Working from home may afford you the luxury of propping yourself up in bed with your laptop or stretching out on the sofa while you finish the quarterly report. While both are temptingly cosy options, they’re not great for your spine.
With many of us moving to a longer-term hybrid working model, getting the right chair is vital to your home working setup.
Poor working posture can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, backaches, headaches and more. To protect yourself, it’s worth creating a proper workspace in your home with a desk and a high-quality chair.
Ideally, this should be an office chair, as they’re designed to support you over longer periods of time. They come in a variety of designs and in a huge range of prices, but there are a few things that you should look for.
How to choose a home office chair
The NHS recommends that an office chair should be adjustable so it can support your lower back. This means that you should be able to change the height, tilt, and back position. Your chair should be flush with the small of your back to provide good lumbar support.
The relative height of your chair and desk should mean that your arms are by your side and your forearms parallel to the floor. If you find yourself reaching out to the side to use a mouse or elevating your arms, then you’re not properly supported as you work, which can lead to RSI (repetitive strain injury).
You should be sitting with your knees slightly higher than your hips, and your feet planted on the floor. If your desk doesn’t allow for this, a footrest would be a wise investment.
A wheelbase is important to prevent you from having to strain if you often shift around to access a phone or printer. Likewise, a swivelling chair allows you to move naturally if you work on two screens. And if you’re a naturally warm person, a mesh back chair will allow air to circulate around you.
We’ve found a selection of the best office chairs at a range of price points, to help you remain productive and healthy.
If you game a lot, another option is to buy a dedicated
gaming chair. They offer a similar level of support to office chairs, but with the added plus of a design that’s less of a reminder of the 9-5 when you’re outside of office hours.
While a quality ergonomic office chair helps maintain a good posture, sitting down all day is still not recommended. This kind of sedentary living has been described by some as
“the new smoking”, affecting your neck, hips and back, gluteal muscles, and has been linked to DVT, heart disease, diabetes, and varicose veins.
One office option is a standing desk, such as the excellent Flexispot EG8 (which
we’ve reviewed), to offer you the opportunity to work both standing up and sitting down. We’ve also included a chair that doubles as an exercise bike, so you can get your daily dose of exercise during your nine to five.
activity tracker that reminds you to get up and move about each hour is also a great investment for the home office worker as you might find that, without the daily commute, you’re moving around a lot less.
Office Hippo Essentials Mesh-back Swivel Chair
You don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent chair, as this Office Hippo model proves. A mesh back allows for airflow while you work and there are adjustments for height, tilt and something called torsion which means that ‘the user can adjust the tension of the free-floating tilt to match their body weight’.
It’s not the most padded or aesthetically elegant option, but for a reasonable sum, you’ll get a supportive chair that will be a marked improvement over your dining or kitchen variants.
FlexiSpot BackSupport Office Chair BS10
Flexispot offers a wide range of home office furniture, including standing desks, various chairs and even a
Cycle Desk Bike that lets you pedal your way to fitness while finishing off that third quarter finance report. One of the best options for those working from home is the premium BackSupport Office Chair BS10.
This is a modern-looking, fully-adjustable chair that features a spacious and comfortable seat, fabric mesh back to keep you cool, plus a headrest you can position to give you some relief if your neck aches after working too long. The construction is a rigid plastic that looks smart and professional, with the inclusion of a walnut panel on the back adding a nice aesthetic touch. Assembly is very simple, as you just need to screw a few of the parts together, so you’ll be up and running (or down and sitting) in no time at all.
Under the seat there are the normal rods and levers that let you quickly adjust the height of the chair, how much resistance the back offers and your preferred angle, plus the position of the seat itself. Turning the BS10 around reveals a lumber support panel that you can angle to easily put it in the most comfortable position. This should also stop anyone accidentally changing it by fiddling with the controls under the seat.
If you’re looking for a durable, smart and easily adjustable office chair, then the Flexispot BS10 is one that should be high on your list. If the £399.99/$399.99 price tag is a little outside of your budget, then you can get a decent selection of the features in the
Flexispot BS8 that’s also great and costs £299.99/$299.99, although we’ve got our eye on that Desk Bike.
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has a range of office chairs, but the Markus may be the best blend of style, features and price.
It has a fully adjustable seat angle and height, the mesh-back should prevent things getting too hot on a warmer day, and the castors have brakes built-in so that the chair doesn’t roll back when you get up. Add to this a 10-year guarantee and the Markus is a solid option.
Farnham Executive Cream Leather Manager Chair
For those who want a little more luxury without a hefty price tag, the Farnham Executive chair comes with a deep, padded leather seat that promises plenty of comfort. As you’d expect, it’s adjustable so that you can match the tilt and seat angle to suit your particular frame.
The two-year guarantee (for up to eight hours of use per day) doesn’t quite match that of the Markus, but the design seems sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of the 9-5.
Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair
If money is no object, the Herman Miller Aeron is one of the finest office chairs available. The design pays incredible attention to every detail. Its 8Z Pellicle suspension material (AKA fancy mesh) allows air movement around the entire body to prevent any build of excessive heat, plus ‘eight latitudinal zones of varying tension’ to provide comfort and support for both the sacrum and lumbar regions.
Everything is adjustable and built to hold its position once you find the perfect mixture of angles and height.
It’s not cheap by any means, but considering how much time you may spend sitting in it each day, the Aeron could be an investment that you reap the benefit of on a daily basis.
Secretlab Omega 2020 Dark Knight
An office chair doesn’t have to be free of character. As they are a large, reasonably permanent fixture in your home office, you might want one that also reflects your personality. There are various themed options available, but our favourite has to be the Secretlab Omega 2020 Dark Knight.
As the name suggests, this full-leather seat is discreetly adorned with Batman emblems. It’s not just a vanity piece for fans of the caped crusader however, as its sturdy construction features adjustable angles for the seat and armrests.
The chair also comes with Memory Foam pillows for both your head and lumbar regions, adding to the support and comfort. In truth, it’s really a gaming chair, but as they are built to withstand long play sessions and the occasional beverage spillage, they also make ideal office chairs as well.
Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair
A healthy office chair isn’t all about sitting still with your back straight. You can choose a chair that doubles up as a fitness bike so you can raise your heartbeat and metabolism even while tackling boring spreadsheets or writing emails.
The Sit2Go Fitness Chair offers a comfortable, height-adjustable seat with a breathable mesh fabric backrest and supportive seat cushion. There are more ergonomic office chairs but none that encourage you to get exercising while still being able to work at your desk.
Its maker, Flexispot, is well-known for its standing desks, and the Sit2Go fits in well with such a desk, as it will fit under a raised desk, enabling knees raised for peddling.
It cycles quietly, with adjustable resistance levels, so won’t disturb your co-workers or force you to mute on video calls. It keeps the mind alert and active during work and creative activities.
It’s not a Peloton or pro spin machine, but it does let you get some exercise in while working, playing games or watching Netflix.
It’s easy to assemble and can be rolled away on its rolling casters.
Marks & Spencer Latimer office chair
This stylish offering comes courtesy of M&S. You’ll have to put it together yourself, so you’ll need to be reasonably handy with a screwdriver but once it’s done, your home office will certainly look the part.
The seat is padded faux leather, it’s adjustable and has casters. Bear in mind that it has a somewhat lower back than some chairs in this round-up, so it won’t be suitable for those who need more back support.