I test office chairs for a living and these are the best for every budget


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Aug 12, 2023

I test office chairs for a living and these are the best for every budget

Get the right office chair for your needs with these tips The right office chair

Get the right office chair for your needs with these tips

The right office chair can make all the difference, especially when you’re working from home.

Unlike at the office where your employer provides you with an office chair they likely bought in bulk, at home, you can pick the best office chair for your needs and your budget. However, as office chairs typically last between 5 and 10 years, you’ll want to make sure that you pick out a chair you can use comfortably for quite some time.

While premium office chairs like the Herman Miller Aeron can set you back anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000, there are plenty of other cheaper options that still pack in plenty of useful features.

From 4D armrests to adjustable lumbar support and even rollerblade wheels, even mid-range office chairs have really seen some improvements when it comes to their feature sets. In fact, if you’re shopping for a new office chair, here are 5 features you want to look for before making your final decision.

As someone who tests and reviews office chairs for a living, I’ve rounded up five models for your shortlist. Besides price, I’ve also highlighted which one is the most comfortable as well which office chair offers the most customization options.

If you’re looking for a cheap office chair you can start using right away, your first impulse might be to check Amazon's best-selling office chairs. That's exactly what our U.S. Editor-in-Chief Mike Prospero did when he compared the best office chairs under $100. Between the Furmax Office and BestOffice office chairs, the Furmax was the winner and for good reason.

The Furmax office chair normally sells for $75 but it's currently on sale for $54. While it lacks the advanced features available with mid-range and premium office chairs, it does have a mesh back to help keep you cool as well as two non-adjustable lumbar supports. Furmax also offers a range of nine different colors so that you can have this office chair match the other furniture in your home office.

Despite its bargain price, the Furmax office chair has tension adjustment so that you can control how far the chair can tilt back. It also supports up to 265 pounds and has a seat depth of 20 inches. If you need a new chair and don't want to break the bank, the Furmax office chair is the one to get.

The Branch Verve Chair is definitely a step up in price at $549 but with a 7-year warranty, this is an office chair you’ll be able to use for years to come. The chair itself has an eye-catching design with its 3D knit back and reverse arms but it's also extremely comfortable to use. In fact, it's rated for 8+ hours of comfortable work.

The V-shaped suspended back of the Branch Verve Chair helps this office chair look great even when it's pushed into one of the best standing desks, but it also houses the chair's adjustable lumbar rest. The chair's padded armrests sink in slightly during use and they are very comfortable to rest your forearms on. Likewise, the Branch Verve Chair's 3D knit material wraps around you while you’re sitting and its nylon casters ensure you won't scratch up your hardwood floor.

The Branch Verve Chair doesn't come with a headrest but I found I didn't need one when using the chair. This is because its adjustable backrest kept me sitting upright with excellent posture when using it. If you’re willing to spend a bit more and want an office chair that looks as good as it is comfortable, the Branch Verve Chair is definitely worth considering.

If the Verve Chair is out of your budget, the Branch Ergonomic Chair is another option worth considering. Although it normally sells for $349, it's currently on sale for $319 and unlike with Branch's other office chair, you can actually add a headrest to this one. There are also more color and frame options available and you can choose from six different colors as well as a white or black frame.

The Branch Ergonomic Chair features eight points of adjustment and 3D armrests as well as a movable lumbar support. The double layered mesh backrest keeps you cool while working and the high-density seat cushion can support up to 275 pounds.

If you’re considering picking up either the Branch Verve Chair or Branch Ergonomic Chair and are also in the market for a new standing desk, you can save a bit by bundling either chair with Branch's standing desk. While it may not be as flashy as the Verve Chair, the Branch Ergonomic chair is very comfortable and offers enough adjustment points to tailor it to a wide range of body types.

The X-Chair X2 K-Sport Management Chair is a premium office chair with a full mesh back as well as a mesh seat. This office chair gets its name from its X-shaped frame and by using mesh for the entire chair, it's really easy to clean.

Although the base model of the X-Chair X2 starts at $879, you can customize this chair to your heart's content, but it will cost you. For instance, you can add a headrest, 360 degree arms, a wider seat, rollerblade-style wheels and even have it delivered to your door fully assembled. However, what really sets the X-Chair X2 apart from the competition are the lumbar support add-ons. There's a heat and massage add-on as well as a cooling, heat and massage add-on, both of which slot into the chair's Dynamic Variable Lumbar support section.

The X-Chair X2 is on the expensive side but it does come with a 15-year warranty which is one of the longest warranties we’ve seen yet with an office chair. Keep in mind though that the X2's parts and materials have a 5-year warranty while its frame has a 15-year warranty. Still though, if anything happens to break during that time period, X-Chair will provide replacement parts free of charge.

If the mesh seat and backrest of the X-Chair X2 are something you’re interested in but the chair itself is out of your price range, the FlexiSpot Pro Plus Mesh Office Chair OC14 might be worth considering. Although it normally sells for $599, it's currently on sale for just $399.

The FlexiSpot Pro Plus Mesh OC14 is available in three different colors though each variation of the chair has a white frame and a silver base. Although it doesn't have adjustable lumbar support, its backrest is made up of a combination of soft and hard plastic. The soft plastic is close to your back and it automatically adjusts depending on your body weight.

During testing, I particularly liked the way in which the FlexiSpot Pro Plus Mesh OC14's mesh wrapped around me while sitting. The chair also looks really good when pushed in as the mesh wraps around the back and the holes in the backrest give it a kind of retro look. If you want a great looking chair with all the features you’d expect from a more premium office chair at a more reasonable price, the FlexiSpot Pro Plus Mesh Office Chair OC14 is definitely worth considering.

Before you rush off and upgrade your current office chair, you first need to sit down and think about what features you really want in an office chair. If you get hot easily, then you’re going to want an office chair with a mesh backrest and possibly even a mesh seat. Likewise, if you suffer from back pain, you’re going to want an office chair with adjustable lumbar support. This way, you can adjust your chair's lumbar support so that it rests where the small of your back will make contact with the back of the chair. At the same time, you might want adjustable armrests so that you can move them out of the way when you don't need them.

Deciding on which office chair to get can be difficult, especially when you know you’ll be using your new chair for years to come. Fortunately, most manufacturers offer free 30-day returns, so you can ensure you’re happy with your new office chair.

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Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom's Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he's not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.

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