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The 10 best office chairs: Sit comfortably as you work

What is the best office chair? The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is ZDNet's number one choice. We researched and compared pricing as well as features like weight capacity, material, durability, adjustability, and design to determine our top pick and other honorable mentions.
allison-murray
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer on

Choosing the best office chair is really subjective when looking at office furniture. Not everyone wants the same chair since not everyone works the same. Some people prioritize being adjustable arms or seat depth, while others want something high-end that looks striking behind their desk. Then there are people who focus on price -- either they want the cheapest, best value chair out there, or they want the creme de la creme, and that's where our list comes in handy.

We've hand-picked 10 office chairs that will satisfy a range of wants and needs -- whether you work from home or are back in a regular office. We believe these picks are among the best office chairs you can buy right now.

Features: 350 pound weight capacity | 6 color options | 3 size options

The Aeron is another chair from Herman Miller. It's our choice for the absolute best office chair because it's completely customizable. Choose what size you want, the type of back support, the tilt, if you want adjustable arms or not, and your chair's caster. The Aeron uses an "8Z Pellicle elastomeric" suspension to create zones that run across the chair to make sure your body feels totally supported. This unique backing also allows body heat to pass through the chair, so you're comfortable in warmer climates or during the summer months. 

While it comes at a hefty price tag, it's worth it since your chair will be exactly what you want/need.  

Pros: 

  • Completely customizable 
  • Patented PostureFit SL back support
  • Made of recycled materials

Cons:

  • Expensive--and customizations can add up

Features: 340 pound weight capacity | 10 color options | Optional footrest

The X-Chair X-Tech Executive is one of the most premium-feeling chairs that we've tested at ZDNet. Made with a Brisa soft-touch fabric that's both breathable to sit on for hours and durable enough to withstand bumps and scratches, the X-Tech Executive is ideal for anyone who seeks comfort. It also features a Dynamic Variable Lumbar support which, as the name implies, adapts to your spine as you lay back. 

Ultimately, you will have to pay a premium to reap the benefits of this executive chair, but for many, it will be worth it.

Pros: 

  • Cooling Gel Contoured M-Foam seat 
  • Adjustable armrests and headrest 
  • Super comfortable for long periods of sitting

Cons:

  • Lowest height setting can still be too high
  • X-Wheels don't always move in unison

Also: X-Chair X-Tech Executive full review

Features: 250 pound weight capacity | 2 color options | Reclines up to 155 degrees

This desk chair from Hbada is basically for power-nappers. It's a reclining desk chair capable of going back to any position between 90 degrees, which is perfect for working upright at a desk, to 155 degrees, for a quick cat nap or just to stretch your back out (and a retractable footrest for added comfort while laying). It also has an ergonomic design with an adjustable headrest, breathable mesh backing, and lumbar support. 

Pros: 

  • Good price 
  • Reclines at 120 and 155 degrees 
  • Retractable footrest

Cons: 

  • Footrest can be flimsy at times 
  • Seat cushion could be thicker

Features:  400 pound weight limit | 16 color options | Adjustable lumbar and seat

The Steelcase Leap Fabric Office Chair is our top pick for our best ergonomic chair roundup, so it makes this list as well. The chair accommodates various heights thanks to its adjustable seating height and armrests. And to reduce lower back pain during a long workday, you can move the lower back cushions to provide more support. It also has recline tension adjustment and a lower back firmness control.

Pros

  • Adjustable seat height 
  • Lower back tension controls 
  • Contoured backrest adjusts to your sitting position 

Cons

  • The high price makes it out of reach for some home offices 
  • Some reviewers note the seat cushion is too firm

Also: The 5 best ergonomic office chairs

Features: 250 pound weight capacity | 4 frame options | 4 upholstery options

If you're looking for a super stylish chair, this choice from Wayfair looks great and is also fairly comfortable to sit in for long periods. Choose from four frame options or four upholstery options, so you can have a rose gold frame on a crisp white chair. It also has tilt tension adjustment knobs so you can lean back when you need a quick break. 

Pros: 

  • Easy assembly 
  • Stylish and modern look 

Cons:

  • Seat cushion could be thicker 
  • Wheels aren't as smooth on certain surfaces

Features: 250 pound weight capacity | SofThread leather seat | 360-degree swivel

If you're the kind of person who's in and out of your chair all day or hunched over drawing at a drafting table for hours on end, this Hon Volt chair is for you. It offers seat height adjustment and a footrest beneath the seat, making it ideal for working at tall workstations. This chair can also double as a chair for your standing desk since it has an extended height adjustment. 

Pros: 

  • Extended height adjustment for easy sit-to-stand
  • Contoured seat and back cushions

Cons:

  • Only one color option
  • No armrests 

Features: 350 pound weight capacity | 5 color options | Extra padding

Close your eyes and picture an executive chair. We suspect this leather chair is what comes to mind. It features authentic wooden accents and is made by mattress-maker Serta, so you know the chair is going to be comfortable. It also has an ergonomic design with adjustable lumbar support.

Pros: 

  • Quality bonded leather with Serta cushions 
  • Waterfall seat edge

Cons:

  • Difficult to assemble 

Features: 300 pound weight capacity | 7 color options | Improves balance

Kneeling chairs are considered more ergonomic than desk chairs since they decrease posture slope and ease lower back pain. This specific kneeling chair is designed by one of the Norwegian designers of the original kneeling chair, Peter Opsvik, this chair has the classic kneeling chair (also known as a Balans chair) design while offering plenty of colors to choose from. 

This chair has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. It also comes with soft tape that you can put on the bottom legs to protect hardwood floors from scratches when your chair rocks back and forth while sitting on it. 

Pros

  • Straightforward assembly 
  • Comes in many colors

Cons

  • Can become creaky 
  • Not adjustable 
  • Expensive 

More: Best kneeling chair alternatives

Features: 250 pound weight capacity | 3 color options | 360-degree swivel 

If you're looking to spend less than $200 on your office chair, this chair from Hbada is a great and inexpensive option at just $130. This chair has a modern and sturdy design with armrests that you can put up or down depending on how you're working. Its high-density mesh also makes it breathable and comfortable to sit in for hours at a time. 

Pros: 

  • 90-degree adjustable armrest 
  • Adjustable rocking style 

Cons: 

  • Seat cushion could be thicker 

Features: 250 pound weight capacity | 24.2 inches of seat width | Mesh material

This ergonomic office chair comes with everything you're looking for in an office chair. It has lumbar support, pneumatic controls to make sure it'll fit comfortably with your current desk, and durable castors that roll on both hard and carpeted flooring. It also has a weight limit of 250 lbs, and it only costs $78.

Pros: 

  • Rocking mode 
  • Super inexpensive 

Cons:

  • Quality isn't as great as some of the more costly chairs 

What is the best office chair?

The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is the best office chair. We based our choice on our analysis of specs like price, material, durability, adjustability, design, and more. 

Office Chair

Price

Weight Capacity

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

Starting at $1,965

350 pounds

X-Chair X-Tech Executive

$1,915

340 pounds

Hbada Reclining Office Desk Chair

$170

250 pounds

Steelcase Leap Fabric Office Chair

$1,342

400 pounds

Upper Square Executive Chair

$184

250 pounds

Hon Volt Leather Drafting Chair

$300

250 pounds

Serta Big and Tall Executive Office Chair

$302

350 pounds

Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair

$379

300 pounds

Hbada Modern Comfort Swivel Home Office Chair

$117

250 pounds

Smugdesk Mid-Back Ergonomic Office Chair

$78

250 pounds

Which office chair is right for you?

Before purchasing an office chair, it's important to consider a few factors, such as how you prefer to work, what style(s) you like, what kind of support you need, and what price you're willing to spend. Any of the options on this list are great picks—it just depends on what you are looking for.

Choose this office chair...

If you want...

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

The best overall option

X-Chair X-Tech Executive

A comfortable , premium executive chair

Hbada Reclining Office Desk Chair

An office chair that reclines to 155 degrees for laying back 

Steelcase Leap Fabric Office Chair

An high-end ergonomic office chair

Upper Square Executive Chair

A stylish office chair that won't break the bank

Hon Volt Leather Drafting Chair

A drafting office chair that can also work for a standing desk

Serta Big and Tall Executive Office Chair

A comfortable leather office chair

Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair

A kneeling chair to improve your poster and balance

Hbada Modern Comfort Swivel Home Office Chair

A modern and sturdy office chair that's under $200

Smugdesk Mid-Back Ergonomic Office Chair

A budget-friendly office chair for under $100

How did we choose these office chairs?

We chose these office chairs through rigorous research, and some of our team even used the products themselves. We compared factors like pricing, reviews (both good and bad), different features that make each chair stand out, and the support that each chair provides. 

What to look for in an office chair?

As we said before, everyone will want something different in an office chair, but there are a few key features that you should look for that every chair should have. 

Lumbar support: An office chair with included lumbar support will prevent back pain/tension since it properly aligns your muscles and spine with its contoured shape. Lumbar support can also improve your posture.

Adjustable features: Features like adjustable armrests, adjustable height, and adjustable lumbar support are important for an office chair to have so you can customize the chair to your needs and your office setup. 

Cushioned seat: Be sure your office chair has a well-cushioned seat since that's the part of the chair where you will be putting most of your weight on. Look for a deeper seat if you are taller, and a shallower seat if you're on the shorter side. Also look out for chairs with waterfall seats, which are designed to slope slightly downward to relieve the pressure on the back of your thighs and knees. 

Caster wheels: You should be able to easily move around your office space thanks to quality caster wheels on your office chair. Pay attention to what type of floor(s) a manufacturer says the office chair is ideal for. 

Are expensive office chairs worth it?

Even though the price of some of these chairs may be sticker shock, an expensive office chair is worth it since you sit in it at least eight hours a day. There's nothing worse than being sore after sitting in an uncomfortable chair (not to mention, it can hinder your productivity), so investing in a quality office chair is important for your office setup.

What is the best ergonomic office chair?

The best ergonomic office chair is the Steelcase Leap Fabric Office Chair since it has lower back tension controls and a contoured backrest that adjusts to your sitting position. You can also check out our other recommendations for the best ergonomic office chair

How do you make an office chair more comfortable?

If the office chair you buy ends up not being the most comfortable, there are ways to fix that. For example, you can buy an office chair seat cushion to add more support and comfort. There are all different types of seat cushions that will fit any chair. 

In addition, you can add a lumbar support pillow to your office chair if it is lacking in that area. There are actually lumbar support pillows specifically made for office chairs, so you'll have plenty to choose from.

Are there alternative office chairs to consider?

Here are a few other options to look into:



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