What to Look for in an Office Chair in 2022
A chair is a personal purchase since we’re all different when it comes to body size and shape. This means the first thing you should pay attention to when buying an office chair is whether a given chair can accommodate your weight and height.
The materials used in the construction of a chair can also be important when it comes to quality, comfort, and durability. Steel frame chairs tend to have the most durability and load capacity but are more expensive and heavy, for example.
The materials used for the cushions are also a big part of how good a chair feels to use. Mesh-back chairs have become popular thanks to how breathable they are, but if you tend to lean back in your chair, then you may prefer leather, faux leather, or a breathable textile.
Memory foam is a popular choice for cushioning, but many types of memory foam are too dense to breathe and trap heat. Some cheaper chairs also shave costs by having a thin seat cushion that compresses over time. If that’s the case, you’ll end up buying another pad to sit on or replacing the chair sooner than you’d want to.
Adjustability and ergonomic features are worth considering before you buy your chair. Does it have a neck rest or lumbar support cushion? Can the armrests be adjusted to suit your needs? Take this into consideration before your purchase!
Since a chair is often a long-term item, you may also want to consider a model with an extended warranty or aftermarket parts support. More expensive chairs are more likely to let you repair or replace components without replacing the entire unit.
In short, there’s a lot to keep in mind when buying an office chair, and you’ll likely want a chair that’ll last a long time. Our choices below will help you choose which chair is right for you.
Best Office Chair Overall: Steelcase Series 1
- ✓ Great color options
- ✓ Choice of carpet or hard floor casters
- ✓ Plush seat, breathable back
- ✓ Chair back conforms automatically to your back
- ✓ Armrest adjustability
- ✓ 400lbs weight capacity
- ✓ Small footprint
- ✓ Limited lifetime warranty (USA)
- ✗ Lumbar support is an optional extra
Steelcase is a well-known maker of premium chairs, and the Series 1 Work Office Chair is at the lower end of the price scale for the company. However, Steelcase has brought enough of its premium chair features to this more affordable model to easily justify the price, and for many, this is likely the last chair you’ll need to buy.
The list of positive attributes for the Work Office Chair is long, but we particularly like the color options, which make it easy to match your current office scheme. You can also choose between casters meant for carpet or hard floors to further customize the chair to your needs.
The seat cushion is comfortable, there are adjustable armrests, and the breathable mesh back automatically conforms to your back. To top it all off, this is a small-footprint chair that nonetheless has a 400-pound weight capacity.
Steelcase says that the chair is designed for 24/7 use and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty (in the USA at least), so we feel confident recommending it as the best chair overall. Nothing is perfect of course, and there’s one nitpicky thing that needs to be pointed out.
Lumbar support is an optional extra that costs more money than the standard asking price. So you’ll need to factor that into your budget. Otherwise, Steelcases’s Work Office Chair is the perfect balance of price and comfort.
Steelcase Series 1 Work Office Chair
The Steelcase Series 1 Work Office Chair has barely a chink in its armor, offer a robust and versatile office chair at a very reasonable price.
Best Budget Office Chair: Hbada Ergonomic Desk Chair
- ✓ Attractive
- ✓ Affordable
- ✓ Flip-up arms make it versatile
- ✓ Good back support
- ✗ Not a chair that will last for years
- ✗ Cushioning is a bit thin for some users
Office chairs are often far more expensive than you’d expect, and finding a worthwhile chair at a budget price can seem impossible at times. The Hbada Ergonomic Desk Chair has a very low price tag but still manages to be a reasonable chair that’s both kind to your back and promises a reasonable lifespan.
Its 250-pound weight limit is impressive for the money and the flip-up armrests make the Hbada versatile and easy to stash under low desks. It’s a great choice for students on a budget who won’t spend their whole day in the chair or as an ergonomic entry-level chair in home offices or small businesses.
As with any chair at this price point, you do need to temper your expectations. This isn’t a chair that’s going to last for decades and for some users the cost-saving on cushion thickness goes too far.
Still, if you need a cheap office chair that doesn’t see all-day-everyday use, Hbaba’s offering will be a great choice.
Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair
The Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair isn’t a long-term investment, but it’s a great chair if you have a small budget and realistic expectations.
Best Leather Office Chair: La-Z-Boy Bellamy Bonded Leather Chair
- ✓ Wonderful classic executive look with genuine leather and wood finish
- ✓ Memory foam, for modern comfort performance
- ✓ Considerable adjustability
- ✓ Reasonable price for a genuine leather chair
- ✗ Bonded leather, so durability is less than premium leather
- ✗ Limited breathability compared to non-leather chairs
Despite great advances in synthetic materials, genuine leather is still unmatched as a cladding for furniture. This La-Z-Boy Bellamy office chair is made from bonded leather (scraps of genuine leather glued together). While this means it’s not quite as durable as premium leather products, you get most of the benefits of leather at a much lower price.
The most striking thing about the Bellamy is that it has a classic executive chair look to it. If you’ve got a wood-finished office or study space, this chair is going to fit right in.
Despite the classic look, the Bellamy is still a modern office chair. La-Z-Boy has used sophisticated layered memory foam cushioning that offers the comfort benefits of memory foam while reducing problems such as breathability and heat accumulation.
The level of adjustability here is also a modern convenience that belies the old-school office chair style. You can adjust the chair’s height, recline, and tilt using the lever system, making sure you’re as comfortable as you can be.
If you have a larger budget, it’s definitely worth looking at more expensive leather chairs that don’t use bonded leather. Otherwise, the Bellamy is a great entry-level ticket to that wood and leather luxury chair experience.
La-Z-Boy Bellamy Bonded Leather Executive Office Chair
The La-Z-Boy Bellamy Bonded Leather Executive Office Chair is a great entry into the world of wood and leather luxury chairs, if you’re willing to settle for bonded leather.
Best Gaming Chair: Secretlab Titan Evo
- ✓ Understated design
- ✓ Available in different weight and size classes
- ✓ Available in different finishes
- ✓ Custom game versions
- ✓ Creak-free build quality
- ✓ Smart use of magnetic attachment
- ✓ Incredibly comfortable
- ✓ Armrests can be adjusted in virtually any direction
- ✗ At the high-end of gaming chair pricing
- ✗ Extending the warranty from 3 to 5 years costs extra money
Secretlab has developed a great reputation for premium gaming chairs over the last few years, and the Titan Evo is the best balance between price and features you’ll find within their range.
The Titan Evo comes in three sizes, so you can choose the one that fits your body dimensions best. The XL option carries a small price premium but can handle up to 395 pounds, which will accommodate most users perfectly.
You can also choose between three different upholstery options, which each then in turn have their own variants. There’s so much customization available that you really can get a chair that’s unique to you.
While the final design is up to you, the default Titan Evo has a rather understated look and avoids the loud design language so many gamer products have. The chair is by all accounts extremely comfortable, it doesn’t creak, and the armrests offer great levels of adjustment.
One of the smartest features of the Titan Evo is the use of magnets to attach accessories such as the neck cushion. These features and customization do come at a price that’s at the higher end of the gaming chair market, but it’s not hard to see where the money has gone.
Build quality is also solid, but if you want a 5-year warranty rather than the standard 3-year one included in the price, that will cost you a little extra.
The Titan Evo is simply the ideal gaming chair for a large proportion of gamers without any serious compromises.
Secretlab Titan Evo
The Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 Series is quite possibly the most well-rounded gaming chair that offers amazing levels of comfort and customization, at a price.
Best Ergonomic Office Chair: Branch Ergonomic Chair
- ✓ Well priced for an ergonomic chair
- ✓ Stylish and understated
- ✓ Designed for an 8-hour seated workday
- ✓ Plush seat cushion
- ✓ Highly adjustable
- ✗ Perhaps too plain for some
All of the chairs we’ve listed here try to be as comfortable as possible within their respective niches, but ergonomics-focused chairs like the Branch Ergonomic Chair are principally concerned with being comfortable and good for your long-term physical health. If you need an office chair for back support, this is the one to buy.
The most impressive feature here is the price. If you know anything about how quality ergonomic chairs are priced, then the Branch is going for a song. It’s not uncommon for ergonomic chairs to go north of $1000 quickly, but Branch has its offering for just $329.
This office chair is also stylish, although perhaps a little basic for some. However, this isn’t a chair you’re meant to look at. Instead, there is the promise to support your back and promote good posture for a full 8-hour workday.
The seat cushion is extraordinarily plush, there are multiple points of comfort adjustment, the backrest is breathable, and the Branch can handle up to 300 pounds of weight. If you need something as human-friendly as possible at a price that won’t give you a heart attack, the Branch Ergonomic chair is the best option.
Branch Ergonomic Chair
The Branch Ergonomic chair is the real deal human-friendly chair option that comes in at a price that will keep your blood pressure in check too.
Best Big and Tall Office Chair: Serta Big & Tall Executive Office Chair
- ✓ Takes up to 350lbs and best for users 5 feet 9 inches and taller
- ✓ Priced very well for a big and tall product
- ✓ Thick padding everywhere, especially headrest, seat, and armrests
- ✗ You have to be big and tall. It’s too high for shorter users
Many of the chairs featured here have weight and size capacities that cross into the “big and tall” segment of the office chair market, but there’s more to a good large-user chair than weight capacity and height.
Serta’s Big & Tall Executive Office Chair has managed to create a product that focuses on larger users without breaking the bank. Many big and tall chairs are shockingly high when it comes to their pricing, but by adding reinforcements and concessions where it counts the most, the Serta strikes a great balance of price and durability.
The chair is rated for up to 350 pounds of weight and is best for users who are five foot, nine inches, or taller. The padding is thick everywhere it matters and the neck rest is especially elevated to provide better support for taller folk.
If you’re heavy but shorter than 5’9″, you will want to look elsewhere. The backrest and seat height aren’t a good fit for users that aren’t tall.
Serta Big & Tall Executive Office Chair
Serta offers a great budget option for big and tall users who balk at the high prices chairs designed for their body shapes usually have to pay.
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