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How to Find the Most Comfortable Office Chair for Long Hours

Some days you sit at your desk from sun up to sun down. Look for these features if you want the most comfortable office chair for long hours.

If you work at a desk all day, you're probably well aware of how important a comfortable office chair is. It's tough enough to work at your desk for long periods without the aches and pains from an uncomfortable chair. So why not make it easier on yourself?
You deserve the most comfortable chair for long hours. The right office chair can take the edge off of long days (or nights, if you’re burning the midnight oil). This is true whether you're working at a home office or a corporate location, and we're here to help you find the right fit.
In this guide, we'll look at what goes into a comfortable office chair and what you need to support your spine through long periods in a sitting position. Keep reading to transform your sitting experience.

Why Your Chair Matters

Your office chair matters more than you might realize. In fact, so does your whole office setup (just think about how many thousands of hours you'll spend at your workstation over the years). You've probably heard of ergonomics, which is essentially the study and practice of designing safe, comfortable, and efficient things for people to use. And despite common misconceptions, ergonomic furniture doesn't have to be super expensive.
An ergonomic office chair is designed to provide a safe and comfortable seat for your body — making it an essential element of an ergonomic workspace setup. And without an ergonomic office, you're more likely to experience:
  • Lower back pain
  • Mid-back pain
  • Upper back pain 
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Hand pain
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
These symptoms can also signify the development of a musculoskeletal disease (MSD) due to poor ergonomics. So if you're noticing any of these symptoms while you work at your computer desk or after work, it's more than time for a change. And if the symptoms persist, you should also talk to your doctor to make sure your health is OK.
In contrast, some of the benefits of an ergonomic workspace include:
  • Fewer injuries
  • Fewer missed workdays (reduced absenteeism)
  • Increased morale
  • Less pain
  • More productivity
These are all good things no matter who you are, whether you're an employee, a business owner, or an entrepreneur. Yes, even fewer missed workdays, because you want to spend your off days having fun, not nursing a neck or back injury.
Do you need to revamp your workplace ergonomics? If so, you're on the right track. And a high-quality ergonomic desk chair is the perfect place to begin.

What Makes a Comfortable Office Chair?

comfortable office chair
Sitting with good posture is a big part of keeping your body healthy, especially when you're stuck sitting for long periods at work. But don't beat yourself up if you find yourself slouching after a while, even when you're trying to sit up straight. No one is perfect, and it's tough to focus on your posture when you're working hard.
A comfortable office chair can help keep your body happy when working long hours. Your chair should have an ergonomic design that can pick up some slack when you're knee-deep in a project and default to slouch mode.
So, we keep mentioning ergonomics and comfort, but what does it all mean? Here's what you're looking for in your office chair.


If you don't think the base of your chair matters, you've never tipped over backward in an office chair. An ideal office chair should have five or more casters for stability. Office chairs with four casters or less are more likely to tip over on you.
The quality of the chair's casters also matters a lot, especially if you're the type to swivel, spin, and glide around the room in your chair. You want to look for premium hybrid casters that work as welll on wood as they do on carpet.
Chairs with an aluminum base will also be more sturdy than that of plastic bases. This won't affect your day-to-day work but it does play a role in the longevity of the chair.


Height-adjustable armrests are a must-have because there is no one-size-fits-all solution here. Ideally, your armrests should adjust so your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and your arms are level with your keyboard. The best adjustable armrests should also move away or down when needed. This allows you to choose between armrests and an armless chair based on what you're doing.
Rounded edges to prevent pressure on your arm are ideal, too. And if armrests have always seemed too far apart for you, look for width-adjustable armrests. This style of armrest slides or pivots so your arms can hang closer to your body.
In your search for the right chair, you may come across the word "3D armrests." The lingo simply means the armrests are adjustable three ways, usually in height, width, and depth.


A comfortable backrest that encourages a natural curve in your spine is essential. This means that your chair's backrest should mirror the shape and curve of your spine. Ideally, you also want adjustable lumbar support, which lets you move it to your lower back curve.
Lower back support is exceedingly important because all the weight from your upper body is supported by your lumbar spine. By using a lumbar support system, you can relieve some of the pressure on this area of your back.
The backrest should also recline and move independently from the chair’s seat. And don't worry, it's perfectly fine to lean back if your backrest is designed for it (provided your chair's base has at least five casters, so you don't tip over).


A good office chair needs adjustable seat height, too. The seat should adjust so your thighs are roughly parallel with the ground while your feet are flat on the floor. Ideally, the seat should swivel, tilt forward, and tilt backward.
A swivel chair with tilt gives you the ability to change your posture throughout the day, which helps shift the load to different parts of your body. And it's a must if you truly want the most comfortable office chair for long hours because the movement helps your body recover from holding static postures.
The seat pan should be comfortable and contoured to distribute your weight evenly. And if you've ever stood up from a chair to sore hip bones or a sore tailbone, you know how important this is. The seat depth should also allow a 0.5-inch gap between it and the back of your calf to prevent excess pressure and awkward posture. If you can find a chair with adjustable seat depth, that's even better.
The seat pan should have a rounded edge to prevent pressure on the backs of the thighs. This is usually known as a waterfall edge. Sharp edges can be uncomfortable, even on a padded seat.


One extra you'll commonly see is a headrest, which can make reclining in your chair even more comfortable, and they often feature an adjustable height. The more support you give your spine, the more weight you're taking off your vertebrae while you're sitting. Adjustable headrests are common with high-back and executive chairs.
Another popular extra is a footrest, which gives you another spot to rest your weight when changing positions. The footrest also lets you keep your feet and legs in a comfortable position if you like to lean back in your chair. Footrests are usually recommened if you're below 5'2" in height.

Putting it all together

So, an office chair with an ergonomic design needs a base with at least five casters, height-adjustable arms, a backrest that supports the natural curve of your spine, and a comfortable, height-adjustable seat. Essentially, you want a fully adjustable office chair. 
Don't ignore these things if you're working long hours. Even five hours per day adds up to over 10,000 hours per year spent sitting in your office chair. And while you can break some of this up with a standing desk, you're going to want to sit down at some point!
We recommend checking your current office chair against this list or using our Ergonomic Assessment at the bottom of the Ergonomics 101 page to evaluate your entire workspace.

The Most Comfortable Office Chair for Long Hours

There's no one-size-fits-all chair because bodies come in all shapes and sizes. The perfect computer chair for your colleague might not be the best chair for you. So, don't just hop on Amazon to buy the cheapest thing with two-day shipping. Instead, spend some time looking for the best ergonomic fit for your unique body.
Even if you're working from home at a small office desk in your living room, you'll be happy you invested in a high-quality home office chair. The same is true if you're looking for a gaming chair that doubles as your executive office chair for video calls (we see you, gamers!).  
If you're going to sit in any chair for thousands of hours per year, it's worth it to buy a high-end option made with quality materials. We know you're busy, though, so we've highlighted some of our top picks below, complete with a bulleted list of perks each chair offers.
Keep reading to find the best ergonomic office chair for you.

Ergonomic Chair

Ergonomic chair
The Branch Ergonomic Chair delivers exceptional comfort and seven points of adjustment. It offers reliable ergonomic support ideal for people of all shapes and sizes, with the following perks:
  • Adjustable 3D armrests, seat height, seat depth, tilt, and tilt tension with removable lumbar support
  • Supportive double-layered breathable mesh back to allow airflow
  • High-density foam seat cushion
  • Firm lower back support
  • Contoured upper back support
  • Durable five-caster base with premium hybrid casters
  • Waterfall seat to reduce pressure behind knees
  • Suitable for people who are 5'2" to 6'2" and up to 300 pounds
  • Rated for eight-plus hours of comfortable work
The Ergonomic Chair is an excellent choice for a quality mesh office chair at an affordable price point. With a comfy foam seat cushion, a quality tilt mechanism, and firm lower back support, your body will thank you. It's also been rated one of (if not the) best ergonomic chair for WFH by Wired, CNN, Gear Patrol, New York Magazine, and more.

Task Chair

Task chair
The Task Chair features sleek contours and an intuitive design. It delivers premium ergonomics with five points of adjustment, a low price point, and perks such as:
  • Adjustable seat height, tilt, tilt tension, armrest height, and lumbar height
  • High back with breathable mesh nylon to offer support
  • Adjustable lumbar pad with cushioned support
  • Four-stop tilt lock
  • High-density foam seat cushion designed to distribute weight evenly
  • Sturdy five-caster base
  • Waterfall seat to reduce pressure behind knees
  • Suitable for people who are 5'4" to 6'3" and up to up to 275 pounds
  • Rated for eight-plus hours of comfortable work
The Task Chair is excellent if you value price and comfort slightly over color and customizations (since it only comes in all-black). With one of the most comfortable lumbar rests, it's also ideal for folks that are making the transition to an ergonomic chair from their dining room chair.  

Elevate Chair

Elevate chair
The Elevate Chair is among the best office chairs for comfort, style, and durability. This executive office chair features a distinctive design, nine points of adjustment, and the following perks:
  • Adjustable seat height, seat pan depth, tilt, tilt tension, 4D armrests, and lumbar support
  • Breathable mesh back for comfort
  • Waterfall seat to reduce pressure behind knees
  • High-density foam seat cushion 
  • Strong five-caster base
  • Medium lumbar support with a high back to promote good posture
  • Suitable for people who are 5'6" to 6'4" and up to 350 pounds  
  • Rated for eight-plus hours of comfortable work
The Elevate Chair is ideal if you're looking for an executive office chair without the executive price tag. Enjoy comfort, design and colors that suit both the home office and the corner office.

Ready to Pick a Comfy Office Chair?

By now you should have a strong sense of what you're looking for, and what's most important considering your own unique body type of working schedule.
But if you're still not sure which chair is right for you, we make it easy: just take our quiz! We'll help you find the most comfortable office chair for long hours at your desk, no matter how your work schedule looks.
For those who'd like to refresh more than just their office chair, check out our full catalog for more thoughtful, ergonomic designs. Or use our Design My Office feature to simplify the process.

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