How to Pick the Perfect Office Chair | Top Office Chairs 2021 Overview

How to Pick the Perfect Office Chair | Top Office Chairs 2021 Overview2021-04-26T10:16:59+00:00

If the average desk-bound office worker were to determine how much time they spend in their office chair, they would probably be surprised. Working 40 hours per week, it is estimated that they would rack up approximately 1900 hours over a year. That is why chair is one of the most important, if not the single most important piece of office furniture. The choice of office chair must go beyond aesthetics. To find out what to look for in a perfect task chair for the office, how to pick the best office chair for your employees and don’t spend a fortune, take look at our buying guide, as well as our top pick for the top 5 office chairs.

Herman Miller office chairs on white background

Types of Office Chairs

Looking for a new office chair for your desk? With so many options to choose from, it can be tough to know what to go with. This overview of different types off chairs will help you narrow down your options and decide what’s the best office chair for your needs.

basic computer chair

Computer chairs

These are the most basic of the bunch. Term ‘computer chair’ includes several different types of desk chairs, including ergonomic chairs and armless chairs. In fact, any chair you use at a computer desk could be considered a computer chair, but those which we call computer chairs or desk chairs typically feature very few ergonomic adjustments. A basic low-back computer chair is the most cost-effective, but definitely not the most comfortable seating option for the office.

executive leather chair

Executive chairs

Executive chairs are the upgraded versions of computer chairs, usually a high-back featuring a leather upholstery and stately design. The most distinguishing feature of an executive chair is the presence of a headrest, that can be be built-in or detachable. The higher back and headrest of an executive chair give it a more impressive look that’s fitting for corner executive offices, but also provide the additional head and back support.

Ergonomic chairs

Many office workers spend most of their time sitting. If you are one, you know how important comfortable chair is. And ergonomic chairs provide special kind of comfort that doesn’t put a strain on your body and allows you to perform your tasks in the most efficient way. These chairs feature multiple ergonomic adjustments that enable the user to easily find his or her ideal seated position by adjusting the chair accordingly. Ergonomic chairs are commonly recommended for use as task seating as they have the ability to conform to a wide range of body types and user needs.

ergonomic chair sitting position

24 hour task chairs

24 Hour chairs are, as the name implies, designed to be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are suited for call centers, 911 dispatchers, control rooms and other applications that have someone constantly seated round-the-clock. These heavy duty seating options are reinforced to withstand constant use, making them the best office chair for applications such as army bases and 24 hour call centers.

height adjusting drafting stool

Drafting stools

Drafting chairs or stools are ideal for use at standing height workstations as they allow the user to easily switch between sitting and standing in seconds. They are designed for people who need full range of motion at the workplace. Most drafting stools come with very few ergonomic settings, but all are height adjustable and have a much greater height range than computer chairs.

kneeling chair ergonomic position

Kneeling chairs

Kneeling chairs presented an entirely new way of sitting that promised to ease those aches and pains experienced day-to-day by so many office workers around the world. A kneeling chair is a type of chair for sitting in a position with the thighs dropped to an angle of about 60° to 70° from vertical. Kneel chairs were especially popular before active seating options gained popularity, but are quickly being replaced by ball chairs and other active sitting solutions.

Active seating

With new research confirming that a sedentary office lifestyle is leading to increased health issues, standing desks are becoming more and more popular and active seating is taking the world by storm. However, there are steps you can take to make even the process of sitting healthier, and that’s done via active sitting. Active seating includes the ever-popular ball chair as well as newer, more unique solutions such as leaning chairs. These chairs and stools force the user to balance while seated, providing comfort while allowing the user to fidget in order to burn energy and stay active.

Ergonomic Chair Design

There have been many ergonomics studies done and it has been shown that a supportive office chair increases productivity and maximizes the efficiency of the person sitting in it. A good, supportive office chair prevents fatigue and discomfort that can come from siting in the same chair for hours on end. A bad office chair, on the other hand, can lead to back strain, leg problems, and carpal tunnel, all of which cause lost time at work and send turn send productivity spiraling. But is the ergonomic model really the best office chair there is?

A whole purpose of an ergonomic chair is to keep your body in a good neutral position. That means with both feet on the floor, your hips a bit above your knees, your spine balanced over your pelvis, backrest giving you support in your low back, armrests are out of the way, so your arms are free to move. Ergonomic chairs are designed to be fully adjustable so they can fit different bodies perfectly.

Ideally, an ergonomic office chair is designed so you can adjust not only the height of the chair, but also the tilt of the seat, position and height of the backrest, and be able to slide the seat back and forward. The more adjustability the chair offers, it’s more likely you will be able to stay in that neutral position that doesn’t put a strain on your body and doesn’t cause discomfort in your back, neck and legs.

What to Look for in an Office Chair

Office chairs are one of the focal points in any office, and many people care more about the looks than about how it influences the health of the person who uses it. However, the ergonomic design should be a priority when looking for a chair for your office. Here are few things to consider to make sure you have picked a good, supportive office chair:

Lumbar Support

A good office chair has to have support for the lower back. Some of the better models even have an adjustable lumbar support allowing the user to fit the chair to their lower back like using mid-back mesh. This prevents back strain that can worsen and become sciatica – a potentially debilitating condition.


Almost all office chairs have a height and arm adjustment, but this are just basing adjusting and not the most important ones if you are looking for a really comfortable chair. The best office chairs have at least five adjustments with some having up to 14 different adjustments. Important features that should be adjustable include lumbar support, arm width and height, seat back width and height, seat and back angle, and tension control. Many of the supports are dial controlled while a few are controlled with a hand-held bulb pump, similar to a blood pressure cuff pump.

Wheel Base

Nearly all office chairs have a wheel base; however, if the office is carpeted it may be necessary to get a chair with wheels specifically made for carpet. Rolling is important in preventing strain due to reaching across a desk to retrieve items that are out of reach.

Swivel Base

All office chairs should swivel freely to allow for easy access to various parts of the desk. If the chair doesn’t swivel freely, arm fatigue can result from over extending to reach various items.


The fabric should be breathable to keep the chair from becoming hot and uncomfortable after hours of sitting in it. In addition, it should have enough cushion to support the person sitting in it without feeling the base of the chair through the cushion.