best office chairs
Credit: Dera Burreson

The 6 Best Office Chairs, According to Our Testing

The Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair was the clear choice in our Lab tests for its functionality and value.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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The humble office chair is often overlooked, but if you're spending eight or more hours a day sitting in one, why not put more consideration into which one? After all, many of us spend as much time in an office chair as we do on a mattress

We put 22 of the best office chairs on the market through rigorous testing, evaluating them based on factors like setup, comfortability, lumbar support, adjustability, design, durability, and overall value. Things like comfort and lumbar support are highly subjective, which is why our Lab tests were done by people of differing heights, abilities, and body types. That being said, we can't choose a single best office chair for everyone, but we can report on objective features and determine which we think would work best for most people, as well as give some suggestions for alternatives that might be a better fit for some. 

Additionally, we consulted Nancy Robnett Durban, PT, DPT, M.S., American Physical Therapy Association spokesperson and lead physical therapist for Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center on the importance of using a quality office chair: "[Office chairs] help to keep your body in the correct anatomical position so you can focus on your work at hand," says Durban. 

Our top pick, the Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair, features numerous adjustments for different body types at an accessible price point, making it a great all around pick.

Below, our recommendations for the best office chairs, as well as expert tips on how to best shop for and use office chairs. 

Our Top Picks

Office Star ProGrid Pro-Line II Managers Chair
Credit: amazon.com

Best Overall Office Chair: Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair

View at Amazon ($460)

Who it's for: People who want an adjustable office chair that can support most body types. 
Who it isn't for: People who need extra lumbar support. 

Made with a breathable mesh backing, this high-back office chair will provide just the right amount of support for most people, thanks to its numerous adjustments. Our testers found the controls easy to reach from a seated position for adjusting seat depth, seat height, and seat tilt. One tester, who is 6'1," says the seat height went even higher than they needed. 

You can either lock the seat tilt to your desired angle, or leave it unlocked and adjust the tilt tension to require more or less pressure to adjust, so no more leaning back in your chair only to feel like you're about to tip over. Plus, you can adjust both the height of the armrests and how far apart they are spaced to better relieve tension around the neck and shoulders. However, some testers found the armrests to rattle a bit at full extension. 

We would categorize this chair as medium lumbar support, which helps support the natural curvature of your lower back without hyperextending it. Although, those in need of extra lumbar support might not find this chair to have quite enough. 

The 360-degree swivel and smooth casters permits you to pivot your seat in any direction and gives maximum mobility. The chair has a professional, office chair look, though not a high-end one. But given the price, its classic appearance and its made-to-last build will more than fit the bill for most people. 

On the downside, this chair was one of the more difficult to assemble, so we'd recommend you have a helper on hand. However, testers were pleasantly surprised upon learning the price of this chair, given that it outperformed many of the more expensive models. 

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 26 x 29 x 42 inches
  • Seat Height: 18.25 to 22 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 51 pounds
  • Fabric Material: Mesh

RELATED: These 16 Desks for Small Spaces Will Help You Kick Your Work-From-Couch Habit

Office Star Pro-Line II ProGrid High Back Managers Chair, Black
Credit: Dera Burreson
Amazon Basics Low-Back Office Desk Chair
Credit: amazon.com

Best Budget Office Chair: Amazon Basics Low-Back Office Desk Chair

View at Amazon (From $65)

Who it's for: People who want an inexpensive office chair for periodic use.
Who it isn't for: People who want an office chair with armrests. 

This computer chair would make an excellent choice for college students or those who work from home periodically because it's inexpensive and compact, but still offers substantial support for the price. During our testing, we found the seat cushion to be solid, and you couldn't feel any of the structure underneath even when kneeling against it. And while the lumbar support is not adjustable, testers found the curve of the chair to offer decent support. 

It should be noted that this chair does not have armrests. However, this does make the chair suitable for sliding under a variety of different desk sizes, and it gives more flexibility for those who like to sit cross legged. 

The only adjustments available on this chair are those for raising the seat height up and down, which makes it more suitable for shorter sitting times. Testers found the lever easy to reach and use. 

In terms of design, the mesh material is comfortable and easy to clean. The chair was very successful in our caster testing, too: It glided with ease from the hard floor onto the rug all while keeping the tester firmly planted in the chair. The mobility and the chair's light weight make this pick excellent for moving from room to room for different tasks. Although it doesn't offer the adjustability and support of more expensive models, it is a solid, basic choice for those who don't plan to use their chair for more than short study or work sessions.  

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 18.7 x 17.7 x 38.2 inches
  • Seat Height: 16 to 20.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 16.75 pounds
  • Fabric Material: Mesh
Amazon Basics Low-Back Office Chair, Black
Credit: Dera Burreson
Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair
Credit: amazon.com

Best Ergonomic Office Chair: Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair 

View at Amazon ($330)

Who it's for: People who want added ergonomic comfort for longer sitting periods. 
Who it isn't for: People who want an office chair for tight spaces. 

This highly adjustable, ergonomic office chair received high marks across the board in our testing. It was one of the few office chairs we tested with adjustable lumbar support. One tester describes the lumbar support as "soft and sturdy" while maintaining adequate lower back support. 

Testers found the breathable mesh to allow for sufficient airflow, while the high-density, molded foam cushion provides both support and comfort so that you're sitting on it rather than sinking into it. One tester even noted that the cushion extends well under the legs for additional support. 

Unlike many competitors, which give you just a few reclining options to choose from, this adjustable chair allows you to lock directly into your desired angle at any degree from 90 to 120—an ideal range for relieving tension during long work hours. The adjustable headrest provides neck and shoulder support and keeps you comfortably sitting up straight for hours on end. The armrests and seat height are also fully adjustable. 

We have no doubts about the long term durability of this chair. One tester describes it as a "very well constructed chair with many metal parts that I feel will stand up well with extended use." And the unique, rollerblade casters rolled easily from the hard floor to the carpet in our testing. 

This chair is definitely designed first and foremost with comfort in mind, making it ideal for prolonged use. However, the trade-off here is that it's not the most stylish or compact chair of those we tested, and may not be an ideal fit for occasional use in a home office. However, those who need extra lumbar, neck, and shoulder support should look no further than this functional office chair.  

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 23.6 x 26 x 42 inches
  • Seat Height: 17 to 20.8 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 42.4 pounds
  • Fabric Material: Mesh
Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair, Black
Credit: Dera Burreson
RESPAWN 110 Racing Style Gaming Chair
Credit: walmart.com

Best Gaming Chair: RESPAWN 110 Racing Style Gaming Chair

View at Walmart ($169)

Who it's for: People who want an office chair that can double as a leisure chair. 
Who it isn't for: People who want the professional look of a classic office chair. 

Although they're not designed specifically for the office, the best gaming chairs can provide excellent support and comfort for extended periods of time. Gaming chairs generally have headrests, adjustable lumbar cushions, footrests, higher backs, and more reclining options than traditional office chairs. They are designed for use over long periods of time, and tend to prioritize comfort over posture or stability. In a professional setting, the style and size of a gaming chair might not be appropriate. However, they provide much of the support of ergonomically designed office chairs, but usually at a much lower price. 

This gaming chair definitely prioritizes comfort, which is why we think it would make a great choice for a variety of tasks, including gaming, working, watching movies, etc. We particularly like this model for its many adjustable parts, including the headrest and lumbar support cushion. 

The extendable footrest and 155-degree reclining tilt mean you can lie practically horizontal on this comfy chair. The sleek design features a faux leather upholstery that is easy to wipe clean, although it doesn't allow for much airflow when working long hours. The pneumatic seat height adjustment controls move the chair up or down with ease, however testers note that the armrests only move up and down with the seat height and are not adjustable on their own. 

In the end, this gaming chair provides more ergonomic features than your typical office chair, and can easily transition from work to play thanks to the extendable footrest and reclining capabilities. However, its size and style might not fit in certain office environments. 

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 26.4 x 28 x 48–51.2 inches
  • Seat Height: 19.25 to 22.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
  • Chair Weight: ‎46.5 pounds
  • Fabric Material: Bonded leather
RESPAWN 110 Racing Style Gaming Chair, Blue
Credit: Dera Burreson
Laura Davidson SOHO Soft Pad Management Chair
Credit: amazon.com

Best Office Chair for Style: Laura Davidson SOHO Soft Pad Management Chair

View at Amazon (From $360)

Who it's for: People who want a mid-century modern chair to elevate their space.
Who it isn't for: People who prioritize comfort over style. 

A design-forward chair can elevate the look of a workspace, which can contribute to an overall more enjoyable work experience, especially if you're working from home. That's why we love this mid-century modern, faux leather office chair that comes in 10 different colors to match a variety of office decor. 

Although this chair doesn't offer as much support and adjustability as more ergonomically designed chairs, it does have a number of functional features. The pneumatic adjustment lever allows you to adjust the seat height, and the tilt lock feature lets you lock the chair to your desired angle. One tester found the foam back and seat cushions both supportive and comfortable over extended periods of sitting—in fact, they liked it more and more the longer they sat in it.

The sleek, aluminum base can support up to 400 pounds, and gives the impression that it can withstand years of use. Our testers note that aside from the casters, there is no visible plastic on this chair—even the knobs and levers are made of metal. And out of all the chairs we tested, we found this one to have the least rolling resistance, so you can easily maneuver across different surfaces.  

On the downside, the armrests on this chair are not adjustable and are made of chrome steel, so they can be a little cold against bare skin. And in our testing, we found the lumbar support to be just OK, but it might not be enough for those who need extra support 

Overall, this stylish chair offers more comfort and adjustability than your standard task chair, but with a sophisticated look that will upgrade any space. 

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 21 x 25 x 39 inches
  • Seat Height: 18 to 20 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 28 pounds
  • Fabric Material: Vegan leather 

RELATED: ​​12 Pieces of Mid-Century Modern Decor You Can Buy on Amazon

SOHO Management Chair, Brown
Credit: Dera Burreson
The Container Store Flat Bungee Office Chair With Arms
Credit: containerstore.com

Best Office Chair for Airflow: The Container Store Flat Bungee Office Chair With Arms

View at The Container Store ($220)

Who it's for: People who live in a hot climate and want to stay cool while they work.
Who it isn't for: People who need extra support and adjustability for working long hours. 

A bungee chair features a steel frame with bands or bungee cords that act as support while allowing for ample airflow to keep you cool. But don't be deceived by its looks, this bungee chair has plenty of give, so it will conform to your body and keep you comfortable, too. 

The unique design makes a great addition to a home office or dorm, but testers found it to be sturdier than you may expect at first glance: This chair has the highest weight limit of all the chairs on our list. Plus, it swivels a full 360 degrees so you can easily rotate without getting out of your chair. 

This chair does lack some adjustability: The seat height and tilt are the only adjustable features. Our testers found the flexible seat back to be comfortable, but the hard plastic arm rests were not our favorite, and they're also not adjustable. We also thought the lumbar support on this chair curved nicely to fit your back, however it's also not adjustable. 

But what this chair lacks in adjustability it makes up for in ventilation, price, and style. For those who live in a hot climate or anyone who plans to sit in their office or computer chair for short periods of time, this lightweight and fun bungee chair will serve you well. 

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 35 inches
  • Seat Height: 17.5 to 21.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 450 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 30 pounds
  • Fabric Material: Polyester

RELATED: The 6 Best Window Air Conditioners to Cool Your Home

The Container Store Bungee Office Chair With Arms
Credit: Dera Burreson

Final Verdict

We chose the Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair as our best overall pick because it features numerous adjustments—including for seat depth, seat height, seat tilt, armrest height, and armrest width—meaning it can mold to fit just about any body type for maximum comfort and support. On top of all this, the price point is accessible for most budgets. 

Our Testing Process

We tested 22 office chairs in our Lab over the course of several days. For each office chair, we first followed the manufacturer's instructions for assembly, using a stopwatch to record how long the process takes. Once the chairs were assembled, testers evaluated how comfortable they are by kneeling on the cushion to feel for any structure underneath. They then sat at the desk as if working, taking note of how supportive the armrests and chair backs were. 

We also tested the different adjustments each chair had, including those for lumbar support, seat height, seat depth, seat tilt, armrest height, and armrest width, and considered how intuitive it was to make those adjustments. 

best office chairs test
Credit: Dera Burreson

To test the chair's durability over different surfaces, each tester sat in a chair and either propelled themselves or was pushed by another tester from the Lab's floor surface onto a low-pile rug, moving both forward and backward. During this test, we looked at how the casters performed, including if they kept the chair stable, if they snagged on any surfaces, and if they felt overall weak or flimsy. 

During testing, we considered the design and durability of each chair, including the material, extra features, casters, and overall look. Specifically, we took into account whether the chair looked cheap or like it would elevate an office space. Finally, testers received the MSRP after completing the above tests and were asked to come up with an overall value score for each office chair, considering its performance relative to its price. 

How to Shop for Office Chairs Like a Pro

Material and Cushions 

Many office chairs are made with mesh, with varying degrees of breathability, so you don't overheat or end up with a sweat stain on your back after long hours of working. Other chairs, like The Container Store Flat Bungee Office Chair With Arms, feature spaced-out polyester bands or "bungees" that allow for increased airflow without compromising on support. Leather or faux leather chairs provide a luxurious look that can elevate a space, although they don't provide the ventilation of mesh or bungee chairs. 

When it comes to padding, first impressions aren't everything: Soft cushions might feel comfortable the first time you sit on them, but they won't always provide the support needed to work over many hours without slouching or sinking. In general, avoid a seat that is either too soft or too hard. Some chairs even feature washable seat cushions or extra seat padding, too. 

Armrests 

Armrest or no armrests? Armrests can help to relieve the strain on your neck and shoulders, reduce the load on your lower back, and promote good posture when in a seated position. However, a chair with fixed, non-adjustable armrests that are not set correctly for your body can be worse than one with no armrests at all. Plus, office chairs without armrests can more easily slide under a desk and give you more flexibility to sit in different positions, which is particularly useful if you prefer to sit with your legs crossed. If you do prefer to sit cross legged and still want the support of armrests, look for a chair with smaller armrests that won't hit your knees. If your chair does have armrests, make sure they adjust to allow you to sit close to your desk. 

Tilt 

Having the ability to recline throughout the day can be appealing to those who sit in an office chair for long hours. Reclining can also improve circulation and help relieve tension built up from sitting in the same position for long hours. Some office chairs feature several different reclining positions to choose from, while others allow you to lock into the exact degree you prefer. For office work, a 100 or 110-degree tilt is ideal to relieve tension while still keeping you upright enough to work. 

Lumbar Support 

"Lumbar" refers to the lower part of your back that naturally curves inward. A chair with lumbar support helps to promote good posture and prevent slouching by filling in the gap between your lower spine and the seat, supporting its natural curvature. Without lumbar support, your body's natural tendency is to slouch or lean forward over time. For the best support, choose a chair with lumbar support that can be adjusted for both height and depth, so it properly aligns with your lower back. 

Shoulder and Neck Support 

Some office chairs feature headrests or high backs that cradle your neck and allow you to adjust the height or angle to fit your body. These are ideal for longer sitting periods, as they'll help you to sit up straight and refrain from slouching over the keyboard. The best gaming chairs typically provide an external neck pillow for additional support. 

AllModern Kealey Task Chair
Credit: Dera Burreson

Adjustability 

One of the factors that can really set an office chair apart from the competition is how much it can be adjusted to fit your body type and needs. A high-quality chair should allow you to adjust the seat height using a pneumatic adjustment lever so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. You should also be able to adjust the seat depth, lumbar support, tilt, arm height, and arm width. Any adjustment controls should be easy to reach from a seated position. 

Durability

An everyday office chair is going to endure countless hours of use, which can inevitably lead to ripped or stained upholstery, squeaky casters, wobbly parts, sagging cushions, etc. A chair that is built to last should feel very sturdy and strong—chances are, if it feels like it will break under pressure to begin with, it eventually will. 

You should also look for a chair with a stain-resistant upholstery such as mesh, leather, or polyester. Chairs with pneumatic adjustment levers use a gas cylinder that's spring-filled with air to help raise or lower the seat—check whether the chair you choose has replacement gas cylinders available in case it begins to lose pressure. 

Overall Value

The median price of all the office chairs we tested was $270. However, top-of-the-line office chairs can go for upwards of $1,000, and they justify their price tag with more inclusive warranties that will cover worn parts for years to come. However, the chairs that performed best in our testing range from about $200 to $400, making them an excellent value for the performance. With lower priced office chairs (under $150), you tend to get what you pay for, although, paying less for a chair might make sense if you only work in one sporadically. 

Amazon Basics Low-Back Office Chair
Credit: Dera Burreson

More Office Chairs to Consider

Alera Elusion Mesh Mid-Back Chair: Although not without its flaws, this office chair has a similar design to the Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair, but at a much lower price. Budget aside, we'd still choose the Office Star chair because its adjustment levers and knobs were more functional. But for a budget-friendly office chair for daily use, there's not much more you can ask for. 

Poppin Max Task Chair: If you want an office chair that feels more like living room furniture, this is a great choice. Testers were impressed with the soft yet sturdy cushion on this chair. However, some testers felt the curved backrest was a little too curved for sitting for long hours. 

Corrigan Studio Northfield Task Chair: For a more design-forward task chair, this pleated, faux leather option would work with many different styles of decor, and remains functional for the occasional work-from-home day. It lacks lumbar support and adjustability, but for occasional use we think you could get away with using a pillow to support your lower back. 

Questions You Might Ask

What makes an office chair "ergonomic?"

Many manufacturers throw around the term "ergonomic," but there's no official standard that determines whether or not a chair is actually ergonomic. In general, an ergonomic office chair is one that's been designed to best complement your body by offering adjustable support. "Ergonomics is about the best fit for you to lessen muscle fatigue, increase productivity and reduce injury," says Durban. "For a chair to be ergonomic you want to keep in mind things like height and position to keyboard, lumbar support, and adjustment options to help keep your feet on the floor." 

How should you sit in an office chair and for how long?

In order to truly feel the benefits of an ergonomic chair, you need to know how to properly sit in one. First, ensure that your keyboard is close to you and the monitor is at eye level to reduce neck and shoulder tension, Keep your arms at a 90 degree angle in a comfortable resting position. According to Durban, you should sit with your hips and pelvis slightly above your knees, keeping your feet on the ground with equal weight between them: "Sharing the weight-bearing between your pelvis and feet can take the pressure off your back and make it easier to stay upright (less slouched) for longer."

But even with a proper work setup and seating position, Durban says it's still important to get up and move throughout the work day: 

"Our bodies aren't meant to be stationary for very long. Small frequent breaks can go a long way to alleviate problems before they begin. Tools such as standing desks and ergonomic chairs can help put your spine in a more natural position. It is essential to stand and move often throughout the day and stretch at your desk if possible. Your best posture is a fresh posture. Be mindful to move!" 

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To come up with this list, we tested 22 office chairs over several days. Melanie spent hours evaluating testing insights from our Lab tests, considering factors like setup, comfortability, lumbar support, adjustability, design, durability, and overall value. She also consulted Nancy Durban, PT, DPT, MS, American Physical Therapy Association spokesperson and lead physical therapist for Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center for tips on what to look for in an office chair.