The chair is another fundamental part of your home office and with the right chair you’ll be comfortable, more productive, and won’t tire easily. However, the opposite is also true.
A bad chair can be uncomfortable, promote bad posture, and cause you to lose focus.
Now, the good news is that you have probably used a wide range of chairs and know what works and what doesn’t for your particular set up. However, if you aren’t sure, now’s a great time to go check some out in person so you can get a feel for what you need.
With that said, here’s a good guide to use for choosing the best chair for your home office:
- Space – do you literally have the space for the chair. Considering your desk and any walls or other equipment, will you be able to comfortably move as needed?
- Function – Do you need the chair to have a high back like an executive chair for more support? Does it need to lock into place? Are the seat cushions good enough?
- Height – Will the chair adjust to the right height for you? If using an adjustable height desk, do you want to have a stool that you can use as well?
- Movement – most office chairs have wheels so that they can easily move. Do you want or need this feature?
As with just about any piece of office equipment you really need to think about the work you will be doing while using your chair. If you’re going to be nearly stationary at a fixed desk, you might not need a large wheeled chair. Do you frequently get up and move to another area? Then maybe padded arms aren’t such a big deal. However, if you will be moving, reaching, and working from a standing desk, you’ll likely want to get a chair with more features.
Not to worry – it’s not too complicated, just think through your day and how you use your desk, then match that up with how you want your chair to fit into that.
With those features considered, you also want to consider the overall “fit” of the chair, in terms of ergonomic design:
- Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor when using the chair – this is of course related to the height and movement functions.
- The chair back should support your back, especially the lumbar area so that you do not fatigue or have soreness problems.
- Material that is used on the seat and back should be something that won’t make you overheat, or even worse, cause a rash or reaction of some sort. That would be pretty rare, but if you know that some materials bother your skin be sure to double check on the type used.
If you’re the type that sits for extended periods (let’s be honest, that’s the vast majority of us home office people!) then you’ll want to get the best chair for your setup. It may take some time and a few tries to get it exactly right.
The best way to think about this is as an investment (literally) in your productivity and health. You’ll spend 6-8 hours per weekday using this chair, so over time the cost per day or hour really isn’t that much compared to a piece of equipment you only use from time to time.
Keep this cost to benefit idea in your head as you shop and consider the price differences…is $25 difference worth it over the course of a year or two, especially if you’re looking into getting an ergonomic office chair?
It’s pretty amazing how much time we can end up using our chairs, as was just mentioned, if we only considered it used for 6 hours per day (and weekdays only), then over the course of a year we would rack up 1,500 hours, or over 62 DAYS in our chair.
As with any home office equipment, consider it as a part of the whole office – will it fit correctly, does it make sense given the other parts, etc. For our setups, we like a high backed executive type chair paired with a good desk, usually a standing desk, so that we can sit for extended periods comfortably but also have the option to stand up quickly for short periods to stretch and work our muscles.
Types Of Office Chairs
Now that you have a good idea on how to find the right office chair, let’s go over the different types that you can choose from.
This class of chair is made to be the most supportive (in the right areas) and to reduce body fatigue from long hours spent at your desk.
Primarily this started with lumbar support but has come to include a wide range of changes with things like neck and headrests, better flexibility in the seat and back, mesh chairs or highly breathable material so that you stay cool, and more adjustments like an advanced tilt mechanism so that you can get exactly the right angle for foot and hand placement while seated.
Kneeling & Non-standard Chairs
It seems like these were really popular a few decades ago and still work for some people with back issues and chronic back pain.
These come in a huge variety but all center around the idea of improving the posture through the angling of the body and removal of the back rest.
An additional example includes the inflatable ball chair which some people enjoy for the core strengthening required to stay balanced while sitting on it.
As the name implies, these chairs were once reserved for the executives…but that was probably decades ago and you can now grab a great executive chair with a much lower price tag than most people think possible.
These chairs are usually designed with the long term in mind and are padded well and come with a high back. Many companies make these and even Amazon produces moderately priced versions.
They can be fancy with lots of design elements, or simple with basic controls like seat height and position lock.
With this in mind, check out the reviews on the various types of office chairs to find the best one for you.
Big & Tall or Smaller
Chairs are now made beyond the “one size fits all” category. This works great if you are taller (say, 6’5” or more) or perhaps shorter and have found that the standard height adjustable chairs just don’t fit.
By finding one of these chairs you’ll get the right fit with the right size so that you get all the benefits of a good desk chair without having to sacrifice on the ergonomics.
Stools can be used well at nearly all types of desks. Shorter locked stools can be used at regular desks for those that only sit for shorter periods of time at one go, but this is usually not a great fit for those sitting for extended periods.
Another area where this may work for you is with a standing or sit stand desk – some people like to stand for long periods but want a high stool chair to lean against or sit on for short periods as a break from standing.
Other Types Of Chairs
Yes, there’s more!
If you have a home office that where you meet clients, you might want to grab an extra meeting or conference room chair along with a small table so that clients have a comfortable place to sit. Not only that, but it gives the meeting a bit more of a professional feel compared to having them sit on the couch.
You could also consider grabbing an office loveseat (small, two-seat couch) that would also work for meetings and could be useful when not in meetings. Having this in your office can give you a location to get away from your computer or usual workspace to do things that require focus like reading or brainstorming.
Stacking chairs are another option, although this would really only be useful if you’re having meetings with more than one or two people at your home. In that case, you may want to grab a few of these as they are generally made to a higher quality and comfort standard than collapsing or folding chairs while still being much cheaper than additional executive office chairs.