9 Absolute Best Budget Office Chairs to Buy in 2019

Last Updated on by Pedram Sadough Moghanlu

 

Did you know that an average American sits for 13 hours a day or (almost) 197.7 days each year?

Given that, I am going to show you 9 best budget ergonomic office chairs you can use for home and office. 🙂
And the best part…

All of these chairs are affordable, quality and…cost less than $200! 

Let’s kick off! 😎

The 9 Chairs At a Glance

OrderModelWarrantyWe Love It ForDetails & Prices
Flash Furniture2 YearsLeather-paded flip up armrests are awesome!
Smudgdesk1 YearNeck support at this price point!
AmazonBasics Mid-Back1 YearSimplicity – if you just need to sit, this is the one!
Hbada1 YearAmazing ergonomic design at even more amazing price!
Modway Articulate3 YearsAdjustability – the only thing you can’t adjust is the color!
Space Seating5 YearsSolid back support for shorter people!
Lorell Ergomesh5 YearsHeight adjustable armrests – for a comfortable prolonged typing!
SafcoLimited LifetimeSuper height adjustable when you need it!
Bush Desk Chair5 YearsStylish design and serious ergonomic adjustments!

What's The Cheapest Chair?

If I was to keep it plain and simple, I would say that Smugdesk’s High-Back Chair (well under $100 atm) is the best option taller people (5.9 feet+).

If you are a bit shorter, then go for this Mid Back option (also by Smugdesk and even cheaper than its bigger brother).

And here are these comfiest office chairs you can get on a budget!

Smugdesk Mid-Back

Smugdesk High-Back

Why these?

In short, best quality you will find, pretty high end (for the money) adjustability, impressive 300lb weight limit and 12-month warranty.

Nice, right?

But…we got more cheapest office chairs lined up – keep scrolling!

3 Super Choices Under $100

This is as cheap as it gets!
Here are the 3 best low priced options for office I really recommend you check out:

All under 100 USD…
And here is why I recommend them. 😉

Flash is an office producer that has been on the market for quite a while.
It is, indeed, a very budget manufacturer but it’s definitely not a “no-name”:

  • A lot of manufacturing experience (they know how to design things right)
  • Great customer support (based on numerous reviews of verified buyers)
  • Super fast delivery (thanks to Prime)

Leather padded flip up armrests are great if you like them on and off every once in while with one major benefit – you don’t actually need to remove them.

Given the ventilated mesh this chair is made with, it’s a pretty darn good option for hot summers.

Now, about the office chair itself.

PROs

  • Back is covered with breathable mesh
  • Padded Armrests are able to flip up and out
  • Pneumatic seat height control
  • Tilt tension and lock features
  • Comfy cushion

CONs

  • Arm height is not adjustable

Fun Fact: Each year US businesses purchase 16.5 million chairs, with American consumers adding another 12 million to that total every year!

Just like Flash, Smudgdesk has been on the budget chair market for a while.

They have good few models available at our 100-dollar point so the office chair I am about to present you is not your only best option from them.

This seat is very comfortable to sit in for more than a few hours a day while mesh back really helps to keep your back dry during a hot day.

It’s a sturdy chair overall but the armrests can’t be height adjusted on the go – you actually need to take them off with a tool (it’s pretty simple though as the entire chair would take you 30 minutes to assemble).

 

PROs

  • Capacity is up to 300 pounds
  • The headrest is made of breathable mesh
  • Nanoscale materials, shaping foam, and mesh are used for the seat
  • Reinforced framework back fits the natural body curve

CONs

  • Armrests can't be elevated
  • Not the softest cushion

Amazon’s very own office brand is designed to be cheap and offer fairly good ergonomic characteristics.
The benefits you get are quite obvious:

  • Great customer service
  • Fast delivery
  • Very affordable

It looks tiny but it can actually handle anyone up to 250lbs (or, at least, that’s what covered by the warranty).

It comes in 4 different colors (black, blue, green and red) which can make your home/office setup a bit more fun (even though I’d still go for black).

To the chair…

PROs

  • Minimalistic design
  • Various colors available
  • 1-year warranty
  • Easy height adjustability

CONs

  • The back is not adjustable

Best Options Under $200

Done with 100-dollar office chairs…
Let’s now look at these (still) budget models. 😀
Generally speaking, the options in this category have a bit better:

  • ergonomics
  • materials
  • quality and design

Based on my research, these 4 best affordable chairs for work and home office will point you in the right direction:

Let’s look at each of them closer

Unlike the previous contenders, Hbada’s task chair only entered the market in April, 2019.

After checking out this chair first I loved and hated it at the same time.

It comes it two colors – black and white, both priced at slightly less than $100 (at the time of writing).

Breathable and ergonomic, this chair is probably one of the best ones out their for that price.

So why didn’t I like it…well, this is a mid-back chair and I’m a pretty tall guy so I can’t really enjoy all the design perks this chair is equipped with.

PROs

  • Flip up arms
  • Available in black/white
  • Breathable
  • 250lbs weight capacity
  • Easy installation
  • 1 year warranty

CONs

  • It's not a miracle - you get what you pay for

Modway is another budget company producing impressively decent ergonomic chairs.

These guys went far beyond office things – they manufacture bed frames, mattresses and even linen!
But it’s their Articulate that really interests us today.

Contoured height adjustable armrests are there for better fit and less upper back muscle strain. 

Generously padded 6” thick mesh seat cushion helps to make prolonged sitting a lot more comfortable.

At the price it is a great option to consider but make sure you are getting it in good packaging (as some people were reporting that it arrived damaged or with parts missing; maybe just the unlucky ones).

 

PROs

  • The chair supports up to 331 pounds
  • One-touch height and tilt control
  • Plenty of colors available
  • Five dual-wheel casters
  • Contoured height adjustable armrests

CONs

  • Not so sturdy as it seems to be

Unlike almost all the previous manufacturers, this office chair is pretty new to the market and…
It’s great! 😎

In fact, it has even deserved the Choice tag for being one of the best budget options – so let’s dive into it.

PROs

  • Arms are covered with soft PU padding
  • 2-to-1 synchro tilt
  • Eco Leather seat makes you feel cool and comfortable
  • Thick, wide comfortable cushion

CONs

  • It doesn't fit petite people

Lorell is yet another company that produces all sorts of office equipment.
So it’s not just chairs but also tables, bookcases and so on.

And here is why I like their best executive mid-back chair…

PROs

  • Armrests could be adjusted both in height and width
  • Height adjustment (17'' to 21'')
  • Got the fire-retardant certificate
  • Mesh back and seat

CONs

  • Become creaking in course of time (however, it’s a usual thing)

2 Great and Still Affordable Office Chairs

These two pieces are of the most expensive ones among all of this list. 😎
However, these budget choices still cost under 200, offer a great style and wide range of specs:

Being ergonomic, office-friendly, good-looking, and comfortable, Safco provides the customers with probably the best height adjustability. 

It fits a usual desk as well as an elevated workstation such as a standing desk or a workbench.

PROs

  • A sturdy steel base features a chip- and scratch-resistant powder coat finish
  • Height Adjustment (22'' to 32'')
  • Equipped with a chrome footrest ring that is adjustable too
  • Seat padding with waterfall edge
  • Wheels are ok both for carpets and floor

CONs

  • Non-adjustable seat depth and angle
  • Disassembling is extremely difficult

The manufacturer offers a few options to choose from according to your preferences and office design: leather, mesh, and fabric with a small difference in $. 🙂

PROs

  • Tilt lock feature
  • 360-degree swivel base
  • MAX capacity 275 pounds
  • Adjustable chair and armrests height
  • Different models available
  • 30-min assembling
  • 5-year warranty

CONs

  • Armrests are not removable

How Much Should I Spend?

As the saying goes…you get what you pay for but…is that really true with chairs?

Generally speaking, there are 3 price-based categories of chairs:

1. Under $100. These are super basic budget seats BUT they still can offer quite some adjustability and comfort while sitting in almost any office.

In fact, if you are not suffering from any sort of pain (e.g. lower back or neck) and don’t really need anything fancy, you can be totally fine with one of our best chairs in this category.

The only negatives is – quality (e.g. things can get “squeaky” while you sit and that can annoy…really).

2. Between $100 and $300. Very similar to the above but they tend to be a little better on just about every level – better quality, better setup and better warranty.

They look a lot better in any office setup and are still considered “budget”.

If I were you, I would purchase a chair from this category because of the above.

3. Chairs Between $300 and $600. Generally speaking, these are best options that are either, coming from a better-known brand (e.g. Steelcase) or have a unique strong feature (e.g. heavy duty; real leather etc).

4. From $600 to $1000+. The Ferrari’s of office chairs!

Top level chairs with extremely comfortable, classy design and superior adjustment controls (with some fancy technologies) come in this category.

Herman Miller’s Aeron is here.

 

What Should I Look for in a Chair?

There are three main points:

  1. Comfortable. So they suit your size and height.
  2. Quality. You won’t get a “Bentley” for that money.
  3. Adjustable. This is what ergonomic chairs are really about,

Now, given that, an ideal ergonomic office chair would have the following features:

1. Adjustable height. And it would actually fit YOUR height (i.e. high back for taller people; mid back for shorter people)

2. Adjustable height armrests. This really helps if you need to type things because your elbows can rest relieving your upper trapezius muscles (they frequently “assist” with headaches). 

3. Lumbar support. Ideally it should also be adjustable – that way you can have it fit just right for yourself and actually enjoy office work (or, at least, suffer less).

4. Proper material. If you live in a warmer climate, you will probably need a mesh office chair because of far better ventilation and breathability (leather chairs and sweating go together like horse and carrots hehe).

5. Proper Warranty. I like my chairs with a minimum 5-year warranty…preferably lifetime. This will save you time in the future if something breaks.

There are other features you might be interested in (e.g. headrest and caster wheels that don’t damage a wooden floor) but these are not must-haves.

You can also learn more here – “Ergonomic Chair VS Normal Chair – What the Heck is the Difference?

3 Bonus Buying Tips

These 3 tips will help you to not just find the right option for you to buy…
They can also help you save some extra cash and stay within your budget 🙂

Now to the point…

Tip 1: Make Sure It Fits

You can get the best chair from an online store and send it back if you didn’t like it or…if it didn’t fit you.

You can potentially avoid this by going to your local  retailer and try to find that chair.

But really try to test it (preferably in an office setup) before actually sticking to it.

And here is an ideal posture you should be able to maintain while sitting. 

Headrest, backrest and seat – this trio have a major role to support the spine and pelvis.

The shape of the headrest and backrest should follow the anatomical curve of the body

This is the only way to effectively reduce the load on the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

And at the same time, it ensures the full functioning of the lungs, as well as sufficient saturation of the brain and other organs with oxygen.

Tip 2: “Hack” Amazon

Don’t worry, you shouldn’t hack anything but you should know this:

Amazon changes retail prices so often and sometimes they drop big time!

Fortunately, there is a way to use that to your advantage (and save extra dollars).

To do that, you would need to install Amazon’s price tracker extension for Chrome – Keepa. 😎

You will then be able to assess the historical changes and buy at the right moment.

Tip 3: Pay attention to the upholstery

Best practical, elegant and durable upholstery can be found in any price segment:

  • Genuine leather is more durable and pleasant to touch than artificial, but the cost of a chair can go beyond the budget.
  • Artificial leather, as a rule, is represented by two types: eco-leather and PU. Unlike eco-leather, PU is more brittle and less wear-resistant.
    Additives and plasticizers are not used in the manufacture of eco-leather. The basis is cotton coated with a polyurethane layer, instead of PU. Polyurethane does not emit toxic substances, being completely safe and environmentally friendly material. The advantage of these is that they are easy to care.
  • Fabric – the most comfortable material regardless of the temperature in the room, unlike the leather and its substitutes. This is a breathable material: be sure there will be no sticking effect in the hot season. This material requires more careful cleaning.
  • Mesh. Its advantage is “breathing” properties, elasticity, resilience and strength. There are several types of mesh. The most popular is polyester, which serves as the best substitute for cotton and silk. It is used as upholstery material on the back of a chair.

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