How to choose a good ergonomic office chair?

How to choose a good ergonomic office chair

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You’ve finally decided to take the plunge. Your generic office chair just isn’t cutting it anymore, your back is in spasms, your joints are stiff, and that simply won’t do now that you are working from home. There it is important to get the best computer chair for long hours of work. Perhaps you’ve researched a fact or two about ergonomic chairs in the past, perhaps not. Either way, this article is designed for those curious about ergonomic chairs.

So, without further ado:

How does one choose a good ergonomic chair?


While price is always an important consideration, there are quite a few other factors besides the price tag which should weigh into the decision as well; specifically adjustability, seat height/width/depth, lumbar support, backrest, materials, and armrests. Let’s dive into each now:

Adjustability- Everyone has different bodies, preferences, and tastes. The hallmark of any quality ergonomic chair lies in its ability to adapt to each user, to fit each “like a glove” if you will.

Seat Height- A quality chair will allow for a cushion range of 15-22 inches from the floor. This range comfortably seats persons between 5′ and 6’4″. The ‘proper’ height is such that the soles of the shoes lay flatly on the floor, and the knees remain bent at a 90° angle.

Seat Width- A standard seat is 17-20 inches wide, chiefly to ensure sufficient thigh support. An ideal seat pan provides the sitter with roughly 1 inch on either side of their hips.

Seat Depth- A user’s back should lean comfortably against the backrest, but a gap roughly 2 fingers wide should be maintained between the edge of the seat and the user’s knees. A sliding seat is necessary for optimal comfort.

Lumbar Support- A ‘firmness’ and a ‘position’ control are crucial for any lumbar support system. Proper lumbar support is critical for proper health, after all, so don’t skimp on this feature!

Backrest- Most backrests are between 12 and 19 inches wide, and a good one will support the natural curvature of the spine, a great one will allow for angular adjustment (110-130° is optimal).

Materials– A seat with low-quality foam padding can lead to uneven wear on both the cushion and also, on you, so make sure the foam is quality. Synthetic fabrics tend to be hot, stuffy, and difficult to clean well. Cloth and leather are easier to maintain, and mesh is a more breathable option, especially for a backrest.

Armrests- Armrest should be adjustable, bonus points if they are removable, broad, and comfortable. The ideal height should be 7-10 inches above the seat cushion. Elbows and forearms should lay comfortably while typing.

So you’re still reading, you’re still interested I assume. That’s good, I’m glad. Perhaps you’ve now realized that your life is simply empty without a spiffy ergonomic chair in the office. Great!

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But how much does a chair with the attributes above cost?


Most chairs run in the $200-2,000 price range, with several exceptions falling outside of those bounds. However, most chairs with a price point in the range above will suit most sitters. One of the best budget office chair will suit most everyday users. Other purchasing decisions to consider are the chair’s warranty and point of manufacture. Larger purchases, that is, chairs with price points in the upper bounds of the range may be worth protecting with a warranty. Also, chairs manufactured closer to home tend to be cheaper than chairs made far away (lower shipping costs, fewer tariffs, etc.).

The final consideration, one so obvious it is often overlooked, is mobility. A chair that doesn’t turn, or roll, or stand well isn’t much use at all. Chairs with 5 wheels tend to be the most stable, though it is worth mentioning that the wheels matter too. After all, who wants wheels that scuff up the floor? How about wheels that don’t roll?

Customer reviews are a great way to scan for mobility issues when shopping for chairs online, though nothing beats a “roll test” in a real-life situation. For more expensive chairs, it may be worth a trip to the local office supply store. You’re still here? Well, I hope that this article has helped you on your office chair journey. Thank you for reading the entire piece, I hope it has provided you with some helpful information, and happy shopping!