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Office chairs are designed to offer less fatigue and more productivity at work. Comfort, convenience, and support to head, arms, back, lumbar region, and torso are the ergonomic essentials for these chairs. From the Oval Office to 10, Downing Street, and all the way to your own cubicle, they are omnipresent across the labyrinths of workspaces.

Office chairs differ in functionality and personality from the other chairs in two ways. They are meant to facilitate a good sitting position for long hours, and their styling often reflects the personality of the owner. And for the high and mighty, they are the metaphors of power and influence. 

If you are shopping for an office chair, take a seat. This article will assist you in choosing the one that meets your needs, fits your budget, and sits pretty in your office.

What Types of Office Chairs Are There?

There are six main types of office chairs:

Computer Chairs

You will come across a vast range, varied in design, looks, and materials. However, be mindful about these functional necessities:

  • Efficient backrest. Be it software coding or graphic design, computer-related professions require long sitting time. Your concentration level will also be high, which means you will take fewer breaks. Make sure that your chair supports your back well. Backrest with adjustable height and tension will be your best bet. 
  • Avoid office chairs with mesh-back. They might look trendy, but will sag and deform. And they don't offer scientific back support as cushioned backrests do. 
  • Armrests. You will be keying like crazy. Your armrest must be at the desktop height, of adequate length to support your forearms, and they should have flat top. 
  • Height. About 17" to 21" from the floor. Sit on the chair to make sure that your feet rest flat.
  • Tech-savvy looks. What's the point if your office chair does not scream that you are a technocrat or a creative professional! So go for off-beat yet functional designs, all-black or complementary color schemes, angled rather than tapered curves, and not-too-heavy models. 

Recommended budget: $78-150

Simple Office Desk Chair
Ergonomic Mesh Desk Chair
Genuine Leather Ergonomic Desk Chair
Ergonomic Mesh Task Chair
High Back Ergonomic Task Chair
Simple Ergonomic Desk Chair

Executive Chairs

These are for you if you are in the middle-to-senior management strata. They will have an air of efficiency around them, will be easy to move, and very comfortable to sit on. All said, a symbol of productivity, performance and decision-making ability. Choose black color. It is universally aligned to your career level. 

Recommended budget: $150-310.

Classic Elegant Office Executive Chair
Black Minimal Executive Chair
Executive Chair with Woven Back
Ergonomic Executive Chair
Modern Minimal Executive Chair
Elegant Black Executive Chair

CXO Chairs

Made for the top level. Are you one of them? Then choose a black or brown leather office chair with rivet-fixed upholstery. It is synonymous with a command-center environment that you prevail upon. It will be heavy and difficult to move, just like you position and stature. And it will no doubt be grand and luxurious. 

Recommended budget: $610+

Heavy Genuine Leather Executive Chair
Decorative Brown Genuine Leather Executive Chair
Vinyl Executive Chair
Simple Elegant Executive Chair
Classic Style Executive Chair
Decorative Luxurious Executive Chair

High-back Chairs

These chairs fit into the executive and CXO office chairs' categories. They possess features of both. However, they do have three distinct characteristics:

  • They offer full back and head support.
  • They offer head support.
  • They are usually over-sized. 

Recommended budget: $140-230.

Classic Style Office Chair with Head Support
Ergonomic Genuine Leather High Back Chair
Genuine Leather High Back Chair
Genuine Leather High Back Task Chair
Stylish Ergonomic High Back Task Chair
XL Ergonomic Mesh High Back Chair

Conference Chairs 

Meant for meetings and conferences, these office chairs have a "one-size-fits-all" design ethos. Visually too, they will blend with many types of interiors. These chairs are sociable, comfortable, and medium-sized creatures made from a wide variety of materials. Functionally, they will incorporate comfort, efficient swivel, and mobility. What they will not have are frills such as high backrests and luxury upholstery. 

The one feature you can customize about the conference office chairs is their chair-to-room-size ratio. Too big a size will accommodate fewer people and will be at odds with the room dimensions. So, choose the right size along with the right type. 

Recommended budget: $50-350.

Genuine Leather Conference Chair
Simple Conference Chair
Mid Back Ribbed Conference Chair
Simple Wide Conference Chair
Ribbed Conference Chair
Stylish Conference Chair

Stacking Chairs

These are the contingency type of office chairs, the ones that are brought out on special occasions. They will stack up neatly in the storage space when not in use. Hence, they are light-weight, of tubular metal armature and plastic body, neutral in color, and modest yet functional. 

Being utility chairs, they usually don't have backrest, armrests, and cushioning. This does not mean you have to compromise on sitting comfort while choosing them. There does exist a balance between budget and basics. Space-saving is the biggest benefit of stacking office chairs. 

Recommended budget: $50.

Ergonomic Armless Stackable Chair
Padded Stackable Chair
Heavy Duty Stackable Chair
Light Armless Stackable Chair
Simple Armless Stackable Chair
Stackable Armless Chair

Which Are the Essential Features To Look For In an Office Chair?

In order to offer physical comfort and functional convenience, office chairs must adhere to the following ergonomic facilitators: 

Adjustable Height

This is an absolute must-have feature. The adjustable chair height makes persons of different heights feel "at home." Even if the chair is meant for the same person, they may be wearing footwear of different heights at office. Their chair's height will again come in handy, whether they are wearing high-heels or flat sandals.  

That's okay, but you may ask, which exactly is the "proper" height for an office chair? Universally, the seat should be between 16" and 21" high. However, you should consider these practical criteria to make the right choice.

  • Your feet rest flat on the floor
  • Your torso is parallel to the floor, and so are the chair's armrests
  • Your forearms are at 90^0^ to your upper body (parallel to the desktop)

The best way to check out is to sit on the chair for some time before you finalize your choice. 

Adjustable Armrests

This feature is again related to the varying heights of different people who may occupy the office chair. It is important for the same reasons that an adjustable chair height is. Additionally, please ensure that:

  • The armrests are not too long or too short. If they are too long, they may collide with the desk and damage the surface. And if they are too short, you may not be able to rest your forearms on them fully. The rule of thumb is they should support your entire forearm.
  • Also, they should have a flat top surface so that the forearms rest comfortably on them. 

Adjustable Backrest

This feature will make sure that your spine is curved and aligned appropriately with your seated body. A properly curved spins will prevent many orthopedic conditions in the long term, such as vertigo, stiff neck, and low back pain. 

Reclining Backrest

Along with adjustable height the backrest should also be reclining. You don't want to sit erect all day long, right? A reclining backrest will offer rest and relief to your back. 

Importantly, the reclining mechanism should not be too stiff or too easy. A hard mechanism will cause neck problems within hours, and if your chair's back reclines too easily, you may even fall off the chair!This is because the sudden backward movement of you upper body will cause your lower body to move forward rapidly, and the imbalance will result in a somersault. 

To avoid such embarrassing situations completely,choose the chair that offers adjustable reclining tension.

Seat Depth

Pay enough attention to this underrated feature. If the seats of office chairs are too deep, they will cause numbness in hips and calf muscles because of increased pressure on your back. Shallow seats, on the other hand, will not accommodate your full torso. You will be perched on the chair very uncomfortably. Your performance is bound to suffer on such chairs. 

Cushion Material

Here again, you may face the problem of too much or too less. To be sure you have made the right choice, go for memory foam cushioning. Reason? Take a look below.

Superior viscoelasticity. Memory foams offer ideal density of about five to 8 lbs per cubic feet. This is the "gold standard" for ergonomic comfort, convenience, and "happily seated" feeling. It makes the foam hard (dense) enough to last long and not deform under constant pressure. On the other hand, memory foam also has good elastic properties which makes it soft and malleable to sit on. And the moment you get up, the cushion regains its original form!

Some office chairs also offer memory foam cushions with gel. This material combination gives a plush and sophisticated cushioning experience. 

Swivel

Revolving office chairs are a norm and no more an exception. Your selection of a swivel chair will let you revolve 360^0^ and avoid body-stretching and craning, and spraining of neck. Besides, you can keep an eye on what's happening around!

Mobility

Office chairs are mobile by default these days. However, points to check are:

  • Sturdy revolving mechanism and parts
  • Superior quality castors. Please note that the type of castors should match your office flooring. If it is hard, go for castors of soft material to give you easy push. For carpeted floors, choose harder castors that minimize resistance. 

Weight

Unless you are in the higher echelons where office chairs don't need to be moved, choose a light-weight yet sturdy office chair that is easy to lift and move.

Which Type Of Upholstery Is Best For an Office Chair?

Sitting on office chairs for long hours means intense contact between skin and chair surface. Often, we overlook the importance of upholstery while choosing office chairs. You don't have to repeat the mistake. Below, we list the different types of upholstery materials and their benefits.

  • Leather. Genuine leather upholstery is found in the elite league of office chairs. Hyde leather is best because of its soft yet tough composition. Leather is skin after all. Hence it makes the most organic fit with human skin. It will prevent any side effects like skin rashes and irritation, and controls sweat formation. It is extremely durable, maintenance-friendly, and provides luxury comfort. 
  • Vinyl. It gives a lustrous, classy and elegant looks to your office chair, but isn't as expensive. Its benefits include affordable elegance, durability, water-proof, and easy maintenance. 
  • Polyester. It is your best choice because it is tough on years and soft on body. Other features include a very wide range of finishes and designs, and no-maintenance characteristic. 
  • Organic coverings. Your choices include cotton, canvas, corduroy, linen, denim, and other natural fabrics. The biggest advantages are their skin-friendliness and temperate surface temperature. You can think of them as an extension of your cotton or linen trouser! Organic upholstery is also trending because of its environment-friendliness and shallow carbon footprint. Besides, its range of colors and designs can go as far as your imagination!

Based on the information provided in this article, you can now shop for an office chair that partners your progress at work for years! Be seated on the best one.