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Choosing the Best Office Chair for Your Workday

The best office chairs compared
  1. Herman Miller Aeron
  2. Herman Miller Embody
  3. Steelcase Gesture
  4. Herman Miller Sayl
  5. Branch Ergonomic Chair
  6. Buyer's Guide

When you spend several hours every day at your desk, a quality office chair is more than just a matter of momentary comfort; it's a priceless investment into your health, productivity, and happiness. If you find yourself getting uncomfortable in your office chair or developing pain and knots in your back, you may be overdue for a more comfortable computer chair that gives you the support you need to healthily tackle your workload without hurting your body. To help you find the best chair for you, we've put together our picks for the four best office chairs available in 2023 below.

We judged our office chair picks based on the following criteria:

  • Colors — What color and style options are available for this chair?
  • Material — What metals, plastics, and fabrics are the chair constructed from?
  • Seat Width — How wide is the seat in inches?
  • Weight Limit — What is the weight capacity of the chair in pounds?
  • Adjustability — What parts of the chair can be adjusted for customized comfort?
  • Affordability — How much can you expect to spend on this chair?
  • Comfort — What unique features make this chair more comfortable?
  • Back Support — What are the unique features of the backrest?
  • Arm Rests — What are the unique features of the armrests?
  • Reclining — How does the recline feature work?

Price Legend
$: $0 - $1,000
$$: $1,001 - $1,500
$$$: $1,501 - $2,000

Our Top 5 Office Chair Picks in 2023

Herman Miller Aeron - Best Ergonomic Chair for Comfort

Made from high-quality materials and built to last, Herman Miller's Aeron is a popular, but expensive, office chair that is overall a reliable investment in your comfort and health. One notable downside some customers experienced was a certain popping noise when adjusting positions, but your experience may vary. This notwithstanding, the Aeron is one of the most comfortable office chairs available.

  • Extremely comfortable
  • High-quality materials
  • Ergonomic design promotes good posture
  • Expensive
  • Some users experienced popping noises

Colors: Graphite/Polished Aluminum, Graphite/Graphite
Material: Elastomeric weave, aluminum, and glass-reinforced polystyrene resin
Seat Width: 27"
Weight Limit: 350 lbs
Adjustability: Arms, back, height, and seat
Comfort: Breathable, 8 zones of tension for more ergonomic support
Back Support: Adjustable Posture Fit Sacral-Lumbar
Arm Rests: Fully adjustable
Reclining: Upright to full recline

Price: $$

Herman Miller Embody - Best Office Chair for Breathability

Many customers tout the excellent ergonomics of Herman Miller's Embody line of chairs, which contain a variety of high-quality materials that give the Embody more reliability and comfort, making it one of the best ergonomic chairs. Though it is very comfortable out of the box, it might be a bit of a disappointment at this price point that the lumbar support is not adjustable, though the other features tend to make up for it. The fabric in the upholstery is breathable, so it's easier to work in without getting sweaty, and it offers a lot of support for various regions of the body without creating pressure points in the process.

  • One of the best ergonomic office chairs
  • Breathable fabric
  • Lots of support without creating pressure points
  • Lumbar support is not adjustable
  • Expensive

Colors: Graphite/Graphite, White/Gray, White/Titanium, Graphite/Titanium
Material: Die-cast aluminum, elastic suspension and support coils, polyester upholstery
Seat Width: 29.5"
Weight Limit: 300 lbs
Adjustability: Arm height and width, Backfit™, seat depth, seat height
Comfort: Copper-infused cooling foam, even pressure distribution
Back Support: Adjusts to fit your spinal curvature
Arm Rests: Adjustable height and width
Reclining: Upright to 100º recline

Price: $$$

Steelcase Gesture - Most Durable Ergonomic Chair

The Steelcase Gesture is a beast of a chair, with a variety of adjustable parts and ergonomic features without being over-engineered. The flexible seat and back allow for more free movement throughout your workday to help you feel less boxed in. Best of all, Steelcase stands behind its products with a 12-year warranty. One possible drawback of the Gesture comes from its weight. Stronger materials generally tend to weigh more, and the Gesture weighs in at a whopping 80 pounds, which may make it difficult to move to a different location if needed. Additionally, the Gesture’s seats are made from a cloth that is not particularly breathable, so some users have reported overheating or sweating throughout the workday.

  • Very adjustable in a variety of areas
  • Flexible seat and backrest, allowing free movement
  • 12-year warranty
  • Quite heavy if it needs to be moved
  • Cloth seats are not the most breathable

Colors: Graphite, Licorice Fabric
Material: Polyester, aluminum
Seat Width: 20"
Weight Limit: 400 lbs
Adjustability: Height, seat depth, arms, recline tension
Comfort: Ergonomic design, adjustable recline tension
Back Support: Synchronized seat and back movement
Arm Rests: 360-degree rotation
Reclining: Recline locks in four different positions

Price: $$

Herman Miller Sayl

Herman Miller Sayl - Most Modern Design

Herman Miller's Sayl has a striking visual design, which, while not everyone's cup of tea, will definitely turn heads. Outside of aesthetics, the Sayl is a reliable and comfortable chair that offers a lot of comfort and ergonomic features, most of which are adjustable to suit your needs (the armrests unfortunately only have two preset heights). Under the seat is a complex mechanical system allowing for "Harmonic tilt," which allows the Sayl to recline more smoothly and naturally. The backrest is designed for 3D ergonomics, allowing the user to turn and move while still getting the support they need.

  • A lot of adjustable features
  • "Harmonic tilt" helps make leaning more smooth and natural
  • The 3-dimensional design of the backrest allows both back support and freedom of movement
  • The aesthetic design of the chair may be an acquired taste
  • Only two height positions for the armrest

Colors: Black, Fog/Studio White, Fog/Studio White/Fog, Fog/Studio White/Slate Grey, Black/Slate Grey, Black/Studio White
Material: Glass-reinforced nylon, die-cast aluminum frame, elastomer back, foam seat cushion, 100% recycled polyester upholstery
Seat Width: 28.5"
Weight Limit: 350 lbs
Adjustability: Recline tension, arms, height, seat depth
Comfort: Contoured seat pad, ventilated back
Back Support: 3-dimensional backrest tension
Arm Rests: Height and depth adjustable
Reclining: "Harmonic tilt" for a smoother, more balanced recline

Price: $

Branch Ergonomic Chair - Best Ergonomic Armrests

Made for all-day comfort, Branch's Ergonomic chair is comparatively inexpensive. It is highly adjustable with 3D armrests that can be fitted to perfectly match the height, depth, and width of your arms. Negative reviews of this chair mention difficult assembly and a lack of padding around the back support. Positive experiences center on the high-quality materials and construction, the comfortable seat for long working sessions, and the adjustable width of the armrests.

  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Built to last
  • Highly adjustable arm rests
  • Lacks padding for lumbar support
  • Armrest mechanism may unlock

Colors: Black, gray, light blue, pebble, graphite, sand; black or white frames
Material: Double woven nylon mesh, high-density foam cushion, anodized aluminium base
Seat Width: 20"
Weight Limit: 275 lbs
Adjustability: Seat height and depth, armrest height, depth, and width, lumbar, tilt, headrest
Comfort: Contoured back, mesh for breathability
Back Support: Adjustable lumbar and contoured upper back
Arm Rests: 3D adjustability
Reclining: Upright with some recline

Price: $

Buyer's Guide

Bestcovery’s Office Chair Shopping Guide

Chairs to Avoid

As you shop around for the best desk chair, it's important to be wary of overly gimmicky chairs or chairs that provide no support for the spine. Especially as more people than ever are working remotely, the search for the best home office chair can yield some “out-of-the-box” results.

For instance, many people tout the supposed benefits of balance ball chairs or even backless stools. However, these have no back support and can be painful or even dangerous to use for extended periods of time. And while executive-style chairs offer an imposing silhouette, they can often be too bulky and tend to be less adjustable than an ergonomic chair, which means that long hours in an executive chair can cause more strain on your body.

How to Choose an Ergonomically Correct Chair

By using the best office chair for your body, you can improve your posture and reduce your overall back pain. To ensure that you're picking a chair with the best ergonomics, pay attention to the following:

Seat height adjustability: During normal use, your feet should be able to lay flat on the ground while your thighs remain parallel to the ground. Height adjustability allows you to ensure the optimal position for your legs to avoid stress.

Lumbar support: A quality chair should be able to support your lower back, which lowers the strain on your lumbar muscles and reduces lower back pain.

Armrest adjustability: With your shoulders relaxed, you should be able to rest your arms comfortably on the armrest. The best chairs have the ability to adjust the arms up and down, allowing you to ensure the right position for you.

Breathability: The material that comes in contact with your body should be breathable, allowing you to avoid sweating from constant contact with an impermeable surface.

How to Keep Your Brand-New Office Chair Clean

By preventing dirt and bacteria buildup, you can lengthen your chair's overall lifespan while keeping it feeling and looking its best for longer.

To best care for your chair's cleanliness, be sure to wipe it down with a damp cloth regularly, which will remove dust and dirt buildup without introducing water damage to more sensitive materials.

If a stain occurs, try using a mild detergent with water and lightly scrubbing. While caring for and maintaining your chair, try to avoid using harsher chemicals as they can damage the various materials, adhesives, and finishes on your chair, which can ultimately harm both its appearance and structural integrity.

Frequently Asked Questions for Office Chairs

Which brand is best for office chairs?

While the best brand for chairs will most likely depend on your personal preference for comfort options and style, there are a handful of brands that tend to dominate "best of" lists consistently. Among them are Herman Miller, Branch, Steelcase, and HON. As a budget option, Ikea tends to get fair reviews. This is not to say that chairs from other brands will not meet your needs. Again, it comes down to personal preference and budget, but many users rank the brands above highly for comfort and longevity.

What is the best office chair for long hours?

If you need to spend multiple hours a day in your office chair, then an ergonomic chair with lots of adjustable features (to better fit your particular body shape) will be your best bet for staying comfortable and out of pain.

Should I buy an office chair or gaming chair?

Gaming chairs can be comfortable for a casual gaming session, but office chairs are more often used for full-time work. Whenever you're spending that much time in a chair, it's better to use something with more lumbar support and adjustability, which are features that are often missing in gaming chairs.

Are expensive office chairs worth it?

Though you may often be able to find something that works for you on a smaller budget, the best office chairs are typically one area where you get the quality you pay for. While it's important to look at your own particular needs and budget, the higher price of the best chairs usually speaks to the higher quality of materials used, which will often buy you more comfort, ergonomics, and durability.

How long do office chairs last?

The longevity of an office chair depends greatly on the quality of the materials used. A low-quality bargain office chair may only last a couple of years, but a high-quality chair that is well-engineered and then well-maintained by the user can last upwards of 10 years. If you find that the chair you use is no longer giving you good support or has become uncomfortable to sit in for the amount of time you need to use it, it's probably time to replace it.

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