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Best Office Chair of 2023

Desk chairs can make or break your office experience. We've tested the best office chairs on the market so you can find the perfect desk chair for your office.

In this article:

If you spend any time at home at a computer, gaming console or anything where you're sitting for a long period of time, you need a high-quality office chair. Getting the right support while you're sitting will help with your posture as well as any muscle soreness that can come about from a bad chair. During the pandemic, many of us at CNET had to turn a part of our home into a working office, which gave us the chance to test a lot of office chairs. Moving into 2023 we still have a lot of hybrid work situations that make a good office chair imperative.

CNET's Megan Wollerton and James Bricknell have been testing all kinds of office chairs for the last few years, from sub-$50 to over $300, to find the best chairs in every price range and for all the different tasks you might do with your office chair. Further down this page, you'll find a selection of excellent chairs that are graced by the posteriors of other CNET staffers as they do their sterling work on this website.

So whether you need a home office chair with adjustable seat height and tilt options, want to have a cool-looking gaming chair, or if you just want good lumbar support, we've put together a list of some of the best office chairs. 

Note: Product pricing tends to vary on third-party sites, so the prices quoted here for these ergonomic office chairs, as of writing this, may change slightly over time. We'll do our utmost to regularly update this list of the best office chair options to reflect the most accurate prices for you.

Best office chairs of 2023

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Comfort rating: Comfortable 

I liked this Amazon Basics chair right away. This swivel chair was easy to assemble, the leather design looks nice, and the adjustable seat and back are both cushioned and comfortable. 

This Amazon Basics chair isn't exactly cheap -- though it has a great discount right now -- but it's a great option that's relatively affordable without sacrificing much, with one exception: lumbar support. If lumbar support is an ergonomic office chair feature must-have, consider one of our other favorites. Overall, this is a comfortable and reasonably priced ergonomic chair that's easy to put together and easy on the eyes.

-- Megan

$130 at Amazon
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Branch Furniture

Comfort rating: Super comfortable 

It really is amazing the difference between a cheap chair and a more expensive one. I have spent years using a $100 chair and having back pain for most of that time. The Verve chair by Branch costs much more money, but everything about it oozes quality. The heavy metal fittings, the quality of the fabric and even the movement of the wheels show you this is a product that has had care and attention put into it.

My back pain is almost gone too. Sitting correctly on a good chair makes all the difference.

-- James


Comfort rating: Super comfortable 

Like the Branch above, the Ignition 2.0 is an extremely well-constructed chair. Once it is put together it oozes sophistication and looks fantastic in my office space. I'm a big guy so I am always concerned that chairs won't hold my weight, but the Ignition is clearly designed with people like me in mind.

Adjustments can be made to your lumbar, height and armrests, but my favorite is being able to move the seat in and out. My long legs often feel unsupported but having the seat further forward supports me far better. I do wish the armrests would turn as well as rise though as that better supports my forearms as I type, reducing the strain on my wrists. 

Overall though, this is an excellent chair priced in the midrange. Its comfort level is high on my charts and the quick build time and solid construction make it one of the best chairs around.

-- James

$385 at Amazon
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Comfort rating: Comfortable 

While this modern-looking office chair didn't work for my lanky 275-pound self, it was perfect for my wife. The lumbar support is excellent and can be adjusted to better fit her back arch and the armrest can be raised and lowered as needed. 

The Hbada has very little in the way of sideways wobble -- something that cheaper chairs can offer struggle with -- though, while the wheels feel sturdy enough they do clog fairly easily with carpet lint and dog hair. 

-- James

$170 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Hbada Butterfly ergonomic desk chair
Megan Wollerton/CNET

Comfort rating: The most comfortable 

It isn't the most sleek-looking chair around, but what the Serta Arlington lacks in style it more than makes up for in comfort and customizability. Serta is best known as a mattress maker, and that tracks with the supremely comfortable Arlington chair. This ergonomic chair is by far the most cushioned model I tried out, with layers of soft cushioning on the headrest, backrest, seat and armrests. 

It also provides decent support, thanks to an adjustable lumbar lever under the seat. 

-- Megan


Comfort rating: Comfortable for short periods

I'm 6 feet, 1 inches and 275 pounds, so I'm a pretty big guy. Finding a comfortable chair has been an issue for me for years, and I have had several have their wheels break while I've been using them. This gaming chair has a weight limit of 350 pounds and features adjustable armrests that go up and down and rotate to find the perfect resting point for your forearms. A tall back and wide base make it so a big-framed person like myself can sit comfortably. While it may not be strictly an office chair, I have used it for over a year now as my primary seat and it still works well.

-- James

Megan Wollerton/CNET

Comfort rating: Super comfortable 

OK, I know. This office chair is very expensive, but it also has a lot going for it: tons of ergonomic design and feature options at checkout, lots of adjustable elements and lumbar support. Three of the optional add-ons really set this one apart for me -- clear locking "X-wheels," Elemax and a memory foam seat.

I can only describe X-wheels as the most high-end roller skate or rollerblade wheels. The chair literally glides when you move it around and the locking mechanisms make it easy to keep in one place, too. Elemax is at a whole other level for an ergonomic office chair. This option provides massage, heat and cool functions that blend in pretty seamlessly with the chair. If you have to sit all day for work and experience pain (or just want to pamper yourself a bit), this function really makes a difference. 

The X3 chair also has a weight capacity of 300 pounds (with the standard seat width option) and 340 pounds (with the extended seat width option), the best range of the 14 chairs I tested. 

The one issue is its price, which is why it didn't win for best chair overall -- the price just isn't reasonable for most people, us included. I will be sad to see this one go. 

-- Megan

Staff picks

As a team, the CNET staff spend a lot of our time sitting at our desks. While we all love to own the best office chairs, we often have to make do with what we have, or we've found something we like and have stuck with it. These picks are not tested in the same way as our best list above but are what our writers, engineers and HR people use regularly.

Herman Miller

Comfort rating: Super comfy

The Herman Miller Mirra 2 is expensive, but I justified the cost because I spend hours sitting in front of a computer screen. Boy, am I glad I did. Its mesh seat remains comfortable and supportive after five and a half years of steady use. When I sit down, I feel an actual moment of pleasure that it's still good. This is a huge step up from foam seat chairs that compress over time. The mesh is easier to clean and keeps cool, too. I like the adjustments, which I set up once and have left alone since then.

-- Stephen Shankland

$650 at Amazon
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Comfort rating: Good enough

I bought a kneeling chair initially because of a torn hamstring and realized how much it helped my posture. It also forced me to stand up more and not slouch. Now I move around conscientiously while working, which helps with neck and ankle stiffness. This brand stands out: It can rock, has good padding for the knees, it's adjustable and definitely more affordable than others. When friends come over, they always try it and are surprised how much they like it.

-- Laura Michelle Davis 

$170 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Nypot Premium ergonomic kneeling chair

Comfort rating: Super comfy

I switched to working from my small London flat at the start of the pandemic. There's limited space, so my "desk" is also my kitchen and living room table. I didn't want my home to feel like it had been completely invaded by my office (even if, in practice, that's what's happened) so I bought a chair that looks less like an interloper. It's a compromise I can live with, and it's a nice shade of blue.

-- Sarah McDermott

Wesley Radcliffe

Comfort rating: Super comfy

I am 6 feet, 1 inch tall and this is the most durable, and most comfortable, office chair I've ever had. My previous one lasted eight years! I've sold enough of them that Ikea owes me some euros, and I recently bought a replacement that I expect to last me almost another decade. Forget those gamer chairs that break in six months, the Markus is the real deal for those of us who can't afford a Herman Miller or a Steelcase.

-- Wesley Radcliffe


Comfort rating: Super comfy

You can sit in the chair multiple ways. It's great for those with lower back discomfort. Unique design, comfortable and lots of customization. Fantastic for standing desks, because it can raise up to bar stool height.

-- Justin Eastzer

$1,116 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for HAG Capisco adjustable standing desk chair

Chair ergonomics and back pain

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the "science of work," said Gary Allread, the program director for the ergonomics division at Ohio State University's Spine Research Institute. That definition doesn't just apply to our jobs, though; ergonomic principles can be used for pretty much any activity (that means an ergonomic office chair isn't going to immediately fix your lower back pain). Allread and his team offer consultation services for a variety of workplaces, including manufacturing plants. They even occasionally provide input on product design to help companies better understand how to create products "to make sure they can interact with people as well as possible," Allread says.

Chair posture

A less-than-ideal work setup might cause pain in your back, arms, hands or wrists. You might also find yourself fidgeting, making more mistakes or taking more breaks, all because you're uncomfortable, Allread warned. Long-term, you might end up with tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Allread made two main suggestions we all can try to improve how we work:

  • Sit with your back against your chair. ("You want the chair to do the work and not your back," he said.)
  • Support your feet. Either plant your feet on the floor or, if they don't reach, use a box or other footrest to support your feet.

Does lumbar support matter?

If your chair lacks lumbar support, Allread said, you can roll up a towel, secure it with tape or rubber bands and place it at your lower back as a lumbar cushion to "keep the back in its natural curve." Allread also noted that companies are beginning to introduce different chair sizes, supporting a wider range of body sizes, which is an important consideration if you're shopping for a new ergonomic office chair and looking for the best seat height and seat depth. 

"One mistake people make is they say, 'Well if I get a great chair, then I'm not going to be sore anymore,' and that's not really looking at the big picture of what it takes to keep people comfortable and productive at their jobs," Allread explained. There are a lot of factors, and a new chair is just one of many things that can make your work environment more comfortable. 

So, let's keep that all in mind as we weigh our options for the best office chair. 

How we tested office chairs

How did we pick our favorites? First, we assembled each chair and noted any issues with the process, including how long it should take versus how long it actually took. Then, we spent one workday, or about eight hours, sitting in each chair, noting the level of comfort, adjustability (such as adjustable height, adjustable backrest or adjustable arm features) and any issues we had.

We also tested what James likes to call the Wibble Wobbles. Because office chairs are often supported by just one rod they can wobble left and right. That movement causes stress on the chair and can shorten its life and cause motion discomfort and even sickness.

While Megan is of average height and weight, and James is heavier and taller than average, your experience may differ from ours. That's why we asked our professional for questions you should ask when choosing your own chair.

  • Was the chair designed so you can rest comfortably against the back of the chair?
  • Do your feet touch the floor with your back against the back of the chair? 
  • Did you find yourself fidgeting or standing up a lot? 
  • Did you experience any pain or discomfort while using a particular chair?

We let these questions guide us as we looked through all the different chairs and they helped eliminate a lot that answered in the negative. Some of those chairs felt OK to use, but in the long run, they didn't offer the advantages of the ones we ultimately chose.

Office chair FAQs

How do you clean an office chair?

How you clean your office chair will vary somewhat depending on the materials. The chair's user manual should detail cleaning and general maintenance tips. If you tossed out the paper version of the manual, check online. Many retailers provide digital versions or even downloadable PDFs of their product manuals.

That said, most chairs should be fine with a damp cloth and mild soap or detergent. Test out a small area first and stay away from strong chemical cleaners.

How do I make an office chair more comfortable?

Many office chairs are adjustable. You can change the chair height and move the arms, and some office chairs even have adjustable lumbar support. So before tossing out your current chair, make sure you're sitting in an optimal posture for your comfort by trying out different ergonomic positions.

I cover ergonomics above. Allread, the expert I spoke with, had two main suggestions:

  • You want your back to touch the back of the chair.
  • You want your feet to touch the floor (or you should use a box or footrest to prop up your feet). 

Allread also suggested rolling up a towel to use for lower back support if your chair doesn't have lumbar support. 

How do I fix a squeaky office chair?

If you're dealing with a squeaky office chair, you first need to identify the source. Double-check that all of the screws are tight and that the chair is clean and oiled. You might also need to replace a spring. Certain retailers sell replacement parts, if a loose/old spring ends up being the culprit. 

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