What is the most comfortable office chair out there? Is it a particular brand such as Herman Miller? Or is it a specific style, such as a high back chair with a headrest? If only it was that simple.
The truth is, there is no one most comfortable office chair, just like there isn’t one set of clothes that fits us all comfortably. However, I think we can all agree a wooden kitchen chair won’t be the most comfortable to sit on for a long time. Why? Because it lacks any of the fundamental building blocks that make for a comfortable sitting experience, at least not longer than 30 minutes.
With that preface, in this guide, we spent hours looking at over 60 different chairs from a myriad of manufacturers to come up with what we think are the most comfortable office chairs you can get in 2019. When it came to the criteria we used, we went back to the basics of what all comfortable office chairs share- excellent ergonomics, high level of adjustability, comfortable materials, and perhaps most important of them all, lots of endorsements and feedback from actual owners of the chairs.
Let’s just say if you’re looking for an excellent office chair that won’t have you constantly shifting or moaning in discomfort, you could do a lot worse than any of the chairs below.
Herman Miller Embody Chair – Overall Most Comfortable
A chair that’s so comfortable you feel like you’re stably floating. That’s what the Herman Miller Embody Chair is. Years of research by designers Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber and more than 20 physicians and PhDs resulted in this high-end, ergonomic chair which continuously delivers outstanding pressure distribution, comfort, and support while you work.
Deemed as the first “health positive chair”, the Embody chair features a patented Backfit adjustment. Basically the chair’s back automatically adjusts to your spine’s natural curve to provide continuous support even as you shift positions. One user who has been suffering from upper back pain for ten years lauded how the Embody helped with his condition by allowing him to effortlessly change positions more often.
The Embody also boasts of Pixelated Support, a feature wherein the seat and back consist of four layers of intelligent and breathable materials, encouraging blood circulation and boosting focus by evenly distributing the pressure. As one buyer has noted, no matter what your body shape is, the chair will wrap around you, so you can work for extended periods of time comfortably and healthily.
Another point that makes the Embody chair very comfortable is its adjustable seat depth. There are two levers on the side which you can use to match the seat depth to your thigh length, minimizing the pressure on your thighs.
At its price range, though, I’m disappointed that it doesn’t have 4D armrests and a dedicated headrest. They are only height and width adjustable, meaning you can push them farther or closer to your body depending on your body size. However, they do not angle inwards or out, which for people with long arms are needed to feel supported while they type.
Despite its steep price of about $1500, I highly recommend the Embody for being the overall most comfortable chair in today’s market. Aside from its ergonomic benefits, I love that it’s very eco-friendly and that it comes with a whopping 12-year warranty.
- Sturdy build that is usable on various surfaces
- Height-adjustable to accommodate tall and short users
- Footrest rocks back and forth to facilitate active sitting and foot massaging
- Large surface area to so your feet are not cramped
- Non-lockable tilt for people that want to lock in the angle of the footrest.
- Full manufacturer’s guarantee period is quite short
Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair – Runner Up for Most Comfortable
Slightly cheaper than the Embody, the award-winning Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair has a headrest and more adjustable armrests. As its name suggests, the Gesture shines for being able to provide a truly comfortable sitting experience that adapts to your gestures and movements as you work.
The Gesture’s seat, 3D LiveBack, and lumbar support all work together as one to consistently support you in every position. There’s also the robust headrest as well that comes with a 5-inch height adjustment range, 90° rotation, and 4 inches of forward and backward pivot movement. One owner of the chair labeled it as one of his all-time best purchases for its ability to keep his back feeling fresh even after an entire day of work.
Next, we have the 360 arms which can support your arms and shoulders whether you’re mousing, typing, or using your smartphone. Finally, we have the seat which features adaptive bolstering. This works by letting you adjust the seat depth to match your upper leg bone length, minimizing the pressure to your thighs and the back of your knees.
Aside from its hefty price, the Gesture’s main drawback for me is its lack of breathability. Steelcase equipped it with really thick foam so that it can support the user in every position. But, this is a double-edged sword since its thermal insulation has increased as well.
Other than that, the Gesture is a great buy for anyone looking support during work hours. You even get to choose between three sizes and 17 beautiful colors.
- Most versatile headrest and armrests of all chairs
- Seat and back work together to support the user in all positions
- Available in many different colors and sizes
- Has poor ventilation
X Chair X4 Leather Executive Chair – Best for the Back and Neck
If you don’t mind splurging to get the best office chair for your neck and back support, the X Chair X4 Leather Executive Chair is our pick for you. Upholstered in premium leather that looks and feels luxurious, it combines dynamic lumbar support, SciFloat Infinite Recline, and independently adjustable headrest to soothe your neck and back all day long.
The X4’s headrest can be moved up and down, up to 4 inches, to match your height. It even pivots to support your neck in every position. Complementing this is the 4D armrests with customizable height, width, depth, and angle.
The real star is, of course, the back. Its Dynamic Variable Lumbar (DVL) support conforms to your back no matter if you recline, sit straight, or pivot. You can easily and stably tilt, rock, and recline up to 138° as well with the SciFloat Infinite Recline. It provides such exemplary support that one satisfied buyer, who suffers from back pain, raved about the X4’s ability to reduce the pressure on his spinal discs.
It still has room for improvement though. A locking mechanism that keeps the headrest and armrests from moving after they’ve been adjusted would complete the package.
The X4 is so comfortable that you have to experience it to believe it. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an existing neck or back issue.
- Adjustable headrest and lumbar support cradles the neck and back
- Can recline up to 138°
- Has 4D armrests
- Covered with premium leather
- Pricey (slightly cheaper than the Herman Miller)
- Headrest and armrests do not have a locking mechanism
Homall Gaming Recliner Chair – Most Comfortable for Gaming
For a reasonable price, you can keep yourself comfy while you game with the Homall Gaming Recliner Chair. A stationary recliner with an esports vibe, this product is softer and bigger than typical gaming racing chairs, making it the ideal choice for long periods of comfortable gaming.
Unlike the chairs that we’ve listed so far, the Homall doesn’t come with swivel and casters. Instead, it has a stationary base that can handle up to 265 pounds. With the base keeping you stable, you can recline the backrest to up to 180° and pull out the adjustable footrest whenever you want to take a nap.
Completing the package are the thick high-density padding and the built-in headrest and lumbar support to cradle your neck and back. It’s so comfy that one gamer who got the Homall said that his mom used it during her knee placement recovery.
I find the Homall lacking in adjustability though. Depending on my position, I sometimes find myself wanting to remove or adjust the lumbar pillow. It’s something I can’t do with this unit since the pillow is built in.
All in all, the Homall Gaming Recliner Chair is a good addition to any entertainment room where you want to stay comfortable while you play. Plus, you can buy this with confidence since the company has excellent customer service.
- Generously padded
- Can be reclined up to 180°
- Comes with an adjustable footrest
- Very affordable
- Lumbar support can’t be adjusted
- Faux leather feels fragile and prone to peeling
Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair – Comfortable on a Budget
On a tight budget but still looking for a comfortable office chair that won’t fall apart after just a few months? The Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair is that chair. On top of the mesh back and the lockable reclining function, it offers a lot of adjustability in terms of the headrest, lumbar support, armrest, and seat height, all for under $300 (at time of writing).
With a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds, the Duramont Adjustable Chair’s breathable mesh back and dial-adjusted lumbar support will leave you feeling fresh after a day of work. In fact, according to one buyer, the adjustable lumbar support is the clincher in his decision to buy it.
Aside from the pneumatic lift which lets you tweak the seat height, you can alter the angle and height of the headrest as well. As for the armrests, you can modify its height and distance from the seat, allowing you to keep your wrist in a neutral position while you work.
Of course, it has some limitations as well due to its low cost. The foam is on the thin side, and after a couple of weeks, some users could hear squeaking sounds when they used it. This is easily solved by using some lubricant on the joints, however.
All in all, the Duramont Adjustable Chair is a highly adjustable and comfortable office chair on a budget. Also, just like the Homall, you can buy this without any worries since their customer support is very helpful.
- Has a breathable mesh back
- Comes with a dial-adjusted lumbar support
- Has adjustable headrest and armrests
- Padding is thin
- Needs oiling after just a couple of weeks
HomCom Armchair Recliner and Ottoman Set – Comfortable for Reading
When I read a good book, I get so immersed that I often stay in laid back position for too long. This makes it a necessity to have something like the very affordable HomCom Armchair Recliner and Ottoman Set. With its thick padding and lockable recline function, it can support my body while I read.
The HomCom’s backrest, armrests, seat, and footrest are all covered in 2.5-inch thick high-density foam which is then upholstered with soft but durable PU leather. The result? A very comfortable chair that you relax on for hours. Aside from not taking up much space, one happy buyer mentioned that it’s a great chair for both reading and watching the sun go down.
You can use the lockable adjustment knob at the right to recline the backrest. Then, just put your feet up on the included ottoman to complete the position. Aside from having a maximum capacity of 285 pounds, I also like that it has a swivel to go with the stationary base.
Its one limitation is that it only comes in one size. To give you an idea, its backrest is 25.2” high and 18.9” wide while its seat is 20.1” deep and 19.9” wide. When positioned upright, its dimensions are 30.5″ L x 27″ W x 38” H. When reclined, it measures at 42.5″ L x 27″ W x 32.5″ H.
Now, the next time you want to read, you can do so in comfort with the HomCom Armchair Recliner and Ottoman Set. Of course, aside from reading, you can also use it when watching your favorite show, relaxing to some zen music, and many other things.
- Has a lockable recline function
- Has 2.5-inch thick padding
- Only comes in one size
- Backrest might be too low for some
Mysuntown Office Mesh Chair – Most Comfortable Mesh Chair
If you tend to sweat a lot while working, your chair might not be giving you enough ventilation. A breathable unit like the Mysuntown Office Mesh Chair is just what you need to stay sweat-free while still having adequate support during long work hours.
The headrest, backrest, and seat of the Mysuntown are covered with highly-resilient breathable mesh that allows air to easily circulate. It might look fragile because of the thin mesh, but this chair has a 300-pound maximum capacity rating. It’s so breathable that it can keep you cool while working in summer.
Of course, support is essential to comfort too. This is why Mysuntown added a 3-tiered backrest that includes lumbar support and an adjustable headrest. Then, you have the 3D armrests which can be modified with a twist of a knob. To complete the package, there’s the recline function which can tilt up to 135°, the perfect angle to minimize stress on your spine.
The only limitations I can think of are its size and the lack of lumbar support adjustability. For users taller than 6’5”, the height of the backrest might not be enough.
All in all, the Mysuntown is one of the most comfortable mesh chairs that we’ve tried that is ultra-breathable at the same time. Even after a full day of work, you’ll be feeling fresh and tension-free.
- Three tier backrest that individually conforms to different segments of your back
- Headrest, backrest, and flexible lumbar support soothes the neck and back
- Made of breathable mesh material
- Has 3D armrests and a 135° recline function
- Backrest height might not be enough for users taller than 6’5”
- Lumbar support is not adjustable
OFM Avenger Series Big and Tall Leather Executive Chair – Most Comfortable for Big People
Big and tall people users need to put in more effort to look for comfortable chairs that can handle their weight and size. For such users, the OFM Avenger Series Big and Tall Leather Executive Chair is amongst the most comfortable you’ll find. With a high backrest and an extra-wide seat, this one can handle up to 400 pounds with ease.
To start, the backrest is 24-inch wide and 49-inch high while the seat is 24-inch wide and 22.5-inch deep, making it the ideal chair for people with large physiques. Aside from being easy to assemble, a 6’5” and 260-pound buyer lauded this chair for being perfectly proportioned for big and tall users.
Of course, let’s not forget about comfort. The seat of the OFM chair is covered with 5-inch thick padding while the upholstery material is made of brown, supple bonded leather. Many owners have raved about how good the material feels.
It has a couple of limitations though. The backrest only reclines a bit, and the armrests can’t be adjusted.
As long as you don’t mind these limitations, the OFM Executive Chair is very comfortable for big and tall users. Not to mention that the price is quite affordable for a heavy duty chair.
- Has a high backrest and an extra-wide seat
- Can handle up to 400 pounds
- Thickly padded with supple leather
- Only reclines a little bit back
- Armrests can’t be adjusted
SIDIZ T50 Home & Office/Executive Chair– Great Alternative to the Embody Chair
If you like the breathability of the Duramont or the Mysuntown Office Mesh Chairs in a higher end package, you might want to check out the SIDIZ T50 Executive Chair. Though slightly more expensive, the T50 shares more of its DNA with higher end chairs such as the Herman Miller Embody, at a fraction of the cost.
The T50’s curved backrest will help you retain your spine’s natural curve. It’s even better if you pay a little extra for the optional headrest and lumbar support. And as I’ve mentioned, this chair has good ventilation thanks to its mesh back. When you want to take a break from work, just use the lever on the lower left side to choose from the different recline positions.
I also love that it has 3D armrests, so I can adjust it to keep my arms at a neutral position while working. Its main selling point for me, though, is its waterfall-edged seat. It is padded with memory foam so that there’s no digging into my thighs as I sit.. Plus, you can customize the seat slope and depth to fit the length of your thighs. As one user has mentioned, this is a good low-cost option to the more expensive Gesture.
The only drawback is that the company doesn’t always have the optional headrests in the color that you might want. Unless you want to settle with having different colors in one chair, it’d be best to ask the seller when their next stock will be available.
All in all, the T50 provides good value for your money in terms of comfort and support. Its contemporary design would look great in any office.
- Has 3D armrests and a breathable mesh back
- Has an easy-to-adjust recline function
- Memory foam seat slope and depth are adjustable
- Need to pay extra for headrest
Duramont Reclining Office Chair – Most Comfortable for Napping
If you often find yourself working too late in the office, you might want to go for an office chair that you can nap in. For this, the Duramont Reclining Office Chair is our pick because of its thick padding, recline function, and retractable footrest.
During work time, you can keep the 28.3-inch high backrest and the 19.7-inch wide waterfall-edged seat at a 90° or slightly reclined angle. When you want to take a nap, just lock the backrest at a 155° angle and take out the footrest. It works great for wellness breaks, as one happy buyer has mentioned.
It goes without saying that a stable base and durable build are must-haves for chairs that will be used for sleeping. Fortunately, this Duramont unit has what it takes, from its heavy-duty base and casters to its thick padding and durable PU leather. Also, it can handle up to 250 pounds of weight.
At its affordable price point, it’s understandable that it has some limitations. The Duramont’s armrests rises and lowers with the backrest, and as such, aren’t independently height adjustable.
At the end of the day, the Duramont Reclining Office Chair is still the most comfortable office chair for napping among the many chairs we’ve looked at. It’s also a great bonus that they have excellent customer service.
- Thickly padded
- High backrest can be reclined up to 155°
- Has a retractable footrest
- Does not come with adjustable armrests
- Doesn’t recline a full 180°
Guide to Picking a Comfortable Office Chair
A headrest is very helpful in cradling your neck as you work. Not only does it allow your neck muscles to relax, it also encourages better blood circulation. Opt for a chair with a headrest that can adjusted in terms of height and angle for best results.
A seat that comes with a pneumatic lift adjustment and is 16 to 21 inches high is a good starting place for most people. Basically, the seat height is dependent on the length of your tibia or lower leg bone.
If your legs are on the short side, use a foot stool to keep your hips and knees at a 90 to 100° angle
For the average user, the width of the seat should be about 17 to 20 inches so that you can move comfortably. Of course, larger users need to look for office chairs with extra wide seats. If your seat is too small, it can restrict blood flow to your lower body, causing pain and irritation.
The length of your femur or upper leg bone will dictate the seat depth that you need. The longer your femur is, the more seat depth you need. Higher end ergonomic office chairs come with adjustable seat depth to fit various physiques.
The seat depth plays an important role in reducing the pressure on the lower body. There should be a 2 to 3 inch gap between the knees and the seat.
- Having inadequate seat depth leads to excessive pressure on the buttocks.
- At the same time, having too much seat depth is bad since it puts pressure on the knees
A seat with a curved, waterfall edge is recommended. This slight slope minimizes the pressure on the back of your thighs and behind the knees. It also boosts the lower limbs’ blood circulation.
Without lumbar support, people have a tendency to slouch, which flattens the lumbar spine’s natural inward curve and causes muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, and back. As such, it is ideal that ergonomic chairs have adjustable lumbar support to fit different body types. Adjust the lumbar support so that it fits the natural curve of your lower back.
The length of your torso will let you know how high a backrest you need. Aim for an ergonomic office chair with a 12 to 19-inch backrest that conforms to your spine’s natural curve. It’s even better if the backrest height and angle are adjustable.
The backrest should be able to recline at least 15°, giving your back enough space to move while still being supportive.
People with conditions such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease will find it more comfortable to work in a reclined position with their feet placed on a footrest. Look for a chair that can recline up to 135 degrees, which according to experts puts the least amount of strain on your spine.
Of course, the recline function should come with a locking mechanism or be tension adjustable.
Since you’ll be seated on your office chair for long periods of time, it needs to be adequately padded to be comfortable. It should be soft enough so that minimal stress is placed on your pelvis without sagging. Some chairs use memory foam padding since it can conform to your unique body shape.
Mesh is recommended if you tend to sweat or live in higher climates.
Since people have different builds, an ergonomic chair should have adjustable armrests that allow the user to customize its height, width, depth, and angle. Armrests that pivot inwards and out is ideal to open up your shoulders and help your arms assume an inverted “v” shape when rested.
The armrests should also be padded to protect the blood vessels and nerves in your arms. Otherwise, it can cause irritation, pain, or numbness to your fingers, hands, and arms.
Swivel and Casters
Office chairs that come with a swivel and casters allow you to reach and move without straining your body.
A five-pronged base is recommended for stability. This is especially important if the chair has a recline function.
Recommendations at a Glance
Comfort for Long Hours of Sitting
If you’re going to be sitting for long periods of time, the key to comfort is having adequate support. Look for an ergonomic chair with superior lumbar support, adjustable armrests, and materials that adapt to the way you sit. The last thing you want is a rigid chair that forces you to see in a particular position to be comfortable for long hours.
As such, for long periods of sitting, I highly recommend the Herman Miller Embody Chair and Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair.
Comfort for People with Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, a backrest that is tall enough to give your entire back ample support is a necessity. Also, according to a study by the University of Alberta Hospital, a seating angle of 135° can minimize back strain and disc pressure. Hence, for back and neck pain, look for an ergonomic chair with a high backrest recline, plus a good headrest that support your head at that angle.
Taking into account those factors, the X Chair X4 Leather Executive Chair is the best pick for back pain since it can recline up to 138°, with an equally robust headrest. Not to mention that it offers excellent lumbar and back support.
Comfort for Reading
When you’re reading, one of the most comfortable positions is to sit in a heavily reclined position, such as in your bed (at least that’s the case for me). If you want to do this outside of your bedroom, you need a chair that comes with either an Ottoman or footrest.
A chair that allows you to lean back and put your feet up on a footrest is a must for comfy reading. Even better if it has adequate padding to support you in all the right places.
For this, I highly recommend the HomCom Armchair Recliner and Ottoman Set.
Comfort for Gaming
When you’re console gaming, you want to have a wide seat that allows you to be comfortable in a variety of sitting positions. Of course, thick cushions that support your body during long periods of playing are a necessity too. And, if you have a footrest to prop your feet on, you’re good to game for many hours on end.
With those things in mind, the Homall Gaming Recliner Chair is a must-try for all gamers out there looking for both comfort and support.
Comfort for Napping
A chair that’s suited for napping is very similar to ones that are used for reading. You want to have a high backrest that can be reclined. A foot rest is a must too for a comfortable napping position.
For this, I recommend checking out the HomCom Armchair Recliner and Ottoman Set and the Duramont Reclining Office Chair.
Which Chair will You Choose?
According to a 2013 study, we spend an average of 13 hours a day sitting. This includes time spent working, watching TV, playing games, reading, and using the computer at home.
Considering that many of us spend over half of our waking hours sitting, investing in a comfortable office chair is a no brainer.