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Best ergonomic office chair: Maintain a healthy posture and avoid strain with adjustable ergonomic chairs from £90

Gareth Thomas
13 Sep 2021
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From adjustable features to lumbar support, an ergonomic office chair can do wonders for your comfort and productivity

Getting the best ergonomic office chair is essential if you spend a lot of time working at a desk. This is especially true for those of us that, over the past year, have gone from working in offices kitted out with fully equipped workstations to working from home. While it’s arguably easier and cheaper to make do with a dining chair, sofa or (God forbid) your bed, the long-term impacts of this aren’t great for your postural health or your productivity.

The best ergonomic office chairs offer a lot in the way of adjustable features from height, tilt and depth, as well as maneuverable armrests and lumbar support to keep your spine in good shape. With all this in mind, it’s tempting to think that quality office chairs will cost an arm and a leg, but while this may be true in some instances, it’s not always the case.

Below, you’ll find our roundup of the best ergonomic office chairs to buy, across a range of budgets, as well as a buying guide to ensure that you know what to look for when making your purchase.

READ NEXT: Best office chairs | Best desk chairs | Best desks

How to buy the best ergonomic office chair

What should I look for in an ergonomic office chair?

As mentioned above, the best ergonomic office chairs offer a number of features designed to maximise comfort. Beyond the basic properties we’ve come to expect from almost all office chairs (swivel, castor wheels, etc), the main features are:

Adjustability: The most basic of office chairs should be height-adjustable, but fully customisable chairs will also allow you to adjust the seat depth, tilt, armrest position and sometimes even headrest. Since no two people are shaped the same, it’s important to look out for a chair with these adjustable features.

Lumbar support: This is another key feature of ergonomic office chairs. Positioned towards the base of your back, lumbar support is designed to maintain the natural curvature of the spin. It helps you to maintain a healthy posture and avoid slouching which can be disastrous for your back.

How much do I need to spend?

To an extent, the “you get what you pay for” idiom is true. The more you spend on a chair, the better it will be and the more features it will have. When it comes to ergonomic office chairs, the top end of the price spectrum can see chairs from renowned manufacturers such as Herman Miller surpass the £1,000 mark, but we’re not suggesting that you have to spend a grand for decent comfort.

There are plenty of good office chairs available for much less. As we’ve argued in our best office chair roundup, you should buy the best you can comfortably afford. And in our roundup below, we’ve aimed to include products that reflect a range of budgets.

Anything else I need to consider?

Though it’s easy to take it for granted, space is an important thing to consider before you even begin shopping for an office chair. The height and width of your desk should, to an extent, inform you of the size and shape of your ideal office chair. So, if you already have a desk you want to use with your new chair, it’s a good idea to take some measurements first.

You should also take into account the type of floor you have, whether hardwood, laminate or carpeted. If it’s the former, make sure the castor wheels won’t damage it (soft tread rubber castors are designed with this in mind). If you’re unsure, you may want to consider getting yourself a mat: this will also stop you from sliding around uncontrollably.

And remember, even the best ergonomic office chairs can only do so much for you. As basic as it sounds, you also need to make sure that you’re sitting properly: not slouching over your desk but sitting straight with your feet flat on the floor. If you’re using a computer, you should be sat at about arm’s length from it, with your monitor at eye level. The NHS offers some guidance on how to sit properly.

The best ergonomic office chairs to buy

1. Sihoo M18 Ergonomic Home Office Chair: Best ergonomic chair under £200

Price: £180 | Buy now from Amazon

Compared to names such as Herman Miller or Habitat, Sihoo is a rather obscure brand in the office chair market. But that shouldn’t necessarily put you off. For £180, the brand’s M18 chair comes with an impressive number of adjustable features, including headrest, arms, back tilt and lumbar support.

The backrest is curved to help you maintain a good posture, and is made from a mesh fabric for breathability. The aluminium alloy base is sturdy and the overall chair looks stylish and professional. Ultimately, there’s little else you could ask for, especially at a sub-£200 price.

Key features – Width: 70m; Seat height: 43-53cm; Total height: 130cm; Warranty: 3yrs

2. Orangebox Do Task Chair: Best ergonomic office chair under £500

Price: £399 | Buy now from Wellworking

Upon first look, the Orangebox Do Task Chair might not look quite as complex as those ergonomic office chairs that are adorned with all manner of levers and knobs. But that’s because it has a weight balancing mechanism to automatically adjust to the user, making it much simpler to use when it comes to ensuring the chair is properly attuned to your weight and posture. Beyond that, seat height, depth, arm rests and lumbar support must be adjusted manually, though the chair is designed intuitively to ensure this is as easy as possible.

The Orangebox Do Task Chair is also the one we used in the former Expert Reviews office, so we’ve had plenty of experience with it to confidently say that it’s a very comfortable and practical office chair indeed.

Key features – Width: 66cm; Height: 97cm; Seat height: 44.5-47.5cm; Warranty: 5yrs

Buy now from Wellworking


3. Habitat Milton: Best budget ergonomic office chair

Price: £90 | Buy now from Argos

As we mentioned in our buying guide, the more you’re willing to spend on an office chair, the better its credentials will be. As such, dipping far below the £100 mark isn’t always the best decision if you’re after an ergonomic office chair.

But that’s not to say the Milton Mesh Ergonomic Office Chair by Habitat is a bad buy. Sure, it’s not kitted out with loads of fancy features like some pricier options, but you do get adjustable armrests, height, tilt and even a headrest. Plus, the mesh backrest will prevent your back getting too sweaty on those warmer days. If you’re looking for a comfortable home-working experience on a budget, you could do much worse.

Key features – Width: 60cm; Height: 122.5cm; Seat height: 44.5 - 53cm; Warranty: 1yr 

Buy now from Argos


Also consider: Symple Stuff High Back Mesh Chair

Without a headrest or adjustable arms, this office chair from Wayfair has even fewer ergonomic features than the Habitat Milton. But at £68, it’s a comfortable bargain buy. In fact, it’s one of our favourite office chairs available under the £100 mark, thanks to its high, supportive mesh backrest, which is curved to help your posture. You’ve also got some very basic adjustability features, including height adjustment and centre tilt.
Wayfair
£68

4. Herman Miller Aeron: Best ergonomic office chair if price is no object

Price: £1,115 | Buy now from John Lewis

An American icon, the Aeron is the only office chair in our roundup to also feature as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Since its initial release in the 90s, it’s had a few upgrades in terms of materials and design.

The Aeron’s backrest has no fewer than eight zones of differing tensions to support various parts of the back, and its breathable “8Z Pellicle” mesh fabric ensures you’re always comfortable. It’s easily adjustable, from seat height and tilt to armrest height and width, and it looks fantastic. What’s more, it comes in a choice of sizes, allowing you to pick the best one for your frame.

That being said, the prestige of the Herman Miller Aeron makes it a rather hefty investment, and not everyone is willing or able to splash out over £1,000 on an office chair. But if you can stomach the price, it’s a brilliant chair, and one that is truly deserving of its iconic status.

Key features – Width: 63/66.6/68cm; Seat height: 41-57cm; Total height: 97/110/119cm; Warranty: 12yrs parts guarantee

Buy now from John Lewis

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