Since comfort is a personal thing, getting a good chair is often about finding the chair that fits you personally. Compared with the components of most similarly priced or less expensive chairs, the Ignition 2.0’s materials feel more durable and of a higher quality, with less wobbly armrests and smoother-rolling casters. Note that this chair’s seat height starts at 18 inches, so it too might require people 5-foot-4 or shorter to use a footrest for proper ergonomics, as I found in testing. It has the basic adjustability most people need, and it’s comfortable, too, with a firm foam seat and a breathable plastic mesh back. Our test Aeron was size B, recommended for most people between 5-foot-2 and 6-foot-6. This is something to think about. Of its various office chairs, the Mid-Back Black Mesh Chair is one of the better-reviewed. The Hyken is definitely the better chair and I found myself missing it. But a few tweaks can make a $50 chair feel nearly as good as a $1,000 one. Compared with the back on the Aeron, which has a tight weave that feels like a trampoline for your posterior, the Ignition 2.0’s mesh back feels more like a camping chair you sink back into. If you’re the right size, though, it’s a good chair at a good price. The seat cushion is thick and soft—an improvement over the slightly too-firm seats of our previous budget pick, the HON Exposure, and the similarly priced Fully Desk Chair. However, the Aeron is designed around desk work and sitting properly upright. The Ignition 2.0 has all the standard adjustments we like to see in a chair, including seat-depth adjustment, tilt tension, tilt lock, seat height, and height-adjustable arms. We tried the Cosm’s new Leaf armrest design, which is more like an elbow cradle than an armrest; we found it comfortable for relaxing our arms at the chair but not for supporting them when we were typing or reading a book. In our latest round of testing, we found that the sub-$100 AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Office Chair is probably your best bet if you’re looking for an inexpensive office chair that offers height adjustability. The Herman Miller Cosm (available in low-, mid-, and high-back versions) is a chair built with the idea that it shifts and moves with you. Others found the recline, which shoves your crotch into the air as you push back, a little awkward. Problem: poor paddingSolution: lumbar support pillow and seat cushion. As compared to those chairs, Alera is a good choice – of course, at the expense of its many shortcomings. Used as the standard chairs in Wirecutter’s Los Angeles office since 2018, the Sayls we’ve tried over time have generally maintained their smooth adjustments and looks, although the arm movements can be clunky on occasion. If you have a full-time desk job, 14,000 hours is the minimum amount of time you’ll spend sitting over the next 10 years. Some panelists loved the “alien/space-age” look of the chair while others hated it; we referred to it as the Tron chair during testing. As Rani Lueder explained it to us, “[When] leaning back, not only are you intermittently relieving the loads on your spine [but also] in the process, opening up your thigh-torso angle. Here are our most helpful tips on what you can do to keep it clean. Search. The good news: If spending hundreds of dollars on an office chair isn’t in your budget in the foreseeable future, you can make a cheap office chair (or even a kitchen chair) work for you until you’re ready to upgrade. For previous versions of this guide, we also tested and dismissed the following office chairs: The Steelcase Leap was once our pick for the best office chair and later became our runner-up. You can’t really fix a chair that doesn’t recline or reclines only slightly—or, worse, forces you to lean forward in your chair. Designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf, the Herman Miller Aeron Chair is actually over 20 years old at this juncture. There are three sizes of Aeron too (there are dots under the top lip at the back indicating which) … You might not realize it, but reclining in your chair is beneficial. Some chairs’ lumbar support feels nonexistent, while other chairs have curves that are so pronounced, they might push you uncomfortably forward. Clearly an attempt at a lower-cost Aeron, the Hyken won’t give you the same build quality (or lifespan) of Herman Miller’s chair, but it’s still worth a look if you’re on a budget and breathability is a top concern. Buying an office chair is like buying a mattress: If you’re spending a third of your life in this furniture, it had better support your well-being and not break your back. Some testers had difficulty getting comfortable in the ReGeneration, and they complained about the back of the chair pushing awkwardly on their lower spine. Everything about the Ergo, aside from the headrest, is downright uncomfortable. The breathability of the mesh means most people won’t overheat or find a gross sweat stain on their back on hot days. If you find that your cheap chair’s lumbar support is inadequate, a $20 to $30 lumbar support pillow can help you maintain better posture and make sitting back more comfortable. Yet it is still one of the best ergonomic office chairs in the world — which should give you an idea of just how well-designed and … Same solutions, different problem: If you find that the cushioning in your cheap office chair wears out quickly or isn’t dense enough to begin with, you can use a lumbar support pillow to augment the backrest padding or a seat cushion to coddle your tuchus. But for around $300, you get a solid chair that will be comfortable for at least a few years. This chair might be better as a task chair in a conference room or if you tend to get out of your chair regularly throughout the day. In fact, the Aeron’s mesh has a springiness and breathability that some of our testers preferred over the feel of the Gesture and other chairs for long hours of work. *At the time of publishing, the price was $1,033. Cleaning options with mesh are going to be more limited than other chair … The Herman Miller Aeron is an iconic, comfortable, and durable chair, and the mesh back and seat make it a better option than the Gesture if you run hot or work somewhere without air conditioning. For the price, we think the Fully chair is still worth considering if you know that you like a firm seat, don’t need strong lumbar support, prefer the chair’s aesthetics, or want a budget-priced chair with a higher (330-pound) weight limit. We now know that any sustained in-chair time can be detrimental to your health, but a bad chair only adds to the problem by putting you in positions that add to long-term risk. In that time, she has researched and tested all sorts of office furniture and hardware, including standing desks, footrests, and ergonomic keyboards. As a customer service and experience expert and keynote speaker, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. On the other hand, Aeron’s lumbar support is fully adjustable, but the backrest itself is static. What sets the Gesture apart is that it excels for people who want to recline with little effort, switch tasks throughout the day, or easily make adjustments to fine-tune the fit. This chair might do in the short term, but you’ll have to plan on replacing it soon if you want to invest in a chair for the long term. In addition, the Fully Desk Chair has a five-year warranty, shorter coverage next to the Ignition 2.0’s limited lifetime warranty; like the Ignition 2.0’s warranty, this policy covers only material and manufacturer defects rather than minor replaceable parts. One of our testers, right on the cusp of sizes B and C in the chart, found the size B chair far too narrow, and the recline too easy to push back accidentally. But, where else is there a mesh seat bottom plus headrest for anywhere near this price range? There is however one feature that may encourage you to buy WorkPro Quantum 9000. The same goes for chairs that don’t roll easily because of poor casters, backrests that are too short or nonexistent, armrests that are too flimsy, too short, or too tall to be useful, surfaces that are hard to clean, chair edges that aren’t rounded for comfort, or models that aren’t designed to hold your weight (the inexpensive chairs we looked at were all rated for weights under 250 pounds). Great office chairs aren’t cheap, and not everyone can afford ergonomic perfection. As a high-quality chair with strong lumbar support, the Sayl is a good fit for standard office work—and its plastic-webbed back stays cooler than fabric cushions. I was able to get it through my work for about $500 USD because it doubles for my home office and we get some discount, any chance you can do something like that? Steelcase’s Gesture chair may cost as much as a good laptop, but it will almost certainly outlast one. But you can extend the life of a cheap, somewhat adjustable chair like the AmazonBasics with a few affordable workarounds. You could buy Aeron or other Herman Miller chairs only if you could buy them. We found the Fully’s seat cushion a tad too stiff and firm for all-day comfort, and we found the lumbar support adjustment ineffective. It’s largely no-frills as you’d expect, but it’s breathable and fully adjustable (except for the arms), and its price makes it more palatable if you need more than one. She’s thrilled when those topics intersect—and when she gets to write about them in her PJs. For some people, the Aeron’s forced ergonomics are nice, but others might find the chair to be too prescriptive. It’s still an excellent chair with a solid amount of adjustments and a comfortable back, but most of our testers didn’t think anything about the Leap separated it from the Gesture or Aeron. The best office chairs provide great lumbar support, with extra padding for the natural curve in your lower back. Many of these parts are easy to replace yourself; unlike the Gesture, which hides its moving parts, the Aeron wears its skeleton proudly. Herman Miller Aeron Chair. You can also splurge on options, such as a polished or satin aluminum frame, to spruce it up a little. But that also makes it super sturdy. Some people liked them, but we found in general that being able to manually fine-tune the Gesture led to greater comfort and fit for most of our testers. It’s one of the most comfortable, supportive, and durable office chairs we’ve ever tested: Everything, from the back support to the quality fabric to the dependable adjustment knobs, has stood the test of time. Wirecutter is reader-supported. Wirecutter editor Ben Keough (who is 6-foot-1) tested the HON Ignition 2.0 and the Fully Desk Chair at the same time in his home office. You can purchase an optional adjustable lumbar-support control that slides up and down on the back, but most of our testers found this piece unnecessary since the Sayl naturally forces you upright. If you don’t spend that much time sitting in front of a computer, you don’t need the type of ergonomic, adjustability-focused office chair like the ones we recommend here. Not everyone has an extra room to use as a home office. That problem, coupled with an extremely firm seat and an inability to recline more than about 15 degrees, led us to conclude that you’re better off saving up for a more comfortable chair. But if you lean forward a lot, you may want to invest $100 in the tilt limiter and seat-angle add-on. The Aeron’s lumbar-support system offers a fully adjustable dial and tilt mechanism that we found natural to use but a bit harder to manipulate than the Gesture’s. In an ideal ergonomic world, you would set your arm height once and leave it there, but most people don’t sit perfectly all the time, and many people switch tasks throughout the day. When you move, you redistribute pressure [and] you help promote circulation.”. Most office chairs claim to offer lumbar support, but more often than not it’s nonexistent. The Best Chair For Programmers As An Ex Google Tech Lead Aeron Vs Embody Steelcase Hyken. The Herman Miller Aeron is a surprisingly comfortable chair considering its all-mesh, no-padding design. Again, chair size makes a big difference: Our size A and B testers found the chair a bit more difficult to recline in and maintain the tilt angle, but our size C tester said the chair reclined too easily and was difficult to lock into place, even though the chair has a tilt tension control knob. The Sayl has all the adjustments you need but doesn’t go above and beyond that. Posted in best | Tagged -lead-, aeron, best, chair, embody, google, hyken, programmers, steelcase, tech. Priced between the Sayl and the Gesture, it’s a good option for anyone who is not willing to spend up to a grand on a chair but who still wants something normal looking and comfortable. Wirecutter senior staff writer Melanie Pinola has been working out of her home office for over two decades, writing about technology and productivity for sites such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, and Laptop Mag. The Gesture also comes in the widest range of fabrics and other finishing options of the chairs we tested, so you can customize its appearance for your workspace. For this round of testing, we asked nine people to test 10 chairs for at least one straight 90-minute session—as recommended by Cornell University’s Ergonomic Department—if not a full day of work. Herman Miller’s Embody is a strange-looking chair, but when it comes to comfort, it’s one of the most adjustable, high-tech chairs available. This chair demands that you notice it, and if you’re into that space-age look, the range of color options allows you to make it fit in or stand out. But this was our panelists’ least favorite chair, with one tester saying that sitting in it for 90 minutes “felt like an eternity” and another remarking that it might motivate them to get a standing desk. Gear Patrol rated it both the best value and best all-around office chair, and it gets similarly high marks from Wired, which praised its “unrivaled” back support and extensive customization options. You can adjust the tilt tension as well as how far the Sayl tilts back, but it takes a few turns of the tension knob before you really notice a change, and one of our size C testers found that the chair was too easy to lean all the way back. The Ignition 2.0 looks less boxy than competing budget-priced chairs and is available with a gray or black mesh back. The best overall: Herman Miller Aeron Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. The Herman Miller Sayl, specced for around the same price with more adjustments, was more popular with testers. For our last major round of testing in 2019, we used the following criteria to whittle down a field of 50 contenders to a final list of 10 to test: Based on our conversations with ergonomists, we avoided two types of chairs entirely: Because chair comfort is such a personal thing, in our 2019 round of tests we asked staffers of various body types, from a 5-foot-2 writer to a 6-foot-2 editor, to test each chair at our New York office. The Aeron comes with a 12-year warranty that covers all repairs and parts. Since everyone is different, we found chairs that fit a range of body types, but you should always try a chair out before purchasing. That tally doesn’t include the nights you have to work late, the weekends you’re called into the office, those unfortunate occasions you end up scarfing down lunch in front of your computer, or any late-night gaming sessions you might enjoy. The Steelcase Gesture requires an investment in excess of $1,000, but if you sit for long periods, the expense is well worth it—for the support, for the adjustability, and for comfort that will last over a decade. The recycled material of the Aeron is … Former Wirecutter writer Kevin Purdy and his wife, who own this chair, had the same feedback on it. Most of these complaints are minor for a $300 chair that supports up to 300 pounds. Not everyone has $500—let alone $1,000—to spend on a chair. Seat width: 21.25 inches Capacity: 300 pounds Tilt: 24 degrees Overall dimensions: 42 x 29.5 x 26 inches Weight: 51 pounds Warranty: 12 years You may know the iconic Herman Miller Aeron … We may earn commission if you buy from a link. If that is an issue for you, our other picks all have mesh backs that are much more breathable and also less likely to collect lint because the material isn’t cloth. But, where else is there a mesh seat bottom plus headrest for anywhere near this price range? We didn’t test it this time, but it tends to review well and is worth a look if you like a foam seat but want a mesh back. We also surveyed staff members who have owned or used any of our current or previous picks for their long-term testing notes. Plus, the Gesture is the only chair we tested with ball-and-socket-style armrests that you can rotate and move into nearly any position: You just hold down a tab under the armrest to unlock the arm and then rotate the whole arm freely to make it comfortable for whatever you’re doing. The Herman Miller Mirra 2 is a good office chair that’s priced comparably to the Aeron. Bookmark the permalink. Since 2013, we’ve asked dozens of Wirecutter staffers to test and report on dozens of chairs. Weighing over 70 pounds, the chair is bulky, an annoyance if you want to move it around your home office. Our testers included writers, editors, and photographers with different body types. Most good chairs have armrests that can move up and down, shift backward and forward, and angle in or out; budget chairs rarely give you even that much adjustment, usually allowing for up and down movement at best. It has a very firm seat. Like many of you, I’m working fulltime at home and spending ten hours minimum editing and sitting in front of my computer screen … Continued Color options are unfortunately limited to dark gray or a higher-priced black leather option, but Ikea’s ten-year limited warranty is among the best in this price range. A footrest easily solves that problem, albeit at an added cost. We’ve researched dozens of office chairs, interviewed four ergonomics experts, and asked test panelists with a variety of body types to sit in deliberation for over 175 collective hours. 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