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Updated Apr 19, 2022 5:24 PM

Whether it’s a space-age mesh gaming chair or a sleek, stylish mid-century piece, the best office chairs can make for a strong centerpiece to your office. Today the office is a broader space than it used to be. With work from home becoming more and more prevalent, suddenly it becomes our job to furnish our own home work spaces. This can mean longer hours, as well as work time and pleasure time occupying the same spaces in the home. When you’re spending even more hours in an office chair, it better be comfy.

The best office chairs feature numerous design factors that combine to support you all day long. These chairs feature ergonomic support that will keep your back fresh, classy design touches, non-toxic materials which won’t wear on your health over time (or your pet’s), and affordable enough pricing to justify the buy.

How We Picked The Best Office Chairs

When researching this article we wanted to bring you a reliable list of quality office chairs that meet a number of specific needs. With so many factors going into making any chair truly “great,” few chairs reliably hit all metrics. The chairs with the best ergonomic design, non-toxic materials, and reliable build usually weren’t the cheapest. The cheapest chairs, on the other hand, rarely delivered on all the other factors we wanted. Still, we looked for the best of the best, researching numerous chairs from numerous different manufacturers. We detailed some of the factors we looked for below.

Comfort is an obvious frontrunner metric in judging a chair’s quality. Great ergonomic support that can keep you comfortable and supported all day long is probably the single most important factor in what makes a chair great. We highlighted chairs that deliver great ergonomic support and enough customization to keep you comfortable as your body repositions through the day. 

Aesthetic Design is a huge factor in an office chair, especially if you live in a small apartment where this chair might be positioned in the very center of the room. Often excellent comfort and support can go hand in hand with aesthetic value. However sometimes a chair shines brighter for its visual design than its ergonomic adjustment points. In the end though, how important a chair’s visual design is to you is entirely a personal preference. 

Materials and Health can play a bigger role in a chair’s quality than you might expect. The history of furniture design is full of chemicals that seemed useful when they were authorized and were later found toxic. Where we could, we highlighted chairs that are made of non-toxic materials, and don’t use chemicals like flame retardants or phthalates (such as DEHP), in their construction. Many pieces of furniture that include these chemicals will come with Proposition 65 warnings, and many flame retardants are being banned in home furniture in New York. Chemical exposure in furniture is especially important in home offices which might double as your bedroom. In researching this article we looked to fill most of our picks with chairs that don’t include Prop 65 warnings and harmful chemicals.

Ecological Impact is another important factor in office chairs. So many office chairs are made exclusively of plastics and metals. We believe it’s important to reuse these materials. Thus where we could we highlighted chairs that use recycled materials, and which are in turn recyclable.

Best Office Chairs Of 2022: Reviews And Recommendations

Best Overall: Steelcase Think Fabric Chair

A deeply thought out office chair that’s designed for lasting wellness. Steelcase

Why It Made The Cut: With excellent comfort and support perfected across an impressive design track record, Steelcase’s Think is an excellent non-toxic ergonomic office chair.

Specs:

  • Support: Lumbar and back
  • Form Factor: Upholstered
  • Dimensions: Seat width: 20.25 inches; seat height: 16.5 to 21.5 inches; total height: 37.25 to 42 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

Pros:

  • Numerous points of adjustment
  • 98 percent recyclable, made from up to 28 percent recycled materials
  • Made from non-toxic materials

Cons:

  • Expensive

When it comes to office chairs Steelcase is unquestionably in the big leagues. Numerous chairs from their line are worthy of making their way onto any list of best office chairs, but we think that the Steelcase Think is the most deserving. This is a chair with multiple adjustable ergonomics, an extremely comfortable foam seat with internal air pockets, a build that will fit most bodies, intentionality when it comes to sustainable design, and high-end materials that won’t hurt your health with prolonged use. 

Think is an all-day (and all-night) chair. The chair’s design is relatively basic, with a few classy design nods, including a metallic band on the back support, and a sleek back seat line. The chair’s upholstery offers a few different colors, and the base is also slightly customizable. The chair’s various levers and sliders allow you to adjust such factors as seat recline, height, and ergonomic back support placement, so that your Steelcase can adapt to your different moods throughout the day. 

Manufactured in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Kuala Lumpur, Steelcase does due diligence when it comes to sustainability, using up to 28 percent recycled materials, and being 98 percent recyclable. (More information is available in the Think EPD statement featured here). Further, the chair does not use flame retardants or phthalates, according to this brochure from 2015, however we were unable to verify whether this information is 100 percent applicable to all Grand Rapids-manufactured Think chairs. 

All together, we think that the Steelcase Think chair is the best office chair on the market for most users. It is somewhat pricey, but that price is justified by its overall design efficacy. 

Best Budget: FlexiSpot OC3B Ergonomic Executive Mesh Office Chair

Best Budget

A mesh chair that’s as supportive to your back as it is cool. FlexiSpot

Why It Made The Cut: Sturdy, cool, ergonomic, and adjustable, this mesh chair from FlexiSpot is well equipped to serve any home office — all at a great price.

Specs:

  • Support: Lumbar support, head rest
  • Form Factor: Mesh
  • Dimensions: Width: 21.26 inches; seat height: 17.72 to 21.65 inches; height: 45.3 to 52 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds

Pros:

  • Lots of ergonomic adjustment points
  • Nylon mesh keeps you cool
  • Affordably priced

Cons:

  • Not as good for very tall people
  • Arm rests don’t move in and out

Hot climates and thick leather chairs don’t match well. If you’re looking for a breezy yet comfortable office chair with good ergonomic support for an affordable price, then the FlexiSpot OC3B Ergonomic Executive Mesh Office Chair is a simple solution.

This chair uses nylon mesh throughout. Its lumbar support and headrest adjust to fit your body’s moods, while its tilt adjusts to four easy positions. The chair raises and lowers smoothly with a lever underneath. A clothes hanger is built into the rear of the head rest.

Some taller people might find that the headrest doesn’t match to their head and neck, and this detract from the experience of the chair. However, the chair is otherwise an excellent and versatile piece for your home office, especially when you consider its reasonable price point.

Best Affordable Ergonomic: Branch Ergonomic Chair

Best Affordable Ergonomic

A direct to consumer chair that doesn’t skimp on comfort. Branch Furniture

Why It Made The Cut: With multiple points of adjustment that allow you to customize the lumbar support, tilt, seat to back distance, and more, this is a chair that’s built to adapt to you.

Specs:

  • Support: Adjustable lumbar
  • Form Factor: Mesh upholstery
  • Dimensions: Width: 25 inches; seat height: 17 to 20 inches; total height 38 to 42 inches

Pros:

  • Very comfortable build
  • Strong lumbar support
  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • Flame retardants in the upholstery

Branch makes an exceptional chair. Their Ergonomic Chair is a deeply comfortable piece of furniture that will relieve your back tension in no time. With seven points of adjustment, the chair can be configured any way you like it, including adjustments to lumbar support, arm rests, seamless height adjustment, and chair tilt. Especially nice is the way the chair seat base tilts with the chair back.

The chair’s overall build is also very good. The bottom feels sturdy, and the base supports up to 300 pounds. The only concern with this chair is the flame retardants in the upholstery and a couple of other chemical concerns that require a Proposition 65 warning. However, Branch also offers the Daily Chair, which flies below Proposition 65 levels of dangerous chemicals, and is made out of more than 70 percent recycled materials.

All in all the Branch Ergonomic Chair is a solid pick for anyone looking for an affordable ergonomic chair for their office.

Best Plush: RIF6 Executive Chair

Best Plush

A packed office chair that’s big on comfort. RIF6

Why It Made The Cut: This bonded leather executive chair is big and plush, and makes for a powerful presence in the office.

Specs:

  • Support: Padding
  • Form Factor: Bonded Leather
  • Dimensions: Width: 20.2 inches; seat height: 19 to 22 inches; total height: 42.3 to 45.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty cushions
  • Bonded leather is easy to clean
  • Good tilt support

Cons:

  • Not built for big and tall people

If you’re someone who values lots of padded leather, then the RIF6 Executive Chair might just be for you. Made of bonded leather (faux leather mixed with real leather) this chair screams executive plush. It has a thick base, and thick rear that will feel like it’s holding you. While it doesn’t have some of the adjustable ergonomics you’ll find in other chairs in its class, it does have good tilt control and up and down piston action. 

While this chair is itself big, it’s not ideal for big and tall folks, as the static back can’t be adjusted to work with different spine lengths and the headrest is lower than you would expect. It has a weight capacity of up to 275 pounds, which is lower than most of the seats on this list. Info on this chair’s sustainability footprint and or material profiles was scarce as well. Still, if you’re of average dimensions and you’re looking for an affordable plush executive chair, this one’s worth a look.

Best For Big and Tall: Truweo Ergonomic Executive Office Chair

Best For Big and Tall

A highly adjustable mesh chair that’s ready for the six-foot-tall crowd. Truweo

Why It Made The Cut: With mesh fabric made of TPE and polyester and a full adjustable build that brings ergonomics to larger people (or smaller people) at an affordable price, this chair is worth real consideration.

Specs:

  • Support: Contoured rear with multiple adjustable components
  • Form Factor: TPE and polyester mesh
  • Dimensions: Width: 21.3 inches; seat height: 18.3 to 22 inches; total height: 53.7 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

Pros:

  • Breathable mesh
  • Multiple points of adjustment
  • Non-toxic fabric
  • Sturdy build

Cons:

  • No adjustable lumbar support
  • Seat bottom is fixed and won’t lean with the rear

Made of breathable non-toxic mesh weave, this adjustable office chair is as well-suited to smaller people as it is for the big and tall crowd. The Truweo Ergonomic Executive Office Chair features multiple points of adjustment that form to your body, including an adjustable headrest and a rear lean. It should be noted that the seat bottom does not lean with the rear, but the chair’s back is contoured to provide innate lumbar support. 

The chair’s fabric is TPE and polyester, two high quality synthetic plastics that feel good on the skin and don’t present toxicity risks. The wheels are also notable, as the chair features inline wheels, making it better at rolling than many competitors. 

All in all, we think that if you’re looking for a high back chair with a decent amount of ergonomic customization for a fair price, then this is an excellent option. 

Best Design: SOHO Ribbed Management Office Chair

Best Design

Sometimes the classics really are the best. Laura Davidson Furniture

Why It Made The Cut: Quite comfortable, decently priced, and with an aesthetic straight out of a mid-century lookbook, this is an affordable yet classy option.

Specs:

  • Support: Contoured rear 
  • Form Factor: Vegan faux leather heat embossed ribbing
  • Dimensions: Width: 20 inches; seat height: 17 to 22 inches; height: 33 to 39 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds

Pros: 

  • Classic mid-century design
  • Cruelty-free faux leather
  • Several color options

Cons:

  • No lumbar support or customized support

If you’ve dreamed of outfitting your home office with a classic Eames, yet you can’t justify the designer furniture price, the SOHO Ribbed Management Office Chair delivers that classic mid-century design for a fraction of the cost. Made of vegan faux leather and metal, this chair capitalizes on clean lines and classic modernist simplicity.

With an aluminum and steel frame that holds the leatherette body taut, this is a sturdy chair that’s ready for a few years of use. To underline this point, Laura Davidson offers a two-year warranty.

Information on the SOHO chair’s environmental impact and chemical makeup was scarce. However, the website claims that the chair’s faux leather uses polypropylene which is generally phthalate free.

Best Chair Alternative: Vari Essential Active Stool

Best Chair Alternative

A stool for the fidgeters. Vari

Why It Made The Cut: This active stool offers you easy 360-degree rotation and sway while you work and adapts to sitting or standing desks.

Specs:

  • Support: Swivel stool only
  • Form Factor: Memory foam
  • Dimensions: Width: 14 inches; depth: 14 inches; height: 22 to 32 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds

Pros:

  • Great for your core muscles
  • Supports standing or sitting desks
  • Arrives pre-assembled

Cons:

  • Some people find the memory foam seat isn’t cushy enough

A wholesome alternative or supplement to a traditional office chair, Vari’s Essential Active Stool is a great solution for those who need a break from sitting. This is a stool that pairs beautifully with standing desks, rising and falling using a built-in piston system. The seat features a memory-foam cushion, and the whole product comes pre-assembled.

The stool itself rotates from its base and allows you to sway and swivel as you see fit throughout your work day, keeping you active and keeping your core muscles engaged without putting pressure on your back. With a standing desk, the Active Stool rises to serve as a home base to perch on when you want a break from standing, and lowers when you’re ready to sit.

Most users won’t make the Essential Active Stool their primary office chair, but rather use it to supplement a traditional office chair. Some users find the memory foam cushion to be too firm for their liking. Otherwise, this stool is a strong supplement to a home office, especially one that’s built around a standing desk.

Things To Consider Before Buying An Office Chair

Before you invest in a piece for your office it’s worth considering a few factors.

Your Body Type

When you’re looking for a great office chair it’s important to pick a chair that’s optimized for your body type. While many of the best office chairs are customizable enough to fit all body types, some are less so. If you’re six-foot plus, a chair that fits you might not fit your five-foot cousin. Look for chairs with adjustable backs, with good seat height range, and with headrests that can be positioned to match your head and shoulders. Also keep an eye on the weight capacity, particularly if you’re on the big and tall side.

Longevity

As with any purchase, when you’re purchasing an office chair, quality can vary considerably. Some office chairs will last you for years, while other cheaper options may not. Before you buy, it could be worth it to consider the lifespan you expect out of your investment. If you’re after a chair that’s meant to last you for 10 years of daily use, then be ready to spend a fair bit of money; however, if you don’t plan to spend a lot, don’t expect your chair to wow you with its longevity. As you research the chair for you, make sure to read customer reviews, and examine the materials a given chair is built with. Look for chairs that incorporate strong metals like steel, and higher-quality plastics that won’t break down, or leach harmful chemicals.

Sustainability

Sustainability is an important factor in any furniture purchase. Office chairs are usually made mostly of plastic and metal. With a little work it’s possible to find office chairs that feature recycled plastics in their build. Many office chairs also include fully recyclable plastics. This information is sometimes featured in a given chair’s specs. Some companies feature environmental impact statements for their products and this can be a helpful tool if you’re looking to determine whether a product is a sustainable buy.

FAQs

Q: What are ergonomics?

Where chairs are concerned, ergonomics refer to a chair’s ability to mold to the human form and take pressure off certain bodily systems, to ease the flow of work and ensure the worker doesn’t get hurt along the way. Usually ergonomic chairs include multiple flex points that can be customized to the body, as well as features like lumbar support.

Q: What is the best office chair?

We think the Steelcase Think Fabric Chair is the best office chair. That’s because of its excellent ergonomic customizability, paired with sustainable recyclable materials, and non-toxic design.

Q: What types of office chairs are available?

Most office chairs on our list are traditional swivel chairs with pneumatic up-and-down adjustments and some customizable ergonomic detailing. However, we also included a non-traditional active stool that can be adjusted to fit a standing desk. Office chairs come in all types, and are made of nylon, leather, faux-leather, and many other materials. Older models of office chairs might feature wood backs with a leather pillow. 

Final Thoughts

The best office chairs of today come in many makes and designs. These usually feature wheeled swivel bases and ergonomic support that can be melded to you. Often they are made of various plastics and metals, but can also be upholstered with leather. For a sleek yet affordable office chair that vamps on mid-century modern design aesthetics check out the SOHO Ribbed Management Office Chair. For those who might want a value option, Flexispot makes an affordable ergonomic chair that’s worth a look for anyone who’s on a budget. For the best of the best, however, you’ll want to check out the Steelcase Think, a  powerhouse piece of furniture that’s good for the environment and for you. 

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