The best office chair of 2021 If your office chair is causing you pain, it might be time for an upgrade.


Office chairs haven’t crossed my mind too much, even though I sit almost all day while I work. Before March 2020, most of my work hours were spent in the Nerdshala Smart Home, an actual home where we test smart speakerhandjob security cameras and other products. I filed stories straight from the dining room chairs, cushioned sofas, and butt-knotted patio furniture—especially since the best office chair for work purposes wasn’t on my radar.

Since the years I have been working from my home, I am mainly involved with my smart home method. Some days I write from the sofa; Other days, I sit in a rocking chair on the front porch. No two days are the same and I am slowly realizing that it is terrible for my back and my posture. My husband is also working from home, and he uses a desk that we barely touched before the pandemic. As it turns out, the no-padded seat cushion used with that desk, no-back-support office chair isn’t working well for that either.

It was time to make a change to a more traditional office chair. So I tested 10 office chairs, ranging in price from $32 to $1,395, knowing we’ll be buying some of the best office chair options for our home when we’re finished.

I also spoke with an ergonomics expert for general tips on how to improve work arrangements, whether at home or in a more traditional office setting. Seat height, backrest, adjustable arms, adjustable height, adjustable lumbar support, tilt tension, headrest and seat depth are all factors to get the most out of your computer chair.

For the purposes of this list, I’ve only tested traditional office chairs, so if you’re looking for something like a gaming chair or drafting chair, or something more like a knee-length chair, this is your pick. May not be the right place for .

pay attention: Product pricing varies on third-party sites, so at the time of writing this the prices I quoted may change slightly over time. I will do my best to update the list frequently to reflect the most accurate prices at the time of publication.

Just a great chair is not enough

Ergonomics is the “science of work,” explains Gary Allred, program director for the ergonomics division at Ohio State University’s Spine Research Institute. However, this definition doesn’t just apply to our jobs; The ergonomic principles can be used for any activity (this means that an ergonomic chair will not immediately cure your lower back pain). Allread and his team provide consulting services for workplaces from the manufacturing plant to the auto industry and many more. They sometimes provide input on product design to help companies understand how to build products “to make sure they can interact with people,” Allread says.

Working out less than ideal can cause pain in your back, arm, hand or wrist. You may also find yourself restless, making more mistakes, or taking more breaks — all because you’re uncomfortable — Allred says. In the long run, you can end up with tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Allread makes two main suggestions that one can try to improve the way they work:

  • Sit with your back to your chair. (“You want the chair to do the job, not your back,” he explains.)
  • support your feet. Either plant your feet on the floor or, if they don’t reach, use a box or other foot rest to support your feet.

If your chair doesn’t have lumbar support, Allred says, you can roll up a towel, secure it with tape or a rubber band, and place it on your lower back “to give the back its natural look.” Keep it in the curve.” Allread also notes that companies are starting to introduce different chair sizes that support a wider range of body sizes, which is an important consideration if you’re shopping for a new ergonomic office chair. and looking for the best seat height and seat depth for your needs. .

“One mistake people make is they say, ‘If I get a good chair, I won’t be in pain anymore,’ and that’s a really big deal of what it takes to keep people comfortable and productive.” Not seeing the picture at their job,” Allread explains. There are a lot of factors, and a new chair is just one of many things that can make your work environment more comfortable.

So, let’s keep them all in mind as we weigh our options for the best office chair. I have some nice comfy chair options here, including a leather chair, a mesh chair, and more, and I’ll be updating the list from time to time.

test office chairs

Here is the full list of office chairs I tested:

  • AmazonBasic Leather-Padded Swivel Office Chair
  • Bestoffice Mid-Back Ergonomic Desk Chair
  • Hubda Office Task Desk Chair
  • Herman Miller Aaron Chair
  • Hodeidah Armless Task Chair
  • Honorable Exposure Mesh Task Computer Chair
  • Humanscale Freedom Chair
  • OFM Essentials Collection Executive Office Chair
  • Serta Smart AIR Arlington Chair
  • steelcase gesture chair

How did I choose my favourite? First, I assembled each chair and noted any issues with the process, with the exception of the Herman Miller Aaron Chair and the Steelcase Gesture Chair, as they were fully assembled (bonus points for that). Then, I spent a work day, or about eight hours, sitting in each chair, noting comfort levels, adjustments, and any issues I had. I also asked my husband to try out each chair. For reference, I’m 5 foot 7 inches, he’s 6 foot 2 and we’re both average weight.

Of course, what may or may not work for you may not work for you, but I have taken into account all the tips that Gary Allred of the Spine Research Institute mentioned during my sit down and also to Kevin Was told to do this:

  • Was the chair designed in such a way that I could rest comfortably on the back of the chair?
  • Were my feet touching the floor with my back to the chair?
  • Did I find myself moving or standing too much?
  • Did I experience any pain or discomfort while using a particular chair?

After seeing a label on the inside of the box that read “Not for Adult Use,” I immediately had to cut the Hodeida Armless Task Chair from running. Apparently this chair, which regularly appears on lists of adult office chairs, has a weight limit of 100 pounds. I wasn’t alone, either – Many customers have written online reviews Expressing disappointment that this chair (which appears to be the first to be marketed to adults, Home Depot’s website if not Amazon) broke while using it. If you’re an adult under 100 pounds, this chair could potentially work for you, but its limited features, including no armrests, completely ruled it out for me.

So we were under nine chairs. Despite looking great and cushiony, we both found the OFM Essential Collection Executive Office Chair a bit stiff and uncomfortable. It also lacks lumbar support. The HON Exposure Mesh Task Computer Chair also doesn’t have lumbar support and leans too far for both of us, making it uncomfortable to sit with our backs against the backrest as Allread suggests. The BestOffice Mid-Back Ergonomic Desk Chair leans too far, though it had slightly more lumbar support than the HON Exposure chair.

Humanscale Freedom Chair mostly assembled; All I had to do was add the top half and the wheelbase. Despite the simplicity of putting this humanscale chair together, I struggled to adjust this chair without consulting the instructions. Even after figuring it out, both my husband and I found the backrest and headrest to be in disproportionate proportions to our back and neck and extremely uncomfortable. The Steelcase Gesture Chair is highly adjustable and feels sturdy. But even with the Steelcase chair’s many customizable controls, including the seat depth adjuster set to maximum depth, the seat was too small and slid down, making me feel like I could get out of the chair.

The other four chairs I included on the best office chair list above kept us comfortable throughout the day and offered a degree of adjustment that sets them apart from the pack.

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