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If you spend the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer screen at your WFH set-up, or back in-person at the office, 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 Is the Best Ergonomic Desk Chair?
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.
2. All33 Backstrong Ergonomic Desk Chair
If this ergonomic chair looks a little space-agey, that’s because it is — all33’s Shark Tank innovative and celeb-approved office chair (Justin Bieber, to be specific) is backed by science, and it really works. The “Sit In Motion” technology on the seat swivels and rocks with you, designed to softly cradle your lower back and induce better posture along all 33 of the vertebrae in your spine.
This is truly a “slouch-proof” chair, since you’ll find that it fits the curve of your spine well enough to not let you lean back and give yourself a crick in the neck and shoulders. Bonus: the Backstrong is out to protect your eye health too, since its foldaway arms lets you move closer to your desk for less eye strain. While we wish the arm rests were more comfortable, the soft, high-grade vegan leather upholstery and unique design make it an chair that checks off our boxes for form and functionality.
3. 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.
4. Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
This chair is a real standout when it comes to giving you the essentials of lumbar support, without breaking the bank. 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. But for its price, the chair has solid features: we 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, and you’ll excellent lumbar support that caresses the back without being so deep or protruded that it becomes uncomfortable — all for an affordable price tag.
5. BestOffice Ergonomic Gaming Desk Chair
Gaming chairs can actually be incredibly ergonomic, enough that they might just become your new desk chair for work, like this one from BestOffice. Thickly cushioned for maximum comfort, this chair features not only adjustable lumbar support, but a headrest pillow to protect your neck and spine, and a seat that tilts and locks from 90-155 degrees.
With a curved, high back and bucket seats (unlike typical office chairs), this model is made for long hours in the office, sitting in front of a computer, or gaming after work. It’s covered with breathable PU leather, and swivels 360 degrees so you can move freely while you’re gaming, and also not feel like you’re too stuck in one position after hours filling out expense reports. While it may feel awkward to show up to your office again with a gaming chair, if you’re thinking about revamping your home office, this desk chair is a versatile option.