The best desk chairs

Check out our pick of the best office chairs to keep you supported and comfortable as you work (or procrastinate) for hours on end

Treviso desk from Ercol in a bedroom
(Image credit: Ikea)

Whether you're lucky enough to have a spare room to dedicate to a home office, or you just make do with a desk in the corner of the living room, creating a designated workspace with a good office chair is key to a productive working environment. So we have rounded the best desk chairs that are expertly designed, to keep you supported and comfortable while you work. 

1. Herman Miller New Aeron Office Chair

The world’s best ergonomic chair

Best for: Ergonomics
Material: Plastic, aluminium, steel, foam, epoxy glass, pellicle fabric
Colour: Graphite
Dimensions: H110 x W66 x D67cm
Reasons to buy
+ Simply the best ergonomic chair + 12-year guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
- Most expensive by far 

With adjustable arm height, seat height, recline, and seat tilt, every facet of this chair is available for tailoring to your perfect sitting position and many users found their back pain disappeared in a matter of weeks. We also love its innovative mesh construction, intended to allow air, body heat and water vapour to pass through and avoid any uncomfortable sticky bits come summertime. It might not be quite as beautiful as the Humanscale chair below, but when it comes to offering lumbar support for everyone, it’s unbeatable. 

2. Humanscale Diffrient World Office Chair

A clean, modern chair that’s functional but not fussy

Best for: Support
Material: Plastic, mesh
Colour: White
Dimensions: H93-105.5 x W66 x D61cm
Reasons to buy
+ Flexible support+ 15-year guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
- Only comes in white 

You might think that all office chairs are created equal, but it’s immediately obvious that this Humanscale chair does things a little differently. Miles apart from the thick sponge many of us will be used to from years of using a basic desk chair, this all-mesh option offers an experience that one reviewer likened to sitting on air. The most impressive quality is the weight-sensitive recline mechanism, designed to respond to the user’s every move without the need for tricky levers. With a construction that users found flexible and easily adjustable, and what we think is one handsome, minimal design, it ticks all the boxes. 

3. Noblechairs Epic

The name says it all: a positively throne-like option for gamers

Best for: Gaming
Material: Leather
Colour: Brown
Dimensions: H141 x W56 x D56.5cm
Reasons to buy
+ Real leather gaming chair + Attractive detailing 
Reasons to avoid
- Perhaps a bit OTT for everyday use 

Workers might be the focus of most desk chair articles, but we’ve got leisure time covered too with this leather gaming chair. It’s our first pick with a headrest, and the world’s first gaming chair made of real leather, so not only can users settling in for that 10-hour Skyrim sesh really get comfortable, it’s an ideal compromise if one of you is in it for the XP, and one of you doesn’t want to compromise on design. While not as adjustable as our first two chairs, it is certified for long periods of use and features a class four gas lift to ensure you’re always sitting at the right height.  

4. Herman Miller Mirra 2 Triflex Office Chair

Responsive support, no fiddling about with levers

Best for: Design
Material: Metal, plastic, fabric
Colour: Twilight, Cappuccino or Slate
Dimensions: H111 x W68.6 x D43cm
Reasons to buy
+ Good-looking ergonomic + Flexible, eco-friendly design 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the most low-key in terms of looks

The second Herman Miller chair in our top five, the Mirra might not be as famous or quite as fully featured as its cousin the Aeron, but that also means it doesn’t come with the same flagship price tag. It’s still on the higher end of the price scale, but with good reason: it’s designed to offer an “exceptionally responsive” experience, offering active support for an uninterrupted sit that you won’t get with fussier lever-controlled chairs. With the rare distinction of being both ergonomic and good-looking, and with a range of colours, it scores high on looks too. 

5. Markus Swivel Chair

A budget chair that’s built to last

Best for: Stability
Material: Polyethylene plastic, steel, epoxy/polyester powder coating, moulded eucalyptus plywood
Colour: Black
Dimensions: H129-140 x W62 x D60cm
Reasons to buy
+ Very good value + Safety casters 
Reasons to avoid
- A bit imposing 

If you’ve already blown most of your home office decorating budget on the best office desk, don’t let the price of our first picks put you off, because there is some pocket-friendly ergonomic action on offer at IKEA. Somewhat unexpectedly for the bargain price, the Markus Swivel Chair comes with a superb 10-year guarantee, and according to reviewers, a good level of lumbar support too. The mix of mesh and padded faux leather is a nice aesthetic touch that’s also intended to allow air flow to the back, and the safety casters are a particularly thoughtful addition, meaning you won’t go flying around. 

6. Ercol Originals Butterfly Chair

The original post-war icon

Best for: Low-key design
Material: Solid beech, elm ply
Colour: Various
Dimensions: H75 x W48 x D45cm
Reasons to buy
+ Iconic mid-century design + Flexible wooden option 
Reasons to avoid
- Not ergonomic 

Designing a Mid-century modern home office? The original 1950s design and pared-back charm of the Ercol Butterfly Chair would be the perfect fit. Unlike most stiff, straight wooden chairs, the unique design of the butterfly chair allows the back some slight give, and the curved seat cradles the sitter, so you can properly relax into it while staying upright. For that authentic Mid-century look, go for the original oak, but for funkier offices, why not consider making it an accent with a punchy hit of mandarin or chartreuse to bring things bang up to date? 

7. Scanon Padded Office Chair

Make the simple, sophisticated Scanon your go-to for a contemporary office

Best for: Sophistication
Material: Faux leather
Colour: Black
Dimensions: H116 x W65 x D65cm
Reasons to buy
+ Comfy padded design  + Generously sized seat and back 
Reasons to avoid
- Not real leather 

If you don’t need the finest ergonomic design that science can offer, but you still want an office chair that’s comfortable enough to sit in for stretches, this faux leather swivel chair may just fit the bill. Its padded seat makes it slightly closer in appearance to a racing chair than to something more corporate, so it’s a good aesthetic choice for home offices that don’t want to run the risk of looking clinical. It’s not all looks though: the backrest and seat are generously sized with curves in the right places to offer light support, and there are provisions for altering the tilt and height to ensure you’re properly set up. A handsome mid-range chair without too many bells and whistles to clutter the design.

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