Are Japanese Floor Desks Right For You?

Japanese floor desks are simply desks that are much lower to the ground than a typical desk. They are low to the ground because they’re made for floor sitting, instead of using a typical chair. This is very common in traditional Japanese culture, hence the name.

Japanese desks or tables are also called Chabudai

Tables close to the ground are not out of the ordinary for eating and also working. These desks are a terrific solution if you naturally like to work on the floor but wish there was a desk there with you. 

Don’t confuse these desks with common coffee tables. These floor desks usually have an open base design so you can comfortably sit with your legs under the table. 

How Tall are Japanese Floor Desks?

Traditional Japanese floor tables and desks are anywhere from 15 to 30cm in height. That is 6 -12 inches in height.

You will find a larger range of table heights as you browse the market. Some can go up to 14-16 inches in height for more legroom. A taller height desk will allow room for more sitting positions up close to the desk. It will also allow you to pair your desk with a wider variety of floor chairs and cushions. 

I recommend finding a comfortable seat/cushion and seating position before you buy a desk. This way you will have a much better understanding of how tall you need your desk to be before you buy one. 

Are Floor Desks Good For You?

Most might think that sitting on the floor is uncomfortable and can’t be good for you. Turns out, sitting on the floor may not be as bad as you think – as long as you are doing it correctly.

Though it may be uncomfortable at first, sitting on the floor can improve your mobility as it is stretching your lower body. You also have more stabilizing to do because your legs can only be in front of you. This means you will be using your core more actively. 

Don’t take my word for it, check out this article by Healthline.

If you have bad knees or other joint issues in your legs, a floor table might not be the best solution.

What Chair Do You Use With Floor Desks?

Though you technically do not use a chair to sit on the floor, there are solutions out there that make sitting on the floor much more comfortable. 

First I will touch on the traditional Japanese solutions.


The tatami is traditionally a rice straw mat that is placed on the floor. For purposes of the floor desk, they make it a bit more comfortable than sitting on the bare ground.

In today’s market, when you search for tatami”, you will find a large variety of floor pads that are not made of rice straw. Such as big cozy padded floor pads. If you are someone who would benefit from a bit of padding, these are great choices. 

There are also raised tatamis that give your feet more room to extend below your torso. A traditional tatami will have the least padding compared to the next two items. 


A zabuton is simply a Japanese cushion for sitting on the floor. This is usually a more comfortable solution when compared to a rice straw tatami. 

A traditional zabuton will give you more padding and comfort than a traditional tatami. These will basically look like a compact couch cushion or pillow. 


The last solution we will cover is the zaisu. A zaisu is a Japanese chair with no legs. It does still keep the chair back. This means you can still have back support when using your floor table. This is a big deal. You are able to lean back and not rely on activating your core when not leaning forward.

This is the best solution for those spending extended time on their floor desks. 

Because the modern market has variations of all of these items, they are starting to blend and overlap. They are not always labeled correctly, so consider what functional needs you have and keep those in mind when shopping. 

Choosing a Japanese Style Floor Desk

Desk Space

Think about what you usually have on your desk when you work. For some people, it might just need room for a laptop and a notebook. For others, you might want space for a laptop, two monitors, a tablet, and more.

Think about your working setup at maximum capacity. Use those items to calculate your table dimensions. This way you will always have enough room on your floor desk. 

I always like to give myself a little extra space so my desk doesn’t look very cramped.

Desk Height

Desk height will greatly impact your working ergonomics. If too low, you could be reaching down to your workspace which is uncomfortable. Also, you can cramp the room needed for your legs. For example, a desk that is too low might not have room for you to be in the cross-legged position.

Too tall of a desk height, and you are reaching up to your workspace which is just as bad.

Think about what seat you will use, if any. Your seat will move your body position up or down. Select a desk height that puts the table just below your elbow in a relaxed position. This places your hands at a great level for ergonomics. 

I always abide by these basic ergonomic principles when I design my desk setup. They still apply even if you’re not using a chair.

You will be thankful for putting in some thought here. You will be able to work for longer and more comfortably. Some modern floor desks actually have adjustable height legs. This is a great solution for those that change their arrangement often or want to fine-tune their comfort. 


Desks have always come in all kinds of materials. The same applies here. Traditional Japanese floor tables are most often made from wood, which is a safe choice.

Many on the market are made from Bamboo, which is also a nice solid material that doesn’t break the bank.
Super affordable desks will be made from engineered wood which is less durable, but come at very wallet-friendly prices.  

Frame Type

Ensure your desk does not have any structure midway or near the floor. You must leave space for your legs to either go fully through or partially through the desk. 

This seems like common sense, but there are plenty of “floor desks” being advertised that leave no room for people’s legs and are pretty much coffee tables. 

Bonus Features

Some of the non-traditional Japanese floor desks will have some cool bonus features. This includes adjustable height legs, a dedicated phone holder, a tablet holder, and so on. Some even come with sleek storage solutions. 

If you plan to only use a floor desk occasionally, you can select desks with collapsible legs. That way you can close up the desk and store it in a closet or under your bed. 

Japanese Floor Desks Recommendations

Now that you’ve learned everything about Japanese floor desks, here are some solid recommendations you can buy today. Keep in mind these won’t be traditional Japanese floor tables, as those are fairly rare. These are simply desks that serve the function of a proper floor desk workspace.

1) CENZEN – A Simple & Sleek Bamboo Floor Table

Bamboo Floor Sitting Table

This multifunctional table is perfect for any room and can be used as a coffee table, floor table, stool, or plant shelf. It has an elegant design and solid color that fits in any space. It's easy to assemble and sturdy, with a max bearing of 220 lbs.

Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for a no-nonsense table without any bells or whistles, this is a great choice. This floor table comes with a unique tabletop geometry that can hold more items comfortably. 

The table top measures around 20 x 40 inches, and is 16 inches in height. 

The non-adjustable legs are very strong, even the Amazon listing shows it supporting the weight of a human! The listed max capacity is 220 lbs – plenty strong!  If you want to eat or do work, this desk is a perfect multifunctional solution. 

This is one of the more expensive items on this list, but it is also the cleanest and most unique design as well. 

2) COIWAI – Bamboo Floor Table With Folding Legs

Bamboo Lap Desk With Foldable Legs

This foldable laptop table is made of natural bamboo and is lightweight and easy to carry, allowing you to work on the bed, sofa, or floor. It's multi-functional and can be used as a laptop desk, TV dinner tray, serving desk, coffee table, book tray, and more.

Check Price on Amazon

This table is different from #1 as it has very useful folding legs. If you are someone who only uses a floor table occasionally, the folding legs make this easy to store away neatly. 

This table is much smaller than the table above, with the tabletop measuring at 24 x 16 inches, and a height of 10 inches.

A smaller tabletop means you will be limited to just a laptop and a small notebook, or a similar combination. But a smaller desk size is great if you want to work in a very small room or small space.

The very low height and small top size make this table also usable as a bed table!

3) SAIJI – MDF Floor Table with Tons of Features

Multifunctional Laptop Floor Table

This adjustable laptop table has auto-lock buttons and can be set to 5 different heights and 4 different angles. It comes with a detachable mouse and notebook lip to keep your devices in place along with a book stand, small drawer, and pen holder.

Check Price on Amazon

If you like bells and whistles, you’re going to love this desk.  This desk is slightly larger than the desk above, but not too large.

The table top measures at 26 x 18 inches, with adjustable height legs. The legs can go anywhere from 10 – 15 inches! That’s a lot of height flexibility!

Not only are the legs adjustable, but the table top can change its angle to face you. It can angle up to 36 degrees. This is great if you want the items on your table to face you as you work. This is popular table geometry for those who like to draw.

The tabletop is made from MDF and is coated with a non-slip leather-like surface.

Additionally, this table comes with slots in the front and back that keep a tablet or cell phone in a viewable position. If you work at an angle and your laptop is slipping towards you, they even include a “laptop stopper” that fits in the slot so your laptop stays in place. That’s a thoughtful touch!

4) NEWVANTE – Bamboo Floor Table with Storage

Tilting Floor Laptop Desk

This multi-use desk can be used as a laptop desk and a standing desk when placed on top of a normal desk. It's made of bamboo with a height and width adjustable surface with 5 tilting angles and a lip to prevent your laptop from sliding. Also has a small storage drawer for convenience.

Check Price on Amazon

Bamboo seems like a popular option for floor tables. This one takes the bamboo floor desks a bit further by including a fully tilting section and a small drawer.

The table top measures at 21 x 11 inches, so it is fairly compact. They were able to sneak in height-adjustable legs on this table which is welcome. 

The right side of the table has a small storage drawer perfect for pens, pencils, and other small desk supplies. The tilting section of the desk has a decent amount of adjustability as well. 

There is a similar configuration to this desk that swaps out the storage drawer with a pencil cup if you prefer a place for your coffee or tea instead.

Tilting Floor Laptop Table (with Cupholder)

This adjustable lap desk has 2 height settings and 5 angle options, making it comfortable for users of all sizes. It features a removable storage pocket that can be used as a pen or cup holder. Plus, it's foldable for easy storage.

Check Price on Amazon

5) Amaredom – Large Feature Rich Wood Table

Extra Large Oak Floor Desk

This floor or lap desk has a curved desktop edge, along with an iPad holder, storage drawer, and cup holder for convenience. It's sturdy with steel legs and non-slip feet. It's easy to store with its hangable design.

Check Price on Amazon

The last desk on this list is another feature-rich floor desk. This one comes with a storage drawer, similar to the desk above. However, this drawer has a bit more space

Thankfully, we get folding legs for easy storage. We also get the table slots for fitting a tablet or cell phone.

The table top is similar to the ones above, at 24 x 16 inches, and a height of 10 inches. 

Floor Chair recommendations

Now that you have a floor desk, let’s talk about how you can stay comfortable while sitting on the floor. 

1) HYMIC – Japanese Legless Chair

Legless Japanese Chair

This comfortable floor chair cushion is made with memory foam and soft plush fabric, providing a perfect seat that fits your body. It's suitable for any room and doesn't require any assembly, making it a convenient addition out of the box.

Check Price on Amazon

This is one of the cleanest designed chairs on this list. It has a cushioned bottom and a beautiful single-piece wood design. A chair like this would go wonderfully with a bamboo floor desk. 

2) Kuya – Premium Japanese Floor Chair

Full Cushioned Japanese Floor Chair

This floor chair is fully adjustable with a locking frame and cushion that combats sagging and wear. It's portable and easy to store, making it perfect for floor desks, camping trips, or on the go. It's also easy to clean with a removable and machine-washable cover.

Check Price on Amazon

This floor chair is a bit different as it has 5 different back positions giving you some flexibility. The chair can also be folded completely for easy storage and portability! That would be a great companion for the folding floor tables we mentioned above. 

3) ZHENKUN – Tatami Accent Chair

Tatami Foldable Floor Chair

This multifunctional floor chair is perfect for use with floor desks. It's lightweight, and foldable, making it perfect for smaller rooms. It's made with natural pine wood ensuring it's a long-lasting purchase.

Check Price on Amazon

Finally, a Tatami labeled chair! This chair is a simple two-cushion design. One for your back, and one for your bottom. They are connected with a solid wooden frame. It’s hard to tell, but this wood frame actually has a pivot point and can fold in half!

4) Giantex – Plush Floor Chair

Plush Adjustable Floor Chair

This floor chair has a 14-position adjustable backrest making it perfect for all types of use. It's padded with high-density sponge and covered with coral velvet for comfort. It has a non-slip base pad and metal frame for stability and a fully flat position for easy storage.

Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for something more comfort-oriented with lots of padding, this could be the one.

This is an adjustable back chair with multiple angles. It is a large cushioned chair with a metal frame that keeps its shape. This folds flat for easy storage!

5) STHOUYN – Floor Sofa Chair

Floor Chaise Lounge Sofa With Armrests

This floor chair is covered in breathable, durable cotton and linen fabric and padded with recycled cotton for comfort. It's fully adjustable at 6 different angles and can be laid flat or folded for easy storage and carrying.

Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for the king of padded floor chairs, look no further.

This is basically a couch that is low to the ground. It may be a challenge to use with floor desks that are really low. This is great for people who have leg and knee trouble as this is not as demanding due to its raised seating height. 

Interested In More Desk Types?

Spread your potential desk horizons with these articles on other types of desks you may be interested in.

Are Standing Desks Worth It?

Not Your Ordinary Floating Desks: L-Shaped Floating Desks

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!