13 Best Office Chairs (2023): Budget, Luxe, Cushions, Casters, and Mats
Not every chair is a winner. Here are a few others that we’re happy to recommend, but they’re not as good as our top picks above.
Knoll Newson Task Chair for $1,350: This minimalist chair looks best in graphite and petal colors; it’s a bit drab in black and umber. It’s nice that I didn’t have to do much fiddling with any levers or knobs – it’s out of the box and decently adjustable if you need to make a few tweaks – and it feels particularly good when you’re laying back. (The red knob adjusts the tension of the backrest, but you have to turn it five turns, and I found it difficult to turn at times.) The Newson hasn’t given me any in the nearly two months I’ve sat in it causes problems. I’m just not a big fan of how the elastomeric mesh backrest flexes depending on how you sit. It feels lumpy. This chair also doesn’t let me sit as upright as I’d like, but maybe you’ll be fine if you give it a little. Ultimately, it’s the price that pulls it out of our top picks. But you get a 12-year guarantee.
Full Alani chair for $379: From the maker of our favorite standing desk, the Alani is available in a number of color combinations that will blend seamlessly into any home office. There’s a nicely contoured cushion on the base and mesh backing to keep you cool, as well as lumbar support for good posture. You can adjust the height, seat depth, armrests, backrest tension and lock the backrest. Wired reviewer Simon Hill found it comfortable for long days of up to 16 hours, and it worked for both his 1.8m self and his 1.5m daughter. It’s a solid alternative to the Branch Ergonomic Chair (our top pick) and often drops to around $303 at sales events.
Ikea Markus chair for $289: The Markus is a perfect office chair. It’s not the most comfortable, but it’s far from the worst. The mesh design keeps you cool and the high back lets you lean in fully. It’s rather thin and doesn’t bother in a small home office or bedroom. It was a pain to assemble (lol, Ikea) and you may need someone to hold up the back of the chair while you attach the seat properly. Unfortunately, if you often sit with at least one leg up or cross-legged, the width between your arms will make you uncomfortable.
X-Chair X-Tech executive chair for $1,900: Functionally, the X-Tech is similar to the X-Chair mentioned above. In this version, the M-Foam cooling gel seat is indeed wonderful to sit on, although it’s not as heat-dissipating as the full-mesh X-Chairs. It’s the Brisa Soft Touch material that impresses the most – it’s incredibly soft. I recommend you stick with the standard armrests rather than the FS 360 armrests which tend to move too much. But my biggest criticism of this model is the price. Why on earth does it cost so much?
Mavix M7 chair for $778: If it looks oddly similar to the X-Chair (pictured above), that’s because they’re both owned by the same company. I had a few issues assembling it, but customer service was able to exchange the model without much hassle. The M7 has similarly adjustable armrests and seat angles, but you get wheels that lock. The mesh back and wide seat construction will keep you cool and comfortable during a sweaty session League of Legends, and the lumbar support makes me feel in good hands. If you are short, contact customer service when ordering – Mavix offers shorter cylinders to keep your feet touching the ground.
Herman Miller Vantum Gaming Chair for $795: At first I really liked this chair. I liked how I was able to hold myself in a super upright position which made me feel more about what I was doing. The mesh backrest also dissipates the heat quite well. However, the overall build quality feels cheap and doesn’t scream Herman Miller (nor does the asking price, which has since fallen $200). The headrest is also terrible – I almost broke it trying to move it up and down. As I continued to sit, it was the back support that let me down the most. You can feel the lumbar support on your lower back, and not in a good way, almost like digging in. At least it didn’t give me back pain.
Hon Ignition 2.0 office chair for $399: This chair is easy to assemble and looks great, but it gave me really bad back pain, which is why I originally put it in our avoid section. I thought maybe it was the long hours, so I switched back to the Knoll Newson work chair and my pain quickly subsided. Some time later I tried again. After a few hours the pain came back and moving to another chair resolved it. Color me confused because this chair has positive reviews on the internet. I then gave the seat to a friend who is about 5ft 4″ tall and she had no problems. This seems to be the answer. It’s possible the ignition won’t work for my 6ft 4in self and is better suited to smaller folks.
Pipersong Meditation Chair for $349: Do you have a problem sitting in a conventional chair? If your legs need to be bent and twisted to get comfortable, this chair is the one to check out. It has a 360 degree rotating footstool that can be used in pretty much any seating position you want. I can go from kneeling to cross-legged to one leg up and one leg down. It is also possible to sit regularly, with the stool behind you and your feet flat on the floor. That’s the only chair I found designed for unusual sitting habits. There are no armrests, which didn’t bother me as it allows sitting in many of these positions. The actual stool and the back of the chair could be larger or higher. I had to use a pillow to keep my back comfortable.
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