When it comes to work productivity and overall well-being, having the right office chair can make a world of difference. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is the best fit for you? In this article, we will explore the top office chairs on the market today, providing you with a comprehensive guide on how to choose the perfect chair for your needs. Whether you're looking for ergonomic features, the most comfortable materials, or tips on maintaining and cleaning your chair, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and find your ideal office chair for a more comfortable and efficient workday.

The finest office chairs you can purchase today

best value

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)While more streamlined than most other office chairs, there is nothing excessively flashy about the Branch Ergonomic Chair, and perhaps that is advantageous. Once we settled into this $300 office chair, we predominantly forgot about it as we sat on it while working from home. However, isn't that the purpose of any exceptional office chair?

The Branch Ergonomic Chair allows for adjustment in seven areas (the height and width of the armrests, as well as the distance forward you prefer them, seat height, angle of the backrest, and position of the seat in relation to the backrest), which were easily modified. Our one criticism is that its cushioned seat did not feel as comfortable as mesh seats. 

Read our complete review of the Branch Ergonomic Chair

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Office Chair in office

(Image credit: Flash Furniture)The Flash Furniture Mid-Back office chair stands out not only for its looks but also for its price. This reasonably priced office chair costs around $120 and has a distinctive design that sets it apart from the multitude of gray and black office chairs, especially if you select the blue-and-white model we tested.

Similar to most budget office chairs, the Flash Furniture model does not offer much adjustability – you can only raise and lower the seat and adjust the tilt tension. However, its arms can be folded up, making it easier to tuck under your desk. If you are seeking an inexpensive office chair that has a stylish appearance, this model is definitely worth considering.

Read our complete review of the Flash Furniture Mid-Back office chair.

Editor's Choice

Herman Miller Aeron (Image credit: Herman Miller)The Herman Miller Aeron chair may be the embodiment of dot-com excess, but there is a valid reason for that: It is exceptionally comfortable. This top-tier chair allows for complete customization, even in more obscure aspects such as the tension of eight sections of fabric (including crucial lumbar support) and the tilt and angle of the armrests. Furthermore, it supports working in two different positions: one for when you lean forward and another for when you recline and lean back. 

If you are having difficulty deciding between the Herman Miller Embody vs Aeron, check out our comparison.

It comes as no surprise that all of this comes at a cost, starting at over $1,000. Nevertheless, considering that you only have one behind and might be working from home for an extended period, it would be well worth providing your rear with a comfortable place to rest. Our recommendation is to look for sales when offices are clearing out their inventory.

Read our complete review of the Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Editor's Choice

Steelcase Leap (Image credit: Steelcase)If you suffer from back pain, you need a chair that adapts to your needs. While many chairs can be customized to suit you, the Steelcase Leap takes a different approach: it adjusts as you use it. The back flexes, the lumbar support alters, and the entire chair tilts as you change your position, which can be achieved through three controls to tailor the chair specifically to your spine, lumbar region, and posture. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals with chronic back or spinal issues, as adjusting these controls can greatly enhance comfort. 

The Leap has a more traditional appearance compared to the Herman Miller Aeron, but we preferred the back support of the Leap, which felt slightly more rigid. Additionally, the Leap offers a greater variety of color options.

However, the Steelcase Leap does come with a hefty price tag of around $1,000, making it one of the more expensive chairs we examined. Yet, it may be a worthwhile investment if you use it frequently and desire a chair that can be adjusted to suit your preferences.

Read our complete review of the Steelcase Leap.

Hon Exposure office chair

Hon Exposure (Image credit: Hon)The Hon Exposure is akin to the Honda Civic of office chairs: reliable, affordable, and gets the job done without being the flashiest option available. Costing around $200, the Hon Exposure offers adjustable arms and height, along with movable lumbar support to provide comfort for your lower back. 

We found the Hon Exposure to be comfortable, although slightly firmer than the Branch Ergonomic Chair, which also boasted a touch more style but came at a higher price tag. In any case, you can't go wrong with the Hon Exposure, but there are more thrilling models to explore.

Read our complete review of the Hon Exposure office chair.

X-Chair X2 K-Sport Management chair

(Image credit: XChair)If you decide on the X-Chair X2, consider spending an additional $100 or so on the optional heating and massage pad. It will transform your home office into a space that feels akin to being seated in the Brookstone store at the mall. 

Aside from that, the X2 Chair offers exceptional comfort with lumbar support, a mesh back and seat, and adjustability for virtually everything. It also features a sturdy construction with a solid metal base and casters. At around 0-0, it certainly isn't cheap, but presents a more affordable option compared to the Herman Miller Aeron. 

Read our complete review of the X-Chair X2.

Furmax Office Mesh Chair with Armrest

Furmax Office Mesh Chair with Armrest (Image credit: Furmax)If you prefer not to spend your entire stimulus check on a chair but still desire a comfortable seat for your bottom, the Furmax could be an excellent choice. It features a thick, cushioned seat and a mesh back with adjustable lumbar support, keeping your back from becoming sweaty while still providing the necessary firmness. According to online customers, the seat height can be adjusted from 19 inches to approximately 24 inches.

The Furmax is equipped with five casters, allowing for easy mobility in your home office. While you can adjust the incline and overall height of the chair, unfortunately, the armrests are fixed. Nevertheless, at this price point, it is difficult to find a chair that offers everything. On the positive side, the chair is available in various colors, including traditional black, gray, purple, red, and white.

There are numerous inexpensive office chairs, but which one is the finest office chair under $100? I compared the Furmax against the BestOffice chair, another highly ranked mesh-back chair with lumbar support on Amazon. The Furmax emerged victorious in terms of comfort. 

Odinlake Ergo ART Chair 643 in office room

(Image credit: Odinlake)The Odinlake office chair presents a slender profile; its tall and slim back tapers from bottom to top, giving it an incredibly sleek appearance. It is adorned in two-tone gray fabric, which enhances its minimalist aesthetic and allows for easy integration into any office environment. Additionally, we were quite fond of its polished aluminum base. However, it wouldn't hurt to have a color option or two.

The Odinlake chair was reasonably comfortable to sit in, although we would have preferred a bit more padding on the seat. We also appreciated the fact that not only can you adjust the arms, but also the seat, lumbar support, and headrest. Overall, it is a stylish and sturdy mid-range office chair that will only set you back around $450.

Read our complete review of the Odinlake Ergo ART Chair 643.

How long should you remain seated?

Even if you possess the most exceptional office chair in the world, it is unhealthy to stay seated for extended periods of time. Various studies have discovered that prolonged sitting can have adverse effects on your body, such as an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. 

Therefore, several experts recommend standing up periodically. The Mayo Clinic, for instance, suggests standing up every 30 minutes (opens in new tab), or investing in one of the top-standing desks, along with one of the premium under-desk treadmills. Regardless, make sure to get up and stretch your muscles. One method is to set a timer; certain smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, will even remind you to move if you have been sedentary for too long. Additionally, be sure to consult our guide to the most effective exercises for prolonged sitting.  

Choosing the Ideal Office Chair for Your Needs


The price range of office chairs is vast, varying from under $100 to $2,000. Ultimately, it is crucial to select an office chair that aligns with your budget. There are two key distinctions between budget-friendly chairs and pricier models. The first difference lies in the materials used; cheaper chairs are often constructed with less expensive materials and may not prioritize design as much. In contrast, costlier chairs are more fashion-forward, made from premium materials, and offer additional customization options.

The second disparity between low-cost and high-end office chairs is adjustability. Cheaper chairs have limited adjustability compared to their more expensive counterparts. For example, a $100 chair may only allow height adjustments, while higher-priced chairs provide multiple adjustment options such as arms, lumbar support, seat position, and more.

However, if you come across a chair that catches your eye, but it exceeds your budget slightly, it's worth exploring the market for pre-owned models. With the pandemic resulting in office closures and downsizing, many companies have sold their office equipment for significantly reduced prices.


Comfort is a straightforward concept when it comes to office chairs. A comfortable chair should provide a seat that offers both yielding and firm qualities. It should also have moisture-wicking properties to prevent discomfort on warm days. Seats and backs made of mesh usually excel in this regard.

The seat should be wide enough to accommodate individuals of larger stature, ensuring they do not feel constricted like they're sitting on a children's chair.

The armrests should be designed with contours that comfortably support the elbow and upper arm. They should be made of fabric or a softer material to prevent jarring of the elbow upon impact.

Lumbar Support

Another vital aspect to consider is lumbar support. This specific feature aids in maintaining the natural curve of the lower back, preventing strain during prolonged sitting periods. Similar to other components of an office chair, lumbar support should be adjustable, allowing users to customize its position and level of intensity.


The material used in constructing an office chair can significantly impact its comfort. Office chairs are typically covered in fabric with padding underneath. However, some chairs utilize mesh for the back or seat, enhancing airflow and keeping the user cooler throughout the day. Additionally, for those seeking a statement piece, a leather chair can be an excellent choice.

Material considerations extend beyond the seat itself. More expensive chairs often feature metal parts in the base and other areas, while lower-priced models incorporate more plastic components.


Adjustability is a critical factor to evaluate when selecting an office chair. The best chairs offer extensive customization options, allowing users to tweak various aspects including seat height, angle, depth, armrest height, width, and angle, backrest angle, and backrest height. This level of adjustability is essential as everyone's body shape differs. Typically, the higher the price of the chair, the more adjustable features it will offer. Chairs priced below $100 usually only provide height adjustment capabilities.

Top Office Chairs of 2023

Megan Wollerton/CNET Comfort rating: Comfortable

Upon encountering this Amazon Basics chair, I immediately developed a liking for it. Its simple assembly process, sleek leather design, and cushioned adjustable seat and back provided a comfortable experience. While this Amazon Basics chair is not the most affordable option, its current discount makes it a viable and reasonably priced choice, with the exception of its lumbar support. If lumbar support is a non-negotiable feature, it would be worth considering one of our other recommended chairs. Overall, this chair combines comfort and affordability, making it an easy-to-assemble and aesthetically pleasing ergonomic option.

-- Megan

Branch Furniture Comfort rating: Super comfortable

The disparity between a cheap and expensive chair is truly astonishing. I spent several years enduring back pain while using a $100 chair. However, the Verve chair by Branch, although pricier, exudes quality in every aspect. The impeccable metal fittings, fabric quality, and smooth wheel movement demonstrate the care and attention put into its design. Additionally, my back pain has significantly reduced since switching to this chair. It's incredible how correct posture on a good chair can revolutionize the sitting experience.

-- James

HON Comfort rating: Super comfortable

Similar to the Branch chair, the Ignition 2.0 is exceptionally well-crafted. Once assembled, it emanates sophistication and adds a touch of elegance to my office space. As a taller individual, I often worry about finding chairs that can adequately support my weight. However, the Ignition chair is specifically designed to cater to individuals like me. It offers adjustments for lumbar support, height, armrests, and even seat depth. One feature I wish it had is rotating armrests, as it would better support my forearm and reduce wrist strain while typing. Nonetheless, this chair is priced as a midrange option, providing exceptional comfort and solid construction, making it one of the top choices available.

-- James

Hbada Comfort rating: Comfortable

While this modern-looking office chair did not suit my lanky 275-pound frame, it proved to be perfect for my wife. Its excellent lumbar support can be adjusted to fit her back arch, and the armrests can be raised or lowered as needed. The Hbada chair boasts minimal sideways wobbling, which is often an issue with cheaper chairs. However, the wheels tend to get clogged easily with carpet lint and pet hair.

-- James

Megan Wollerton/CNET Comfort rating: The most comfortable

Although not the most aesthetically pleasing chair, the Serta Arlington makes up for it with unparalleled comfort and customization options. Serta's reputation as a mattress manufacturer shines through with the supremely cushioned Arlington chair. Its headrest, backrest, seat, and armrests feature multiple layers of soft padding. The adjustable lumbar lever beneath the seat provides sufficient support.

-- Megan

Amazon Comfort rating: Comfortable for short periods

As a big-framed individual measuring 6 feet, 1 inch and weighing 275 pounds, finding a comfortable chair has been a long-standing challenge for me. I've had several chairs break while in use. This gaming chair, with its weight limit of 350 pounds and adjustable armrests, has been a reliable solution. Its tall back and wide base ensure a comfortable seating experience for individuals like me. Although not strictly an office chair, I have used it as my primary seat for over a year, and it continues to serve me well.

-- James

Megan Wollerton/CNET Comfort rating: Super comfortable

Admittedly, this office chair comes with a hefty price tag. However, it offers an extensive range of ergonomic designs and features, including various customizable options. Three notable add-ons, namely clear locking "X-wheels," Elemax, and a memory foam seat, elevate this chair above the competition. The X-wheels provide a gliding movement, making it effortless to reposition the chair, while the locking mechanisms enable steady positioning. Elemax takes ergonomic comfort to a new level with massage, heat, and cool functions seamlessly integrated into the chair. The X3 chair boasts a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds with the standard seat width option and 340 pounds with the extended seat width option—making it unrivaled in this aspect among the 14 chairs tested. The only downside is its price, which renders it less accessible for most consumers. Nevertheless, bidding farewell to this exceptional chair will be a regrettable moment.

-- Megan

Top Picks from Our Staff

As members of the CNET team, we spend a significant amount of time seated at our desks. While we all aspire to own the best office chairs, we often make do with what we have or stick with something we've grown accustomed to. The following picks are based on the preferences of our writers, engineers, and HR personnel. It is important to note that these picks were not subjected to the same rigorous testing as the chairs listed above.

Herman Miller Comfort rating: Super comfy

Despite its high price, the Herman Miller Mirra 2 has proven to be a worthwhile investment for me. After five and a half years of constant use, its mesh seat remains comfortable and supportive. Sitting on this chair brings about a moment of pleasure due to its superior quality and durability, surpassing foam seat chairs that tend to compress over time. The mesh is also easy to clean and provides excellent ventilation. The various adjustments enable personalized settings, which I have set up and left untouched since.

-- Stephen Shankland

Nypot Comfort rating: Good enough

Initially, I purchased a kneeling chair to aid my posture during a period of torn hamstring. Surprisingly, it significantly improved my overall posture and reduced neck and ankle stiffness. This brand stands out due to its rocking capability, excellent knee padding, adjustability, and affordability compared to other options. Whenever friends try it, they are pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoy using it.

-- Laura Michelle Davis

Wayfair Comfort rating: Super comfy

When I began working from my small London flat at the start of the pandemic, space became a precious commodity. As my "desk" is also my kitchen and living room table, I wanted a chair that blended seamlessly with my home decor. The compromise I made was a chair that looks more like a regular piece of furniture, which I can live with. Plus, it comes in a delightful shade of blue.

-- Sarah McDermott

Wesley Radcliffe Comfort rating: Super comfy

As a 6-foot, 1-inch-tall individual, this is, without a doubt, the most durable and comfortable office chair I have ever owned. My previous chair lasted eight years! I have recommended this chair to numerous people, and I have even earned some rewards points from Ikea as a result. Recently, I purchased a replacement chair that I expect to last me nearly another decade. Forget those gamer chairs that break after six months; the Markus is the real deal for those of us who cannot afford top-tier brands like Herman Miller or Steelcase.

-- Wesley Radcliffe

Capsico Comfort rating: Super comfy

This chair offers multiple seating positions and is especially beneficial for individuals with lower back discomfort. Its unique design, coupled with its high level of comfort and customizability, makes it an excellent choice. For those using standing desks, this chair's ability to raise to bar stool height is fantastic.

-- Justin Eastzer

Chair Ergonomics and Alleviating Back Pain

Understanding Ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to the scientific study of work, as explained by Gary Allread, the program director of the ergonomics division at Ohio State University's Spine Research Institute. While this definition primarily applies to our work environments, ergonomic principles can be applied to almost any activity. Keep in mind that an ergonomic office chair alone will not instantly resolve lower back pain. Allread and his team provide consultation services for various workplaces, including manufacturing plants. They even collaborate with companies to enhance product designs, ensuring optimal interaction with users.

Importance of Chair Posture

An inadequate work setup can lead to discomfort and potential pain in the back, arms, hands, or wrists. Discomfort also hampers productivity and may result in increased fidgeting, errors, or the need for frequent breaks. Over time, this can lead to tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Allread suggests two crucial adjustments that can enhance our working experience:

  • Ensure your back is fully supported by the chair, transferring the burden from your back to the chair itself.
  • Support your feet either by planting them firmly on the floor or using a footrest if your feet do not reach the ground.

Significance of Lumbar Support

If your chair lacks adequate lumbar support, Allread recommends rolling up a towel, securing it with tape or rubber bands, and placing it in your lower back as a makeshift lumbar cushion. Enhancing chair sizes to accommodate a wider range of body sizes is an emerging trend, addressing the importance of seat height and depth when shopping for a new ergonomic office chair.

Allread emphasizes the need to consider multiple factors when creating a comfortable and productive work environment. Purchasing a new chair is just one component of this equation.

As we evaluate options for the best office chair, let's keep all these factors in mind.

Distinguishing Office Chairs from Gaming Chairs

What sets office chairs apart from their gaming counterparts? The disparity is minimal. Generally, gaming chairs are oversized office chairs with added features catering to prolonged periods of sitting in various positions. They often feature tall backs with head and lumbar cushions, providing superior support compared to inexpensive office chairs. Moreover, gaming chairs are meticulously crafted with higher weight capacities and considerations for larger users. These chairs also boast a wider array of colors and designs.

Razer Enki Gaming Chair

Razer Enki

(Credit: Razer)

Most gaming chairs include a recline function that office chairs lack. With a lever located on the right side of the seat, you can tilt the backrest and recline while keeping the seat level. While it's advisable to avoid utilizing this feature during video calls with your superior, it's a convenient option to relax in once your work is done (or between meetings).

Gaming chairs tend to be pricier in comparison to office chairs, yet the additional cost is often justified due to the better support and sturdier construction they offer. Furthermore, gaming chairs typically come with multi-year warranties, whereas cheaper office chairs may only provide a 90-day warranty.

In essence, if you are fond of a gaming chair's design and features, do not be concerned that it isn't labeled as an office chair—it will serve you well in your workspace.

Which Office Chair Material Reigns Supreme?

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

Herman Miller Aeron

(Credit: Herman Miller)

Office chairs come in various materials, including fabric, leather, and mesh. The ideal material ultimately depends on personal preference, but several factors should be taken into account.

Leather, even the polyurethane (PU) leather commonly used in affordable "pleather" chairs, tends to exude an appealing aesthetic but also wears down rapidly. It is susceptible to scratches and tears, particularly if you have feline companions. Fabric, on the other hand, is generally more durable but is prone to staining and capturing odors. Mesh chairs are the lightest option, possess the most bounce, and dissuade pets from occupying them, but this material forms the entire supportive structure of the chair, contrasting with the foam padding found in fabric and leather chairs.

(Credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

Optimal Sitting Position in Your Office Chair

Securing an excellent office chair is the first step towards minimizing the discomfort associated with prolonged sitting during work hours. The second equally crucial step entails utilizing the chair correctly to mitigate the risk of developing back and shoulder pain. Here is the recommended sitting posture for your office chair, as advised by experts.

Take Regular Breaks—Move Every 60 Minutes (or 30 Minutes)

Whenever possible, make a conscious effort to stand up from your desk and engage in brief walks every hour throughout the workday, according to Adam J. Schell, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon from The Maryland Spine Center. Schell explains that sitting positions place the most strain on the spinal discs, while standing alleviates some of that pressure.

Deborah McKernan-Ace, program director of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at the Rutgers School of Health Professions, echoes Schell's sentiments. When individuals sit at a desk, they often adopt a hunched-over posture or jut their necks toward the computer screen, resulting in long-term musculoskeletal problems such as neck tightness, pain, and discomfort in the jaw, shoulders, and back.

Pay Attention to Your Seat Back Angle

The ideal angle for the seat back varies from person to person, depending on individual comfort levels. Ideally, search for a chair with a tilting seat back, allowing for periodic adjustments to the angles of the backrest and hips, advises McKernan-Ace. For those using chairs without this feature, using a backrest pillow can provide additional support. “Backrest curves should ideally match the curvature of your back when fully seated in the chair,” McKernan-Ace states.

Adjust Your Seat Height Properly

After acquiring your office chair, one of your first tasks should be adjusting its height to ensure ergonomic positioning. As per McKernan-Ace, the correct seat height is achieved when your feet rest on the floor and your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Explore the Accessories

The chair itself isn't the only crucial aspect to consider. It is also wise to examine the available accessories. As Dr. Shah elucidates, accessories like lumbar pillows can enhance the chair's ability to conform to your body's contours, offering optimal support to the lower back muscles. There are also various fun options available, such as cup holders and massage functionalities, which can serve valuable purposes at the end of a long day.

Armrests—Invaluable Allies

When it comes to supporting your arms and shoulders while working, the height of the armrests is of paramount importance. If your chair possesses armrests, make sure to adjust them to maintain a 90-degree angle while typing, advises McKernan-Ace. "Armrests should be positioned just below your elbows when your arms rest naturally."

The Epitome of Comfortable Work-From-Home Chairs

When enduring long work hours, adjustability takes precedence over everything else. As Dr. Shah aptly reminds us, the ability to customize nearly every aspect of the chair—from seat depth to arm and back support—is of utmost importance. Height adjustment is particularly crucial, as it is vital in ensuring that your chair truly suits your unique body type and provides the necessary support. Our top recommendation is the Hon Ignition 2.0 Mesh Back Task Chair, delivering exceptional comfort for extended work sessions. However, we highly recommend exploring all the options listed above.

Properly Cleaning Your Office Chair

Before delving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to identify the type of chair you own, as office chairs come in various materials such as leather, mesh, and linen upholstery. To revitalize leather and mesh components, employ a microfiber cloth, and ensure to dust off any metallic parts. For fabric upholstery, use a vacuum with a hose attachment to eliminate dust and debris. In the case of leather office chairs, some tutorials suggest using a leather conditioner, while others recommend a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. To avoid any mishaps, it's best to seek guidance from an expert before applying any liquids to an expensive chair.

In conclusion, finding the best office chair for your needs is essential for a comfortable and productive work environment. Whether you're concerned about ergonomics, back pain, or simply want the most comfortable chair for your home office, there is a wide range of options to choose from. Consider your sitting habits, the materials used in the chair, and the proper sitting posture to ensure optimal comfort and support. With the right office chair, you can say goodbye to discomfort and hello to a more productive and enjoyable workday.