Choosing an office chair is easy…or is it?
In this guide I will help you to choose the best ergonomic office chair.
So if you are looking to stop that back pain or simply want to spend time sitting in a lot…A LOT more comfort, you are in the right place.
Table of Contents
My name is Melanie and I am your guide in the world of office chairs. I am here to help so if you have any specific question, get in touch with me directly through the contact form.
Here is the spoiler alert – there is no single “best chair”!
Well, there is a number of reasons:
You can buy a chair for less than $100 or get something crazy for over $1000.
Needless to say, all of these would have a different comfort level, different type of warranty (which is VERY important because cheaper chairs break more often) and different quality of course.
My recommendation: to get a great office chair for computer work, you don’t need to spend a fortune, BUT…you still need to allocate approximately $300. From what I discovered this is the sweet spot – you can easily get a fairly adjustable, comfortable office chair that will look good AND won’t fall apart in 1 year (or it would have a solid warranty that would fix/replace the thing).
P.S. Here is my selection of the budget chairs that I found to be the best. Check them out if you need some tips!
In this context, your physical characteristics are your height and weight – they are critical to take into account.
If you are a big guy (or girl), you need a heavy duty office chair (this is, generally, above 300lbs weight capacity). So if you pick a chair that quite literally cant handle your big self, then you are, first, not covered by the warranty (they usually say that – warranty cover up to, for example, 250lbs), second, you won’t be comfortable in it, and, third, you are risking to fall down and possibly hurt yourself (the chair is simply not designed for more than it can carry).
Also, if you are taller OR shorter than an average Joe (sorry Joes, no offence here), you also need to take that into account because, again, you simply won’t fit. In fact, the chair that’s not suitable for your body, hmm, length can even hurt you (e.g. a lumbar support that is not in the right place can eventually hurt your back).
Pains & aches need special attention because you, most likely, don’t want to make them worse.
If you have any type of pain (e.g. neck, back, sciatica, coccyx/tailbone, shoulder etc), you might need a chair that will specifically address your problem. Here is how it goes.
Lumbar support (I always recommend picking a chair with adjustable lumbar support that can be adjusted for a better fit) will help you with back pain and sciatica (this is very connected).
Headrest will help to address neck pain.
Armrests will help to relieve shoulder and upper trapezius strain from typing or another type of desk work. This can also reduce any tension headaches you might have had up till now.
Coccyx and tailbone pain will benefit from a chair with thick padding (possibly enhanced by a special cushion for coccyx pain).
My recommendation: chairs with special adjustments almost always cost a little more – don’t try saving money on your well-being – invest in your health instead.
To sum it up…
How to pick the best office chair?
If I were you, I wouldn’t spend less than $300 to begin with.
I would then find a chair for a tall person (which I am) that would also have an adjustable lumbar support as I do have some back pain from sitting too long! 😎
And now it’s time to show you the 10 office chairs that I found to be best overall – good for sitting all day at your desk (oh, how fun is it!), working at your computer or even gaming.
P.S. You can view their latest price on Amazon by clicking any of the “View on Amazon” buttons below. I recommend using “Keepa” Chrome extension for tracking their price changes so to find the best deal!
Here are the 10 we recommend overall. As you can see, I included a number of important characteristics…
Warranty is one of them.
Suppose you buy a chair for $300 with a 2-Year warranty and it falls apart in 3 years. Or, say, you get a $700 chair with 12-year warranty which is a lot more comfortable at the same time.
The morale: you get what you pay for. 😉
P.S. Click on “Chair” name for more details.
|Chair||Rating||Adjustable Armrests||Back Support||Material||Capacity||Warranty|
|Aeron||Pellicle||Up to 300lbs||12 Years on Parts & Labor|
|Embody||Fabric||Up to 300lbs||12 Years on Parts & Labor|
|Dxracer||Up to 250lbs||Lifetime: Frame; 2 Yrs: Parts|
|Elusion||Fabric||Up to 250lbs||5 Years (+ Provisions )|
|Volt||Mesh, Upholstered||Up to 250lbs||Full Lifetime Warranty|
|Space||Mesh||Up to 400lbs||5 Years on Non-Moving Parts|
|Topsky||PU Leather||Up to 330lbs||1 Year|
|AzBasics||Bonded Leather||Up to 250lbs||1 Year Limited Warranty|
|OStar||Mesh||Up to 250lbs||5 Years on Non-Moving Parts|
|LuxFit||Up to 300lbs||2 Years|
And now let’s look at them in more details!
The Classic Aeron Chair is an iconic chair – best office chair overall.
It was designed by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick .
When it was introduced, the design of this chair broke every convention.
Its seats and backrest have been made from Pellicle (a breathable woven suspension membrane) to eliminate pressure and buildup of heat while seating on the chair.
All this with 12-year warranty.
Here is why we chose it to be the best office chair of 2017 – click the image below to watch the video.
Is this best ergonomic office chair?
Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber held wide consultations with experts in the fields of vision, biomechanics, ergonomics and physical therapy while designing the Embody chair.
The idea behind this chair is to ensure that sitting is more responsive, natural and positive to your health.
Herman Miller’s Embody combats fatigue by allowing blood and oxygen to circulate through distribution of pressure.
Here is why we think this is the best ergonomic office chair.
DXRacer Racing Series is best for gaming.
This seat has the ability to accommodate all sizes of people, has an inlaid color bar design, multi-functional tilt mechanism and 4D adjustable armrests.
Let’s see why we chose it as the best chair for gaming.
The Alera Elusion – best office chair for back pain.
An adjustable tilt and a forward tilt are key to the free floating and infinite locking positions of this seat.
The chair has a contoured seat cushion and a premium fabric upholstery that helps to relieve pressure on the legs.
And this is why we think this is the best office chair for back pain…
Space is the best office chair under $300.
It has been built to take care of even large users as it can support a weight of up to 400 pounds.
You can also get a custom fit that comes with arms that are height and width adjustable.
And here is why we think this is the best office chair under 300 USD.
TOPSKY is the best office chair for neck pain.
One of their office products is the TOPSKY Executive Leather seat that is black/red in color and comes with an adjustable headrest.
This ergonomic chair enables you enjoy a comfortable sitting experience in your work place.
And here is why we believe this chair is best for neck pain.
AmazonBasics high-back is best ergonomic office chair for tall person.
It comes with a sleek professional style that gives you this much needed support throughout the day.
This seat offers personalized comfort even during prolonged periods of sitting.
And here is why we think this is the best chair for tall people.
This chair is best for a short person.
Its range of 2-1 synchro locking tilt control ensures you have full control over the chair.
Its heavy duty base with dual wheel carpet casters and silver accents gives it a sleek accomplished style and professionalism.
And here is why we think this is the best office chair for short person.
The LuxFit Exercise Ball is probably the best office chair for posture.
The chair comes with a two year warranty and a static strength ball that is able to carry a weight of 2000 pounds.
The shipping box contains the chair base, ball pump, ball, instructions, bar and bolts, two regular front casters and two locking back casters.
And here is why we consider this chair best for posture.
The best choice for any office worker is an ergonomic chair that will offer support throughout the day.
A chair should have several features to help you sit safely and maintain good posture while providing support.
Here is what you need to know about office chair features before you purchase a new one.
Your chair should have a full, broad back to protect your spine and encourage you to sit up straight. They should also adjust into a recline as well as in height to protect your spine.
The front edge of your chair seat needs to spill forward in a smooth edge known as a waterfall seat. This will keep it from hitting the back of your knees as you sit. The pan of your chair seat should also help distribute your weight to avoid any additional compression or strain in your hips or lower back. The sitter should be comfortable at a 90-degree angle.
Keep in mind that a breathable fabric on your chair will make you much more comfortable during the day and less likely to overheat. Look for a medium texture fabric that isn’t abrasive or itchy when it touches your skin.
You should be able to get your chair precisely the way you want it in every direction, even the side-to-side tilt, without any special tools. This will help you maintain a good posture and protect your body during a long day. If you can try your chair before buying give it a spin or ask a salesperson for a demonstration of how it adjusts and to what degree.
If you find you avoid sitting back and up against your backrest in your chair, you may have the wrong model. You want a chair that has a seat and back that work together to keep you sitting up straight and comfortable.
A well-made chair will keep you supported as you move and help maintain healthy circulation as you work. A good chair will facilitate movement, not hinder it. When you chair shop, think of test-driving your chair before you buy it as opposed to only checking to see if it’s comfortable.
A good chair will also support your arms, elbows, and shoulders as you work throughout the day. The armrests should be adjustable and allow the user’s arms to rest comfortably. Do not place your forearm on the armrest while typing because this can adversely impact your posture.
The chair should rotate easily so all areas of the desk all workstation can be reached without effort and straining.
When it comes time for a new chair, you want to consider several factors as you shop. While you want your chair to be comfortable, the number of choices can be truly overwhelming. Here’s how to get started.
Whether you must spend money out of your pocket or you have a per diem from your boss, your budget is a huge consideration. Chairs can run from $100 to as high as $1,000. Know exactly how much you can spend before you walk into a showroom or log onto a shopping site. If you are planning to spend more, ask if the chair includes a warranty for the additional cost.
For those working in a warm place or who tend to get hot as they work, a mesh chair may be a good option. Colder offices will lend themselves to a leather chair as they’re warmer and cozier. Metal and polymer plastic will also be more durable and need less in the way of replacements.
A shorter worker is going to want a chair that can help them sit at their desk without any discomfort. A good chair will allow them to add a footrest, (if necessary), or may include an additional part for the feet. A taller worker who can touch the floor with their feet when seated needs to focus on a comfortable backrest that encourages proper posture.
Does your office have a hardwood floor or a thin layer of carpeting? A rolling office chair will tear up hardwood and will need some additional protection on the wheels. A stationary chair can have some small, floor-protecting casters added to the base to keep the floor beautiful. Do you have the standard, gray floor in your office? Go for the wheels.
Getting to the gym is often the last thing a busy worker has time for, even on days when they come to the office with their duffle bag packed and a spare pair of shoes hiding in their file cabinet. We all know we need to exercise, and we want to be healthy, but how can we wedge a trip to the gym into a busy day?
Many health professionals have stopped fighting the eight-hour day of sitting and working and instead have developed stretches and exercises we can do without leaving our desks. Here are some great ways to stay limber and in shape without leaving your cubicle.
Seated in your office chair, come forward to the edge and plant your feet flat on the ground. Sit up nice and tall. Now, nod your head yes in an exaggerated motion. Do this gently and hold each stretch forward and back. After a few repetitions, switch to a “no” motion, again being gentle and slow to get a good stretch on each side.
Lift your right arm, then bend your right hand behind your shoulders, so your elbow sticks straight up. Use your left hand to bring the right elbow close to your head, (again, with kindness), and hold the stretch for ten to thirty seconds. Repeat with the other arm.
Place your hands on the back of your head, elbows open. Sit up nice and straight, feet planted, and do a slight backbend. Don’t force anything, just curve back in a gentle motion as you inhale. Exhale and release after about ten seconds.
For more relief for back muscle strain, sit as far back against your chair as you can and reach your arms around the back. Clasp hands or elbows, (depending on the size of your chair) and hold that position for a few seconds. This opens the upper back as well as the shoulders.
For your lower back, you want to do a forward bend. Come to the front of your chair, sit up tall and cross your left ankle over your right knee. Leading with your chest, bring your torso forward and down over your hips. Remember to take deep breaths. Rise up and then repeat on the other side. This will open your hips and help your spine as you sit at your desk.
Extra pounds around our middles do a lot more than hinder the buttons on our fly – it poses a real threat to our health. Unlike fat around other parts of the body, belly fat directly affects our major organs and intestines. This means we can make ourselves sick by being thicker around the middle.
A more prominent belly means a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and painful back problems. Surprisingly, your desk chair can be your first line of defense against the wave of belly fat, so many office workers find themselves battling.
Training your core helps you maintain your balance and stability. The muscles involved in your core are the hips, lower back, pelvis, and abdomen.
To up your core game, you need first to make sure your chair is in good shape and stable enough to support your weight. Also, it should be well balanced and not list to either side or tilt forward or back. If your chair is doing any of these things, fix the issue before continuing.
Get started with some Leg Lifts. Sit on the edge of your chair with both feet flat on the floor, hold the edge of the seat with both hands and then extend your right leg out. Lift it so that it’s parallel to your hips, then lower it down. Do ten lifts on the right, then switch to the left side for ten more. Repeat on both sides for a second round to get the most out of this move.
Try an anaerobic move to really burn up the fat. Sit all the way back, nice and tall with your feet flat on the ground. Exhale out all the air from your diaphragm and tense up your abdominal muscles as tight as you can without inhaling. Hold for ten seconds, then release. Repeat this at least three times.
Chair Swivels. Roll your chair back a bit from your desk until you can just hold the corner. Lift your feet just off the floor and cross your ankles. Now twist as far as you can to one side while holding your desk. Twist to the other side. Feel free to pop in your headphones and enjoy this one. Do ten on each side, then repeat the process two more times.
These are great for your lower abs. Slide out to the edge of your chair and lean your upper back against the back. Hold the corners of your seat and extend your legs out as far as you can. Hover your feet above the floor and then do little, alternating kicks without setting your feet down. Tense your abs to maintain your position and repeat until you’ve done ten on each side.
Ready for something more advanced? Try the Magic Carpet. Again, make sure your chair can hold your weight evenly. Lift yourself up by pushing on the chair arms and extending fully. Don’t lock or bend your elbows and don’t collapse into your shoulders. Your neck should be nice and long.
Repeat the movement but this time fold your legs in the air between your torso and the chair and tense up your abs. Breathe and hold the position for about ten seconds or longer if you can. Lower yourself down slowly to release.
You can find a lot more great exercises online for the office or a chair such as Chair Running or Chair Crunches.
Staying healthy at work is more than quick workout breaks. Most offices are packed full of junk food, colleagues itching to hit the happy hour special at the local watering hole and plenty of excuses to forego healthy choices and indulge in bad ones.
There are ways to avoid an unhealthy office life. All you need to do is make a few small changes.
Rather than pray for the willpower to avoid grazing between meals, (or replacing a meal with a quick bite), plan for midday munchies. Talk to your colleagues about signing up for a snack delivery service like Graze or Urthbox or another option to make sure your office has delicious treats that won’t pack on the pounds. Most services will let you choose how many snacks you need per week, and then you can split the cost amongst the office. If you have some talented cooks at work, start a signup sheet and take turns bringing healthy, homemade goodies.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a bike-friendly city, try riding your bike to work on nice days. Ask the boss if there’s anywhere in the office you can store it to keep it safe and pack extra clothes in case your riding gear gets sweaty. Walking is also a great alternative, but conduct a test walk on your day off so you can be confident of how much time it will add to your journey.
One of the best things we can do during a busy day is taking a few minutes for ourselves. Rather than refill our coffees, we really should do a quick meditation.
Meditation can happen right at our desks if we do give ourselves five to ten minutes. It takes practice, but with daily meditations, we can become more centered and more focused.
Make a Do Not Disturb sign for your door or desk, try out a meditation app and get centered right at your desk.
One of the best things to help deal with stress is getting away from the office environment. Find an outdoor space near the office and go for a short walk once a day.
Don’t make this your lunch break, take some time to breathe and get some perspective. Stress is a danger to our overall health and nature can cut down on our stress levels significantly. A quick stroll can be a real lifesaver.
Can’t get away from your urban surroundings? Post images of forests or beautiful trees up in your space so you can take a mental break during your day.
Rather than coffee breaks, take plenty of water breaks. Regular hydration can keep your energy up, refresh your mental process and improve your skin. A shortage of water in your system can make you moody or fatigued. Keep yourself feeling great with lots of H20 throughout your day.
Take the time to decorate your desk. Add images, a corkboard of affirmations and inspirational quotes, small plants or knick-knacks that make you happy.
Talk to management about starting a committee that can work as a resource to keep the whole office focused on good health. That way everyone can feel supported and have several people to consult for help with managing his or her habits, weight and stress levels.
A committee can do things like setting up a once-a-week yoga class in spare space, set up walking buddies or help scout out nearby gyms and group discounts.