If you spend long hours working or studying at a desk, it’s essential to have an office chair that promotes good posture. Without it, you can experience back pain, get hunched shoulders, or even suffer more serious long term damage.
A good office chair is expensive, but if you’re going to spend hundreds of hours each year sitting in it, you better believe that the cost is well worth it. Here are our picks for the best office chairs for better posture.
You can find chairs that are priced higher than the Steelcase Gesture but you needn’t bother. This is pretty much as good as it gets. Most importantly, it’s comfortable and ergonomic. The chair’s core equalizer provides the perfect amount of lumbar support, depending on how much you recline.
It also provides an incredible range of adjustments, particularly in the armrests—they can move up, down, in, out, and all around. This freedom of movement was born from Steelcase’s Global Posture Study, and the results speak for themselves.
The chair looks clean, minimalistic, and professional. It’s available in eight beautiful and unique colors that can make any office pop with life and is backed by a 12-year warranty.
The Herman Miller Classic Aeron is perhaps the most well-known of the items on this list. It’s usually the first recommendation to pop up when someone starts looking into high-end office chairs. And it was the benchmark standard for all office chairs in the years before the Gesture’s debut.
This chair comes in three sizes that support different height and weight. It also uses a mesh-like texture for the seat and back—unlike most chairs that rely on foam, fabric, and leather—for breathability and temperature regulation.
Aesthetics-wise, it looks like any other office chair, and that’s fine. The only downside is the lack of a headrest. Other than that, it’s excellent and comes with Herman Miller’s 12-year warranty.
If the Gesture and Aeron are too expensive for you, take a look at the Steelcase Leap instead. The Leap beats all other chairs found in its price range. In fact, some even prefer the Leap over the Aeron because it provides better spinal support and is more adjustable. This chair strikes the perfect balance between ergonomics and price.
The LiveBack feature molds to the shape of your back, staying firm in the lower back while allowing for a respectable range for reclining. The lumbar support bar can even be moved to fit exactly where you need it, and the armrests can be positioned however you want.
With its black and chrome styling, the Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair has an imposing look. But the design is what makes the chair help with your posture. You can adjust almost every part of it; the back, the lumbar support, the headrest, and the arms.
Once you’ve got it set up to suit your body, you’ll find the mesh seat and back ensure you won’t overheat during long working sessions—although do beware that mesh can stretch over time. And it comes with a lifetime warranty that allows up to 250 pounds of weight for up to 40 hours a week.
5. IKEA Markus
The IKEA Markus is another good balance between price and performance, with a focus on the former. The headrest is comfortable, the lumbar support is passable, and the seat isn’t too deep. The mesh back is breathable, and the foam provides comfort. The reclining mechanism can be locked at any point.
However, although the armrests aren’t adjustable, you can remove them if they get in the way. You can save some money on the Markus if you opt for fabric rather than leather. But even if you grab the leather version, this is some of the best bang-for-your-buck that you’ll find in the realm of office chairs.
For an even cheaper option than the IKEA Markus, the Space Seating Professional AirGrid is worth a look if you’re on a budget. It’s comfortable and has a breathable mesh back. The armrests are acceptable: plastic, fine in short bursts, and adjustable up and down.
You can remove them without affecting the chair’s integrity. You’ll struggle to find a better chair at this price. Use it as a stopgap for one or two years, and during that time, save up for one of the others on this list.
The OFM Racing Style Office Chair is very well padded and supportive in all the right places. With plush armrests, headrest, and lumbar support, it cradles your body, and you can recline the seat into your ideal position. This also makes it double as a decent gaming chair.
There are some compromises in the build. The chair is made from a combination of plastic and SofThread leather, which is a bonded leather, which goes some way to explain the more affordable price. It’s good for up to 250 pounds of weight and is backed by a lifetime guarantee.
While there’s no doubt that paying more for your office chair will bring you better quality and support, not everyone has a large amount of cash ready to spend. The SMUGDESK Ergonomic Office Chair is some way cheaper than we’d generally recommend, but if you need a new chair right now, it has the basics covered.
Its got a high back, lumbar support, an adjustable head, and padded armrests. The design is best described as functional, but it’s sturdy and can support up to 300 pounds. Self-assembly is required.
Finally, for an office chair that really helps with posture, why not consider the DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair? A kneeling chair encourages what’s known as active sitting, where your body is forced into the correct posture. It makes use of, and helps to strengthen, your core muscles.
The chair doesn’t have a back, so there’s no slouching. This is a good thing, of course, but it can take a little getting used to and may be tiring with extended use at first. Kneeling chairs come in a vast range of prices. This DRAGONN chair is affordable enough that it’s accessible to anyone willing to try something new.
More Tips for a Healthier Spine
A new office chair can help improve your posture, but if you feel that your back is already in a pretty bad way, we can help. Take a look at this quick three-minute exercise you can do to fix your posture.
Once you’ve got your new chair, you can set about improving the rest of your working environment. This is especially important if you work from home. Check out our guide on how to set up your home office to become more productive to get started.