The best office chair of 2020
Finding the best office chair for you doesn’t have to be a slog. Once you’ve figured out what you need to be comfortable, it’s not so tricky to find a decent chair, and this list is here to guide you through the process.
What makes a good chair great? The best office chairs are designed with ergonomics and healthy posture in mind. Chairs are one of those areas where it really is worth investing some time and money, as you want a chair that will last. Office chairs with a guarantee and strong build may cost more, but are always worth the extra investment.
Another thing to consider is how the chair will fit in with your existing setup: will it fit with the style of your office (even if your ‘office’ is just a corner of your bedroom)? As well as aesthetics, your chair needs to fit your desk (see our best desks if you need help in that department). This is where having an office chair you can adjust to different heights and tilts makes a difference.
Throughout this guide, you’ll find our favourite ergonomic office chairs, at a range of different price points. We’ve also added some gaming chairs to our list, for those who like the supreme comfort those provide. We’ll kick off with our US list, followed by our top UK picks. Read on to discover the best office chairs around…
The best office chairs in the US
Our top pick for the best office chair right now is this iconic design from Herman Miller. The Mirra 2 is designed to respond to your body and movements as you work to ensure you’re fully supported and comfortable at all times, and almost every part of the chair can be easily adjusted to fit you exactly. The mesh ‘TriFlex’ back delivers zoned support, is breathable and can be cleaned thoroughly, while the ‘Airwave 2’ seat distributes your weight evenly to eliminate pressure points. While it’s not the cheapest, advanced features make this chair a worthwhile investment for your home office.
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 and 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.
If you’re on a tight budget, the best office chair for you might be AmazonBasics Upholstered Office Chair. For an extremely low price, you get a height-adjustable, padded chair that’s easy to put together and comes very well reviewed. The shorter back design (with no added lumbar padding) and lack of arms mean it won’t support you as well as other entries in our list, but for less intensive use it should do the job just fine. Plus, that more compact size does mean it’s relatively unintrusive and well suited to smaller spaces.
Next up on our list of the best office chairs is this OFM Essentials Collection Plush Office Chair. It’s padded all over, including on the arms (no mesh here) and has a high back, which means it’s super comfy to sit in. It also looks good: the cover is made from soft micro-suede fabric, and comes in a choice of brown, grey or tan. We think the brown has a certain Mad Men feel about it. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and style features you’ll find in more expensive options – the armrests are fixed, for example – but it does the job well and is perfect for larger desks or spaces.
The Union & Scale FlexFit Dexley is a comfy desk chair that’s easy to adjust to your perfect seated position. It has adjustable lumbar support that you can slide up and down, tilt tension and tilt lock options, and even an angle-adjustable headrest. The breathable mesh material will stop you getting too sweaty on hot days (plus can be cleaned easily). We like the blue colour – although it’s also available in black if you prefer – and think this office chair would be a fitting addition to plenty of workspaces. It also comes with a seven-year limited manufacturer’s guarantee.
The cheap and cheerful Mainstays Vinyl and Mesh Task Office Chair is another great value pick. For around the $50 mark, this office chair is easy to put together, height-adjustable, and comes in a range of colourways. There’s a generously padded back and seat although no armrests (but you may not find you need them when you’re sitting at a desk). 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 chair is a winner.
Another entry from Herman Miller in our best chair ranking, the Sayl is a masterclass in delivering high performance through a minimal design. The star of the show is the frameless suspension back, fashioned from elastomer stands that vary in thickness to provide targeted support.
There are plenty of adjustment options – back tilt, seat angle, lumbar support, seat depth, arms, and more. Note, however, these don’t all come as standard; you need to select which ones you want when you order, and most come with a fairly hefty additional fee. Although, of course, that does mean you’ll only get the added extras you actually want and need. You can also pick from a wide range of back and seat colours, and armpad finishes, to tie in with your home office decor.
Gaming chairs generally have a reputation for being super comfy but quite ugly – or at least very distinctive – to look at. The Noblechairs Icon Gaming Chair manages to find a happy middle ground. Available in real leather, faux leather or PU hybrid leather and a range of colourways, this chair can do double duty as both office chair and gaming chair. The armrest can be adjusted in four dimensions and the back can be reclined back to a massive 135 degrees (that’s basically lying down – we don’t recommend it for your working day). The Amazon reviews praise how solid and good quality it feels, but a few customers have commented the armrests feel flimsy for the price.
Design-wise, it’s not the most exciting entry in our list, but if you’re after an effective no-frills option, IKEA’s Markus office chair might just do the trick. This smart black chair comes with in-built lumbar support to keep your back happy, and the height and back tilt can be adjusted to make sure it’s perfectly comfortable for you. The mesh back lets air circulate and can be cleaned easily, too.
The Markus isn’t entirely without clever add-ons, either: where are brakes that automatically kick in when you stand up, to ensure the chair doesn’t roll away. Like all IKEA products, it has been rigorously tested to ensure its longevity – and for extra peace of mind, there’s a 10-year limited warranty. Our only complaint is that the armrests aren’t adjustable – although they can be removed altogether, if you like.
The best office chairs in the UK
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.
Wayfair has plenty of office chair options, but we like this Newhall office chair in blue. It might lack some of the more sophisticated features on this list, but it’s ideal if you just want something comfortable with no-fuss. Some people may find the lack of armrests an annoyance, but if you don’t think you’ll use them then they do make the chair’s design a lot neater. This chair is also very easy to put together, and costs under £100. What’s not to like?
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 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.
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.
With no arms and a low back, the AmazonBasics Upholstered Office Chair is a great chair if you are looking for office furniture that isn’t going to take up unnecessary space. It is, however, still built for comfort as well as convenience. There is an easy-to-access lever for adjusting the height of the butterfly seat – and giving you the choice as to whether of not you want the back to rock when you lean back (with a separate control to adjust the tilt tension). There is no lumbar support adjustment here – but the padded back cushion is contoured to provide your back a decent amount of support.
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.
If you are looking for a gaming chair that will double as a suitable office chair, then the Noblechairs Icon Gaming Chair is it. The all-black luxury look is just what you need to make yourself look the part in those power Zoom pitches – but it has all the features to keep you comfortable for long hours of after-hours gameplay. Faux leather options keep the price at a sensible level – but for utter decadence you can get the Icon in plush napa leather too. With a German design inspired by sports car interiors, this has all the adjustments you’d hope for to ensure correct posture and comfort.