offset costs. I have also given some ideas that are not chairs but simply adjustments you can buy to convert the traditional table and chair into something that is more supportive of your students who need a little extra movement. 

Ask your parent teacher organization, reach out to large companies in your community, go to DonorsChoose.org to get donations for these supports. (I myself have had projects funded by donors choose- it is an amazing resource for us teachers!) Ok, now that you have some financial ideas too- let’s dive in.

10 Best Chairs and Supports for those with ADHD

Please note, this blog post does contain affiliate links but I would only recommend things that I believe can work for you!

1. Wobble Chair

Wobble chairs, or wobble stools, is a great alternative seating option for students. The seat itself moves to allow the student to be in constant motion. Students can move their legs and hips while still remaining at the table and doing table top work. It is easy for you to assemble and can last for years.

By being in constant motion, students can become more relaxed and engage with their learning even more- which is going to decrease problem behaviors and increase academic outcomes. Also, this type of chair will increase stability in their core muscles which is an added benefit to anyone using this type of chair.

There is one downside to these- you need to really teach kids about how to rock and move in them. If they rock too much, it can slip from under them and cause them to fall out of their seat. 

Check them out here.

2. Yoga Ball

Yoga balls, or stability balls, are another great bouncy chair option for students. It forces proper posture, which for students who are used to being in a less than optimal sitting position, can be challenging. Students can sit on this ball and bounce on it during instruction. They can get sensory input from this and the ability to move their body.

A unique feature of this yoga ball is that it has small legs that help the ball to not roll away. Having a lot of yoga balls without legs in your classroom can be cause for chaos when they start rolling away. This ball does not do that!

Get it here!

3. Yoga Ball Chair

This balance ball chair is definitely one I recommend over the yoga ball alone. I love that it has the back of a traditional chair, with a yoga ball seat. This allows for students to get the sensory stimulation they need while also providing some support.

The legs have wheels on them which allow the chair to be moved from area to area. The student can use it at their desk, and then bring it over to the carpet. The wheels are a more popular choice than just having a yoga ball so it does not roll away when a student is not sitting on it. A downside of this chair is there is not much room for adjustment with different heights. This is something to keep in mind when purchasing.

Grab it here if you want it for your classroom.

3. Chair Bands

Sometimes a whole chair just isn’t in the budget. The chairs are expensive, and if you have many students who have adhd symptoms, you may not be able to provide these seats to all of them. The good news is there are simple adjustments you can buy to add to the chairs or desks to help more students!

Chair bands, or elastic bands, can be wrapped around the students’ desk of their chair to provide feedback. Students can swing their legs to get sensory input and to be moving part of their body while their other part needs to be sitting still and doing a worksheet. These are great for young children that just have a motor that is always going. Since they are most cost effective, you can provide them for many different students.

A bonus these bands are very quiet, you do not hear much noise from the student who is using them.

These chair bands are also much more affordable and you can support many more students at a fraction of the price.

Check them out here!

4. Wobble Cushions

Wobble cushions take a traditional chair and make them sensory chairs. These are discreet, so for students who do not want a huge change like a brand new chair – this can be a great way to support them.  Many are tactile cushions, so they give additional feedback to the student when they are sitting on them.

By placing this on a chair, you can help students relieve any back pain they may have  because they can make small adjustments and wiggle to make themselves more comfortable without having to even leave their chair.  They can now develop healthy posture because they are given the ability to move a bit throughout the day.

There is a nonslip grip on it, which is perfect for students who are extra wiggly. It prevents them from easily falling out of their chair, which we know happens often with students with ADHD and traditional chairs. It comes with its own pump to easily be able to pump whenever you need it. 

They are also small enough that you can easily store several of these in your classroom. They are at a lower price point than the other chairs, which can work better in your classroom as well!

Grab them here.

5. Sit and Spin Chairs

These chairs are great because they provide a different type of sensory input by having the ability to spin. Now, this is something you will have to do a lot of teaching on to be sure they are only spinning during certain times. But to be able to get that input throughout the day, right in the classroom can lead to an extended period of time they will be able to be on task and engaged in the learning.

If you are starting an autism classroom, this is a great addition to put on your must have list!

Grab it here!

6. Standing desk

We have seen a huge shirt in standing desks for adults- but it has taken longer to trickle down into the classrooms. This is something that we know works for adults and kids- we just have to get it into our classrooms!

This one is my favorite because it can be standing or sitting. We do not want to give students one that is always standing, because there will be times they want to sit and are able to focus with sitting. Giving them the option and the opportunity to choose helps with their individual needs on a day to day basis. This can have a positive impact on behavior just by allowing them control over a decision as simple as how they want their desk for the day.

7. Moveable Stool

Sometimes you do not have the ample space to provide all of these large suggestions. This moveable stool can be a space saver. This stool can help strengthen core muscles, improve posture, and keep the brain focused.

This is a stool that you as a teacher are going to want to even steal at times due to its comfort and the optimal support it provides.

8. Scoop Chairs

Scoop chairs are another inexpensive option for the next time you are furnishing your classroom. It is an ideal choice for someone who has limited space as they stack up onto of one another for easy storage. These chairs rock to give input. However, they are not primed for optimal sitting posture- so that is something to keep in mind.

They are a great option when you are at the carpet and you have students who are struggling to stay in their own space. They may be rolling around and in peers’ areas. This gives a specific space they need to stay in and allows them to remain involved with the lesson while moving too.

Check them out here! They also come in tons of colors, so you can have various options for students!

9. Wave Seat

This is one for the teachers who like a modern look with minimal space being taken up. These chairs allow students to do a small amount of rocking back and forth. With one chair there are a variety of options in ways to sit. Students can use it as a saddle, perch chair or full seat. These are especially optimal for shorter students.

They can move around the classroom easily to use at different tables, rugs, and areas throughout the day without much work. This promotes teamwork and a classroom community.

Grab them now!

10. Cube Chairs

This option does not offer movement when sitting, so I was hesitant to recommend it but I have used it with much success with some students. If you have a student who can sit, but they have boundary issues, this is a great tool for them. However, I would caution you to now over use this chair. Since there is no movement, this should be used sparingly with students with ADHD.

It is great for students who have low core control and need extra support as well.

Check them out here.

Tips for Implementing these Chairs

We both know that with all of these fun and engaging options could also bring a whole host of problems.  Here are some tips to get you started on the right path to prevent many of those unwanted behaviors.

  • Start with clear communication and expectations- for all students. Who can sit here? How long can they sit there? What are the expectations when they are sitting there?
  • Educate students on the purpose and benefits of the new seating options. Talk about why they have a seat and why it is important they use it the correct way to get the best use for what their body needs.
  • Encourage responsible use of the chairs, allowing movement as long as it doesn’t disrupt others. This will take time and practice. Make sure you set up time to practice when you first introduce.
  • Consider creating designated areas for ADHD-friendly chairs to minimize distractions. When you are setting up the carpet area, think about where the chairs can go to be the least distracting to others. They may be a distraction when you first implement them because they are new and exciting, but this novelty will wear off.
  • Provide guidance on proper posture and sitting techniques. To get the full benefit make sure students are using them the correct way!
  • Regularly assess the effectiveness of the chairs and be open to adjustments based on student feedback. If a student is not responding well to it, maybe it does not help them focus and they need a new chair or accommodation. It is okay not to be a match made in heaven on the first go around! This happens often.
  • Foster a supportive environment where students feel empowered to make responsible seating choices. This is based on your classroom community. When you create a community that is supportive of one another and everyone knows they each get what they need- and what they need is different, your classroom will soar.

Considerations for Sensory Needs

It is important to always get information from the sensory experts- those are your occupational therapists and your physical therapists. They are going to be able to give you specific details that your students may need to help them focus and be successful. They will have insights on if movement revs your student up or if it truly helps them focus. 

They can also provide insight on if specific tactile accommodations can be made to help your student. For example, I have put the rough side of Velcro on the bottom of desks. Students could run their fingers along it during instruction or anytime they were working and get immediate feedback. For some students, this was better than a fidget or a seat and they were able to attend with this simple adjustment. However, I would never have known this without collaborating with the expert- my occupational therapist!

In conclusion, choosing the right chairs for students with ADHD is a crucial step in creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment. By understanding their unique needs and providing appropriate seating options, educators can empower students to thrive academically while managing their symptoms effectively. This blog post gave you ten different ideas that you can use to look and discuss with your team about what best will work for your students.

Remember, each student is different and even if they have the same medical label or diagnosis, that does not mean they will present the same or have the same needs. 

With thoughtful implementation and ongoing support, ADHD-friendly chairs can make a significant difference in the lives of students, helping them reach their full potential and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to excel in the classroom.

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