Where To Buy Office Chairs
Whether at home or work, many of us spend significant amounts of time in office chairs. A quality chair is adjustable and comfortable, able to support you for long hours. That's especially important if your workspace is also where you spend your free time.
where to buy office chairs
At Insider Reviews, we've tested many office chairs for our guide to the best ergonomic chair. Lots of factors determine whether a chair will be comfortable for a specific person. Someone who's tall and only spends a few hours at their desk may need something different than a shorter person who sits at a desk all day and into the night.
We've personally tested chairs from the retailers and brands below. Some are dedicated to making office furniture, while others are more general. We tried to offer a range of prices and styles, but for the most part, you'll have to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get a quality chair with good ergonomic features, like adjustable armrests.
If it's at all possible, you should sit in several office chairs before buying one. You'll get an idea of the features and materials you like while also learning what feels comfortable. Many Staples stores should have at least a few options for you to test.
Staples also sold our pick for the best budget ergonomic chair, the Alera Elusion (though it's currently unavailable from Staples). It's one of the least expensive chairs with adjustable arms we found.
Branch offers surprisingly adjustable and nice-looking chairs for the price. While they lack the full range of customizability of much more expensive chairs, several Branch models are still made to fit a variety of people and setups.
Although its selection is limited, Branch does make the top pick in our guide to the best ergonomic office chairs. The Branch Ergonomic is the company's mid-priced chair. You can adjust the height, width, and depth (though not the angle) of the armrests, and the seat moves up and down and forward and back. The padded seat is comfortable enough to sit in all day.
Gaming chairs aren't always as ergonomic as office chairs. However, we did choose a Secretlab model as the top pick in our guide to the best gaming chairs. In addition to height and armrest adjustments, some of the company's chairs come with lumbar support.
What's unique about the under-$600 Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 Series is that you can choose between three sizes: small (under 5'6" with a 285-pound weight limit), regular (5'7" to 6'2" with a 285-pound weight limit), and extra-large (5'11" to 6'9" with a 395-pound weight limit). While those specifications won't fit everyone, it does offer some more flexibility than many other chairs.
X-Chair makes pricey but comfortable and customizable office chairs. Some models, like the X3 ATR Mgmt Chair, have options like a wider seat, headrest, and memory-foam cushion. These extras cost more for an already expensive chair.
All the X-Chair models have the same basic design and offer seat height and depth adjustability, armrests that pivot as well as move up and down, and lumbar support that adjusts as you move. The more expensive chairs have more color options, premium upholstery, and add-ons like memory-foam seats.
Steelcase makes highly adjustable office chairs in a variety of styles. We like how customizable many of the models are. The fabric choices come in a rainbow of colors so you can find something to match your office (or kitchen table).
Price: The differences between a $150 and $1,500 office are substantial. More expensive chairs will have more adjustability, are made of nicer materials, and often have longer warranties.
Warranty and return policy: Some chairs in this guide have limited lifetime warranties or ones that last over 10 years. If you're spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, you want to make sure your purchase will last. A good return policy is also key so you can spend time sitting in your chair and make sure it's right for you.
We now know that any sustained in-chair time can be detrimental to your health, but a bad chair only adds to the problem by putting you in positions that add to long-term risk. If you have a home office, finding a chair that makes your desk time more comfortable and better for your health is a worthwhile endeavor.
Before each round of testing, we scour manufacturer sites for new models, comb through older versions of this guide to reevaluate our picks and previous dismissals, and consult ergonomics experts for advice on what to look for in an office chair that would best support your body for short or long periods of sitting. For our last major round of testing in 2019, we used the following criteria to whittle down a field of 50 contenders to a final list of 10 to test:
Because chair comfort is such a personal thing, in our 2019 round of tests we asked staffers of various body types, from a 5-foot-2 writer to a 6-foot-2 editor, to test each chair at our New York office. Each panelist evaluated the chairs on the above criteria using a modified version of this ergonomic seating evaluation form (PDF) from Cornell University, ranking the chairs on all the criteria on a scale from 0 (unacceptable) to 10 (excellent). We also gathered long-term testing notes for the chairs that staffers had been using in our offices for months.
All testers ran the office chairs through the same basic testing gauntlet, assessing comfort, body support, adjustability, and durability. This meant sitting in the chairs while typing at computers, playing video games, writing emails, sitting through meetings, and just leaning back to think. We sat in them properly and improperly, we aggressively twisted knobs, and we wheeled them recklessly around the office for over two weeks.
More recently, over a few weeks in my home office, I did an additional round of testing three sub-$400 office chairs: the HON Convergence, the HON Ignition 2.0, and the Fully Desk Chair. Wirecutter editor Ben Keough (who is 6-foot-1) tested the HON Ignition 2.0 and the Fully Desk Chair at the same time in his home office.
Two of the newest chairs we tested came from Steelcase and Herman Miller. These chairs look sleeker and do away with most adjustments in favor of attempting to automatically conform to your body. Some people liked them, but we found in general that being able to manually fine-tune the Gesture led to greater comfort and fit for most of our testers.
The Steelcase Silq boasts an adjust-to-your-body engineering design similar to that of the Herman Miller Cosm, but we found the chair to be less comfortable for sitting for long periods of time than other, comparable chairs. The Herman Miller Sayl, specced for around the same price with more adjustments, was more popular with testers. One size C tester found that the Silq pushed them forward in an uncomfortable way and that the armrests dug into them. This chair might be better as a task chair in a conference room or if you tend to get out of your chair regularly throughout the day.
Steelcase's Gesture is comfortable, no matter how you're sitting. Tuck one leg under the other, cross your legs at the knee, or sling one over the armrest, and you'll be fairly well-supported. The adjustments also have a wide range, so you can precisely tailor the whole package to your body and posture. Unfortunately, it isn't as breathable as other cheaper chairs, and the upholstered fabric hasn't held up as well as other pricey chairs like the Herman Miller Embody (see below). That said, there are several different fabrics you can choose from, and Steelcase also has one of the best warranties around (12 years).
Maybe you work in a nook. Maybe you work in a hallway. Maybe you share home office space with one or two others. If space is at a premium in your WFH arrangement, you don't have room for a big, luxurious chair. So get this small, luxurious chair instead. Measuring 20 inches wide and 21 inches deep, the Path is one of our most compact picks (even more than the Zeph). Its minimal design features tiny arms that don't jut out. Even better, the fully configurable chair can be ordered with no arms at all, which makes it more manageable in tight spaces and also lowers the price.
It might take you a week or two (maybe even a month) to get used to the Herman Miller Embody, but it's well worth your patience. Its upright positioning supported my back and eased lingering back pain from years of sitting in a cheap gaming chair. The seat feels rigid at first but eventually becomes surprisingly pillowy, and the armrests stay firmly in place. It does a great job of whisking heat away from my body, though not as well as all-mesh chairs. It's one of the most adjustable chairs around: You can pull out the seat, change the height and angle of the armrests, and tweak the Backfit adjustment to follow your spine's natural curve.
If you don't care for the headrest, there's a version without it. And sustainability-wise, this is a net positive product, meaning the company does more good than bad by making one of these chairs. For instance, Humanscale has rainwater capture systems in its manufacturing sites and uses this for all final assembly. The product's environmental rating is certified by the International Living Future Institute, a nonprofit organization.
The wheels on the bottom of your chair are among the easiest parts to replace. If your current casters don't roll smoothly or are too loud, it might be worth replacing them instead of buying a whole new chair. I like these from Stealtho, a Ukrainian company. They'll work with nearly every office chair, though the company notes they don't work with Ikea chairs. The soft polyurethane material means these won't scratch or chip hardwood floors, as some plastic casters do, plus it'll feel like you're silently gliding as you roll from your desk to the fridge (don't judge).
Vilno Nobel Kneeling Chair for $250: This is one of the more exciting chairs I tested recently, because it's a freakin' kneeling chair. It was easy to put all the wood pieces together, and the seat cushion is surprisingly plump. It's an active chair, meant to keep your body moving and to also help keep your posture straight. It feels effective for the first few hours, but unfortunately, rocking in the chair tends to cause it to move around on the floor, so I frequently had to fix my position. Worse yet, my shins and knees grew fatigued, and I started feeling some pain after a few days. (It might be better to frequently swap between this and a traditional office chair.) You can't adjust its height, so it needs to be paired with a standing desk so that your palms don't rest on your desk. I don't think it's as effective as the Ariel we've listed up top. 041b061a72