Unlike 50 years ago, most of us in the U.S. now sit at desk jobs for eight hours a day, five days a week. That adds up to a lot of time in one chair, and we’re guessing that you haven’t given much thought to whether you even like that chair. In our opinion, if you’re going to sit in one piece of furniture for close to 40 hours a week, you should probably make sure you like your current chair, or buy a brand spankin’ new one. Whether you’re looking for design, comfort, simplicity, or all of the above, we’ve selected some of our favorite office chairs for you to choose from.
Executive chairs, as the name might insinuate, tend to be the most luxurious of office chairs, both in price and design. They are often made from plush black leather and look more like a chair made for kicking back and watching TV than doing serious business. We’ve chosen a few modern options that still have that ‘executive’ vibe with clean lines and comfortable cushioning.
If you want the ultimate status symbol in both luxury office chairs and modern design, you can slap down a rather large chunk of change for the impeccably-designed Eames Executive Chair ($3,619). Designed by the famous Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller in 1960 for the top floors of the Time Life building in New York City, this chair is timeless in its design and features comfortable cushioning, high-quality leather, and plush arm rests on a chrome frame.
For a slightly more modern (and affordable) take on the executive chair, we like the white Chiasso Executive Chair ($348). This chair has clean modern lines and a high-back design with a sliding seat that helps the chair conform to your body.
If you’re an executive (or aspiring exec) on a tighter budget, we like the tall and simple design of the Markus Swivel Chair ($199) from our Swedish friends at Ikea. This chair has a mesh back, lumbar support, and a comfortable headrest. You can always upgrade to the Eames chair when you make it big.
If you live or work in a creative environment (or you’re the boss and you just like color), a colorful desk chair is a great way to put a little does of energetic design into your workspace. We’re firm believers that not everything in an office has to be boring black or white. Get creative with design and color, and your workspace will automatically seem like a more fun space to be.
If you like a good pop of red, which is particularly bold with black and white, and aren’t much for ultra-plush cushions, go for something like the Tobago Office Chair ($160) from Target. The design is simple, but not boring, and the color is the perfect bright and bold shade of red.
This next design is our colorful version of the modern executive chair. The Cappellini Lotus Medium Chair ($2,423) was designed by Jasper Morrison and is a fabric chair with cushioning and armrests. The chair is available in a wide range of colors and can come with or without castors.
If you want something a little more comfortable and homey for your office, go untraditional with something like the Artifort Megan Chair ($1,122) by Rene Holton. This cozy fabric chair comes in several different colors and is available in a four-legged version or a conference room version with castors.
Sleek and simple
We chose these three chairs for those who like to keep things simple, but might still need an upgrade. If simple is what you like, there’s no need to have a giant executive chair with leather cushions. These designs keep things sleek while still providing comfort and appealing design.
The Aeron Basic Chair by Herman Miller ($679) was first designed in 1994 by two American designers, Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf, in an effort to create a work chair that was harmonious with the human form. To this day, the smart curved design, adjustable tilt, and unique breathable Pellicle material make this one of the best office chairs around.
Another innovative Herman Miller creation, the SAYL Basic Work Chair ($499), designed by Yves Behar just last year, took a brand new approach to integrating the chair and the human body. The unique unframed Y-back design and 3D Intelligent suspension back material encourage users to have a full range of movement.
It may not be as unique (or pricey) as a Herman Miller design, but we like the simplicity of the Beetle High Back Office Chair ($250) from Target. The chair has a steel frame and strong bungie cords along the seat a back, which make for a sleek design with flexible comfort.