10 of the best office chairs that combine style and comfort
Physix by Alberto Meda, Physix Family by Alberto Meda © Vitra
Be kind to your present and future self by investing in a stylish, ergonomic office chair. We pick 10 of the best to check out.
Written by: Tom May
12 July 2023
As creative professionals, we take pride in our workspaces. Well, maybe some of us don't, but we really should. After all, not only is it nicer to work in a comfortable, aesthetically appealing environment every day, but it will also make us more creative and productive.
And when it comes to office chairs... well, buying the best one you can afford couldn't be more important. Back pain is no laughing matter, and you don't want to spend decades in agony later in life just because you spent the money on something more frivolous.
Ergonomic chairs help guard against that by providing proper support to maintain a healthy posture, reduce the risk of back and neck pain, enhance blood circulation, and promote overall comfort. By investing in one, you're prioritising your future health and well-being, and what could possibly be more important than that?
Just paying a lot of money, though, won't guarantee that you get the best office chair. In this article, we have carefully curated a list of 10 exceptional office chairs that cater to the discerning creative, offering both ergonomic support and stylish looks. From budget-friendly options to luxurious choices, there's something for everyone on the list below. (If you're after a desk, meanwhile, take a look at our recommendations here).
Created by industrial designer Niels Diffrient, this office chair from Humanscale combines ergonomic support and comfort in an innovative design that fuses functionality and style. Made from high-quality materials, its mesh backrest is designed with a weight-sensitive recline mechanism that moves with you to provide balanced, lumbar support throughout the working day.
This tri-panel, non-stretch mesh removes the need for external lumbar support devices or manual controls for a flexible and comfortable feel. It also offers a full range of reclining and adjusting options, including seat height, depth and armrest height. Its sturdy metal base and castors support up to 136kg and allow you to glide easily across the room. It comes fully assembled, the mechanism is guaranteed for five years, and the frame is for 15 years.
Herman Miller is one of the most iconic names in chairs, and for good reason: they look beautiful, boast wonderful ergonomic designs and are eminently functional. Herman Miller chairs can cost in their thousands, but here's a more affordable candidate that still delivers in all the most important ways.
The Verus Suspension Office Chair office chair is quietly versatile and designed to provide short-term and long-term comfort. The back is made from a high-performance suspension material that delivers increased comfort and breathability. It supports your spine at its lowest point and reinforces your pelvis, preventing slouching and fatigue while you sit. It's easy to adjust, too: the seat and armrests are height adjustable, and the backrest can tilt and lock into position too.
If you're on a budget, then IKEA is a watchword for affordable quality, and this conference chair is no exception. Its gently curved lines, accentuated by sewn details, make it a visual treat and brilliantly functional. You can lean back with perfect balance, as the tilt tension mechanism is easy to adjust with an Allen key to suit your weight and movements. Plus, your back gets protection and extra relief from the built-in lumbar support.
Elsewhere, the safety castors have a pressure-sensitive brake mechanism that keeps the chair in place when you stand up and releases automatically when you sit down. And it's easy to find a comfortable seating posture thanks to the adjustable height and generous cold-foam seat. Overall, this offers great value for such a low price, especially as it comes with a 10-year guarantee.
Using state-of-the-art materials and production technology, the Physix Office Swivel Chair combines elements to create a new dynamic sitting experience: a flexible frame construction, an elastic cover and a stabilising mechanism.
Together they form a clever construction that explores new possibilities of dynamic sitting through the interaction of flexible and rigid elements. Physix is available as an office swivel chair with a four-star base, while there's also a functional and aesthetically reductive variant in the form of Physix Studio.
A world-class ergonomic task chair with minimalist charms, this office chair projects versatility in both style and function. A form-sensing mesh back supports your unique pressure points while encouraging freedom of movement, allowing you to sit comfortably during long days at the desk without having to make manual adjustments. The armrests are also connected to the back instead of the seat, so they'll stay with you as you recline. And this chair looks as good as it feels, with sharp aesthetics centred around lined, tri-panel mesh.
Designed by Hee Welling, a furniture designer with his own studio in Copenhagen, this latest addition to the AAC series has all the features you expect from this well-known brand but with a higher back and a deeper seat for optimal comfort. With elegant, rounded legs, the frame provides both personality and stability and is available in various finishes. The tub is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, and the armrests provide good support and fit under most tables and desks.
Designed by Iskos–Berlin, the design partnership of Boris Berlin and Aleksej Iskosthe, the Fiber Armchair Swivel Base is constructed from an innovative mixture of wood and plastic fibres. The ergonomic seat structure creates an atmosphere of security and relaxed comfort, with a gas lift that can be easily raised and lowered to accommodate specific sitting needs, making it ideal as a durable desk chair. Upholstered in various luxurious fabrics, this beautiful armchair provides exceptional comfort and longevity.
Another Herman Miller chair, this model has won a number of awards, including Best Sustainable Design Solution, and for good reason. The Kinematic Spine bends and flexes as you do, while the elastomeric fabric conforms to your contours to keep you comfortable and supported. Rather than having adjustment levers, Setu enjoys a buoyant design that allows it to move and conform to your body simply by responding to your weight as you sit.
On a tight budget? Then check out this swivel chair from IKEA, which offers astonishing value. It's made with quality, high-density foam, the chair is adjustable in height, and the safety castors have a pressure-sensitive brake mechanism that keeps the chair in place when you stand up. This level of style, craftsmanship and functionality in such an affordable chair is impressive.
Part of the extensive and eclectic Rely range, the HW12 is a stylish chair with eco-friendly credentials. Carrying a sleek aesthetic, its colourful design features a shell crafted from 100% recycled plastic. It is also stylishly elevated by the addition of an upholstered seat and functionally elevated by curves carefully developed for optimum back support and seated comfort. A great choice for the contemporary office.
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