The best office chair is designed to handle a full working day. I should be comfortable, supportive, and solid. For eight hours a day, and for a cheeky late-night gaming session. These thrones combine the ergonomics of a great gaming chair, with the style of a corpo professional. If the best office chairs are good enough for hedge fund managers, you can bet they'll deliver for the average gamer who spends hours designing their perfect apartment in The Sims.
Sometimes, a gamer chair covered in demonic runes (opens in new tab) isn't appropriate for work. If you want to match the ergonomics of a gaming chair without giving off a super edgy flair, the office chairs below provide comfort and have a style that's more in line with the straight-edge of a workplace.
A good office chair for gaming could cost you hundreds of dollars with one or two exceptions. Simply put, good furniture is expensive; leather upholstery and lumbar support are going to cost you. These chairs are all sturdy, well-built products that should last you years. So, think about what's most important to you and set a budget. You deserve more than that chair you stole from the family room twenty years ago. Your body will thank you.
One other thing: it's always good to think about desk-based ergonomics (opens in new tab) and how to best support your spine and the rest of your body. You may want to invest in a standing desk to get off your butt and stretch your legs every couple of hours, or just get up and take a break more often. A quality chair is important, but it isn't the be-all and end-all to a healthy office life.
Best office chairs for gaming
If you're the sort of person to prioritize functionality over flash, the NeueChair is an excellent option. This isn't to say it's not stylish—quite the opposite; the NeueChair comes in a sleek, muted obsidian or flashy chrome/silver, both with bold, sweet curved supports on the back and an attractive black mesh.
More importantly, the NeueChair is built to last, with a heavy, sturdy industrial construction. Even the chair's weight in the packaging indicates a solid piece of carefully constructed industrial art: severe and substantial.
Assembling it is a breeze, as it comes in two discrete pieces and is simply a matter of inserting the casters and pushing them together.
Almost every aspect of the seat is adjustable, from the armrests to the lumbar support system that lets you change the height depth of the backrest. It's one of the best office chairs I've ever had the pleasure to sit in, and if you can afford the admittedly steep price tag, one that's well worth the investment.
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The Steelcase Leap (opens in new tab) is one of the most iconic modern chairs, with a price to match its performance, but we prefer the newer Steelcase Gesture for several reasons. Foremost of which is, holy smokes, it feels good to sit in.
If your eyes are still watering at the cost, know this: much as we enjoyed the other chairs singled out here, none of them came close to the pure comfort of the Gesture.
Imagine your butt and back being perfectly cupped by the giant ever-loving hand of the deity of your choice. That's what the Gesture is like. Or, as it became known amongst us testing it: 'the dream chair.'
Anyone that spends a significant amount of time in a chair should seriously consider splurging on this one. The steep price buys you a lifetime warranty and your butt the most comfortable embrace it'll ever experience.
Office Star's line of chairs doesn't look noteworthy initially, but the customer reviews are consistently good. We like the ProGrid Back Managers Chair a lot because it offers the kind of tweakability usually only found on much more expensive models.
Using its daunting array of levers, you can adjust the chair's height and tilt, plus slide the seat pan forwards or backward. The backrest can also be shifted up or down, and the armrests raised or lowered and slid back and forth until you find the perfect position.
It may take a while, but once you tune it to your liking, the chair becomes incredibly comfortable. With so much customization, the ProGrid is a strong choice and very hard to beat at this price.
On the face of it, the Office Master OM5 sounds like the snake oil of seating. The marketing materials describe it as "a self-weighing chair that intuitively responds to a wide range of body weights and sizes without the need for manual tension."
Essentially: don't worry about all those levers and knobs on the other chairs; this one will magically work out what your butt and back need, no problem. Our skepticism didn't last long, though, because sitting is believing when it comes to the OM5.
There are plenty of manual adjustments possible, but all of the magic happens around your back and hip. As you lean back and apply pressure, the seat pan shifts forwards while the backrest reclines in response, articulating smoothly thanks to wheels on runners that function much like the ones in desk draw sliders.
It takes a little getting used to but transitioning from upright work mode to relaxing while playing or watching swiftly becomes a cinch. If you want comfort and can't be bothered with levers and adjustments, the OM5 is one of our favorites. It gives you high-end quality and comfort at a mid-range price.
Perhaps you've heard of the Herman Miller Embody. It has been a stalwart of best office chair lists for years. Now it occupies a place in the hearts of both gamers and office workers because the famed chair manufacturer has partnered up with Logitech to create something tailor-made to our gaming rumps.
It's not so much the changes that make the Embody stand out as one of the best gaming chairs going. It's what's been kept the same. The tried and tested Embody design is simply one of the best chairs for office work or gaming. It's incredibly comfortable over prolonged use, supports an active and healthy posture, and easily fits your frame.
The warranty is also a standout feature. At 12 years, including labor, and rated to 24-hour use over that time, it's a chair that is guaranteed to last you over a decade, if not longer. So while the initial price tag may seem steep, and that it is, the reality is you're sure to get your money's worth in the long run. And your back will be thankful for it, too.
Read our full Logitech G x Herman Miller Embody gaming chair review (opens in new tab).
The best office chairs FAQ
How do we test chairs?
Between articles about the effects of sitting down (opens in new tab) on your body and our experimentation with standing desks (opens in new tab), you might think PC Gamer has fallen out of love with the humble chair. Dear reader, that could not be further from the truth. As gamers and office workers, we spend a significant chunk of each day sitting on our money makers in front of screens. Given that most of us don't plan to change that anytime soon, it only makes sense to do so in a great chair. So that's what I set out to find.
We wanted to find chairs that maximized comfort, support, and value. We spoke with Melissa Afterman, MS CPE (opens in new tab), a Senior Principal Ergonomist with VSI Risk Management & Ergonomics (opens in new tab), Inc., specializing in workstation setups.
"Chairs are still okay," she told me. "Yes, we know that sitting too long is bad for you. The reality is that standing too long is just as bad for you, so the answer is movement. Taking breaks, getting up at least every hour and moving, or changing your position from standing to sitting every hour so that you're not standing too long either."
"If you're typing and working at the computer, you want more upright support so that you can maintain neutral spine posture and let the chair hold you up," she said. "But when you switch to a gaming mode, you may want to recline a little bit to relax your lower back while still having good support in that position. So a locking backrest and/or some tension control is important."
Another feature to look for, though it tends to be found on more expensive models, is a seat pan slider. This enables you to slide the positioning of your butt forwards or backward relative to the backrest.
How much should I spend on an office chair?
The answer can really depend on a few key factors, namely your budget, but generally we're in the camp of spending bigger on a better chair that'll more than likely end up keeping you comfortable for much, much longer than a cheap one. Cheap chairs really feel cheap, and they're very rarely as well considered in their ergonomics or design as those more expensive models.
That said, there's no reason why you can't find a good mid-range chair that doesn't break the bank. It's a reason why you won't find any super cheap chairs on this list, however. We're yet to find any that we feel suitable for long-term or regular use.
Can a good chair help with posture?
The best office chairs look out for you and your back. When it comes to chair design, lumbar support is vital. The first thing you should look for in a new gaming chair is whether it has any built-in support to help your body maintain an ideal posture. Some even come with lumbar support pillows that work just as well. Multi-adjustable arm-rests, upholstery, and general style are also important; note these features aren't cheap.
Does every chair fit every body type?
Different chair models accommodate different heights and weights, so make sure to check your fit before adding to cart. Look at the width and depth of the seat, too. Some chairs claim that you should sit cross-legged, but that depends on your size and your legs' length.