Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

Last Updated March 4, 2018
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 tested dozens of chairs mainly using the following criteria:
  • Adjustability: 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 you being able to find the position for you that will create the least amount of 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.

Best Design For Lower Back: Serta Back in Motion

Serta back in motion ergonomic chair for lower back pain
  • Uniquely designed 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
Serta Back in Motion on Amazon

Best Overall Value Leaning Chair: Varichair

varidesk varichair
  • 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
Varichair on Amazon

Best Overall Value Sitting Chair: Topsky

Topsky chair for back pain
  • 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
Topsky on Amazon

Runner Up Best Value For Sitting: Modway Articulate

Modway ergonomic chair
  • Back height and seat depth are both adjustable
  • Breathable mesh seat and vinyl seat
  • Adjustable armrests
  • Chair can incline and recline with a locking function
  • 5 hooded caster wheels to help you move over carpet
  • Available in 7 colors in mesh; vinyl is available (in black)
  • For the money, this is a very sold chair with great ratings and reviews
Modway Articulate on Amazon

Beauty and Ergonomic Design: Poly and Bark Inverness Chair

Poly and Bark Inverness ergonomic chair
  • 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
Poly and Bark Inverness on Amazon

Best Executive Chair: Steelcase Leap With Headrest

Steelcase Leap with headrest chair for lower back pain
  • 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
  • Armrest depth can retract 3" so you can get closer to your desk; arm width-4.5"; arm caps 30º in and out
  • Beautiful design
  • 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
  • Indoor Advantage certification from Scientific Certification Systems as being a low emitting product
  • Available in 15 colors!
  • Available with standard carper casters or for hardwood floors
Steelcase Leap on Amazon 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.

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