Best Office Chair – Ultimate Buying Guide
The search for the best office chair isn’t always an easy one, but we’re ready to lend a hand. Whether you’re looking for the best possible office chair regardless of the cost. Or the best office chair for back pain, ergonomic support, or perhaps the best budget chair, we can help.
Best Office Chair 2023 – Quick List
- Herman Miller Aeron – Best Overall
- Herman Miller Mirra 2 – Best Maneuverability
- Sihoo – Best Ergonomic
- Humanscale Freedom – Best Design
- AmazonBasics – Best Seller
- Smugdesk – Best Budget
Best Office Chair 2023 – Reviews
Herman Miller is considered the elite office chair brand, and the Aeron model is an icon.
This chair comes in three sizes suitable for people from 5′ 0″ to 6′ 8″, and it’s so adjustable it feels more like an exoskeleton than a chair. It features high-end adjustable lumbar support which mimics a healthy standing position. The Aeron chair utilizes Pellicle, which is an innovative elastomeric suspension material that increases positive circulation and reduces excessive body heat and moisture. It’s incredibly sturdy and durable and made for 24/7 use by people up to 330lbs. It’s a modern masterpiece, and a well spent investment on your productivity and health.
“Lean, light, and as responsive as your own shadow.”
The Herman Miller Mirra 2 is lightweight, maneuverable, and easy to use even in a crowded office.
The mesh backing, while different than the iconic backing of the Aeron, is cool and comfortable even on hot days. It’s an incredibly well designed task chair that works in almost any office.
The Sihoo office chair is similar to Herman Miller, yet at a reduced price.
It’s comfortable, with a solid mesh backing and lumbar support. Every aspect of the chair is adjustable, from the arm rests, to the height, and to the level of tilt.
The Freedom chair can genuinely be called a work of art. It has been exhibited in the New York museum of modern art and hailed worldwide as a design classic. It is an obvious inclusion for our list of the Best Office Chair 2023. It’s also built to last, it’s guaranteed for 15 years.
There’s weight-sensitive reclining, synchronously adjustable armrests and a dynamically positioned headrest. It adjusts to your shape and movements to keep you perfectly comfortable without requiring you to use tension adjusters or levers you might find on other ergonomic chairs.
If you’re looking for an affordable best seller, the executive office chair from Amazon has created a large number of satisfied customers. It features bonded leather, padded seat & back (and arm rests), with pneumatic adjustable height.
If you are looking for the cheapest (high quality) office chair, this may be your best option. It’s the biggest office chair within it’s price level, it has good lumbar support, it’s light, and has breathable mesh backing.
What to Consider When Buying an Office Chair
If the average business person or desk bound individual were to determine how much time they spend in their office chair, they would be surprised. At 40 hours per week, they’d rack up approximately 1900 hours over the course of a year. Multiply that by the average number of years a person works, and it’s easy to see that a large portion of one’s life is spent in an office chair.
In spite of this calculation, more money is often spent purchasing a desk than is spent on the chair. The same can be said for home office setups. Some people are spending more time in front of a computer than they spend sleeping. It only makes sense to have an office chair for both the office and the home that is comfortable and supportive.
There have been many ergonomics studies done and it has been shown that a supportive office chair increases productivity and maximizes the efficiency of the person sitting in it. A bad office chair, on the other hand, can lead to back strain, leg problems, and carpal tunnel, all of which cause lost time at work and send turn send productivity spiraling.
So, instead of losing money due to employee absences, it is important to spend money on good office chairs that promote back health and keep employee from missing work due to injuries. The cost of the chair is more than made up by fewer absences.
What to Look For in an Office Chair
Office chairs are a part of the décor of any office and so many people try to make sure they look good without worrying about the health influences the chair will have on the person who uses it. The design or ergonomics of the chair should be considered above everything else.
Lumbar Support: A good office chair will have support for the lower back. Some of the better ones will even have an adjustable lumbar support that allows the user to fit the chair to their lower back. This is important in preventing back strain that can worsen and become sciatica, a condition which can be debilitating.
Adjustability: Almost all office chairs have a height and arm adjustment; however, these are not the most important adjustments to look for when shopping for an office chair. The Best Office Chair have at least five adjustments with some having up to 14 different adjustments.
Important features that should be adjustable include lumbar support, arm width and height, seat back width and height, seat and back angle, and tension control. Many of the supports are dial controlled while a few are controlled with a hand-held bulb pump, similar to a blood pressure cuff pump.
Wheel Base: Nearly all office chairs have a wheel base; however, if the office is carpeted it may be necessary to get a chair with wheels specifically made for carpet. Rolling is important in preventing strain due to reaching across a desk to retrieve items that are out of reach.
Armrests: Get an office chair with armrests to take some of the strain off your neck and shoulders. The armrests should be adjustable as well, to let you position them in a way that lets your arms rest comfortably while making you less likely to slouch.
Swivel Base: All office chairs should swivel freely to allow for easy access to various parts of the desk. If the chair doesn’t swivel freely, arm fatigue can result from over extending to reach various items.
Material/Fabric: A material that lets your body breathe is more comfortable when sitting on your office chair for extended periods. Fabric is a good option, but many new materials offer this feature as well. The padding should be comfortable to sit on and it is best to avoid a seat that is too soft or too hard. A hard surface will be painful after a couple of hours, and a soft one will not offer enough support.
Why Is a Good Office Chair Important?
There are many benefits to having a good office chair in addition to having less back strain. A good, supportive office chair prevents fatigue and discomfort that can come from siting in the same chair for hours on end.
Studies have shown that comfortable employees are more productive and contribute to a more positive work environment than uncomfortable employees. Finally, having the correct, comfortable office chair reduces the number of breaks the employee will need to take due to being uncomfortable.
Trying on a Chair
Office managers should attempt to have their employees try on the chair they plan to purchase before buying it to insure that it fits the employee well. It is important to know how the chair should feel in order to make a wise purchase. Many office supply companies will bring a variety of chairs to the office so employees can sit in them and decide which one fits them best. Chair owners should look for these things when purchasing new chairs:
- The backrest should be adjustable and follow the shape of the spine. It should also support the curve in the lower back.
- Feet should rest flat on the floor comfortably. If not, adjust the chair height or add a footrest.
- Arm rests should be close the body and allow the shoulder to relax.
- Arm height should be adjustable and match the height of the desk. This will prevent strain to the shoulders.
- In a sitting position looking forward, the center of the computer screen is what should be seen.
- The back of the chair should come to the middle of the shoulder blades in order to provide adequate support, above the shoulders is even better.
- The seat of the chair should be long enough to put two or three finger lengths between it and the knee.
- If possible, the cushion should be memory foam. Other cushions wear out quickly and make the chair uncomfortable.
Finding the right chair that is comfortable and keeps strain and injury from occurring is important to having happy, healthy, productive employees who aren’t out sick with back injuries.
Best sitting position
The best sitting position depends on a person’s height, the chair they are using, and the activity they are doing while sitting.
A person can improve posture and achieve a proper sitting position by:
- keeping feet flat or rest them on either the floor or a footrest
- avoiding crossing knees or ankles
- maintaining a small gap between the back of the knees and the chair
- positioning knees at the same height or slightly lower than the hips
- placing ankles in front of the knees
- relaxing the shoulders
- keeping the forearms and knees parallel to the floor where possible
- holding elbows at the sides creating an L-shape in the arms
- sitting up straight and looking forward without straining the neck
- keeping the back against the chair, or using a backrest or cushion if there are places where the back does not comfortably meet the chair, especially in the lower back region
- avoiding sitting for long periods at a time, ideally taking at least a 10-minute break for every hour of sitting
Tips for sitting at a computer
People who have to sit for extended periods at a desk because of their work or schooling need to take extra precautions to make sure they maintain a healthy posture and back.
When working at a computer for long periods, a person can help improve their sitting posture by:
- keeping the monitor at arm’s length and no more than 2 inches above the natural line of sight
- customizing workspaces, for example adding footrests, wrist pads, or backrests
- using a standing desk to alternate between sitting and standing
- using an ergonomic chair, a yoga ball, or a knee chair
- trying out different keyboard and mouse types
- using a headset for long calls or dictating to reduce neck strain
- positioning the keyboard and mouse close together to avoid reaching
- getting up and moving around occasionally, especially when experiencing any muscle or joint pain
Once in the correct position, try doing a mental check every 10 to 15 minutes to see if the posture has altered and then correct any changes.
A person with poor posture can correct it with time, awareness, and commitment. It can take weeks to months for some people to see significant benefits from working on their posture. Once a person has improved their posture they will need to work at maintaining it, so they may often have to remind themselves to recognize unhealthy positions and correct them.