10 Best Budget Office Chairs to Buy (2020 Edition)

Last Updated on by Pedram Sadough Moghanlu

For those in a rush…best budget office chair for 2020 is still Hbada’s Ergonomic Chair.

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 10 best budget ergonomic office chairs you can use for home and office!

And the best part…
All of these chairs are cheap, quality and…cost less than $200! 😎

Before we begin…

10 Best Cheap Office Chairs...at a Glance

Here is a brief summary of the chairs that I put together for you here!

Click “Check Price” to learn about the latest prices and availability.

Also note that these are really cheap options and if you are willing to invest a little more for added comfort, style and peace of mind (talking of manufacturer warranty for example) then I suggest you also check out these ergonomic chairs under 300 USD

OrderModelWarrantyWe Love It ForDetails & Prices
Flash Furniture2 YearsLeather-paded flip up armrests are awesome!
Smudgdesk1 YearNeck support at this price point!
AZBasics 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!
Modway Edge30 Day ReturnLooks a lot more expensive than it is!
Bush Desk Chair5 YearsStylish design and serious ergonomic adjustments!
Alera Elusion5 YearsMid/High back versions to suit people of different heights!

And now…let’s look at them a tad bit closer!

 

Ergonomic chairs like this mid back mesh chair from Flash Furniture give your body all the support it needs, allowing you to be more comfortable and more productive.

It also has a very stylish and contemporary look.

The curved frame of the chair and mesh back give it the look of a much more expensive ergonomic chair, yet it comes in for under $125.

It also includes dual wheel casters, ensuring that it’s suitable for all flooring types without leaving marks and scratches, and the material is fully fire retardant.

Flash Furniture have here designed a budget chair that provides peace of mind, as well as comfort and durability.

On top of that, you can always make it more comfortable with a seat cushion.

 

Features & Benefits

Armrests adjustment: The armrests on the Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair are padded for extra comfort. They can’t be adjusted for length, but they can be lifted up completely. This means that the chair can easily fit under most desks.

Back height adjustment: The mid range back is 23″ in height, but there is no adjustment available for this function.

Seat depth control: The seat is 19″ deep, and 20.5″ wide, but as you’d expect from a chair of this price, there is no seat depth adjustability.

Tilt tension/tilt lock: The tilt tension can be adjusted via a knob, and when upright it can be securely locked into place. The chair can also swivel freely.

Lumbar adjustment:  In-built lumbar support is provided by way of the strong yet comfortable mesh, but there is no lumbar adjustment control.

Chair height adjustment: An easy to use pneumatic mechanism, operated by a lever, allows the chair height to be adjusted from 17.25″ to 20.75″.

Colors available: This chair is only available in black, but because of the contemporary design, and the mesh back, it still looks stylish and modern, making it suitable for offices at home and at work.

 

FAQs

What is the maximum weight capacity of the chair?

This mid size chair is designed to seat people in comfort, up to a maximum weight of 250lb.

Is there extra padding on the arms?

Yes, the arm rests come with foam padding to provide extra support for the elbows and forearms, and they can be folded up out of the way if required.

Can the chair be locked in a tilted position?

Adjustable tilt control means that the chair can be tilted while in use, but it will only lock in an upright position.

 

 

Conclusion

If style and look are important to you, then the  Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair is a great choice.

It provides a good level of support, and you won’t have to break the bank to purchase one, meaning that many people buy more than one at a time.

Some users have found the assembly instructions that come with the chair a little confusing, but it’s not difficult to assemble, and full instructions can be found on the internet.

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

 

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 are used for the seat 
👍 Reinforced framework back fits the natural body curve
👍 Headrest for additional neck support

CONs

👎 Armrests can’t be elevated and aren’t soft (you can get these soft armrest pads)
👎 Not the softest cushion be default (here are two possible cushions – one and two).

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

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

👎 Armrests aren’t comfortable (you can get these soft armrest pads)

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
👎 Armrests are made of hard plastic (you can get these soft armrest pads)

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

👍 Adjustable armrests
👍 Great for shorter people
👍 2-to-1 synchro tilt for comfortable sitting
👍 Eco leather seat adds comfort and coolness
👍 Thick, wide comfortable cushion

CONs

👎 Adjustable armrests aren’t very sturdy
👎 Armrests aren’t made of hard plastic but aren’t soft cushions either (you can get these soft armrest pads)

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

👍 2D Height & width adjustable armrests
👍 Height adjustable (17” to 21”)
👍 Got the fire-retardant certificate
👍 Mesh back and seat

CONs

👎 Can start creaking eventually

There are many things that can attract you to an ergonomic chair.

You’ll need a chair that provides fantastic support to your seated body, of course, and it can also be important to adhere to a tight budget.

Finally, it’s important to have a chair that looks good and will complement your office.

The LexMod Edge Office Chair ticks all these boxes and many more.

Its design is futuristic yet still stylish, with the mesh back attached to a metallic frame.

It also comes in a variety of colors, meaning that you can find the chair that’s perfect for your office or home space.

If you’ve never sat in an ergonomic chair such as the LexMod Edge before, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your life.

Forget the aches and pains that can make extended periods of seating miserable, the carefully designed and integrated ergonomic qualities of this chair mean that your body feels supported and comfortable.

This allows you to work for longer without having to leave your work station, making you more productive all round.

 

Features & Benefits

Armrests adjustment: The armrests are padded for extra comfort, and can be flipped up to allow the chair to be brought closer to a desk.
They cannot, however, be adjusted up or down.

Back height adjustment: The back cannot be adjusted independently.
It’s clever mesh design not only provides support, but also ventilation making it more comfortable on hot days.

Seat depth control: The seat is padded sponge, covered in a durable leather effect fabric.
It cannot be adjusted.

Tilt tension/tilt lock: The LexMod Edge chair features tilt control, with adjustable tilt tension, allowing you to find the most suitable seating and reclining position.

Lumbar adjustment:  The tough yet comfortable mesh back provides built in, but not adjustable, lumbar support.

Chair height adjustment: An underseat level allows for the easy raising and lowering of this ergonomic chair.

Colors available: LexMod produce the Edge chair in a wide range of colors including black, blue, red, brown, tan, and gray.

 

FAQs

What is the weight capacity of this ergonomic chair?

This chair is designed to accommodate users of all sizes, and so is suitable for weights of up to 300lbs.

What is the width of the chair?

With the arm rests included. and in the down position, the width is 25″.

How firm is the seat?

The leatherette seat is foam padded to make it both supportive and comfortable.
Users have found it very comfortable, even after sitting in it for hours at a time.

 

Conclusion

The LexMod Edge ergonomic office chair makes the benefits of an ergonomic chair available to people who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars.

It lacks the adjustability of more expensive chairs, but this makes it very easy to operate for people who haven’t used one before.

It’s exciting range of colors means that it will complement any office, and it’s iron base makes it very sturdy and durable.

PROs

👍 Comfortable chair with folding arms
👍 It looks good
👍 Seems sturdy once put together
👍 Arm covering has a nice feel
👍 Looks more expensive then it is

CONs

👎 A little tricky to assemble
👎 Very thin seat cushion (here are two possible cushions – one and two)

This is a petite type office chair that is really good for smaller individuals.

It looks pretty slick and would fit naturally in almost any workspace.

Mesh upholstery helps the air circulation and brings exceptional comfort…even during hot days!

Even though it’s a smaller chair for shorter people, it’s tested to support users up to 275 lbs which is pretty impressive.

Even though it’s a cheap office chair, it comes with appropriate design that promotes a healthy sitting posture.

 

Features

  • Overall Dimensions: 25″ x 23″ x 35″
  • Up to 275 lbs
  • Lightweight black mesh is comfortable and stylish
  • Ergonomic chair that brings your spine in a good position
  • Dual-wheeled casters
  • Lower back support
  • 360 degree swivel control gives full range of motion
  • ANSI/BIFMA quality standards tested
  • 5-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

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

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

CONs

👎 Armrests are not removable and definitely need a pair of soft arm pads

We all come in different sizes, so it’s important to get an ergonomic chair that’s just right for your shape.

For those who are taller than average, the Alera Elusion high back multifunction chair is a great choice.

It doesn’t compromise looks for comfort and functionality, so it’s a chair that you’ll feel proud to have on display.

The mesh back looks stylish and oh-so contemporary, whilst providing carefully targeted support just where you need it most.

The mesh also gives added comfort on hot summer days, when traditional leather upholstered office chairs can leave the user feeling hot and sticky.

It’s a chair that offers high functionality, without a matching high price tag.

A mid-back version is also available for users who don’t require the extra height that this chair provides.

Features & Benefits

Armrests adjustment: The plastic armrests are adjustable and they are also removable, allowing the chair to be used on desks that have a narrow opening.

Back height adjustment: The height of the chair can be independently adjusted using a simple and intuitive lever control.

Seat depth control: The seat depth can be adjusted using a ‘seat glide’ lever. This allows the seat to be locked into one of three positions.

Tilt tension/tilt lock: The tilt tension is fully adjustable, and fully lockable, giving the user complete control over their seating position.

Lumbar adjustment:  The mesh is designed to provide automatic lumbar support, but although the back can be raised and lowered, there is no individual lumbar support.

Chair height adjustment: The height of the chair itself can be adjusted, meaning that although it’s designed with taller users in mind, it can also be lowered to suit people of almost any height.

Colors available: This chair is only available in one color, but the black mesh design will fit in to any office stylishly and yet inconspicuously.

FAQs

How tough and durable are the seat cushions?

These seats are designed with durability in mind, so users report no wear and tear even after two years or more use. That’s important, because it’s such a comfortable seat that you’ll want to spend a lot of time sat on it.

What is the maximum height that the seat can be raised to?

The seat can be raised up to 21″ from ground level.

Is the chair suitable for heavier than average users?

Alera’s Elusion high back chair has been designed for users who are both taller and larger. Users weighing 280lbs have reported no difficulties when using this chair.

Conclusion

When Alera say ‘multifunction’ they really mean it.

You won’t find a chair that offers more adjustability for such an affordable price, and yet the designers have been determined to produce a chair that looks excellent as well.

The thick seat cushion is a welcome addition, and the carefully contoured waterfall edging makes it a treat for the back of your legs.

Overall, the Alera Elusion is an excellent choice if you want a cost-effective ergonomic chair that offers more than the basics.

PROs

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

CONs

👎 Armrests could be sturdier and softer (you can get a pair of soft arm pads)

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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