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If you spend the majority of your day sitting in front of your computer screen, you probably have some pretty firm opinions on desk chairs. Much like clothing or food portions, ergonomic desk chairs are hardly one-size-fits all, and different body types and sitting styles will respond differently to a chair.
But until you find a bespoke furniture-maker who can design a chair to suit the exact shape of your spine, the best we can do when looking for the best ergonomic desk chair is to find one that is highly adjustable. This way you can more or less customize your chair to just the way you like it.
What Are the Best Ergonomic Desk Chairs?
The best ergonomic desk chairs will allow you to sit comfortably for a long period of time without stress on your legs, glutes or back. You should be able to easily adjust the seat and armrests of your chair to suit a wide range of heights and desk dimensions (no more knocking the arms on the edge of your desk), and our favorites also adjust for things like tilt tension and headrest height.
When adjusted, an ergonomic desk chair will provide optimal lumbar support. This refers to the convex shape of the chair back, which is designed to stay flush with the small of your back. When properly placed, this shape supports the natural inward curvature of the spine, and your ears, shoulders, and pelvis are kept in alignment, counteracting a tendency to slouch over your desk and utterly destroy your back by the end of the day.
A few other things we like to see in a good desk chair include mobility (I.e. how smoothly do the chair wheels move across the floor), a breathable mesh backrest to help keep your back cool, and the ability to tilt backwards comfortably. Keep in mind, you want to feel relaxed but you don’t want to be sinking all the way back like a recliner — you’re still here to get some work done after all.
1. SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Seat
As far as specific ergonomic adjustments go, this chair does it all, which is why it gets top billing on our list. The backrest is shaped to optimize lumbar support, passively keeping you more-or-less in alignment for the entirety of the day. To ensure the support you’re getting is just right, other ergonomic modifications include the pneumatic seat height adjustment, which regulates the distance between the seat and the floor, and the angled, padded armrests which can be raised, lowered, and flipped as you see fit.
An important component to any office chair is, of course, how comfortably it tilts back. Since tastes and needs in this regard vary, we like that this chair can be adjusted for tilt tension and that it includes a function to lock the seat at your desired tilt angle if you need.
Pros: Highly-adjustable, including functions for tilt tension and armrest positioning.
Cons: In the highest position, armrests can sometimes feel slightly wobbly.
2. Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair
This ergonomic chair is also designed to suit a wide variety of back support needs, including adjustable lumbar support and a recline feature, which allows you to tilt the backrest or keep it straight depending on your comfort. One thing we like about this chair is that it includes a headrest, and that the headrest can be adjusted to the most satisfying angle as well as for height.
Speaking of height, another notable feature of this chair is that it can be customized to suit a wide range of heights, so your feet will never dangle or feel restricted, no matter how tall or short you are.
Pros: Includes a headrest and is suitable for a wide range of heights.
Cons: The seat is quite deep which cannot be altered and can be uncomfortable for some.
3. Modway Edge Mesh Office Chair
This chair is a real standout when it comes to the essentials of lumbar support. While many ergonomic chairs rely heavily on tilt tension or cushion to provide support, this backrest is shaped to consistently remain flush with the lower back.
The recline and height adjustments are effective and simple to use, though they don’t serve as wide a range of settings as others we’ve recommended. We do like that the armrests can be flipped entirely, which allows you to easily roll the chair all the way under the desk if need be.
We also like the design of this chair, which feels modern, trendy, and minimalist.
Pros: Excellent lumbar support that caresses the back without being so deep or protruded that it becomes uncomfortable.
Cons: Backrest does not lean back very far.