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10 best ergonomic office chairs that make working from home more comfortable

·10-min read
The number of hours we spend sitting to work means that the right chair can greatly reduce the negative impact on our bodies (The Independent/iStock)
The number of hours we spend sitting to work means that the right chair can greatly reduce the negative impact on our bodies (The Independent/iStock)

There was probably a time in 2020 when you suddenly found yourself doing a full day’s work on a chair that you’d previously only sat on to eat your dinner.

And with many offices continuing to work from home, some permanently, now might be the time to bite the bullet and buy a more comfortable alternative.

The number of hours we spend sitting to work means that the right ergonomic office chair can greatly reduce the widely reported, negative impact that sitting can have on our bodies.

According to the NHS website, in order to sit healthily at your desk, you need to have your lower back supported, with your knees slightly lower than your hips, so an adjustable chair that you can change the height, back and tilt of, is essential.

A good office chair will balance functionality and form, supporting the natural curve of your spine throughout the working day, in particular, the lumbar or lower back region and promoting good posture.

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There are plenty of price points to choose from, so you need to factor in how much time you think you’re going to be spending in your chair. Are you a nailed on WFHer who is going to need a perch to support your 9 to 5, or are you looking for something that will offer you a step up from a kitchen stool for a few hours a day?

We spent a couple of weeks with a range of ergonomic office chairs to find out which ones have really got your back when it comes to the daily sit down.

The best ergonomic chairs for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Humanscale world chair: £564, Wellworking.co.uk

  • Best for back support – Herman Miller mirra 2 butterfly office chair: £895, Hermanmiller.com

  • Best for quick delivery – Yaheetech office chair: £56.99, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best budget option – Habitat Alma chair: £100, Argos.co.uk

  • Best for adjustable height – Orbit mesh chair: £168, Officefurnitureonline.co.uk

  • Best Ikea office chair – Ikea langfjall chair: £90, Ikea.com

  • Best for all day use – West Elm mid-century chair: £699, Westelm.co.uk

  • Best for posture – House by John Lewis hinton office chair: £139, Johnlewis.com

  • Best for long legs – Alphason Atlanta office chair: £85, Johnlewis.com

  • Best for lumbar support – Ryman leather faced executive chair: £116.99, Ryman.co.uk

Humanscale world chair

Best: Overall

  • Weight: 15.9kg

  • Seat height: 14-30.75”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: No

  • Warranty: 12 years

This all mesh chair uses your body weight to automatically adapt to the most ergonomic position for working, reclining the chair and repositioning the armrests, which are attached to the back of the chair so they move with you. This means that you can just get on with the task at hand without having to fiddle around fine-tuning the chair’s position. The pivoting recline action is effortlessly fluid and leverages the chair’s frame to provide instant support through a full range of motion, while you’re at your desk. This means that the spine feels constantly supported whether you’re typing or reading and reclining. Added to this is excellent lumbar support and we liked the soft front edge of the chair, which didn’t create any pressure points on the knees and behind the thighs. The high quality mesh provides good breathability and you can choose from a range of mesh colours to suit your working environment.

Buy now £564.00, Wellworking.co.uk

Herman Miller mirra 2 butterfly office chair

Best: For back support

  • Weight: 15.9kg

  • Seat height: 16.7-22.2”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: No

  • Warranty: 12 yr

If you’re a dedicated home worker looking to outfit an office or space in your home then this is a great looking and wonderfully engineered chair with a butterfly shaped backrest that is made to move with you. Even micro movements, like leaning to the side or slightly bending forwards, are tracked by the backrest. This meant that our spine always felt like it was being well supported. Offering a smooth reclining mechanism and a full range of movement in the armrests, the chair was incredibly comfortable to sit in even for prolonged periods with the chair responding to even the slightest movement. Offering excellent lumbar support, which can be adjusted according to height, the seat pad distributed weight well so we never felt pressure on our legs, and the mesh also offered excellent breathability with castors that rolled easily over hard floors and carpet. Overall, this chair actively seems to promote better posture throughout the working day and makes finding the optimum working position incredibly easy thanks to the many micro adjustments that are available.

Buy now £895.00, Hermanmiller.com

Yaheetech office chair

Best: For quick delivery

  • Weight: 12 kg

  • Seat height: 35-40.6”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Warranty: No

  • Assembly required: Yes

If you suddenly find yourself having to work from home and need a chair quickly, this one offers a nice contemporary design and is available on Amazon Prime, so if you’re signed up to that service you can get next day delivery. The faux leather upholstery is available in black, grey, pink and white and is waterproof which makes cleaning easy, and there is a nice big seating area that will accommodate no end of fidgeting and squirming. The chair came together easily, plus the swivel action is very smooth and will keep the kids entertained for hours when it’s not being used for working.

Buy now £56.99, Amazon.co.uk

Habitat Alma chair

Best: Budget option

  • Weight: 11.85 kg

  • Seat height: 18.8-22.8”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: Manufacturer’s 1-year guarantee

An eye-catching, modern design combines with good body positioning to make this chair an excellent addition to any home office. The back-rest is made up of four distinct pads, which offered just the right amount of support, even if you’re prone to some fidgeting when sat down. The locking tilt mechanism was easy to use and you can choose between pink or grey for the upholstery.

Buy now £100.00, Argos.co.uk

Orbit mesh chair

Best: For adjustable height

  • Weight: 15.5kg

  • Seat height: 26.5-36”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturer guarantee

If you have to work at a breakfast bar, kitchen counter, or you use a drafting table for your work then this chair is designed to get you up to the right height without sacrificing ergonomics. An adjustable foot ring and comfortable meshed back, which moved well with us at our desk, combined with a nice rounded seat pad that reduced pressure on our hamstrings and thighs. The armrests are fixed but comfortable and the chair comes flat packed but was up and ready to go in no time.

Buy now £168.00, Officefurnitureonline.co.uk

Ikea langfjall chair

Best: Ikea office chair

  • Weight: 12.27kg

  • Seat height: 17-20.8”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: No

This is a well designed chair that won’t look out of place if you’re working at a kitchen or dining table and is fully customisable so you can add armrests if required. Very easy to assemble, the design of the seat back offered good support and the height adjusting mechanism was well-engineered and robust enough to cope with plenty of up and down. The fabric-covered foam was comfortable and is available in eight different colour choices to suit your taste and your walls. The castors rolled easily and are fitted with a weight-activated brake mechanism that anchors the chair when you stand up, and releases when you sit down. While this is currently out of stock, you can leave your email to be notified when it next becomes available.

Buy now £90.00, Ikea.com

West Elm cooper mid-century chair

Best: For all day use

Weight: 26kg

  • Seat height: 17-19.6”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: No

You can give your working day the Mad Men makeover with this stylish Seventies inspired seat with adjustable height and tilt. It’s one of those chairs that will only look better with age and is more comfortable to sit in as the leather ages. The leather detailing extends to cording around the armrests to make this a real statement chair that will enhance the look of any home office space. The large seat pad meant that we could shift position easily and there was good support from the cushioned backrest, which felt firm and encouraged a good upright position even when sitting back in the chair.

Buy now £699.00, Westelm.co.uk

House by John Lewis hinton office chair

Best: For posture

  • Weight: 12 kg

  • Seat height: 45-54cm

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: 2-year guarantee

This upholstered seat offered good support from the seat padding and mesh backrest, with a smooth height adjustment. We really liked the vertical flip-up design of the armrests which makes the chair easy to tuck right in under your desk once you’ve finished work. We found that the ergonomics of the chair really encouraged a more upright sitting position, which could be good if you’re a sloucher. If you have teenagers in the house with lots of studying to do, this is a good option.

Buy now £139.00, Johnlewis.com

Alphason Atlanta office chair

Best: For long legs

  • Weight: 12.1 kg

  • Seat height: 18.5-22”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: No

This mesh and fabric chair is designed with a rounded front on the seat pad, which slopes slightly downward, reducing any pressure on your legs if you have to sit for an extended period. The chair’s lockable tilt mechanism is easy to use and the mesh offered good support to the upper back while assembling it was very straightforward. Make sure to leave your email to be notified when it’s back in stock, as it is currently unavailable.

Buy now £85.00, Johnlewis.com

Ryman high back leather faced executive chair

Best: For lumbar support

  • Weight: 12kg

  • Seat height: 18-23”

  • Swivel: Yes

  • Assembly required: Yes

  • Warranty: No

Want that seventies boardroom vibe at home? Then this faux leather upholstered throwback is a comfortable adjustable chair that allows you to play around with the height and backrest according to your height. Lumbar support was good and the padded contours of the chair supported spine and legs effectively. The chair rolled well on the castors over hard floor or carpet and we found that the padded head support helped us avoid any pains in the neck throughout the working day.

Buy now £116.99, Ryman.co.uk

The verdict: Ergonomic desk chairs

A high quality task chair with minimal parts, the Humanscale World chair was built with longevity in mind and will look as good in ten years as it does today. A perfect combination of both form and function, the design of the chair allows you to stretch, reach and change posture with continued support in all the right areas, supporting the spine throughout a day in front of the computer screen.

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For the latest offers on furniture, try the links below:

For more ways to make working from home more comfortable, read our guide to the best small desks that are perfect for compact spaces

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