The right ergonomic office chair is comfortable, helps you maintain proper posture, and minimizes the adverse effects of staying sedentary for extended periods.
Dr. Anish Bajaj, a New York City-based chiropractor specializing in spinal correction, says that when shopping for an ergonomic office chair, one of the most important factors to consider is whether or not the model offers adjustability. “Everyone has a unique center of gravity and the way that our trunk and our limbs fall is going to be different,” he says. “So when you’re able to make those fine tune adjustments, it can make a big difference.”
After hours of research, we put top-rated ergonomic office chairs to the test at both The Lab and in our homes, evaluating them based on their ease of setup, comfort, lumbar support, adjustability, design, durability, and overall value.
Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair
Great lumbar support
Comfortable, cushiony seat
Not the easiest assembly
Armrests not as sturdy
Of all the ergonomic office chairs we tested, the Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair stood above the rest because of its mid-range price point, impressive adjustability, and significant lumbar support. With a breathable mesh back and cushiony seat, it kept us comfortable for extended periods of time during our long-term tests. It also has built-in lumbar support for your back—ideal for those who spend a lot of time seated at their desks.
Assembling the chair was a bit more complicated than we’d liked, but the process proved to be well worth the effort (and time) in the end. In fact, our tester said that using this chair consistently eliminated the need for her lumbar pillow altogether.
We also appreciated just how adjustable this office chair was, as you can easily customize the seat height from 18.25 inches to 22 inches to find the best position for your height and desk set-up. In addition to adjusting the seat height, you can use the pressurized controls to adjust the seat depth, seat tilt, and armrests. The chair swivels 360 degrees and has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. While the Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair might share many of the same qualities as its high-end competitors, its moderate price point makes it more accessible compared to other options on this list.
Price at time of publish: $246
Seat Material: Polyester, plastic | Dimensions: 29 x 26 x 42 inches | Seat Height: 18.25-22 inches | Assembled Weight: 50 pounds | Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Human Scale Freedom Chair with Headrest
No manual adjustments needed
Headrest provides support to head and neck area
Certified net-positive product
If you spend extended periods of time sitting down while working, purchasing a pricier ergonomic office chair may just be worth the investment. The Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair might just be one of the best you can buy considering its impressive design and high-quality construction. This chair utilizes a weight-sensitive mechanism that adapts to each user’s body weight, adjusting the tension and reclining position to provide continuous support. This is especially helpful for those who don’t want to make manual adjustments as they shift in their seat throughout the day.
We also love that the Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair includes a headrest for optimal support for your head and neck area. It’s neutral when you’re in an upright position, but it cradles your head and neck during reclining positions. Plus, the backrest pivots to ensure lumbar support regardless of your position, while the contoured cushions distribute your weight and reduce pressure points, providing comfortable seating even for long periods of time The arms are attached to the backrest, so they move when you move, but you can also easily adjust them.
Thanks to the lack of bulky mechanisms, this chair, which can hold up to 300 pounds, is easy to maneuver. And while it’s undoubtedly more of a splurge than other options we tested, we think its innovation and premium comfort make it a practical purchase for those who spend a lot of time seated at their desk.
Price at time of publish: $1,538
Seat Material: Leather | Dimensions: 17 x 27 x 37 inches | Seat Height: 16.12-20.25 inches | Assembled Weight: 38 pounds (with arms) | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
Best with Headrest
Vari Ergonomic Task Chair with Headrest
Very comfortable design
Easy assembly process
Headrest provides support to head and neck area
No lumbar adjustments
If you want a good headrest in a mid-range-priced chair, the Vari Task Chair with Headrest checks all of the boxes. It’s ergonomically designed to maintain proper alignment and reduce muscle strain when seated for long periods of time. If you find yourself with neck pain after working all day, the adjustable headrest will cradle around the area, preventing discomfort. The chair has a reinforced mesh back for breathability, which will help to provide airflow and keep you cool. The office chair’s comfort-oriented design also features a pivoting backrest, providing maximum lumbar support.
You can also use the adjustable settings to customize the headrest as well as the heights of the back, seat (from 17 5/8 inches to 22 inches), and armrests. In addition, the back has adjustable settings for both tilt and tension. And while the Vari Task Chair is adjustable in almost all ways, the model’s lumbar support is not. The chair has durable rolling casters for easy maneuverability and a weight limit of 300 pounds. Shipped in pre-assembled parts, the Vari Task Chair with Headrest boasts one of the easiest setups right out of the box, requiring no tools and minimal effort.
Price at time of publish: $350
Seat Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 26.8 x 25.2 x 31.5 inches | Seat Height: 18-22 inches | Assembled Weight: 52 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair
Soft and sturdy cushion
Great lumbar support
Headrest provides support to head and neck area
Lowest height setting might be too high for some
If you tend to have back or neck pain after working all day, an office chair with a supportive construction might just change your life. The Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair is highly adjustable, extremely comfortable, and has great value considering its price point. Upon arrival, we found the chair very easy to assemble, as the instructions were very clear and the parts were clearly marked. During our lab tests, we appreciated that the soft yet sturdy seat cushion, which is made with high-density molded foam, extended well under the legs for additional comfort.
The lower lumbar support is fully adjustable both vertically and inward, which can be key to finding the most ergonomic position for your height and body type. The chair features a system of levers and knobs so you can customize just about every aspect of the chair to your person, including the armrest, headrest, and seat tilt. After six months of consistent use, we found that the Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair performed well over time and was very supportive when working from home. However, our 5-foot-6 tester did note that the lowest height setting for the chair just allows her to plant her feet on the ground, so this model may not be suitable for those who are shorter.
Price at time of publish: $330
Seat Material: Foam | Dimensions: 26 x 23.6 x 42 inches | Seat Height: 16.9-20.8 inches | Assembled Weight: 44.6 pounds | Weight Capacity: 330 pounds
Alera Elusion Mesh Mid-Back Swivel/Tilt Chair
Very comfortable design
Thick and plush seat cushion
Breathable mesh back allows for more airflow
Not as supportive as other options
May not be wide enough to support all body types
Whether you tend to overheat easily or just prefer a working setup that allows for more ventilation, you’ll want to opt for an office chair with a breathable mesh back, such as the Alera Elusion Mesh Mid-Back Chair. The mesh is very comfortable and allows for more airflow than other materials, which can be especially helpful to prevent stuffiness when working long hours. However, it’s important to note that since the back isn’t as sturdy, the chair doesn’t provide as much lumbar and shoulder support as some of the other options on this list. The cushion is made from a thick and plush Polyurethane material, which held up extremely well over the course of six months.
While this model doesn’t allow users to customize the lumbar support, the armrest height and seat height are both adjustable. The armrests are not adjustable width-wise, though, so the model may not be suitable for all body types. Despite some flaws, this chair is extremely comfortable and effective considering its price point–and our long-term tester even found her husband stealing the chair when she wasn’t using it.
Price at time of publish: $212
Seat Material: Polyurethane | Dimensions: 26 x 24.4 x 16.1 inches | Seat Height: 17-21 inches | Assembled Weight: 50.7 pounds | Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
Poppin Max Task Chair
Soft yet sturdy cushion
Easy to clean
Clean and sleek design
Not the best lumbar support
While the physical benefits of spinal alignment may be the main selling point of ergonomic office chairs, they also provide a ton of comfort when sedentary for long periods of time. We were seriously impressed by The Poppin Max Task Chair, which boasts a curvy mesh backrest and firm upholstered seat. The seat cushion material was the perfect balance of soft and sturdy, and using the chair felt like sitting on living room furniture rather than a traditional office chair. However, we did notice that the seat back isn’t adjustable, which may be an issue for those looking for the most optimal lumbar support.
And while ergonomic chairs may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, we think that of all the options we tested, this one has the cleanest and sleekest look. Plus, it’s constructed with polyester so it’s easy to clean and won’t collect debris. So while this may not be the most supportive chair, we think its comfort level and modern design are a fair trade-off, depending on your priorities.
Price at time of publish: $449
Seat Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 25 x 27 x 38 inches | Seat Height: 17.5-20.5 inches | Assembled Weight: 46 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
Best for Long Hours
Herman Miller Classic Aeron Chair
Great lumbar support
Very comfortable design
Held up well over time
Not as supportive in head and neck area
When you work long days sitting at your desk, you’ll want to look for an ergonomic chair that’s made to last and offers the perfect balance of comfort and support. That’s where the Herman Miller Classic Aeron Chair comes in, and this model has a ton of great features that make it worth the splurge. We found that even after working 12+ hours from home, the chair remained comfortable throughout and helped alleviate lower back pain.
We were impressed with the chair’s overall comfort level, as the fabric is breathable and the model felt pleasant to sit on for extended periods. The Herman Miller Classic Aeron Chair is highly adjustable, and we found it simple to customize the chair to align with different body types. And while the model provides great lumbar support, it’s not the best model for those who require extra support in the head and neck area. Because of the quality construction of the chair, we think its higher price tag is worth it if you work long hours, as it held up extremely well over the course of six months.
Price at time of publish: $730
Seat Material: Vinyl | Dimensions: 16 x 25.8 x 34.3 inches | Seat Height: Not listed | Assembled Weight: 48 pounds | Weight Capacity: 331 pounds
Our best overall pick is the Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair, which is a great mid-range option that has a fully adjustable seat and back, offering customized comfort and support. If you're looking to splurge, check out the Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair. It has a counterbalance design and pivoting backrest that adjusts automatically and comes with a headrest for added support.
How We Tested the Ergonomic Office Chairs
After researching the most loved, top-rated ergonomic office chairs currently on the market, we gathered numerous options and put them to the test in The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa. To assess the quality of each model, we rated them on their ease of setup, comfort, lumbar support, adjustability, design, durability, and value. In addition to our standard lab testing, we also conducted long-term testing, seeing how the chairs held up over the course of six months. We analyzed each product’s scores and insights along with our supplemental research to compile this list of the ergonomic office chairs we think are the best.
What to Look for in an Ergonomic Office Chair
Within the category of ergonomic chairs, both your body type and personal preference are factors to consider when choosing the correct size. As a result, the same chair may be ergonomically-correct for one person, but not another, because these individuals have vastly different heights, which would affect would affect lumbar support, posture, and even determine if their feet are flat on the floor. Adjustable height chairs are one feature to consider, and people who are shorter or taller than average may want to consider chairs that are either sold in various sizes or designed specifically for taller or shorter individuals.
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in your office chair, it’s important to choose a model made with materials that are not only comfortable but that you’ll like looking at and being in. That’s why some people like leather or faux leather more than mesh chairs. On the other hand, some people find the former to be hot. If you’re not in a thermostatically-controlled environment, or you just tend to get hot quickly, mesh may be a better option for you.
Lumbar support — or lower back support — is one of the most important features, especially if you’re at your desk for long periods of time. To ensure that your chair properly aligns with the inward curve of your lower back, choose one that can be adjusted both in height and depth.
When considering the style of ergonomic chairs, you’ll want to consider both the features and design of the model. Some premium features include headrests and armrests, which may be helpful for some, but aren’t necessary for achieving optimal ergonomics. If you’re purchasing an ergonomic chair for your home office, you’ll want to note that they aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but will likely improve your day-to-day life in terms of comfort and health. You can opt for a more sleek-looking model such as the Poppin Max Task Chair but may have to sacrifice the added support and headrest of other options.
How should an ergonomic chair fit?
According to Dr. Anish Bajaj, a New York City-based chiropractor specializing in spinal correction, you should feel comfortable while sitting in your ergonomic chair as you maneuver around your desk, change positions, and remain dynamic. “You should feel like you can rest into it and that you're supported,” he notes. “And when you move around a bit, instead of strained, you should feel energized. You don’t want to feel like you’re fixed in a rigid position.”
Are ergonomic chairs really better?
If you tend to be sedentary for long periods of time, ergonomic chairs are definitely worth the investment. Compared to traditional chairs with completely vertical backs, ergonomic chairs have a curvature to them that follows your natural spine alignment, offering lumbar support, according to Dr. Bajaj. Without that curvature, you’d have to strain your back in an unnatural position in order to adapt to it.
Dr. Bajaj also notes that purchasing one can be a great first step to improving your posture, but ensuring long-term success in this area requires a consistent awareness of your alignment. “The whole idea of ergonomics is to be aware and conscious of your posture,” he says. “So the more active and engaged you're willing to be, the less you’ll need to rely on your chair.”
Do ergonomic office chairs need to be replaced?
Nothing lasts forever, and this includes your ergonomic office chair. Wear and tear are often determined by use: if you sit it in for several hours every day, it’s certainly going to wear out sooner, rather than later.
If you’re noticing that the chair doesn’t move as smoothly, knobs and levers are loose (and can’t be tightened), and the foam in your cushion no longer seems to be making a difference, these could all be signs that the chair needs to be replaced. Age is another factor. Ergonomic office chairs tend to be good for 5 to 10 years (again, this depends on how often you use it).
What is the standard height of an ergonomic chair?
Most ergonomic chairs are height adjustable, but you’ll want to pay special consideration to whether or not the model will allow you to sit comfortably if you’re especially short or tall. According to Dr. Bajaj, when you’re sitting at your desk, your body should “slope downward”. That means that when your hands are on your keyboard, your wrist should be below your elbows and your elbows should be below your shoulders.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Bianca Pineda, a commerce writer specializing in bedding, bath, and home decor at the Spruce. To compile this list, she consulted lab and at-home testing insights, assessed numerous customer reviews, and conducted outside research on the topic. Each option in this list performed the best during our initial and long-term tests.
In addition, Pineda also spoke to an expert in the field in order to gather some additional information regarding the health benefits of ergonomic office chairs. Insight was provided by Dr. Anish Bajaj, a New York City-based chiropractor specializing in spinal correction.
What is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut.