Best Ergonomic Office Chairs of 2018

An ergonomic office chair provides stable body support to reduce aches and pains associated with sitting behind a desk all day. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best ergonomic office chair to keep you comfy as you work.

Easy Chair: Your Guide to the Best Ergonomic Office Chairs

If you work at a desk from nine to five, you know the pain that can result from a poor-quality office chair. Ergonomic office chairs, however, are designed to limit stress on the body and minimize aches and pains.

But how do you tell an ergonomic office chair from a regular chair? And what's the difference between a great ergonomic office chair and one that's just okay? If you need answers to these questions and more, we're here to help.

At BestReviews, our mission is to help you find the products that fit your needs. We test products in our labs and the field, consult our resident experts, and gather feedback from customers who have real-world experience using the products regularly. You can trust what we have to say, too, because we never accept free products from manufacturers, so we can't be swayed by jargon or hype.

If you're ready to purchase an ergonomic office chair, scroll up for BestReviews' top recommendations. For all the information you need to find the right ergonomic office chair for your desk, you've come to the right place.

By using a properly adjusted ergonomic office chair, you reduce the risk of developing a repetitive strain injury.

What Makes an Office Chair Ergonomic?

Ergonomics is the process of arranging or designing a workspace so that it suits the person using it by promoting comfort and efficiency. An ergonomic office chair provides stable body support by maintaining the natural S-shape of the spine without muscular tension.

Compared to standard office chairs, ergonomic office chairs have more points of adjustment. Ideally, you should be able to adjust your ergonomic office chair's height, tilt, armrests, and lumbar support to suit your needs. Some ergonomic office chairs have even greater adjustability.

A good ergonomic office chair should provide ample lumbar support to maintain the natural position of the spine.

Know Your Ergonomic Office Chairs

Task Ergonomic Office Chairs

  • Task ergonomic office chairs are basic ergonomic office chairs designed for general use.
  • Task ergonomic office chairs are the most common type, so you'll find a wide range from which to choose.
  • Most task ergonomic office chairs are made from either padded fabric or mesh.
  • Task ergonomic office chairs are lightweight and easily maneuverable.
  • Task ergonomic office chairs are designed for people who sit at their desks all day. These ergonomic office chairs keep you comfortable for eight-plus hours at a time.
  • Some task ergonomic office chairs have full backs, whereas others have half backs.
  • Basic task ergonomic office chairs start at around $30 to $50, with high-end models costing as much as $400 to $500.

Executive Ergonomic Office Chairs

  • Executive ergonomic office chairs are large, well-padded, full-back chairs that are usually made from leather or faux leather.
  • Executive ergonomic office chairs are not as common as task ergonomic office chairs.
  • Compared to task ergonomic office chairs, executive ergonomic office chairs tend to have fewer points of adjustment, but they should always have lumbar support.
  • Executive ergonomic office chairs are better suited to shorter periods of use.
  • You can find executive ergonomic office chairs from $70 to $100, but high-end models can cost over $1,000.

Kneeling Ergonomic Office Chairs

  • Kneeling ergonomic office chairs are a newer member of the office chair world. Kneeling ergonomic office chairs are designed to relieve the stress of sitting for long periods of time.
  • Kneeling ergonomic office chairs consist of one padded part for the knees and one padded part for sitting. Some kneeling ergonomic office chairs also have backrests.
  • The sitter's forward-leaning position takes pressure off the spine and helps maintain the spine's natural shape without tensing the muscles.
  • Some users find kneeling ergonomic office chairs awkward to use. They're certainly not for everyone.
  • Most kneeling ergonomic office chairs cost between $50 and $100.


Ergonomic Office Chairs Support the Spine for a More Comfortable Work Experience

You should be able to sit at the back of your office chair without the front of the seat pressing uncomfortably against the back of your knees. Some ergonomic office chairs have adjustable seat depth to accommodate this position, which is especially beneficial for shorter users.

Are Mesh Ergonomic Office Chairs Best?

Fabric Ergonomic Office Chairs
Many ergonomic office chairs are covered with fabric. Ergonomic office chairs are usually upholstered in polyester, but high-end chairs may use natural fibers. Fabric ergonomic office chairs are often very comfortable, with a good amount of padding underneath. Fabric ergonomic office chairs are not very breathable, however, so they can feel hot to sit in, especially in warm weather.

Leather Ergonomic Office Chairs
Leather is long-lasting and lends a classic look to any ergonomic office chair, though it's most popular for executive ergonomic office chairs. Real leather ergonomic office chairs are expensive, and they can feel hot and sticky when used for extended periods of time. If you like the look of leather, but don't like where it comes from, you can buy faux-leather ergonomic office chairs as a cruelty-free alternative.

Mesh Ergonomic Office Chairs
Some mesh ergonomic office chairs have mesh backs with either fabric or leather seats, whereas others have mesh seats stretched over a rigid frame. Mesh ergonomic office chairs are a highly breathable option that allows airflow through the back of the chair. You'll feel cooler in a mesh ergonomic office chair than in any other type of chair. Mesh is supportive with some give to it, so it's comfortable, too. However, mesh ergonomic office chairs aren't the most durable option.

Unless you have a medical condition that requires that you work in a slightly reclined position, you probably don't need a headrest on your ergonomic office chair.

Tips for Finding the Ergonomic Office Chair for Your Desk

  • Consider the comfort of your ergonomic office chair. You'll probably be sitting in your ergonomic office chair five days a week, so you want it to be comfortable. Look for a well-padded seat or a comfortable mesh ergonomic office chair.
  • Look for an ergonomic office chair that is easy to adjust. It's all very well having an ergonomic office chair that has eight points of adjustment, but if you need a degree in engineering to figure out how to adjust them, it's no good to anyone. Look for an ergonomic office chair that's quick and simple to adjust.
  • Think about how many hours you'll be sitting in your ergonomic office chair. If you'll be sitting in your ergonomic office chair eight hours a day, five days a week, it's worth investing in a quality chair. On the other hand, if you'll only use your ergonomic office chair a few hours each week, a good budget choice should suffice.
  • Consider whether your ergonomic office chair is suitable for your workstation. You might find the perfect ergonomic office chair, but that doesn't mean much if it doesn't fit under your desk properly.
  • Look for an ergonomic office chair that can swivel in a full circle. An ergonomic office chair that swivels reduces the need to have to stretch and strain yourself when reaching for items around your workspace.


Make Sure Your Chair Is Adjusted to the Correct Height

You should be able to firmly plant your feet on the floor when your ergonomic office chair is adjusted to the correct height. If this leaves you too low to use your desk comfortably, raise the height of your ergonomic office chair and use a footstool.


Q. Should an ergonomic office chair have wheels?
A. BestReviews recommends an ergonomic office chair with wheels over a stationary chair. An ergonomic office chair with wheels allows you to easily move around your workspace to reach anything you need. This is especially important if you have a large desk where everything is not within easy reach.

Q. Is there a maximum weight limit for ergonomic office chairs?
A. Yes, all ergonomic office chairs have a maximum weight limit. While this varies between different ergonomic office chairs, it's usually somewhere between 250 and 300 pounds. If you exceed the weight limit for a standard ergonomic office chair, you can find chairs with higher weight limits. These ergonomic office chairs are wider and more comfortable for plus-size users, too.

Q. What is the correct sitting position in an ergonomic office chair?
A. There's no use having an ergonomic office chair if you don't adjust it so that you're in the correct sitting position. Your feet should be on the floor with your knees and thighs perpendicular. You should sit at the back of your ergonomic office chair so that you get proper lumbar support. Your hands should rest on your desk with your upper arms in line with your spine and your forearms parallel to the floor.

An ergonomic office chair's armrests should support your elbows, but your shoulders should be relaxed. Your elbows shouldn't be any higher than they are when your arms are naturally at rest.

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