Now that more of us work from home, an ergonomic office chair is arguably the most important aspect of your office set up. (Although, if you’re looking for other home office essentials like a laptop, keyboard or WiFi extender, we have buyer's guides to those, too).
But what exactly is an ergonomic office chair? “One that suits you,” says Lee Jones, ergonomic consultant at specialist retailer WellWorking. “In an ideal world we would all have a chair specifically made for us, but as that’s not realistic we need chairs that can be adjusted to suit our individual needs, especially as we tend to sit for prolonged periods at home or in the office.”
In practice, that means it offers back support or lumbar support and is easily adjustable. At a minimum, ergonomic office chairs – sometimes called 'posture chairs' or 'orthopaedic chairs' – should allow for seat height adjustment, pan depth adjustment, back support adjustment (tilt, tension, height, etc), and movement (letting you turn while seated, without straining).
What is the best sitting position for working?
“You should adjust everything initially, but once you have set the chair to suit you and the desk you are working at, the height is something you’ll want to check regularly,” says Jones. “One of the most common issues for poor posture is incorrect sitting height.”
The functions of an ergonomic office chair help you get into the perfect seated position: knees a little lower than your hips, feet flat on the floor, and roughly 1-4 inches of space between the back of your knee and the seat’s edge (the ideal position for optimal leg support and blood flow).
Like office workers, many gamers look for a specialist chair to keep them supported during long periods in front of the PC. Gaming chairs tend to be softer, and are designed for a more laid back posture, with support for the head as well as the lower back. We've included our recommendation for the best gaming chair below, too.
At a glance – the best ergonomic office chairs for 2022
- Best overall – Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair
- Comfiest – SIHOO Ergonomic Office Desk Chair
- Best design – Humanscale Diffrient World Task Office Chair
- Best for back pain – RH Logic 400 Ergonomic Office Chair
- Best budget – Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair
- Best gaming chair – Secretlab Titan Series Gaming Chair
The best ergonomic office chairs
1. Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair
From £1,031.90, John Lewis
We liked: it's the best-engineered office chair you'll find
The Herman Miller Aeron is "the most iconic ergonomic chair in the world, with a timeless design," says Jones. This brand is the Rolls Royce of office chairs, and the Aeron was co-designed with industrial designer Don Chadwick using insights from the “science of sitting” to make it an ergonomic masterpiece. It has eight precision-engineered zones on the backrest and fully adjustable height, tilt and arm width and height for a fully tailored seat.
Plus, it's made with an innovative material called 8Z Pellicle mesh on the backrest, which allows air and body heat to pass through for better temperature regulation. Available in three sizes, it's undoubtedly an investment buy – but a worthy one that comes with a 12 year warranty.
2. Herman Miller Verus Ergonomic Office Chair
We liked: iconic design at a slightly lower price
Jones' second recommendation is also from Herman Miller. It offers "ergonomics on a budget," he says – and although you may argue it's still fairly expensive, it's a slightly more wallet-friendly option from this leading brand. "It's engineered with cost effective materials to offer the Herman Miller brand and 12 year warranty at an affordable price tag," he says. "In terms of adjustments, the Verus features lumbar support, adjustable arm rests, seat depth adjustment, and tilt. It's a chair that can be adjusted to suit individual requirements without having to select a size."
3. SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair
Comfiest ergonomic office chair
We liked: it's good value for money
If you’re looking for a budget ergonomic chair, this is your best bet. It is very similar to the Steelcase Leap, a cult ergonomic office chair that is rarely available outside of the US, but at a fraction of the cost. It has all the bells and whistles required to customise it, with five points of ergonomic adjustment and a sponge-y, W-shaped seat for reducing thigh and hip pressure.
4. Humanscale Diffrient World Task Office Chair
£579, John Lewis
We liked: it automatically adjusts to each user
The Humanscale Diffrient is the gold standard in office chairs. Industrial designer Niels Diffrient created it with the hope of designing an office chair that adapted to each user automatically. The mesh backrest is fitted with a recline mechanism that adjusts to the weight of each user, and it also has seat height, depth and armrest height adjustments. It also has a sturdy metal base and castors that allow you to glide across the room without leaving marks on your flooring.
5. RH Logic 400 Ergonomic Office Chair
Best for back pain
We liked: the supportive high-backed design
The heavy-duty RH Logic 400 is not only extremely adjustable, leaving you with plenty of ways to maximise comfort, but was built with the company’s unique 2-Point Principle (2PP) to minimise back pain. Essentially, this means the chair is designed with the principles of “upright posture and active sitting” to keep your muscles stimulated and back supported even as you move slightly throughout the day. It has an extra high back for additional support.
6. Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair
Best budget office chair
We liked: it's well designed for the price
Whilst more expensive brands like Herman Miller are the most well-known, it is possible to get a decent ergonomic office chair for less than £150. Case in point: this popular Hbada office chair, which has an adjustable headrest and lumbar support, a breathable mesh back and quiet casters designed to protect your hard floors. It doesn't have as many points of adjustment as more expensive models, but it's a decent choice at a very good price.
7. Secretlab Titan Series Gaming Chair
Best gaming chair
We liked: the extra large backrest and ample support
This Devon-based company's gaming chairs repeatedly outrank the best of their competitors in reviews and the Titan is no exception. It's large, comfortable and feature-packed, with a taller backrest, wider seat base, extra supportive foam seat and integrated adjustable lumbar support, identical to what you'd find in a high-end car seat.