Finding a quality office chair is difficult enough without adding in budgetary restraints. The moment you add in a price cap — we’ll say $200 — your options become extremely limited — particularly if you’re concerned with extra niceties, such as lumbar support. Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work of sorting through hoards of seats to find a wide-spanning selection of the best affordable office chairs that will not only look great in your work space, they’ll support your back and legs, too — all without breaking the bank.
The Importance of a Comfortable Office Chair
Studies have shown that prolonged periods of sitting can pose a risk to your health, whether you’re sitting in front of the boob tube at home, stuck in traffic, or — gulp — perched at your work desk. Unless we take proper precautions with our seating, sitting can prove hazardous to our backs in particular, making your chair selection all the more important.
When we’re sitting, our pelvis rotates backward and the lumbar lordosis (the normal inward curvature of the lumbar region) is flattened, increasing the pressure load on our intervertebral discs and spine. Sitting in a slumped position — something we’re all guilty of doing from time to time — is known to increase disc pressure even more, which in turn can aggravate chronic lower back pain.
What is the most affordable office chair?
There are a lot of office chairs on the market, from the cheap and basic models you’ll probably want to steer clear of if you’re sitting at your desk for long periods to those bulky, unsightly designs that can often reach the thousand-dollar-plus mark. The word “ergonomic” tends to be synonymous with “expensive” — but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, some of the best ergonomic office chairs we found rung in at less than $100. Better yet, they’ll not only only a treat to sit in, they’ll look nice in your home. Read on to discover FIRST for Women’s top picks for the best affordable office chairs.
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Best Balance Ball Desk Chair
Gaiam Balance Ball Chair
Where to buy: $69.98, Amazon
Gaiam's alternative balance ball chair was created with the help of top chiropractor, Dr. Randy Weinzoft, with a work-life balance in mind. Though it might look a bit odd, it provides all-day ergonomic support for achieving a healthier back and a stronger core. It also alleviates aching arms and back pain by promoting micro movements and engaging your stomach muscles throughout the day. It comes with an air pump and there are nine colors to choose from.
Best Kneeling Chair
Flash Furniture Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Where to buy: $78.29, Amazon
Flash Furniture's innovative, nifty little stool has become quite popular for people who want to support their body's natural posture in an ergonomic manner throughout the day. Designed to strengthen the lower back muscles, helping spinal-alignment and relieving back pain in the process, the supportive, padded seat of this stool is firm. Its knee rests, meanwhile, are filled with foam for a comfortable experience. It's height-adjustable and comes in a natural wood finish. What’s more, it has dual wheel casters, so you can easily roll from your desk to the printer (or even to the coffee machine).
Best Swivel Accent Chair
Coaster Home Furnishings Round Tufted Swivel Chair
Where to buy: $118.57 (Originally $165), Amazon
Those seeking a more elevated design element from their office chair will want to check out this round-back tufted swivel chair from Coaster Home Furnishings. With its white faux leather upholstery, you won’t have to compromise between comfort and style. It's got a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds, and this pick is both height and tilt adjustable for a custom feel.
"This chair is exactly the color in the picture, goes together easily, is comfortable for all sized people, and the lever controls are smooth and easy to reach," wrote one reviewer.
Added another: "This is an amazing and super comfortable chair."
Best Serta Office Chair
Serta Executive Hannah Chair
Where to buy: $103.99, Amazon
An executive desk chair that's as kind to your back as it is to your wallet? Yes, please! Serta's executive office Hannah chair features a soft-pillowed headrest and layered body pillows, plus a contoured lumbar for the best possible lower-back support. It's also designed to lessen pressure on the back of the legs, providing increased circulation and reduced fatigue. Sculpted arms offer über-soft pads for maximum arm comfort, and the seat is height-adjustable with a reclining mechanism, so you can lean back at your leisure. What's more, it comes in four different colors, so you're sure to find a hue to match your furnishings.
Best High Back Office Chair
AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair
Where to buy: $111.49, Amazon
For a high-back executive chair that provides sleek, professional style and enough support for all-day comfort, look no further than this best-selling design from AmazonBasics. It’s fully adjustable with curved contours to keep your back properly aligned. You can raise and lower the seat and control the tilt of the chair, which can rock back and forth or sit completely still. Its upholstery comes courtesy of bonded black leather and PVC for a smooth, supple feel to boot — aah!
Best Mesh Office Chair
Office Star Mesh Back Manager's Chair
Where to buy: $165.59, Amazon
This Office Star desk chair has a breathable mesh seat and back to support your spine. Its one-touch pneumatic seat height adjustment and synchro-tilt feature allows you to customize its positioning for better circulation and weight distribution. The lumbar cushioning enhances the natural curve of your spine, while the padded flip-up arms provide plenty of freedom to move about. And, if all of that wasn't enough to intrigue you, this mesh chair is also manufactured with reduced chemicals and processes low in volatile organic compounds, meaning you'll be promoting a better air quality and keeping your work environment more eco-friendly.
Best Office Chair With Flip Up Arms
Where to buy: From $103.08 (Originally $144), Amazon
Combining old time charm with cozy comfort, this Modway Edge chair is a versatile and durable model with a sturdy two-tone nylon base. While it has a breathable mesh back for lumbar support and a padded waterfall leatherette seat, we're most impressed by its practical flip-up arms, which allow for a freeing, flexible work environment. You can adjust the seat up and down; backwards or forwards, and its handy wheels easily glide around on any flooring surface. Choose from eight colors: black, black vinyl, blue, brown, gray, tan, white, and red.
Best Fabric Office Chair
Serta Ashland Office Chair
Where to buy: $161.47 (Originally $199.99), Amazon
We’re loving this Serta Ashland chair, which is draped in an elegant twill fabric with a chrome finish. This stylish chair is height-adjustable and has a 360-degree swivel for maximum mobility. A memory foam seat and arms with pocket coils offer up plenty of comfort. While we’re particularly biased to the winter river gray, the chair comes in nine different shades, so you’re sure to find one that suits your tastes.
Best Ergonomic Office Chair
Where to buy: $249.49, Wayfair
With an amazing kinetic support feature called the AIR Lumbar, this full-adjustable chair flexes and pivots with your body, adapting with you as you lean and twist throughout the work day. Boasting an eco-friendly bonded leather and deep, ergonomically-layered body pillows, it offers up every creature comfort you could ever hope for in a desk chair — and then some.
Best Convertible Office Chair
Office Factor Reception Chair
Where to buy: From $139, Amazon
Stylish and cozy, this Office Factor find is a great option that can be transformed from an arm chair to an armless one, thanks to its easy convertible flip-up design. In addition, it rocks, tilts, and rolls wherever you want it to.
One of its many five-star reviews reads, “Great chair and great customer service. The chair is in a class of its own when it comes to individualism. I look forward to sitting in it with its rocking ability, its tilt lock, the arms that can raise up and allow for it to completely roll under my desk... I say you have to buy it, try it, and you will know exactly what I am talking about. The assembly was easy enough for me to do alone... I love my chair!”
Best Mid Back Office Chair
Modway JiveMid Back Office Chair
Where to buy: $152.35, Amazon
The Modway Jive is a comfortable and stylish seat that's both durable and practical. It has a ribbed vinyl back for natural posture support, and the cushion and arms are padded for an extra-luxe feel. What's more, these armrests are designed to give you a 90-degree wrist angle that's perfect for typing. You can adjust and tilt the chair, locking it into place when you find your comfort peak.