Not every chair is a winner. Here are a few others that we like enough to recommend, but they aren’t as good as our top picks above.
Tempur-Pedic Tempur Office Chair with Lumbar Support for $352: I think this is a nice alternative to the Branch ergonomic chair, our top pick. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Tempur seat cushion is wonderfully comfortable to sit on for hours. And most chairs with a thick lumbar cushion give me back pain, but not here – I haven’t had any problems sitting in this chair in a month. The mesh back also ensures good air circulation. However, the arms tend to move a bit and the mechanism for adjusting them is not elegant. Installation wasn’t too difficult, but the instructions weren’t as straightforward as Branch’s and the overall build quality seems cheap.
Knoll Newson Task Chair for $1,195: This minimalist chair looks best in graphite and petal colors; In black and umber it is a bit monotonous. It’s nice that I didn’t have to fuss much with any levers or buttons – it’s immediately comfortable and easy to adjust if you need to make a few adjustments – and it feels particularly good when you lean back. (The red button adjusts the backrest tension, but you have to turn it five turns, and I had a hard time turning it at times.) The Newson hasn’t given me any problems in the two months I’ve sat in it . I’m just not a big fan of how the elastomeric mesh backrest deforms depending on how you sit. It feels lumpy. This chair also doesn’t allow me to sit as upright as I would like, but maybe a little give is okay for you. Ultimately, it’s the price that sets it apart from our top picks, but you do get a 12-year warranty.
X-Chair X2 K-Sport Management Chair for $969: This used to be our top mesh chair, but it has been replaced by the Steelcase Karman. Sitting in the X-Chair feels like lounging in a hammock. Every part of my body feels well supported and you can adjust almost everything on the chair. Pull up the seat and slide the armrests up, down and side to side or tilt them inwards or outwards. Lumbar support feels like a pillow and adjusts as you move in your seat. If you want to support your head, you can pay extra for the headrest. It’s held up very well after three years of almost continuous sitting, but I don’t like how bulky it is. X-Chair offers a range of models to choose from. I tested the Most people would be fine with that the standard X1.
Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 for $549: If you absolutely must have that gaming chair vibe, then the Secretlab Titan Evo (7/10, WIRED recommends) is stylish enough for the home office. It stands out from comparable competitors due to its durability and flexibility. The adjustability (especially the lumbar support) makes it comfortable for marathon gaming sessions. The headrest pillow is magnetic and stays attached to the chair, which is a nice touch. But the solid cold foam molds to your body and may not be suitable for everyone. This material also doesn’t tolerate heat well – it can cause your lower back to heat up.
Ikea Markus Chair for $290: The Markus is an absolutely good office chair. It’s not the most comfortable, but it’s far from the worst. The mesh design keeps you cool and the high back allows you to fully lean in. It’s on the thin side and won’t be noticeable in a small home office or bedroom. Assembly was tedious (lol, Ikea), and may have required someone to hold up the back of the chair while properly attaching the seat. Unfortunately, if you often sit with at least one leg up or cross-legged, you will find the width between your arms uncomfortable.
X-Chair X-Tech executive chair for $1,899: Functionally, the X-Tech is similar to the X-Chair mentioned above. In this version, the M-Foam cooling gel seat is actually great to sit on, although it doesn’t dissipate as much heat as the all-mesh X-Chairs. It’s the Brisa Soft Touch material that impresses the most – it’s incredibly soft. I recommend you stick with the standard armrests and not the FS 360 armrests which tend to move too much. But my biggest criticism of this model is the price. Why the hell does it cost so much?
Mavix M7 chair for $777: If it looks strangely similar to the X-Chair (pictured above), that’s because they’re both owned by the same company. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe had some issues with assembly, but customer service was able to replace the model without much hassle. The M7 has similar adjustable armrests and seat angles, but the wheels are lockable. The mesh backrest and wide seat construction ensure you stay cool and comfortable even when you sweat League of Legends sessions, and the lumbar support does the job. If you are too short, contact customer service when ordering – Mavix offers shorter cylinders so your feet touch the ground.
Herman Miller Vantum Gaming Chair for $795: At first I really liked this chair. I liked how I could hold myself in a super upright position, which made me more engaged in what I was doing. The mesh backrest also distributes the heat quite well. However, the overall build quality feels cheap and doesn’t scream Herman Miller (or the asking price, which has since dropped by $200). The headrest isn’t great either – I almost broke it trying to move it up and down. As I continued to sit, it was the back support that disappointed me the most. You can feel The lumbar support in the lower back is not good, almost like it’s cutting in. At least it didn’t give me any back pain.
Hon Ignition 2.0 Office Chair for $399: This chair is easy to assemble and looks good, but it gave me really bad back pain, which is why I originally put it in our avoid section. I thought maybe it was the long hours I was working, so I switched back to the Knoll Newson task chair and my pain quickly subsided. Sometime later I tried again. After a few hours the pain returned and switching to a different chair eased it. I’m confused because this chair has positive reviews online. I then asked a friend who is about 5’7″ to try it out for a few weeks and she had no problems. This seems to be the answer. It’s possible that the ignition doesn’t work for me and I’m more suitable for shorter people.
Hon Ignition 2.0 Big and Tall for $675: I had a much better experience with this honing chair which as the name suggests is suitable for tall and tall people like me. It features a reinforced steel frame that can support up to 450 pounds with a wider seat. It’s comfortable, dissipates heat well and supports my back well. However, things look incredibly boring in Boring Black. Apart from the armrests which tend to slide left and right when you put some pressure on them, I had a good experience with the chair. I’m just not sure it’s worth the strangely high price.
Pipersong meditation chair for $369: Do you have trouble sitting on a traditional chair? If your legs need to be bent and twisted so you can sit comfortably, you should check out this chair. It has a 360 degree rotating footstool that allows for almost any sitting position you want. I can go from kneeling to cross-legged, to one leg up and one leg down. It is also possible to sit regularly, with the footstool behind you and your feet flat on the floor. It’s the only chair I found designed for strange sitting habits. There are no armrests, which I didn’t mind because it makes it possible to sit in many of these positions. The actual stool and backrest could be larger or higher. I had to use a pillow to keep my back comfortable.