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Sit down and relax in our favorite office chairs

Anyone who works a typical 9 to 5 job will tell you that sitting is the bane of their existence. Our backs and overall body structure aren’t made to withstand hours sitting at a desk, but work often demands just that. Opting for the proper office chair, one designed to cradle you as you work and provide you with the ample comfort, is a practical and well-advised solution.

Related: Stand and deliver: the best standing desks for any budget

The best chairs go beyond what you’d expect. Many offer resounding ergonomic benefits, breathable mesh backing, and excellent lumbar support, while simultaneously granting you a swath of customization options spanning everything from colors to contours. None of them are going to be a cure-all for your workday woes — at least, not in the way a standing desk might be — but customized suspension and the appropriate aesthetics go far in the long haul.

The Best

Herman Miller Embody ($1,045+)

best office chairs

So, what is it about the Embody we hold so revered? It’s a fair question, sure, especially considering the Embody’s lofty price tag and accompanying shipping costs. Well, for starters, the chair offers a dynamic matrix of “pixels” that allow the seat and back to automatically conform to your body’s every movement, while the chair’s central spine and flexible ribs work to maintain proper posture regardless if you’re leaning forward or reclining. Said movement capabilities help promote better blood and oxygen flow, and if that wasn’t enough, the advanced tilt mechanism helps combat unwanted hip, neck, and lumbar strain. The chair is even sized to fit your body perfectly, comes in a swath of colors, and features a skin-like covering for increased airflow.

Buy it now from:

Amazon Office Designs

The Rest

Steelcase Leap ($799+)

best office chairs

The Steelcase Leap has long been the company’s flagship — and for good reason. It’s one of the more popular office chairs in existence, one that owes much of its merit to years of painstaking research and subsequent development. The final result is a chair that caters to the individual and remains reliant on the company’s LiveBack system, which lets you conveniently and independently adjust the seat and back of the chair for enhanced support. The back mimics the natural shape of your spine throughout the day, while the chair’s innovative glide system allows you to recline without have to orient yourself away from your workload (heaven forbid).

Buy it now from:

Amazon Office Designs

DXRacer Formula Series DOH/FH08/NW ($349)

DXRacer Formula Series DOH/FH08/NW

While the DXRacer Formula Series is actually a gaming chair, it has a lot of great ergonomic features that will help prop you up when you’re sending a report instead of shooting zombies. With both an adjustable lumbar pillow and head pillow, you get some plushness you don’t normally find in an office chair. You can also set the seat back and armrests to suit your posture, but its straight backrest will help keep your spine aligned. Its unique looks might make it seem like you’re piloting a spacecraft instead of answering emails, but honestly, that’s a bonus in our book.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

IKEA Markus ($199)

best office chairs

IKEA is the undisputed king of low-cost solutions that don’t look half bad in your workspace or at home. The Markus swivel chair is a perfect example of the company’s penchant for simple and practical design, owing to a breathable mesh backing and built-in lumbar support intended for extra, ergonomic comfort. It’s available in three colors — gray, dark gray, and black — and features levers for adjusting the height and tilt of the chair to your liking.

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IKEA

Raynor Ergohuman ($616)

Raynor Ergohuman

The minds behind the centipede-like Raynor Ergohuman were far more concerned with value than aesthetics when they designed their latest lineup of office chairs. The chairs revel in full-mesh backing and user-friendly functionality, the latter of which grants you tilt tension control, back angle adjustment, and lumbar support in addition to a normal set of adjustments for tweaking the height and tilt angle. There’s a bevy of models to choose from, some of which drop the mesh seats for leather-padded cushions designed to give you more comfort during marathon sittings sessions. Either way, the feature set alone justifies the price.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Knoll ReGeneration ($627)

Knoll ReGeneration

The unique ReGeneration takes inspiration from the bridges of architect Santiago Calatrava. It leverages flexible and sturdy materials that intuitively respond to your movements to provide over-arching comfort throughout the day. It builds on the success of it predecessor, providing you with a contoured frame that offers a flexible mesh backing and adjustable lumbar support. The chair also adjusts the amount of support depending on your sitting position. The fact much of the construction utilizes soy and corn-based materials suggests some eco-friendliness as well.

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Knoll

ItalModern Bungie High Back Office Chair ($283+)

best office chairs

If you’re looking for something more affordable than many of the options on our list, the ItalModern Bungie offers a unique take on the traditional office chair. There are bungie cords strapped across the chair’s steel frame, so you get a little more give with this one. While it may not have the lux look of a leather chair, it also doesn’t have the price tag. The bungie cords provide support and flexibility, too, which might appeal to those who find sitting in a stiff chair all day to be uncomfortable. However, they can leave you with some lines on your legs if you’re wearing a skirt or shorts, so just be prepared for that.

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Amazon Sears

Herman Miller Sayl ($424+)

Herman Miller Sayl

The Sayl is Herman Millers shot at a budget-friendly chair, and while it may cut corners in terms of customization, the offering still manages to provide healthy support within a package that warrants more than just a glance. The chair’s unframed, intelligent backing lets you move freely between positions as flexible strands provide additional support with varying thickness and tension. Designer Yves Behar based the construction of the strands on the framework of suspension bridges — which, structurally, deliver a huge amount of function for the amount of material they require. The backing prevents slouching, with or without the optional lumbar support.

Buy it now from:

Amazon Office Designs

Office Star Air Grid ($157+)

Office Star Air Grid

Not everyone wants to shell out the entirety of their paycheck on a quality office chair, but thankfully, the Air Grid is proof that you don’t have to. The breathable, mesh backing provides plenty of circulation and keeps sweat to a minimum, while a two-in-one tilt function allows you to adjust the back and seat angle as one. It’s comfortable, as well, with built-in lumbar support and height-adjustable arms that cater to your individual needs with little in the way of hassle. A heavy-duty nylon base provides increased strength and durability when sitting or moving, whether you prefer the stock casters or opt for something more appropriate for your situation.

Buy it now from:

Amazon Best Buy Office Design