Being the proud owner of one of the best office chairs can make a huge difference to your life and your health. Whether you're a freelancer working long hours at home or are looking to kit out a whole office, it's worth spending the time (and the cash) to get the perfect office chair for your needs.
So, what are the key features to look out for when looking for the best office chair? Most of all, look for a chair that's going to last. Chairs with a guarantee and strong build may cost more, but are always worth the extra investment. You don't want to have to buy a new one after a year, and you really don't want to fall off a shoddy chair at a crucial moment (mid Skype call, perhaps?).
Also bear in mind that you're likely going to spend a large portion of your day sitting in this chair, so finding one that's comfortable and with good support is absolutely vital. It's also important to think about how the chair will fit in with your existing setup, such as your desk, as well as the style of your office.
Throughout this guide, you’ll find our favourite ergonomic office chairs, at a range of different price points. These include options from IKEA, Herman Miller, Amazon, Made.com.
01. Herman Miller Mirra 2
The best office chair is iconic, and super-plush
Seat height: Adjustable | Seat width: not stated | Max load: size A: 136 kg, Sizes B and C: 159 kg | Lumbar support: yes | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: yes
The Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair is a more affordable alternative to Herman Miller's wildly successful Aeron chair. With 10 different adjustment systems, the Mirra 2 is a refined, comfortable and fantastically supportive office desk chair that looks brilliant. It definitely isn't the cheapest office chair out there (see below for some more budget office chair alternatives), but the posture support is excellent, making this one of the most ergonomic office chairs you can buy. It's also designed to regulate temperature, meaning that you can easily sit at it for hours without getting all hot and sweaty.
02. HAG Capisco Puls 8010 ergonomic office chair
The best ergonomic office chair for back pain
Seat height: 45-62cm | Seat width: 46cm | Max load: not stated | Lumbar support: yes | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: yes
If you suffer from back pain, then the HAG Capisco Puls 8010 is worth considering. It might look a bit odd at first glance, but trust us, that's a good thing: this is one of the best ergonomic office chairs you can get.
This Scandinavian chair is made of a mixture of steel and plastic, and unlike most others, is suitable for sit-standing desks. It has a moulded seat based on a horse rider's saddle – the foam infill places your legs quite wide apart, encouraging you to place your feet flat on the floor. Meanwhile, the adjustable seat is angled to fit with the natural curve of your lower back.
HAG is all about encouraging movement, so you can also sit on this ergonomic office chair back-to-front, and use those extruding parts as elbow rests. It's available in various colours – we like petroleum – and comes with a 10-year guarantee.
03. Mainstays Vinyl and Mesh Task Office Chair
The best office chair at Walmart is under $100
Seat width: 16.75" | Max load: 250 lbs | Lumbar support: no | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: not stated
If you want something cheap and cheerful, then Mainstays Vinyl and Mesh Task Office Chair could be just the thing for you. It's easy to put together and is height-adjustable with a generously padded back and seat. There are no armrests, but you may not find you need them when you're sitting at a desk. However, you may need to purchase a lumbar cushion if you're going to be doing long stints sitting at this office chair. Overall, though, in terms of ease of assembly/use and value for money, this one's a winner.
04. Saul Office Chair
The best stylish ergonomic office chair from Made.com
Seat width: 64cm | Max load: not stated | Lumbar support: no | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: not stated
Made.com aims to create "affordable, high-end design," and while not everything on the site is exactly what we'd call "affordable", most of it is absolutely beautiful to look at, and pretty practical too. This Saul Office Chair is no exception. It has elements of a comfy but sleek classic desk chair, but the wooden back and armrests (made from plywood with a walnut veneer) give it a unique twist.
This stylish office chair also swivels and has wheels, so you can whizz around your office and studio to your heart's content. We love the idea of being cocooned within the armrests, and while there isn't specific lumbar support, the padded seat and back could well be enough for you. If not, you could always add a cushion. In terms of assembly, you'll need to fit the legs, which can be slightly fiddly, but at least you don't have to worry about the top part, which comes assembled for you.
05. Herman Miller Sayl office chair
This Herman Miller office chair has impressive ergonomic credentials
Seat height: 38-48cm | Seat width: not stated | Max load: 133.3kg | Lumbar support: yes | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: yes
While Herman Miller's Aeron chair is the best office chair money can buy, we think its more affordable cousin, the Sayl, comes close for style. It comes in at roughly half the price, and the British School of Osteopathy uses it at its training centre, so you know it has top ergonomic credentials.
This chair was inspired by San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. And although the idea of a suspension bridge-inspired chair might seem odd at first, it makes sense once you sit in it – it's all about getting more from the least materials possible. The 'suspension finish' back moves with you as you shift around, providing more support in some areas of your back and allowing the back to maintain its natural curve. It's supremely comfortable, and comes with a 12-year guarantee – though we doubt you'll need it. These chairs are built to last a lifetime.
06. House by John Lewis Nova Office Chair
The best simple yet stylish office chair from John Lewis
Seat height: 42-52cm | Seat width: not stated | Max load: 114kg | Lumbar support: no | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: N/A
If you're looking for a simple office chair and aren't too bothered about having arm rests, then House by John Lewis could be the choice for you. The contemporary design will coordinate with most rooms, and the desk fits neatly under most desks, making this a great option for a studio or study that doubles as a spare room, say.
Some may find the chair a little hard after hours of use, so you may want to add a cushion, or else use this as an excuse to get up and move about every few hours (as you should be doing anyway).
Overall, this is an affordable chair that will suit many homeworkers.
07. IKEA Markus swivel chair
The best office chair from IKEA
Seat height: 48-57cm | Seat width: 53cm | Max load: not stated | Lumbar support: yes | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: yes
It might not look particularly exciting, but IKEA's Markus office chair ticks a lot of boxes – and at this price it's not just one of the best office chairs at IKEA, it's one of the best full stop. You can adjust its height, there's built-in lumbar support and the mesh material means the air can get to your back, which is great when you're sitting down for long periods. There's also a brake that engages when you stand up, to help avoid that awkward moment when your chair slides out from beneath you.
Many office chairs – including the Humanscale Diffrient Smart (in the top spot) – feature a back support that moulds into your back over time, but not everyone gets on with this system. The Markus chair's back support combats this by re-puffing when you get up. Happily, it also comes with a 10-year guarantee.
The only real downside is that the armrests aren't adjustable, which might be a problem depending on your height and the height of your desk. However, they are removable so you can get rid of them if they start to annoy.
08. GT Omega Pro Racing Office Chair
The best office chair for gamers may suit you better than you think
Seat height: adjustable | Seat width: 68cm | Max load: 120kg | Lumbar support: yes | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: yes
GT Omega Pro Racing Office Chair was designed for gamers, but that doesn't mean that designers, illustrators or anyone who sits in an office chair for significant periods of time won't enjoy it too.
This office chair provides maximum support, with cushions for both your head and your back. There are four reclining positions, so you can choose to work practically horizontally if you want (we don't recommend this, but it could be handy for a quick nap between clients). There's also a '4D' adjustable armrest, a tilt lock mechanism.
The overall design might not be everyone's cup of tea, and the leather might put some off, but those who do opt for this chair should be warned: you may not want to leave it ever again.
09. Amazon Basics Office Chair
The best office chair for those on a budget
Seat height: Max 52cm | Seat width: 48cm | Max load: 110kg | Lumbar support: no | Height adjustable: yes | Tilt lock: yes
If you're looking for a cheap office chair, the Amazon basics range is the place to look. More specifically, we recommend the Amazon Basics Office Chair, which is as the name suggests, a basic chair. It's ergonomically designed and has a cushioned seat and padded back. You can also adjust its height and the tilt.
Amazon admits this chair is not designed for eight-hour days – ideally, you don't want to be sat in it for more than five hours at a time. But that could be the perfect excuse to make sure you get up and away from your desk for at least an hour at lunchtime. You could also invest in a lumbar support to make it more comfortable for long periods of time. This chair is ideal for students or those on a budget, and in terms of quality price ratio, you won't get a better deal.