Whether you have a back problem or just have lots to do at your desk, the quality of your chair determines how comfortable you will be. To avoid back pain, you need an office chair with the right back support. While many office chairs promise to offer that, few actually have the quality to rely on.
Having reviewed more than 40 office chairs, we settled on the Herman Miller Embody Chair as the best in this category. It’s an office chair with minimalist looks but the best when it comes to back support. You can adjust various aspects including the back support, height, armrests and others.
In seeking the right chair, we assessed various aspects including the back support, how adjustable the back support is, how adaptable the back support is, and the material of the chair. Your target should be getting a chair that not only prevents but soothes back pain.
The Best Office Chairs for Back Pain
Our 7 top picks for a comfortable back at the office are as follows:
1. Herman Miller Embody Chair
The Herman Miller Embody is the embodiment of function and form. With a simplistic yet professional look, it offers the best comfort in our review. You don’t get too many bells and whistles but just what’s needed to make it the best.
The outstanding feature about this chair is that it’s ergonomic and thus adapts to your back’s position. This means that your back is supported whether you’re sitting up straight, leaning forwards, backwards or other position you think fit. If you suffer from any form of back pain, this is the office chair to get.
The design allows for the natural flow of oxygen and blood keeping you relaxed and focused. It’s also breathable meaning you won’t sweat when seated. Better still, it’s 95% recyclable meaning that, when it reaches the end of its useful life, you won’t be damaging the planet as it can be easily recycled.
- 6 ergonomic functions for the back support.
- Stimulates the flow of blood and oxygen in the body for proper relaxation.
- Breathable material for thermal control.
- Even distribution of weight.
- Sturdy and comfortable.
- Highly adjustable for height, tilt, armrests and lumbar support.
- 12 year warranty.
- Available in 16 colors.
- Only a single size.
Even with a single size, you still get the best chair when it comes to preventing and soothing all types of back pain.
2. Liccx Office Chair
The Liccx Office chair is the best if you suffer from sciatica or back pain. The advantage with this chair is that it offers premium features at a bargain price. These include adjustable lumbar support, self-adjusting backrest tension and neck support.
The Liccx chair offers high levels of customization especially when it comes to serving different sitting needs. You get support for the whole back from the tailbone to the back of the head. You can also tilt it from 90° to 135° with the latter being the most recommended sitting position.
The sitting position afforded by this office chair also makes it easy to rest your neck, shoulders and arms with the adjustable armrests providing just the right support for your work. The self-adjusting approach from this seat is what makes it a favorite of those already with back pain.
- Ergonomic design with lumbar support.
- Supports the whole spine up to the back of the head.
- Provides an adjustable footrest for relaxation.
- Highly adjustable from the height, lumbar and back support, tilt, armrests, headrest and neckrest.
- Breathable material for temperature control.
- Uses memory foam for the padding which is highly comfortable.
- Supports up to 200kg.
- Easy to assemble.
- No padding on the armrests.
From our reviews, this chair ticked the right boxes and at the right price hence we highly recommend it.
3. Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair with Headrest – ME7ERG
Next on our list is the Ergohuman ME7ERG. It has a 3-position tilt-lock which helps lock the chair in one of the 3 main positions. You can also attain proper back support using the tension control adjustment of the chair.
It’s an office chair that will find use for many people given the high number of adjustments in the back support, headrest and seat cushion all of which adjust as per the needs of the user. For the height adjustment, you get the high-quality pneumatic cylinder mechanism which ensures that you attain and lock the chair at the right height.
The lumbar support is contoured and height-adjustable to provide comfort for long sitting sessions. This is complemented by the synchro-tilt mechanism and seat depth adjustment to provide the right amount of support no matter your sitting position.
- 3 position tilt-lock for the back angle adjustment.
- Adjustable seat height, seat cushion, backrest, hearest, armrests and lumbar support.
- Contoured and height-adjustable lumbar support.
- Breathable material for temperature control.
- Available in 7 colors.
- Not suitable for very tall people.
You’ll only feel the discomfort when you’re above 6’2” for this chair. Otherwise, it’s one of our best options.
4. AmazonBasics Big & Tall Swivel Office Chair
This AmazonBasics office chair provides one of the most comfortable sitting experiences while supporting up to 450 pounds of weight. It’s one of the big yet very comfortable chairs given the attention to detail given in the comfort and strength categories.
The first thing you notice about this chair is the size. While not overly huge, it’s evidently larger than most office chairs and will thus accommodate most people. Even with its large size, you get an ergonomic design with an integrated back support. For its size and weight capacity, the back support works as expected.
It wouldn’t be a comfortable chair for large people without the adjustable pneumatic height mechanism which provides smooth height adjustments. The 5-star base with double wheels on each foot make it stable and mobile in the office space.
The lumbar support, which was our main focus when reviewing this chair, is one of the most comfortable. It’s adjustable and provides support whether you’re tilting, swiveling or making any other movements with the chair.
- Adjustable lumbar support.
- Support for up to 450 pounds of weight.
- Ergonomic design with support for the arms and back.
- Sturdy and stable.
- No headrest.
As one of the most comfortable office chairs for big people, you won’t worry about back pain as it comes with highly adjustable lower back support.
5. Herman Miller Aeron Tilt Limiter Task Chair
The Herman Miller Aeron is one of the most beloved office chairs for those seeking comfort and functionality and has been in use for over a decade now. It features some of the best technologies in ergonomics making it a solid buy.
The Kinemat tilt mechanism allows your body (neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees and ankles) to pivot naturally. This ensures that you remain comfortable in your chair even when shifting positions.
The breathable material is one of a kind and keeps you cool all around as you work. Even then, it provides one of the best support to your body both on the seat and the back. For proper blood circulation, the chair has a waterfall design for the edge of the seat.
Another notable feature is the PostureFit mechanism which supports the pelvis whether you’re seated or tilting. This keeps it in a natural position thus eliminating any pain that may build up due to sitting for long hours.
- Kinemat tilt mechanism to keep the body natural even when shifting positions.
- Lumbar support with adjustable mechanism.
- PostureFit mechanism to naturally tilt the pelvic region to prevent back pain.
- Breathable material for thermal control.
- Sturdy and minimalist design.
- The armrests don’t adjust high enough for some people.
As the chair that has withstood the test of time, the Aeron is among the best office chairs for long hours at your desk as it does a great job at dissipating back pain and fatigue in general.
6. Steelcase Gesture Chair
Steelcase produces some of the best chairs when it comes to aesthetics and ergonomics. The Gesture office chair brings out the best from these points of view a great design complemented with great comfort.
The chair uses the LiveBack technology which naturally adjusts to your back as you move around while working. You’ll not even notice that the chair is adjusting but will remain comfortable whether you lean, tilt or move around with the wheels. This technology is meant to mimic the natural motions of your spine at all times.
The unique aspect about this chair is the armrests start from the lower back allowing for a lot of adjustment. They can be swiveled all the way back if you don’t need them.
The back support adjustments are the most impressive as they allow for adjusting the height and position of the back support. You can also adjust its tension offering the comfort you desire for your work.
- Adjustable lumbar support.
- Offers support for the whole back.
- Made of steel hence highly durable.
- Highly adjustable armrests, height and tilting mechanism.
- 100% warranty.
- Quite heavy due to the steel construction.
This is one office chairs we highly recommend if you’re in for a chair that will not only make you comfortable, but will last for ages.
7. Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair – B006IY89ZA
The Modway Articulate Ergonomic chair sits on the border between ultimate luxury and minimalism in design. In fact, it’ll look at home in your home office or the corner office at work thanks to its looks.
It’s ergonomic in that it has features meant to make you comfortable. These include back and lumbar support, breathable material for the back and seat, and various adjustments to suit your sitting position.
It supports up to 331 pounds which is a cut above a lot of typical office chairs. It provides adjustments for the armrests, the height and angle of tilt with each setting having a locking mechanism for when you’ve found the sweet spot.
- Lumbar and back support.
- Cushioned with 6” thick mesh seat cushion.
- Breathable material on the back and seat.
- Support for up to 331 pounds.
- Adjustable height, armrests and tilt with lock mechanism.
- Not the easiest to assemble.
The Modway articulate offers one of the best sitting experiences at a bargain price and will keep back pain at bay no matter your favorite sitting position.
While these chairs offer the best seating experience, we also advise that you take frequent breaks from your chair to give the body and eyes breaks. While it seems counterproductive, it actually makes you more efficient and focused.
What to Look for When Buying: Buying Considerations
When looking for a good office chair that won’t hurt your back, you should consider the following aspects:
1. Lumbar Support
Above everything else, the lumbar support of the chair is the main determinant of how much the chair will take care of your back. The best chairs for back pain will assume an S-shape in line with the natural flow of the back. Other shapes will only make most back problems such as sciatica worse.
Even when sitting upright, the back should be arched in such a way that the lower back is allowed to naturally bend. That way, the discs of the spine don’t get compressed together too much.
2. Number of Adjustments
Right after the lumbar support is the number of adjustments available for the chair. These include adjustments to the back, the armrests, headrest, height and other parts of the chair.
Most notable is that of having a self-adjusting feature for the back. This allows you focus on your work even when you change positions as the chair will do the adjusting for you.
The first material to consider is that for the frame of the chair. The most common materials are steel, wood or metal alloys. In this category, there isn’t much to worry about unless you’re looking for a specific material to your liking. This is because all these materials are sturdy and will work as needed.
The second material to consider is what the seats and backs of the chair are made of. For these ones, there’s the option of using mesh or the various versions of leather. In our tests, breathable mesh is easy on the temperature control and you won’t feel sweat building up on your body as you work On the other hand, the look and feel of leather is much more executive although expensive.
4. Amount of Cushioning
The right amount of cushioning can make the difference between a comfortable chair and a mediocre one. Too little cushioning and you’ll have your back against tough metal. Too much of it and your hamstrings will be hurting in a short while.
The use of memory foam and other types of cushioning offers the best cushioning experience.
5. Overall Comfort
Other aspects such as the headrest, the shape of the edge of the seat and the amount of padding on the arms are vital when it comes to choosing your chair. Having a chair that looks great and has the right back support but hurts your thighs defeats the logic of comfort.
We based on these considerations when coming up with the list of the 7 best office chairs for back pain.