The 7 Best Office Chairs for Back Pain in 2020
Lumbar support makes life easier
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Whether you work in an office or out of your home, taking care of your body is just as important as taking care of your work. And if you spend most of your day at a desk, that starts with your workstation setup. If you run a small business, you likely don’t have the resources to hire an ergonomics expert to come in and optimize your workspace. But there are still steps you can take to help your back — and the rest of your body — stay comfortable and supported during your busy workday.
Choosing the right office chair can improve your comfort, health, and overall productivity. And there are a few things to consider if you want one that specifically helps with back pain. Your first consideration should be back support. A quality office chair should include lumbar support, as well as some cushion or contour that helps you sit up straight and alleviates pressure on your lower back. Secondly, office chairs are not a one-size-fits-all item, so it's important to find one that offers adjustable features like chair height, back support angle, and armrests.
The chair material is another feature to consider. Most high-quality office chairs offer a cushioned or mesh back, but the actual seat cushion and headrest (if applicable) should also offer enough support to promote proper posture.
When it comes to cost, you can find office chairs well below $100 and well over $1,000. The sweet spot for quality and price seems to hit around $200 to $300, though there are many exceptions to the rule. The best budget chairs start around $50-$75. Read on for our selection of the best office chairs for back pain and say goodbye to soreness once and for all.
Best Overall: Herman Miller Embody Chair
If you want a luxury chair with every bell and whistle, the Herman Miller Embody Chair won’t disappoint. While it has a steep price tag, it offers pretty much everything you could ask for in an ergonomic chair. It is beautiful, comfortable, adjustable, and holds up well with normal use.
This chair includes six ergonomic functions designed to best support your spine. With the right positioning, it enhances blood and oxygen flow, making you feel better and improving focus and relaxation at your desk. The material and padding keep you cool and comfortable no matter how unpredictable your office’s HVAC system is.
The chair has a 12-year warranty and is tested for use up to 300 pounds. It comes with an aluminum base on wheels and is available in a variety of colors. The tall back and adjustable settings make it ideal for people of a wide range of heights and sizes.
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair
If you're looking for simplicity and comfort at a low price, the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair is a leading option. At under $100, this chair packs a lot of punch for a small price tag, with lumbar support and the ability to adjust the height and the armrests. The mesh back and cushion covers allow for maximum breathability.
The AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair can support up to 225 pounds through a pneumatic adjustable height seat. It measures 25.2 inches deep, 24 inches wide, and adjusts to 35.6 to 40.3 inches tall and includes a 1-year limited warranty. And while it doesn’t offer the same features as the more expensive models on this list, the price tag makes up for it.
Best Solid Back: AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair
If a mesh back is not your thing but you still want a budget-friendly chair, the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair is the best choice. It is built almost identically to the company's mesh chair option, but it offers a solid back upholstered in black bonded leather instead of mesh.
In addition to pneumatic height adjustment, the simple controls allow you to rock back or remain in a fixed upright position. Coupled with good lumbar support and back adjustments, it's a great budget chair with formal office appeal.
Like the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Office Chair, it supports up to 225 pounds and measures 24 inches deep and 24 inches wide. It adjusts from 34.8 to 38.5 inches tall. The chair comes with a 1-year limited warranty and is available in black, brown, and white to match your decor.
Best High Back: AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair
The AmazonBasics family of products consistently delivers high value at a reasonable price, and the same is true with the AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair. It comes in black or brown and combines ergonomic features with great looks to complement any office.
The pneumatic seat-height adjustment supports up to 250 pounds and swivels 360 degrees. It measures 29.1 inches deep by 25.6 inches wide and adjusts from 41.3 inches to 45.1 inches tall. A 1-year limited warranty protects you from defects.
It won’t hold up as well as some higher priced chairs, but it is tough to beat in this price range. Like most chairs on this list, it comes unassembled, and assembly instructions are included with your order.
Best Stool: AmazonBasics Drafting Stool
Another value purchase, this rolling stool is best for short periods of time, perhaps when meeting with a patient at a doctor’s office. It has no back and requires the user to sit up straight, so it will only help with your back if you sit with good posture. There is no additional support.
The round stool comes in black and offers a 360-degree swivel. It is 24.2 inches across measuring at the base, has a seat around 15 inches wide, and has an adjustable height from 19.9 inches to 25 inches tall. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
This stool maintains good reviews and a competitive price compared with similar items. Just keep in mind that if you have severe back problems, a stool may not be the best office chair for your body. It's best to speak to your doctor about what level of support will be most suited to your specific needs.
Best Value: Zenith High Back Mesh Office Chair
This chair packs in a lot of comfort at a relatively low price. The mesh back and cushion ensures durable breathability so you stay comfortable during long stints at your desk. In terms of ergonomics, you get built-in lumbar support and a headrest, plus adjustable seat height, armrests, and tilt. It sits on wheels and supports up to 300 pounds.
If you put yourself in the “big and tall” category, this chair is a better choice than some of the mid-back chairs, as it offers more support and can handle more weight. But it also comes with a drawback — the headrest is not adjustable, so if you are too short for it, you may find this chair to be uncomfortable and otherwise misaligned with your body measurements.
Best Attachable Cushion: LoveHome Memory Foam Back Cushion
If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a new chair but need some immediate lumbar support, the LoveHome Memory Foam Back Cushion is a smart and simple solution. This concave foam cushion is fitted with two adjustable straps that allow you to attach it to your existing chair for comfortable and customized back support in a snap. The pillow itself is made from high-density memory foam that molds to your back without flattening out over time, and it’s curved to support your spine's natural shape. The result is better posture and less lower- and mid-back pain.
The LoveHome cushion has a removable and washable mesh cover that’s breathable enough to stay cool for hours of constant use. It also comes in six different colors, so you can find one to match your current office chair. To set it up, simply place the cushion on the back of your chair at the height where it feels most comfortable (typically around the lower back) and fasten the straps. It takes seconds to attach, and you’ll feel like you just got a new chair for a fraction of the price. Reviewers love this product and claim that it has transformed their uncomfortable office chairs.