Office Chair Selection Guide

Selecting a good, comfortable office chair is an important decision. If you intend to spend a lot of time in your office chair, it’s probably the equivalent to purchasing a mattress for your bed.

Think about how much time you’ll spend in the chair each day. It could be as much as 8-12 hours. If that’s the case, you definitely want to make an informed decision to ensure you select a comfortable office chair.

Listed below are some general guidelines we’ve developed to assist you in the process of selecting the best office chair.

Test it first. The best way to select the best office chair is to test it firsthand. If possible, the person who will be using the chair should take it for a test drive

Check the fit.

  • Make sure the chair height can be adjusted to ensure your feet rest on the floor.
  • Is the seat cushion comfortable?   Does it feel stable and balanced in a variety of positions?
  • Are your knees below your hips?   When seated with your feet resting on the floor, you want to ensure your knees are below your hips.   This is especially critical on heavy use office chairs to ensure you maintain proper circulation below the knee.   As a general rule, the angle formed by your torso and thighs should be between 90 and 105 degrees.
  • Is the chair rounded at the front?   A rounded front also helps to maintain proper circulation in your legs.
  • How’s the back?   Make sure the back rest feels comfortable.   Lumbar support systems vary, so make sure the fit is good.

Select a chair designed to support your usage requirements. Some office chairs are designed for short-term, infrequent use while others are designed for daily, heavy duty usage. Today’s ergonomic chairs also come with a variety of mechanisms to control the comfort level of each user – height control, tension adjustment, lumbar support, tilt angle control, and several other chair controls. Listed below are some general categories for types of office chairs based on the amount of use. Refer to Types of Chairs to get a general feel for the type of use that will be required of your chair.

Review the tilt. The best office chair should allow a number of different tilt options to accommodate different seating positions throughout the day.   Also, check to make sure the tilting tension can be adjusted. Tilting back in an office chair should be easy, but there should be some tension. You’ll need to adjust this based on your height, weight, and needs.

Check out the armrests. If the chair will be used at a desk or computer workstation, then make sure the armrests are designed so that the chair can be pulled up close to the workstation. Adjustable armrests are also a nice option and are an important feature of a comfortable office chair. Some chairs come with armrests that extend 10 inches or less from the back of the seat. These armrests allow you to work close to the workstation while also providing a place to rest your arms.

Make sure the chair wheel casters are appropriate for the flooring they will be used on.   Hard wheel casters are appropriate for carpet and some solid surface materials. However, if your chair will be used on hardwood floors or other flooring material that can be damaged, then you should strongly consider soft wheel casters.

Choose the right fabric. The fabric should be one that allows a firm seat with no sliding. It should also be a breathable fabric that allows easy cleanup of spills.

The best office chair is the one that best meets your individual needs and price point. There is no single best chair that is the same for everyone. Use our guidelines above and find the office chair that is right for you.