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The best office chairs for 2021

These days, more and more of us are working in home offices. While a solid computer monitor, wireless mouse, a great keyboard, and other nifty desktop accessories are essential ingredients for a friendly and successful workspace, let’s not forget a comfy office chair to complete your money-making zone.

The best office 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, but customized suspension and the appropriate aesthetics go far in the long run. We’ve rounded up the best office chairs that will have you feeling supported during the workday.

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Herman Miller Embody

Best office chair overall

Herman Miller Embody
Herman Miller

So, what is it about the Embody we so revere? It’s a fair question, sure, especially considering the Embody’s lofty price tag. 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 toward your home office desk.

The 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 Herman Miller Embody even sizes to fit your body perfectly, comes in a range of colors, and features a skin-like covering for increased airflow.

Steelcase Gesture

Best ergonomic office chair

Steelcase Gesture

The Steelcase Gesture remains one of the sleeker office chairs on the market. A deep, flexible contour in the back of the chair supports the natural shape of the spine and helps minimize tension in the lower back. The arms also pivot to host a range of body types and better ergonomic positioning while typing.

A semi-matte finish along the back and a polished-metal wheelbase complement the chair’s modern design. Steelcase tested the Gesture for a maximum of 400 pounds, too, which means the chair is sturdy and well-made.

Steelcase Leap

The best big and tall office chair

Steelcase Leap

The Steelcase Leap has long stood as the company’s flagship — and for good reason. It’s one of the more popular office chairs in existence, one which owes much of its merit to years of painstaking research and subsequent development.

The 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 Steelcase Leap‘s back mimics the natural shape of your spine throughout the day, helping to encourage better posture, while the chair’s innovative glide system allows you to recline without having to orient yourself away from your workload.

Furmax Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

Best budget office chair

Furmax Ergonomic

Trying to keep things cost-effective? Furmax’s lineup of roll-about mesh chairs is BIFMA-certified, which means you’re getting furniture designed with your body and comfort in mind. The Furmax Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair rolls around on an adjustable five-wheeled caster system, making it easy to traverse around many work environments. Also, let’s not forget the cushioning for the part of our body that relies on a chair most. This choice provides premium comfort, easy mobility, an array of color options, and a price tag in the double digits.

Modway Edge Drafting Chair

Best standing desk office chair

Modway Drift

Here’s one for all you architects, CAD engineers, guitar players, and other workers and hobbyists that require true height from their seats. Modway’s classy Drafting Chair features all-mesh padding, firm but cozy lumbar support, a full 360-degree swivel, and a 20.5- to 29-inch adjustable height range. The arms can also be flipped up if your arms tend to feel confined by their respective rests after a while.

Halter Reclining Leather Office Chair

The best leather office chair

Halter Reclining Leather office chair

We had to include that perfect leather office chair in our roundup. This ergonomic chair from Halter offers adjustable height and tilt options, from 90 to 130 degrees. The padded leather material is layered with foam for an eye-catching look and ultra-comfortable seating. The synthetic leather itself is designed for long-lasting durability, meaning your Halter can take a beating. A balanced metal frame provides stability and anti-wobble functionality, even as you coast across the hardwood floors of your office.

ItalModern Bungie High Back Office Chair

The best office chair for design

ItalModern Bungie High Back

If you’re looking for something more affordable than many of the options on our list, we have a budget-friendly recommendation. The ItalModern Bungie offers a unique take on the traditional office chair. It features bungee cords strapped across the chair’s steel frame, which grants the user a little more give.

While the ItalModern Bungie may not have the luxury look of a leather chair, it also doesn’t have the price tag. The bungee cords provide support and flexibility (and a cool design). The flexible materials might appeal to those who find sitting in a stiff chair all day uncomfortable. However, it may leave you with indented lines on your legs if you’re wearing shorts, so keep that in mind.

GT Omega Pro Series

The best office chair for gaming

GT Omega Pro

Not everyone wants to shell out the entirety of their paycheck on a quality gaming chair, and thankfully the GT Omega proves you don’t have to. The orthopedic design provides deep padding for your back and shoulders, along with a removable headrest pillow for when you’re feeling like you need to keep alert. The chair’s reclining back can be adjusted from 85 to 190 degrees, and the 4D adjustable armrests ensure premium comfort while deep in the throes of your next multiplayer match.

Research and buying tips

How do I choose an office chair?

Quality chairs offer a wide range of adjustments, but you still need to take the time to find the chair that works for you. Those who’ve spent time in the wrong chair know that “ergonomics” isn’t just another buzzword. When you’re working at your laptop or desktop computer, the right lumbar support and height adjustment options are crucial. You’ll also want to consider the type of material used for padding. The better the cushioning (and the more breathable the material), the cozier a long day in the workplace will be.

What is an executive office chair?

When you break it down, an executive office chair is a tall, narrow-backed office chair, which is usually sold at higher prices. These chairs are often the symbol of “manager” chairs and are thought to represent seniority. However, these days, it’s highly likely you’ll find your boss using one of the less-expensive chairs in our buying guide.

How do you make an office chair more comfortable?

To create an optimal and comfortable environment for your office space, you’ll need to do more than just select the right chair. To make your space easier to work in, first try adjusting the height of your chair. It should be in line with your desk, keyboard, mouse, and desktop monitor. When you adjust the height, your feet shouldn’t be left dangling. You may need to readjust or consider buying a footrest to keep your feet firmly on the ground. To prevent some strain in your knees and thighs, consider using a seat cushion; That cushion can help cut out the stress on your lower body and give you a boost at your desk. If your lower back tends to act up after a workday, a lumbar support pillow will help take the tension off your spine and get your posture more aligned. 

How long do office chairs last?

Typically, a solid office chair should last you about five to ten years. That said, a couple of factors can impact how long your chair holds up. For example, how many hours you use the chair per week, who is using the chair most often, and the materials of your chair all affect its life-span.

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