The average American sits at their desk for over 10 hours each day. Spending those 10 hours sitting in a chair which isn’t designed to support you for an extended period of time can lead to all sorts of physical health problems.
A chair that isn’t able to give you the right lower back support can cause aches, long term pain, and problems when walking. If you’re going to spend nearly half of your day sitting down then you’ll want to make sure it’s on the best office chair possible.
Here are the categories we are going to be looking at today:
- Best Office Chair Under $100: AmazonBasics Low-Back Upholstered Mesh Swivel Chair
- Best Office Chair Under $200: Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh
- Best Office Chairs Under $400: ErgoChair 2
- Best Office Chair Under $500: The HON Company HON Ignition 2.0
- Best Budget Ergonomic Office Chair: NOUHAUS Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair
- Best Value Office Chair: Office Star High Back ProGrid
- Best Office Chair for Standing Desks: Ergonomic Mid-Back Drafting Chair with Foot Ring
- Best Leather Office Chair: AmazonBasics Leather-Padded Swivel Chair
Best Budget Office Chairs 2020
Knowing how important it is to have the right chair for office work, let’s take a look at 8 of the best budget chairs we think you’ll love.
1. AmazonBasics Low-Back Swivel Office Desk Chair
When it comes to high-quality for a low-cost, you can’t go wrong with AmazonBasics. This Low-Back Swivel Office Desk Chair is great for those seeking a budget model, without having to compromise on comfort.
The 2″ padded seat combined with the upholstered breathable mesh back provides the user with a good level of support and allows for air circulation around your back while you’re working. Thanks to its adjustable height function, no matter how tall or short you are, this chair will suit your needs and will fit seamlessly under any office desk. Being able to swivel a full 360°, this chair can smoothly go between one workspace to another, making moving around your home office or communicating with your colleagues at work even easier. Weighing under 17lbs, this office chair is lightweight and easy to move around.
Over 5000 Amazon users have given this model an impressive average rating of 4.4 stars; this chair isn’t going to let you down and you’ll rest easy knowing that you’ve got Amazon’s helpful customer service team on your side if you ever needed assistance.
2. Flash Furniture Ergonomic Drafting Chair
The Ergonomic Drafting Chair from Flash Furniture is a great step up in terms of technical capabilities. Well-designed and available in a wide range of colors and styles, this chair can brighten up the workplace or the home office.
The pneumatic adjuster allows the user to select a suitable height and has the ability to tilt the chair’s back to find the optimum position for you. Helping to improve and maintain your posture, this is an ergonomic chair which will support your back with sturdy, breathable mesh all day long and has that all-important built-in lumbar support. You’ll also have the option to adjust the padded arm rests; flip them up or down depending on your desk’s height and which position is most suited to you and your body shape. Featuring a footrest at the chair’s base, you’ll have an extra level of comfort while you’re working for hours a day. The dual caster wheels allow for smooth movement when travelling between desks and across the room.
3. ErgoChair 2
The ErgoChair 2 is one of the best office chairs you’ll come across. Well-designed yet practical, this chair will increase your productivity by keeping you focused and comfortable. The ErgoChair2 draws on the design of the original ErgoChair from Autonomous; every major component has been upgraded to ensure functionality.
Autonomous’ Italian-designed tilt mechanism provides the user with multiple levers so that the chair’s support can be adjusted to meet the needs of each individual. You will be able to control how much lumbar support you require; by using the handle, the user can select the right amount of pressure to prevent poor posture. Further aiding a comfortable sitting experience, the ErgoChair 2’s headrest is height adjustable and also has an adjustable tilt mechanism. The backing on the chair is constructed out of mesh to fit the contours of the user’s body while remaining light and breathable. The seat itself is made out of foam wrapped in a durable fabric which comes in range of colors to suit your office’s color scheme.
The combination of a certification from BIFMA, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association, and having Autonomous’ generous 30 day trial and 2 year warranty means that you’re going to be getting one of the best office chairs there is.
4. The HON Ignition 2.0
The Ignition 2.0 from HON is another high-quality recommendation to help you find the best mesh office chair. Supporting every body type, the Ignition 2.0 can be customized to suit every user’s needs; three settings to make the back support height adjustable, two different seat sizes, and four arm styles. There are also three options when using the tilt controls to suit the type of work you’re doing.
Two layers of padding will keep you comfortable while sitting and the height adjustability of the arms means that you can give your neck and back the support they need while working. You’ll be able to choose the breathable mesh’s color; having the freedom to pick your color means you can match this home office chair with your interior decor or make your conference room and office setup at work look even more professional.
A real testament to the quality of this piece of office furniture, HON offer a full lifetime warranty on the Ignition 2.0.
5. NOUHAUS Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair
The NOUHAUS Ergo3D mesh chair is a comfortable yet sturdy option for our list of the best office chairs. With an emphasis on comfort and ergonomics, the design of this chair includes a mesh back, seat height adjustment, and adjustment options for the 3D armrests. NOUHAUS’ 3D lumbar support ensures your back is supported and comfortable whether you’re in the office or using it as a gaming chair. The dual castors combined with a 5-point base provide you with more stability than the average 4-point base, and an additional pair of rollerblade castors for use on hardwood flooring is included with your purchase. The 135° of tilt means you can lounge back once you’ve finished your day’s work too.
6. Office Star High ProGrid Back FreeFlex Seat
The High ProGrid Back FreeFlex Seat from Office Star is a comfortable chair for an affordable price. Featuring a breathable ProGrid back which has a built-in lumbar support mechanism, this is an ergonomic chair designed to offer the user the support they need while working. Despite its low price tag when compared with other budget options, this executive chair doesn’t look like a piece of cheap office furniture and comes with advanced adjustability. Unlike other chairs of its price, the ProGrid has easy to use pressurized control levels so you can modify the depth of the chair cushion, give the seat the required height adjustment, as well as tilt the seat to suit you. The height and width of the armrests can also be adjusted to offer your body support.
7. Ergonomic Mid-Back Drafting Chair with Foot Ring
CHAIRMAN’s Ergonomic Mid-Back Mesh Adjustable Drafting Chair can be used at both a traditional desk and at a standing desk. With a seat height adjustment range of 22.5″ – 30″ from the ground, this office chair is great for the workplace, home, and classroom. CHAIRMAN’s ergonomic chair follows the spine, fitting to all body types, and the padding, similar to memory foam, will contour around you to reduce the pressure on your body while aiding your posture. Thanks to the seat height control mechanism and 360º swivel, you’ll be able to lean back and adjust your seat to suit you and your desk. Easy rolling casters allow for the user to move around freely while the fabric upholstery and breathable mesh ensure a comfortable experience. CHAIRMAN include a 12 month warranty, pointing to just how confident they are that this is one of the best office chairs out there.
8. AmazonBasics Leather-Padded Chair
If you’re looking for a reliable yet cheap office chair then we’ve got a second recommendation from AmazonBasics for you. The Leather-Padded Swivel Chair has a reassuring average rating of 4.2 stars from over 8,500 Amazon users so you know you’re going to be getting yourself a great faux-leather chair. With a chair height adjustment mechanism, this ergonomic chair is ideal for your home office. The nylon arms paired with the faux leather on the seat and back make for a comfortable seat which you can lean back in thanks to the tilt control. This leather chair can swivel 360° and has a stable 5-legged base with durable casters.
What Should I Look for in a Chair?
Knowing what to look for when choosing the best budget office chair can initially be a little daunting because of the range of features available. Below, we have put together a buying guide to help you know what to look for.
Having the option to adjust the height of your office hair to suit your own height is important and can be the difference between a comfortable day’s work and having excruciating neck, shoulder, and back pain.
To ensure optimal comfort, you’ll want to be seated so that you can place both feet on the floor with your thighs horizontal to the floor. When operating the chair height adjustment, you should be able to fix the chair into a position where you can comfortably rest your forearms and wrists on the desk, with your eyes level with the top of your monitor.
It’s likely that you’ll be sat in the same position for an extended amount of time each day and having an adjustable seat will help to increase your productivity levels by preventing muscular pain.
Adjustable armrests aren’t always a necessity but having an office chair with the option to move the armrests can be useful. They’ll help you in reducing unwanted pressure on your lower back, your shoulders, and your neck by providing an extra form of support for your body.
Altering the armrest height allows you to sit in a position contoured to your body. Ideally, they should also be cushioned for comfort. If your office chair doesn’t have height adjustable armrests then, aside from the physical repercussions on your health, they can prevent you from sitting close enough to your desk which feels awkward and unnatural and is likely to impact upon your work.
One of the most important features you’ll want your chair to have is good lumbar support. Dedicated lumbar support is essential to reducing any strain on the lumbar discs in your spine. Your lower back needs to be supported by a chair that matches the contour of your spine and helps you to maintain a healthy posture throughout the day. Keep an eye out for the curves in the seating which will adapt to the shape of your back.
When selecting the best chairs for the office, you’re going to want to look for a material that allows your body to breathe and one that ensures comfort when you’re seated for hours at a time.
The padding used should be sufficiently thick so as to be comfortable. However, it’s worth noting that too hard a surface will quickly become painful to sit on and an overly soft surface won’t offer you the support you need throughout the day. Ultimately, the padding provided by your chair is a personal choice, so aim for something soft enough for comfortable sitting while also being firm enough to support your body weight. Ideally, your office chair will have padding on the seat, back, and arms.
A lot of the higher-priced models on the market use premium materials like leather in the construction of the chair; this isn’t always a necessity and fabric can make for a more durable alternative. Fabric is ideal for every day use, it doesn’t become cold as leather does, and it’s a whole lot more breathable. Unlike other materials, fabric is often available in a wide range of colors too so it helps to brighten up the office.
A mesh chair is another material to consider; mesh is breathable and allows for air flow while you’re working. If your office doesn’t have air conditioning, a mesh office chair will help keep you cool while working. Many of the mesh chairs you’ll find on the market are ergonomically shaped too and offer a high level of support.
Strong Build Quality
The build quality isn’t something you have to sacrifice just because you’re looking for a budget chair. A sturdy and well-constructed chair is more likely to last longer. It’s a good idea to find yourself a chair with wheels that are specifically designed to avoid scratching the floors, and ones that are smooth when you roll the chair.
A sturdy, high quality office chair can eliminate the chances of muscular pain so it’s an important factor to take into consideration when seeking the best option for you. Make sure to take a look at the materials used and the warranty provided as these will both give you a good indication of the quality of the chairs offered.
As with any purchase, you’ll want to read up on the warranty offered by the company you’re buying from. As a general rule, the longer the warranty extends, the higher quality the company feels their product is.
In our buying guide above, we’ve included products with warranties ranging from a year to a lifetime. Warranties are another key consideration when looking for the best office chair.
Here we have selected three of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to choosing the best chairs for an office. We’ll start by talking about some of our top rated office chairs and what it is that makes them the best.
Top Rated Office Chairs
Our guide shows that just because a chair comes in at under a hundred dollars, that doesn’t mean it can’t be highly rated.
Our cheapest pick is the Low-Back Swivel Office Desk Chair from AmazonBasics; costing under $60, this chair covers all the basic requirements of a great mesh chair. With a 250lbs user weight limit, this is a sturdy option that features a comfortable seat cushion and the user has total control over the height of the seat. The fact that over 5000 Amazon users have given this model an average rating of 4.4 stars makes this a practical yet very affordable option.
The best budget choice we’ve got for you is the High ProGrid Back FreeFlex Seat from Office Star. This comfortable chair comes in at under $200 and is fitted with the technical adjustable features you’d expect to see among high-end, expensive chairs. You’re sure to feel well-supported when sitting in this mesh back model; cushion, height, tilt, and exceptional lumbar support make this one of the best office chairs, all while being budget friendly.
If it’s a premium pick you’re after, then it’s got to be Autonomous’ ErgoChair 2. This mesh back chair is perhaps the best office chair we’ve shared today and, although it’s a premium pick, it has a reasonable price tag when you take into consideration the number of features it possesses and the quality of its construction. Designed to be both supportive and comfortable, every feature of this chair has been thought through in detail to ensure it’s the best; the user has full control over how much lumbar support is provided and the mesh back fits to the contours of the user’s body while staying breathable. Certified by BIFMA and having Autonomous’ generous 30 day testing trial and 2 year warranty, you know you’re getting one of the best chairs on the market.
How much do office chairs cost?
Office chairs can vary wildly in price because their technical capabilities can range so much between models. It’s possible to get yourself a good, functional office chair for under $100 and, although it will still offer you a good level of support and comfort, it’s unlikely to share some of the features you would see with the very best office chairs costing upwards of $500.
Ultimately, what you want to use your office chair for and how long you intend on using it each day is going to be an important consideration before making your purchase.
While one office chair may look very similar to another, there can be big differences in terms of quality, function, and durability. The variation in the quality of each component which is pieced together in the construction of an office chair is huge. Likewise, the upholstery material can play a significant role in determining a chair’s price tag.
Our buying tips above will offer you some insight into what it is you need to be looking for when sifting through the best office chairs available. Work out what your price range is, assess what your individual needs are in terms of physical support, and consider the purpose and usage you want from your chair.
How much should I spend on office chairs for my staff?
Kitting out the workplace with new office equipment and knowing how big your budget should be can be a difficult task. The chairs in your office will be used 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 48 weeks a year, so finding the best office chairs for your price range is important.
A good office chair reduces the likelihood of an employee struggling with neck, shoulder, and back pain. The more comfortable your staff are, the more productive they will be, so think of the office chair as an investment which will lead to better staff well-being, increased productivity, and more enthusiasm while sitting in front of the computer screen.
Work out what your budget will allow for and bear in mind that the better, more comfortable a working environment you can provide, the more output you can expect from your staff.