4 May 2021
5 Most Comfortable Office Chair for Long Hours, According to Your Needs
Hey, you, did you know that you spend about one-third of your day sitting at your desk?
Did you also know that if you’ve not been using an ergonomic office chair, you’re essentially placing your body through long hours of stress in uncomfortable, unnatural positions?
In other words…
Did you know that you’ve been giving yourself completely avoidable neck and back pain?
I've been what?!
To remedy this situation, the solution is simple:
Replace the chair in your home office with an ergonomic office chair that is comfortable to sit on for hours!
We’ve compiled a list of the most comfortable office chairs for long hours and sorted them according to what’s best suited for the common needs of those working from home.
Looking for a luxurious-looking office chair to match your home office’s sleek aesthetics? Check.
Want an office chair that offers the most bang for your buck? Check.
Prefer an office chair that keeps you cool all day long because you sweat easily? Check!
Table of Contents1. What are the key features of a comfortable office chair?
1.1 Non-negotiable features
1.2 Features that should be suited to your preference
2.1 Office chairs for the luxury experience
2.2 Office chairs for the gamers
2.3 Office chairs for those who sweat easily
2.4 Office chairs for the best value3. Tips to reduce work fatigue
First up, what are the key features of a comfortable office chair for long hours?
Before we go on, it is important to iron out what we mean by “comfort”.
More than just feeling nice to the touch, the “comfort” that we’re searching for in an office chair is the liberating feeling of being ache- and pain-free throughout the day.
To achieve that, ergonomics must be involved — the study of how our environment (in this case, an office chair) can be designed to optimise our well-being and overall performance.
💡 Ergonomic office chairs are specially developed to help you adopt sitting positions that place the least amount of strain on your spine and muscles to reduce discomfort!
Some of their key features are non-negotiable, while others can depend on your personal preference.
Here's what we mean:
A couch is definitely nice to sink into for a movie, but it lacks the lumbar support for a whole day of work.
The muscles around your lumbar region, more commonly known as your lower spine, works hard to fight against gravity and keep you seated upright every day.
Office chairs with ergonomic designs come with built-in lumbar support to help you keep your spine in a neutral position, which places the least strain on those muscles.
Without lumbar support and back support, we unconsciously adopt bad sitting postures like slouching or hunching, and staying in these positions for long periods of time can lead to a whole slew of problems that range from lower back pains to herniated discs.
The lumbar support is the highlighted bit of the chair
“Can’t I just buy a lumbar support pillow?”
You can, but ergonomists worldwide will not recommend it for several reasons:
- Most support pillows come with a single-strap design, which provides flimsy support at best.
- The amount of padding in the support pillow cannot be customised, so there’s no guarantee that it isn’t too hard or too soft to properly support your lumbar region!
Most gaming chairs such as the crazily popular Secretlab actually utilises a lumbar support pillow, but we explain why it’s not the best where ergonomics is concerned in this article right here.
(P.S. It’s a great read that compares a gaming chair vs an office chair, so you might want to check it out later if you’re curious about the differences!)
On the other hand, the best ergonomic office chair will have an adjustable built-in lumbar support which can be moved up and down, in or out, to match your height and natural curvature and provide back support throughout the day.
Great ideas are rarely birthed from sitting at dining chairs. Great conversations, maybe.
If there’s one thing you didn’t realise before you came across this article, it’s probably this:
An office chair is not one-size-fits-all.
And that’s fine! You’re not alone. We hardly give much thought to office chairs – that’s normal.
But the fact of the matter is that we humans have varying statures, so just like how an ill-fitted suit is probably enough to protect your modesty but not make you feel your best, an office chair that is not tailored to suit you to a T is enough to serve its purpose and let you sit, but it will not make you feel powerful, incredible, or ready to take on the day.
💡 To feel like you could be the next Elon Musk or Steven Spielberg, your office chair needs adjustable features so that it is able to provide the necessary ergonomic support for your body shape and size.
This way, you won’t strain your muscles with bad sitting posture, and you’ll remain refreshed and ache-free even after a long day.
So, what are some of these must-have adjustable chair features?
- Adjustable seat height
According to ergonomists, your feet should be flat on the floor with your ankles and knees bent at a comfortable 90-degree angle when seated.
This reduces pressure on your hips, which prevents upper body aches, spinal or knee misalignments, and help with conditions like sciatica.
Whether you’re tall or petite, such posture can only be achieved if you can adjust the height of your chair, so a height adjustment feature is required!
- Adjustable seat depth
Seat depth refers to the length of your seat cushion (also known as seat pan).
To avoid back and neck pains, you should have about 5-10cm (2-3 fingers’ width) between the seat cushion and the back of your knees when you’re seated with your back flush against the backrest.
• If your seat cushion is too long for you,
you’re likely to sit forward in the chair and won’t be able to use the backrest, leaving your upper back and lower back unsupported. Alternatively, the front of the seat may put pressure on the back of the nerves and tendons at the back of your knees.
• If your seat cushion is too short for you,
all the pressure from sitting is focused on a small part of your thighs instead, which increases compression under your thighs and results in discomfort.
To ensure that your seat depth is just right for you and not Tom, Dick, or Harry, it basically needs to be adjustable.
- Adjustable armrests
Here’s a shocker – if a chair’s armrests are not adjustable enough, it may actually be more functional to opt for an office chair that does not have armrests!
What this means is:
An office chair with highly adjustable armrests > Chair with no armrests > Chair with non-adjustable armrests.
Pay heed to the range of adjustments found in a chair’s armrests to find out if it can help you alleviate the fatigue in your shoulders and back and remain comfortable for hours on end.
✓ Is it height adjustable?
✓ Is it width adjustable?
✓ Can it swivel and be angled to your input device?
If the answer to all three questions is a resounding yes, that’s a winner right there.
As recommended by ergonomists, the ideal armrests should be flushed against your desk and propping up your elbows at a comfortable 90-degree angle with your shoulders neither scrunched up nor drooping.
The armrests should also be able to adjust and pivot such that they are directly under your elbows, because holding your arms slightly away from the body to use the armrests will only tire out your shoulder muscles!
- Adjustable headrests
In a similar vein to the armrests, a chair’s headrest must be highly adjustable for it to be beneficial to us.
Our head is as heavy as a sack of rice. Our neck muscles and cervical spine from the shoulders up hold it up for way longer than 8 hours a day.
It's a tough job that doesn't need to be made any more difficult, so to place the least amount of strain on your spine, neck, upper back, and lower back muscles, you need to assume the proper sitting posture with your head and neck centred over your spine.
To achieve this, your chair needs an adjustable headrest in terms of height, depth, and rotation so that it fits nicely at the base of your head, never pushing your head forward or downwards.
- Adjustable lumbar support (already covered above)
Features that should be suited to your preference
There are many different office chair materials for you to choose from – fabric, leather, PU leather, mesh, and so on.
Each material has its own pros and cons, so for you to find the right fit, you need to think about what you wish to take away in terms of aesthetics, practicality, and functionality.
We dove into the details of this in this article right here, but essentially, you just got to ask yourself these questions:
- What is the look that you’re going for? A fabric office chair appears cosy, while a leather chair may give off a luxurious vibe.
- Are you willing to put in the time and effort to maintain the chair? Some materials need more maintenance than others, and vary in durability. For example, PU leather is definitely easier to wipe down than a genuine leather chair.
- Is the material comfortable to touch and sit on? A fabric office chair will feel soft and comfy, but if you’re someone who sweats easily, a mesh office chair may be a better choice.
- Can it provide strong enough support for your body? A hybrid fabric-mesh office chair outshines ordinary mesh in terms of durability, because the fabric lends strength to the mesh. It neither tear nor fray easily, and won’t sag or deform over years of use.
Backrest recline and tilt tension
Most ergonomic office chairs will have an adjustable backrest recline and tension. The key here is to find an office chair that has the right amount of adjustability that suits your primary purpose for the chair:
Are you using it solely for work, or do you intend to kick back and relax in it too?
If you want your office chair to boost work productivity and encourage you to get things done, consider getting an ergonomic office chair that has does not have a large recline angle – you won’t find yourself snoozing on it as if it were a sun lounger, simply because you can’t.
If being able to take a few shut-eyes is a great productivity booster for you, then naturally you should find an ergonomic office chair that has a large recline angle and recline lock so that you can adjust the backrest to whatever position you desire.
Either way, being able to adjust the backrest to your preferred angle and lock it in place reduces the chances of you hunching forward or slouching unconsciously, and allows your back to constantly be in contact with the back support and lumbar support.
Being able to adjust the tilt tension of your backrest is also vital, since it gives you control over the amount of resistance you feel when you push against the backrest.
This allows you to rock in your chair, which, surprise surprise – is good for you!
Wait up. Aren’t we supposed to stay still in a good sitting posture and not fidget?
If you were meditating, sure.
But the matter of fact is that we humans are made to always be on the move, otherwise, we’d have just regressed into a rock instead of evolving into the cognitive beings we are now with opposable thumbs.
So go on, fidget away in a healthy and supported manner with a chair that has a proper tilt mechanism!
Finding the right ergonomic office chair for you
Are you able to apply what you just learned?
You should be, but we went ahead and organised a list of chairs anyway, because we know how tiring it is to search for a comfortable office chair for long hours on your own.
Plus, we figured that you probably cannot wait any longer to fix those back and neck pains – we know how it feels; we’ve all been there before we started working with ergonomics too.
For the ultimate luxury experience
1. Herman Miller Aeron
Good for go-getters, the Herman Miller Aeron is a household name – or should we say, “officehold”
name – in MNCs that pride themselves on being forward-thinking and a purveyor of employee welfare.
An ergonomic office chair of premium quality that comes with an equally steep price tag, the Herman Miller Aeron offers not just an impressive ergonomic support system, but also a luxurious brand image that instantly elevates the status of any office, be it in a company building or in a home.
Think Nike – a fashion statement that has superior quality and functionality.
That said, the Herman Miller Aeron may not be for everyone because of a unique feature that allows the chair to tilt forwards, which can give the feeling of falling from the chair! It also does not come with a headrest and has seat depth limitations, which some may pick a bone with because of the high price to pay.
|Yes, about to recline and lock in place
|Yes, height adjustable
|No, not adjustable
|Yes, able to adjust height, move forward or back, and pivot left or right
|Available as an add-on (must source from compatible brands)
|$1989 - $2339
2. Steelcase Leap
Alternatively, the Steelcase Leap is also a high-end ergonomic office chair that looks and feels like it’s worth a fortune.
A fantastic choice for those who want a plush, almost-indulgent chair, the Steelcase Leap comes in fabric or leather and boasts a rather substantial seat cushion. In other words, it’s very comfortable to sink into.
What’s extra good about the Steelcase Leap is that it has a unique and ultra-flexible seat mechanism – the seat pan and backrest move along with the user, and its lumbar system allows two separate adjustments.
If we were to nitpick, it falls short with its lack of backrest height adjustment, limited five-position tilt lock, and exorbitant price tag ($1478 to $2420). Think of all the things you could buy with $1.5K! (Hint: 3 of our ErgoTune chairs.)
The Steelcase Leap also offers a comparatively shallow degree of recline of 120-degrees. This means that the chair is good purely for work — forget about kicking back and relaxing in it.
|Able to recline up to 120-degrees, but unable to adjust height and only has 5 tilt-lock positions
|Yes, height adjustable
|Yes, 4D with height, width, depth, and pivot adjustments
|Available as an add-on
|$1478 - $2420
For those who are gamers
Perhaps you’re a gamer who spends yet another 8 hours at your desk after work, levelling up on a
In that case, NeueChair is Secretlab’s take on ergonomic office chairs. While it lacks the typical gamer aesthetics and may feel less comfortable initially, it does the job of keeping you ache-free even after long hours.
With various adjustable features, you can customise your backrest reclination (that can be locked in place), lumbar support, and seat pan depth. Its adjustment levers are also placed under its armrests, so that you don’t have to reach over to do so.
That said, its armrests can only be adjusted up and down, and left and right to a certain extent. If you require a wider adjustment range to suit your work space or your various desk positions, then this may not be it.
It also doesn’t come with a headrest by default; the headrest is only available as an add-on for another $180.
|Yes, able to recline and lock in place
|Yes, only able to adjust height
|Available as an add-on for $180
For those who like to stay cool and refreshed
4. Ergohuman Classic
Fuss-free and completely no-frills, the Ergohuman Classic is a chair that covers all the bases for decent ergonomics, and a good choice for those whose main concern is feeling warm and sticky in leather or fabric chairs.
Made with a mesh seat and mesh backrest that were manufactured to combat odour resulting from sweat or mould, it keeps you and your home feeling clean and refreshed all day long!
It’s also fitted with an automatic lumbar support and adjustable seat base, armrests, and headrest, and most importantly, comes with a synchro-tilt mechanism that allows the backrest and seat pan to be linked and adjustable with a single lever — good for those who prefer straightforward usability, not so ideal for those who prefer finetuning every component for utmost personalisation.
Unfortunately, its headrest is only height-adjustable, the armrests are limited to just height, depth, and angle tweaks, and while there is back reclination, there are only 4 lockable positions to choose from.
Again, if you’re looking for detailed adjustments, then the Ergohuman Classic is not for you.
|Back recline available in 4 lockable positions
|3D armrests, only able to adjust height, depth, and angle
|Available, only able to adjust height
|$858 (without headrest) - $1618 (with headrest)
For the best value
5. ErgoTune Supreme
Do you pride yourself on sniffing out the best deals?
Are coupons your kryptonite?
Can’t ever resist a value-for-money buy?
There’s nothing wrong with loving a good deal, right?
Born from the disbelief that there isn’t a high-quality ergonomic chair that doesn’t require you to sell away your kidney-
I mean, cost an arm and a leg, the ErgoTune Supreme is a chair that maximises functionality while minimising retail costs.
The ErgoTune Supreme looks sleek to boot, too!
At just $599 (a limited offer currently, U.P. $850), it boasts a formidable 11 points of adjustability and cutting-edge technology from Korea and Germany, making it ideal for anyone who wishes to get the most bang for your buck.
As mentioned earlier, it’s almost one-third the price of a Herman Miller Aeron or Steelcase Leap, yet offers the same amount of adjustability!
For starters, the ErgoTune Supreme has a smart lumbar support (ATLAS™, the Auto Tuning Lumbar Area Support) that automatically adjusts to your every movement.
You’re guaranteed perfect support always without having to constantly fiddle with knobs and levers.
ATLAS™, the Auto Tuning Lumbar Area Support, adapts to your spine’s curvature without fail
You can also count on the ErgoTune to help you maintain the proper sitting posture regardless if you’re tall or short, big or small – it has adjustable backrest height, seat depth, seat height, headrest, and 5D armrests!
This will get rid of pain related to bad posture, which is the major reason why you feel uncomfortable after sitting on a chair for long hours.
Lean back whenever you need to rest and sit upright whenever you need to focus with the ErgoTune Supreme
Besides covering all the bases required for the non-negotiable ergonomic features (We talked about this in the first half of the article, remember!), the ErgoTune Supreme also allows you to calibrate the backrest recline angle up to 136-degrees, the tilt tension, and of course, lock it in place with the TrueTilt™ Precision Recline Controls.
This makes it great not only for those who wish to sit upright and work, but also those who wish to lean back and snatch forty winks or so.
You’ll also be able to fidget better, and be less likely to slouch or hunch over.
A close-up view of our unique mesh-fabric!
Finally, this is a huge plus point for those of you who sweat easily.
Come on, raise your hand if you’re one of them! (P.S. You can’t see this but the writer has her arm raised in solidarity too.)
Made with a German-engineered mesh-fabric hybrid known as the Duraweave Hybrid Mesh, this material unique to the ErgoTune Supreme combines the best of both worlds – the breathability and easy maintenance of mesh, and comfort and durability of fabric.
It’s easy to clean – just give it a quick wipe or vacuum – is firm yet not hard, doesn’t sag even after years of usage, and leaves you feeling as cool as a cucumber, which is especially useful for those who work from home without the air-conditioner switched on.
Best of all, it comes with up to 12 years warranty.
In short, here’s the ErgoTune Supreme at a glance:
|Yes, automatically adjusts to fit your lumbar and lower back
|Yes, able to recline up to 136-degrees with tension control and can lock in place
|Yes, 5D armrests to adjust height, width, and rotation
|Available, able to adjust the height, angle, and depth for a precise fit
|$599 (U.P. $850)
Need a chair for that all-day comfort? Get the top rated ergonomic chair today!
Reduce work fatigue & feel your best for hours
We mentioned that to remedy your body aches and feel comfortable even after long hours, you need to replace your existing chair with an ergonomic one.
However, that isn’t the end-all solution. Just like how cutting out junk food alone isn’t enough to transform your body into a ripped version of itself, staying stationary on a comfortable office chair for long hours consecutively may still cause some stiffness here and there.
To reduce your work fatigue as much as possible, ergonomists recommend the following:
- Optimise your desk set-up in your home office
• Desk must be set at the correct height, where your knees are bent at 90-degrees with your feet flat on the ground and your elbows are also bent at 90-degrees.
• The monitor and laptop screen must be at eye level, with the mouse and keyboard easily within reach.
- Get up and move around briefly every 45 minutes to 1 hour
• This helps to relieve and relax your muscles, thus reducing the likelihood of aches.
• Use simple tricks such as replacing your usual tumbler of water with a small mug, so that you have to go and refill it more often.
Likewise, following these tips alone will not prevent back and neck aches completely – you’ll need to complement them with a comfortable office chair for long hours!
Need a chair for that all-day comfort? Get the top rated ergonomic chair today!