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Best Office Chair 2023

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Most of us spend far too much time sitting down, whether we're working in an office or playing video games at home. All that chair time can really add up, leading to tight muscles, soreness, and health issues. Short of switching to a standing desk, there's little we can do to break free of the chair without just being more mindful and taking short breaks to get up and move around a bit. But, we can at least invest in a chair that won't exacerbate the problems that come from hours of sitting.

A solid office chair helps you get into a comfortable and ergonomic sitting position that won't make you strain to maintain a good posture, while adjustable lumbar support, height, and seat depth allow you to customize the chair to you. Some go even further with headrests, leg rests, and reclining features, letting you take a load off now and then. And you can even find unconventional office chairs that may better suit your work situation, or maybe you'd rather grab a gaming chair to kill two birds with one stone.

We, ourselves, spend a whole lot of time seated writing up guides like this one, so we naturally have a first-hand understanding of the value of a great office chair. There seem to be endless options, ranging in styles, features, and prices, so we've put together a comprehensive list to help you find a comfortable chair that'll help get you through even the longest workdays – and click here to see them in the UK.

TL;DR – These are the Best Office Chairs

Steelcase Think

Best Office Chair

Steelcase ThinkSteelcase Think

You don't have to "think" too much when investing in the Steelcase Think. This office chair is a taskmaster with an intelligent design, offering all the needed features without going over the top. Flexible and adjustable lumbar support are loaded into the seatback and respond to your movement, making it comfortable even as you change positions. The recline function also lets you kick back and relax when work is getting the best of you. The chair includes the ever-important adjustable armrests to help you get proper ergonomics at your keyboard. And the seat provides a height range from 16.5 inches to 21.5 inches, making it the perfect fit for just about anyone. Though, Steelcase makes a stool model to go even higher.

The heart of the Steelcase Think is a large and supportive seat cushion that’ll keep your behind happy for hours. Its cushion is flexible too, with an adjustable depth and edge to help users with different leg lengths find a comfortable fit. That seat, along with a 400-pound weight capacity, makes this a viable option for big and tall users as well. And the mesh back means you get breathability and support, though there’s an upholstered option. Speaking of upholstery, this chair offers plenty of color options, so you’re bound to find one that best fits your space’s aesthetic. It’s even fully assembled and backed by a lengthy warranty, ensuring minimal fuss and maximum comfort for years to come.

Autonomous ErgoChair Core

Best Budget Office Chair

Autonomous ErgoChair CoreAutonomous ErgoChair Core

Most inexpensive office chairs — the generic models you run across in office supply stores — are pretty sad affairs that aren’t comfortable and offer the bare minimum of adjustability. That’s why it’s great to encounter a chair like the Autonomous ErgoChair Core, which costs under $350, yet offers premium features like adjustable lumbar support, height, seat pan, and armrests. Those details help make the chair feel great, plus it looks like a classier, much pricier seat as well.

The Autonomous ErgoChair Core offers up every essential you look for in an office chair. The mesh backrest is comfortable, distributes weight evenly, and adds breathability, while a thickly padded foam seat has a high-quality polyester shell that holds up well over time. In addition, the chair has a balancing mechanism (which Autonomous emphasizes is Italian-designed), letting you switch from upright to an 18-degree recline in a single action. It also has the obligatory height and tilt controls under the seat. Since this is a budget chair, you can even add a headrest and footrest for a bit more than the base price, substantially amping up the Autonomous ErgoChair Core's comfort factor.

FlexiSpot Ergonomic office Mesh chair 3003

Best Ultra Cheap Office Chair

FlexiSpot Ergonomic office Mesh chair 3003FlexiSpot Ergonomic office Mesh chair 3003

Flexispot has created an incredibly sleek and versatile chair for an equally impressive price with the Ergonomic office Mesh chair 3003. For under $200, you can enjoy plenty of high-end office chair perks, like a wide well-cushioned foam seat and a curved mesh backrest to support the natural shape of your back. That mesh also helps you stay cool on hotter days. There’s even an adjustable headrest and lumbar support, ensuring you’re in the most ergonomic position during those long work hours.

That’s just the start, as the chair is built sturdy and ready to hold up to 300 pounds, while a wide range of height adjustments means it’s suitable for both short and tall individuals. It also tilts up to 108 degrees and supports rocking to get extra comfy. And if you decide you’d like to tuck the chair away to store under your desk and save space, it’ll fold down 90 degrees–armrests included.

Humanscale Freedom

Best Ergonomic Chair

Humanscale FreedomHumanscale Freedom

The Humanscale Freedom isn’t quite your typical office chair. It offers an almost magical ergonomic design to help you stay comfortable in whatever position you decide to sit. The back section can move vertically, upgrading over simple, sliding lumbar supports. The wide headrest pulls off the same trick to cradle your head. And that’s just a few of the helpful dial-in adjustabilities of the chair.

With the Freedom’s design, you can easily recline to relax, as it uses your body weight to automatically adjust recline support. The armrests are even attached to the back of the chair, so they’ll recline with you and still be handy when you’re kicking back. You also get a big 21-inch wide seat covered in foam for a soft palace to settle down. That seat’s height can go from 16.1 to 20.3 inches, while its robust frame holds up to 300-pounds, making it suitable for users of many shapes and sizes. Just be prepared to shell out a good chunk of change, as an office chair with this many features doesn’t come cheap.

Herman Miller Vantum

Best Office Chair for Gaming

Herman Miller VantumHerman Miller Vantum

Herman Miller is known for their innovative, high-quality office furniture, and in collaboration with Logitech G, they’re bringing that expertise to gaming chairs. The Vantum doesn’t scream “gamer” due to its lack of racing seat, opting for a more sculpted, sleek design that’ll fit perfectly pulled up to a gaming or work setup. It even offers a unique “active, forward-leaning alignment” feature that pushes you slightly forward in the seat, helping with focus and reaction time.

The Vantum’s seat is made of a plush and durable polyester fabric, while a fine mesh suspension backrest ensures you don’t overheat during intense action and long gaming sessions. Though this chair is highly durable, there’s a surprising amount of plastic used in the build, especially considering the chair’s hefty $795 price tag. Yet its comfort and ergonomic features, like adjustable lumbar support, 3D armrest, and a passively adaptive thoracic support pad, might make it worth the splurge.

HÅG Capisco Puls

Best Standing Desk Office Chair

HÅG Capisco PulsHÅG Capisco Puls

So, you've invested in a standing desk, but after a few hours of work, you're regretting the decision. Sometimes your legs need a little rest, and the HÅG Capisco Puls solves this issue. This chair gives you an insane height range from 21.3 inches up to 30.9 inches with the 265mm gas lift. Therefore, it can be used as a regular seat at an average desk or be lifted up at your standing desk to be seated or partially seated, taking a bit of the weight off your legs. You can even add a foot ring for somewhere to rest your feet when you’re sitting in a higher position.

The HÅG Capisco Puls is much more comfortable than the stools you commonly find for standing desk users. First, it comes with a backrest, which includes small sides that can serve as armrests. You also choose between a fully upholstered seat for extra cushioning or can go for a partially upholstered seat to really take advantage of the chair's saddle seat design. And the casters make for easy movement but lock in place to ensure you’re not rolling around when you don’t want to. Beyond its utility, the chair is made from recycled materials, and the unique look also lends it a bit of style — heck, it was even the chair Dr. Robotnik used in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

Herman Miller Embody

Most Comfortable Office Chair

Herman Miller EmbodyHerman Miller Embody

You may know the iconic Herman Miller Aeron chair, but the Embody is actually the model that Herman Miller stakes its reputation on for high-end, premium office seating. That’s apparent from the warranty and the substantial weight of the chair, which tips the scales at 50-pounds. Take a quick look at it, and you can see why it’s so heavy; there’s steel and aluminum everywhere, making it a robust and sturdy option capable of holding 300 pounds. But all this quality comes at a hefty price tag that might just be worth the splurge.

More than anything else, the Embody’s signature feature is the backrest, designed to mimic the human spine, with flexible ribs that adjust to align with your back’s curve. It works in concert with the seat, which offers a combination of materials toting breathability and support. Your body’s movement and weight should be perfectly distributed, helping aid in the feeling of floating that Herman Miller is aiming for. Beyond that, you get an insane amount of adjustments further catering the chair to your preferences, including seat height and depth, tilt tension, backfit, and armrests. Combine all those elements, and you get a graceful, comfortable chair that is easy on your back and bum, even after hours in the seat.

Varier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair

Best Kneeling Chair

Varier Variable Balans Kneeling ChairVarier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair

Are you looking to switch things up a bit or just sick of plopping your butt down in the same old chair for eight hours a day? You can always go with a kneeling chair. This classic design has been around since the 1970s, and the Varier Variable Balans kneeling chair sticks with the original design from creator Peter Opsvik. Coming in at a higher price, you'll appreciate the sturdy wood used in the build backed by a seven-year warranty, and the included tape ensures you don’t get scratches on your hard floors, either.

The Varier Variable Balans features a curved base, letting you get a bit of rocking action into your seating. Your body remains slightly more active, attempting to balance while in this position, so if your spending eight hours or more working at a desk, that extra movement is a welcome addition. You’ll find this way of sitting a bit unusual at first, as when you’re seated, most of the weight is on your bottom and slightly on your shins, and there is no backrest, but the chair almost forces you to have better posture. However, it might not be the only seating option you want to have by your desk, but it could be helpful to your health to switch to using a kneeling chair like this once in a while.

Secretlab NeueChair

Best Mesh Office Chair

Secretlab NeueChairSecretlab NeueChair

Mesh might not scream "quality" like leather or other sturdy materials used for a chair seeing rigorous use in an office environment, but the Secretlab NeueChair makes effective use of it. With its abrasive-resistant three-layer mesh made from polyester fibers and DuPont, the seat and backrest hold up to long hours of use while remaining comfortable and breathable. That mesh seat rests on a sturdy aluminum alloy base with quiet caster wheels, which all support the decent 240-pound max load.

Comfort is at the core of the Secretlab NeueChair. You'll find adjustable lumbar support helps you keep the natural curvature of your spine while you sit. Padded armrests switch positions, letting you relax your shoulders while you work. If you want, there's even an optional headrest add-on for full support when you lean back. And you can lean back far with a 45-degree tilt. Adjusting the height and angle of the chair is also simple, and that’s thanks to controls built right into the armrests rather than underneath the seat.

Steelcase Gesture

Best High-End Office Chair

Steelcase GestureSteelcase Gesture

Steelcase is a formidable name in high-end office seating, and the Gesture is one of its most popular models. And that's for good reason. It is among the most comfortable and durable office chairs money can buy, competing closely with alternatives like the Herman Miller Embody and the Humanscale Freedom. If you order it directly from the Steelcase site, you can choose the upholstery (fabric or leather), color, frame color scheme, whether to include lumbar support, and even if the wheels should be optimized for carpet or hard floor.

Beyond its customizability, the Steelcase Gesture is comfortable. The backrest and seat are synchronized to move together, so when you lean back, the seat tilts along with the backrest. The overall effect is one that keeps your body in contact with the chair to optimally distribute your weight, contouring it to your lower back. There’s plenty in the way of adjustments too, including the seat pan, which can slide forward and back, the height, and four-way adjustable armrests. You’ll find this ergonomic approach extends to every aspect of the chair

Not sure which chair is right for you yet? See our Gaming Chair vs Office Chair breakdown if so.

Where to Get the Best Office Chair in the UK

Secretlab NeueChairSecretlab NeueChair £554.00Hbada Office Task Desk ChairHbada Office Task Desk Chair £239.36HÅG Capisco PulsHÅG Capisco Puls £495.00Herman Miller Embody Gaming ChairHerman Miller Embody Gaming Chair £1,410.00Varier Variable Balans Kneeling ChairVarier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair £349.00

What to Look for in an Office Chair

It's intimidating to shop for an office chair, especially since prices can quickly go stratospheric. And some brands justify their prices in part by describing their ergonomics, construction, and materials in ways that obfuscate the fact that they’re just chairs, not Mars landers.

How do you know if you’ve selected a good chair? Sit down. If it’s comfortable and you don’t get fatigued spending time in it, then by definition, it has good ergonomics. Unfortunately, trying a chair out is not always possible, unless there’s a nearby office supply store with a good selection.

If you have to evaluate chairs from a long distance, look for adjustability. In general, you’ll want a good height range so you can sit with your thighs resting parallel to the floor – you can measure that height in your existing chair before you start shopping online.

A contoured backrest that offers lumbar support is also important, as is the ability to move the backrest itself to fine-tune it to your body. Any other adjustments, like a full recline or a seat and back which moves in some sort of high-tech synchronicity, are gravy.

If you want to be really comfortable, make sure the seat is wide and deep enough for your personal bottom – and if you are a plus-sized individual, ensure the chair can carry your weight. The max load can catch you by surprise in other ways. We know someone who had bought a fairly high-end chair for his home office, and one day his wife tried sitting in his lap to see his computer screen. That exceeded the chair’s capacity and it failed catastrophically.

Don’t neglect the seat’s surface and padding. Some chairs are generously padded and covered in some sort of upholstery; others use mesh. Either approach can be comfortable, but it’s very much a matter of personal taste. Is the upholstery – be it a fabric, vinyl, leather, or synthetic – breathable, durable, and easy to clean?

Dave Johnson has been writing about gaming and tech since the days of the Palm Pilot. See him shout into the Twitter void @davejoh.

Danielle Abraham is a freelance writer and unpaid music historian.

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