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11 Best Budget-Friendly Ergonomic Office Chairs That Don’t Fall Apart (2018)

In this guide I am going to point 11 best budget office chairs that you can get delivered right at your doorstep.

Any of these ergonomic chairs will save you $$$, because ALL of them are less than $300.

More to that – I included a special category for those suffering from lower back pain. 😎

And here is what you will find here:

 

How I Bought My Home Office Chair

Sitting in front of my laptop on one of my kitchen’s chairs wasn’t doing good.

Prolonged sitting is not a neck’s best friend, so I knew I had to deal with it asap.

All right! Melanie needs a proper office chair!!

That’s what I said and a note of doubt quickly conquered my mind: “Shoot…that must be expensive”.

My mom taught me one important lesson in life – you get what you pay for.

But was mom aware of the budget chair options I was into at the moment?

Without thinking too much (and losing all the focus I had for work only 3 minutes before that moment), I set on the endeavor of finding the right office that I could actually buy for less than 300 American dollars (yeap, that fiat money Bitcoin folks despise).

Interested in what I found? Keep reading! 😉

 

Here is What I Learned During the Search Process

The market is literally drowning in a ton of different options. They say “choice is good”, but too much choice is overwhelming.

Given that, I wanted to share my experience of looking (and finding) for what is truly important for a great office chair you can sit in (for the years to come =D).

 

1: Size Matters

I am a pretty delicate human being. I am also pretty short (5’4″). Do I need a massive desk chair I can’t fully occupy?

Absolutely not!

This is why it’s important you find a chair that fits you and your requirements.

 

2: Ergonomic Is the Way to Go

“Ergonomic” simply means “adjustable to suit your body’s shape and form” (this one is not official translation, but merely how I get that fancy word hehe).

So, your chair should be ergonomic.

Now, what does it actually mean?

Ergonomic features have a bunch of really useful features. Here they are:

  1. Adjustable lumbar support. This is a thinny that lets you adjust a mechanism that supports your lower back and prevents it from becoming painful after sitting too long. I highly recommend you get a chair with that option.
  2. Adjustable armrests. Chairs with height-adjustable armrests are a must-have, if you are fairly tall. The idea is that your arms MUST be able to rest on the armrests (now, that’s funny) during your time sitting and/or working in front of your computer. Some of these can be adjusted by width and even pivoted internally/externally to suit your elbows better. While a recommend you the standard height adjustment, the pivoting thing may be a bit too much (usually this is expensive chairs’ features).
  3. Tilt tension, lock and more tilt-related options. Even though 135-degree recline (recommended by science as idea for when sitting) seems a bit too much for me, having a slight recline definitely feels nice. If you are particularly heavy/light, you may need a tilt tension control – it adjusts the amount of pressure you need to apply for the chair to actually recline.
  4. Material. This is huge. I found that, generally, all ergonomic office chairs (best and worst) can be marginally divided into 2 main groups: mesh and leather (faux and PU leather are also in this category). I don’t recommend going for a leather office chair at this price point because it wouldn’t be nice. Having said this, leather chairs tend to have a better “grip” of your body – you can actually relax in them because they “hold” you. Mesh, at least in my case, allows me to slip down which sort of puts tension on my whole body.
  5.  Warranty. This is also massive. If you buy a chair for $700 and it is guaranteed to work for 12 years, how much each day would cost you? Now, imagine you buy a 200-dollar chair and it falls apart in 3 years. Then you replace it…4 times and voila – you spend $1200 over the course of 12 years (while sitting in a still relatively poor chair). I recommend you look at the warranty and make sure you know what you are buying (btw, here are the best of the best office chairs – they are top quality and have great warranty).

These are the main points, but you may also want to check for:

  • Headrest. Do you have neck pain? Headrest can help to a certain degree, but watch out – they are not always useful (e.g. in case you are too tall).
  • Caster wheels. Wooden floors can also put certain restraints on the type of caster wheels you need. Fortunately, quite a few manufacturers offer a selection of caster wheels for “different occasions”.
  • Weight capacity. A typical budget office chair can handle up to 250-330 lbs. If you are heavier than that, your warranty may be void – check any chair’s capacity before buying the thing!

 

 

3 Best for Under $200

It’s difficult to find a budget chair that won’t fall apart six months down the line. The term “you get what you pay for” is thrown around a lot, but there is a lot of truth to it.

However, not all budget chairs are like this. There are some amazing chairs available for a reasonable price. The best chairs under $200 are listed below:

 

 

Office Star Mesh Chair

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • It has an adjustable synchro tilt which allows you to tilt back slightly while seated, which improves blood circulation and better-distributes your weight.
  • The natural curvature of the spine is supported by the chair’s lumbar cushioning, which supports the lower back.
  • This chair’s pneumatic lift mechanism is of high quality. Additionally, the plastic components, such as adjustment knobs are made from a good quality plastic which does not break easily.

 

 

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Modway Articulate

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • One touch height adjustment makes finding the perfect seating position easy and seamless. You can even adjust the height of the This makes setting this chair at the appropriate height for your computer keyboard a breeze.
  • Reliable, ergonomic support prevents aches, pains, and long-term problems. It passively supports your lumbar region, and its seat is well-padded.
  • The chair is very sturdy and is designed for everyday use. It can hold up to 331 lbs.

 

 

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Homgrace Ergonomic Office Chair

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • Homgrace’s chair has an inbuilt function which massages your lower back and waist, which is adjustable with the touch of a button. If you ask yourself what is the best office chair for a bad back, the answer is probably a Homgrace.
  • It is constructed from quality leather upholstery which is very generously padded. The armrests are comfortable and designed with long-term work in mind.
  • By pushing a button on the left arm, the chair’s tilt function can be activated, allowing for a wide range of seating positions.

 

 

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3 Best for Under $300

I have a goof few more options under 300 USD here – check them out.

Now, it is hard to get quality results from an office chair without investing a decent amount of money.

However, by adding $100 to your budget, you can find some top-rated office chairs. Let’s take a look!

 

La-Z-Boy Bellamy

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • Unique ‘ComfortCore Plus’ technology with memory foam provides a luxurious amount of cushioning which has optimal firmness for overall comfort and support.
  • Plenty of controls to adjust tilt and height for improved body alignment and optimal positioning.
  • The seat can be adjusted to as low as 19.5in, so it is suitable for a range of heights.

 

 

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Space Seating Professional

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • It has an adjustable synchro tilt which allows you to tilt back slightly while seated, which improves blood circulation and better-distributes your weight.
  • The chair’s armrests can be removed easily without affecting the rest of the chair or its ergonomic benefits.
  • Its armrests are highly adjustable and can be extended or lowered within a range of 3in.

 

 

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Boss Office Brown Heavy Duty Chair

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • This model can hold up to a respectable 350 lbs due to its unique spring tilt mechanism.
  • This chair is a plush, sturdy, and well-designed chair which is perfect if you spend hours sitting at a desk.
  • It has a pneumatic gas lift system for easy adjustment of the chair’s height.

 

 

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2 Best For a Bad Low Back (Under $200)

A myriad of reasons can cause upper, lower, or mid back pain, but can easily be alleviated with a proper, good-quality office chair.

It is important to remember to select a chair to fit your figure or build. If you’re tall, for example, choose one with a high back.

Here are two great options to check out:

 

Lorell Executive High-Back Chair

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • Synchro-tilt motion opens the angle of your body, allowing for improved circulation and a better alignment of the spine.
  • The chair’s armrests rubber, and very comfortable to rest on for extended periods.
  • The seat moves independently from the back; the chair’s glide mechanism allows you to extend the seat. This is an excellent option for drafting or programmers.

 

 

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WorkPro 1000 Series

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • Designed for intensive use, this chair is suitable for sitting in for up to eight hours due to multiple controls for comfort.
  • Highly adjustable seat height using a pneumatic gas lift system means that this chair is suitable for people of all heights.
  • The chair’s arms easily pivot in and out in three horizontal positions: inwards, neutral, and outwards.

 

 

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2 Best For a Bad Low Back (Under $300)

Let’s look at two for the best office chair for lower back pain support for under $300.

 

Serta Works Executive

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • Has a BIM Active adjustable lumbar support feature which pivots and changes along with your movements for constant support.
  • The chair’s lift control levers are ergonomically positioned, so there’s no need to disrupt your comfort when adjusting height.
  • Armrests are padded for comfort and are adjustable for precise positioning.

 

 

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Argomax Mesh (Em-ec002)

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • A vast range of armrest adjustments with this chair’s 3D armrest: forward, backward, and up and down.
  • Adjustable backrest makes this chair suitable for people of all heights.
  • Leg fatigue is prevented due to the adjustable tilt tension and adjustable seat height.

 

 

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Overall BEST – Alera Elusion

If you are looking for this year’s best budget ergonomic office chair, then look no further than Alera Elusion’s models.

Unlike most office chairs, Alera Elusion’s come in two sizes: mid-back and high- back, which can provide you with a perfect fit.

Plus, anything on the chair can be adjusted: height, armrests, lumbar support and even back height, which is adjusted independently from the chair’s height.

This is one of the best orthopedic chairs for back pain.

 

What’s great about this chair?

  • The textured, contoured seat cushion has a waterfall edge to help relieve leg pressure.
  • Composite mesh back and castors for functionality.
  • Great features for an affordable price of under $250.

 

 

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9 Tips to Help You Buy the Best Budget Chair

1: Use “Keepa” Chrome Extension

This handy app tracks prices on Amazon and enables you to see when prices are at their lowest with its price history charts. It is well worth having if you do a lot of your shopping online!

 

2: Check Prices All Around

Shop around on different websites to make sure you’re getting the lowest price possible.

 

3: Know Your Size

Purchase a chair that fits your height and weight, so you can benefit fully from its ergonomic features.

 

4: Check the Warranty!

Always read the warranty before you commit to a chair. For example, some warranties are only good for use up to a certain weight. If you damage a chair by exceeding a weight limitation, you will void its warranty.

 

5: Long-Term Thinking

When buying a chair – as with anything – you should be thinking about the long-term. Ask yourself how long the chair is likely to last you and consider the long-term health benefits, too, when considering the price.

 

6: Don’t Keep an Unsuitable Chair

If you do buy a chair and you don’t think it’s right for you, return it and swap it out for another one. An office chair is quite a big spend, so you want to get the chair that’s right for you – don’t accept anything less than perfect.

 

7: Check the Chair Thoroughly

When your chair arrives, double and triple check it to ensure it is all in good working order, and that it is of suitable quality. Ensure it has all the features you want such as removable arms.

 

8: Try Before You Buy

It is always best to try something before you commit to buying it. If you can visit a local store which stocks the chair to try it out. If you’re happy, you can commit to buying it online.

 

9: Select a Chair for Your Office Needs

Determine what kind of chair you need for your office. You may be focused on the type of leather and ergonomics of a chair but adding castors may also be important. Know how the chair will be used. Do you need a swivel or rolling chair because you do a lot of different tasks at your desk? What type of flooring will the chair be rolling across? Castors roll easier on some kinds of flooring over others. Bigger wheels, for example, roll better on carpet, and the wrong tread can damage your floor.

 

I hope you found the best budget ergonomic office chair, but, if not, you can find more of the best office chairs (these are seriously amazing).

 

P.S. If you liked this review, please share it on Facebook 🙂

About the Author Melanie Lawrence

Melanie's passion lies in human biomechanics, movement and well-being. She strives to help people sit better and that is why she is the main editor at MyErgonomicChair.com.