Without a doubt, not all desk chairs are created equal. While it may be easy to pick any model that matches your decor, anyone who works from home needs a quality chair that offers the right balance of comfort and support.
Currently, our favorite model is the Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair because it allows you to adjust many aspects of your sitting position, and its 400-pound weight limit can easily support most users. The fact that it comes in more than 20 colors and fabrics is a bonus.
If you have another desk chair in mind and just want to make sure you pick out the right one, continue reading this buying guide. It covers everything you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Most people spend significant time at their desks, which is why it is so important to buy a chair that offers ergonomic support. Sitting in a chair all day long that doesn’t provide enough support can lead to back and neck issues, while one that doesn’t keep you in the correct position can hinder your workflow and even affect circulation. Also, if your chair is uncomfortable, it can interfere with your focus and cause excessive fatigue.
There are many types of desk chairs, each offering specific benefits and being better for particular needs.
Task chairs: The ubiquitous chair you see in most professional settings, task chairs are lightweight, available in many materials and generally equipped with wheels so a person can easily slide in and out from their desk. They are made focusing on ergonomics and used by people who sit all day long at work. These are also sometimes referred to as computer or office chairs.
Executive chairs: Larger and more heavily padded than task chairs, executive chairs’ design focuses on style. While comfortable, they often don’t offer the same level of ergonomics as office chairs and may have less adjustability. Usually, they will be upholstered with real or faux leather and have high backs with incorporated headrests.
Drafting chairs: The main difference between drafting chairs and task chairs is simply the height and the incorporation of a footrest. Drafting chairs work best with drafting tables and standing tasks, so they need to be taller than standard task chairs.
Active sitting chairs: A somewhat new category of desk chairs, active sitting chairs work to combat some of the negative health consequences of sitting all day long. They have an unstable base that promotes movement and requires you to engage your core. Balance ball chairs are a form of active sitting chairs.
Kneeling chairs: Much like the name implies, kneeling chairs split the weight between your bottom and your shins and keep your pelvis tilted forward. This is said to help improve your spinal alignment and posture. Often, especially when first starting with one, you may want to alternate between an active sitting or kneeling chair and your traditional desk chair, as they do have an adjustment period.
Desk chairs come in many materials, and it is essential to choose the one that fits your needs. Mesh is one of the most common because it is budget-friendly, highly breathable and durable. Fabric is also a good choice for many. Like mesh, it is breathable and affordable, plus it comes in a broader range of styles. Those who want more of a high-end appearance may prefer a leather desk chair, though you will have to pay for this luxury. Faux leather replicates that high-end appearance. However, it isn’t very breathable and is prone to cracking over time.
As mentioned previously, it is crucial to get a desk chair for your home that is comfortable and keeps you in the proper sitting position. For this, adjustability is critical. You want a chair that allows you to adjust the height at the very least. You can also find models that will enable you to change the recline settings or tension, the amount of lumbar support, seat depth and vertical and horizontal armrest placement.
Most people will want a desk chair with armrests. However, you need to consider the height and width of your desk opening to ensure that the armrests will fit underneath it. If your chair cannot fit entirely under your desk, you won’t be able to pull it in all the way, which can cause you to hunch over when working. Some models have flip-up armrests, which can be helpful in situations like these, as you can move the armrests up when scooching under your desk, and put them down when you move back.
If you periodically recline your chair or lean back throughout the day, you will appreciate a model that comes with a headrest. As with armrests, these sometimes offer height adjustment for the perfect fit.
While footrests may not seem essential, they bring additional comfort when you recline. A chair with a slide-out footrest is an excellent option for those who watch movies and other media when sitting at their home desk.
Home desk chairs range significantly in price depending on the size and materials. You can easily find budget-friendly task chairs that start around $50, while luxurious executive chairs can cost several thousand. Most people can find a suitable chair for their needs for $100-$300.
A. Yes. Just like with clothing, there are desk chairs specifically designed for big and tall people. If you are worried about a chair being able to accommodate you, make sure to check both the actual seat dimensions and the maximum recommended weight limit.
A. For the most part, desk chairs do not come pre-assembled. However, the assembly process is usually relatively easy. If you don’t have a screwdriver and Allen wrench at home, you should check the listing to ensure it comes with the necessary assembly tools.
What you need to know: A popular option that comes in more than 20 color and fabric options, this chair will fit nicely in most homes.
What you’ll love: It offers excellent adjustability, including the ability to customize the firmness of the lumbar support.
What you should consider: The high price can make it a non-starter for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: A good choice for those on a budget, the Elusion features a breathable mesh upholstery and has a solid build that can stand up to heavy use.
What you’ll love: The edge of the seat has a rounded shape to relieve pressure on the legs, and you can adjust both the height and width of the armrests.
What you should consider: Assembly is time-consuming.
What you need to know: Built with a high focus on ergonomics, the Ergohuman should keep you comfortable and in the proper sitting position all day long.
What you’ll love: It offers a nearly unmatched level of adjustability.
What you should consider: Even at the lowest height settings, it isn’t well suited to short people.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Brett Dvoretz is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.