The best office chair is one that you don’t even have to think about during your workday, whether you’re working from home or in the office. Instead, it allows you to be productive and feel supported while you go about your tasks, only to wrap up the day in comfort—not with back or neck pain. The best desk chairs are specially designed with ergonomic features, so you can stay comfortable, even when you have to be seated for long stretches.
“The main features of ergonomic chairs are that they are supportive, highly adjustable and comfortable,” says Dr. Rahul Shah, a board-certified orthopedic spine and neck surgeon based in southern New Jersey. In a perfect world, you’d be able to customize the height and angle of your chair to find the position that’s just right for you. But, if you’re on a tight budget, you at least want a chair that allows you to adjust the arm support and height.
To find our list of the best office chairs on the market, we analyzed bestsellers and narrowed down the field based on factors like ease of use, comfort and value. With that in mind, these are the best desk chairs out there to help you work more comfortably, regardless of your budget.
Best Overall Office Chair
A Comfortable Contoured Chair At A Reasonable Price
Best Budget Office Chair
A Budget-Friendly Chair With A Convenient Headrest
Best Office Chair With Lumbar Support
An Option With Adjustable Lumbar Support That Helps Combat Back Pain
Best Office Chair For Back Pain
A Fully Customizable Chair With A Unique Back
Best Splurge-Worthy Office Chair
An Ergonomic Chair With Adjustments You Didn’t Know You Needed
Best Mesh Office Chair
A Supportive Chair That Won’t Make You Sweat
Best Leather Office Chair
A Sleek And Comfortable Chair With Top-Tier Upholstery
Best Padded Office Chair
A Budget-Friendly, Modern Chair That’s Looks Expensive
Best Big And Tall Office Chair
A Highly Adjustable Chair That’s Made For Taller Workers
How Do I Choose An Office Chair?
As you compare different chairs, there are a number of important factors you’ll want to consider. These features will help you narrow down your selection and find the best one for your needs.
No two bodies are alike, and the best office chairs are the ones that can be adjusted to fit your own body and personal workspace. “An ergonomic chair has adjustable seat heights, adjustable arm support, seat depth adjustment, tilting or reclining mechanism, back support with height adjustment to fit the curvature of the spine and neck and lumbar support,” says Dr. Shah.
In particular, you’ll want to look for an office chair that provides some type of lumbar support. Some have a brace that supports your lower back, while others might come with a pillow. Either way, this feature is essential to minimizing strain on your neck and back throughout the work day. It’s even better if the chair’s lumbar support can be adjusted, as this will allow you to tailor the support to your own individual needs.
As you compare different office chairs, you’ll want to consider the materials they’re made of. Seats are often made from foam (high-density is best, as it will last longer), and some are contoured to fit your body more comfortably. It’s common for chairs to have mesh backs, which are more breathable, while upholstered foam versions generally provide more support.
It’s important to look at an office chair’s weight limit before buying, especially if you’re a heavier individual. The most common weight capacity for desk chairs is 300 pounds, but some chairs can support more or less weight.
“Accessories, such as a lumbar pillow, may also work to help the chair form fit to one’s body and help to support the muscles in the lower back,” explains Dr. Shah.
Frequently Asked Questions About Office Chairs
Which Chairs Are Best For Your Back?
“Sitting in a comfortable chair allows one to hold the head comfortably over the pelvis without having the muscles do much extra work to bring the head in line over the pelvis,” explains Dr. Shah. “As such, chairs with built-in adjustable supports for the back and neck would be a good start, as they will work towards alleviating extra muscle work.”
Who Is A Mesh Back Office Chair Good For?
There are several benefits to mesh office chairs. Perhaps most importantly, mesh chairs are extremely breathable, preventing your back from getting sweaty on hot summer days. They’re also very low-maintenance and typically quite durable, and the material stretches to contour to your back. That said, some people prefer a traditional back, which typically provides more overall support.
Which Office Chairs Are Best For Sitting Long Hours?
If you sit in your office chair for a minimum of eight hours per day, it’s important to select a model that prioritizes ergonomics. Lumbar support and adjustable armrests are particularly important in this regard. By keeping your body in an ergonomic position, the chair will help to reduce strain on your joints—including your back, neck and wrists—and prevent pain and soreness.
Who Should Have An Office Chair With A Solid Back?
Some office chairs have open backs, which is fine for some people. However, if you struggle with back pain, it may be better to opt for chair with a solid back, particularly if it provides ergonomic support for your lower back, Dr. Shah says.
Do Office Chairs Need Armrests?
Not necessarily. Not everyone prefers armrests with their office chair and, if the space under your desk is limited, this feature may not be for you.
Should My Office Chair Have Wheels?
Many office chairs have wheels, but it’s not a feature you’ll find on every chair. In general, wheels are a good option to allow you to easily scoot under and away from your desk without scraping your floors. However, they won’t impact the overall ergonomics of your chair or its ability to provide you with overall comfort.