Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

Ryan Fiorenzi the authorResearch by Ryan Fiorenzi
Updated September 29, 2018

Your Chair & Back Pain

If you're suffering from back pain, sitting in a chair for hours on end could be contributing to and possibly even causing your back pain. Most people sit with poor posture and use chairs that offer little support which puts pressure on your vertebrae and muscles. Finding the best office chair for lower back pain could change your life!

The first thing that needs to be addressed is that sitting all day isn't good for your back, even with a high-quality office chair. Ergonomic experts recommend getting up and moving every 20 minutes, which can include standing while you work, and even using a leaning chair. The best way to mix in standing and leaning into your daily work routine is to use an adjustable standing desk: desks that can be used at a sitting and standing height.

How we Rated our top Office Chairs

We've reviewed dozens of chairs mainly using the following criteria:

  • Range of Adjustment: Being able to change the height of the seat (usually done pneumatically), the lumbar support, as well as the height of the armrests (if applicable) is extremely important for finding the position that will minimize the strain on your back, neck, and arms.
  • Quality of Materials and Construction: The general rule with office chairs is that you get what you pay for. Higher quality chairs will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear.
  • Seat Depth: You should have enough room when sitting that your back is supported on the back of the chair with the lumbar support, and the backs of your knees aren't touching the seat pan.
  • Lumbar Support: When sitting, your chest could be sticking out and your shoulders should be pulled back so that if someone is looking at you from the side, your ears are lined up in the same plane as your shoulders. One of the ways to do this is to have the lumbar support of the chair keeping your lower back from rounding.
  • Overall Value: There are chairs that cost thousands of dollars, which isn't in the budget of most people. The good news is that you don't need to spend a fortune to get a chair that will be comfortable and give you the support to keep you in the best position.

Top Office Chairs for Back Pain 2018

We understand that you may be shopping for an office chair for different reasons. You may have different areas of pain or certain needs with your new chair. With this in mind we come up with different categories for this years best office chairs for back pain:

#1 – Modway Articulate

Modway Articulate - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Overall Best Value Chair”

“Runner Up: Best Chair Value Chair”

  • Adjustable lumbar support to find the setting that works for you
  • Headrest is adjustable 3 ways: forward to back, up and down, and the angle for maximum comfort
  • High density strength mesh allows for circulation to keep you cooler
  • Adjustable and soft armrests
  • Hanger on back to hold your clothes or bags
  • Maximum weight of 330 lbs

#3 – Varidesk Varichair

Varidesk Varichair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Best Chair for Leaning at a Standing Desk”

  • Designed for sitting and leaning
  • Comes preassembled
  • Solid construction
  • Beautiful design
  • Works great for sitting and leaning
  • Varidesk is one of the top standing desk companies with a stellar reputation

#4 – Serta Works Executive

Serta Works Executive - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Best Executive Chair”

  • Unique design specified by a Chiropractor where as you slide forward, your lumbar spine is kept in a neutral position. This is the only chair we've tested with this unique feature
  • Ergo-layered cushion creates a really comfortable sitting experience (not surprising as it's a Serta chair)
  • Adjustable padded armrests
  • Beautiful design
  • Eco-friendly bonded leather

#5 – Poly and Bark Inverness Chair

Poly and Bark Inverness Chair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Best Design and Ergonomics”

  • Adjustable three-tiered back with labeled knobs
  • Mesh back for breathability to keep you cool
  • Polished chrome accents
  • 5-star based with caster rollers
  • Beautiful design

#6 – Steelcase Leap

Steelcase Leap - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Best High-end Office Chair”

  • Patented LiveBack technology changes shape as you move for overall comfort and ergonomics
  • Ships fully assembled (most chairs require assembly)
  • Adjustable seat height and arm rests
  • Passive seat edge angle can move 1.5" so you don't feel pressure on the backs of your thighs
  • Tested up to 500 lbs
  • Steelcase is a reputable office design company with many years in the industry
  • Upper back and lower back adjusts separately
  • Variable back stop with 5 positions
  • Lumbar height can adjust 5"
  • Seat depth arranges 3"
  • Up to 98% recyclable
  • Available in 15 colors!

Compare the top Chairs for Back Pain

Use the table below to compare key stats for each chair. Depending on your height or size you may want to consider a desk that has a shorter or taller height range and a smaller or larger seat area both in depth and width.

Stat Definitions:

  • Min Height (inches) - This is the the lowest height from the floor to the top of the seat as reported by the manufacturer or user feedback.
  • Max Height (Inches) - This is the the highest height from the floor to the top of the seat as reported by the manufacturer or user feedback.
  • Seat Width (Inches) - This is the measure of the width of the seat as reported by the manufacturer or user feedback.
  • Seat Depth (Inches) -This is the measure of the depth of the seat as reported by the manufacturer or user feedback.
Best Chairs for Back Pain Stats Comparison
Chair Min Height Max Height Seat Width Seat Depth Price
Modway Articulate 19" 24" 19" 19" $114
Topsky Mesh 17.5" 21" 21" 20.3" $169
Varidesk VariChair 23" 32.75" 14" 13.75" $195
Serta Works Executive 20.25" 23.25" 19" 18" $235
Poly & Bark Inverness 19" 22.5" 22.5" 23" $353
Steelcase Leap 15.5"" 20.5" 19.25" 18" $1,127 is supported by it’s readers. If you purchase any products from this page, our educational website will receive a small commission from the and/or other affiliate programs, which will help cover our costs, and doesn’t affect your price.


  1. I am 280 lbs for now (down from 350!) and am looking for a good chair for when I am sitting at my desk. What is the best recommendation that I can count on being comfortable? I’m not a big fan of leather.

    1. You should definitely take a look at the Topsky. The price is very reasonable. It also will meet your weight needs and is made of a breathable material. You should like it a lot. If you do choose to try out the topsky, let us know what you think!

  2. Thank you for this breakdown. I thought this was mostly a standing desk site though. Why are you reviewing office chairs on here?

    1. Great question John. While we do promote standing at work, our main mission is to encourage people to move often throughout the day. We actually recommend against standing all day. Either of the extremes isn’t ideal so finding a good chair that allows you to sit with good posture and without pain is important. I hope this answers your question!

  3. I bought a nice office chair, but my back still hurts. I think it’s because I slouch. I try to stand when I can, but I don’t like to be on my feet too much.

  4. I work from home. I have really back lower pain were it hurts to sit and move on my chair. I am at 240. I know if I sit in a very comfy chair it helps the lower bum area.

  5. Do any of these chairs allow for your knees to be slightly lower than your hips? I am trying to decrease the back/upper leg angle as advised by back pain researchers.

  6. i have had a 17 level fusion to correct the severe scoliosis which was from bottom of neck to tailbone. i am looking for the right chair because my back now is totally straight, no bend what-so-ever and most chairs have a lumbar support that curves out, which my back will not do now. is there a chair you could recommend as i will be this way forever.

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