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 2021. 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.
Most Comfortable Chairs Unveiled
- Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair – Overall Most Comfortable
- Ergousit Mesh Office Chair – Best for the Back and Neck
- Sihoo M57 Ergonomic Office Chair – Comfortable on a Budget
- Secretlab Titan – Most Comfortable Gaming Chair
- Office Factor Big and Tall – Best for Large People
- Sidiz T50 – Most Comfortable Fabric Chair
- Ticova Executive Chair – Most Comfortable Chair with Footrest
- Newport Taupe Recliner – Most Comfortable for Reading
- Homall Gaming Recliner – Most Comfortable for Console Gaming
Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair – Overall Most Comfortable
“Without a doubt the most comfortable, chair I’ve ever sat on.” That’s the one line summary of the Gesture chair given by a recent owner in 2021. 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. Any talk of a truly comfortable office chair must include excellent neck support, considering the prevalence of neck pain in office workers.
The 360 arms on the Gesture chair is also worth mentioning. The one-of-a-kind swivel design lets you move the arms really close or far away from you to provide continuous support regardless of your body size or sitting position.
Finally, we have the seat on the Gesture 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
Ergousit Mesh Office Chair – Best for the Back
If you suffer from back pain, the most comfortable office chairs aren’t actually those that are ultra plush where your body sinks into them. Quite the opposite, what you should be looking for is a chair with a well defined “s” backrest that contours in the right places to help maintain the natural curvature of your spine. And few office chairs do that as well as the Ergousit in this price range.
The real star of the Ergousit is the lumbar support. It is self adjusting to support your back no matter if you recline, sit straight, or pivot. You can easily and stably tilt, rock, and recline up to 135° as well. It provides such exemplary support that one satisfied buyer, who suffers from back pain, says he’s now able to sit for many hours on end without any pain.
The Ergousit’s ’s headrest can be moved up and down to match your height. It even angles to support your neck in every position. Complementing this are the 3D armrests with customizable height, length and angle.
It still has room for improvement though. While the chair with its metal base is rated for up to 275lbs of weight, the flexible mesh seat may start to give for heavier people weighing past 210 lbs.
If your main focus in a comfortable office chair is the back and lumbar support, the Ergousit is definitely worth looking into.
- Adjustable headrest and lumbar support cradles the neck and back
- Can tilt recline up to a back-saving 135°
- Has 3D armrests
- Highly breathable and waterfall seat
- Mesh seat not strong enough for people over 210 lbs
Sihoo M57 Ergonomic 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 Sihoo M57 Ergonomic 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 $200 (at time of writing).
With a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds, the Sihoo M57 Chair’s breathable mesh back and dial-adjusted lumbar support will leave you feeling fresh after a day of work. In fact, in our review of the near identical Sihoo M18, the lumbar support stood out as one of the best features of the chair.
Aside from the pneumatic lift which lets you tweak the seat height, you can also adjust 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 seat padding is on the thin side, while the headrest in our testing can go out of position too easily, since the angle isn’t lockable.
All in all, the Sihoo M57 Chair is a highly adjustable and comfortable office chair on a budget.
- Has a breathable mesh back
- Comes with a dial-adjusted lumbar support
- Has adjustable headrest and armrests
- Seat padding on the thin side
- Headrest angle doesn’t lock into place
Secretlab Titan – Most Comfortable Gaming Chair
Suggested Retail Price: $419
Many gaming chairs sacrifice comfort in the name of aesthetics, such as overly large side bolsters and torso restricting wings. Not so with the Secretlab Titan, which is simply one of the most comfortable chairs we’ve reviewed, gaming chair or otherwise.
Let’s start from the inside. The Secretlab Titan is extremely well padded using high end cold cured foam that won’t sag even under heavy weight. In our experience, even after 1 year of continuous sitting, the seat looks no different than on the day we received the chair:
The armrests on the Titan are also one of the most premium and comfortable we’ve had the pleasure of resting our arms on. Think wide, non plastic, and easy to adjust with a robust locking mechanism so all adjustments to the arms actually stick.
I’d be remiss not to mention the backrest on the Titan as well. Yes, it’s also very well padded, but what impressed me the most is the high end multi-tilt mechanism. Apart from being able to rock and recline up to 165 degrees, the angle of the seat itself can also be locked anywhere between flat and 15 degrees to create an almost zero-gravity sensation.
The only improvement I can think of for the Titan is the built-in lumbar support. Yes it’s depth adjustable via a knob, but even at its most protrusive, it only comes out around 2″. If the curvature in your lower back is especially pronounced, you may want to augment it with an external lumbar pillow.
All in all, the Secretlab Titan is one of the most comfortable gaming chairs that we’ve tested.
- Extremely well padded with tear proof PU leather upholstery
- Multi-tilt mechanism with reclining backrest and lockable seat tilt
- Thick comfortable armrests
- Lightweight, durable aluminum frame
- Neck pillow doesn’t come down low enough for short people
- Lumbar support may not be protrusive enough for some people
Office Factor Big and Tall – 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 Office Factor Big and Tall Chair is amongst the most comfortable you’ll find. With a sturdy metal frame, wide seat and ultra thick padding all around, this chair can handle up to a whopping 500 lbs.
The Office Factor Chair’s seat measures 23″ wide at its widest, and has enough padding to make you feel like you’re sitting atop a cloud. Even the armrests are thickly padded.
One large owner of the Office Factor that measures 6’2” and 250lbs calls it by far the best executive chair he’s ever purchased due to it being able to support his body well while other chairs have failed.
The Office Factor isn’t without limitations, however. The backrest only tilts back a bit, and the armrests can’t be adjusted.
As long as you don’t mind these limitations, the Office Factor has the build quality and padding to keep even very large dudes comfortable.
- Extremely well padded for a couch-like sitting experience
- Study metal frame rated for 500 pounds
- Easy to assemble
- Only reclines a little bit back
- Armrests can’t be adjusted
SIDIZ T50 Executive Chair– Most Comfortable Fabric Seat
If you like the breathability of mesh but the feel of leather, you might want to check out the SIDIZ T50 Executive Chair. This highly ergonomic and comfortable office chair comes with a fabulous fabric seat with a removeable cover for easy cleaning.
The Korean made Sidiz T50 shares a similar DNA with much pricier chairs such as the Herman Miller Embody, at a fraction of the cost.
Among the high end features of the Sidiz T50 is a seat that can forward tilt similar to the Herman Miller Aeron. In our review of the chair, we found this can really ease back pressure after a few hours of sitting in a normal horizontal position:
We also appreciated the highly waterfall edge design of the seat, plus the ability to adjust its depth. All this ensures there is minimal pressure at the end of your thighs regardless of your body size.
The Sidiz T50 we purchased to review didn’t come with a headrest, though this is now the default option, making it that much better.
- Tons of adjustments such as seat forward slope and depth
- 5 tilting positions to control amount of back movement
- Highly breathable yet comfortable fabric seat
- Seat padding on the thin side
- Chair glides too easily on hardwood surfaces
Ticova Office Chair – Best Option with Footrest
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 Ticova Reclining Office Chair is our pick because of its thick padding, recline function, and retractable footrest.
During work time, you can keep the tall 33″ high backrest and the 21″ wide seat at a 90° or slightly reclined angle. When you want to take a nap, just lock the backrest at a 140° 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, the Ticova 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 300 pounds of weight.
At its affordable price point, it’s understandable that it has some limitations. The Ticova’s armrests rises and lowers with the backrest, and as such, aren’t independently height adjustable.
At the end of the day, the Ticova 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 all around
- High backrest that can both tilt and recline up to 140°
- Has a retractable footrest
- Does not come with adjustable armrests
Newport Taupe Swivel Recliner – Most Comfortable for Reading
There’s a reason why there’s always someone hording the recliner in a home – for reading a book or watching the TV, there is simply nothing more comfortable to sit on. The Newport Taupe is our pick for the best recliner for reading for a couple of reasons.
First of all, for anyone that cares about aesthetics, the Newport Taupe is one elegant piece of furniture. The chair and matching ottoman both sit on top solid walnut wood bases that instantly elevates the status of any room they occupy. We also love the creamy light brown color of the upholstery.
Secondly, the Taupe earns high marks for comfort. The backrest, armrests, seat, and ottoman are all generously padded to create an experience unlike that of laying in your bed. The ottoman in particular trumps any flimsy footrest in providing a truly stable and luxury support for your lower legs as you straighten them.
The backrest on the Taupe can recline up to 135 degrees. It’s not quite as steep as we’d like, but more than adequate for any type of relaxation short of sleeping in it.
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.
Its one limitation is that it only comes in one size. To give you an idea, the seating area measures 19.5″ width by 19.5″ deep. One large owner over 225lbs found it a little cramped for his body.
- Sophisticated, classy design with solid wood base
- Stable base that swivels
- Large comfortable ottoman to support your legs
- Only comes in one size
- Bonded leather may peel over time
Homall Gaming Recliner Chair – Most Comfortable for Console Gaming
For lounging or console gaming in the living room, nothing quite provides the type of relaxing experience a recliner can. The Homall Gaming Recliner with its wide seat, near 180 degrees reclining backrest, and kick out footrest may just be the chair you need to really around the house.
Unlike the chairs that we’ve listed so far, the Homall doesn’t come with a piston base and casters. Instead, it rests on four legs that are extremely stable with no chance of the chair toppling over or rolling around.
The Homall wouldn’t be much of a recliner without a robust reclining mechanism. The backrest can lean back close to horizontal. At such a position good leg support is a must, which is why the chair also comes with a kick-out footrest.
It’s worth highlighting as well just how budget friendly the Homall Recliner is. A full blown recliner can easily cost $500+, while the Homall at the time of review comes in at less than $200.
The one area where the Homall falls short is in the lumbar support. It’s rather stiff and can’t be removed. Luckily most people who dislike it seem to eventually get used to the pillow.
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 without breaking the bank.
- 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
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.