The 8 Best Office Chairs for Back Pain of 2022

Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair offers support to keep back pain away

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While it's a common activity, sitting in chairs all day isn’t doing us any good. “The sitting position produces increased pressure on your discs” and adds stress to the discs, says physical therapist Susan Eb, PT, MS, founder of Eby Physical Therapy, PLLC in New York City, “and the more upright the position, the more the pressure.” Luckily, there are office chairs specifically designed to tackle back pain.

Reviewed & Approved

Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair offers lumbar support and has an adjustable headrest and foldable armrest for comfort. We recommend Amazon Basics Ergonomic Office Desk Chair with Armrests as a budget-friendly option.

When looking for an office chair for back pain, consider whether it has lumbar support and adjustable features, such as an armrest or headrest. We researched dozens of chairs for chronic back pain and evaluated them for adjustable features, support, comfort, and price. 

Here are the best office chairs for back pain on the market.

Best Overall: Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

4.9
Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable headrest

  • Foldable armrests

  • Tension controls and smooth gliding

Cons
  • No cushioning

  • Headrest may not be high enough for taller users

Who else recommends it? Forbes also picked the Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair.

What do buyers say? 86% of 8,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

If you need a chair that checks off all the boxes—adjustable height, headrest, lumbar support, and tilting backrest—the Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Chair is the one. We chose it as the best overall for its impressive collection of features promising to make all those hours logged at your desk a much more comfortable experience.

What we really love about this chair is how much of it is adjustable: the height raises up nearly 10 inches from the minimum, the armrests fold up when needed to stay out of your way, the backrest can tilt from 90 degrees to 120 degrees, and the headrest can be separately adjusted, to raise higher or lower or even angled across a 45-degree tilt. The seat itself is made from breathable and supportive mesh, which provides firm support and temperature regulation. However you feel about your job, the Gabrylly chair makes working less painful.

Height: 45.3" to 54.9" | Weight Limit: 280 lbs. | Cushion Material: Mesh | Headrest: Yes | Adjustable: Yes

Best Budget: Amazon Basics Ergonomic Office Desk Chair with Armrests

Amazon Basics Ergonomic Office Desk Chair with Arm Rests

Amazon

Pros
  • Soft, comfortable faux leather cushioning

  • Affordable

  • Adjustable height and tilt

Cons
  • No headrest

  • No armrest adjustability

A budget-friendly option, the Amazon Basics Ergonomic Office Desk Chair gets the job done for a reasonable price. As for specs, this chair is designed with 44inches of adjustable height, padded armrests, and a mechanism to control the tilt tension. It includes smooth, faux-leather fabric over a cushy, comfy seat and seat back. What’s more, it’s easy to assemble, comfortable to sit on, and won’t break the budget, making it a smart choice for occasional use at home or in a guest office.

Height: 34.8” to 38.6” | Weight Limit: 275 lbs. | Cushion Material: Not specified | Headrest: No | Adjustable: Yes

Best Adjustable: NOUHAUS Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair

NOUHAUS Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair

Amazon

Pros
  • Two sections dedicated to back support

  • Adjustable headrest

  • Multiple positions for armrests

Cons
  • No cushioning

  • Some consumers complain of noise with movement

If back pain is your No. 1 concern, you’ll need to search for a chair that emphasizes lumbar support, and this one from NOUHAUS gets the job done. It splits its backrest into two parts, offering dynamic lumbar support that curves along the natural shape of your spine. Basically, this chair conforms to you, not the other way around.

We also love that in addition to the lumbar support, the chair includes an adjustable headrest for neck support and armrests that can be positioned in a variety of ways; since armrests can interfere with the position of your shoulders—increasing tension in your neck and back—it’s important to have armrests that can support you without getting in your way. The NOUHAUS armrests can be raised and lowered as well as pointed in four different directions, per your personal workstation preferences.

Height: 44.1" to 49" | Weight Limit: 275 lbs. | Cushion Material: Mesh | Headrest: Yes | Adjustable: Yes

Best for Home Offices: FelixKing Ergonomic Desk Chair

FelixKing Ergonomic Desk Chair

Amazon

Pros
  • Flip-up armrest

  • 30-degree back tilt

  • Mix of mesh and cushioning

Cons
  • Not much height adjustability

  • No headrest

If you’re tight on home office space, we like the FelixKing Ergonomic Desk Chair for the way it packs big back pain support into a small-size chair. Measuring 25.2 by 25.2 by 37.4 inches, it will fit into your home office but not leave your back aching at the end of the day. We also appreciate that the arms on the FelixKing flip up, so your chair can stow away easily when it’s not in use.

As for other features, the back of the chair is made of breathable mesh, the seat is made from high-density sponge meant to provide firm cushioning, the lumbar support is adjustable, and users say the chair is both sturdy and comfortable.

Height: 37.4" to 40.5" | Weight Limit: 286 lbs. | Cushion Material: High-density foam | Headrest: No | Adjustable: Yes

Best for Lumbar Support: HOMEFUN Ergonomic Office Chair

HOMEFUN Ergonomic Office Chair

Home Depot

Pros
  • Includes separate lumbar pillow for additional support

  • High back for extra stability

  • Mesh back and firm cushioning

Cons
  • No headrest

  • Limited height and armrest adjustability

Unlike most other ergonomic office chairs, the HOMEFUN chair comes with an additional lumbar support pillow, which includes a strap so the pillow can be adjusted up and down the length of the chair back wherever you need it most. This means people of all sizes can get the unique, targeted lumbar support they need, no matter where their lower back rests when sitting in the chair.

Additionally, the chair has a high-density foam seat for maximum cushioning and an extra-high back that tilts up to 35 degrees, so it can move with your upper back and shoulders as you recline and sit forward.

Height: 35" to 39" | Weight Limit: 250 lbs. | Cushion Material: High-density foam | Headrest: No | Adjustable: Yes

Best With Headrest: SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair

SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair

Walmart

Pros
  • Supportive frame

  • Freely-rotating headrest

  • S-shaped backrest to match the curve of your spine

Cons
  • Hard to assemble

  • Limited armrest adjustability

If you’re the type of desk-worker who wants a headrest on their chair, you could end up more frustrated than pleased with your options thanks to limited adjustability. But the headrest on the SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair is fully adjustable up and down—it moves independently of the chair, not limited by the backrest—and also tilts and flexes, responding to the movement of your head as you lean forward and backward.

The chair itself is made of a mesh backrest and a cushioned seat for comfort, has almost 7 inches of adjustable height, and also includes adjustable armrests and lumbar support.

Height: 43.3" to 60" | Weight Limit: 330 lbs. | Cushion Material: High-density sponge | Headrest: Yes | Adjustable: Yes

Best Foldable: Office Star Deluxe ProGrid Armless Folding Chair

Office Star Deluxe ProGrid Armless Folding Chair

Office Star

Pros
  • Foldable

  • Built-in lumbar support

  • Easily transportable

Cons
  • No adjustable features

  • No armrests

Unlike some desk chairs, this one from Office Star is foldable, making it the perfect solution for office workers who need convenient, portable seating and an ergonomic design. Instead of sacrificing comfort for function, these foldable chairs allow you to save space while saving your back from work-related pain, featuring a lumbar-supporting backrest, dense seat cushion, and smooth wheels. Again, if you’re a solo worker spending all day at a desk, this might not be the best choice, but if you’re an office manager searching for back-friendly chairs for your conference room, look no further.

Height: 36.5" | Weight Limit: 200 lbs. | Cushion Material: Two-layer mesh | Headrest: No | Adjustable: No

Best Ergonomic Knee Chair: Dragonn Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

DRAGONN by VIVO Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 10 inches of height adjustability

  • Thick, soft cushions for joint comfort

  • Easy rolling casters for re-positioning

Cons
  • Takes some time to adjust to use

  • May not be a good fit for taller or heavyweight people

Ready to think outside the box? The DRAGONN by VIVO Ergonomic Kneeling Chair is fashioned with two 3-inch thick cushions to support your bottom and your knees as you literally “kneel to sit” at your desk. Instead of hunching—which many of us naturally do—in an office chair, a kneeling chair basically forces you to maintain a better, healthier posture, similar to that of standing.

Many of the chair’s features are similar to that of a regular chair, like an adjustable height, rolling wheels, and supportive cushioning, but VIVO reminds consumers that kneeling chairs utilize different muscles than traditional office chairs, so it will take time for your body to be comfortable using one. The brand recommends that you use the chair intermittently at first, training your muscles to “sit” this way, rather than attempting to use a kneeling chair for eight hours right out of the box.

Height: 21" to 31" | Weight Limit: 250 lbs. | Cushion Material: Mesh | Headrest: No | Adjustable: Yes

Final Verdict

The Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair is a well-rounded option with nearly all of the features you would want in a desk chair: comfort and stability, lumbar support, adjustable height, and a flexible headrest. If you’re especially concerned about lumbar support, we recommend the HOMEFUN Ergonomic Office Chair because it comes with a separate lumbar pillow that can be adjusted along the length of the chair’s backrest for personalized support.

How We Selected the Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

When selecting an office chair for back pain, we spoke with physical therapists and other experts and spent hours combing the web for the best and most effective products. After taking all of our options into consideration, we determined which to feature based on a few key criteria as recommended by dermatologists: cushion and frame materials, design, adjustability, and additional features. 

Once we narrowed down our options, we compared each chair’s benefits to its price tag. While some choices on our list may be more expensive, we wanted to give a wide range of options that would fit all needs and budgets. Based on all of these factors, we compiled this list of the best office chairs for back pain.

What to Look for in Office Chairs for Back Pain

Adjustable Height

Of all the features to consider, adjustable height might be the most important when it comes to long-term ergonomics; if your chair is too high or too low for your desk, your spine will end up curving or arching in an uncomfortable position (and your neck and shoulders will be affected, too).

“Height adjustability is key, both for individual comfort and for compatibility with the desk or workspace,” Eby says. “When using a computer keyboard, your upper arms should rest at your side and your forearms should be parallel to the floor in order to prevent stress in your shoulders and neck.”

Eby adds that your feet should also rest flat on the floor, but this can be tricky for shorter people, especially once they’ve adjusted the chair height properly for the height of the desk. In this case, she suggests, you may want to get a footrest or stool so your feet can sit flat.

Adjustable Backrest

There are three ways the back of a chair can provide support, Eby says: with the location of lumbar support, the tilt of the backrest, and the depth of the seat. You may not be able to find a chair that’s adjustable for all three of these features, but you should definitely make sure your chair is adjustable for the one that affects you the most. In other words, people with low back pain should prioritize adjustable lumbar support, while petite people may want to focus on adjustable seat depth. People with more generalized needs can look for a chair with a flexible tilt to accommodate movement.

“Adjustable tilt of the backrest allows for a change of position while in the chair,” Eby says, “for example, a more upright position when using a computer and a more reclined position when on the phone or reading.”

Arm Support

Should you get a chair with armrests to support you all day long, or will they just get in the way of your comfort? It’s a tricky question, and even Eby admits armrests can be the most challenging feature of an office chair.

“Armrests provide upper body, shoulder, and neck support, [but they] must be positioned so that the chair can be pulled up fully under the desk,” she explains.

To get the support of armrests without any interference regarding the height of your chair or desk, Eby recommends finding a chair with adjustable armrests, so they can be raised or lowered to provide support where needed (without messing up the rest of your ergonomics).

Firm Cushioning

Even though your office chair isn’t made for Netflix binges, it should still be comfortable, says Blessen Abraham, DC, of Brunswick Health & Physical Therapy Center in New Jersey: “The first thing you need to find is a good, comfortable chair [that] supports your low back, buttock, thighs, upper back, and shoulders.”

Speaking of support, you’ll also want to find a chair that offers plenty, either in the way it contours to your body or in the density of its cushioning.

“I always recommend people to get a chair that’s a little bit firmer than softer, because you’re going to be sitting on it for a long time and usually the cushioning will wear out the softer it is,” Dr. Abraham explains.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What other ways can I prevent back pain throughout the workday?

    The best way to prevent back pain is to move throughout the day. “The human body is designed to move,” Eby says, “[so] no matter how good a chair you sit in, it’s important to stand up and move around every so often.”

    Dr. Abraham seconds this suggestion, saying that the best way to prevent back pain throughout the day is by just taking a break, getting off your chair once in a while, walking around, and stretching. 

    He also recommends having a designated space just for work (if you’re working from home) and reserving your desk at the office just for work, not for your lunch break. This not only forces you to take breaks throughout the day, it allows your body to be positioned in other ways—like at the kitchen table rather than the desk for eight hours—and gives you the space your body needs to spread out in ergonomically-friendly ways.

  • What kinds of office chair materials provide the most support?

    Eby says the ideal office chair material is firm enough to support your body but with enough give or cushioning to be comfortable at the same time. It also helps if the material is breathable, so your body temperature stays comfortable, too. The most popular materials that meet these criteria are mesh, leather, and fabric, she explains.

  • Why is it important to have a back supportive chair?

    If your spine is not well supported when sitting, you will tend to fall into positions that further stress the discs and stretch your tissues,” Eby explains. “Long-term, these positions can result in muscle imbalances and postural changes, with muscle shortening at the front of the hips, the chest, the pectoral area, and the back of the neck, and weakness [developing] in the gluteals, mid-back, and neck flexor muscles.”

    In other words, poor posture while sitting doesn’t just hurt your back, it literally changes your body—and not for the better. To combat this, anyone who sits at a desk on a consistent basis should invest in an ergonomic chair, especially if you suffer from back pain.

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Additional reporting by Kayla Hui

Receiving her master’s degree in public health in 2020, Kayla Hui is a seasoned public health practitioner and health journalist. She has interviewed dozens of experts, reviewed numerous research studies, and tested a plethora of products to deliver well-researched product reviews and roundups. Her goal is to help readers make more informed decisions about their health and well-being.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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