Our top pick is the Herman Miller Embody because it ticked all of the criteria we set for this review. This office chair is fully adjustable including the height, armrests, backrest and seat depth. We also loved the seat material which is comfortable to sit on for long hours and breathable so it doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable. We were impressed with the lumber support and the technology that has gone into designing the backrest. The fact that this is an eco-friendly option earned it additional points.
Ergonomic Office Chair Reviews
We spent 8 weeks testing 16 different brands of an ergonomic office chair to come up with this list of top 5 best ergonomic office chairs. Our criteria included lumbar support, adjustability, seat material and swivel. We are a team of 6 professionals and friends including one chiropractor. We assigned ourselves the task of finding the best ergonomic office chair simply because we all shared a common problem of spending long hours in front of a desk which takes a toll on the body. One of the major challenges is definitely the wide range of choices available. We did a lot of background research to decide on useful criteria we could use to find the best ergonomic office chair. We then picked out a few options that we thought fit the bill and got down to actually trying them out.
The chiropractor’s opinion was immensely helpful in coming up with this list and he actually recommends these chairs to his patients.
1. Herman Miller
Best Overall Ergonomic Office Chair
5/5 Product Rating
We have it on good authority that the Herman Miller Embody was designed in collaboration with engineers and physicians and we believe it. This ergonomic chair quite literally fits like a glove. It aligns with your spine throughout the day and moves accordingly to ensure maximum spinal support throughout. The back of the chair features what looks like the human spine that automatically adjusts to your spine.
This Herman Miller supports all the right areas including your sitting bones (sacrum), thighs, thorax and of course the back. We also loved the adjustable back and armrest means that you find just the right position and posture.
The seat material actually feels a little like human skin and is very comfortable. It’s also breathable so it doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable when you sit for too long. For the eco-conscious amongst us, the chair is 95-percent recyclable so extra points for this fact.
It’s quick and easy to set up even if you have never assembled furniture before. The simple and easy-to-follow instructions definitely help with assembly. Our chiropractor friend highly recommends this particular option for back pain.
– Sarah Lytle
Best Overall Ergonomic Office Chair – Runner Up
4.9/5 Product Rating
We are familiar with the Humanscale brand so we weren’t surprized that the Humanscale Freedom made it this high on our list. This is a self-adjusting chair means you don’t have to deal with complex and frustrating nobs and lever. The backrest features self-locking recline which means you don’t have to worry about leaning too far back than you would prefer.
The headrest is also a thoughtful addition that we enjoyed if you are the type to take a nap on your office chair. The adjustable armrest definitely earns it points. The armrests move together which makes the adjustment a lot easier and less frustrating.
Finally, we liked that we had options. There is a simple but effective graphite frame and plain fabric option if you are budget conscious. If you want to make a statement, the leather and polished aluminum version is definitely worth the extra cash.
– Sarah Lytle
Best Budget Ergonomic Office Chair
4.8/5 Product Rating
We realize that the top 2 spots don’t accommodate all budgets but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a good ergonomic office chair. The Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair is a great choice for the budget conscious. The price wasn’t even the main reason why we placed this Steelcase chair in the third position. This option features a patented LiveBack technology which conforms to your spine allowing you the freedom to change posture without losing much-needed support.
We love that pretty much all sections are adjustable including the arms, lower and upper back, seat depth, height and even the edge of the seat. We were presently surprised at the checklist items the Steelcase chair ticked off especially considering the price. We’d recommend this as the ideal budget friendly ergonomic office chair. You can be sure you won’t get anything better at this price range.
– Sarah Lytle
4.6/5 Product Rating
Herman Miller makes another appearance on this list and it’s because this is honestly a solid brand. Herman Miller is actually one of the first companies to design ergonomic office chairs and it’s held the top position over the years.
The Sayl Chair is made in the USA and is another budget-friendly option. We loved the aesthetics because of its looks more like a chair you would have by the beach or on the patio rather than the office. The backrest features a breathable, stretchy fabric that offers maximum lumber support. It only has a few basic adjustments but that doesn’t take away from the effective support it offers.
The chair has adjustable arm rests which we always like to see on office chairs. The frameless design means that there are no hard edges to press on.
The only reason why this Herman didn’t edge out the Steelcase to take third place is the hollow design isn’t for everyone. We had mixed feelings about the design (two members didn’t like it) but there were no qualms whatsoever about comfort and practicality.
– Sarah Lytle
4.5/5 Product Rating
In fifth place but still a worthy contender is the Serta Mid-Back Office Chair. We were familiar with the Serta brand from its mattresses so we were quite sure that it wouldn’t disappoint with the office chair. First, we like that this is a budget ergonomic office chair that doesn’t miss any of the essential points.
This is a leather chair for those who like to keep things traditional and has great lumber support. The backrest pivots as you move throughout the day to offer full support regardless of what position you are sitting in. The chair is easy to figure out and control with adjustable, padded armrests so we liked that.
Finally, the chair lightly pushes your pelvis forward in case you lean too far to correct your posture. We recommend this chair to anyone who sits for long hours behind a desk and is concerned about posture.
– Sarah Lytle
6. Office Star
Ergonomic Office Chair Buying Guide
What is an Ergonomic Office Chair?
An ergonomic office chair is a type of office chair specifically designed to support the lower back and spine, and ensure good posture.
The typical office worker spends up to 8 hours or more sitting in a chair. Over time, poor support and bad posture can lead to back, arms, wrist, hands and neck problems. Ergonomic chairs are designed to alleviate these potential problems.
Most people don’t realize that these chairs offer more than comfort and pain relief. The ergonomic chairs we reviewed all offer additional benefits including improved blood circulation, better focus, enhanced creativity and boost productivity.
How to Choose an Ergonomic Office Chair
The first thing you notice when trying to buy an ergonomic office chair is the sheer number of possible options. The problem is that the word Ergonomic has become a bit of a buzzword and many manufacturers are happy to slap it on the label when the chair doesn’t fit the bill. There aren’t strict regulations as we see with food and beverages so many unscrupulous manufacturers are happy to cash in on the craze.
Fortunately, there are a few fundamental qualities that make an office chair truly ergonomic. We used these same criteria in picking out our top 5 best ergonomic office chairs.
Adjustability is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when looking for an ergonomic office chair. There are a few sub-categories you need to look into in this case.
- Chair Height : You should be able to plant your feet firmly and flat on the ground and thighs parallel to the floor when sitting on an office chair. Forearm position should be parallel to your work station. You can only achieve this posture if the office chair is adjustable to your height. A chair that is too high or too low can interfere with blood flow, apply pressure behind the knee and apply undue stress on sitting bones.
- Recline-able : You should be able to recline the office chair just enough to reach the work station without straining the arms, shoulders, and eyes. Reclining also ensures that you don’t put too much pressure on your sitting bones and spine. Ergonomic chairs are designed to gently correct your posture if you recline too far back or forward.
- Seat Depth : An adjustable seat depth is meant to cater to the length of your legs. You can either move the seat forward or back depending on your height. A seat that is too long means that you have to lean forward so that the backrest can’t do its job. The result here is straining your legs and back. A quick way to check that you are in the right position is to put two or three fingers between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees. Your fingers should fit snugly if the seat depth is correct.
- Armrest : Finally adjustable armrest ensures that you can move your arms closer to the work station. The armrest should set for correct arm height as previously discussed.
Lumber support simply means the amount of support the office chair provides your lower back. A good lumber system should have position control, firmness control, comfortable back support and flexible as you switch postures. Lumber support is incredibly important if you want to avoid lower back pain.
You, of course, want a seat material that goes with your office décor. Black is a solid color that fits in any room although some of the options here offer a good range of colors. Looks aside, you want a material that is comfortable to sit in all day long. You want breathable material that doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable.
Our picks for the best ergonomic office chair are all easily sliding if you need to move furniture around. Adjustable armrests also improve mobility such that they don’t get in your way while you work.
Any office chair worth its name should rotate to allow you to reach various areas of the work station. Swivel is standard with ergonomic office chairs, or at least in the ones on our top 5 list.
You might have noticed that we didn’t factor in price too much when coming up with this review. If you buy the right chair the first time round, it will be a long time until you need to buy another. We included a few affordable options on our list such as the Herman Miller Sayl Chair. Whatever the case you shouldn’t feel bad about splurging on a good ergonomic chair. The potential savings in massages and doctor, chiropractor bills make economic sense in the grand scheme of things. It’s also difficult to put a price on health and comfort.
We put in a lot of time and effort to wade through the endless ergonomic office chair options to come up with this list. Should you choose to find one on your own, be sure to use the criteria we suggested on the ‘Buyer’s Guide’. A good ergonomic chair offers comfort and support and encourages good circulation. You may also enjoy the benefits of boosted creativity and concentration.
The good news is you don’t have to spend tons of money to get a good ergonomic chair. Consider the budget options we have outlined here. Most of all make sure you buy from a reputable dealer. This guarantees that you have some sort of recourse in case the chair doesn’t arrive in the condition it was promised.