13 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs for 2021


If you’re landing on this page, there is a good chance that you’ve decided to make an investment in a new office chair. The process of finding a new office chair isn’t always easy; after all, there are countless chairs and so many price points to consider. So, how do you know you’re getting the right chair for your needs? That’s where we come in. With over 16 years experience in the industry, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what to look for and what to avoid.

Because of our vast knowledge, one of the things we wanted to do was eliminate any chairs that are offered for less than $199. In our experience, chairs at this price point tend to be too cheap and are better suited for a discount office chair post that we’ll cover at a later date.

Like most things in life, you really do pay for what you get with office chairs. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a really good chair under $500, but it does mean that you also can’t expect a $199 chair to be the same as what is available at $1,400. After completing our list, we are confident that you should be able to find a perfect chair in our top office chairs list for 2021. With that, let’s take a closer look at the results for this year’s best office chairs.


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Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Learning Center?


  1. Steelcase Leap – 90/100 Rated Office Chair
  2. Steelcase Gesture – 90/100 Rated Office Chair
  3. Steelcase Amia Chair88/100 Rated Office Chair
  4. Steelcase Think v285/100 Rated Office Chair
  5. Haworth Fern84/100 Rated Office Chair
  6. Steelcase Series 283/100 Rated Office Chair
  7. Herman Miller Embody – 82/100 Rated Office Chair
  8. Herman Miller Aeron – 81/100 Rated Office Chair
  9. Nightingale CXO – 81/100 Rated Office Chair
  10. Herman Miller Sayl81/100 Rated Office Chair
  11. Herman Miller Mirra 281/100 Rated Office Chair
  12. OM Yes  – 79/100 Rated Office Chair
  13. Humanscale Freedom – 78/100 Rated Office Chair
  14. Other chairs we tested for 2021
  15. Why trust The Learning Center?
  16. What is our testing process?
  17. How did we pick the best office chair for 2021?

Cheap vs. Expensive Office Chairs Video

Rank Product Ergo­nomics Build Quality Seat Comfort Back Support Arm Comfort Warranty Assembly Score
#1 Leap 91 94 83 82 85 98 100 90/100
#2 Gesture 90 94 81 80 84 98 100 90/100
#3 Amia 85 90 79 79 82 98 100 88/100
#4 Think v2 84 88 75 72 78 98 100 85/100
#5 Fern 87 90 77 68 70 98 100 84/100
#6 Series 2 85 83 64 74 80 98 100 83/100
#7 Embody 65 92 77 73 74 92 100 82/100
#8 Aeron 61 95 66 75 79 92 100 81/100
#9 CXO 89 85 83 71 63 80 95 81/100
#10 Sayl 87 79 74 69 68 92 95 81/100
#11 Mirra 2 87 90 58 65 73 92 100 81/100
#12 OM Yes 91 68 80 71 66 80 95 79/100
#13 Freedom 88 82 67 67 59 85 95 78/100

 

   Leap Starting Price: $1037.00 + Free Shipping   Shop at BTOD.com >>
   Read The Full Steelcase Leap Ergonomic Chair Review >>

Steelcase Leap Pros and Cons

Pros:

Excellent build quality
Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Adjustable lumbar support system
Very good seat comfort
Highly adjustable arms
400 lbs. weight capacity
Excellent warranty
Ships fully assembled

Cons:

No back-height adjustment
High price tag

Steelcase Leap Chair Summary

What we liked

Inspired by a medical study conducted over the course of four years, 732 different users’ own experiences helped to create the Steelcase Leap chair. So much movement, in all the most important places, makes the Steelcase our favorite office chair for 2021.

The Steelcase Leap chair has a lot going on, so much so that our short summary is unlikely to cover it all. Overall, the fit and finish of the Steelcase Chair was excellent. Don’t let the plastic be confused with lower quality. Providing flexibility in the backrest and seat, the high-quality plastics were all part of the overall design of the Leap chair.

The Leap Chair is as dynamic as the adjustments it offers. With a flexible backrest that has separate upper and lower movement, you are able to get great support through a multitude of seated positions. It includes an adjustable lower lumbar tension control and adjustable upper thoracic control as well. Both adjustments allow you to fine-tune the backrest to your specific needs.

Highly adjustable arms, very good seat comfort and a wide range of additional ergonomic adjustments make this chair a great pick for most users. The Steelcase Leap chair ships fully assembled and comes with an excellent warranty as well.

What we didn’t like

One of the few chairs in the list to not include a handful of things we didn’t like; the Steelcase Leap chair is about as close to perfect as you’ll find. That also means you’re going to have to pay for it too. With a price tag that is over $1000 in most configurations, the Leap chair will likely be out of budget for a lot of users.

The Steelcase Leap chair is a fully loaded ergonomic chair, with almost every adjustment you could imagine. Because of the design and movement through the seat and back, they were unable to provide a height adjustable backrest. If you’re looking for a tall backrest, you will not find it with the Steelcase Leap.

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   Gesture Starting Price: $1217.00 + Free Shipping
   Read The Full Steelcase Gesture Ergonomic Chair Review >>

Steelcase Gesture Best Office Chairs for 2018

Steelcase Gesture Pros and Cons

Pros:

Excellent build quality
Best scope of user score in the list
Intuitive Seat Slider Function
Good seat comfort
Most adjustable arms we tested
400 lbs. weight capacity
Excellent warranty
Ships fully assembled

Cons:

No back-height adjustment
High price tag

Steelcase Gesture Summary

What we liked

With the same score as the Leap chair, the Steelcase Gesture was also an excellent office chair. While they both scored the same overall, they were different chairs. One thing we learned about Steelcase is they put a ton of thought into their chairs and that was evident with the Steelcase Gesture. With a global posture study conducted observing over 2,000 users, the Steelcase Gesture was born. What they found through the study was that human posture had changed with all the new technology and devices available. At the foundation, the chair needed to be stable, yet flexible enough to provide support for today’s unique movement.

The Steelcase Gestures 3D LiveBack and seat move in unison, creating a comfortable sitting position no matter how you move in the chair. Through our testing, it was obvious that Steelcase put scope of users at the top of their list of importance. This chair was so adjustable that it would have no problems fitting the 5th and 95th percentile of the population. If you like highly adjustable armrests, this chair had the most adjustable of any we tested. Regardless of your body type, you should able to comfortably position the arms, regardless of the task at hand.

Like the Leap chair, Gesture offered very good seat comfort and a wide range of ergonomic adjustments to fine tune the fit to you. The Gesture ships fully assembled and comes with an excellent warranty.

What we didn’t like

Outside of the high price tag, the Gesture chair didn’t have much not to like about it. With so much thought put into its design, we realized we’d have to be nitpicking to really make a knock at this product.

Like the Leap chair, the Steelcase Gesture didn’t include a height adjustable backrest. With the design of the seat and back, this was not a viable option for them. Considering the amount of research done to create the Gesture, it would appear as though they don’t see this function as important as the others they have included with the chair.

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   Amia Starting Price: $777.00 + Free Shipping  Shop at BTOD.com >>

Steelcase Amia Chair

Steelcase Amia Pros and Cons

Pros:

Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Great build quality
Good seat comfort
Good back comfort
Excellent arm adjustments and comfort
Great warranty
Ships fully assembled
400 lbs. weight capacity

Cons:

No back height adjustment
Only locks in one position
No headrest option

Steelcase Amia Chair Summary

What we liked

The third chair on our list is going to be a great alternative to the Leap or Gesture, but at a lower price point. The Amia comes with Steelcase’s excellent 12-year warranty for people up to 400 lbs. Similar to the Leap and Gesture, the Amia also has a great build. It’s not quite as refined as the two higher-end Steelcase chairs on this list, but it’s still one of the most well-built chairs we’ve tested.

The Amia did very well in our comfort testing, with top five scores for seat, back, and armrest comfort. The seat on this chair offers a bit more padding than the Leap or Gesture, but it’s still on the firm side. It doesn’t have any hard edges and features a flexible front edge design.

The backrest is also designed to be flexible and features Steelcase’s height adjustable LiveLumbar system. The flexible back, nice natural curve, and adjustable lumbar support are why the Amia scored so well in our testing for back comfort.

The Amia is also equipped with a very nice adjustment package that starts with the arms. You’ll get the same arms on the Amia as you would with the Leap. These arms are among the most adjustable on the market. The Amia features a nice synchro tilt mechanism with tension control and the ability to lock the back fully upright or have it in a free recline. The seat slider is also a nice addition to help ensure the chair fits you properly.

What we didn’t like

Overall, the Amia is a very well-rounded chair. The few downsides it has will apply to the adjustability of the chair. The Amia doesn’t have back height adjustment. The height adjustable lumbar system helps to keep your lower back supported, but those of you that like a high back chair may want to look for a different option.

The back also only has one locking position. If you like to lock your chair at different angles, then this will not be the best choice for you. The final thing that may be a deal breaker for you, is that the Amia does not come with a headrest option. If you like the Amia but need a headrest, then you may want to consider the Leap, Gesture, or Think.

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   Think Starting Price: $898.00 + Free Shipping

Steelcase Think v2 Chair

Steelcase Think v2 Pros and Cons

Pros:

Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Great build quality
Good seat comfort
Excellent arm adjustments
Great warranty
Ships fully assembled
400 lbs. weight capacity

Cons:

No back height adjustment
Limited tension options
Weight sensitive recline may not be good for everyone

Steelcase Think v2 Chair Summary

What we liked

The next chair on our list is another model from Steelcase. The Think v2 is a lower-priced option compared to the Leap and Gesture. It compares similarly in price and build quality to the Amia. The Think comes standard with the great 12-year warranty we have already discussed, and also arrives fully assembled. It has a very similar arm package to the Leap and Amia. They are a bit firmer, but they have almost the same adjustment range with its height, width, depth, and pivot adjustments.

The Think features a thinly padded seat with a flexible front, which offers good support for long hours. Seat depth adjustment allows you to place the front of the seat in the correct spot behind your knees. The seat does not have any hard edges and has a spacious design. It has a flatter seat shape as compared to the Leap chair.

The Think is one of the few chairs from Steelcase that offers a knit back option. This is more breathable than the standard fabric option and allows you to sink further into the back than the padded version. If you are not a fan of mesh, the padded version also offers good support, and we did not find that it got overly warm. The back has a nice natural curve and height adjustable lumbar support.

The one thing that really sets the Think apart from the previous Steelcase chairs is its weight sensitive mechanism. The chair is designed to recline based on your body weight and it puts you in a more neutral ergonomic position than the Leap, Gesture or Amia. You have a couple tension options to choose from, which is something that we do not see on most chairs with weight sensitive mechanisms.

What we didn’t like

While the weight sensitive mechanism will be one of the Think’s most attractive features for some, it will also be its biggest downside for others. The weight sensitive mechanism is much simpler to use because you do not have to mesh with tension or locking mechanisms, but the lack of a true tension adjustment means that you can’t dial in the tension to your exact preference.

The reclining motion may also be a turn off for some. When you recline back, the seat keeps your hips raised up. It’s not a rocking motion like we see on chairs with synchro tilt and knee tilt mechanisms. This is nice for tasking and typing but isn’t going to be ideal for people that like to spend a lot of time reclined in their chair.

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   Fern Starting Price: $1,835.00 + Free Shipping

Haworth Fern Ergonomic Chair

Haworth Fern Pros and Cons

Pros:

Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Great build quality
Good seat comfort
Excellent arm adjustments and good comfort
Ships fully assembled
4-layer backrest design with excellent flexibility
Forward seat tilt available

Cons:

No back height adjustment
3-year warranty on upholstery
Lumbar support may be too pronounced for some

Haworth Fern Chair Summary

What we liked

The next chair on our list is the highest-end chair from Haworth and there is a lot to like about this model. With its four-layer, flexible backrest design; the Fern is one of the most unique and innovative office chairs on the market. The tall backrest design and height adjustable lumbar support provide total back support.

The Fern features a nice adjustment package and that starts with the armrests. When upgraded to the fully adjustable option, you will get height width, depth, and pivot adjustments. The arms also articulate similarly to the arms on the Leap v2. These are among the most adjustable arms we’ve tested. You also get seat depth adjustment, tension adjustment, multiple locking positions, and forward seat tilt.

The Fern has a firm seat design that was well received in our office with a good overall seat score among our testers. There are no hard edges, and the front of the seat has a bit of flex which makes this a good option for multiple sitting positions.

Haworth is one of the largest and most well-respected furniture manufacturers in the world and the Fern is a good reflection of why Haworth is viewed this way. The Fern has a really high-end build and is a great looking chair. There was a ton of time and research that was put into the design and development of the Fern.

What we didn’t like

I feel there are a couple downsides that you should consider with the Fern. The first is going to be the warranty. At first glance, Haworth’s warranty appears to be right at the top of the list with Steelcase and Herman Miller. The problem is that in the exception list, the upholstery is limited to three years. The rest of the chair still gets 12 years of coverage but having the fabric limited to three is definitely a downside compared to most other high-end chair warranties.

The next thing to think about is that the Fern does not feature a depth adjustable lumbar option. You can’t control how much or little support it provides. This may be a problem because the Fern lumbar support is quite pronounced. If you are someone who doesn’t like pronounced or aggressive lumbar support, then you may want to consider alternative options.

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   Series 2 Starting Price: $558.00 + Free Shipping

Steelcase Series 2 ChairSteelcase Series 2 Office Chair

Steelcase Series 2 Pros and Cons

Pros:

Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Good build quality
Excellent arm adjustments and arm comfort
Good back comfort
Great warranty
Ships fully assembled
400 lbs. weight capacity

Cons:

No back height adjustment
Limited tension options
Weight sensitive recline may not be good for everyone
Seat may be too firm for some

Steelcase Series 2 Chair Summary

What we liked

The Series 2 is a very interesting chair from Steelcase. This chair is a lower cost option in the lineup, coming in at about half the price as the Leap. While it’s half the price, you still get a lot of the great things that Steelcase offers.

The Series 2 arrives fully assembled with a 12-year warranty for people that weigh up to 400 lbs. It doesn’t have the same build quality as the Leap or Gesture, but it’s close. This may be one of the most well-built chairs you can find for around $500.

The Series 2 comes with the same arm package as the Leap, which is one of the best things about the chair. You get some of the best arms on the market for a mid-market price. The Series 2 also has adjustable lumbar support, seat depth adjustment, and full upright locking.

The backrest comes in a few different options. You can get the standard Air Back which is a perforated, flexible back design. You can also get this model with a layer of 3D microknit or a fully upholstered back. Our office found the backrest to be supportive and comfortable.

What we didn’t like

The Series 2 is a lot like the Think with its recline motion. It features a weight sensitive recline with 2 different tension options that are quite loose. It also features one locking position. The recline motion pushes your hips up instead of using a standard rocking motion. This reline motion may not be for everyone and the lack of adjustments could be a dealbreaker for some.

The next thing that may be a problem for some is that the seat is very firm. Most ergonomic chairs are designed with seats that are on the firm side, but the Series 2 is firmer than most chairs we have tested.

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   Embody Starting Price: $1,745.00 + Free Shipping
   Read The Full Herman Miller Embody Ergonomic Chair Review >>

Herman Miller Embody Best Ergonomic Office Chair

Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

Embody Chair Pros and Cons       

Pros:

Made in USA
High-end build quality
Fits wide range of people
Pixelated Support conforms to your body type
Flexible seat and back allow for movement
Independent back angle adjustment
Very strong warranty
Rated for 24/7 use
Ships fully assembled

Cons:

No lumbar adjustment
No arm pad adjustment
Limited upholstery options
Pixelated Support is not for everyone

Herman Miller Embody Summary

What we liked

The Embody chair is a high-end ergonomic office chair that was designed by Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber. It is made in the USA and comes with one of the best warranties in the industry. It features technology and styling that can only be found on this chair. Herman Miller conducted numerous studies and included the contributions from many different experts to design the Embody with ergonomics in mind. This chair feels smooth when you use it. The seat moves at a nice ratio compared to the back and the arms move with you as you recline, which keeps you in the same position at all stages of adjustment.

The Embody’s Pixelated Support technology is one of the things that makes it so unique. There is a wide grid of pixels on the seat and back that will flex and conform to your specific body shape. This is meant to distribute pressure to keep you comfortable. It also provides a more breathable system than traditional foam. The last thing that we really like with the Embody is the independent back angle adjustment. This allows you to change the backrest angle so that it can be at a fully upright position.

What we didn’t like

The Embody has a good natural lumbar curve but there is no adjustability. This may cause an issue if the lumbar curve does not fit you the way you would like it to. The arm pads also lack adjustability. The arms have a good height and width adjustment range but are the only adjustment options. It would be nice if the arm pads moved front to back and/or swiveled. This helps to make arms fit different desks, keyboard trays and typing styles better.

The Embody comes in a decent range of colors but most of the options are in a polyester fabric. There is not an option to get the Embody in vinyl or leather. The final thing that may be a problem for some people is the Pixelated Support system. Some people in our office said they could feel the individual pixels more than they would have liked and would prefer a different chair model.

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   Aeron Starting Price: $1,195.00 + Free Shipping (Basic Setup)
   Read The Full Herman Miller Aeron Chair Review >>

Herman Miller Best Mesh Office ChairHerman Miller Aeron Chair

Aeron Chair Pros and Cons 

Pros:

Made in USA
High-end build quality
Comfortable arms
Nice recline function
Forward seat tilt
Strong warranty
Rated for 24/7 use
Ships fully assembled
Adjustable lumbar support
Environmentally friendly

Cons:

Can feel metal frame
Seat may not be comfortable
No back height adjustment
No seat depth adjustment
Limited color options

Herman Miller Aeron Summary

What we liked

The Aeron by Herman Miller debuted in 1994 and has since become one of the most recognizable chairs in the world. It was designed by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick and features one of the best build qualities we have seen on any office chair. It currently holds the highest build quality score we have given to a chair at 95/100. The chair comes standard with Herman Miller’s all-inclusive 12-year warranty. The Aeron was recently remastered with an updated mechanism, mesh upholstery and PostureFit lumbar system.

One of the best things about the Aeron is that it has one of the smoothest rocking motions out of all the chairs we have tested. Some chairs have awkward moving seats when the back reclines. Not the Aeron. It feels natural to recline and rock on the Aeron. The arms stay in place and you are held in the same comfortable posture.

The adjustable lumbar system is highly recommended. This will allow you to adjust the height of the lumbar. If you get the PostureFit SL, you can adjust the amount of pressure the lumbar support provides. Another cool feature on the Aeron is that you can get it with forward seat tilt. Forward seat tilt allows you to work at a more forward angle, which is often a preferred choice when tasking. This is a feature that is only seen on a few chairs on our list.

What we didn’t like

One of the biggest problems with the Aeron is that there are three different chair sizes. This is good because the chair can accommodate more people, but it is also a downside because one single chair cannot accommodate a wide range of people. If you want a chair that will be shared between two or more people, of different body types and/or sizes, then the Aeron is not going to be a good option for you.

The next potential downside is that the frame is very pronounced on the Aeron and there are times that you can feel it. If you lean side to side, you may be able to feel the side bolsters. There are also times that the front of the frame can be felt on the back of your legs. The top of the backrest frame may also be an issue if you lean back because it is not very comfortable to lean against.

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   CXO Starting Price: $1315.99 + Free Shipping  Shop at BTOD.com >>
   Read The Full Nightingale CXO Chair Review >>

Nightingale CXO Best High Back Ergonomic Chair

Nightingale CXO Chair

CXO Chair Pros and Cons               

Pros:

Great ergonomic adjustments
Good build quality
Comfortable seat
Adjustable lumbar support
Ships almost fully assembled
Built-in coat hanger
Headrest option
24/7 version available
350 lbs. weight capacity
450 lbs. weight capacity version available

Cons:

ENERSORB™ foam may not be for everyone
Not a good option for people over 6’1”
Headrest may not work for people under 5’3”

Nightingale CXO Summary

What we liked

The CXO is a solid chair, overall. It does not have a big name designer or a one of a kind mechanism, but it does almost everything well. It is made in Canada with good build quality. It features a synchronous knee-tilt mechanism that allows you to rock back and forth smoothly. It comes in a wide range of upholstery options, including a full leather version. The CXO is also available in a couple of specialty versions to accommodate heavier people or 24/7 work environments.

The CXO has good ergonomics, adjustable lumbar support and an optional headrest for people that like to kick back and relax. The seat on the CXO scored very well in our office poll, currently holding a top 4 rating in the category. The seat features thick padding called ENERSORB™. It is a memory foam that is designed to be breathable to keep you cool while you are working. It is soft and forms to the person using the chair.

What we didn’t like

Overall, our office liked the seat but the ENERSORB™ foam is not going to be for everyone. Some people prefer a firm seat and others simply do not like memory foam. The next downside is that the headrest may not work for people under 5’3”. The headrest is meant to go in the curve of your neck. When you are too short, the headrest will push your head forward, which is uncomfortable.

The CXO is not a good option for people over 6’1”. The headrest does not go high enough to fit properly. The backrest may be an issue because it has a thick frame that may come into contact with your back.

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   Sayl Starting Price: $695.00 + Free Shipping

Herman Miller Sayl Chair

Sayl Pros and Cons                       

Pros:

Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Forward seat tilt
Good build quality
Good seat comfort
Excellent arm adjustments
Great warranty
Ships fully assembled

Cons:

No back height adjustment
Back may be too short for some
No headrest option

Herman Miller Sayl Summary

What we liked

Starting at around $700, the Sayl is one of the lowest priced options from Herman Miller. Overall, the build on the Sayl is quite good. It is not going to stack up against the Aeron or Embody but it is a going to be better built than most mid-market chairs available. The Sayl comes with Herman Miller’s amazing 12-year warranty and arrives to you fully assembled.

For a lower priced Herman Miller chair, it has a lot of adjustments. It features a synchro tilt mechanism with a smooth recline. It has a nice tension adjustment, three different locking positions, and forward seat tilt. Seat height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, and a height adjustable lumbar support round out the adjustment package on the Sayl.

The arms on the Sayl are also quite good, especially for the price. The pads are soft, and the arms feature four-way adjustment; height, width, depth and pivot. The ranges on each adjustment are large, making them a good choice for those of you that plan to do heavy tasking or computing.

One of the most unique features on the Sayl is the backrest. It features a soft, flexible, rubber-like material that stretches and moves with your back as you move. It was designed after the concept of a suspension bridge. The height adjustable lumbar helps to dial in your desired support.

What we didn’t like

While the backrest is unique in design, it was not liked by everyone in our office. For starters, it is quite small in both width and height. This is not a good option for those of you looking for a tall backrest.

Some people also felt that the lumbar support is a bit lacking. The height adjustment feature is nice but the lumbar is not very pronounced and it does not have depth adjustment. If you like a pronounced lumbar support, then the Sayl is probably not for you.

The final downside is that the Sayl does not have a headrest option. This is consistent with most Herman Miller chairs. Herman Miller does not believe in headrests, so if this is a requirement, then you will need to look into different options.

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   Mirra 2 Starting Price: $995.00 + Free Shipping

Herman Miller Mirra 2

Herman Miller Mirra 2

Mirra 2 Pros and Cons   

Pros:

Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Forward seat tilt
Great build quality
Excellent arm adjustments
Great warranty
Ships fully assembled
Nice recline motion with Harmonic Tilt

Cons:

No back height adjustment
Seat may be uncomfortable for some people
Back may be uncomfortable for some people
Arms may be too wide for some people
No headrest option

Herman Miller Mirra 2 Summary

What we liked

The Mirra2 is a great alternative to the Aeron chair for those of you that like the Aeron, but have a budget of less than $1,000. The Mirra2 tested very similarly to the Aeron and shares some similarities that make it a nice alternative. As is standard with Herman Miller chairs, the Mirra2 comes with a 12- year warranty, and the Mirra2 features an excellent build. All of the components are high end and the chair functions very smoothly.

One of our favorite features on the Mirra2 is the recline motion. It features Herman Miller Harmonic Tilt adjustment. This is similar to the Aeron, giving you one of the smoothest recline motions on the market. If you are someone who prefers a rocking motion and likes to lean back a lot in their chair, then the Mirra2 may be a nice option.

The Mirra2 is also loaded with adjustments. It has a flexible front that provides you with seat depth adjustment. You get a very responsive tension adjustment, multiple locking positions, and forward seat tilt. The chair also has height adjustable lumbar support with independent lumbar depth adjustment, allowing you provide more support on one side of your back than the other.

The arms on the Mirra2 are also quite nice. The pads are soft and have a sloping front that allow you to get the chair closer to your desk than most armrest designs. They come with four-way adjustment, which includes, height, width, depth, and pivot adjustments.

What we didn’t like

While the Mirra2 tested well overall, there are a few things that may make the Mirra2 a poor choice for some people. The first is that the mesh seat and plastic back are not going to be comfortable for everyone. Some people simply do not like mesh seats and the backrest is hard plastic. If you are not a fan of mesh seat or prefer a soft backrest, then there are better options for you.

The other potential problem is the armrest width. The minimum distance between the arms is 18.5”, which is quite wide. Models like the Embody have arms that go as narrow as 11”. This is a problem for shorter users because it puts your arms quite a distance from your body, which is not a good ergonomic position.

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   Yes Starting Price: $444.99 + Free Shipping  Shop at BTOD.com >>

OM Yes Ergonomic Chair

OM Seating Yes Chair

Yes Pros and Cons

Pros:

Great overall adjustability
Good back support
Highly adjustable arms
Solid warranty
Headrest option

Cons:

Tension adjustment does not get tight
Backrest does not go fully upright
Shorter people will need to use footrest

OM Yes Summary

What we like

The Office Master Yes chair is going to be a mid-market, mid-range priced chair that actually provides some good value. For a chair with a starting price of less than $500, you get a really solid warranty, and the chair arrives almost completely assembled. You just need to put the top half of the chair onto the base and you are ready to go.

The Yes chair is also very adjustable, even when compared to the highest quality chairs on this list. The Yes comes with seat height and depth adjustments. The backrest has height adjustment, tension control for the recline and a few different locking positions. It has 4-way adjustable arms and an optional headrest that features height and tilt adjustment.

The seat and back scored well in our comfort testing with the seat receiving one of the highest comfort scores out of all the chairs we have tested. It is thickly padded with a nice contour. The seat is soft but felt supportive to the majority of the testers in our office. Most contour seats feel restrictive but I did not get that feeling when sitting in the Yes.

What we did not like

Even though the Yes has a lot of adjustments, one of its biggest downsides is the absence of adjustable lumbar support. The back height adjustment helps with this but it does not do the job quite as well as some other chairs with dedicated adjustable lumbar support.

The armrest also may not be ideal for everyone. The Yes is a mid-market chair, which means that not all of the parts are going to fit together as perfectly and snuggly as the high end chairs. This is most noticeable with the arms on the Yes. They do have quite a bit of wiggle to them, which was an annoyance for some of the people that tested the chair.

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  Freedom Starting Price: $1,102.00 + Free Shipping  Shop at BTOD.com >>  
  Read The Full Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair Review >>

Humanscale Freedom Best Ergonomic Computer Chair

Freedom's ergonomic adjustments

Humanscale Freedom Pros and Cons

Pros:

Excellent build quality
Includes adjustable headrest
Wide range of ergonomic adjustments
Very good warranty
Ships almost fully assembled

Cons:

Average seat comfort for the list
Limited arm adjustment
No tilt lock functionality
Headrest can be awkward

Humanscale Freedom Summary

What we liked

The Humanscale Freedom chair was designed by Niels Diffrient. His goal was to create a revolutionary office chair that was able to automatically adjust to anybody that sat in the chair. With its unique design, the Freedom chair includes a weight sensitive, self-locking recline mechanism that automatically adjusts the chair’s tension and recline position. That backrest also provides a pivoting function that helps to move with you as you shift in your chair.

The Freedom Chair comes with most of the ergonomic adjustments you will need to be comfortable. Seat depth adjustment is included and will help to accommodate shorter and longer legs. The build quality of the Freedom was on the higher-end of the spectrum, with molded aluminum components throughout. The Freedom comes with a very good warranty and ships almost completely assembled.

What we didn’t like

Even with the gel seat pad on our test model, the Humanscale Freedom’s seat pad only rated middle of the road for comfort. With a firm sit, it might not be ideal for users that want something soft and cushy. Like all other weight-activated tilt office chairs, the Freedom can take a little while to get used to. If you really like to be able to lock your chair in multiple positions, this type of mechanism might pose a problem.

The Freedom Chair comes with height and width adjustable armrests. While the pads were comfortable, the arms only move up and down in unison. This means that both of your arms will always be at the same height. While this is nice if you’ve had issues getting both arms at the same height in the past, it can also pose an issue if you’re trying to vary their heights for other reasons.

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Why trust The Learning Center at BTOD.com?

Simply put, we are experts. We have been selling office furniture for almost 13 years and have sold a wide range of office seating since our start in 2005. We are not a company that is simply dedicated to writing reviews on emerging markets in hopes of making a quick buck. Office furniture is our life and we have gained extensive knowledge about the products within our space. We know what to look for and what to avoid. Our goal is to share this knowledge so that customers are better informed when making their buying decision.

One thing that really separates The Breakroom Blog from almost every other review site is that we bring in all of the products that we review. We do not do forensic reviews or reviews based on what other customers have said about the product. We order the product for ourselves so that we know how it performs. Some of the products we sell on BTOD.com, but many of them we do not. Regardless, we have tested every product we have reviewed. When you take a closer look at alternative review sites, this isn’t as common as it should be.

What is our testing process?

The testing process for this list was straightforward, but like our other best-of lists, it was very thorough. Since we purchased all of the office chairs we tested, we could get a better understanding of the entire process of ordering the chairs to the point we received them. Having the opportunity to fully assembly each office chair is important as well. If there are any pain points during the process we are able to document them.

After the office chairs are put together we’re able to put them through the same testing process. We first check all of the specs of the chair and make sure that the adjustments function properly. We’re then able to start looking closer at things like build quality. While the testing process for one chair alone might be difficult to analyze when you put all 21 next to each other the differences are fairly obvious.

In addition to our standard testing process, we also incorporated a new method for three testing categories which involved everyone in our office. Because office seating is such a unique experience to the individual, getting as many opinions as possible was important. Once the chairs began to arrive, we started to rotate them through all nine people in the office. We have a diverse group of individuals in our office, with five men and four women. They include heights ranging from 5’2” up to 6’3”, various weights and ages ranging from 23 up to 49. When you look at most offices, I believe we have a good group to base our findings on.

Over the course of the next two months, everyone was able to use all 21 chairs to get a better feel for each. Starting in January, we did an office chair roundup. Each person was given a list of the chairs and asked to score the three most subjective things about the chair: seat comfort, back support and armrest comfort. With this information, we were able to average all the numbers for each category to get a better understanding of how most people feel about that particular aspect of the chair.

Understanding how to pick the best office chairs was the most difficult category that we’ve tackled to date. With so many body types to consider, it wasn’t as easy as just picking what we felt were the best based on our expertise in the category. Instead, for categories like the scope of users, we needed to look at how an office chair would fit the majority of the population within the 5th and 95th percentile.

With this deeper thinking, we were able to rank office chairs we reviewed with an overall numbered score ranging from 1-100. The score is based on several categories that we chose. The categories below are what we feel to be the most important things to consider when shopping for a new office chair. Each category has its own 1-100 rating and each category has the same weight when calculating the overall score. One thing that you will notice with our scoring is that we are very realistic. There is no such thing as a perfect office chair and our scores reflect that. You will not find products with 100/100 ratings here because such a product doesn’t exist. Even the best office chair in our list scored 89/100, so we felt there is room for improvement in all of the products we tested.

One of the first things we looked at was the overall build quality of the office chairs. Because the chairs we tested ranged from $199 up to $1,800, the differences in build quality were fairly obvious for most chairs. This category really showed us that you get what you pay for in the office chair category.

The material used in an office chair was a major component for scoring build quality. Just because a product used plastic didn’t mean it was low quality. Some of the best office chairs incorporated high-quality plastics. They helped to keep a chairs weight down and provide extra flexibility in components like the backrest. Other materials used, like custom molded aluminum components for the arms, frames or mechanisms, scored better than standard steel components.

Fit and finish was also a big part of the build quality scoring. How nicely plastic parts were molded was easy to see with the naked eye. Aluminum and steel finishes were scrutinized as well. If components like armrests or backrests had a cheap feel to them, which included poor connections, the build quality score was lowered. Lastly, we looked at the products upholstery and how nicely it was incorporated with the chair’s structure.

This category is the first of three that we included the opinion from all nine users in our office. Seat comfort is one of the most subjective things on an office chair and getting as many opinions as possible was important to us for accurate scoring. In order to do this properly, we put all 21 chairs in our office and had users go between each scoring them during the same time period.

Prior to scoring, all users had an opportunity, over the previous two months, to use each of the chairs. This gave a good baseline of expectations from chair to chair. It also helped to ensure users weren’t only giving their scores based on only a few minutes in each chair. While a lot can be determined in the first few minutes, it’s also good to give chairs a longer sit to see how they feel for an entire shift.

Our overall seat comfort score is a good middle of the road rating that will give a good baseline for most users. If you are very specific about the seat firmness or softness, you will want to take a closer look at the review for that particular chair.

Much like the seat comfort, back-support is also a subjective thing. How much support and where the support is will vary widely among users. For this score, we also used the average of nine users’ scores to come up with our final score. Getting this right is important; without good back support a chair could end up causing more harm than good.

With 21 chairs, the difference between them was significant. While a lot of the chairs offered adjustable lumbar support, having an adjustable lumbar necessarily didn’t mean it was more comfortable. The highest back score by six points actually came from a chair with no adjustment in the back at all. However, the runner up offered multi-dimensional adjustment. Sometimes the best support can come from a naturally shaped backrest with the proper upholstery.

This category was the last that we used the average of nine scores from users within the office. Like the seat, we wanted to get a good overall score for things like preferred softness or firmness in the arms. How the arms adjusted were important as well.

When scoring the arms, we made sure that everyone understood how they adjusted. Not all arms are easy to figure out and not knowing an arm moves a certain way could impact its score significantly. Two major points for scoring were that you were able to adjust the arms to a comfortable working position. Secondly, how comfortable they were to rest your elbow and forearm on.

Scoring for this category was different than all of our other categories. It’s important to note that all of the adjustments, with the exception of tilt lock, weren’t scored based on how adjustable it was. This was done to avoid overlap from the scope of users category. Instead, we created a point system for adjustments and weighted them based on importance. Lastly, we provided ten potential points for extras that didn’t fall into a normal adjustment category. Things like forward seat tilt, adjustable headrest or a weight activated mechanism fell into this category.

Points available for each adjustment listed below:

16 Points:       Seat height, seat depth, and lumbar support
13 Points:       Arm width and arm height
10 Points:       Unique functions like forward seat tilt and adjustable headrests
4 Points:         Back height, arm depth, arm pivot, and tilt lock

Example Product Below:

Score = 90 Points 
(Includes 5 pts for unique mechanism and seat pan)

Note: Only the tilt lock was based on how adjustable it was since this wasn’t scored in the scope of users section. For instance, chairs with infinite tilt lock scored all four points. A chair with only one locking position scored one point.

The assembly score was pretty straight forward, with the least amount of assembly required scored the most points. If a chair shipped fully assembled it would score all 100 points. Chairs that only required you to attach a base and casters were only docked a small number of points.

If the chair came completely knocked down, meaning all of the components needed to be attached, they generally received the fewest points. How easy each of these types of chairs were to put together impacted their assembly score as well.

Overall, the higher-end chairs tended to ship fully assembled or close to. This gave them an advantage in the category since the most points were awarded to the chairs with the least amount of effort required for assembly.

Like the assembly process, the higher-end chairs tended to have the best warranties. That didn’t mean that all of the high-end chairs had the same warranty though. Brands like Herman Miller and Steelcase were a cut above the rest.

Our ranking process looked at all of the fine details in the warranty information. Not all brands make the information that easy to understand. It’s important to look at how long the warranty is and what aspects of the chair it covers. Things like mechanisms, casters, frames and arms are longer than upholstery and foam. Some office furniture brands make you cover shipping on parts as well, so it’s important to pay close attention here.

The brands that offered the longest warranties, with no additional strings attached, scored the best here. While the two best warranties come with the most expensive chairs, you can rest assured that your chair will have excellent warranty support during your ownership of it.

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