Having a comfortable place to sit is a make or break matter when it comes to how good or terrible your gaming or working setup is. If you’re uncomfortable while working or gaming your efficiency or enjoyment will be severely hampered, and this is even more true for those who have back pain or other back issues. Knowing this, we set out to help people find the best ergonomic office chair on the market to help them game and work comfortably.
Below you’ll find our reviews for the top ten ergonomic office chairs on the market along with a short guide that will help give you the information you need to make an informed decision as to which of the chairs on our list might be right for you.
How We Picked
When trying to pick out the diamonds in the rough when it comes to office chairs is a bit of a tricky task due to the varying designs and approaches to comfort. With our picks for the best ergonomic office chairs, we’ve tried to bring in a mix both high priced and budget-friendly options while also looking at mesh as well as the more traditional cushion seating in an effort to provide you, the reader, with the best ergonomic office chairs in their respective fields and price brackets.
Best Ergonomic Office Chair 2020 & 2021: Top Picks for Back Support
Good for back and posture
Must be adjusted properly for maximum comfort
While on the hunt for comfortable chairs, Herman Miller is a name you’ll come across a lot. The company was founded over a hundred years ago in Michigan and became renowned in the 60’s and 70’s for making some of the greatest and most iconic pieces of modernist furniture to date. Today, they offer a wide line of office furniture, which is befitting of the company credited with inventing the cubicle.
The first of the Herman Miller chairs on our list takes the number one spot overall and is the best computer chair for long hours thanks to its incredibly comfortable and supportive design. The back of the chair is constructed of a mesh supported by a series of adjustable arms. These arms can be adjusted to fit your back and body and can offer a very ergonomic and comfortable place to work or relax.
That being said, this is also one of the main drawbacks of this chair. The number of points of adjustment can be a bit of a hassle and getting it just right is pretty important to getting the most out of this chair. The other main thing that will push people away from this one is the price. Herman Miller produces some amazing products, but this particular chair’s price tag is definitely going to push some buyers away.
Moving back to the good things though, the chair comes in a huge variety of colors ranging from predictable blacks to vibrant greens and blues. There are also two types of fabric available, a slightly coarser but more breathable option called “balance fabric” and a softer option called “rhythm fabric”.
Adjusts as you move
Very tall headrests
Not much cushioning
One thing you may have noticed when shopping for the best ergonomic chair is that most of them require you to carefully adjust them to your posture and body in order for them to be as comfortable as possible. One designer, Niels Diffrient, set out to change this trend when he designed the Humanscale Freedom.
This unique ergonomic office chair is designed to move around you and with you as you move rather than needing to be constantly adjusted for every new posture you find yourself in throughout the day.
The armrests are attached to the back of the chair rather than the seat so they can move with you as you recline. Additionally, the headrest and seat both pivot and move as they recline to offer you proper support and comfort in any position.
The very tall headrest lends to the overall supportive design of the chair and is one of the handfuls of parts that you can adjust. In addition to the headrest, the seat height and armrest heights can also be easily adjusted if needed.
Many people, however, complain that there is not quite enough cushioning in the chair for them. The headrest, back, and seat are all very thinly padded with firm padding that offers support for those who need it, but might not be the most comfortable for more sensitive people.
Adjustable lumbar support
Cushion could be better
For those looking for a simple office chair that offers important ergonomic support while still carrying a lighter price tag, we suggest the HON Crio High-Back Task Chair. This chair has a simple look to it with a mesh back and well-cushioned seat but has the adjustability and lumbar support of a chair well above its price.
The mesh back of this chair acts as the lumbar support and does so quite well. The back can be adjusted up or down to help with this and the armrests can be adjusted up or down as well. This makes getting into your desk a breeze, and the armrests can also be adjusted inward and outward making this a great chair for office use by people of all sizes and postures.
The front of the seat uses a waterfall cushion design to reduce the pressure put on your legs and offer better blood flow to your legs as well. While this certainly isn’t the best looking or even the most ergonomic chair on our list, it is still well worth the relatively low price tag for what it has to offer.
Great for warmer climates
Multiple adjustment points
Long time to get it set up
If you live in a warmer climate or are just someone who is generally warm, then having a mesh chair might be a great option for keeping cool. Mesh chairs are much more breathable than standard fabric chairs and offer better airflow to your back and bottom which helps keep you cool and comfortable.
The Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair is one such chair with a mesh back, headrest, and seat for maximum cooling. On top of improved breathability, mesh also offers a nice supportive feel that a lot of people prefer over fabric and cushions. The taught mesh stretches to accommodate you more naturally in many cases than fabric and cushions can.
The Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair uses quite the opposite design philosophy of the Humanscale Freedom we just looked at and relies on tons of points of adjustment to offer a comfortable and ergonomic experience. While this does take some time to set up and can be a bit of a hassle, once you get it dialed in this is arguably the best chair for posture on our list thanks to its comfortable and adjustable lumbar and head support.
The armrests are also highly adjustable on this chair, able to move up and down to stay out of the way of desks. Even the angle of the seat itself can be adjusted on this chair which means it can offer you an incredibly personalized and custom seat designed just for your body and posture.
Thick seat cushioning
The Herman Miller Sayl is by far the sleekest and most modern looking chair on our list. It features a design by Yves Behar who drew inspiration from the Golden Gate bridge for the design of this chair. Pretty lofty stuff, but the result is pretty great.
This chair has a super cool looking back to it that leans back when you do and a nice soft and thick cushion on the seat. Under the chair are a number of knobs and levers that you can use to adjust all manner of things about the feel of the chair.
For starters, the height of the chair can be adjusted, as can the amount of force that is needed to push the chair back into a more reclined position. You can also change how far back you can push the chair, or even keep the chair upright, with a lever on the left side of the chair. You can even change how far forward or back the seat itself is relative to the back and how much of an angle the seat is at.
While this chair does sport some amazing aesthetics and is offered in tons of colors, it lacks any real lumbar support. The chair can be very ergonomic thanks to all of its adjustments and is very comfortable thanks to the thicker seat cushioning, but without lumbar support, it might not be the best for those with back pain or other issues.
Things To Consider
Mesh vs Cushion
With today’s office chairs, you have the option to go for the traditional cushioned approach to seating or opt for a mesh-like feel. Both have advantages and disadvantages but the big draw for going for a mesh chair is the breathability, perfect for those in hot rooms or warmer climates. Don’t think because they lack a cushion these aren’t comfortable though as the mesh support almost moulds to your position. However, if you would just like to go down the traditional cushioned route, again, thanks to material advancements are more comfortable than ever.
There’s no doubting that Herman Miller produces the creme de la creme of office chairs and the Herman Miller Embody is probably the best variant they’ve released. It has supreme comfort while also being very adjustable, allowing you to tailor it to your specific requirements. The only big drawback is obviously the price but, if you’re wanting an office chair that’ll last, the Embody will be just that. Also, with that incredible comfortability, your back will thank you later.