The Best Office Chair

SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Office Chair

Our Top Pick for 2016: SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Office Chair
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $142.78*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

If you were to list in order of importance the office tools that you or your employees use the most, what would be on the top of your list? Some would put their computer, tablet, or cell phone as number one. However, if you are like most office workers, the most important tool that you use is your office chair. Think about it. For at least six hours a day, your chair is providing support to your spine, your legs, and your hips.

Researchers have shown that having a good office chair provides support to your posture, is more comfortable, minimizes neck and back pain, relieves the pressure, and can make it easier to do your work. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the three best office chairs we have found and also threw in one budget option for individuals who are looking for a good chair that doesn’t cost a ton of money.

Table of contents

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Adjusts To Fit Multiple Users
Eco Leather Seat
Contoured Mesh Back
Ergonomic Design
Mesh Siding For Breathability And Comfort
Pneumatic Seat-height Adjustment
Cool, Breathable Mesh Back
One Touch Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
Padded Seat For Comfort
Contoured Seat Cushion With Premium Fabric Upholstery
2-to-1 Synchro Tilt Control
Dual-wheel Casters
Waterfall Edge To Help Relieve Pressure On Legs
Height Adjustable Angled Arms
225-pound Maximum Weight Capacity

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Office Chair

SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Office Chair Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $142.78*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerWe selected the SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Office Chair as our gold choice because it has all of the characteristics you want in an office chair. It is professional, it is comfortable, it is adjustable, and it lends itself to ergonomic sitting.

The chair is designed to be elegant, professional, and functional at the same time. Its sleek modern design coupled with its black leather seats make it the perfect addition to any office. You will not feel embarrassed to invite your clients or customers into your office space with these chairs.

The eco-friendly leather seat and mesh siding make the chair comfortable to sit on. As you know from sitting in a chair for hours on end, if the backrest of the chair is solid and if it is made from a non-breathable material, when you stand up, your back will be full of sweat and your shirt or your blouse ends up sticking to you. This is not a problem will experience in this chair.

One reason why office workers have neck and back problems is because their chair is either too high or too low when compared to their desk. The SPACE Seating Professional Office Chair addresses this issue with a one touch pneumatic seat height adjustment feature. By simply pushing down on a lever that is comfortably located directly underneath the seat, you can adjust the height to one of that you feel comfortable with.

After sitting in an office chair for a couple of hours, you know that if the back of the chair is not solid, you feel stress and pain in your lower back. This chair addresses this issue with a 2 to 1 Tilt Control with an adjustable tilt tension. Not only can you adjust the angle of the chair, you can adjust the resistance that the chair has when you try to lean back.

When you are sitting in a chair that is poorly designed, you find yourself fumbling around trying to figure out what to do with your arms. However, in this uniquely designed chair, you can simply use the height adjustable angled arms supports. Not only are the armrests adjustable, they are also extremely comfortable thanks to the soft polyurethane pads.

You would expect a good office chair to feel sturdy. The SPACE Seating Professional Office Chair accomplishes this thanks to its sturdy nylon base. In addition to supporting the chair, it supports the oversized wheel carpet casters that are on the bottom of the chair. This way, if you need to move from one location to another in your chair, you don’t need to worry about the wheels getting caught up in the carpet or not moving freely.

The chair when completely assembled weighs approximately 43.5 pounds. It is 26.5 inches long and 27 inches wide. Once assembled, the chair sits at 42 inches, but this can be adjusted based on your preference.

This is a versatile chair that is designed for a wide array of office environments. For this reason, you have the option to adjust or completely remove the armrests as well as adjust other features during the assembly process.

The chair comes complete with an assembly guide showing you step-by-step how to put it together. Even if you have never assembled an office chair before, you should be able to put the entire piece together within 10 minutes.

Reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. There are reviews from individuals in the military who state that their unit ordered hundreds of these chairs and has only received praise for them. They appreciate that even after 12 hours of sitting in this chair, they have good posture. They also comment that although the chair allows you to lean back, it does not lean back so far that you think you are going to fall out of the chair.

Other reviewers commented on how their back no longer feels fatigued after sitting in the chair for an extended period of time. More than one reviewer purchased one chair and then purchased a second one shortly thereafter. And there are multiple reviews encouraging others to buy this chair.

Office Star Products, the manufacturer and distributor of the chair, offers a five year warranty on non-moving parts and an two year warranty on the component parts. They warranty the upholstery and fabric for one year against wear and tear.

If you’re looking for a high quality chair that is going to stand up to years of use while at the same time help you maintain your posture and prevent office related fatigue, the SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Office Chair is a great option for you.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Swivel Tilt Chair

Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Swivel Tilt Chair

View it on Amazon for $138.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerAlera has built a long and impressive record of providing high quality furniture. Their focus is on creating furniture that is stylish, affordable, provides unmatched performance, and is economical. These reasons plus the fact that they back their products with a five year limited warranty are why we selected the Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Swivel Tilt Chair as our silver product.

What makes the Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Swivel Tilt Chair so unique is that it is simple yet functional. And really that’s what you want from a good office chair. You want to have the features that you need to be comfortable without some of the extra bells and whistles that do nothing for you.

The Alera office chair comes with an ergonomic design that is crafted for extended periods of sitting behind a desk. The chair is completely adjustable, so it can be used by multiple people comfortably. Like the gold product we reviewed, the Alera chair comes equipped with a breathable mesh back. This is something you’re going to appreciate on days when the office air-conditioning is not working or on hotter days when you may be prone to perspire.

One feature that does set the Alera apart from others is that it has a premium fabric upholstery. In fact, the upholstery of this chair is the best of all of the chairs we will review in this list.

As part of the ergonomic design, the chair has a waterfall edge. This slight decline at the tip of the chair helps to remove pressure from your legs while you sit. It is a sturdy chair, weighing approximately 46.5 pounds when it is assembled. The chair is 26 inches tall, 24 inches wide, and 14 inches deep.

Since it has a simple design, the chair is going to be easy for you to put together. There are no complex parts, and so if you follow the enclosed instructions, you should be able to have the chair together and adjusted to your settings in less than 20 minutes.

The armrests on the chair have been specially crafted to provide comfort to the majority of people sitting in the chair. The padding on the chair is simple yet well proportioned.

When you look at the chair, it’s clear to see that it was not designed in a way to show off all of the features you can cram into a chair. It is designed to be practical, functional, and comfortable. You can see this when you look at the way that the rollers are designed.

At the time of writing, reviewers had given this chair 4 ½ out of five stars. One reviewer on Amazon said that they had been battling with back problems for some time. They got a new chair and 75 percent of their sciatica pain cleared up. Another user commented that she sits at 5’2”, and weighs 123 pounds and the chair fits her perfectly. She is finally able to sit in a chair and put her feet on the floor. She then went on to say that her husband who is 6’2” 205 pounds is just as comfortable in the chair as she is.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair

AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair

View it on Amazon for $54.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair earned the number three spot as our bronze pick because of its ease-of-use, comfort, and stellar user reviews. At the time of this writing, more than 850 individuals had reviewed this chair, giving it an amazing 4.2 out of five stars. Here are some of the things they liked about it and some of the things that we are sure you will like about it as well.

First, it is a lot lighter than any of the chairs we reviewed coming in at a featherweight 23.1 pounds. Its dimensions are comparable to the other chairs on the list being 25.2 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 40.4 inches tall.

This chair was designed to be sensible and to fit well into a home office or into a business office environment. It has a sleek and modern design that is coupled with adjustable settings for all to use.

Every aspect of the chair can be adjusted. For example, pneumatic controls will allow you to raise the chair or lower it depending on the height of the desk you are working on. If you want to sit in a more rigid, straight up and down position, the back of the chair can be adjusted. The chair is designed to promote ergonomically correct sitting, which you know is essential to maintaining good back health while you are in front of a computer for extended periods of time.

The controls on the chair are intuitive. If you want to lift up the chair, just take some of your weight off the chair and pull up on the control handle. If you want to lower the chair, keep your weight on the chair and pull down on the handle until the chair is at your desired height. Tilting the chair back and forward is a simple matter of pushing or pulling the control handle and then maneuvering it to where you want to be.

There is a mesh material on the seat of the chair as well as the back of the chair. This does two things. It gives you more support throughout the day, and at the same time it adds to the breathability of the chair. The breathability of the chair is enhanced by the fact that the back of the chair gently curves, and so there are some sections where your back is only touching the mesh.

On a busy day, you know that your office chair can be a chair/vehicle because you need to move from one place to another in your office or in your cubicle. The AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair makes this possible thanks to the durable dual wheel casters.

Amazon is a company that was built solely on reputation. For this reason, they take pride in the products they distribute under their name. This pride shines through when one looks at sturdy design of the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair.

The chair is easy to assemble. When you open up the box, you’ll see that all of the parts and instructions are included. The seat cushion is thick and firm, and the meshing provides unparalleled support.

On Amazon there are reviews from individuals who are over 6 feet tall, as well as those who barely break 5 feet. All of them say how much they enjoy sitting in this chair, how it helps relieve their back pain, and how they feel comfortable in it even if they need to sit for hours at a time.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Office Chair

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Office Chair

View it on Amazon for $42.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickWhen we were looking for the chair we would present as our budget option, our goal was to find something that was less expensive than the gold, silver, and bronze option while at the same time offering our readers a good quality product. What we settled on was the Flash Furniture Midback Black Mesh Office Chair.

The first reason why we made this our budget choice was that it is a reasonably priced item produced by a well-known company, Flash Furniture. Flash Furniture has been making furniture for many years, and they guarantee the majority of their products with a five year limited warranty. We liked the fact that they stood behind their product.

After looking at the price and after looking at the manufacturer, we took some time and examined the chair and here are some of the features that we think you’ll like. First, like many of the other chairs on our list, this option is equipped with mesh on the back of the chair as well as on the seat. This makes the chair comfortable, it provides additional support when you sit, and it makes the chair breathable.

The next thing we looked at was the padding. The chair has a two inch thick pad. It is a high-quality padding material, so it provides support even after you have sat on it for an extended period of time. You will like the fact that the chair is adjustable and that it uses a pneumatic seat height adjustment.

When the chair is assembled, it is 34.5 inches high, 21.5 inches wide, 22.5 inches long, and has a total weight of 18.7 pounds.

This chair does not come with a lot of the extra bells and whistles that more expensive of chairs do. However, as multiple reviewers on Amazon pointed out, it is more comfortable than they expected. It breathes well, it provides good support, and it is well manufactured.

The vast majority of the reviews about this chair on Amazon are positive. A few commented that they had an issue with a back bolt, but in many cases the issue was resolved.

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Office Chair is comfortable, attractive, and reliable. It is a good chair for someone who wants ergonomic support while they sit, yet are on a budget.


Pre-purchase considerations

Lumbar Support

The worst office chair you can buy is one that does not adequately support your lower back. Conversely, the best office chair you can buy is one that supports your lower back. Depending on the quality of the chair, some have a lumbar support that is fixed, whereas others have a lumbar support that is adjustable. Having good lumbar supports prevents you from straining your back. Poor lumbar support can result in sciatica, an exceptionally painful nerve condition that can leave you debilitated.

Wheel/Swivel Base

Just about every office chair has a wheelbase. However, you want to make sure that your wheelbase matches the material that the floor is made of. For example, not all office chairs are made to roll easily on carpet. While being able to roll around on your chair may seem like an inconsequential thing, the truth is that being able to roll from one area to the next in order to retrieve items can reduce injuries that are caused by stretching to try to reach something that is out of your reach. The same principle applies to the swivel base. A good chair should swivel from left to right, freely giving you access to the items you need to grab.

Adjustability

No two office workers are the same. You may be taller, shorter, heavier, or skinnier than your coworkers. So you want your chair to fit you. Just about every chair on the market will allow you to adjust the height. And while height adjustments are important, they are not the most important ones you should be looking for. Good office chairs allow you to adjust the chair between five to 14 different ways. You want to be able to adjust things like the arm width, how high up the seat is, the angle that the back is at, tension control, and back width. In addition to being able to adjust to these features, you want to look at the controls that the chair uses. Many chairs have pneumonic adjustments. These are a lot easier than hand controlled adjustments.

Fabric

You want the fabric on your chair to be breathable. As we have alluded to multiple times in this review, if the fabric is not breathable, the chair becomes hot, you will become uncomfortable, and when you finally do stand up, your back and your pants are wet from sweat. In addition to a nice fabric, the chair should have sufficient cushioning to allow a person to sit on the chair without ever feeling the base of the chair through the cushioning. The best cushions are those that are made from memory foam. Other cushions have the tendency to wear out quickly, making the chair uncomfortable.

Style

While you want a chair that is ergonomically sound, you also want to chair that looks good in the office. Some offices look better with a sleek modern designed chair, whereas others look better with a traditional style chair.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

If you are an office manager who is tasked with buying chairs for multiple employees, why not get a sample of the chairs you are thinking about purchasing. Allow your employees to sit in the chair, and this will help you to determine if the chairs are right for your employees.

Everyone understands that sitting for the majority of the day is not good for a person’s musculoskeletal health. Unfortunately, the majority of us have jobs where we have to sit for eight hours a day or more. So as an office manager, small business owner, or a sole proprietor, your job when choosing a chair is to find one that minimizes the negative effects that sitting will have on your back.

As you do your research, you will clearly see that not all office chairs are created equal. And while you will be able to find a decent chair at a moderate price, if you’re looking for more bells and whistles, you should expect to pay a little bit more for things like additional support, aesthetics, and size.

The best way to get the best chair for your office is to do a little research. It takes a little bit of time, but your back and the backs of your employees will thank you for your efforts to find the best office chair.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. New chair, SPACE Seating Professional Dark Air Grid Back with Black Eco Leather Seat, Managers Chair, July 1, 2015, YouTube.com
  2. Alera, AleraDetails.com
  3. Alera Elusion Series Ergonomic Chair – Simplistic, ErgonomicChairsReviews.com
  4. The Definitive Guide to Choosing an Office Chair, GearPatrol.com

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