Three best office chairs

Jennifer Blair

If your office chair doesn’ t roll as smoothly as you’ d like over carpeting, placing a chair mat beneath it can help.

Anyone who spends the majority of the workday behind a desk knows just how important a good office chair is. Not only are you more productive when you're comfortable, but the right chair can also help you avoid neck, shoulder, and back pain.

But wading through the sea of options can get pretty overwhelming. You need to decide on the right type of upholstery, as well as the other features that will make for the most comfortable and functional chair for your office. Considering the number of choices on the market, shopping for that perfect office chair can get frustrating.

Fortunately, we're here to help. Our shopping guide is full of the information you need to choose the best office chair for your desk. If you're still feeling unsure, our specific product recommendations can help you narrow down your options even further.

Considerations when choosing office chairs

The most common types of upholstery for office chairs are mesh, fabric, and leather.


Mesh office chairs are very breathable, so they're ideal if you live in a warmer climate or tend to get hot easily. Mesh office chairs are also very durable and supportive, but they don't offer much in the way of cushioning.


Fabric office chairs are soft to the touch and are available in a wide array of colors and patterns. They usually feature a foam core to provide cushioning, but fabric can stain easily and may wear down over time.


Like fabric options, leather office chairs are soft to the touch. They also provide a classic look that works with a wide array of decor styles. Leather is very durable as well, though it requires conditioning to prevent cracks. If you like the look of leather but don't appreciate the price or upkeep, faux leather office chairs are a good alternative.


Height adjustment

Most office chairs allow you to adjust the height, so you can raise or lower the seat depending on the length of your legs or the height of the desk. There are two types of height adjustment mechanisms to choose from pneumatic cylinder or manual.

A chair with pneumatic cylinder height adjustment has a canister filled with gas that raises or lowers the seat when you push a button. A chair with manual height adjustment has a screw-like stake that the seat is attached to, so when you rotate the chair, it moves up or down. Pneumatic cylinder office chairs are usually the easiest to adjust, though you'll typically pay a little more for them.

Arm adjustment

While some office chairs feature an armless design, most models have armrests for added comfort. Some chairs have fixed arms, which can't be adjusted, but higher-end models usually have adjustable arms. Some chairs only allow you to move the arms up and down. Other models let you adjust the arms up and down and in and out, so you can achieve the perfect alignment.

Lumbar support

To prevent lower back pain, an office chair should have adequate lumbar support. Some chairs feature adjustable lumbar support that you can move based on your height. If you're particularly tall or short, opt for a model with adjustable lumbar support to make sure that you'll be comfortable.


Most office chairs are designed for mobility, so you can easily move them around the office. Some styles feature plastic wheels or rubber casters to allow you to easily move the chair on either carpeting or hard flooring. Other models feature glides, which are small plastic or metal discs that glide over carpeting. They're not the best option if your office has hard flooring, though.


Most office chairs have a recline or tilt feature, which allows you to lean back in the chair. Some styles offer a pivot recline feature, so the seat slides forward when the backrest tilts back. Other models feature a seat and back that move together.


Q. What's the proper way to sit in an office chair for the best alignment?

A. When you sit in an office chair, both of your feet should rest comfortably on the floor with your thighs parallel to the ground. The back of the chair should sit firmly against your back with proper support for your spine, particularly the lower lumbar region. If your chair has armrests, your arms should sit on them at a comfortable height just slightly above waist level.

Q. Do office chairs usually come with a warranty?

A. Most office chairs come with at least a one-year warranty. However, some higher-end models offer up to five years of warranty protection. Be sure to read the warranty carefully to know what it covers, though. Some manufacturers may not cover damage caused by standard wear and tear.

Office chairs we recommend

Best of the best: Herman Miller Classic Aeron Task Chair 

Our take: An outstanding office chair that offers exceptional comfort and support, making it well worth the price.

What we like: This classic office chair boasts an ergonomic design for maximum comfort, adjustable features, and an attractive appearance, too.

What we dislike: The assembly instructions can be confusing. Some users find that the armrests can get in the way because they swing inward.

Best bang for your buckSpace Seating Professional AirGrid Chair

Our take: This office chair offers many of the same features as higher-end chairs at a more affordable price.

What we like: Only a third of the price of higher-end chairs, this chair includes most of the same features. It combines quality and comfort.

What we dislike: This office chair isn't as adjustable as other models.

Choice 3: AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair 

Our take: A basic office chair that offers plenty of comfort at an extremely affordable price.

What we like: This office chair has a stylish look and a great price. It's also easy to assemble.

What we dislike: It doesn't offer much in terms of adjustability or support for individuals with back pain.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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