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The best office chair for back pain in 2021

Included in this guide:

Mirra 2 chair in chic home office
(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Investing in the best office chair for back pain is a must for anyone working from home, or indeed anyone working for long hours in their chair. Failure to do so could result in years of unnecessary suffering. Fortunately, with Black Friday 2021 approaching now is a good time to find the best office chair for back pain at a good price.

Physiotherapists advise that a good ergonomic chair can make a world of difference to your posture, and to your overall health in the longer term. You'll want a chair that allows your lower back to maintain a good neutral position, supporting its natural curve and alleviating stress on the spine while improving its alignment all the way up to your head. You'll also want the height of the chair to be adjustable to allow your feet to be supported on the ground without changing the position of your back. 

Below we'll link directly to the best office chair for back pain Black Friday deals, or you can scroll down further for our full guide to the best office chairs for back pain available. If you want to learn more about the importance of using one of the best office chairs for back pain skip to the section on choosing a chair. Also check out our guide to the best office chairs overall, the best desks and best standing desks. And if you're looking for other products, see our guide to all of the best Black Friday 2021 deals

Best advance office chair for back pain Black Friday deals: US

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Secretlab Titan: $579 $479 from Secretlab
Save $100:
This gaming chair from Secretlab is number six in our list of the best office chairs for back pain below, and direct sales currently have $100 off, taking the fabric version to $479 and the PU leather version to $449.

Best advance office chair for back pain Black Friday deals: UK

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Comhoma ergonomic office chair: £129.99 £79.99 at Amazon
Save £50:
Number seven in our list below, this chair was already a good budget option, and it's now even better with 38 per cent off at Amazon. It's a basic offer chair with little in the way of adjustments, but it is designed to be kind to you back. It's certainly one of the best options at this price point.

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Flexispot BS9: £129.99 £79.99 at Amazon
Save £50:
Number seven in our list below, this chair was already a good budget option, and it's now even better with 38 per cent off at Amazon. It's a basic offer chair with little in the way of adjustments, but it is designed to be kind to you back. It's certainly one of the best options at this price point.

The best office chair for back pain in 2021

Mirra 2 office chair

(Image credit: Herman Miller)

01. Herman Miller Mirra 2

The best office chair for back pain overall

Specifications
Colour: Graphite + Twilight, Dark Turquoise, Urban Orange or White + Twilight, Studio White, Dark Turquoise or Urban Orange
Weight: 15.9kg
Max load: 159kg
Dimensions: 111 x 76 x 47 cm
Assembly: Comes fully assembled
Reasons to buy
+Premium build-quality +Strong lumbar support +Fully adjustable 
Reasons to avoid
-An investment

If you work long hours at a desk every day, it’s worth investing in an ergonomic chair for back pain that will support your body properly. And our top recommendation is the Herman Miller Mirra 2. 

Yes, it’s expensive. But you can expect this expertly crafted chair, made from high-quality

As you’d expect from a Herman Miller chair, it’s fantastically comfortable. And it provides the best back support for office chair users we know of. The butterfly-shaped backrest responds effortlessly to your movements, making your spine feel cradled and supported, and preventing you from slumping or slouching. 

The mesh is lovely and breathable, so you can stay cool on warm days. The chair offers excellent lumbar support, which can be adjusted for height, and the arms are fully adjustable too. The seat cushion distributes your weight beautifully, and it takes the largest maximum load (159kg / 350kg) of all the chairs on this list.

In short, this is the best chair for back pain that money can buy, bar none. For more Herman Miller options, see our dedicated Herman Miller chair guide.

Humanscale Freedom office chair

(Image credit: Humanscale)

02. Humanscale Freedom

The best chair for back pain that adjusts to your body

Specifications
Colour: Black
Weight: 11.3kg
Max capacity: 136kg
Dimensions: 69 x 63.5 x 109-135cm
Assembly: Needs minimal assembly
Reasons to buy
+Adjusts to your shape +High build quality +Attractive design
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap

If you suffer from back problems, you may often spend hours fiddling with your chair, in a vain attempt to hit that perfect sweet spot. If that sounds like you, we recommend the Humanscale Freedom. That’s because automatically adjusts to the shape of your body, in a way that other chairs just can’t match.

The clever thing about this design is that the flexible backrest tilts as you move; so if you lean back, it moves with your spine rather than pressing against it. That way, the chair supports your spine naturally, without you having to make any manual adjustments. 

On the whole, this is an expensive chair, but it's one of the best office chairs for back pain around, with superb attention to detail and high-quality materials, so you are getting value for money. And that backrest pivoting function; well, that’s quite unique and something you just won’t find elsewhere.

Mirra 2 office chair

(Image credit: Herman Miller)

03. Sihoo Ergonomic Office Chair

The best chair for back pain at a budget price

Specifications
Colour: Black
Weight: 18kg
Max capacity: 150kg
Dimensions: 62 cm x 45 x 119 cm
Assembly: Needs assembly
Reasons to buy
+Low price +Good looks +Highly adjustable 
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks premium finish

Concerned about your back but don’t have enough funds for the first two chairs on our list? Here’s the best office chair for lower back pain at a budget price.

This stylish chair has loads of aesthetic appeal. And it compares favourably with many pricier models in terms of functionality as well as looks. The highlights here are the mesh back, which is very breathable, and the good level of lumbar support. 

It’s also very adjustable: you can tweak the back support, headrest, armrests, height and tilt of the chair until you get your posture just right. It all adds up to excellent lower back support for office chair users. 

On close examination, the level of finish is not up to the standard of more expensive designer chairs, which is to be expected. But in general, it looks the part, and provides an excellent level of comfort and protection given the reasonable price.

HAG Capisco Puls 8010 chair

(Image credit: Hag)

04. HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls

The best chair for back pain in the saddle style

Specifications
Colour: Black
Weight: 14.4kg
Max load: 114kg
Dimensions: 77.2 x 71.4 x 26.4 cm
Assembly: Needs assembly
Reasons to buy
+Promotes active sitting +Strong lumbar support +Minimalist looks
Reasons to avoid
-Acquired taste

You may have noticed that the HÅG Capisco looks a little different from the other chairs on this list. That’s because it’s a saddle chair, which allows you to sit as if you are saddling a horse. This is widely believed to be the best kind of chair for countering and preventing back pain, based on reports like this Cardiff University study.

Saddle chairs are most popular amongst medical professionals, but their use has recently spread to other types of workplace. They're especially good for use with standing desks. The HÅG Capisco has a wider saddle. The HÅGCapisco Puls has a firmer, narrower saddle that allows you to sit with your legs closer together. Popular podcaster Joe Rogan is among the advocates of the HÅG Capisco Puls 8010, and we can understand why. 

Providing good lumbar and lower back support, it’s very comfortable in use and it’s very adjustable too. The seat tilts, with a tilt lock, and you can tweak its height and depth too, from a low sitting position to a sit-stand position. Plus, from an aesthetic point of view, this radical and minimalist Scandinavian design will certainly put your home office setup on the cutting edge of cool.

Sayl office chair

(Image credit: Herman Miller)

05. Herman Miller Sayl

The best Herman Miller chair for an affordable price

Specifications
Colour: Black + Black, Fog, Jezebel, Berry Blue or Apple Green; White + White, Black, Porcelain, Amber, Courgette, Java
Weight: 16.8-18.1kg
Max load: 159kg
Dimensions: 103 x 62 x 50cm
Assembly: Minimal assembly required
Reasons to buy
+Premium craftsmanship +Stylish design +Advanced ergonomics 
Reasons to avoid
-Divisive looks

Whether you’re talking about style, craftsmanship or functionality, Herman Miller chairs are pretty difficult to beat. But if you can’t afford the first recommendation on our list, the Mirra 2, then check out the Herman Miller Sayl. While it’s significantly cheaper, it’s still a fantastic ergonomic office chair. 

Made up of fewer parts than its sibling, its unique design – inspired by the Golden Gate bridge – may divide opinion. But we absolutely love this chic and offbeat take on the classic Herman Miller chair. And in terms of spinal support, it can’t be faulted. 

The vented elastomer backrest, made with strands that vary in thickness and tension, provides an excellent balance between support and comfort, not to mention great air circulation. You can adjust the armrests, seat height and seat depth. And the four-setting tilt limiter lets you adjust the tension to your liking.

Secretlab Titan Software Chair

(Image credit: Secretlab )

06. Secretlab Titan Software Chair

The best office chair for back pain aimed at gamers

Specifications
Colour: Stealth, Black, Amber, Classic, Ash
Weight: 35kg
Max load: 130kg
Dimensions: 81.28 x 36.83 x 69.85 cm
Assembly: Fully assembled
Reasons to buy
+Premium construction+Adjustable lumbar support +Comfy seat
Reasons to avoid
-Only really for gaming

Are you going to be using your chair primarily for gaming? Then we’d suggest the Secretlab Titan. This award-winning chair benefits from a premium feel, great attention to detail, and a proactive approach to preventing back pain.

Most significantly, there’s a fully adjustable lumbar support system, which you control via a knob on the right side of the backrest. The seat has the same bucket-style design used on racing chairs, so it keeps your buttocks well supported over hours of gameplay. And the cold-cure foam used as padding throughout makes this chair super-comfortable. 

The Titan is actually one of three similar chairs produced by Secretlab, and is suitable for anyone under 290 lbs. If you’re under 240 lbs, however, we’d recommend the Omega, while for those over 390 lbs there’s the Titan XL.

Conhoma office chair

(Image credit: Conhoma)

07. Conhoma Office Desk Chair

The best cheap office chair for back pain

Specifications
Colour: Black
Weight: 10.5kg
Max load: 150kg
Dimensions: 86 x 140 x 5 cm
Assembly: Needs assembly
Reasons to buy
+Low price +Comfortable and breathable 
Reasons to avoid
-Basic -Not very adjustable

Are you very short of cash? Don’t worry: for quite a small amount you can still get a chair that’s going to be kind to your spine. The Conhoma Office Desk Chair is a fairly basic chair, lacking the advanced features of the pricier models on our list. The only adjustments you can make are to seat height and tilt, as well as being able to position the armrests up or down.

However, the mesh back and thick padded seat cushion will keep you comfortable throughout the working day, and both offer great breathability too. Plus the overall design is ergonomic and provides good support for your spine. That’s pretty much it, but for such a low price, that’s still pretty impressive.

Flexispot office chair

(Image credit: Flexispot BS9)

08. Flexispot BS9

An unusual budget design that “just works”

Specifications
Colour: Orange
Weight: 13.5kg
Max load: 120kg
Dimensions: 119-129 x 43 x 43cm
Assembly: Needs assembly
Reasons to buy
+Affordable price +Moulded lumbar support 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite basic and not very adjustable-Only available in the UK

Another budget model available in the UK, FlexiSpot's BS9 does a good job of meeting the basic needs of an office chair at an affordable price. This chair might look and feel basic, but given its generous padding, it is instantly comfortable. 

One of its highlighted features is “3D lumbar support”, which basically means the shape of the mesh curves in a way that supports the gap between the lumbar spine and the seat. Don’t get too excited, though. This support is not in any way adjustable; it’s just how it’s shaped. That said, in practice this reviewer found it gives good support throughout day-long use; in other words, it “just works”. 

You can adjust the seat height (between 44.5cm and 53.5cm), using the gas lift operated by a lever, and the back tilt (between 90 degrees and 120 degrees) by pressing your back against it. We also like the W-shaped seat, which uses foam rubber to stop you sliding and slouching. On the downside, the armrests are static and can’t be moved, and there’s no headrest. 

This is quite a basic office chair that's not very adjustable, but if you’re looking for something cheap and comfortable, what this lacks in features, it makes up for in overall ergonomics and value. The Flexiport BS9 is only available in the UK, but Flexiport's US website has other reasonably priced ergonomic office chairs.

Choosing the best office chair for back pain

Do chairs help back pain?

"In the age of technology, we spend so much time sitting at our computers, and our bodies cannot maintain good posture for hours without fatiguing," explains Dr Amy Hoover, a physiotherapist at workouts company P.volve

"A chair that allows your lower back to maintain a good neutral position, supporting the natural curve in the lower back, can alleviate stress on the spine and improve the alignment of your spine all the way up to your head."

Lyndsay Hirst, a physiotherapist specialising in back pain and a specialist in Pilates, agrees. "The right chair set up is essential, not only to support the natural curves of the spine but also the shoulders," she notes. "Arm rests are really useful for someone who suffers neck and mid spine pain. Lumbar support is also very useful. An adjustable seat plate, back rest and arms will allow the user to adapt the chair to their specific posture."

It's especially important to replace an ageing chair, says James Crow, owner of Posture Stars, a website promoting good posture. "If your chair has been around for more than a decade it's probably time to upgrade," he explains. "The materials wear down over time, with seat padding especially taking a beating.

"The best office chair for back pain is one that's highly adjustable, so you can get the back to support you in a meaningful way. Invest wisely: we wouldn't buy the cheapest mattress or car, but many of us are spending eight to 10 hours a day perched on a 'value' chair."

Note that the chairs above give you a great chance of avoiding back problems in the future. If you're experiencing pain already, make sure you visit your doctor or chiropractor, as there may be underlying issues besides your chair. 

What is lumbar support?

When you're shopping for an ergonomic chair for back pain, you'll often see references to lumbar support. But what does that mean, exactly? The word 'Lumbar' refers to your lower back, which should curve inward, and as Chongsu Lee, a physiotherapist and creator of the robotic BackHug device, explains, "lumbar support can be an attachment, or a built-in part of an office chair that aligns with your lower back to maintain its natural inward curve."

Why does this matter? Well, when sitting, your lumbar becomes sandwiched between the torso, above, and buttocks, below. When you sit, lumbar stress is one-and-a-half times higher than when you stand, and double compared to when you walk.

"Left unsupported over time, the strain causes stiffness, making the lower back prone to injuries like slipped discs," Chongsu says. "Just like support beams in a building, lumbar support absorbs that strain and props your lumbar up, protecting it against stress and injury."

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.