Best Office Chairs
for Back Pain 2019


Ryan Fiorenzi the authorResearch by Ryan Fiorenzi
Updated January 15, 2019

Your Chair & Back Pain

If you’re suffering from back pain, sitting for hours on end could be contributing, or even causing your discomfort. Most people sit with poor posture in chairs that offer little support. This puts pressure on your vertebrae and muscles. Especially when you’re sitting for long periods of time! Finding the best office chair for your back 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 or using a leaning chair while you work. The easiest way to include both standing and sitting into your workday is to use an adjustable standing desk. These are desks that can be used at a sitting or standing height.

Our Process

We've reviewed dozens of chairs 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 keep your lower back from rounding.
  • Overall Value: There are chairs that cost thousands of dollars, which isn't in the budget for 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 2019


#1- Modway
Articulate

Modway Articulate - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Overall Best Value Chair for Back Pain

  • 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

#2 – Topsky Mesh

Topsky Mesh - Best Chairs for Back Pain

“Best Value Chair for Back Pain Runner Up”

    • Adjustable lumbar support to find the setting that works for you
    • 3-way adjustable headrest
    • High density mesh designed to keep you cooler
    • Adjustable height armrests
    • Hanger on backrest to hang items
    • Maximum weight of 330 lbs

    #3 Flash Furniture High Back

    Flash Furniture High Back Office Chair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best Budget Office Chair for Back Pain”

    • Flash Furniture Office Chair has key ergonomic features typically found at higher price points
    • Adjustable height armrests
    • Contoured back rest to support lower back
    • Soft front edge of the seat to maximize comfort
    • Quality fit and finish considering the price

    #4 – Vanbow High Back

    Vanbow High Back - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best Executive Chair for Back Pain”

    • Innovative and integrated Air Kinetic lumbar support feature supports your lower back while you are stationary or moving
    • One of the few executive style chairs available with key ergonomic features and design
    • Eco-friendly leather material
    • Easy to use seat adjustments thoughtful locations

    #5 – Serta Air Chair

    Serta Air Chair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best Executive Chair for Back Pain Runner Up”

    • Innovative Air Kinetic lumbar support feature supports your lower back while you are stationary or moving
    • One of the few executive style chairs available with key ergonomic features and design
    • Eco-friendly leather material
    • Easy to use seat adjustments thoughtful locations
    • Occasional issues with armrests but backed up by a good warranty

    #6 – Poly and Bark Valencia

    Poly and Bark Valencia Chair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best Design Office Chair for Back Pain”

    • Poly and Bark are known for design and the Valencia lives up to the reputation
    • minimalist design but doesn't cut corners on key ergonomic features
    • Adjustable height and depth armrests
    • Adjustable headrest and backrest
    • Chrome steel base with matching casters
    • Breathable mesh backrest
    • 250 lbs weight limit

    #7 – UPLIFT Vert

    UPLIFT Vert Chair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best Design Runner Up

    • High-end design similar to some Steelcase chairs double or triple the price
    • Innovative weight sensing feature than provides support based on your contact with the backrest
    • Adjustable armrests
    • Adjustable lumbar support, a rare feature on most office chairs
    • Adjustable headrest
    • Weight capacity: 250 lbs
    • Chrome steel base

    #8 – Steelcase Leap

    Steelcase Leap - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best High-end Office Chair for Back Pain”

    • The Leap is a real investment in your office chair at over $1,000 but is world class in every way.
    • Designed for business use it will stand up to years of heavy abuse
    • Patented LiveBack technology changes shape as you move for overall comfort and ergonomics
    • Ships fully assembled (most chairs require assembly)
    • Adjustable seat height and depth
    • Adjustable arm rests and arm depth
    • Adjustable headrest
    • Passive seat edge angle helps minimize pressure on the back of your thighs
    • 500 lbs weight limit

    #9 – Dragonn Kneeling Chair

    Dragonn Kneeling Chair - Best Chairs for Back Pain

    “Best Kneeling Chair for Back Pain”

    • The Dragonn Kneeling Chair offers an alternative to a conventional office chair and has been proven to help alleviate back pain and keep your body in a more natural comfortable position while you work.
    • Can help strengthen core muscles and improve your posture
    • Adjustable height
    • Durable and thick padding
    • 250 lbs weight limit

    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.

    Chair Min Height Max Height Seat Width Seat Depth Price
    USD
    Modway Articulate 19" 24" 19" 19" $114
    Topsky Mesh 17.5" 21" 21" 20.3" $169
    Flash Furniture High Back 17.5" 21.75" 21" 20" $89
    Vanbow High Back 20" 22" 21.3" 19.3" $170
    Serta Air Chair 19" 25" 19" 18" $174
    Poly & Bark Valencia 18" 21" 18.5" 21" $232
    UPLIFT Vert 15.7" 19.7" 19.7" 17.3" $399
    Steelcase Leap 15.5" 20.5" 19.25" 18" $1,127
    Dragonn Kneeling 21" 28" 10" 18" $130

    More Resources on Back pain

    If you're suffering from back pain and you spend extended periods sitting here are a couple more things you can try in addition to getting a quality office chair:

    • Maintain Good Posture - A quality ergonomic office chair can help you maintain better posture, but ultimately you have to train yourself and develop muscle memory to achieve. Check out our guide on proper workplace ergonomics for both sitting and standing.
    • Try Kneeling - If you fear getting a new office chair won't relive your back pain, consider kneeling. Kneeling chairs are becoming more popular due to their ergonomic benefits
    • Try Standing- Standing is the best position for your spine and can be very effective in preventing or alleviating back pain. A standing desk may be worth considering.
    • Try a Lumbar Pillow - many of the office chairs on this list have great lumbar support for back pain. If the support isn't enough for you we recommend pairing a lumbar support pillow. This will also allow you position the support exactly where you need it.

    Startstanding.org is supported by it’s readers. If you purchase any products from this page, our educational website will receive a small commission from the Amazon.com and/or other affiliate programs, which will help cover our costs, and doesn’t affect your price.

    Comments

    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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