By Corrie Pelc
The world has seen a major shift from working in offices to working at home. Even with COVID-19 restrictions easing and companies starting to move back to the office, many are choosing to allow their employees to continue to work from home either part of the week or permanently. According to a recent Gallup poll, 72 percent of white-collar U.S. workers reported still working in a remote setting.
When working at home, a proper home office set-up is crucial to make sure you’re staying just as productive as you would be in the office. While a desk, computer, and printer are obviously important, probably one of the most important pieces normally overlooked is the home office chair. You'll be sitting in that chair for a full eight hours — if not longer! — so having a comfortable home office chair that is kind to your back and the rest of your body is crucial.
We’ve come up with the best chairs to round out your home office and the test factors we considered when choosing.
Components of a Home Office Chair
Every office chair is built differently and with parts that serve a specific purpose. There are a few specs to consider when it comes to the makeup of a home office chair:
- Material — Generally speaking, most home office chairs will either have a seat made of foam or a foam-like material covered in a material made of leather, synthetic leather, vinyl, or plastic. The back of the chair may also be a cushiony material covered in the same upholstery fabric as the seat, or may be made of a mesh fabric. A mesh-backed office chair allows for more breathability for those who run hot.
- Adjustability — As no person is made the same, having a home office chair with adjustments allows you to customize the chair to your specific needs, making it more ergonomic and therefore reducing back pain. Look for the ability to adjust the height of your chair to ensure you can sit properly no matter what your leg length is. And adjustable armrests, headrests, and backrests can also bring added comfort to your workday.
- Lumbar Support — Many of today's home office chairs offer lumbar support, which helps support discs of the spine while sitting for extended periods of time. The lumbar support helps promote good posture so you stay seated properly, helping to keep the spine in a proper position.
- Wheels or No Wheels? — Home office chairs can be found both with caster wheels, which allow you to move around your desk or office, or sans wheels. The decision on this is totally up to personal preference.
Factors We Considered When Picking the Best Home Office Chairs
Here’s a round-up of the test factors we used in deciding our list of the best home office chairs you can buy in 2021:
- Price: There are home office chairs available at all several price points.
- Weight Capacity: How much weight can the chair safely handle?
- Seat Material: Home office chairs are generally made of leather, vinyl, or plastic.
- Back Material: What type of material is used to construct the back of the chair? While a leather material may be more luxurious, a mesh-backed home office chair offers breathability and is generally less expensive.
- Seat Depth: Depending on body size, a home office chair with a seat wide enough to sit comfortably on is imperative. Taller individuals will want a large seat depth, while shorter sitters will want a more shallow seat depth.
- Adjustable Height: When sitting in an office chair, feet should be flat on the floor and thighs horizontal to the floor. Most home office chairs should have a lever or button to adjust the height of the chair to get to the proper seated position.
- Adjustable Armrests: Home office chairs can be made with armrests or without, and which is best is dependent on personal preference. Armrests can help with proper posture, so if someone slouches in their seat, they may want to opt for an office chair with armrests.
- Adjustable Headrest: Some home office chairs include a headrest that can be moved forward or backward.
- Adjustable Backrest: Home office chairs generally allow the backrest to be tilted forward or back and locked into place, depending on the body and comfort needs.
- Lumbar Support: Does the office chair offer lumbar support for better posture?
- Wheels: Some home office chairs have wheels and some do not—this is really a matter of preference.
- Swivel: A swiveling office chair provides more ergonomic benefits as the user can easily reach for items on a desk or face someone speaking to them without possibly pulling a muscle or tendon in their body.
- Warranty: Does the manufacturer back their product?
Best Overall Home Office Chair: Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Multifunction Chair
~ $158 at Amazon
A mesh-backed home office chair with lots of comfort options for less than $200.