Skip to main content

The best office chairs in 2022

Best office chairs
(Image credit: Herman Miller)

Now that most of us are working from home at least part of the week, it's worth investing in one of the best office chairs. After all, you're likely going to spend as much time in front of a computer at your house as you are in an office building. 

That's where our guide to the best office chairs comes in. We've selected and tested chairs that are not only comfortable, but ones that are adjustable, too. No two people are alike, so a chair should be able to conform to your body. And, it should be supportive of your lower back, shoulders, arms, and wrists, so you don't suffer repetitive stress injuries. 

Because it could be you, rather than your company, footing the bill for a new office chair, we tested models ranging in price from less than $100 to $1,000, to give you plenty of choices. After all, it shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg to make the rest of your body feel good.

Top office chairs in 2022

Best overall: Herman Miller Aeron
Hands-down the most comfortable chair we've yet sat in. The mesh seat and back provide lots of support yet are airy enough to keep up from getting too hot. It can be adjusted in every way possible and comes in three sizes, so it can be adapted to fit just about everyone. It has a high asking price, though, so check for discounts and pre-owned models.

Best overall: Herman Miller Aeron
Hands-down the most comfortable chair we've yet sat in. The mesh seat and back provide lots of support yet are airy enough to keep up from getting too hot. It can be adjusted in every way possible and comes in three sizes, so it can be adapted to fit just about everyone. It has a high asking price, though, so check for discounts and pre-owned models.

Best value: Branch Ergonomic Chair
We really liked sitting in the Branch Ergonomic Chair — and really liked the fact that its $300 price didn't burn a hole in our wallet. It's also highly adjustable, has lumbar support, and a mesh back to keep you comfy. And, it comes in a few colors to give your office a little more personality.

Best value: Branch Ergonomic Chair
We really liked sitting in the Branch Ergonomic Chair — and really liked the fact that its $300 price didn't burn a hole in our wallet. It's also highly adjustable, has lumbar support, and a mesh back to keep you comfy. And, it comes in a few colors to give your office a little more personality.

What are the best office chairs?

When it comes to the best office chairs, you can't do better than the classic Herman Miller Aeron. Although this chair has been around for many years, the company has not been resting on its laurels; it has constantly redesigned the Aeron to keep up with developments, and this chair is a marvel of material engineering. At more than $1,000, it's a big investment, but you get what you pay for: It is the most configurable and adaptable — and most comfortable — chair we sat in. 

For those who don't have unlimited budgets, the Branch Ergonomic Chair is the best option. At $300, it's not too expensive, yet has but has adjustable arms, a tilting seat, and a mesh back with lumbar support. You can also get it in a few colors, too.

Read on for our picks for the best office chairs. And after you take a look through our list, you'll also want to check out the best desks as well as the best desk lamps for outfitting your home office. If you want one of the best standing desks to go with your chair, check out 10 things you need to know before buying a standing desk.

The best office chairs you can buy today

Herman Miller Aeron office chair

Herman Miller Aeron (Image credit: Herman Miller)
The best office chair if you're willing to pay the premium

Specifications

Colors: carbon, graphite, mineral
Material: 8Z pellicle elastomeric and aluminium
Seat width: 18.5 inches (large), 16.5 inches (medium), 16 inches (small)
Weight Limit: 350 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable when sitting for long periods
+
Fully adjustable
+
Long 12-year warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
One of the most expensive office chairs

The Herman Miller Aeron chair may be the symbol of dot-com excess, but there's a good reason for that: It is damn comfortable. This top-tier chair allows you to adjust everything, including more esoteric things, like the tension of eight zones of the fabric (including the important lumbar support) and the tilt and angle of the armrests. It also supports working in two profiles: one for when you are leaning forward and another for when you are leaning back and reclining. 

Check out our comparison of the Herman Miller Embody vs Aeron if you've having a hard time deciding which is best for you.

It's perhaps no surprise that all of this comes at a price, as it starts at more than $1,000. You only have one butt, though, and if you are going to be working from home for a long time, it would be worth giving your behind a nice place to rest. Our advice is to look for it on sale where offices are clearing out inventory.

Read our full Herman Miller Aeron chair review.

The Branch Ergonomic Chair (pictured) is one of the best office chairs at an affordable price.best value

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best office chair for most people

Specifications

Colors: Black, white, gray
Material: Fabric
Seat width: 20 inches
Weight Limit: 300 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Numerous adjustment points
+
Reasonably affordable
+
Attractive design

Reasons to avoid

-
Seat a bit firmer than Herman Miller Aeron

While sleeker than most other office chairs, there's nothing overly flashy about the Branch Ergonomic Chair, and maybe that's a good thing. Once we settled into this $300 office chair, we largely forgot about it as sat on it while working from home. But isn't that the point of any good office chair?

The Branch Ergonomic Chair has seven adjustment points (the height and width of the armrests, as well as how far forward you want them, seat height, backrest angle, and position of the seat relative to the backrest), which were easy to change. Our one critique is that its padded seat didn't feel as comfortable as mesh seats.  

Read our full Branch Ergonomic Chair review

Steelcase Leap (Image credit: Steelcase)
The best office chair for people with back issues

Specifications

Colors: barley, black, blue, gray, marble and red
Material: microfiber and aluminium
Seat width: 20.4 inches
Weight Limit: 400 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Live back technology adjusts as you move
+
Armrests can be moved in multiple directions

Reasons to avoid

-
Less breathable than Aeron

If you struggle with back pain, you want a chair that adjusts to you. While many chairs can be tweaked to your requirement, the Steelcase Leap takes an alternative approach: It shifts as you use it. The back bends, the lumbar support shifts and the entire chair tilts as you adjust your position; you set these by using three controls that allow you to tweak how you configure the chair for your spine, lumbar region and posture. That makes this chair a great pick for people with chronic back or spinal issues, as adjusting these controls can make a chair much more comfortable. 

While the Leap has more of a traditional office chair look than the Herman Miller Aeron, we preferred the back support of the Leap, which felt a bit more firm. The Leap also comes in many more color options, too.

The Steelcase Leap isn't cheap, though; at around $1,000, it is one of the more expensive chairs we looked at. That might be a sound investment if you use it a lot and want something that can be adjusted to suit your mood.

Read our full Steelcase Leap review.

Hon Exposure (Image credit: Hon)
A good office chair for not a lot of money

Specifications

Colors: Black
Material: Fabric and aluminium
Seat width: 20 inches
Weight Limit: 250 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Adjustable arms and height
+
Lumbar support
+
Mesh back keeps cool

Reasons to avoid

-
A little boring to look at
-
Seat somewhat hard

The Hon Exposure is like the Honda Civic of office chairs: It's dependable, it's affordable, it gets the job done, but isn't the flashiest of seating. The Hon Exposure, which costs around $200, has the usual adjustable arms and height, but also has lumbar support, which can be moved in and out to provide support for your lower back. 

We found the Hon Exposure comfortable, but a bit firmer than the Branch Ergonomic Chair, which also had a bit more style — but is also about $90 more expensive. In all, you can't go wrong with the Hon Exposure, but there are more exciting models out there. 

Read our full Hon Exposure office chair review.

X-Chair X2 K-Sport Management chair

(Image credit: XChair)
An office chair with a massager and heating pad

Specifications

Colors: Black
Material: Fabric
Seat width: 20 inches
Weight Limit: 250 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Solidly built
+
Very adjustable
+
Optional heat/massager
+
Good lumbar support

Reasons to avoid

-
Can take a while to get everything adjusted
-
As expensive as Herman Miller Aeron

If you pick up the X-Chair X2, be sure to spend the extra $100 or so on its optional heating and massage pad. It'll make your home office feel like you're sitting in the Brookstone store at the mall. 

Apart from that, the X2 Chair is very comfortable, with lumbar support, a mesh back and seat, and just about everything is adjustable, too. It's also a very sturdy chair with a solid metal base and casters. At around $800-$900, it's not cheap, but a bit less expensive than a Herman Miller Aeron. 

Read our full X-Chair X2 review.

Furmax Office Mesh Chair with Armrest

Furmax Office Mesh Chair with Armrest (Image credit: Furmax)

6. Furmax Office Mesh Chair with Armrest

Best budget mesh-back chair

Specifications

Colors: Black, gray, purple, red, white
Material: Nylon and aluminium
Seat width: 20 inches
Weight Limit: 265 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Breathable mesh back
+
Lumbar support

Reasons to avoid

-
Narrow seat
-
Nonadjustable arms

If you don't want to spend your entire stimulus check on a chair, but still want to have a comfortable seat for your rear, the Furmax could be a good option. It has a  thick, padded seat and a mesh back with lumbar support, so your back won't get sweaty, but will still get the firmness it needs. According to online customers, the height of the seat can be adjusted from 19 inches to about 24 inches.

The Furmax rests on five casters, so you can roll around your home office. You can adjust the incline and the overall height of this chair, but unfortunately the armrests are fixed. Then again, you can't have everything at this price. However, this chair is available in a variety of colors: There's the traditional black, but it also comes in gray, purple, red, and white.

There are lots of cheap office chairs, but which is the best office chair under $100? I tested the Furmax against the BestOffice chair, another top-ranked mesh-back chair with lumbar support on Amazon. The Furmax came out on top for comfort. 

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Office Chair in office

(Image credit: Flash Furniture)
A budget office chair with standout looks

Specifications

Colors: multiple
Materials: fabric, plastic
Seat width: 20.5 inches
Weight Limit: 265 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Arms swing up
+
Wide seat

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very adjustable

The Flash Furniture Mid-Back office chair is as notable for its price as for its looks. This affordable office chair costs around $120, and has a distinctive style that sets it apart from the sea of other gray and black office chairs — that is, if you choose the blue-and-white model we tested.

Like most budget office chairs, the Flash Furniture model isn't very adjustable - you can raise and lower the seat and adjust the tilt tension, but that's it. However, its arms fold up, so that you can tuck it under your desk more easily. If you're looking for a cheap office chair that looks good, this is definitely a model to consider.

Read our full Flash Furniture Mid-Back office chair review.

How long should you sit?

Even if you have the best office chair in the world, it's unhealthy to remain seated for hours on end. A number of studies have found that sitting for prolonged periods can have negative effects on your body, such as higher rates of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. 

To that end, a number of experts recommend you stand up every so often. The Mayo Clinic, for example, suggests that you stand up every 30 minutes, or invest in one of the best standing desks. Either way, get up and stretch your muscles. One strategy is to set a timer; some of the best smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, will also automatically remind you to move if you've been sedentary for too long. And be sure to check out our guide to the best exercises if you sit all day

How to choose the best office chair for you

After price, there are two main criteria for choosing an office chair: comfort and adjustability. 

Comfort
Comfort is pretty easy to understand: A comfortable chair should offer a seat that is yielding but that also provides some level of firmness. It should also wick moisture so you don't get sweaty on warm days. Seats and backs made of mesh tend to fare the best in this regard.

The seat should be wide enough that people of larger stature can sit comfortably on it and not feel like they are squeezing into a kids' chair. 

The armrests should be contoured for the elbow and upper arm to lean comfortably on and be made of fabric or softer material that won't jar the elbow when you bump into it. 

Another critical feature is lumbar support. This piece of an office chair helps you maintain the curve of your lower back, so that you don't strain yourself by sitting for long periods (not that you should). Like other parts of an office chair, this should be adjustable so that you can move it up or down, or increase or decrease the amount it pushes out.

Adjustability
Adjustability is the other major factor. The best office chairs should allow you to tweak pretty much everything, including the following:

  • Seat height
  • Seat angle
  • Seat depth
  • Armrest height
  • Armrest width
  • Armrest angle
  • Backrest angle
  • Backrest height

That's important because every person is different; getting a chair that allows you to adjust all of these things lets you configure it to your unique body shape. Generally, the more expensive the chair, the more things you'll be able to adjust. Chairs that cost less than $100 will usually only let you change their height. 

How we test the best office chairs

By sitting in them, of course! To evaluate each office chair, we sit in them for a few weeks each, and go about our day. We notice not just how comfortable the chair is, but how easy it is to adjust its various features. 

Since no two people are the same, we test the chairs out with a 6-foot male and a 5-foot 4-inch female, and let other office-mates try them out to see if there are any differences when it comes to overall comfort. 

We also take note of the chair's design, its appearance, and how much you can customize it; some chairs can be configured with different materials, colors, and rollers, so you can really make it your own.

Lastly, we take into account the overall cost of the chair and how it compares to others in its price range. 

Set up your home office:

Best webcams | Best ring lights | Best microphones  | Best monitors | Best all-in-one printers  | Best pens  | Best keyboard  | Best mouse  | Best business VPN | Best desks | Best desk lamps

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide. He oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories, but also tests out the latest standing desks, webcams, drones, and electric scooters. He has worked at Tom's Guide for many a year; before that, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight or chagrin of his family.