The 10 best office chairs 2019: get the best office chair for you

Find buttock bliss and perfect your posture with one of the absolute best office chairs available

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In the market for the best office chair that 2019 can offer? Then T3 can help: this comprehensive guide has been expertly curated to help you find the best office chair for your needs, with a wide selection of top chairs here for your consideration, whatever your budget.

Talking of budgets, thanks to the new year sales there are currently some truly amazing office chair deals available, so it's a great time to be upgrading. As long as you shop smart and do your research properly (something we can help you with right here), then bagging the best office chair deal for you shouldn't be too hard.

Buying the best office chair: what you should know

If you spend most of your working day seated, a good chair isn’t a luxury – it's an absolute necessity. An unsuitable chair isn't just uncomfortable, it can actively damage your health by encouraging poor posture. As long-term sufferers of back pain and RSI, we’ve got the surgery scars to prove it.

Let's get this out of the way right at the top: good chairs are expensive, and going for super-cheap for all-day use is a false economy.

Even so, many people will happily drop a couple of grand on a sofa but baulk at spending a fraction of that on a chair, even though your buttocks spend more time in the office than they do in the living room.

What do you get for your money? Back support is crucial, as is a seat that’s wide enough and long enough for adequate support. Gas suspension takes the effort out of adjustment, and many chairs offer variable resistance so you can make them stiffer for computer work and recline when you're reading.

Avoid arms unless they're adjustable, as that can lead to discomfort when typing, and be sure to test drive any chair before you buy it... we're all different, and what feels fantastic to us may be much less fun for you.

The best office chairs available today

Herman Miller Mirra 2 best office chair

Best office chairs: Herman Miller Mirra 2

1. Herman Miller Mirra 2

Simply put, the best office chair in the world

Specifications
RRP: £799
Seat height: 40-52cm
Seat depth: 41cm
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+It's brilliant+Dog, child and life-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Eight hundred quid may sound like a lot for a chair, but you can't even get a MacBook Air for that kind of money – and unlike the Mac, the Mirra will still be useful a decade from now. 

I bought one in 2004 on the recommendation of a back surgeon, and it’s genuinely the best investment I've ever made: it enabled me to get back to work much earlier than expected post-surgery, and it's kept back problems at bay ever since. 

It’s rock solid – two generations of dogs and two children have tried and failed to destroy it, and the only sign of wear from more than a decade is a slight bagginess to the armrest covers – and almost infinitely adjustable. It's heavy, though, so I'd recommend floor protection.

IKEA Flintan best office chair

Best office chairs: IKEA Flintan

2. IKEA Markus

The best office chair if you want value for money

Specifications
RRP: £160
Seat height: 129-140cm
Seat depth: 47cm
Height adjustable: Yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+Decent value for money+Comfortable for most
Reasons to avoid
-Cheaper IKEA chairs are available

IKEA has a better range of office chairs than you might expect, and the Markus is our current pick of the bunch. It's not the cheapest the Swedish firm offers, but it's got just about everything you want.

That includes a high, mesh backing with lumbar support, optional arm rests, and easy height and tilt adjustment. You can lock a tilt in place if you want to sit back and avoid work for a while.

From our testing this chair can really stand up to hours of use while keeping you comfortable, and you can't ask any more than that. An easy choice for one of the best office chairs of 2019.

Herman Miller Aeron best office chairs

Best office chairs: Herman Miller Aeron

3. Herman Miller Aeron

If money's no object, this is the best of the best

Specifications
RRP: £899
Seat height: 36-50cm
Seat depth: 40-47cm depending on model
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+It's the Terminator of chairs+Different sizes for different people
Reasons to avoid
-It costs a fortune

The Aeron is an icon, beloved of the kinds of internet businesses that spent all their startup cash on expensive office chairs and went bust in spectacular fashion. 

But it's much more solid than those sites' business models, and if you can afford it – it’s £899 for a basic one rising to well over £1,100 for aluminium finished ones – it may well be the best place you’ll ever put your buttocks. 

It comes in three sizes suitable for people up to 5' 2", 6'0" and more than 6 feet respectively, and it's so adjustable it feels more like an exoskeleton than a chair. It's incredibly heavy at 20kg but it’s designed for 24/7 use by people up to 150kg – that's 23 stone. It's a masterpiece.

House by John Lewis Hinton Chair the best office chair

Best office chairs: House by John Lewis Hinton Chair

4. House by John Lewis Hinton Chair

When your style ideas exceed your budget, John Lewis can help

Specifications
RRP: £115
Seat height: 45-55cm
Seat depth: not stated
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: no
Tilt lock: no
Reasons to buy
+It's cheap+It's comfy
Reasons to avoid
-No lumbar support

If you fancy something stylish but can't or won't drop a month's wages on a comfy chair, John Lewis has the best chair for you: the Hinton is good looking, especially in red, and the combination of gas height adjustment, armrests that flip out of the way and a mesh back make it a great office all-rounder. 

There's no resistance mechanism for reclining – the back of the Hinton is fixed – but the seat is well padded and reasonably sized, and it looks as good as it feels. 

It isn't enormous like some of the pricier chairs you can buy, so it's particularly well suited for smaller spaces and looks as happy in a kid's room as it does in an open plan office.

Humanscale Diffrient World Office Chair the best office chairs

Best office chairs: Humanscale Diffrient World Office Chair

5. Humanscale Diffrient World Office Chair

No, that’s not a typo: this comes from a design legend with an unusual name

Specifications
RRP: £425
Seat height: 41-53cm
Seat depth: not stated
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful zen design+Extraordinary engineering
Reasons to avoid
-You'll always be cleaning it

Niels Diffrient was the Steve Jobs of ergonomic chairs, and his Freedom and Liberty chairs are design classics. But while they're truly excellent chairs that have become modern works of art, they aren't as eye-catching as this Diffrient office chair design: in white it's as stunning as anything Apple's ever made. 

There's science behind the style, too, with all-mesh seating for comfort and coolness, an exceptionally clever reclining mechanism and integrated lumbar support that doesn't require any adjustment. 

It's an astonishing design and comes with a 15-year guarantee. How's that for confidence? It's the kind of chair you don’t know whether to sit in or look at, and if you're the sort of person who lives in an achingly minimalist space you'll love it. Absolutely one of the best office chairs on the market right now.

Boss Design App Office Chair best office chair

Best office chairs: Boss Design App Office Chair

6. Boss Design App Office Chair

It isn't particularly pretty, but it's pretty good

Specifications
RRP: £399
Seat height: 44-57cm
Seat depth: 40-46cm
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent for offices+Solid and adjustable
Reasons to avoid
-Bland design

If you spend any time in corporate environments or media companies you've probably seen or sat on one of these: Boss's chair is a solid choice for the best office chair for you and comes in a huge range of colours to match any brand's colour scheme.

It's notable for its exceptionally comfortable foam-filled seat base, and the chair boasts adjustable arm rests, a tilt-lock back rest, lumbar support and a waterfall-shaped seat front to keep your thighs happier. 

It's UK-made, well screwed together and designed to be used 24 hours a day. It's not the sort of chair anybody's going to get particularly excited about, but its form follows function, and that's what good design is all about.

Humanscale Freedom Office Chair best office chair

Best office chairs: Humanscale Freedom Office Chair

7. Humanscale Freedom Office Chair with headrest

Fancy having a museum piece in your home office? This is a stone cold classic

Specifications
RRP: £999
Seat height: 40-53cm
Seat size: 41-47cm
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+Amazingly comfortable+Will last forever
Reasons to avoid
-Some retailers limit colour options

The Freedom chair can genuinely be called a work of art: it's been exhibited in the New York museum of modern art and hailed worldwide as a design classic, so it's an obvious contender for our list of the best office chairs of 2019.

It's hardly cheap, but it'll still set you back less than a MacBook Pro and it'll last a whole lot longer: buy it from John Lewis and it's guaranteed for 15 years. 

We're into jargon territory here: there's weight-sensitive reclining, synchronously adjustable armrests and a dynamically positioned headrest – in plain English that means it adjusts to your shape and movements to keep you perfectly comfortable without requiring you to mess around with tension adjusters or levers or the other bits and bobs you find on other ergonomic chairs.

Humanscale Liberty Office Chair best office chair

Best office chair: Humanscale Liberty Office Chair

8. Humanscale Liberty Office Chair

The classic chair you can completely customise – but it pays to shop around

Specifications
RRP: £390
Seat height: 40-53cm
Seat size: 42-47.5cm
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful design+Endless options
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best looking

Another design classic, another 15-year John Lewis guarantee – although you might want to shop around for this one, as the Liberty is available in a wide range of colours from other retailers. 

You can configure the Liberty with or without arms, upgrade to a gel seat, specify hard floor castors instead of the default carpet ones and choose upholstery and back colours, and while most options cost money even a fully tricked-out Liberty can be found for less than the RRP. 

It's a superb, stylish and very supportive chair, and once again it's the work of legendary designer Niels Diffrient – so that means intelligent, self-adjusting comfort without the need to fiddle with anything.

Herman Miller SAYL Office Chair best office chair

Best office chair: Herman Miller SAYL Office Chair

9. Herman Miller SAYL Office Chair

The best office chair if you're inspired by suspension bridges

Specifications
RRP: £615
Seat height: 38-48cm
Seat depth: 40-45cm
Height adjustable: yes
Lumbar support: yes
Tilt lock: yes
Reasons to buy
+It's a work of art+Superbly comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-Divisive look

Herman Miller hasn't rested on its Aeron-shaped office chair laurels: its SAYL chair looks like nothing on Earth, especially if you opt for a red or green one, and it boasts some really clever engineering. 

The frameless back is designed like a suspension bridge, and while it looks like it can't possibly support you, it turns out to be strong, supportive and very flexible. The mesh of the back is stronger in some parts than others to encourage correct posture, and it's as happy reclining as it is keeping you upright. 

As with other HM office chairs, John Lewis offers a 12-year guarantee on this one, and we'd be surprised if you need to take advantage of it. These things are built to last.

Varier Balans best office chair

Best office chairs: Varier Balans

10. Varier Balans

The Axl Rose of office chairs is for your na-na-na-na-na-na-na knees!

Specifications
RRP: £279
Seat height: 51cm
Seat size: not stated
Height adjustable: no
Lumbar support: no
Tilt lock: no
Reasons to buy
+Encourages good posture+Very portable
Reasons to avoid
-It's not really a chair

Originally designed back in 1979 by Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik, the Balans 'office chair' has found new fans among sedentary laptop users who fear that sitting on their backside might not be the best thing for their health. 

Instead of sitting, as with a traditional chair, they kneel instead – and with the Balans, that isn't the spectacularly uncomfortable experience you might expect. The seat gently tips your pelvis forward and encourages you to keep your spine in the right shape. It also helps strengthen your core muscles and promises to improve circulation too. 

There are cheaper clones out there but the Balans is the original and best, and while it takes a while to get used to its fans are evangelical about it. Unusual, but still one of the best office chairs out there.