Runners replace their shoes every six months due to the wear and tear on their shoes that results in back pain. Yet, office workers sit in their same chairs for years without replacing them. Office chairs should be changed out about every five years to keep the best padding and support which will help avoid back pain and other health issues associated with extensive sitting time. I have spent countless hours in office chairs typing up projects, and know all too well the effects of a poorly designed office chair.
The best office chair options tend to be the most expensive. Every part of the chair is adjustable and they can be comfortable for hours on end. While these office chairs are wonderful, not everyone can afford to pay out a thousand dollars every time they need to replace their office chair.
Instead, there are some very budget-friendly best office chairs that still offer the support needed, without breaking the bank. With these budget-friendly office chairs, you will be able to afford to replace your chair regularly so you always have top-notch support and padding that only the best office chair can provide.
Best Office Chair Winner: Furmax Office Chair Leather Desk Gaming Chair
The best office chair also happens to be one of the most budget-friendly office chairs. What I mean by budget-friendly is not that it is a cheap chair, but rather you receive the best quality at the most affordable price. This combination of quality and cost makes the Furmax Office Chair Leather Desk Gaming Chair a great option for those that want both support and a more affordable option.
The Furmax Office Chair Leather Desk Gaming Chair offers all-around support for your back and your neck. The back of the chair is shaped just as a racing chair is shaped in order to curve to the natural and healthy alignment of your spine. It uses a combination of lumbar support and a backrest in order to provide the best support for hours of work. The sides of the chair wrap around the small of your back in order to help stabilize you and keep you in the proper posture.
As you can see above, this is a high-back chair. The backrest measures 20.47 inches by 28.34 inches. The top of the chair features a neck rest to help hold your head in proper alignment. The entire chair can hold a person up to 280 pounds. The seat of the chair supports your weight and evenly distributes it in order to help promote healthy blood flow. The front of the chair is a waterfall design that will not cut off your circulation after hours of sitting.
What makes or breaks the best office chair is its ability to adjust to your specifications. Chairs can be as unique as clothing. If you cannot buy one that fits your size, you will be very uncomfortable.
The main adjustment of any chair is its ability to change height. This will keep taller people from having their knees uncomfortably high and shorter people from having their legs dangle. Adjusting to your height will play a major role in good posture.
Not only will it help you rest your feet comfortably flat on the floor, but you will also be able to adjust to the height of your desk so that you do not need to hunch over or strain upwards. Trust me, I’ve had a number of pains and strains from poorly crafted workstations.
This chair has a pneumatic height adjustment range of 15.75 inches by 19.69 inches. The chair also has swivel wheels around the bottom of the chair. This allows the chair to be moved from one area to the next easily, as well as making it simple to slide closer to the desk for better posture. The wheels have 360-degree swivel ability.
In addition to the height and wheels, the chair can also recline. On the side of the chair is a lever. This lever either locks or unlocks the chair. When the chair is unlocked, you can lean back, or you can leave it unlocked and rock in the chair. The chair will only lock when it is in the full upright position.
The Furmax Office Chair Leather Desk Gaming Chair comes in five different color options. These colors range from bright blue and vivid red to black and white. This allows you to match your office chair to the room you are using it in.
For your comfort, the chair is padded. It has a leather bucket seat and back along with padded armrests. In order to help prevent you from overheating, the chair also has mesh material in the center of your back and down to the bottom of the chair. There are also two holes placed around your shoulder blades that allow for additional breathability. The combination of the mesh along with the leather allows you to have both comfort and breathability all in one package, which is not very common among other similar office chairs.
Things to Consider
The armrests do not adjust for this chair. This is perhaps its greatest fault, as arm positions are as varying as leg lengths. The armrests are also the most limiting feature when it comes to the size of those who sit in the chair. Larger people will find the armrests may dig in their thighs.
Best Office Chair Runner-Up: BestOffice Ergonomic PU Leather High Back
The BestOffice Ergonomic PU Leather High Back is just a little more expensive than the Furmax, but has some great additional features and adjustment options.
It does not quite have the same measure of support as the Furmax, so it is just a runner-up as the best office chair. It is still a great office chair that will allow you to sit comfortably for hours without leaving with aches and pains.
The BestOffice Ergonomic PU Leather High Back is very padded for added comfort. It feels more like a recliner than an office chair. It measures 28 inches in the back with a 20-inch wide seat. The back of the chair starts at 25.5 inches at the lower back and ends at 20 inches near the head. The seat of the chair is a waterfall design that will allow you to sit without your thighs being pinched.
You can sink back into this comfortable chair. The back of the chair contours to the natural healthy shape of your spine to provide both lumbar support and a backrest. The lower back arches in while the top supports your head. The back also wraps around the side of your spine in order to help hold you in place for better support.
The entire chair is 44 inches tall with an adjustable base that can raise it to 47 inches tall. It is also on a set of wheels that allows you to move easily from place to place, as well as move closer to the desk for the best posture.
A lever on the side allows you to adjust the tilt. You can push the lever out to allow you to recline with the chair. The chair can then either recline back or be used as a rocker. You can also push it in to keep the chair locked in place when you need more stability while you work. A knob on the bottom of the chair allows you to adjust the tension of the tilt.
The BestOffice Ergonomic PU Leather High Back is even more padded than the Furmax chair. While there is plenty of padding, it also has a slight stiffness so that it offers some support. There are two metal armrests that are also padded. These armrests are not or adjustable.
This best office chair option does not come in all the vibrant colors of the Furmax. It does however come in either black, brown, or white.
Things to Consider
While this chair has good padding initially, some consumers found that the padding flattens out after extensive use. Those who plan to use the office chair for their regular office job, not just a few hours in their home office, may want to invest in either a more expensive chair or try the Furmax. Those who will not be using this office chair forty or more hours a week will find that it holds its shape and remains comfortable for a long time.
Best Office Chair Honorable Mention: Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel
For those who would like a little less material and more breathability, the Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel is a great option to consider. It is one of the best office chair options without breaking the bank, and definitely the best when it comes to more simplistic chairs.
It does not have as much support as the heavier duty best office chair options previously mentioned, so it may not be ideal for those who sit for hours. But, it is one of the smallest, so it may be easier to fit in a home office.
The Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel is quite a bit lighter in design than the previous chairs. It is not padded and contoured to your every shape. While it does not have a backrest, it still offers lumbar support. The small of your back is reinforced with a plastic backing that will help hold you in a healthy posture even when you are reclining.
The sides of the chair also wrap around the small of your back in order to help hold you in place. The seat of the chair is contoured to promote an even distribution of weight as well as to help support your seating position. The front of the seat is curved downward in a waterfall design to avoid cutting off the blood flow during extended sitting periods.
This best office chair option offers the same adjustability options as the other chair options. There is a lever for releasing the back of the chair, allowing you to recline or rock. When you do not want to recline, you can lock the back in place with the tilt lock. A knob on the bottom of the chair adjusts the tilt tension.
This chair has one added item that can be adjusted. These are the armrests. The armrests do not adjust in height. They can, however, flip up and down. This can allow you more maneuverability for those with more active jobs. Otherwise, you can drop the armrests down to allow your arms to rest while you work.
One of the greatest features of this chair is the mesh backing of the chair. It does not quite have the support afforded by the other chairs. It does, however, offer the ability to sit in the chair without hot leather wrapped all about your back. This makes the chair great in both the summer and the winter time.
Things to Consider
The Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel does not have as much padding as some of the other chairs, which may not be as comfortable for longer periods of time. This is mainly due to the additional support afforded by padded backrests that contour with the small of your back. The positive side of the less padding is that it is much lighter for the summer time.
The padding is not the only area that this chair is not as comprehensive within its support. It is also shorter than the other best office chair options. The back will support your mid and lower back, but there is very little support for your shoulder area and neck.
Best Office Chair Honorable Mention: Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
Modway also offers a lighter office chair option with their Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair. What makes their chair worth mentioning is the additional adjustment options available with their model.
The Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair has a very similar support system as the Flash Furniture model. While the back of the chair is mesh, there is lumbar support to help hold your back in place to promote proper posture. There is no backrest or headrest, as this chair is very limited with the amount of padding it has.
The seating area is also supported. It has more padding than the back. The padding is designed in order to help support your sitting posture while evenly distributing your weight. The seat padding is 6 inches thick so that, even after extensive use, you will not feel the gears and plastic underneath.
The adjustability of this chair is one of its greatest assets. There are three levers on the side of the chair for adjusting it to the precise height and incline needed for your body type. In addition to the levers, there are also wheels on the chair to allow you to move about your office space easier.
The first lever is for adjusting the seat height. It can be adjusted from 27.5” to 32” tall. The second lever is for adjusting the seat tilt. The last lever is for adjusting the back tilt. The back of the chair has an additional knob for adjusting the tilt tension. The last adjustable parts of the chair are its armrests. The armrests can move up and down for height adjustment, but cannot be removed completely.
The Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair is another mesh seat office chair. This means that the back of the seat is made nearly entirely of mesh. This allows for your back to breathe when sitting in it for long periods of time.
This best office chair option is also available in many bright colors. There are seven vivid color options available that can match each office design and personality.
Things to Consider
While there are plenty of levers for adjustability, the additional levers also mean an increased risk of a malfunction. Proper seating, as well as careful use of the levers, can help prolong the life of your best office chair.
Proper Sitting Posture
When you spend over 40 hours a week in an office chair, you will want to make sure you are maintaining the best posture to help promote the proper blood flow and avoid dangerous muscle strain. Here are a few tips for properly sitting in your office chair so that you can leave the office without unnecessary aches and pains.
When adjusting the height of the chair, be sure it is at a height that allows your feet to be planted firmly on the floor. If your feet do not touch the floor, or your knees stick too far upwards, then your chair needs to be adjusted. A sign of your knees sticking too far upwards is if your thighs are not in line with your hips.
Your chair seat should allow you to sit far enough forward so that there is a space between the chair and the back of your legs, while also being able to use the back support. The taller the back of your chair is, the more support it will offer. Ideally, the back of your office chair should at least come above your mid-back.
If you have a backrest, it should fall right at your lower back or your mid back. For the best posture, your lower back should be at a slight arch. This helps keep your back straight and avoids the hunched over posture that results in so many back problems. In addition to hunching over, you can also use a chair with armrests to avoid the strain that your arms can cause on your shoulders.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of office chair should I get?
There are many types of office chairs available that it can be slightly overwhelming deciding which ones is the best office chair for you. Just keep in mind the healthy posture discussed earlier, then look for an office chair that helps you best achieve this posture. The cheaper a chair is, the less support it tends to offer.
One thing to keep in mind is to make sure it is an office chair. There are many chairs that are designed for other purposes. They do not offer the height needed for a desk or the back support needed for long hours of work. If you are looking for a chair to use for other activities other than at the office, you can consider some of Rhonda Alamour’s suggestions for reading chairs.
Another factor in choosing an office chair would be what you plan on using the chair for. Those who type on computers will want a chair with more support for their arms, while a secretary or someone who moves around often will rather have no armrests inhibiting their movements.
Second, also consider the temperature of the office. If your office is kept at a cool temperature regularly, you can probably opt for a more padded chair. Those who sweat often in an environment with lots of action may want to consider a mesh back chair for the extra breathability.
When should I get a new office chair?
A general rule of thumb you should consider replacing the office chair regularly, about every five years. This is not a rule that is set in stone, and if you do not use your chair regularly, you could probably go longer. If you use your chair for over forty hours a week, you may want to consider replacing it more often.
One main sign of an old chair would be worn out padding. When the padding wears out, you will begin to feel the plastic knobs and support beams of the chair beneath and in the back. You will also not receive the support necessary from the backrest and other parts of the chair.
Your body will let you know you need a new chair before your eyes do. Even if your chair looks in great condition, it does not mean it is in great condition. Listen to your body more than what your eyes see. If you find yourself leaving the chair feeling very sore and are sitting properly, that means that the chair is no longer supporting you the way it should. Consider one of these best office chair options for your health.
Are there any additional support items I should get with my office chair?
The best office chair can have some great support options, but it is not always the most adjustable method of support. For support devices to actually do their job, you need to be able to adjusted them to your precise measurements. For this to happen, some people find it easier to buy additional support items themselves.
This is a huge issue with lumbar support. Our backs tend to be the first part of us that will ache when sitting for a long period of time. While a good desk chair should have the needed lumbar support, the support does not always function as it should or does not land where it should.
You can purchase lumbar support pillows separately. You will then have the ability to attach them at the precise height you need them for the best lumbar support. With this method, as the lumbar support padding begins to wear down, you only need to replace the accessory instead of the entire chair.
Sometimes adjusting to the right height is easier said than done. This is especially true for those who are shorter. You may find yourself having to decide between having your feet firmly planted on the ground, and being able to type with your arms resting comfortably on the desk. To help with this issue, you can purchase a stool to keep under your feet in order to raise the chair to the level it needs to be for reaching your desk comfortably.
For those who work long hours, you can wear neck braces and neck pillows at intervals throughout your work day to help cut back on the strain in your neck. There is a reason travelers wear neck braces when on trains, and it is not just for sleeping. There is no rule saying office workers cannot also utilize neck support pillows.
Floor mats can serve a double purpose. First, they can make it much easier for your chair to move across any surface. Carpet fibers can get caught in the wheels of your office chair, but a floor mat creates a hard surface for the wheels to glide easily over.
The second purpose is to protect your flooring. Plastic wheels can be very damaging to the hardwood floor, especially when rolled in a repeated motion for hours each day. A floor mat can help preserve those pristine wooden floors.