With so many shifting into the realm of working from home, a well-made office chair has become more important than ever. There are endless options from which to choose, from ones touting claims of ergonomic design and back support to those that simply look great and provide a sense of personal style and panache in your home office.
When seeking out the correct choice for yourself, it's important to stack your priorities up front to make sorting through the cornucopia of options more manageable. We used a two-prong approach to discovering the best options: First, we pored over the top-rated products on a variety of popular sites where office furniture is sold, and second, we asked Lindsay Newitter of New York company The Posture Police (who offer online courses for those looking to correct their carriage from home) and Certified Alexander Technique Teacher to give some tips and suggestions on how to get the best bang for your buck while staying spine-conscious.
"I've worked with a lot of people in their offices and I see more taller people sizing up and fewer smaller folks sizing down," Lindsay explained. "People on the shorter side (usually women) are often sitting with their feet dangling or tucking their feet under them or sitting on the edge of the chair so they can reach the floor. It's important to be able to put your feet on the floor while sitting all the way back and that the chair be high enough so that you can reach your keyboard without lifting your hand/wrists higher than your elbows."
Read on to see what we've gathered from her suggestions and our own research, then sit, swivel, and twist to your heart's content.
Want even more of a boost to your new seat? Check out these cushions designed to align your spine for optimal office sitting habits.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
A dependable standby, the Room Essentials bonded leather office chair at Target is their most popular option available for delivery. With armrests, casters, and adjustable height, it's the grandaddy of office chairs with a look you've seen hundreds of times in real life, movies, and television alike, and it won't break the bank with its price clocking in at well under $100. "Only took me about 10 minutes to assemble very easy and straightforward directions," a pleased reviewer lays out clearly, "Chair is sturdy and the lift lever works perfect."
Another basic option but with slightly sleeker design properties, the Amazon Basics High-Back Executive option is for the more visually discerning but still traditional types. Pewter touches contrast nicely with the futuristic forms constructed from bonded black leather throughout, and the overall impression it gives in a room is one of modern sophistication with just a touch of edge. An average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 on Amazon makes it a certified best seller, and pros mentioned often include the ease of assembly, comfort, and a sturdy feeling for the price: "Adjustments are easy to reach, locking and unlocking vertical is easy," writes one buyer, "and the back provides enough resistance so you do not topple over."
The Swedes have the market cornered on astute Scandinavian minimalism with an unexpected flair that both reads as modern and harkens back to a mid-century feel on which many discerning consumers base their interior design aesthetic on today. The Järvfjället is an ideal blend of form and function that respects that historical practice, and enthusiastic buyers rank it high among the options at retail giant Ikea. "I bought this to replace an office chair that did not swivel nor provide support for my head and was therefore causing me to have neck and back muscle strain," a five-star rated review reads, "This chair has the ergonomic features my old chair lacked, and has great support." Other benefits mentioned include "keeps posture intact," "very modern design," and most importantly, comfort.
Another of Lindsay's suggestions came in the form of this addition to an existing chair, the SitzRight seat cushion that takes pressure off your lower back by lifting the pelvis above the knees. She says this posture-boosting tool is "really good for people who tend to slide down the back of the seat as they work," and strategic holes throughout the design offer increased airflow for reduced heat and humidity, giving an overall more comfortable sitting experience. In addition to office chairs, you can also take this with you for better sitting habits in the car or in your favorite recliner so even lounging in front of the TV can be a healthier experience.
Lindsay’s higher end suggestion is one for those looking to drop serious cash on something that will last a lifetime and look high-tech, classy, and conform to every dip in your physique. While straight-back chairs are appropriate for someone who leans back while they work, most will tend to slump forward and that can be alleviated by shapes such as those found in the Embody which “supports more upright sitting.” A 12-year warranty and 30-day return policy provide some freedom to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth, and the chair’s construction in a 100% green-energy facility in Michigan of 95% recyclable materials means you can rest easy knowing you’ve made a great choice for the planet.
Coming from someone who runs the Posture Police, this might seem like quite the casual recommendation from Lindsay, but it topped her list with a note that the Chill Desk "can be used on a couch, bed, or as a standing desk on a table or counter." While not a chair per se, it can be used with any existing seat in your home and is highly affordable and adaptable. With the option to go for classic black or a spicier red tone, this portable desk is a great pick for those who aren't quite ready to migrate from their bed when it's time to log on each morning.
For those who want to add a bit of color and excitement to their chair game–and will be playing games in that chair–the Akracing Core Series EX Gaming Chair in the very attractive black and red color combo is ideal. It’s designed for comfort and ergonomic movement when you’re logging endless hours on missions or just at work, but it also has a certain Tron-style allure that makes it the retro-futuristic chair of our dreams.