Long workdays, poor posture, and an unsupportive office chair is a recipe for back pain. For those who spend a lot of time at their desks, purchasing an ergonomic office chair may be the best way to remedy a sore back.
Ergonomic office chairs are designed for comfort and support—setting you up for a productive workday while preventing or alleviating back pain. The best office chair for back pain offers ergonomic support to keep an optimal spine alignment and proper posture.
- BEST OVERALL: Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hbada Office Task Desk Chair
- UPGRADE PICK: Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
- MOST COMFORTABLE: Hbada Ergonomic High Back Computer Chair
- BEST RECLINING: BOSSIN Gaming Chair with Footrest and Headrest
- BEST KNEELING: DRAGONN by VIVO Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- BEST BALL CHAIR: Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Exercise Ergonomic Chair
- BEST BIG AND TALL: Sadie Big and Tall Office Computer Chair
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Office Chair for Back Pain
We can spend as many hours in an office chair as we do in bed, so a functional and comfortable chair is a worthwhile investment. A well-made chair helps to support long workdays, but its benefits extend well after it’s time to clock out. After all, back pain from a low-quality chair doesn’t stop when the workday ends. Here are a few things to consider when shopping around for the best office chair for back pain.
Fabric, mesh, vinyl, leather, and faux leather are common office chair materials. Mesh is a budget-friendly and very breathable option. It’s a light and comfortable material that keeps relatively cool, but it doesn’t have the classic look of materials like leather.
Classic leather is durable and beautiful, but it’s more expensive and less breathable. Faux leather and vinyl may look like leather, but these materials are much more affordable. Their durability will depend on their quality, but they’re easy to clean and are available in a variety of colors.
Fabric is another option that comes in a number of colors and styles. It can be more breathable than smooth materials like leather and vinyl. But, because of its texture, fabric can be difficult to clean. Ultimately, it’s best to choose a material that suits your comfort preferences, budget, and style.
Office chairs come in a range of designs. For those who are prone to back pain, ergonomic chairs are a popular choice, as they’re designed to support a proper seated posture. Many other office chair styles also have ergonomic features.
Executive chairs are designed to look luxurious. Often, they have a high back with plenty of cushioning and are made from finer materials, like wood and leather. Big and tall chairs are another option. As the name suggests, these chairs cater to those who are big and tall.
More unconventional chair types include ball chairs and kneeling chairs. Ball chairs usually have a large inflatable ball that sits on a base. Since users have to engage their core to balance, ball chairs may encourage a straight posture. Kneeling chairs have a seat and a knee rest, which forces users to sit angled slightly forward, reducing the urge to slouch.
Lumbar support is a major feature to look for in ergonomic chairs, especially for those who suffer from back pain. Lumbar supports encourage a straight posture; a good seated posture can help to relieve pressure and pain in the lower back.
Lumbar support features can be fixed or adjustable. Fixed lumbar supports include fixed cushions or ergonomic S-shaped backrests. Adjustable lumbar supports can be adjusted to individual height and personal preferences. Lumbar supports can also have features like heated or massaging pads for added comfort.
The right sitting position is key to optimize comfort and ease back pain. A quality office chair isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Adjustability allows the chair to be calibrated to your height, posture, and comfort preferences. Those with excellent posture or minimal back pain can get away with a fixed chair. But for those with an achy back, adjustability is a feature to splurge on.
A properly adjusted chair offers support to the back, shoulders, hips, and neck. Chairs can have a range of adjustable features. Different dials and levers can adjust the chair, armrest, headrest, and lumbar support height and angle. Some chairs have a reclining feature that allows the user to lay back and relax during breaks.
For those who spend many hours in an office chair, comfort may be a top priority. A comfortable chair doesn’t only feel nice; that comfortable feeling comes from adequate support and proper alignment. Ergonomic chairs are designed with comfort in mind.
A range of features can add comfort to a chair. Ergonomically designed or padded backrests, armrests, headrests, and seat cushions can make a chair more comfortable. Many are also adjustable to customize the height and angle of the chair. Features like reclining backrests and extending footrests add an extra level of comfort.
Swivels and casters add ease of movement. An office chair with a 360-degree swivel is easier to get in and out of, without needing to pull or push from the desk. It also allows users to reach around and grab items from behind—from a filing cabinet or bookshelf, for instance.
Casters make it easy to move the chair and to zoom around and grab objects—for example, to relocate the chair to a meeting room or grab a sheet of paper from a printer nearby. When choosing an office chair, look for wheels that roll smoothly. Wheels that freeze and drag can be a hassle. The wheels should both roll and swivel to allow the chair to move in all directions. Some casters also have a locking feature to prevent the chair from rolling.
Ergonomic office chairs come in a variety of styles, materials, and colors. There are designs to suit both home studies and professional offices.
A desk chair can say a lot about a work environment. While a leather executive chair may look more professional and serious, colorful chairs with patterns and designs may give off a fun and casual vibe. Most spaces can’t go wrong with a classic black ergonomic desk chair.
The best office chair for your space will depend on your personal preference, computer desk, and decor style. Many ergonomic office chairs combine functionality and style to suit individual tastes.
Our Top Picks
The top picks for the best office chair for back pain are functional without lacking in style. Check out this list of top picks below to find the best chair for your workspace.
This sleek office chair from Duramon is ideal for almost any office or workspace. Nearly every contact point is adjustable; it features lumbar support height and depth, a 90- to 120-degree backrest tilt with adjustable tilt tension, an adjustable headrest, adjustable armrest height and angle, and of course, pneumatic seat height.
The chair is easy to put together and installs in eight steps. Once put together, it’s a sturdy chair with a 330-pound weight capacity. The backrest is made from a breathable mesh, which helps to keep users cool for long periods of time. It also has a swivel base and smooth-rolling rollerblade caster wheels for easy mobility. The simple black design suits any home study or office decor.
This ergonomic office chair offers numerous features for an affordable price. As is expected with most ergonomic chairs, it has an adjustable height, 360-degree swivel base, and silenced rolling casters. The comfortable seat cushion is made of high-density foam for softness and support.
The S-shaped backrest is not adjustable but is designed to mimic the natural curve of the spine to offer support and has a 120-degree tilt tension. It’s made of a breathable mesh that’s flexible and comfortable. Each side of the chair is equipped with a 90-degree flip-up armrest.
This chair has a 250-pound weight capacity and features a sleek design with a black chair and white accents; plus, rounded corners give it a contemporary look.
With four support points for the head, back, hips, and arms, this office chair is designed for proper back and lumbar support. It features a high back and an S-shaped ergonomic design to encourage proper posture from head to hips. This chair has a range of adjustable features. The backrest can tilt from 90- to 120-degrees and the adjustable headrest has a height and angle adjustment option. Flip-up armrests can adjust in-line with the chair back to sit closer to the desk or to fully tuck the chair underneath the desktop; the armrests include soft padding and are height adjustable.
This chair also has an adjustable seat height, swivel base, and smooth-rolling PU casters.
The back of the chair and the seat are covered with breathable, tear-resistant mesh, which allows for full airflow. The seat is on the larger side and has a 280-pound capacity. The all-black design paired with the “floating” headrest gives this chair a modern look.
This gaming chair from Hbada is designed for comfort. It features a high-density seat cushion that’s soft but not too soft. A too-soft cushion can cause slouching, but this high-density seat is comfortable and does not collapse. The high backrest encourages proper alignment by supporting the back and neck. This chair features a removable headrest and lumbar support. Both the headrest and lumbar cushion offer soft, adjustable, padded support.
With adjustable seat and armrest height, 360-degree swivel, and rolling casters, it has the details you’d expect from an ergonomic office chair, but this option also features a reclining backrest with a 155-degree recline and padded, pull-out footrest to lie back and relax. The chair is made of durable and easy-to-clean PU leather and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
With a 155-degree recline and telescoping footrest, this office chair is an ideal pick for comfortable work breaks. It features a large, padded seat cushion and a high-back design that offers full back support. It reclines back as far as 155 degrees and has an extendable footrest. The telescoping footrest is adjustable and padded for extra comfort.
This reclining chair has a 300-pound capacity and is made from wear-resistant and sleek PU leather. Its height is adjustable, and it has a 360-degree swivel and omnidirectional rubber PU wheels. For support as well as comfort, it includes a lumbar support cushion and a removable neck rest cushion. This reclining chair from BOSSIN is big on comfort for a relatively affordable price.
Kneeling chairs are a popular office chair alternative. The forward-leaning design is said to help engage the core and improve posture. They’re designed to sit at an ideal angle to evenly distribute weight throughout your seat and legs. This kneeling chair from DRAGONN encourages an upright posture that can put less pressure on the back. The height is adjustable to find the optimal sitting angle and position. Both the seat and the knee pads have 3-inch thick cushioning for a soft sitting surface.
The strong metal base has a 250-pound capacity. This chair also features lockable rolling casters. It’s easy to move, but the locking mechanism is a safety feature to prevent the chair from rolling when sitting or standing up. The all-black design is simple and suits most any home or office decor.
Ball chairs are another office chair alternative. The need to balance on a ball chair is supposed to engage the core and encourage a straight posture. This ball chair from Gaiam helps to do that safely. It features a removable rubber ball on a ball holder, which keeps the chair stable. Along with the back support bar, this design prevents the ball from rolling away or slipping while the user is sitting down.
This ball chair has a 300-pound weight capacity and is designed for users who are 5 feet to 5 feet 11 inches tall. For those who are taller, Gaiam sells leg extenders to add height.
The ball holder has smooth caster wheels with a front locking mechanism. It includes an air pump and is easy to assemble. This chair includes a blue ball, but a range of other colors are available from this brand.
This big and tall chair from Sadie features a 400-pound weight capacity and a comfortable wide seat. The seat is 20.9 inches deep, and both the seat and backrest are 22 inches wide. It features a durable build, including sturdy smooth-rolling casters and a comfortable mesh back.
With a range of adjustable features, this chair is built with comfort in mind. The chair is height adjustable. Adjustable lumbar support offers lower back support where it’s needed. This chair also has adjustable padded armrests to offer support to the arms and shoulders.
FAQs About Office Chairs for Back Pain
A high-quality office chair reduces the strain from extended sitting, keeping your spine aligned and your back supported. A more comfortable workday awaits with the right ergonomic office chair. Still trying to pick the perfect chair? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you choose.
Q. Is a hard chair better for your back?
It’s easier to maintain good posture in a harder chair. A chair that’s too soft can cause slouching. For optimal comfort, look for a chair with an ergonomic sturdy base and added padding for comfort.
Q. How do I choose a chair for back pain?
The main features to look for are support and adjustability. Supportive features include an ergonomic shape and lumbar supports. Adjusting these supports to your preference can further minimize back pain from sitting.
Q. How should I sit for best ergonomics?
It is best to sit so your knees are level with your hips, with wrists straight and hands in line or below elbow level, and with the monitor around an arm’s length away from your eyes.