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Published Oct. 5, 2021

The first office chairs originated around the middle of the 19th century when workers began spending long hours sitting at desks, which required special features not found on other chairs at the time. Today, office chairs have become a staple of modern office life. However, as more and more sectors of the workforce have begun transitioning to full- or part-time remote work, many employees have had to give up specially-designed office chairs in favor of setting up makeshift workspaces at home.

Unfortunately, for many people, this is not a sustainable way to work. Ergonomics has been an essential consideration in furniture since the 1970s, and modern-day office chairs are designed with safety and comfort in mind, often resulting in increased productivity. The best office chairs today have features such as adjustable seats and heights, armrests, and back supports. These features help to prevent repetitive stress injuries, back pain, and other aches and discomforts associated with long periods of sitting.

If you’ve been aching for a new chair, literally, it may be time to set up a designated workstation. We’ve hand-selected this list of some of the best office chairs to get you started.

How we picked the best office chairs

When evaluating the best office chairs, the most obvious thing to remember is that there is no “one size fits all” approach, as anyone with a passing knowledge of the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears can probably tell you. One man’s lumbar support could be another man’s backache waiting to happen, so we needed to assess a wide variety of office chairs to meet a wide variety of needs. All in all, we researched no less than five or six dozen chairs before deciding on the five that made the final cut.

Some of the features we homed in on were basic comfort, ease of use, versatility, cost, easy assembly, style, and overall design. While some of the best office chairs may come with all of the bells and whistles, they may not always be the most cost-efficient or aesthetically pleasing options. However, those who are serious about their home office setup or who work long hours may want the very best executive office chair that fits their budget.

The Best Office Chairs: Reviews & Recommendations

Best office chair overall: Herman Miller Aeron Chair

A Modern Marvel

A timeless classic that now boasts a fully remastered design.

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Why it made the cut: Since its introduction in 1994, this classic Herman Miller office chair has evolved and been updated to enhance the modern workplace experience.

Specs:

  • Materials: Recycled materials
  • Furniture base: Swivel
  • Weight: 41 pounds

Pros:

  • Adjustable recline for three postures
  • Fully adjustable arms
  • Comes in three different sizes

Cons:

  • Headrest not included and sold separately

For over 25 years, the Herman Miller Aeron Chair has been the gold standard for office furniture with its classic, ergonomic design. The latest version of the Aeron has been fully remastered with a number of premium design features to better support modern office workers with an adjustable range of motion for leaning forward or reclining back.

The tilt limiter function, for instance, allows you to set the recline range at one of three postures, while tension control lets you adjust the amount of effort needed to recline comfortably. In addition, the chair’s armrests adjust from a height of 6.8 to 10.8 inches above the seat, slide back and forth over a range of 2.5 inches, and pivot between 15 degrees outward and 17.5 degrees inward for a fully customizable fit. Yet, the chair is still available in three sizes to accommodate even people who are six feet or taller.

For lumbar support, two individual pads flex independently and adjust to fit the curve of the spine, though some customers feel that it could use even more support. Another minor gripe is that the headrest is sold separately even with the hefty price tag, which might be a dealbreaker for those who are already concerned about making the pricey investment.

Best value pick: BestOffice Home Office Chair

Affordable Seating

This rolling, 360-degree office chair is excellent for a variety of budgets.

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Why it made the cut:: If you don’t mind a narrow seat, this budget office chair boasts an attractively affordable price tag with standard features and basic lumbar support.

Specs:

  • Materials: Mesh, metal base
  • Furniture base: Swivel
  • Weight: 19 pounds

Pros:

  • Affordable for a range of budgets
  • Easy to install and assemble
  • Ergonomic nylon mesh lumbar support

Cons:

  • Seat is too narrow for wider hips

If you’re looking for basic, no-frills office seating, you could certainly do worse than the BestOffice Home Office Chair, which has a price tag that can get nearly anyone on board. Constructed from a high-density sponge cushion, this chair provides comfortable seating and ergonomic nylon mesh for optimal lumbar support and 360-degree rolling wheels.

Though the chair arrives unassembled, it comes with all of the hardware and necessary tools to put it together, and can be set up easily in about fifteen minutes. All parts and accessories have passed tests with the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association for quality materials.

Even though the mesh chair can support up to 250 pounds, it may be a better option for smaller adults, kids, and teens, as some customers have found it to be a tight fit. Some people also find that the armrests are too low, and combined with the narrow seat, the arms may bump uncomfortably on your legs and hips. But for the price, it’s hard to beat.

Best ergonomic office chair: Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

All Day Comfort

This office chair is easy to adjust and fits the contour of your body.

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Why it made the cut:: For all-around comfort, you can’t beat the best ergonomic office chair. This mesh construction office chair provides four supporting points at the head, back, hips, and hands.

Specs:

  • Materials: Mesh
  • Furniture base: Swivel
  • Weight: 41 pounds  

Pros:

  • High-quality breathable mesh construction
  • Adjustable flip-up armrests
  • Smooth and quiet rolling caster wheels

Cons:

  • Doesn’t suit tall people as well

You’ll sit comfortably and work efficiently for hours in the Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair, which provides four supporting points at the head, back, hips, and hands, along with proper lumbar support. For added relief, the headrest, back, and seat are all constructed of breathable, high-quality mesh that won’t overheat and will keep you cool even in the middle of summer.

But perhaps the most popular feature of this office chair is the fully adjustable, foldable armrests that can change height at the press of a button or flip to slide easily under any desk or table. The tilt function is also adjustable from 90 to 120 degrees, which is perfect for anyone from gamers to those who regularly spend long hours behind a desk. As a bonus, the smooth caster wheels are quiet and won’t cause damage to wooden floors.

The manufacturer’s description states that the chair is suitable for people from 5’5″ to 6’2″ in height. However, some taller users have found that the alignment of the headrest is awkward or that it doesn’t fold back far enough, so you don’t bump the back of your head. That’s an easy fix, though, as the headrest can be removed if it doesn’t work to your liking.

Best upholstered: Art Leon Mid Century Modern Accent Chair

Mid-Century Style

A stylish and compact mid-century design that’s perfect for small spaces.

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Why it made the cut:: This mid-century modern swivel chair works perfectly as either an office chair for working behind a desk, or an accent chair for curling up with a good book.

Specs:

  • Materials: Faux leather
  • Furniture base: Swivel
  • Weight: 33.5 pounds

Pros:

  • Caster-free design won’t scratch your floor
  • Comfortable handrail-style armrests
  • Wooden swivel legs rotate 360 degrees

Cons:

  • Too small for some

Those who prioritize style and comfort equally will appreciate this Art Leon Mid Century Modern Accent Chair, which pairs an eye-catching, mod design with firm, well-cushioned, and ample seating. It’s also the perfect chair for small offices and tight spaces. The sleek, handrail-style armrests curve down to fit under most desks yet are sturdy enough for pushing yourself up out of the seat.

Four sturdy oak legs extend outward from the swivel base that spins a full 360 degrees.  Unlike most office chairs, this one doesn’t have caster wheels. It’s a safer option for people with small kids and pets, since there’s no worry about tiny hands, feet, paws, and tails accidentally getting rolled over.

Some customers love that this accent chair is roomy enough to curl up in or sit cross-legged, while others on the larger side find it a bit dainty or cramped for their tastes. Another slight downside is that a handful of users have complained about the faux leather having a chemical odor. However, the scent seems to dissipate on its own after a few days or faster if sprayed with a linen freshener such as Febreze.

Best office chair for posture: Laura Davidson SOHO Office Chair

Eye-Catching Colors

This sleek office chair supports your back while looking fantastic.

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Why it made the cut:: You may not need your chiropractor after switching to the best office chair for posture, with a solid chrome steel frame and leatherette seat.

Specs:

  • Materials: Vinyl
  • Furniture base: Swivel
  • Weight: 30 pounds

Pros:

  • Aluminum base supports 400 pounds
  • Durable, heat embossed ribbing
  • Comes in 20 bright, fun colors

Cons:

  • Vinyl faux leather not very breathable

This Laura Davidson SOHO Office Chair almost does too good of a job at maintaining your posture because try as you might, it makes slouching nearly impossible. The supportive chrome steel frame and leatherette seat help support your back, with heat-embossed ribbing that’s at least three times more durable than competitor products that use cheaper stitching.

Unlike some office chairs that have a low weight threshold, the extra-strength aluminum base not only looks great but supports over 400 pounds. Plus, the polyurethane rolling casters work great on various surfaces, including hardwood floors and low pile carpet, but without the risk of scratching or damage. With 20 bright, eye-catching colors, you’ll be sure to find one that looks great in your home office or study.

This chair may not be the best for warmer climates as the faux vinyl leather is not very breathable and may become uncomfortable at higher temperatures. In addition, a few customers have noted that the arms can be difficult to screw on and need frequent tightening, but they can also be removed entirely if that becomes a recurring and bothersome issue.

Things to consider before buying an office chair

When deciding on adding an office chair into your home office setup, there are a few basic things to consider. First of all, do you have a dedicated home office or will you be working in another room in your home? If you have to set up your workspace in a dining room, living room, or bedroom you may want to consider an office chair that’s not just comfortable but fits seamlessly into your home decor or has multi-functional use.

But if you do happen to have a dedicated office space, you might decide to invest in a high-performing or ergonomic office chair. This also holds true for gamers who spend long hours in front of their computer screen and need an office chair that won’t give them neck or back pain. Posture is another consideration. If you tend to slouch, you won’t be doing your back any favors by choosing an office chair that reinforces negative habits.

Size is another factor. Unfortunately, big and tall people may find that shopping for a comfortable office chair can be challenging. It’s a good rule of thumb to check a chair’s weight and size limits before committing. Otherwise, you may find that your new chair is uncomfortable or impractical for everyday use. 

FAQs

Q: What should I look for in an ergonomic office chair?

Features to look for in an ergonomic office chair include lumbar support, seat and backrest materials, armrests, overall movement and stability, and seat width, depth, and height. Most importantly, a good ergonomic chair should allow the seat height to be adjusted from at least 15 to 22 inches off the floor, depending on how tall you are.

Q: How much should I spend on an office chair?

You can find a decent office chair no matter what your budget is. Office chairs can range wildly in price from under $100 to over $1,500. For a high-quality, ergonomic office chair, expect to spend somewhere in the market of $200 to $600.

Q: How long do most office chairs last?

Some studies estimate that you’ll get seven to eight years of use out of an office chair, while others are more optimistic and suggest that you can go an entire decade before your chair has to be repaired or replaced. Of course, the life expectancy of your office chair also depends on how much money you invest, as a $50 chair is obviously not going to hold up as well as a chair that costs $500.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick for the all-around best office chair is the Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair. Though not the most high-end model on this list—that would be the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, which is an excellent option for those with the means—we love the ergonomic feel of the Gabrylly chair paired with its sleek, versatile design. It also comes with a price point that’s not unreasonable when compared to similar models.

For those looking for a stylish, comfortable design, we’d be remiss without giving a shout-out to the Art Leon Mid Century Modern Accent Chair. It’s an outstanding value for those living and working in small spaces or apartments, as it can be used not just as an office chair but as an accent chair, dining chair, reading chair, and more.

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