In this Guide
Sitting all day can be absolutely terrible for your body. It can give you back issues, joint pain, cramps, and stifled circulation. Sadly, sitting all day is a fact of life for many people.
Thankfully, with the help of modern medicine and smart engineering, the market is now full of plenty of ergonomic office chairs! Ergonomic models take posture into account, and help get you seated right for the long day. They can prevent back pain and other issues, and relieve symptoms you might already be feeling.
The only problem is, there are hundreds of options on the market! Unless you’re a physical therapist, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the ones that are actually ergonomic, and the ones that just have the word on their label.
That’s why we’ve put this guide together! We know that everybody is different, and requires a different recipe for comfort. We’ve done some extensive research, and chosen options to suit every body type, and every budget range!
You’ll find in-depth reviews of all our favorites below, as well as a quick guide to help you choose the best option for you!
To get you started, here’s a quick glance of our top three!
- Our Rating: 4.4
- Popularity: High
BEST ON A BUDGET
- Our Rating: 4.1
- Popularity: High
- Our Rating: 4.1
- Popularity: Low
Best Ergonomic Office Chair Reviews
1. Amazon Basics Low Back
Even if you’re constrained by a tight budget, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort. That’s why we’re fans of these Amazon Basics models.
They’re simple, sturdy, and comfortable for people who have to sit at a desk and can’t afford premium solutions. This model is ideal for shorter people, as well as taller people who like strong low-back support.
It’s very affordable. This is one of the cheapest options on the market, period. It’s ideal for people who need a cheap option for work, or who only use it occasionally and don’t want to make a big investment.
Even though it’s very cheap, it’s covered by a 1-year warranty.
Both the back and seat are fully cushioned. They have contoured designs to wrap slightly around the sides of your body, as well as providing padding under your body.
The low back design is ideal for shorter users, as well as taller users who need strong low-back support. It keeps you from slouching or curving your back too much as you sit.
In fact, we actually prefer this low-back model to high-back models that don’t have specific lumbar support. Previous buyers said the extra low back support made a big difference in their posture over teh course of the day.
The base and the caster wheels are made from nylon. We love nylon parts because they’re so much sturdier than plastic. They’re shatterproof, and much harder to collapse. Thanks to the sturdy frame, it’s rated for users up to 250 pounds! Not too shabby for our cheapest recommendation!
It’s adjustable. You can lock it upright, or allow the back to recline. The height is also adjustable, thanks to a simple piston system.
The special fabric upholstery combines the best elements of fabric and mesh, for a breathable, cool seat cushion.
It swivels 360 degrees.
It looks pretty utilitarian.
The seat cushions do wear down after a while. Some buyers recommended adding a cushion after a few months, while others simply added one from the off. This definitely isn’t the most cushioned option out there.
Some reviewers didn’t like how far back the upright cushion was. The seat is fairly deep, so if you like to sit more towards the front of it, this might not give you enough back support.
2. Amazon Basics Mid-Back Chair
For taller workers on a budget, this Amazon Basics model has a slightly higher back, and a molded mesh backing fabric for breathability and support. We think it’s a great choice for the average office worker or home office keeper in need of something simple, cheap, and comfortable.
This one has armrests. They’re good for people who like to rest their forearms at the desk, or people who sit in a lot of meetings and want some extra support.
The contoured mesh back provides comfortable molded support. It’s more flexible than the rectangular padding on the low model, without allowing your back to collapse.
The higher back provides more upper back and shoulder support for taller workers. It’s much better for reclining back into than the low model, since your neck and upper back are supported safely!
The mesh back material is also incredibly breathable. While the fabric blend on the low-back model isn’t exactly stifling, this airy mesh provides great ventilation! It’s ideal for stuffy offices and hot climates.
It’s adjustable just like the low model, with height adjustment and tilt lock features. This one also allows you to adjust the tilt tension.
Like the low-back model, the mid-back Amazon Basics has a nylon support base and double-wheeled casters.
It’s just as cheap as the low model. This one’s covered by the same 1-year warranty.
It’s only rated to 225 pounds, compared to 250 for the low model.
Just like the low model, some buyers of the mid-size model said the seat cushion wasn’t comfortable enough for them. You may want to use this with an additional cushion or pad.
If you’re around 6 feet, you might not find this one supportive enough in the back. We’d recommend a high-back model for taller people.
The armrests aren’t adjustable, and they’re not padded.
Some people had issues with badly drilled holes, which prevented them from assembling them properly. It was an isolated issue, but definitely something to watch out for with budget models.
3. Steelcase Leap (V2)
This popular ergonomic chair has a very traditional profile, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye! The Steelcase combines adjustable lumbar support with a flexible back profile, which moves with you through your workday. It’s one of the best selling models on the market today, and it’s more affordable than the top-notch Herman Miller options.
We love the 4-way arm rest adjustments, as well as the fact that you can tweak both the prominence and firmness of the lumbar support. This is an excellent midrange choice for comfort and healthy sitting! It’s miles better than our cheaper picks.
A system of foam and slats in the back of the chair make for a breathable experience without sacrificing cushion. Most other ergonomic models are made with a mesh back. We don’t mind a well-designed mesh back, but if you like a more familiar cushioned feeling, this one makes a better transitional piece.
It’s a lot more sophisticated than other cushioned chairs, though! The “Live Back” on the Steelcase is designed to move flexibly with you as your body shifts. The slats and foam have a slight range of motion to accommodate different sitting positions. This prevents hunching and other posture issues.
One of the highlights on the Steelcase is the armrests, which are far easier to customize than on other options at this price. You can adjust the armrests almost infinitely! Depth and height can both be customized, and you can even tilt them to either side.
The Steelcase’s recline system keeps you at the same distance from your work, by sliding the seat forward as the back tips away from your desk. Keeping a constant distance from your screen reduces eye strain and neck craning. It also allows you to adjust your posture without having to constantly move or adjust your chair
Between the flexible back support and the special recline system, you’re looking at a chair which encourages less static time, and more activity. Not only is that good news for keeping body aches at bay, but you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes in your concentration!
The lumbar support has an adjustable curve profile, so you can fit the chair to your back. It’s similar to what you can do on the more expensive Herman Miller’s. We also appreciate that the Leap V2 offers adjustments for the feel of the lumbar support, as well as the degree of the curve! Overall, this key support element is much more easily personalized than on the competition.
The front edge of the seat is flexible, which relieves pressure on the backs of your legs as you recline or lean forward. This helps to resolve a typical pressure point, and it’s better than anything else for the price. The seat depth is adjustable, too. That helps to make sure the edge actually meets your joint, rather than being too short or long for your legs!
As on most of our picks, you can adjust the Leap V2’s tilt tension, and choose from 5 different settings for tilt limits. Also like our other recommendations, there’s pneumatic height adjustment.
It’s built pretty sturdily, even if it doesn’t measure up to the Herman Miller’s for ruggedness. The Leap V2 supports up to 300 pounds, and this one’s also available in a “Plus” version, which can take up to 500-pound users.
It’s made in an environmentally-friendly way. About a third of the construction materials have come from recycled sources, and nearly everything in the Steelcase is recyclable when you’re done with it. This one’s also made with low-emissions materials and meets very stringent indoor air quality certifications that our cheaper picks don’t.
These are usually more affordable than Herman Miller’s, but they’re still high-end furniture pieces. Plan to spend several times the price of any of our cheaper picks. You’ll probably need to spend most of the day in a chair to justify the cost of one of these.
They build quality isn’t quite on par with a Herman Miller. There are some easy-to-spot differences, like the fact that the Steelcase has far fewer metal components. However, you can really get a sense of the overall difference when you sit in one of these. It just feels a bit cheap, and more rickety than a Herman Miller.
You don’t get as many adjustments, either. Both the Aeron and Embody offer a lot more room for personalization than the Steelcase.
It only comes in one size, whereas the Aeron comes in three. While you can adjust the height and the seat depth on the Steelcase, the Aeron makes it far easier to get a chair that’s sized to your body in every measurement.
4. Herman Miller Aeron
Our next recommendation is a big upgrade from our other choices. This model is Herman Miller’s flagship chair. It’s a truly innovative design, one that’s won prizes from doctors, design panels, and even art institutions!
This Aeron chair was deemed Design of the Decade in the 90’s, and has a permanent home in the Museum of Modern Art! We’re blown away by its fantastic ergonomic support, as well as the choice of sizes to help you get the ideal seat for your body shape.
It comes in three different size options. There’s also a handy chart to help you navigate between them. While most chairs have a one-size-fits-all design, Herman Miller offer a few different sizes to give you the optimal alignment on the seat and the back of the chair. You can use the chart to judge your ideal size based on your height and weight.
There are also lots of colors to pick from–around a dozen options to choose from.
This chair uses a specially-designed mesh to distribute weight more evenly than other materials. It reduces pressure points, and improves circulation in the back and legs.
You can adjust the tilt angle and pressure, the height, and the armrests. There’s also an optional Posture-fit attachment for extra lumbar support, for people who need even more structure.
The sculpted back provides excellent lumbar and lower back support. It was designed in collaboration with medical professionals as well as engineers, so it’s one of the few chairs that’s actually recommended by health experts! It’s designed to help keep your spine active and aligned as you work.
The slight tilt of the seat makes it easy to reach for your keyboard at the desk. We also like the padded armrests for reducing pressure and improving circulation in your forearms as you type.
Overall, the ergonomics and comfort factor are miles ahead of our other recommendations. Previous buyers raved that the Aeron was far more comfortable than other chairs they had used, and that made it worth the high price tag.
It’s eco-friendly. The Aeron is made almost completely from recycled materials, and can be mostly recycled when you’re done with it.
It’s very easy to assemble. There are only 4 bolts to fasten, making this one of the simplest installations out there!
It’s covered by an outstanding 12-year warranty on all parts. The Aeron is made from high-density nylon and metal components, which we found rarely needed replacements. Previous buyers said that the construction was far and away better than the competition, and made the price tag easier to swallow.
It’s extremely expensive. However, many reviewers pointed out that if you’re using this chair 40 hours per week, it’s a relatively low cost over the long run. You could pay far more in health bills, or for replacements for cheaper chairs that wear out much faster than the Aeron.
Some people weren’t blown away by the comfort factor. We’d recommend double checking the size chart to make sure you’re getting the exact size your body needs. We read a few reviews from buyers who initially were alarmed to find themselves experiencing discomfort, which was relieved when they adjusted sizes.
Other buyers found the curved back design too severe for them. If you have any specific back issues, ask your physical therapist or physician for suggestions before you shop for a new chair.
5. Herman Miller Embody
Our ultimate recommendation for comfort and ergonomics is one of the latest additions to the Herman Miller Range. The Embody is even more advanced than the Aeron, with a specially-designed internal spine and an outer fabric that mimics the properties of spin. If you’re looking for the absolute best in ergonomics, this is where the buck stops!
It’s incredibly advanced. The Embody was designed by both engineers and medical professionals, just like the Aeron. The Embody takes things a step further with an internal spine system, special suspension cushioning, and almost unlimited adjustments.
In the seat, there’s a waterfall edge at the front to relieve pressure on your knees and lower legs. It improves circulation, and keeps your legs from falling asleep. Under the cushion, there are dozens of individual flexors, which help maintain circulation and distribute pressure to keep sore spots from developing.
It’s actively supportive of your back. The narrow, dynamic design is built around the design of the human spinal column. It’s ergonomically shaped to reinforce proper posture and curves.
The innovative thing about this one is it actually moves with you, mimicking the way your vertebrae flex! As you shift and adjust, the chair will respond to make sure you’re always supported.
There’s a rear knob for adjusting the lower back support. We love this because everyone needs slightly different amount of lumbar backing, and the Embody makes it easy to customize.
There’s also a knob to adjust the tilt settings. There are 5 options to choose from, so you can find the pressure and position that works for you.
You can adjust both the height and width of the arm rests.
It’s a striking design. The hourglass shape and dynamic lines make this one a chair that’s instantly recognizable–the way you want to be in the workplace. The back flexors actually look like spinal bones, and the curved headrest rounds off the elegant profile. Of course, this is a designer chair, so you’d expect some serious style points!
We also love the color scheme here, which is more bold than the Aeron. The whole chair lights up with color, thanks to the full cushion.
It’s carbon-neutral, thanks to a factory that uses only renewable energy. It’s also 95% recyclable once it’s served its time. This one’s also GreenGuard certified, so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals and toxic flame retardants (which are nearly inescapable in cheaper chairs).
It’s made in the USA. That’s always a big plus for us!
It comes completely assembled.
The Embody is covered by the same 12-year warranty as the Aeron.
It’s even more expensive than the Aeron.
It’s not for everyone. Some people simply didn’t like the contour of the chair, or couldn’t find a comfort setting that worked well for them.
Which Ergonomic Chair Is Perfect for You?
If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll probably want to look at one of the Amazon Basics models we’ve recommended. The low-back model is the better choice for shorter people, or folks who like strong low-back support.
The mid-height model is the better choice for everyone else. It’s more breathable, thanks to the mesh backing, and it provides more upper back and shoulder support. On the downside, neither of these chairs is super cushy, and you shouldn’t expect them to last forever.
The Steelcase Leap V2 is our recommendation for anyone looking to get something that has premium features, without the high cost of a Herman Miller. It has vastly better ergonomics than any of our cheaper recommendations. Plus, it offers more room to adjust. Just don’t expect comparable build quality or functionality to a Herman Miller.
If money isn’t a problem for you, or if you’re looking for a real long-term investment, you should have a serious look at one of the Herman Miller chairs (either the Aeron or the Embody).
The Aeron has a longer track record of success, and since it’s an older design, it’s a bit more affordable. However, the Embody is even more advanced, and it’s hard to argue with the sophisticated, flexible spine system underneath the covers.
If you’re looking for something more traditional, without compromising comfort in any way, get the Aeron. If you’re fully on board the future train, go for the Embody. Either way, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
How to Choose the Most Ergonomic Computer Chair for You
Know your body:
The most important thing to think about when you’re considering your new furniture options is your own body. While most ergonomic chairs take the natural shape of your spine into account, we all have our own quirks and angles.
Make sure you know exactly what type of chair makes you the most comfortable. Do you prefer a nice straight back, or a relaxing curve? Do you prefer more structure, or more cushion?
Do you have any specific issues, like back or neck pain, which you need to address? Answer these questions for yourself before you shop, so you can make sure your new chair ticks all these boxes.
You’ll also want to consider your height and weight before you shop. If you’re a shorter person, you may find that some mid and high back chairs don’t line up properly with your back.
Likewise, if you’re a taller person around 6 feet, you may find that mid back chairs don’t offer enough neck or upper back support. Think about the depth of the seat, the height of the seat, and the length of the chair’s back.
Then, factor in your weight. If you’re a heavier person, you might want to look for a chair with more substantial, durable cushioning. Light foams can get packed down in a hurry after a few weeks of use, so make sure the cushioning suits your weight. You should also check the weight capacity on any new chair, to make sure it’s built to support you.
Look for lots of adjustments:
Since the ergonomic comfort level of any chair depends on how well it suits your particular body type, the key to finding your perfect chair is in the adjustments. Look for chairs with as many adjustable comfort features as possible.
At the very least, you want adjustable height and adjustable recline. Other nice features are adjustable lumbar support, adjustable headrests and armrests, and adjustable seat depth. The more you spend on your new chair, the more customizable it will be.
Look for lumbar support:
One key feature to look for in any office chair is lumbar support. The lumbar area is where many poor chairs cause the spine to curve, which builds up pressure and causes pain.
Lumbar support is super important because it allows you to relax your back muscles without collapsing your spine. Since the shape of your lumbar is unique, make sure you get a sense of your ideal support level. A chair with too little lumbar support can cause caving, while a chair with too much support can make you arch your back uncomfortably.
Consider your budget:
The more you pay for your new seat, the more ergonomic it will be as a rule. You’ll pay more for thicker cushioning, more resilient padding, and smarter designs.
High-end ergonomic chairs are designed with medical professionals, so they’re actually able to support your spine in an active way, as opposed to simply providing a static structure.
When you’re thinking about how much you’re willing to spend, consider how much time you spend in your chair. If you spend most of your workday in your chair, you’ll probably want to make more of an investment than someone who only sits occasionally.
If you’re only going to use your chair a few times a day, you might be able to get away with a cheaper option. Additionally, if you already have back pain or other postural issues, you know how those medical bills and physical therapy sessions can add up. In your case, it makes sense to invest in a good chair, so you won’t have as many issues down the line.