Ergonomics and support went into the design of this reasonably priced office chair. The Smugdesk Ergonomic Office Chair is lightweight and mesh backed, with adjustable height, the ability to recline, and a thick sponge seat pad for comfort. Even though it’s a budget option, it has a 360-degree swivel function, putting it on par with other chairs in this style. It could really use padded armrests, and its nylon caster wheels might be a little difficult to maneuver on carpet without a plastic chair mat.
The Best Office Chairs for Your Home Office
Get comfortable—and productive—with the best office chair for your body, style, and budget.
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- Best OverallSmugdesk Ergonomic Office ChairCheck Latest Price
- Best UpgradeSIHOO Ergonomic Office ChairCheck Latest Price
- Best Lumbar SupportSerta Smart Layers Arlington AirManager ChairCheck Latest Price
The ideal home-office has a comfortable chair to support you during long days of conference calls and report writing. A good office chair aids productivity alongside a functioning computer and phone. Read on for smart shopping advice and to find out why the following are top favorites among the best office chair options.
- BEST OVERALL: Smugdesk Ergonomic Office Chair
- BEST UPGRADE: SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair
- BEST LUMBAR SUPPORT: Serta Smart Layers Arlington AirManager Chair
- ALSO CONSIDER: OFM Essentials Collection Mesh Back Office Chair
Types of Office Chairs
There are various kinds of office chairs, each with their own style and function. These are the most popular styles to consider:
- Banker’s chairs: These swivel chairs set on rolling casters are typically constructed of hardwoods like oak and maple. A bit smaller than some office chairs, banker’s chairs are great with a writing desk against a wall and lend a professional vibe to a home office setting.
- Executive chairs: Upholstered traditionally in leather, executive chairs are the quintessential office chair. They look just right behind large mahogany desks in the center of the room—and so they may be a bit much for a home office unless you have ample space.
- Ergonomic chairs: Boasting the latest technology in support, ergonomic chairs are designed to relieve pressure points and discomfort to allow you to pull longer hours without aches and pains. They’re typically built with synthetic materials like plastic, nylon, and mesh.
- Drafting chairs: Taller than other options, drafting chairs are meant to seat an architect or designer at the height of a drafting desk. They’re not suited for work at a typical desk.
It’s no secret that sitting all day can be bad for your back, so whatever chair you choose should help carry the load. Chairs with adjustable lumbar support are designed to relieve pressure on your lower back and encourage an upright posture. Some chairs use inflatable bags in the lower portion of the seatback while others might use a side crank to adjust the level of support. There are even seats with adjustable heating and massaging pads in the lumbar area. For chairs without adjustable support, look for those with ergonomics in mind, as they often have fixed lumbar support built in.
Achieving the right sitting position is key. You’ll want your feet firmly planted on the floor, your knees and elbows and right angles, and your computer monitor at least an arm’s length away. Having the ability to adjust the seat and arm height as well as the angle of your seat back can make the difference between pain and comfort. The best office chair should have enough adjustability to take the pressure off of your hips, back, and shoulders.
An office chair that pivots freely adds convenience to your workday. The swivel function allows you to get in and out of your seat without pulling it away from your desk, and also lets you move easily to reach for objects—especially a bookcase or file cabinet located behind you. The ability to swivel 360-degrees keeps more commonly used items with arm’s reach—and the less unnecessary movements you make, the more you can focus on the tasks at hand.
Most office chairs have rolling wheels known as casters that make it a simple matter to move the chair—with or without you in it. But be sure the chair you buy has a quality set. Higher quality casters are made of nylon with a steel stem, but some use polyurethane balls or roller skate wheels. Cheap casters tend to freeze up and drag as you attempt to push yourself into and away from your desk. Not only should the wheels roll smoothly, but they should also swivel around easily. Otherwise, they’ll get stuck and could cause you to tip over if one digs into the carpet while you’re trying to roll away from your desk.
Mesh and leather are the two most popular types of materials used for office chair seating.
- Mesh is the less expensive choice, and while it may lack the “corner office” look that leather imparts, it’s far more breathable. This makes mesh a better option if you’ll be spending long hours in the chair, especially if your office is on the warm side.
- Classic leather is more durable, but it’s pricey and can be uncomfortable after prolonged sitting.
Our Top Picks
If you’re ready for a feature-rich seating option, promote yourself to the SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair. It has smooth, roller skate wheels for easy movement over any surface, highly breathable mesh material to keep you cool under pressure, and a thick padded seat to reduce discomfort and back fatigue. There are also several worthy adjustable features, including headrest and arm height, and it’s the only chair on our list with truly adjustable lumbar support. While the adjustability allows you to control your comfort, the trade-off is this model’s adjustable height is known to start slipping down after prolonged use.
The body-conforming technology from Serta’s mattresses is used in the office with its Arlington office chair. The results are a comfortable chair. Ample cushioning is in both the seat and backrest. Plush padding on the arms is a nice bonus, providing a comfortable place for resting one’s elbows. The chair material consists of bonded leather that’s smooth and soft to the touch, and resists cracking better than vinyl.
Separate controls positioned within arm’s reach at the front of the seat allow the user to adjust the height and toggle the chair between an upright or reclined position. Serta uses an air lumbar design that provides lower back support while conforming to the contours of the body. A sleek profile with pewter stitching and armrests make this chair an attractive addition to a home office.
If you’re looking for a good-quality, low-cost office chair, check out the OFM Essentials Collection Swivel Mesh Back Armless Task Chair. This is a no-frills option designed with ergonomics in mind. It features a comfortable, supportive mesh back, a thick seat pad, and a tilt and swivel adjustment. There’s even some lumbar support, although this part of the chair is not adjustable.