Last year when Jess posed the brave question, “Do beautiful yet comfortable office chairs exist?” the very real yet slightly unsatisfying answer appeared to be “it depends”. Like so many things in life, it depends on the person and their needs, wants, and desires. If you need a desk chair that you can comfortably sit in for 8 hours Monday-Friday then the perfect desk chair might not be magazine-worthy beautiful. On the other hand, if you only require a desk chair that you’ll sit in a few hours a day or less you might get away with a more stylish-looking chair. That illuminating post made us all realize that there are so many options out there because the perfect desk chair is subjective. So of course, we wanted to pull together some of the best desk chair options from the very beautiful to the top-rated, most ergonomic chairs that are on the market right now. So if you are in the market, we hope this post can help you get exactly what you need. Here we go.
Really Pretty (But Non-Traditional) Desk Chairs
If your desk is in a common area, you might be searching for a comfortable chair that is also pretty to look at and you are not alone. Jess discussed this very problem here, and I also work from home at my dining table so a traditional desk chair just doesn’t make sense for my current situation. The solution? Comfortable yet attractive-enough-to-stare-at-all-day dining/accent chairs (and perhaps some lumbar supporting accessories just in case). And look, if not having the perfect desk chair means I have to get up, stretch, and make myself walk around a few times a day, that might not be the worst thing in the world. Here are some of our top picks:
1. Pula Modern White Boucle Dining Chair: This dining chair has a foam seat for optimal comfort and the boucle fabric adds a beautiful texture. The solid wood legs are really special, too.
2. Talbert Pillow Top Slipper Chair with Casters: We knew this chair was special as soon as we laid eyes on it, but after reading reviews we are even more convinced. A lot of them revere the quality for the price and one reviewer mentioned, “This chair is a steal. $250.00 for a chair that is so comfy, and looks and feels like West Elm quality. I wish I had a need for every color, I’d buy them all.”
3. 1980s Mario Bellini 413 Cab Armchair: This 1980s Mario Bellini chair deserves a good home, don’t you think? This is a vintage gem with some wear and tear, so it might be best suited for someone who doesn’t sit at their desk all day, but is looking for a chair for light sitting and decorative purposes. But oh boy, it is beautiful and I’ll be jealous of whoever ends up snagging it.
4. Azalea Green Velvet Chair: This green velvet armchair is a beautiful modern option. It has sleek legs so it doesn’t take up a lot of visual space and for added comfort, you could add a lumbar support pillow.
5. Foley Faux Mohair Dining Chair: This chair is gorgeous. I love the modern block legs, the deep blue color, and the reviews are raving. One customer said, “I ordered these a few weeks ago and am obsessed! They are absolutely stunning, the design is so unique and modern. The material is soft and luxurious, the blue is so vibrant.”
6. Salome Dining Chair: From the looks of it, this is a very plush dining chair that could act as a comfortable desk chair. The description notes that it is upholstered with buttery top-grain leather and oh, so pretty.
7. Mid 20th Century Danish Leather Office Guest Chair: You can never go wrong with a vintage midcentury modern armchair. For your Mad Men-inspired home office, this is your guy.
8. Avont Upholstered Metal Dining Armchair: This beautiful upholstered, metal armchair has 5 stars and one reviewer commented that they could sit on this chair for hours.
9. Mazie Chair: We love Room and Board for their quality and beautiful pieces and this chair is no exception. One customer raved: “WOW! So many perfect things about this chair – insanely comfortable seat and back, sleek design, has armrests, easy to clean.”
Design Forward Desk Chairs
If you know you can sacrifice a little comfort for style, then a design-forward but still comfortable desk chair might be the right fit for you. These picks are not recommended to be sat on continuously for extended periods of time, so just be mindful of that. You can also add a standing desk converter to your WFH setup, so you can rotate between sitting and standing if that suits you.
1. Zarek Mid Century Upholstered Office Chair: Once upon a time I had to temporarily store this chair at my house for a shoot, and I remember being extremely impressed with how comfortable it was. A reader who has this chair apparently thought the same and had this to say about it: “I bought this one near the end of 2020 in a WFH panic purchase. I often sit with my leg bent and foot on the chair, and this one is wide enough for that, which is a weird requirement I know! It is comfortable for long periods of time, but in the office chair way, not in the lounge chair way.”
2. Winged Arms Swivel Office Chair: I am obsessed with how stunning yet traditional this office chair is. The high back is really nice and elegant, and the description includes that it has high-gauge sinuous springs for extra seat cushion support.
3. Graham Grey Office Chair: This one is a classic, stylish-looking office chair that I can see looking really nice in a moody MCM-style office.
4. Renato Modern Chenille and Burl Wood Chair: This is my personal favorite. I love that it is stylish but still reads ‘office chair’ and the circle base is slightly more aesthetically pleasing as long as you don’t mind not being able to roll your chair to and fro. For some extra lumbar support, you could add this lumbar support pillow.
5. Orsen Modern Saddle Leather Office Chair: This one could be filed under: You don’t sit at your desk 8 hours a day but you want something that looks office-appropriate, is adjustable, but also has a little edge. I wouldn’t expect this one to be ideal for long-term sitting, but if you are looking for an attractive option that you won’t need to sit in all day long, this could be the one for you.
6. Finley Swivel Office Chair: I could picture this in a teen bedroom or a luxe glam office. I love the brass legs paired with the muted green upholstery.
7. Upholstered Wraparound Office Chair: I really love the back cutout on this one, plus the dual textures make it a little more elevated than your standard office chair.
8. Vintage Pollock Executive Swivel Chair in Black Leather: Oh I love this vintage option so much. If I had a real work-from-home office it would be REALLY hard for me to not choose this one.
9. Nyle Suede Office Chair: I love this one for its simplicity and the camel suede provides a lovely color/texture. Just be careful with spills because suede is not the most forgiving:)
Top Rated And Ergonomic
Now we are getting to the real meat and potatoes. Of course, if life was perfect we would all have the space/means/maturity to own real, ergonomic, non-back-ruining office chairs. I truly hope to get there one day. And if that is where you are at currently I commend you and want to share these top-rated, highly endorsed options that some of YOU, our very own trusted readers, have suggested to us in the past. And if you aren’t ready for this stage yet, perhaps bookmark this post for when that time comes (I know I will!).
1. Gesture Ergonomic Office Chair: On Jess’ desk chair post, a reader gave this chair high praise saying: “I recently got the Steelcase Gesture and love it. It’s expensive but it is very comfortable and very adjustable. I’m 6ft so not super tall but I think it would work well for even taller people. It has an adjustable seat pan and the arms have tons of adjustment options: going low enough to be completely out of the way or high enough to comfortably rest your elbows at any height. It’s got some nice color combos that I think look attractive but it’s not going to be as cute as anything from this article. After going through some uncomfortable cheap chairs I decided that it was worth investing in a high-quality chair since I spend so much time using it.”
2. Autonomous ErgoChair Pro: This one was rated one of the top desk chairs for 2023 for its comfortability and longevity. One customer said, “I have gone through a lot of chairs, two gaming chairs, two office chairs. and now finally autonomous. I love this product with a passion. this chair is both comfortable on the seat and on my back. It provides nice support along with amazing comfort. “
3. Aeron Chair: Several readers recommended this one including Jennifer who commented: “After about 1.5 years of working from home due to the pandemic, I finally caved and bought the Herman Miller Aeron office chair. Six months later and I don’t for one minute regret my decision to go with the Aeron. It’s an investment piece that is completely worth it.”
4. Ergonomic Chair: If I do eventually get my very own work-from-home office (the dream) this is the real desk chair I can see myself purchasing due to the price point and glowing reviews. One person claimed, “The chair has been an absolute game changer to working from home. I no longer have extreme pain from sitting during the day. It’s super comfortable, stylish, and was easy to put together.” Another reviewer praised the several adjustable features but my favorite review has to be, “The only downside is the chair is so comfortable I forget to stand up now.”
5. Steelcase Series™ 1 Office Chair: A number of readers also recommended this chair and it also has glowing reviews online. I personally found this one very helpful: “This chair is ideal for plus size/big and tall. It’s extremely easy to assemble, lightweight but heavy-duty construction, certainly worth the cost. I would also recommend adding a headrest. Overall great functionality. The lumbar support is excellent. I would rate 20 out of 10 for comfort. You can sit in this chair for hours”
6. Tic Toc Chair: I love this cute review: “The best stool I’ve ever sat on. I smiled ear-to-ear the moment I sat down the first time and began to oscillate. The stool is ergonomically sound – I was skeptical of working from a stool but I can no longer imagine going to a traditional office chair. 10/10“
7. aeris Swopper New Edition Ergonomic Stool: On Jess’ famous desk chair post, one reader suggested this backless stool which really intrigued me. They claimed, “The best chair I ever had was at my previous job, and it was actually a backless stool that had a sort of rocking function. I wish I could have brought it with me! It made me use my core to support myself instead of slumping, and I was able to move around easily. “
8. Gaiam Ultimate Balance Ball Chair: If you are someone who needs to move around a lot during the day, this ball chair might be the one for you. One reviewer noted, “I’d tried other ergonomic chairs, but the ones that seemed ok for my back had firm seats that bothered my hip. While I’m working at the computer, the ball allows me to do small exercises recommended by my physical therapist”
9. Capisco Chair by HÅG: I was hesitant about this one due to the odd shape, but the more I read about it the more I was convinced. This review pretty much sold it for me: “Love having a bunch of options for how I sit – I can perch at the edge, sit cross-legged, sit back for a “normal” office chair experience, … I was skeptical that this would be comfortable because it’s such a wacky shape but I’m really happy with it!”
Okay my friends, that concludes are 2023 desk chair picks. If you have tried any of these options, or have other recommendations to add, please sound off in the comments below. xx
Opener Image Credit: Design by Melanie Burstin Design | Photo by Tessa Neustadt | From: An Office Reveal That Happens To Be A Full-On EHD Alum Family Affair…