The best office chairs not just at work, but also at home. Since you’re likely to spend as much time in front of a computer at home as in an office, it makes sense.
Our guide to the best office chairs can help. In addition to being comfortable, these chairs are also adjustable. Since no two people are alike, a chair should be able to adapt to your body. It should also support your lower back, shoulders, arms, and wrists, to prevent repetitive stress injuries.
The best office chairs should be affordable, which is why we’ve included models ranging from less than $100 to more than $1,500, just in case you want to splurge.
What are the best office chairs?
The classic Herman Miller Aeron is the best office chair. Though this chair has been around for many years, the company never rests on its laurels; they constantly redesign the Aeron to keep up with technological changes, and this chair is a marvel of material engineering. It’s a big investment over $1,000, but it’s the most configurable and adaptable – and most comfortable – chair we’ve sat in.
Additionally, we’re testing the Steelcase Leap, another pricey – yet extremely comfortable – office chair that’s in the same price range as the Aeron. Keep an eye out for our full review.
The Branch Ergonomic Chair is the best option for those with a limited budget. With a price of $300, it’s not too expensive, but has adjustable arms, a tilting seat, and a mesh back with lumbar support. It also comes in a few colors.
- Very adjustable
- Affordable price
- Adjustable arms and height
- Lumbar support
- Adjustable arms
- Adjustable seat tilt and height
Top 7 Best Office Chair
1) Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
It is sleeker than most other office chairs, but without being overly flashy. As we sat in the $300 office chair while working from home, we largely forgot about it. Isn’t that the point of a good office chair?
The Branch Ergonomic Chair has seven adjustment points (the height and width of the armrests, as well as how far forward you want them to go, seat height, backrest angle, and position of the seat relative to the backrest), which can all be easily manipulated. Its padded seat was not as comfortable as mesh seats.
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2) HON Exposure Mesh Task Office Chair
Hon Exposure is like the Honda Civic of office chairs: It’s reliable, it’s affordable, it gets the job done, but it isn’t flashy. The Hon Exposure, which costs around $200, has adjustable arms and height, as well as a lumbar support, which can be moved in and out for support.
This chair is comfortable, but a bit firmer than the Branch Ergonomic Chair, which is also more stylish, but costs about $90 more. As a whole, you can’t go wrong with the Hon Exposure, but there are more exciting models out there.
3) Space Seating Professional AirGrid
Low-cost office chairs aren’t usually very adjustable; the mechanisms that allow for lumbar support and tension zones aren’t cheap to make. With the Space Seating Professional AirGrid, you can adjust many of the features of this chair and still spend less than $200.
The AirGrid’s arms can be adjusted in height and position, and the tilt of the seat can be tweaked to create a comfortable sitting position when you lean back or forward. The armrests can be moved left or right, but the angle and slope cannot be adjusted. In addition to a mesh fabric back, the AirGrid has a mesh fabric front, which provides better ventilation on hot days. While you don’t get some of the fancy adjustments of some more expensive models, you do get most of the features that make for a comfortable seat.
4) AmazonBasics Classic office chair
It doesn’t need to cost a fortune to get a decent place to park yourself, and the AmazonBasics Classic office chair is our top budget pick. The chair costs $120, but has all the features most users need. Microfiber covers wick moisture away, so you won’t get sweaty backs. The chair provides full body support, so you can lean back and have your head and neck supported. With its adjustable height and five rotating rollers, it should work both on carpets and hardwood floors. The tension of the seat and back tilt can also be adjusted, affecting how easy it is to recline the whole seat.
You don’t get much adjustment. All but the height of the seat from the floor and the tilt tension are fixed; there is no lumbar adjustment, no armrest adjustment, and no seat tilt adjustment.
5) X-Chair X2 K-Sport Management chair
Spend the extra $100 or so on the optional heating and massage pad if you buy the X-Chair X2. As if you were sitting in the Brookstone store at the mall in your home office.
Besides that, the X2 Chair is very comfortable, with lumbar support, mesh back and seat, and most of it is adjustable. The chair also has a solid metal base and casters. It costs around $800-$900, which isn’t cheap, but it’s less than a Herman Miller Aeron.
6) Steelcase Leap Office Chair
If you suffer from back pain, you need a chair that can be adjusted to fit your needs. With Steelcase’s Leap Chair, you can adjust how the chair tilts as you adjust your position. You can adjust these by using three controls that let you customize how you configure the chair for your spine, lumbar region, and posture. This makes it a great choice for people with chronic back pain, as adjusting these controls can make a chair much more comfortable.
Steelcase’s Leap chair isn’t cheap, however; at $860, it is one of the more expensive chairs we looked at. It might be a good investment if you use it a lot and want something you can adjust to suit your mood.
Best Office Chair Buying Guide
Even if you have the best office chair in the world, it’s unhealthy to be seated for hours at a time. Studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time can negatively affect your health, such as a higher risk of heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
A number of experts recommend that you stand up from time to time. Mayo Clinic, for instance, recommends standing up every 30 minutes, or investing in a standing desk. Whatever you do, get up and stretch your muscles. Set a timer; some smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, will automatically remind you to move if you’ve been sedentary for too long.
1) How to choose the best office chair for you
After price, comfort and adjustability are the two most important factors when choosing an office chair. The concept of comfort is pretty straightforward: a comfortable chair should offer a seat that is yielding but also offers the base firmness your back needs. It should also wick moisture so you don’t sweat on hot days. Mesh seats and backs tend to be the most comfortable in this regard.
People of larger stature should be able to sit comfortably on the seat without feeling like they are squeezing into a kids’ chair.
Armrests should be contoured so that elbows and upper arms can lean comfortably on them, and made of fabric or a softer material that won’t jar the elbow when bumped into.
Lumbar support is another important feature. It helps you maintain the curve of your lower back so that you don’t fatigue yourself by sitting for long periods of time (not that you should). This too should be adjustable so that you can move it up and down, or increase or decrease how much it pushes out.
The other major factor is adjustability. You should be able to adjust pretty much everything on a good office chair, including:
- Armrest height
- Armrest width
- Armrest angle
- Backrest angle
- Backrest height
- Seat height
- Seat angle
- Seat depth
It’s important to get a chair that allows you to adjust all of these things because every person’s body is different; it lets you customize it to fit your unique shape. The more expensive the chair, the more things you’ll be able to adjust.
2) How we test the Best Office Chairs
Sitting in them, of course! Each office chair is evaluated by sitting in it for a few weeks and going about our daily activities. It is not just how comfortable the chair is, but also how easily it can be adjusted.
We tested the chairs with a 6-foot male and a 5-foot 4-inch female to see if their comfort levels differed.
We also consider the chair’s design, its appearance, and its overall cost before making our decision.
Office chair FAQs
Back pain sufferers need chairs that support their backs and promote good posture. You can’t fully rely on your chair to keep your spine aligned, but it should assist you.
“You can have your chair adjusted perfectly, and still have bad posture,” said Zielinski.
Most chairs have adjustable lumbar support, but some high-end manufacturers make chairs with backs that conform to your back without any knobs or levers.
If you have a manually adjustable lumbar support, make sure it’s in the right position. Zielinski recommends finding it by putting your hands on the small of your back. If you reach back, that’s about the place you want it to be,” she said.
You might have neck pain due to the placement of your monitor. According to Timko, your head should rest over your neck, not straining forward.
“You want a chair that allows them to sit comfortably, but they also need a screen that lets them see and do what they need,” said Stone.
Likewise, your chair needs to be the right height for your desk or table. Zielinski said that desks are usually too high for chairs most of the time. Parallel to the floor, your arms should be at a 90-degree angle. By tilting your arms up to reach your keyboard, you may unconsciously shrug your shoulders, which can cause neck pain as well.
If raising your chair to the height of your desk causes your feet to dangle, you should use a footrest, said Zielinski.
Timko said lots of customizability can be a double-edged sword, even though you want to be able to tweak the system. He observed that “the more adjustability built into a device – if it’s not a well-made device – sooner or later, that device tends to get flimsier.”
“The problem is that when you have too many things that are adjustable, people don’t know what to do with them all,” said Stone. The bare minimum should be height adjustment, she said.
A chair with armrests that pivot in and can be adjusted for height is also a good option, according to Zielinski. She also suggests selecting chairs with adjustable backs and seat depths that can be moved forward and backward so you can fit one or two fingers between the back of your knees and the chair.
Sit with your feet flat on the floor or footrest, elbows at a 90-degree angle, and forearms parallel to the floor for good chair posture.
“Adjust the armrests so that they are directly underneath you so that you are comfortable and then adjust the back so that there is a good support for your low back curve,” said Zielinski.
Nevertheless, it’s unnatural to hold any position for too long. We try to recommend that they do not maintain any one position for longer than 40 to 50 minutes, said Timko. Both Stone and Zielinski recommended getting up and moving once an hour as well.
Stone, Timko, and Zielinski all recommended physically sitting in several chairs in a store or showroom.
“Try it before you buy it,” Zielinski advised.
If you have to buy a chair that only offers height adjustment, chances are there will be something about it that doesn’t quite suit you. However, Zielinski said you probably have plenty of objects around the house that you can use to adapt the chair to your needs.
Pillows, folded blankets or towels, and craft foam can all provide support or add inches to armrests. As a footrest, “you could use a box or a binder rubberbanded to a pack of paper,” she said.
“The least expensive chairs are built for the average person, who doesn’t exist,” said Stone.