Buying Guides Productivity

The Best Office Desk Chair for Back Pain and Posture: 9 Great Options

Andy Betts Updated 14-05-2020

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.

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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.

1. Steelcase Gesture

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.

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2. Herman Miller Classic Aeron

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.

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3. Steelcase Leap

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.

4. Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

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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

IKEA Marcus office chair for posture

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.

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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.

6. Space Seating Professional AirGrid

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.

7. OFM Essentials Collection Racing Style Office Chair

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.

8. SMUGDESK Ergonomic Office Chair

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.

9. DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

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 10 Home Office Workstation Tips: Boost Productivity and Reduce Stress Headaches, fatigue, and soreness could be due to your workstation setup. Recover with these essential home office workstation tips! Read More to get started.

Explore more about: Ergonomics, Health, Home Office, Office Chairs, Remote Work, Workspace, Workstation Tips.

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  1. Kelly Abercrombie
    November 21, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Thank you for sharing these awesome chairs. I'm planning to replace my old chair and you gave me an idea which chair is the best for me.

  2. Patrick
    March 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    What the heck.... the company I work for didn't make this list.... you my friend never sat on a glove by sitonit seating.

  3. DJ
    March 22, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Can't agree with the Markus. We've had it for 4 years and I had to get something else. The arms are too high, you need to unscrew with an allen key to remove them (which wasn't detailed in the article), the seat is tacky cheap fake leather and I got nothing bu coccyx pain from that one.

    My rule is, if the seat is flat, walk away, if the seat is concave slightly (or contoured) then it's worth considering.

    Your backside isn't round so don't go for a seat that doesn't take that into account - £200 for something that uncomfortable is a joke. My wife uses it now in her office, but only with cushions on the seat

  4. Dave Grant
    July 9, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I can agree that Raynor Ergohuman is one of the best. I have tried a lot of chairs in my life as I had a lot of back and neck pains and on Ergohuman chair my pains disappears. Chair Troll said that it's "most uncomfortable chair he ever said". Problably he forgot about proper ergonomic of work and that's why he doesn't like this chair.

    I wrote about both proper ergonomic of work and the best chairs on my blog. If someone is interested take a look at http://www.workwithpleasure.com

    Cheers,
    Dave.

  5. eric crayon
    May 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

    The Embody Chair by Herman Miller is one of the most comfortable office chairs out there

    First, for all the computer users out there, sometimes finding a comfortable sitting position is difficult, but with this chair there are six ergonomic functions that allow you to adjust for the most beneficial and healthy posture for sitting. This function takes pressure off the spine, which is one of the main causes for pain and discomfort when sitting. Also, a specially designed material on the office chair allows it to breathe properly and the air to circulate, keeping you cool no matter how long you sit.
    Furthermore, I bet you didn’t think a chair could help you with increased brain function, did you? Well, this one can. With the pixilated support, you’ll have the sense of floating and remaining perfectly balanced from the moment you sit down, because the Embody seat and back automatically conforms to your micro movements and distributes your weight evenly, relieving pressure, and promotes circulation and oxygen flow to allow you to concentrate and provide an increased thought process.

    Other benefits include height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, and the motions of the armrest fit a variety of ranges. By all means, a very comfortable office chair.

  6. Anonymous
    October 21, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Very nice blog !!! We have amazing collection of mesh office chair at reasonable price ..

  7. Fernando Perez
    May 6, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Nice blog.thanks for our information.we also provide chairs, reception desks, cubicles, lateral files, conference tables, desks and credenzas. The pre-owned inventory can consist of the top furniture and systems manufacturers such as Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller, Knoll, Paoli, Gunlock and more. Pre-owned inventory in prime condition turns over quickly.

  8. Roxanne
    January 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I work in an office and like so many my back hurts. I need to get a new chair and this article helped! I also read a blog post about the top picks for chairs that I want to share--http://www.advantagesupply.us/index.php/blog/entry/2014-office-seating-innovations

  9. office chairs
    December 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    One of the most popular premium office chairs available today, the Leap is also one of the most conventional. You’ll find no mesh construction, multi-link support or fancy fabric; just a simple, yet incredibly adjustable, office chair.

  10. Chair Troll
    November 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    The Herman Miller Mirra is one of the most uncomfortable chairs I have ever sat in, in my entire life. I can't believe that it costs so much; don't waste your money.

    • John Onswinski
      November 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      you would say that mr chair troll ;)

    • Matt S
      December 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      The Mirra is the one I own. It one of the more love-it-or-hate-it models. I hate floppy chairs and don't understand the appeal of laid-backing typing positions, because they hurt my lower back. So I love the Mirra - it gives superb back support and encourage me to stay in an upright seating position.

  11. Luis
    September 13, 2013 at 2:48 am

    I've been using the Ikea Markus for the last 3 years and its been pretty great. It has 10-year Warranty (as long as you keep the receipt!). Its a really nice chair for ~$200.

  12. Bruce
    September 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I have an Office Star chair, not this one but one that has the same arm rests as the one illustrated above, these arm rests are very uncomfortable as they do not have rotation. When you sit in the chair a long time the arm rest edges that stick up cut into your arms. Very irritating after a while. If the arm rest rotated you could adjust them so your arm sat in the groove instead of across them.

    • Matt S
      December 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Arm rest rotation is a great feature to have. Unfortunately only the most expensive chairs offer it, and even then, it's usually an optional extra.