Best Ergonomic Office Chair 2020 : Reviews and Buying Guide

best ergonomic office chair

Studies have shown that paying close attention to ergonomically optimal fixtures is a good decision for business owners. Getting the physical ergonomics right is key to find the best ergonomic office chair. This can help increase a worker’s productivity as well as decrease the instances of work-related injuries.

For businesses, this means a decrease in compensation claims from employees as well as decreased turnover. Even with just the wrong type of chair, employee’s report an increased number of lower back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain.

This is why for years, students of physical ergonomics have made it a point of creating fixtures that easily conform to the natural shape of a person’s body. By doing so, muscles are not inclined in an awkward angle, thus causing pain and tension.

Fortunately, these studies have borne fruit through the production of ergonomically designed chairs that have been proven to work. Following are some of the most popular chairs in the market that fall under the ergonomic category:

Reviews of the Best Ergonomic Chair

Ergonomic Chair

Editor's Ratings

Price

Herman Miller Embody Chair

Steelcase Gesture Chair

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

Haworth Zody Chair

Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair

Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

Balt Butterfly Executive Chair

Sayl Chair by Herman Miller

Leaders Executive Office Chair

Serta Mid-back Office Chair

Viva Office Mesh High Back Chair

Alera Elusion Swivel Chair

Space Seating Air Grid

Flash Furniture Mid-back Mesh Chair

AmazonBasics High Back Executive Chair

Herman Miller Embody Chair (Editor's Choice)

Herman Miller Embody Chair

This particular ergonomic chair has been specifically created for people who sit at least 4 hours a day. The construction aims to provide a degree of comfort that helps improve focus and enhance health.

Made of 100 percent polyester textile, it conforms to body movements, thus preventing heat build-up between the material and the skin. Practically every aspect is adjustable starting with the arms, the tilt limiter, and the seat depth.

The backfit can also be adjusted to align with the natural curve of the spine. In order to create this chair, designers have consulted several experts in the field of physical therapy, vision, and biomechanics. The parts used are also recyclable, allowing for renewed use after it loses its value as a chair.

What We Like

  • It arrives to your home fully assembled.
  • The product comes in more than a dozen color options.
  • It comes with a 3-shift and 12 year warranty.

What We Don't Like

  • The product requires the user to assume an upright sitting position. If you prefer to slump a little while sitting, this is not for you.
  • Some users have noted that while the arms can be moved side to side, they cannot be moved forward or backward which can be problematic for people with longer arms.
  • Users have noted initial problems in getting comfortable on the chair.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $1000

Steelcase Gesture Chair

Steelcase Gesture Chair

Said to be the first office chair designed to meet a large range of user sizes and postures, the Steelcase Gesture Chair comes with a 3D Liveback that automatically adjusts to properly support the spine during movement. The 360 Arm moves just like a human arm, therefore providing sufficient support through various postures.

The product takes into consideration the use of different gadgets during the day and has optimized the movement of the chair to suit the body’s posture when using all three gadgets. The chair can be controlled through easy to know gestures with a spring that helps adjust the angle of the seats for maximum lumbar support.

What We Like

  • The chair comes in 8 different colors.
  • It is covered by a comprehensive Steelcase warranty.
  • The chair has additional air pockets on top of the foam, providing firm support even after hours of sitting down.

What We Don't Like

  • Some consumers have complained about the lack of a headrest.
  • The product is not suitable for users who are taller than normal.
  • The arm rests do not have sufficient padding for proper cushioning.

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

The product boasts of the PostureFit feature that provides support to the pelvis while keeping the back aligned and free from any pain caused by improper posture. The chair manages to reduce stress among pressure points to prevent discomfort after hours of sitting down.

It also makes use of material that breathes, allowing air to circulate in between the skin and the chair to prevent heat build-up. Kinemat feature allows for the natural pivot of the shoulders, knees, ankles, hips, and neck so that the body can move naturally.

A waterfall effect on the bottom portion lets the legs slide gracefully down the chair without pushing through the calves and cutting blood flow.

What We Like

  • Product comes with a long 12 year warranty.
  • All the chairs are eco-friendly with more than half of the chair made from recycled materials, and may be recycled further when no longer in use.
  • The chair comes in three different sizes and various color choices.

What We Don't Like

  • The chair does not come with a headrest, although you can buy a compatible one online
  • It comes disassembled, but the assembly process itself takes only 15 minutes.
  • It’s not ideal for people who are significantly above average in height.

Haworth Zody Chair

Haworth Zody Chair

The product is said to be fully adaptable for many needs, starting with desk use to conference room use. It has been specifically designed to meet scientific standards of wellness with adjustable parts that allow for a customized fit.

It features 4D arms that allow for four movement options of in / out, pivot, up / down, and backward / forward. It also comes with multiple tilt positions, allowing users to lay back or assume a straight-backed sitting position for desk use.

Adjustments are easily available with clear and concise labels for quick mastery. Each aspect of the chair can be individually controlled so all users will be able to arrange the Haworth Zody Chair to meet their personal preferences and dimensions.

What We Like

  • The product is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association.
  • It’s been made to fit 95% of the population.
  • More than 50% of the product contains recycled content, and you can recycle 95% of the chair when it’s no longer in use.

What We Don't Like

  • There is no information about warranty coverage for the product.
  • There is no headrest available for this chair.
  • The material used to cover the chair doesn’t appear to be breathable

Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair

Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair

The product features the LiveBack build that helps conform to the shape of the spine, therefore preventing backaches due to wrong posture. Lower back firmness can be adjusted, depending on whether you want to tilt back for a relaxed position or keep your posture straight and strong during meetings.

The arms are completely adjustable with a pivot mechanism, up / down movement, and backward / forward options. The seat edge is also flexible so that it doesn’t cut off blood flow from the knees downward when sitting for long periods of time.

Certifications met by this product include Cradle to Cradle, BIFMA Level 2, and Indoor Advantage. The product is easy to assemble, according to buyers.

What We Like

  • There are multiple colors to choose from.
  • The product is 98% recyclable, allowing for a greener decision on office chairs.
  • Wheels move and glide smoothly on any surface.

What We Don't Like

  • There is no headrest for this chair although the back seems to be long.
  • The adjustable arm rest is too short and doesn’t support part of the wrist.
  • Some users have noted that the chair material is itchy.

Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

This ergonomic chair features 3 tilting positions that can be adjusted easily and locked into place with the flick of a finger. The height mechanism functions using a pneumatic system, allowing multiple users to adjust the chair depending on their current needs.

The headrest, back, and seat are done in a mesh pattern, allowing for maximum air circulation when in use. The arms can be adjusted to fit the need of the user.

To provide consistent comfort, the product offers adjustable lumbar support whether sitting straight or reclined at an angle.

What We Like

  • The chair is available in several different colors, with an assembly time that takes as little as 15 minutes.
  • The product is covered by a lifetime warranty from Ergohuman.
  • The chair’s price is lower than the typical market price for standard ergonomic chairs.

What We Don't Like

  • When adjusting the arms, you have to raise it all the way in order to get it back down.
  • The product weighs heavier than most ergonomic chairs at 64 pounds, making it hard to drag around.
  • Chair casters are made from plastic and thus, have some questionable durability.

Balt Butterfly Executive Chair

Balt Butterfly Executive Chair

Featuring a mesh back to prevent heat retention, this ergonomic chair allows for angle adjustment that locks into three different positions. The depth of the seat may be adjusted to accommodate users of different heights.

The contours of the back are ergonomically designed to prevent back pain resulting from long hours of sitting. The product also comes with a headrest also featuring mesh material to keep it light and breathable.

The arm rests pivot and may be adjusted in height to allow for varying body proportions of multiple users. Dual wheel casters are installed with the model to provide smooth movement of the chair across the floor. The chair is built to accommodate various types of work activity and positions.

What We Like

  • The headrests are curved, so it provides a large degree of cushioning for the user.
  • Assembly time takes as little as 20 minutes, according to users.
  • The product is cheaper compared to other ergonomic chair models available on the market today.

What We Don't Like

  • Some parts of the chair are made of plastic and thus, are less durable than others.
  • One user has noted that the arms are spaced too far apart. The arms may only be adjusted by height and cannot be moved inwards or outwards.
  • The model is limited to just one color option.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $500

Sayl Chair by Herman Miller

Sayl Chair by Herman Miller

The product comes with ArcSpan and Y-Tower as the introductory features that help shape the back and provide support to the natural curve of the spine. Ergonomically designed, the Sayl Chair by Herman Miller comes with a back suspension that flexes depending on the shape of the user.

This admittedly makes it ideal for all body types. The back itself also features a weave-like pattern which allows for air circulation. This should help prevent heat retention during hours of chair use.

The chair itself is 93 percent recyclable. It also weighs marginally less than other chairs in the market today at just 39 pounds. You can adjust the height between 15.5 inches to 20 inches, depending on the user’s leg length.

What We Like

  • The chair comes with an impressive 12-year warranty.
  • The net-like design makes it significantly unique from other chairs.
  • The Sayl Chair by Herman Miller is by far one of the cheaper ergonomic chairs on the market today.

What We Don't Like

  • There doesn’t appear to be any arm adjustment features available for this product.
  • There is no headrest.
  • The product doesn’t arrive assembled, although you can have someone expertly assemble it for you for an added cost.

Leaders Executive Office Chair

Leaders Executive Office Chair

The product offers a unique backrest design where there are two individual back pads rather than just one smooth pad. The backrest is fully adjustable with regards to tilt and tension, allowing users to change the settings depending on their personal preferences.

The height and width is also adjustable with a pneumatic control capable of handling all sizes and shapes of users. The armrests may be adjusted or removed altogether, on the pleasure of the user.

Providing sufficient support is a Triple Y 6 Leg-Based for unquestionable stability even when in a reclining position. This bare-bone ergonomic chair is sufficiently padded to provide comfort for long periods of sitting down.

What We Like

  • The product meets ANSI/BIFMA standards and is Cal 117 Compliant.
  • The price is cheaper compared to other ergonomic chairs on the market today.
  • Assembly is incredibly easy and takes only a few minutes according to buyers.

What We Don't Like

  • Headrest adjustment is too small and may not suit everyone’s height. For tall people, the headrest, at its highest, will rest on the back of your shoulders instead of the neck.
  • Recline includes the whole chair so it can be a bit uncomfortable for those who prefer to sit at an angle.
  • No information as to product warranty is made available by the manufacturer.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $300

Serta Mid-Back Office Chair

Serta Mid-Back Office Chair

This office chair is built to handle up to 250 pounds in weight. The product features an ergonomic design and meets BIFMA standards. The chair material is primarily made in smooth eco-friendly bonded leather for a comfortable fit against the skin.

It comes with a pneumatic lift control through seat-side cables and a lock system that keeps your desired height in place. Arm positioning can also be adjusted through the help of a push-button system.

The back portion features BIM Active Lumbar that pivots in response to the body’s natural curve, therefore providing continuous support for the spine. The headrest is well padded as well as the rest of the chair, allowing for a cushioning comfort for the whole body. Tilt may be adjusted depending on the degree of recline preferred by the user.

What We Like

  • The assembly procedure is short and quick.
  • The bottom portion is lushly padded for extra support.
  • The large seat dimension allows for comfortable sitting.

What We Don't Like

  • The product only has a 1-year limited warranty compared to the 12-years available for other ergonomic chairs.
  • Chair is on the heavy side at 51.4 pounds, so rolling it around can be a bit difficult.
  • There is only one color available for the chair.

Viva Office Mesh High Back Chair

Viva Office Mesh High Back Chair

This contemporary mesh office chair features a high back and a headrest to provide full body support. The mesh material prevents moisture build up, allowing air to circulate around and keep the skin cool even after hours of continuous sitting.

Tilt control allows for precise tilting while maintain firmness of the back for sufficient support. The height can also be adjusted through a simple mechanism.

Overall build is capable of supporting up to 250 pounds in weight. The headrest is adjustable, allowing users to change the height in order to fit their unique proportions. The all-black design makes it equally ideal for the home.

What We Like

  • The manufacturer offers free component exchange within two years of buying this product.
  • The arm rest is also adjustable in terms of height.
  • Difficulty of assembly is reasonable, allowing buyers to skip the Expert Assembly option provided by the seller.

What We Don't Like

  • Arm width, pivot, and backward/forward cannot be adjusted for this ergonomic chair.
  • Users note that the edge of the seat is curved downward, thus giving the feeling of sliding off the chair each time.
  • No other colors are available for this style.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $200

Alera Elusion Swivel Chair

Alera Elusion Swivel Chair

This ergonomic chair is specifically designed to provide you with a very straight back support with adjustability options that fit multiple users. The back is made of mesh material instead of a solid opaque cover, making it possible for air to pass through in between the holes.

This provides for good breathability and prevents heat retention when in use for several hours each day. The edging follows a waterfall contour, providing for a smooth flow from the upper thighs to the calves without cutting off blood flow in between.

The seat cushion itself is contoured to fit the buttocks. Sufficient padding allows for a comfortable fit with a fabric that feels good on the skin.

What We Like

  • Assembly time takes as little as 20 minutes.
  • The seat depth and tilt are completely adjustable.
  • Several users have noted the long-lasting value of the padding that remains firm even after a year of constant use.

What We Don't Like

  • One user notes that the chair is not ideal for people who are above average in height.
  • The chair only comes with two color options of black and black/white.
  • The back seat does not tilt.

Space Seating Air Grid

Space Seating Air Grid

Available in different shades, this particular chair makes use of a mesh pattern for the back and an opaque leather seating with padding for the bottom portion. The mesh material is made to offer breathing room for the users and prevent heat retention through full body contact after hours of use.

The height may also be adjusted through a pneumatic design combined with tilt tension features. This should help users adjust the recline of the chair if they want a straight-backed comfort or a little more relaxed posture.

The arms are angled and may also be adjusted to fit user needs. Casters are oversized and dual wheel, built to function even on the carpet.

What We Like

  • Assembly instructions are simple and take less than 20 minutes to put together according to one user.
  • Unit would fit well even for users who are above-average in height.
  • Large casters allow for carpet use.

What We Don't Like

  • Arm adjustability is limited in height. Users can’t move it backward/forward or in/out
  • While available in different shades, the colors are limited to just black, grey, and white.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $100

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair

The heavy duty chair has nylon base and black leather upholstery. The product is also covered with CA117 Fire Retardant Foam, allowing for excellent longevity and durability.

It comes with dual wheel casters and weighs just 32 pounds, making it easy to drag around the office. The mesh back allows for easy air circulation, therefore preventing heat retention when used for long periods of time.

It is built with adjustability features, specifically for the height of the chair and the firmness of the back. The curve of the back is also ergonomically designed to help prevent back pain. The line of the back promotes proper posture as it coaxes the user to sit up straight.

What We Like

  • The chair is capable of accommodating even someone who is above average in height.
  • The product is priced cheaper than many ergonomic chairs in its class that are out on the market today
  • The base is made of leather, allowing for long-lasting use.

What We Don't Like

  • Assembly instructions are tough to follow. Expert assembly for the chair is available for an added cost.
  • The arm is not adjustable.
  • No information as to product warranty was given by the manufacturer.

AmazonBasics High Back Executive Chair

AmazonBasics High Back Executive Chair

This particular chair has a weight capacity of up to 250 pounds and is covered by a 1 year limited warranty. It features a pneumatic height adjustment for the seat with a swivel that takes a 360 degree turn.

Casters are smooth-rolling with a well-padded seat that offers sufficient cushioning for the user. It features a butterfly seat plate with contours that curve to support the spine of the user for long periods of time.

The padding and leather material of the chair feel good on the skin and help prevent heat retention. Compared to all other chair models on the market today, this product might well be one of the cheapest available.

What We Like

  • Assembly is quick and easy as per users.
  • The 360 degree swivel allows for a wide range of motions, ideal for office use.
  • Users who are above 6 feet in height have commented that the chair fits them perfectly.

What We Don't Like

  • The product only comes in one color of black leather.
  • Arm rests cannot be adjusted and there’s no headrest available.
  • No information as to product warranty is forthcoming.

How to Choose the Best Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic chairs today are often required to meet certain standards to guarantee their effectiveness in supporting the body and providing sufficient aid with the spine and posture. With various choices however, it can still be difficult for individuals to choose the right office chair for their needs.

Here are some tips that should help you.

Why Buy an Ergonomic Chair?

Buying an ergonomic office chair contributes primarily to spine health. Studies have shown that improperly made seats force the body into maintaining positions that are contrary to the natural posture of the spine.

This can lead to pinched nerves, aching muscles, poor blood circulations, and bad posture. For many office workers, one of the root causes of body pain can be traced to the use of poor office chairs for hours at a time.

With the use of an ergonomic chair however, all these problems might well be resolved. Body pain should become limited and workers wouldn’t have to spend their weekends trying to soothe the pain away from their muscles.

The impact of ergonomic chairs in work productivity is also crucial. Body pain, improper posture, badly designed chairs can make it difficult for workers to move around their unit.

Studies have noted that an uncomfortable chair makes it more problematic for workers to focus on their tasks. This is because their mind tends to wander and focus on their discomfort, thereby preventing them from concentrating properly.

Constant body problems also lead to more absences and higher demands for health care and compensation which can increase the company’s expenses.

What to Look Out For in an Office Chair

When choosing an office chair, it’s important to take several factors into consideration in order to guarantee the quality of what you’re buying.

Here are some tips to follow:

Quality Standards

Make sure it meets quality standards set by the industry. While there are several governing organizations concerned with furniture quality, one of the seals you should look for comes from BIFMA. BIFMA is a non-profit organization which concerns furniture manufacturers and ensures that they meet quality standards when providing products to the general public.

Warranty

Ideally, a good office chair is covered by an extensive warranty to guarantee repair, parts, and durability of the chair. The warranty should cover at least 1 year’s worth of office chair use, therefore giving buyers ample time to properly assess the excellence of the seat.

Ergonomic Design

Ergonomically designed chairs are the ones best used for office needs. Employers will find that installing these types of chairs will help improve employee productivity as per studies on the matter.

Form and Style

Of course, it also helps to have an office chair that looks good in its overall design. Ideally, office chairs are done in solid black or white colors to promote professionalism in the office. Taking into account the need for a clean and peaceful setting, a classically beautiful chair should be able to promote a more workable environment in the office.

Green Features

While not incredibly important, some chairs are environment friendly in that they are made from recycled materials. Some chairs can even be recycled further once the buyer no longer wants to use them after several years. Opt for office chairs that have this feature in order to recoup some of the investment through recycling.

Assembly

Assembly should be quick and easy. Many office chairs today can be assembled in as little as 20 minute with just basic tools being used to build the chair for use. Some chairs also come as is which means that no assembly is required of the user.

Price

Lastly, don’t forget to consider the value of the chair itself. While buying chairs worth several thousands of dollars might seem like a good idea, it’s also worth noting the presence of other cheaper models in the market today. Business owners are encouraged to compare different chairs and find the ones that hit the balance between functionality and price.

Important Features of a Good Office Chair

Office chairs come in a variety of shape and sizes, giving employers virtually endless possibilities when choosing an office chair. Following are features your office chair should have:

Seat Height

Make sure to check out how low or high the seat can go. Most ergonomic chairs are adjustable and thus may be used by a large percentage of the population. However, if you fall within the extremes – either below or above average – then you’d want to make sure that the product supports your height.

Seat Size

Find out the dimensions of the seat, specifically the bottom portion where you will be resting your buttocks and thighs. The typical size is 17 to 20 inches with a depth that allows the user to sit and rest his back to the backrest. Also take note of the edges of the seat, preferably creating a waterfall effect rather than a straight edge. A curved or waterfall effect allows for a seamless transition from thigh to calves, therefore keeping blood flow continuous and preventing sleeping leg syndrome.

Backrest

The backrest should be wide enough to support the body with a curve that conforms to the natural position of the spine. A headrest is often attached to the backrest but this is not a necessary feature.

Lumbar Support

Lumbar support refers to the part of the chair where your lower back rests. The lower back curves inward and thus should be supported when using the chair for long periods of time. There should be a lumbar adjustment that lets you fit the lower back comfortably onto the material of the chair.

Seat Material

Material of the seat should be made of breathable quality cloth to prevent heat retention. A popular material used today for the seat is mesh, therefore allowing air to circulate through the material. Note that seat material includes the use of padding for the chair. Ideally, there should be a few inches of padding – just enough to cushion the back and buttocks when sitting.

Arm Adjustments

While arms are often forgotten by many users, they can provide some much needed comfort in the office. Arms, when available, should be easily adjustable, preferably through various positions. Adjustments in height are well in good but if you can find arms that can be moved backward and forward or in and out, this will be an added bonus to the functionality.

Ease of Use

Find an office chair that allows for easy adjustment. There’s not much point buying an adjustable chair if the adjustment functions are hard to follow. Pneumatic chairs are fairly common but the tilting adjustment, rigidity of the back, headrest, and arm adjustments may be operated through different means, depending on the manufacturer. Make a point of finding out exactly how the controls are laid out for these products and the locking mechanism that keeps them in place.

Wheels

While not all office chairs come with wheels, those that doe ideally should have smooth and solid wheels that can easily glide through the floor. A locking mechanism should also be present to help users stay in place when working on important tasks.

Conclusion

All in all, finding an ergonomic chair for home and office use depends largely on the person who would eventually use the product. Make a point of considering your personal characteristics and comparing it with user reviews before making a decision on which chair to purchase.

Make a point of reviewing what others have to say about the product so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Unfortunately, one buyer’s experience may not be similar to another person’s experience with the chair.

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