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The Best Office Chairs, According to the CNET Staff Who Use Them

We all use the same office chair day in, day out, so which ones do we like the most? Let's find out.

When you're working from home and sitting at a desk for more than half the day, it's important for you to be comfortable. Getting a good office chair can make sedentary work less taxing. It can also help reduce chronic back, hip and leg strain that can come from sitting in one place for too long.

Working from home has many unique challenges and one of the biggest is what equipment you need to be successful. A lot of your electronics will be supplied by your employer, but stuff like desks and chairs you will likely need to buy for yourself.

Here at CNET we made the work-from-home switch and we've all been sitting on our new chairs for a couple of years now. I reached out to the entire team to ask them how they felt about the chairs they picked and if they would recommend them.

While these office chairs haven't been tested in the normal CNET fashion -- one editor testing a specific set of comfort criteria -- they've been selected after months of using them for at least eight hours a day, five days a week. This personal review is about how we feel about our chairs and why we think you might want one, too. 

HON

Comfort rating: Super comfy

I love the adjustability of this chair -- lumbar support and arms can be adjusted to suit your height and weight. The seat cushion is cushiony and the wheels are smooth. I also like the mesh back, which allows for airflow.

-- Connie Guglielmo

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

Nypot

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 

Wayfair

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

Capsico

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

Black and white chair and desk

Comfort rating: Super comfy

I've been using the EasySMX for about two years now and it's still going strong. I'm a big guy -- 6 feet, 1 inch and 260 pounds -- so the average desk chair isn't well suited for me. This gaming chair has a heavy-duty chassis and sturdy wheels, while still having all the comfort you expect in a gaming chair. The adjustable arms, reclining back and wide seat make it my favorite chair ever.

-- James Bricknell

Senior Editor Megan Wollerton, our resident office-chair expert, has a lot of experience and has put together this helpful FAQ on how to choose, care for and sit on your new office chair.

FAQs

How do I clean my 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.

Gary Allread, the program director for the ergonomics division at Ohio State University's Spine Research Institute 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). 

They 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 or old spring ends up being the culprit.