Choosing a piano bench isn’t the most exciting decision a pianist has to make, but it’s an important one. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, at home or on the stage, a comfortable bench is a must. To make your choice a little less tedious, I’ve picked out what I think are the best piano benches in 2024.
The On-Stage KT7800+ tops my list as the best overall piano bench. It’s an X-frame bench with adjustable height settings that doesn’t break the bank. Ideal for stage or home use for players of all ages and levels.
For those looking for ultimate comfort, the Roland RPB-500 is a robust premium piano bench that looks and feels luxurious in every way. It’s very comfortable, provides ample storage, and will look great in any room.
Why you should trust me
As a professional musician for the past two decades, I’ve performed and practiced in some amazing and not-so-amazing spaces (to put it politely). I’ve sat on wooden stools, chairs, and even beer crates, and the show goes on.
But something comfortable for one or two songs isn’t necessarily comfortable enough for a three-hour gig.
I know from experience that good posture can turn bad if you have to adapt to a poor seating position often enough.
As a teacher, I see too many students slouch or develop bad habits due to practicing daily without a decent piano bench.
In my experience, a poor seating position leads to poor posture, which leads to poor technique, and a good piano bench can make a real difference.
How I chose the best benches
It’s easy to assume that everything is fine if you’re comfortable and can reach the keys. Honestly, sometimes that is fine, but only for a short period.
After a while, as you start to fatigue, it becomes less and less comfortable, which leads to slouching, and in most cases, you start from an imperfect position, and it gets worse.
If your posture isn’t correct, your technique can’t be perfect.
To ensure that your posture is correct, meaning your back is straight, and your elbows and wrists are in a sensible position, you have to be sitting at the right height, and that’s one of the main things a dedicated piano bench offers. Some piano benches are adjustable in height.
To make sure that you maintain the correct posture, you have to be comfortable over prolonged periods. Piano benches are designed to anticipate long performances and practice sessions.
Lastly, piano benches often look great and add the perfect finishing touch to your setup.
I’ve picked benches that offer everything mentioned above, prioritizing height and comfort while considering style, design, and build quality.
Best for gigging: On-Stage KT7800+
On-Stage is a brand known for manufacturing high-quality stage accessories, primarily keyboard stands. The defining characteristics of On-Stage products are that they are budget-friendly and built to last, which is the perfect combination.
For those reasons, the KT7800+ tops my list as the best overall piano bench. The KT7800+ is a folding X-frame bench, which makes it extremely portable. What I like most about this bench is that it has much thicker padding than a typical X-style bench.
The KT7800+ offers four fixed height settings, making it ideal for kids or adults, and the robust single-bolt locking mechanism is secure enough for anyone.
It would be nice to have custom height settings and some storage space, but that’s the compromise you make when you take this kind of bench.
This bench is ideal for home practice, and it’s perfect for life on the road, making it an excellent choice for any player.
What I like
- Value for money.
- Highly portable.
- Built to last.
- Four height settings.
What I don’t like
- No storage.
- No custom height settings.
Best premium bench: Roland RPB-500
Roland knows a thing or two about pianos, which means they know about piano benches, too. The RPB-500 is a premium bench with a premium price, but it looks and feels luxurious enough to be worth every penny.
The high-quality wooden bench has a polished ebony finish (PE model) and perfectly matches Roland digital pianos. The build quality is top-class, so it not only looks great, it’s built to last.
This bench has a traditional look, which makes it an eye-catching piece of furniture, but, more importantly, it’s as comfortable as it gets. The RPB-500 features thick premium padding and a high-grade leather seat.
Roland’s RPB-500 offers 10 inches of continuous height adjustment, meaning you can tailor the bench to your requirements.
Inside the bench is a velvet-lined storage space to keep books, sheet music, and other practice aids. It’s a gorgeous piano bench in every way.
What I like
- Luxurious premium bench.
- Solid wood construction.
- Polished ebony finish.
- Velvet-lined storage.
- Extremely comfortable.
- Custom height adjustments.
What I don’t like
Best budget bench: Gator Traditional
If you want a bench with a traditional look that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars, this Gator bench is a fantastic choice.
I’ll get a couple of minor negatives out of the way first. The bench offers no adjustable height settings or storage as you get with the more expensive RPB-500. However, as much as I’d love to have those features, it’s fair enough at the price.
The bench sits just under 19″ in height, and that’s a good average for most players. One of the most impressive things about this bench is that it can hold up to 350 lbs despite its elegant styling.
The styling is another thing I love about this bench; it’s slim, but the solid wood construction is more than robust enough.
The only negative regarding build quality is that the seat is vinyl rather than leather, but again, that’s relevant to the price. The vinyl cushion provides an inch and a half of cushion, so it should be comfortable for hours.
What I like
- Value for money.
- Traditional look on a budget.
- Robust build quality.
- Comfortable padding.
What I don’t like
- No storage.
- No adjustable height.
A couple of benches didn’t quite reach the top of the list but are too good to leave out altogether; here they are.
- Yamaha PKBB1. Although I chose the On-Stage KT7800+ as the best bench for gigging, if you want something reliable that’s even cheaper, Yamaha’s PKBB1 is it.
- Korg PC-300. The PC-300 is a stunning minimalist design that’s far more comfortable than it looks. It doesn’t provide storage, which is disappointing for the price, but if you want comfort from a sleek modern design, this is it.
- Casio CB-7. If you like the look of a traditional wooden bench but prefer a metal frame, Casio’s CB-7 is the perfect compromise.
- On-Stage KB8902B Flip-Top. This excellent choice is a throwback to the days of old-school flip-top benches; flip the top, put your books in, and you’re good to go.
Frequently asked questions
There are a few common misconceptions about the need for a dedicated piano bench; hopefully, these frequently asked questions clarify a few things.
Is a piano bench just a piece of furniture?
No, it’s not. A good piano bench often looks like a lovely piece of furniture, but the practical benefits far outweigh any visual appeal.
Can I learn to play the piano without a dedicated piano bench?
Yes, you can. However, your posture and technique may suffer due to using the wrong seating. While you can learn without a piano bench, you might limit your potential without realizing it.
Will a piano bench make me a better pianist?
In some ways, yes. But, if you’re going to be a great pianist, you’ll be great with or without a bench. Likewise, if music isn’t your strong point, a dedicated piano bench won’t fix that.
The difference is maximizing your potential; a bench that keeps your posture and technique in check will help ensure you are the best you can be.
What is correct posture?
Ideal posture is:
- Feet flat on the floor.
- A straight back.
- Relaxed shoulders and neck.
- Forearms parallel to the floor.
- Wrists in line with arms, not flattened.
- Elbows around keyboard height.
- Sit at the front of the bench.
I advocate good posture leading to good technique, but most of my favorite pianists don’t religiously stick to the above guidelines. It’s vital that, as a beginner, you don’t try to mimic your favorite players.
You should build solid foundations first, and if, in time, you tweak a few minor details, that’s fine. But wait until you have the experience to change your posture or technique sensibly.
Does a good piano bench have to be expensive?
No, it doesn’t. As you can see from the list above, there’s something for every budget.
There are many piano benches that cost far more than any on this list, and most of them are excellent. But, I think you can get what you need without spending more than you have to.
The benches above are of excellent quality and value for money, and there’s something to suit everyone.