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Looking for an office chair, but not willing to shell out more than a grand? Good news: You won't need to sacrifice comfort or quality to find chairs under $200. But what should you look for in a budget-friendly chair? When selecting one, consider seat and back material, adjustable features, and function. Many chairs sport thickly padded fabric or leather upholstery, which is cushy but also heats up fast. Mesh, in contrast, is a more breathable material.
Additionally, look for adjustable features for armrests, tilt tension, and seat height. And last, but not least, you'll want to think about the chair's function before investing in it.
From standard task chairs to exercise ball chairs, here are the best budget office chairs for all of your business needs.
Best Overall: Modway Articulate Ergonomic Chair
Treat your employees with this affordable, yet premium quality chair. Modway's Articulate Ergonomic Office Chair is very comfortable and customizable for its price point. The chair has five dual-wheel hooded casters that allow you to glide across the floor, whether it's wood or carpet. The mesh back is breathable, and the padded cushion seat feels sturdy, yet soft. For the seat, you have the option between vinyl and mesh. There’s also a generous color selection, which includes black, blue, and green.
Carrying up to 331 pounds, this chair has adjustable features so that it fits your needs. Its customizable parts include height-adjustable armrests, one-touch chair height adjustment, 360-degree swivel, and a tilt and lock system. All in all, this chair offers great ergonomic features.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Homall Executive Leather Chair
Inspired by the aesthetics of a race car, Homall's Gaming Chair is a luxurious option for employees who prioritize comfort and spend some of their R&R time inside the office. The chair offers head, shoulder, arm, and lumbar support, and can hold up to 300 pounds. A full-steel frame with anti-oxidation protection structures its supple, padded PU leather body. If you need to lie back, the chair reclines between 90 and 180 degrees with its tilt locking mechanism and can also be rocked.
Even more, the chair's durable base has rubber casters that have been put on a 1,000-mile rolling test to ensure their durability. The colors include black, blue, red, and white.
Best Ergonomic: Flash Furniture Mid-Back Swivel Chair
This ergonomic chair from Flash Furniture ensures maximum comfort when you’re absorbed in a project in your home office seating or coworking sitting area. Its curved mesh back offers lumbar support and is breathable for long sitting sessions or when your seat heats up. Choose from high-back, mid-back, and mid-back drafting chairs; the high-back chair is designed to relieve tension in the lower back, whereas the mid-back chair offers support for the mid-to-upper back region. The special drafting chair best suits those who work with higher desk surfaces, such as graphic artists and architects. All of the chairs sport a waterfall seat design that takes the pressure off of your legs. They also include flip-up armrests, seat height adjustment for comfortable positioning, and tilt tension for reclining in the chair.
Related: The Best Ergonomic Office Chairs
Best Task Chair: Boss Office Chair
It may cost way less than its competition, but this affordable chair option for entrepreneurs from Boss Office truly has all the features you could want in a desk chair. It comes with a thick, padded waterfall seat that offers lumbar support and allows circulation to reach your legs. It also has an adjustable back depth and a height lever, so you can modify it for ultimate comfort.
The stable, nylon base comes with smooth wheels that allow you to easily transport your chair from one part of the office to another. Plus, whatever your office interior design looks like, you can find a suitable color from the brand’s selection, which includes black, blue, burgundy, and gray. The budget-friendly task chair is available with or without arms.
Related: The Best Office Chairs for Back Pain
Most Stylish: Elliana Velvet Task Chair
Match your stylish office space with this equally stylish office chair. Modern-looking yet comfortable, the Elliana Velvet Task Chair is covered in luxurious, plush velvet covering. You can also choose between a sleek, chrome metal base—making it look more expensive than it actually is—or a more simpler black base.
Beyond looks, this swivel chair is ergonomically-designed with its open backrest and padded armrests. Along with five casters for easy movement, the chair has a weight capacity of 250 pounds and is height adjustable up to 32 inches. Choose from a range of aesthetically pleasing colors, including aqua, dark blue, rose canary, dark grey, and more.
Related: The Best Work From Home Essentials
Best Exercise Ball Chair: Gaiam Backless Chair
Created by health and fitness experts, the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair helps to align the spine and alleviate stiffness in the back, thus increasing productivity at work. With a 300-pound weight limit, the chair is recommended for users between 5 feet to 5 feet 11 inches tall and can fit most standard office desks. In addition to the exercise ball, it comes with an air pump and four lockable, smooth-rolling casters. So, if keeping your body active while sitting all day is a priority, opt for this affordable chair.
Best Modern: Chattooga Task Chair
If you're not a fan of traditional-looking office chairs, consider the Chattooga Task Chair from Langley Street—a stylish alternative that'll fit perfectly with modern home offices. It features a curved seat constructed out of two wood pieces and polyurethane upholstery. Height-adjustable, this task chair also sits on five caster feet so you can roll around wherever you please. While the chair has a weight capacity of up to 250 pounds and can be used up to 8 hours daily, note that you cannot tilt it back. And though it's a bit pricey compared to other budget options, this task chair looks and feels much more expensive than its price tag.
Best Stool: Wilhelm Height Adjustable Lab Stool
For an office stool option, this durable Wilhelm height-adjustable seat is a top pick. The simple, straightforward lab stool has a gas lift that raises it up to 6 inches (making it ideal for tall and short people), a metal base with a chrome finish, vinyl seat material, and five casters to easily move from your home office desk to the dining table. It also has a weight capacity of up to 275 pounds. In addition to black, this stool is available in beige and grey.
Best Space-Saving: Hbada Task Desk Chair
This chair from Hbada offers the same comfort as most other task chairs at a more affordable price to design a home office. It's built with an ergonomic mesh backrest that fits the natural curve of your body, lessening pressure on your lower back.
The office chair also has an adjustable height lever (from 17.7 to 21.2 inches) and can be tilted back into a rocker between 90 to 120 degrees for even more comfort. It’s a great option if you are tight on home learning space or working from home in a small room, as it has quiet-rolling casters and arms that can be flipped up so you can store the chair under your desk.
Best Executive Chair: BestOffice Ergonomic Leather Chair
Executives spend much of their time in meetings or on their computers, so they need a high-quality chair that not only looks great but also provides comfort over long hours. BestOffice's sleek, modern chair gets the job done. According to reviews, the PU leather is soft to the touch and includes enough padding to feel comfortable. It resists water and oil stains, so it cleans easily and lasts over time. The chair has adjustable tilt tension for recline, as well as a 360-degree swivel. While it has armrests, they are not adjustable, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for some managers. When purchasing this item, note that the "size" listed refers to the number of chairs, not how big they are. Select from three different colors, including black, white, and brown.
Our top pick is the Modway Articulate Ergonomic Office Chair (view at Amazon) due to its affordable price and customizable features. With a breathable mesh back, padded cushion, height-adjustable armrests, one-touch chair height adjustment, 360-degree swivel, and a tilt lock system, this chair will provide you with the comfort and support you need to make it through your workday without feeling fatigued.
What to Look for in a Budget Office Chair
Standard, gaming, and task chairs are the three most common types of chairs you can buy for your office. Standard chairs generally have adjustable height options, swivel, and a back tilt. They have a high back, are made from mesh or leather, and can be heavy to move around.
Gaming chairs are generally made from leather, come in various bright colors, have some serious reclining power, adjustable armrests, and have a high back with a fixed headrest. However, their seat designs aren't as ergonomic as standard desk chairs since they are designed for the experience of gaming (think sitting in a car seat while playing a racing game).
Finally, task chairs are a little more customizable. They swivel, come with high- or mid-back options, are made from mesh and breathable fabrics so they're easier to move around, and have a back tilt and more adjustable features like adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and much more. However, like gaming chairs, they can be more expensive than just a standard office chair.
Since you spend many hours of your day in your office, it's important to match your office chair to your office's aesthetic. For example, if you're new to creating a home office, the best place to start is by considering your color scheme. Pick colors that make you feel warm and cozy, so you feel comfortable and energized working there as opposed to feeling bored and unproductive.
After you find the colors, consider the style, material, and size. If you are keen on modern decor, don't pick a bulky traditional chair, and go for something sleek and trendy, instead. For material, take a look at your desk. If you have a wooden desk, you can find a chair that has wooden legs or accents to tie it together. Then there's the size of the chair. It shouldn't overwhelm your desk, but instead, allow you to sit just right—you don't want to be reaching over your desk or having your knees hit the underside.
Comfort and Adjustability
Sitting for long hours on end can wreak havoc on your body. That's why it's important to find an office chair that will provide support and keep you comfortable throughout the day. Look for an office chair that has adjustable armrests, headrests, height, lumbar support, tilt, and recline. A swivel feature is also great since it will allow you to reach for things across your desk and office comfortably. You'll also want a chair that's padded and made out of soft fabrics, so it doesn't feel like you're sitting on rocks all day. Finally, consider the seat depth and width. A good desk chair will allow you to sit back against the backrest while still having 2 to 4 inches of space behind your knees and the seat of the chair. If you're tall, look for a chair with a deeper seat, and if you're short, look for one that's a bit shallow.
Meet the Expert
Stacey Nguyen is an experienced writer whose expertise lies in office supplies, fashion, entertainment, and all things internet, especially trending topics and e-commerce. Her work has appeared in PopSugar, StyleCaster, and more.