The Best Office Chairs For Back Pain

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Nearly 65 million Americans experience back pain, and for some 16 million of those suffers, that pain is chronic. A likely culprit? Sitting for eight-plus hours a day at work. But, even if your job demands that you be at a desk all day, there are ways to lessen the stress on your back.

One way is to get a standing desk (which we highly recommend), but these can be cumbersome and expensive. An easier method of back pain prevention? Investing in an ergonomic office chair.

In recent years, we’ve seen brands making big advances with some of the best office chairs for back pain. If you’ve been sitting on the same chair for years, you might be surprised how well these newer chairs can relieve back pain.

We’ve rounded up some office chairs for back pain below — including budget-friendly chairs and high-end picks — as well as some tips for choosing the best office chair for your workspace.

In This Article

Our Favorite Office Chairs for Back Pain

Office Chair Buying Guide

How We Chose the Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

Our Favorite Office Chairs for Back Pain

In any conversation around the best office chairs for back pain, two brands almost always come up: Herman Miller and Steelcase. Both of these are great, but there are also excellent ergonomic chairs with much more approachable price tags.

Here are some of the best office chairs for back pain that you can buy online right now:

EDITOR’S PICK: Herman Miller Aeron

BUDGET PICK: Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

GREAT MOVEMENT: Steelcase Gesture Office Chair

CUSTOMIZABLE: Branch Ergonomic Chair

FOR LOWER BACK PAIN: Varier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair

MINIMALIST PICK: Steelcase Karman Office Chair

1. Herman Miller Aeron

Editor’s Pick

Amazon

Herman Miller is the longstanding king of office chairs, and its rule is justified. The brand’s best-sellers, like this Aeron chair, boast unmatched ergonomic support thanks to physician-developed designs that account for everything from biomechanics to vision. For example, the Aeron features independent flex pads to support your lower spine, comprehensive adjustability, and top-tier pressure distribution. It’s an expensive chair, for sure, but well worth the price if you work at a desk all week.

2. Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

Budget Pick

Amazon

The fancy chairs are worth their price tag, but you don’t need to spend over $1,000 to get a great office chair for back pain. This chair from Gabrylly is a great budget pick (currently $269.50 on Amazon), equipped with four ergonomic support points at the head, back, hips, and hands, along with added lumbar support to help reduce and prevent back pain during your work shift. Its mesh seat and backrest also help keep air circulating for more comfort and less sweat.

3. Steelcase Gesture Office Chair

Great Movement

Amazon

This Steelcase Gesture is another premium office chair that’s worth its price tag. The chair gets its name, “Gesture,” from a feature that allows the seat and back to move in synch as you change positions. This not only encourages more movement throughout your work day, but also keeps your back supported in a wider range of positions. Like many of Steelcase’s chairs, we also think the Gesture is also one of the better-looking office chairs out there.

5. Branch Ergonomic Chair

Customizable

Branch

Branch’s ergonomic office chair is another great option if you’re shopping on a budget. Despite its relatively affordable price tag, the Branch chair offers excellent support for keeping back pain at bay. The chair’s contoured backrest delivers on its promise of promoting an “active posture,” and lumbar support is firm enough to keep your lower back properly situated. Plus, the brand offers a ton of customization options when you order their chair, including frame and seat color.

6. Varier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair

For Lower Back Pain

Trending

Amazon

If your lower back is still suffering after using a good ergonomic office chair, we suggest trying this Varier kneeling chair. It repositions your pelvis for better spine alignment, engages the core, and takes some pressure off your lower back. It also features curved runners that let you rock slightly, helping us stay in motion throughout the day. Plus, because it’s more minimal, the Varier is less expensive than most fancy ergonomic office chairs.

3. Steelcase Karman Office Chair

MINIMALIST pick

Steelcase

Industry leader Steelcase refused to make a mesh office chair for decades — until the recent debut of this Karman chair. Instead of normal mesh, the brand created a performance textile called Intermix that lends more support, and then paired the Intermix with a flexible frame. And we’re big fans of the results. The Karman is sleek and compact (great for our small bedroom desk), but delivers fluid, responsive support whether we’re sitting at attention or slouching back on our phone. You also get a great selection of colors that’s much more than your average office chair palette.

Office Chair Buying Guide

Finding the best office chair for back pain is no easy task. Below are some of the criteria we used when finding the best office chairs for back pain that you’ll want to keep in mind while shopping. Tip: If you’re serious about getting a great office chair to reduce back pain, order a few and test each out for as long as you can within the return window.

Ergonomics: The key to a great office chair is its ergonomics; how well it encourages your body to stay in a healthy, upright position. Look for spinal support at the top, ample lumbar support to keep your lower back straight, and a seat that’s positioned to keep your hips open. Also, go for chairs that take movement into consideration and adapt to different positions throughout the day (like the Steelcase Gesture).

Adjustability: An office chair’s adjustability is key to its ergonomics, as everyone’s body and ideal seating position are slightly different. The more adjustability the better, so in addition to height and recline, look for adjustable armrests, headrests, and seats.

Materials: High-quality padding, covers, and frame materials are another key difference between good and bad office chairs. You’ll typically see mesh, fabric, or faux leather on office chair seats and backs. Mesh is the most popular because it’s cooler, but leather and fabric offer a softer feel (and look better too).

How We Chose the Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

In our search for the best office chairs for back pain, we tested a range of chairs, read what experts have to say about proper seating positions, and researched what chairs have left long-term users’ backs feeling healthy. We also considered budget, as office chairs can get expensive, and chose options from both the expensive and affordable classes of office chairs. We also considered brands’ reputations; how long they’ve been around, how their reviews are catalog-wide, and their overall reputation among experts.

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