Best Piano Benches: How to Choose the Right One

Buying a piano bench can easily become an afterthought when you shop for a piano. Technically, you can sit on anything (a desk chair, a picnic table, a child’s stool) as long as you can reach the keys.

But a high-quality bench makes a real difference when you’re learning how to play.

Now, no two pianists are alike. In this guide, we’ll look at why it’s important to use a good piano bench, and then we’ll look at what makes a good piano bench for you.

The Importance of a Good Piano Bench

First, understand that a piano bench isn’t just there to keep you in the right place. It’s also there to make your playing better.


How Piano Benches Affect Your Playing

Playing piano is a physical activity. Yes, we piano players sit down, and we’re not guitarists running around a stage, but we still move a whole lot!

Many pianists lean forward to play softer and lean backward to play louder. And playing large chords and arpeggios requires sweeping arm movements. Piano isn’t just in the fingers!

For expressive, dynamic playing across treble and bass, at the very least, you need to sit on something without armrests. This will allow your upper body space to maneuver and hit those high and low notes.

Piano practice sessions can also get long, so comfort is key. The comfier you are, the more you’ll want to practice! Finally, a good bench will allow you to pedal comfortably. And if you’re a synth player, there are other controls you need easy access to too.


Piano Benches and Posture

Good posture is essential. And the earlier you cement those good habits, the better.

Good posture habits also foster better technique. Faster playing and good articulation come from wrists that aren’t drooping and hands that can comfortably reach the keyboard.

Here are some key piano posture points to remember:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Shoulders and upper arms relaxed
  • Arms parallel to the floor
  • Wrists slightly raised, not drooping
  • Back straight — don’t hunch (tuck in your core!)
  • Everything (keyboard, pedals, sheet music) should feel easily within reach

Keep these things in mind as you test out piano benches to find your perfect fit.

Takeaways:

  • Good seating can take your playing to the next level.
  • The more comfortable you are, the more you’ll practice; the more you practice, the faster you’ll progress in your playing
  • A well-designed bench allows for ease of movement
  • The right bench height fosters good posture habits and, in turn, good technique

Types of Piano Benches

If you’re shopping for piano benches, you’ll find a very large variety and many price points.

While there’s no official way to categorize piano benches, we’ve divided benches into these groups according to design and use.


Traditional vs. Modern Benches

One of the first things you should decide is whether to buy a traditional or modern designed bench. Most benches fit in one of these categories, and each style has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional benches will definitely fit better, visually, with an acoustic piano. They’re also sturdy, comfortable (many come with leather or faux-leather tops), and they often have room for storage. The downside is they can be very expensive.

Traditional (Pros)
  • Classic design that matches perfectly with acoustic pianos
  • May be adjustable
  • May include storage
  • Comfortable, with high-quality materials such as wooden constructions and leather tops
Traditional (Cons)
  • More expensive — anywhere from $70 to $400+
  • Heavier; not designed to be portable
  • Not foldable; may be harder to store
  • Height adjustability often comes at a cost

Modern benches are more low-profile, portable, and storable. They’re also cheaper and will match visually with digital pianos.

Modern (Pros)
  • Low profile, portable, often collapsible, and easy to store
  • Usually inexpensive ($20-$100)
  • If well designed, sturdy and comfortable
  • Sometimes adjustable
Modern (Cons)
  • Not as visually appealing
  • Often lacks built-in storage if low-profile
  • May lack sufficient padding
  • Not as long-lasting as traditional benches

Adjustable Benches

Adjustable benches have many advantages. For one, many pianists aren’t “average” height or weight. Being able to adjust your bench to a height that is comfortable will have a big impact on your playing if you belong to the taller or shorter side of things.

Adjustable benches are also ideal for families where multiple people of different sizes take turns at the piano. The disadvantage of adjustable benches is that they don’t always have storage. Some are also narrower and can only accommodate one person. They also tend to cost more.

Adjustable Benches: Pros

  • Encourages good posture
  • Great for families with multiple players and growing kids
  • Adjustability = more comfort

Adjustable Benches: Cons

  • May lack storage
  • Usually more expensive (especially traditional designs)
  • May be bulkier and less portable

Benches With Storage

Piano benches with storage are very convenient. You can keep all your sheet music in one place, right under where you sit! If you live in a small space and use sheet music, this is a fantastic option to save space.

That being said, storage benches are often more expensive and are less common among modern designs. And if you already have a bookshelf to store your stuff, you might not need this feature.

Benches With Storage: Pros

  • Easy, convenient place to store your sheet music!

Benches With Storage: Cons

  • Amount of storage space varies
  • Usually only available with traditional designs
  • More costly

Duet Benches

Some piano benches are made to sit one person. Others are made to sit two. These are called “duet benches” and are slightly longer.

Duet benches may be ideal for parents and children who want to play together, or for learners who want to duet with their teachers.

They also give more space for experienced pianists playing vigorous pieces to move around.

Duet Benches: Pros

  • Ideal for teachers and students, parents and kids, and other duetters to play together
  • Lots of space for vigorous players to move around

Duet Benches: Cons

  • Can take up more space
  • Usually only available with traditional designs
  • May not be ideal for players of different heights, but there are benches with split height adjustment

Takeaways:

  • You’ll pay more for adjustability, storage, and traditional design.
  • Traditional benches are more expensive, but are very comfortable, often have storage, and may be adjustable
  • Modern benches are more affordable, easy to store, often adjustable, but usually lack storage

How to Choose the Right Piano Bench for You

With so many choices, it can be challenging to find the perfect piano bench.

Here are a few things to consider when shopping. How you prioritize each of these things will be up to you.


Who Are You Shopping For?

This is perhaps the most important question to answer. Different people have different needs.

If you’re buying for a child, an adjustable bench (modern or traditional) is likely your best choice. Children grow quickly, so having adjustability means you don’t need to keep buying new benches.

Having a bench adjusted appropriately to height is also a very important part of developing technique. And comfortable children will be more driven to practice!

If you’re a gigging musician, a portable, easy-to-store, and collapsible modern bench is your best bet. The modern designs of these benches also match the design of digital pianos.

If you’re a parent or teacher, you may want to consider a wider duet bench so you can play with your child and/or student.

If you live in a small space, such as an apartment, the extra space of a bench with storage will be a good option for you.

Whoever you are, comfort is key. Some benches are hard-top, which means there is no cushioning. These benches may be cheaper, but they can get uncomfortable very quickly. Remember: you want to motivate yourself to play piano more, not less! So, invest in a comfortable place to sit.


What’s Your Budget?

Piano benches can vary widely in pricing, and traditional benches tend to be a lot more expensive than modern ones. Here are some good bench models in different price ranges that are worth checking out.


Best Affordable Piano Benches

  • Bench
  • Design
    Modern acoustic pianos have 88 keys. Most digital pianos and keyboards have 88, 76, 73, or 61 keys.
    In reality, 73 keys are enough to play most modern pieces. Some advanced pieces require a full set of 88 keys.
  • Storage
    There are 3 most common types of key actions:
    1) Non-weighted - most organs, synths and entry-level keyboards are not weighted.
    2) Semi-weighted - often used portable keyboards and workstations. Spring-loaded mechanism adds more resistance to the keys compared to the non-weighted action.
    3) Fully weighted (hammer action) is designed to replicate the action of a real piano. It uses small hammers (rather than springs) attached to each key to recreate the mechanical movements and resistance similar to the acoustic piano action.
  • Adjustable
    Some digital pianos come with a simulated Ivory (white keys) and Ebony (black keys) key surfaces, which gives them a nice textured feel, helps absorb excessive moisture and prevents your fingers from slipping off the keys.
  • Easy Storing
    The volume produced by the instrument changes depending on how hard or soft you play the keys.
    Touch Response, Velocity Sensitivity, Touch Sensitivity are the same thing .
    Many digital pianos allow you to adjust touch sensitivity (make the keyboard more or less sensitive to the force of your keystrokes) to better suit your playing style.

Best Mid-range Piano Benches

  • Bench
  • Design
    Traditional benches will fit better, visually, with an acoustic piano. They're also sturdy, comfortable, and they often have room for storage.

    Modern benches are more low-profile, portable, and storable. They're also cheaper and will match visually with digital pianos.
  • Storage
    Some piano benches come with a storage compartment. You can keep all your sheet music in one place, right under where you sit!

    If you live in a small space and use sheet music, this is a fantastic option to save space.
  • Adjustable
    Being able to adjust your bench to a height that is comfortable will have a big impact on your playing if you belong to the taller or shorter side of things.

    With modern-style portable benches you're often limited to preset height positions, while traditional-style benches give you more freedom with gradual adjustment.
  • Easy Storing
    Most modern-style benches are portable and easy to put away when not in use. They use a collapsible design and are relatively light and compact.

Best Premium Piano Benches

  • Bench
  • Design
    Traditional benches will fit better, visually, with an acoustic piano. They're also sturdy, comfortable, and they often have room for storage.

    Modern benches are more low-profile, portable, and storable. They're also cheaper and will match visually with digital pianos.
  • Storage
    Some piano benches come with a storage compartment. You can keep all your sheet music in one place, right under where you sit!

    If you live in a small space and use sheet music, this is a fantastic option to save space.
  • Adjustable
    Being able to adjust your bench to a height that is comfortable will have a big impact on your playing if you belong to the taller or shorter side of things.

    With modern-style portable benches you're often limited to preset height positions, while traditional-style benches give you more freedom with gradual adjustment.
  • Easy Storing
    Most modern-style benches are portable and easy to put away when not in use. They use a collapsible design and are relatively light and compact.

Key Takeaway: Try Before You Buy!

Most importantly, try a piano bench before you buy it.

Sit at the piano with proper posture — feet flat on the floor, arms parallel to the ground, back not hunched — and play something. Move around, stretch, and try pedaling. Then, have everyone that will use the bench try it out too.

At the end of the day, the right height is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a piano bench if you want to develop good technique.

It’s also smart to ask about the bench’s maintenance issues. Most benches will start creaking at some point, so ask the seller or the brand about what to do when that happens.

Otherwise, as long as you try a bench before you buy it, you should be well on your way to buying a bench that enhances your piano journey. Happy practicing!

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