With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing more people to work from home, one of the greatest challenges people are trying to deal with is choosing the right office chair. The wrong chair can cause you cramps and make it difficult for you to sit and work for long hours. Using the wrong chair can also increase your chances of cardiovascular diseases or worsen your back pain. With the large number of products on the market, finding the best ergonomic office chair becomes a daunting task.
No two individuals are the same and this means different individuals have different expectations from an office chair. However, everyone desires comfort. While some people are willing to pay thousands of dollars to get there, others hope to get the most from a budget chair. We sieved through thousands of office chairs and here are our top picks to make your search easier.
Major Office Chair Brands Available in 2021
Across the United States, there are over 50 high-profile office chair manufacturers. However, the majority of them have a turnover of less than €100 million. Only about 17 manufacturers exceed this benchmark. For the sake of conciseness, here are the top ten office chair manufacturing brands in the United States and Canada;
- Herman Miller
- Knoll Inc.
- Global Furniture Group
How to choose ergonomic chairs
There are certain features that ergonomic chairs must have as recommended by the National Institute of Health. This includes a five-point base and casters, densely padded seat, a curved backrest, hydraulic seat, adjustable armrests, and a tilt adjustment. We considered these factors while compiling our list.
For more detailed instructions, we also have the detailed buyers guide in the below the review section.
Review of the Best Ergonomic Office Chairs of 2021
Studies have shown that productivity can increase by up to 17% if an individual is using an ergonomic chair. The right chair also has the tendency of lowering workplace injuries. Considering our diverse community of readers who trust our judgment when making a purchase, we have tried to make this list as diverse as possible. The goal is to make sure that irrespective of your budget or taste, you should be able to find a chair that resonates with your need. That said, let’s dive right in!
Herman Miller Aeron – Best overall
The Herman Miller Aeron chair is one of the best ergonomic office chairs on the market. Unlike most other office chairs that hit the market preconfigured, Herman gives you the luxury of customizing your chair to your taste. However, more features means more money. According to the manufacturers, the chair was produced by combining cutting-edge technology with deep knowledge of humans.
One of the key features you will find with this chair is breathable seat and backrest which makes it extremely comfortable and cool irrespective of the number of hours you sit on it. With Aeron chair, you can adjust tilt and seat angle. Herman is offering an incredible 12-year warranty on this one. When you purchase this product from their website, you will get free standard shipping and 30-day no hassle return. What could possibly beat that?
Aeron chair comes in three different sizes making it easier for anyone to find the perfect fit. Also, the lumber support is one of the most effective we found. Perhaps, the greatest setback to this chair is the ridiculously high price. Also, if you want a footrest, you need to look elsewhere. One thing is certain, if you have no problem with splashing over $1000 on a chair, Aeron will give you the most comfort.
- You can customize features when ordering
- Offers 12-year warranty and 30-day no hassle return
- Breathable back and seat
- Comes in different sizes and colors
- Extremely expensive
- Potential discomfort due to lack of seat padding
Steelcase Gesture – Best office chair for back pain
If you are already suffering from back pain, it is crucial to get a seat that will not exacerbate your situation. Steelcase Gesture chair is one of the best in this regard. The backrest is carefully designed to support your body’s natural curves but that is so much more to gain. Using advanced synchro-tilt, this chair is designed to raise a little as the user leans backward. The goal is to keep the user’s feet on the floor. This ensures that you maintain a perfect siting posture all the time.
The backrest has four settings to give you the right recline angle. This is Steelcase’s most ergonomically adjustable chair. The arm adjusts 360 degrees giving you the opportunity to pick your own comfort. Adjustable lumbar options are also available. Steelcase Gesture has a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds. This makes it suitable for almost everyone.
Like Aeron office chair, Steelcase Gesture doesn’t come cheap. It will cost you over $1,000 to own this—and this will definitely be a huge setback for most buyers. The seat padding is tough and durable but that also makes it uncomfortable to sit on for long hours. A lot of users also complain that the lumbar support is far from topnotch. Nevertheless, the multiple adjustments should bring smile to your face.
- Massive adjustment options
- Advanced synchro-tilt
- Manufactured with high-quality material
- Can support up to 400 pounds weight
- Highly expensive
- Tough seat is a potential source of discomfort
Blue Whale Massage Gaming Chair – Best chair for back support
Racer chairs used to be reserved for gamers but they are increasingly finding their way into offices. Blue Whale Massage Office Chair is one of the best we found for back support. The high backrest allows you to settle in while the adjustable headrest pillow takes the pressure off your neck. This chair comes with a thick lumbar pillow that will be soothing for those with back pain.
Another area that this chair really stands out is the thickened seat cushion. This reduces the discomfort you normally get from sitting for long hours. The height of the seat can be adjusted. Also, the backrest can recline from 90 to 175 degrees. Thus, you can be working in one minute and sleeping in the next. Virtually every part of the seat is adjustable—and the transition is really smooth.
The materials used for the manufacture are topnotch including heavy duty nylon base, PU leather, metal frame, and high density sponge. This chair can carry weight of up to 350 pounds. It is fairly affordable compared to Steelcase Gesture. Nevertheless, the durability is questionable. Multiple reviews suggest the armrests or casters broke after a few months. Unfortunately, there is no warranty on this one. Notwithstanding, it’s still a great chair for the price.
- Made with high-quality materials
- Every part of the chair is adjustable
- Recline from 90 to 175 degrees
- Fairly affordable
- Lumbar and headrest pillows
- Durability is questionable
- Lacks a warranty
La-Z-Boy Trafford Big and Tall Executive Office Chair – Best executive office chair
La-Z-Boy Trafford is designed to look every inch of what is expected of an executive chair. The high backrest and extra headrest padding allows you to sit in a more relaxed manner. Also, the curvature of the seat edge is ergonomically designed supports the back of your knee. This ensures that your feet stay on the ground at all times thus encouraging good sitting posture.
It is made with premium memory foam and bonded leather to ensure it gives you maximum value for your money. Another impressive feature of this chair is the flexible air technology which allows the lumbar cushions to pivot and support your back at every angle. This chair can hold an impressive 400 pounds weight. The height, recline, and tilt are fully adjustable. You don’t get to see this always in an executive chair.
We fancy the fact that the adjustment controls are on the side of the seat and easy to reach. The smooth-rolling casters allows easy movement around your desk which can help to boost productivity. The price of the chair is a little bit on the high side—but that is the least of our worry. It appears this chair was not made by La-Z-Boy, rather, they licensed their name to another company who often ditch quality. Consequently, there has been multiple reports of faulty chairs out of the box or poor durability. Let’s hope La-Z-Boy does something about this pretty soon.
- High backrest and extra padded headrest
- Side-mounted adjustment knobs for easy reach
- Makes use of flexible air technology for lumbar support
- Can hold weight of up to 400 pounds
- Quality is often jeopardized by the franchise
Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair – Best high back office chair
When you are looking for high back office chair, Hbada is one product that you cannot easily ignore—particularly if you are on a slim budget. The chair features ergonomic human-curve design to support the delicate part of your body. The backrest is made of a mesh that allows the free movement of air and prevents the buildup of heat and humidity.
From 90 to 120 and 155 degrees recline, this chair allows you to switch from work to rest and sleep with ease. All these can happen within seconds and helps you to maximize your productivity. Thanks to the PU covered dual-wheel casters, you can move around your working space with utmost silence irrespective of the flooring material. It is also important to mention that this chair has adjustable lumbar support so that you can choose your comfort.
The upgraded big and adjustable seat with comfortable padding makes it easier to seat for longer hours without feeling the pressure or developing sores on your buttocks. On the downside, there seem to be a whole lot that is wrong with this chair. Durability is highly questionable, chair gets loud easily, and the headrest is not adjustable. The seat cushion seems to flatten after short using making it hard and uncomfortable. Well, you often don’t keep your expectations high when you pay little.
- Relatively affordable
- Backrest is made of a mesh material
- Highly adjustable parts
- Silent casters
- Durability is questionable
- Chair gets loud and squeaky overtime
OFM Essentials – Best for long hours
Perhaps, the first thing that will catch your attention with this product is the ergonomic back design and wide seat. However, there are so much more to admire in this product. The contoured segmented padding grips your body in a way that makes it one of the most comfortable office chairs. Also, the high backrest and integrated headrest makes it easier to lean into the chair and relax.
Those on a slim budget who desire to work for long hours can finally heave a sigh of relief. The problem with most seats is that they tend to be slippery making them uncomfortable. OFM essentials takes care of that with segmented padding. It is upholstered in SofThread leather with black mesh which gives it a sense of luxury. This chair has flip up padded arms which makes them easier to move them out of the way when not in use.
The backrest can recline or tilt to make this chair comfortable for work or rest. Other interesting features that are worth a mention include seat height adjustment, 360 degrees swivel, and tilt-lock control. If you weigh over 275 pounds, you need to look elsewhere because that is the maximum weight this chair can carry. Like most budget products, this chair easily falls apart. If you overcome these setbacks, you have one of the best ergonomic office chairs at your disposal.
- Fairly affordable
- Contoured padding ensures better body grip
- High-quality SofThread leather with black mesh
- Reasonable number of adjustments
- Maximum weight could be better
- Easily falls apart
Alera Elusion Series Mesh – Best office chair under 200
For many people looking forward to setting up a home office, price is crucial to their choice of a chair. One of the best office chairs under 200 is Alera Elusion Series Mesh. Like the name goes, the backrest is made of a mesh material which is ergonomically curved to provide maximum comfort. It has multifunction mechanism that allows the adjustment of the back angle relative to the seat.
Due to the mesh backrest, the chair is breathable, allowing free flow of air to keep your back cool and dry even when siting for long hours. It come with thick contoured seat covered with premium fabric and waterfall edge to help ease the pressure on the back of your knee. The height adjustment lever and every other lever you need to customize the chair settings are all located on one side making them easier to reach.
Alera Elusion series mesh has its own unique problems that will potentially lead to discomfort in the future. One of them is the absence of a headrest. That means that resting on this chair is almost impossible. Setting up the chair can be a bit complicated. Durability is questionable but one thing that we discovered is that it usually depends on the retailer. Some retailers package faulty products. Therefore, make sure you are buying from a trusted retailer.
- Highly affordable
- Lever and adjustment knob are all in one side
- Breathable backrest
- Seat is made of premium fabric and waterfall edge
- Setting up can be complicated
- Durability is questionable
Herman Miller Sayl – Best for comfort
If you cannot afford Herman Miller Aeron, hopefully, Herman Miller Sayl should be within your reach. Like all Herman products, you have the option of customizing the parts when making your purchase. Some of the extra parts you can choose include additional lumbar support, adjustable seat depth, and height-adjustable arms. Also, Sayl comes in different colors so that you can easily pick the one that blends with your office.
Environmentalists should be delighted to know that this chair is 90% recyclable. Like Aeron, Sayl has a ventilated elastomer back for air circulation. The adjustments are pretty easy and it comes with armrests that are upright. Thanks to the quiet casters you can easily move around from one desk to another without getting up from your seat. All these combine to boost your productivity.
Herman Miller Sayl is not your regular ergonomic office chair with headrest because it has a touch of luxury to it. However, it will cost you over $500 to get it. Also, the backrest appears too short which will make it uncomfortable for people who like to rest intermittently while working. Nevertheless, if you ignore these seemingly subtle flaws, Herman will reward you with 12-year warranty, free standard shipping, and 30-day no hassle return.
- Offers customizable settings and parts
- Made from 90 percent recyclable materials
- Breathable backrest
- Easy to setup and control
- Lacks a headrest
Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair – Best ergonomic office chair with headrest
The majority of the ergonomic office chairs with mesh backrest lack a headrest which becomes a potential source of discomfort. Duramont is different. It has a high backrest and a headrest. Interestingly, you can adjust the height and angle of the headrest. Other areas you can adjust include the lumbar support height and depth, the height of the armrest, the backrest tilt, and tilt tension.
The seat is made of thick cushion making sitting all day without discomfort possible. The breathable mesh backrest allows air to move freely keeping your back cool and dry while you work. Whether you are already suffering from back pain or don’t want to develop them, the adjustable lumbar support and the recline features will let you adjust the chair in the best position that will soothe your back.
Duramont is easy to install in 8 simple steps. As a result of the premium materials used in the manufacture of this chair, it has a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds. However, this chair is not completely free of faults. Firstly, the price is a little bit on the high side. Also, talk people may find it uncomfortable because of the narrow neck area which often leads to pain. Nevertheless, it is still a great product.
- High backrest with adjustable headrest
- Breathable mesh backrest
- Carry weight of up to 330 pounds
- Easy to install
- Slightly expensive
- Narrow design makes it uncomfortable
Humanscale Freedom Office Chair – Best for posture
When you are looking for the best ergonomic office chair for posture, Freedom by Humanscale should be at the top of your list. The first thing you will notice is that this chair has an internal and an external frame making it more sturdy and durable. It comes with a high backrest with an articulating headrest. In fact, the chair basically adapts to your posture.
With Humanscale Freedom, you won’t be needing the manual recline mechanisms anymore. Instead, the chair makes use of the body weight of the user to automatically adjust the recline. The armrests can move up and down with the recline. The padding of the chair is not thick but the material is to quality. Therefore, you can expect it will last far beyond the price.
Just like Herman, Humanscale gives you the opportunity to customize your chair when placing your order. You can change the armrest, color, textile, seat type, cylinder height, and casters. However, you need to bear in mind that this will shoot up the price. Price remains the major constraint that will stop a lot of people buying this product.
- Makes use of automatic adjustment according to your weight
- Innovative design
- Manufacturer allows part customization
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Extremely expensive
- Lacks a substantive warranty like Herman
Buying Guide for the Best Ergonomic Office Chair of 2021
One thing you must understand is that many manufacturers label their chairs ergonomic just for the sake of search engine optimization (SEO). Therefore, it is often better to ignore the marketing language and focus on how the chair was built. One way to identify ergonomic chairs at a glance is the contouring of the backrest and the number of adjustable parts. Perhaps, none of the chairs on our list appeals to you and you want to make your own research. Pay attention to these factors and you will never go wrong.
This is undoubtedly the most important feature of any chair. If a chair is not comfortable, there is no way you can use it for up to 12 hours without sustaining injuries. Remember, the longer you sit, the more work you are likely to finish. Therefore, look beyond the aesthetics and shiny design and go for office chairs that offer you maximum comfort. You can predict the comfort of a chair by looking at the shape of the backrest and the padding of the seat.
The most comfortable office chairs are usually the ones that offer the most adjustable parts. Also, this feature becomes more valuable if you will be sharing your chairs with other people. Go for chairs with adjustable seat height, armrests, and backrest. Some of the high-profile manufacturers will allow you to customize your parts when making a purchase.
Back and Lumbar Support
The best ergonomic office chairs offer some form of lumbar and back support. Sometimes, it comes as a lumbar pillow while at other times it comes as a knob or lever which alters the shape of the chair to give you maximum comfort. if you are already having back pains, this is one feature that you should never compromise.
It will really hurt for you to spent hundreds of dollars on a product only for it to go bad in a couple pf months. The quality of the material used in the manufacture of the chair will often determine how long it will last. However, most times the problem is not from the manufacturer but retailers who package and send defective products to customers. Therefore, we advise that you read reviews and make sure you are purchasing your product from a reputable manufacturer.
If you are going to buy an ergonomic office chair of over $1000, make sure it has a good warranty. Herman chairs come with a 12-year warranty which is one of the highest. However for the best office chairs under 200, you would rarely get beyond 1-year warranty.
There is always a significant difference between a $100 chair from a manufacturer with no name and a $1000 chair from a high-profile manufacturer. However, you should always plan to buy something within your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best office chair for sitting long hours?
You cannot sit for long hours if you are not comfortable. Herman arguably makes the most comfortable chairs. However, Herman Miller Aeron and Steelcase Gesture stands out when it comes to sitting for long hours.
- Are ergonomic chairs worth it?
Ergonomic chairs are scientifically proven to improve productivity and lower the risk of injuries in offices. They allow the user to customize the chairs for perfect body fit.
- Who makes the most comfortable chair?
Herman makes some of the most comfortable chairs which makes it easier for users to sit for longer hours. One of the best on our list is Herman Miller Aeron.
- How do I choose a good office chair?
When choosing an office chair, there are a number of factors that you need to pay attention to including the adjustability, the warranty, the comfort, and so on. We highlighted these factors and how they will affect your experience in the buying guide section.
Some ergonomic office chairs are often categorized as executive. However, be careful when buying such chairs and avoid those that force your upper spin forward. Chairs with partial backrest are potential source of discomfort. Overtime they make it difficult for you to relax. No matter how strong you are, a time will come when you will slump and you will need a backrest to relax. Tall users should aim for chairs with high backrest—and they may find race chairs really comfortable. The best ergonomic chair can still be uncomfortable for a new user. This doesn’t mean that they are not good, your body is only trying to get used to them. It is important to know the difference.