Best Ergonomic Office Chair of 2020: Expert Picks
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Short on time? These are the top picks for the best ergonomic office chair:
We don’t have to tell you that too much sitting is bad for you. You know that. Especially if you are someone who works full-time sitting behind a desk. Buying an office chair is like buying a mattress. If you’re going to spend almost half of your day on the furniture, it’s best to make sure that it won’t break your back.
What’s the best ergonomic office chair? The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is the best ergonomic office chair, especially for sitting long hours. From its design to its features, the Aeron is the ‘grand-daddy’ of office chairs and is our favorite of all time. It’s simply the best of the best.
Read on to find out more about the best ergonomic office chairs, complete with our simple buyers’ guide. We understand that these chairs aren’t cheap. However, the highest quality office chair can be the best investment for your office health and productivity, especially if you work from home.
What Makes a Chair ‘Ergonomic’?
A chair is considered ‘ergonomic’ if it’s designed to optimize human well-being and maximize overall performance. The goal of an ergonomic chair is to help the user sit in the best posture possible (natural body alignment). All of this is done by the chair’s adjustable features to suit different body types.
You might think to yourself: can I just sit in a regular chair? What’s the big deal? The biggest difference is that a regular chair offers little to no support for your neck, shoulders, and back. Over time, your body will slouch. When this happens, a regular chair will not support you, causing you pain in the future.
Best Ergonomic Office Chair Reviews
Now that you know what makes a chair ergonomic, let’s take a look at some of the best. These chairs are designed by ergonomic experts to specifically support you while sitting, making them architectural office masterpieces. Here are the top 5 best ergonomic office chair in the world:
1. Herman Miller Aeron Chair
If money’s no object, the Herman Miller Aeron is the best of the best.
From the moment we sat down on the Aeron, we knew right then and there that we have a winner. Both the seat and back are super comfortable, with a slight bit of bounce. If you still have doubts on the unparalleled quality offered by Herman Miller, take a look at what goes into making one:
The Herman Miller Aeron is made with a patented pellicle mesh technology, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable throughout the day. The Aeron comes in three different sizes (Small, Medium, Large). Refer to the size chart below if you want to find the perfect size for you:
When you lean back into the Aeron, you’ll get a perfectly balanced feel, almost as if you’re floating. Furthermore, the complete adjustability gives you hundreds of sitting position combinations to choose from. You’ll be able to find the perfect fit with the Aeron. We love the black graphite, it’s truly a work of art.
Overall, The Herman Miller Aeron is the best ergonomic office chair in the world. If you have to pick one, this chair is it. Imagine the Aeron as the ‘Tony Stark’ of ergonomic office chairs. It’s thoroughly deserved that the original Aeron Chair is currently on display at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
2. Steelcase Leap Chair
The Steelcase Leap is one of the best in the world. Choosing between the Leap and Aeron is a matter of personal preference.
Remember the Civil War movie? Marvel promotes the movie by making the audience choose between Team Cap or Team Iron Man. If Aeron is Iron Man, Leap is Captain America. Both are considered two of the best ergonomic office chairs in the pantheon of office furniture. The most noticeable difference is that Aeron uses mesh, Leap uses fabric.
After watching the video above, you’ll notice there are multiple back adjustment options to choose from. Our favorite is the option to choose the firmness of the lower back support, via LiveBack Technology. It’s a thing of beauty. Not only is the backrest adjustable, but the armrests offer multiple positions as well.
As you click the paddle through the five different backstop settings, the degree of recline will increase. This feature allows you to set the backstop according to your personal preference. With hundreds of adjustment combinations, you’ll be able to find the right sitting posture every time.
To sum it up, the Steelcase Leap Chair is one of the best ergonomic office chairs in the world. If you are someone who spends a lot of time sitting while working, go give this chair a try. You’ll be sure to take advantage of the many features to maximize your comfort throughout the day.
3. Steelcase Gesture Chair
The LiveBack Technology from the Steelcase Gesture is a game-changer. It mimics your back like your reflection in the mirror.
Okay. Enough with the Avengers theme. The Steelcase Gesture is also equipped with LiveBack Technology, similar to the Leap. What makes this chair different, however, is how much width adjustment the Gesture provides. With over 10” of width adjustment, you don’t need to worry about your size at all.
Our first impression of the Steelcase Gesture is how fluid the chair is. It supports the human body in a dynamic way. We feel like the chair supports us whatever our activity is, whether it’s working at the computer, texting on the phone, lounging around, or leaning back. When you sit on it, you’ll get the idea.
Steelcase Gesture has the best armrests we’ve tested to date. It’s complete in terms of adjustment options, as you can see in the video above. If you're interested in figuring out which Steelcase chair is best, we’ve done an in-depth comparison of the Leap and Gesture, you can check it out right here.
One word to describe the Steelcase Gesture: intuitive. It’s like having an office chair that knows you better every day. In today’s modern age, many of us are not limited to only using the computer. We use phones, tablets, and different gadgets. The Gesture helps you by paying attention to the smallest changes in posture.
4. Herman Miller Embody Chair
Another masterpiece from Herman Miller. The Embody is considered only second to the Aeron.
Obviously, no one likes to feel constricted when sitting in an office chair. The narrow back of the Embody chair is designed to minimize restriction, enabling you to move your arms freely. It feels like you can extend your shoulders and take a deep breath to open up your chest cavity.
The best part about the Herman Miller Embody is the back support. Instead of the traditional foam padding found on most chairs, it uses rubbery canvas that’s supported by a plastic skeleton structure. Not only is the ‘maze’ pattern visually stunning, but it’s incredibly flexible as well.
While the armrests are height adjustable, they can also be moved closer or farther away from your body. However, the mechanism feels a little 'robotic'. Not only is it hard to move, but it feels stiff for us. Nonetheless, the armrests are wider than most office chairs, perfect for bigger users.
Herman Miller Embody is a unique chair. From the backrest to the seat, it doesn’t use traditional foam padding, but a suspended plastic coil to support your body. This ‘bouncy’ feel helps promote micro-movements while you sit, especially for longer periods of time.
5. Herman Miller Sayl Chair
The Herman Miller Sayl finds that delicate balance between quality and affordability.
Inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge, designer Yves Béhar created the Herman Miller Sayl Chair as the first chair with a frameless back. At first glance, the spider web pattern may look uncomfortable. But don’t be fooled, the Sayl Chair’s backrest is surprisingly reliable.
Herman Miller’s 3D intelligence technology claims that the Sayl Chair has the ability to adapt to the body of the user (their words not ours). We think that reducing the backrest options is genius. Not only does it reduce the materials used, but it also reduces carbon footprint while costing the chair less money.
One characteristic that stands out to us is how simple the Sayl chair is. In some cases, less is more. With the Sayl chair, everything is designed to emphasize simplicity and minimize the use of materials. The Herman Miller Sayl is the most affordable ergonomic office chair in our top five list.
With a minimal and sustainable design, the Herman Miller Sayl Chair strikes a healthy balance between support and freedom. Based on how reputable the Herman Miller brand is, the Sayl chair is a solid option if you want to get the best bang for your buck. Make it simple, yet significant. 🙂
Best Ergonomic Office Chair Honorable Mention
The five chairs we’ve reviewed above are the titans of ergonomic office furniture. Because of this, they’ll cost you more than the average office chair. If you’re looking to complete your home office setup without having to break your bank, here’s an amazing option worth considering:
Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair
The Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair is one of Amazon’s best-sellers for a good reason. It’s also our top pick for the best ergonomic chairs for your neck and shoulders. Don’t let the affordable price tag fool you, it’s equipped with exceptional ergonomic features to support your body throughout the day.
If this is your first time shopping for an ergonomic office chair, you might want to go for the Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair. It’s a solid option for beginners that ticks all of the boxes in terms of ergonomics. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s surprisingly durable as well.
Best Ergonomic Office Chair Buyers’ Guide
All of our reviewed products are considered ‘ergonomic office chairs’. So, which one is the best for you? Not everyone has the same needs; thus while all the above options make for an amazing ergonomic chair, here’s what you should look for to choose the best one based on your specific needs.
An ergonomic design implies that the chair is made to fit the human body proportions and allow sitting for long hours without health issues. While some chairs are called ‘ergonomic’, they lack the features that make up an ergonomic office chair. To keep things simple, the more adjustable the chair, the more ergonomic it is.
2. Comfort & Material
Comfort is enhanced by two main features of the chair: the back support and the seat itself. If you’re planning to spend long hours in the chair, you might want to choose an extra comfortable chair with extra padding on the seat. You wouldn’t want to sit in a hard-surfaced chair that makes you curl up like a worm now, would you?
The best ergonomic office chair should not only be comfortable, but made with materials that promote breathability. The three most common office chair materials are leather, mesh, and fabric. Personally, we prefer mesh or fabric because they are cooler (both design and temperature).
An office chair that’s used for 40 hours per week should last an average of seven to ten years. Nonetheless, this depends on what kind of office chair you own and how well-made the chair is. Obviously, reputable brands like Herman Miller and Steelcase offer the best in the business in terms of durability.
4. Weight Capacity
The last thing you might want to look into is the supported weight of an ergonomic chair. The good news is that most of them are designed to hold up to 250 lbs. Some models even go up to 275 and 300 lbs. Obviously, the larger the supported weight, the heavier your office chair becomes.
Both Herman Miller and Steelcase are considered two of the best office furniture manufacturers in the world. Their consistent innovation pushes them above the rest. With that said, all of the office chairs on this list are worthy of inclusion. Here’s a recap of the best ergonomic office chairs.
The Herman Miller Aeron is the crème de la crème of ergonomic office chairs. There’s a reason why it’s been called "America's best-selling chair". It’s become a status symbol and legendary icon in the world of office furniture. If you’re looking to buy the best, buy the Aeron chair.
However, if budget is a concern, you might want to look at the Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair. Don’t underestimate this chair. It offers one of the best values for the price in today’s market. Not only does it offer an affordable price, but the features are one of the most underrated in the world. Get the best price right here.
See also: Ergonomic Chairs