Best office chair 2020: supportive home office options for good spine health

Find the best office chair to make working long hours from home as comfortable as possible  

Best office chair 2020
(Image credit: HÅG)

With hundreds of options at an array of price points, choosing the best office chair for use at home can be daunting. 

That's why we’ve done all the research for you to find the finest options, whether you need extra ergonomic support to reduce back pain, added comfort for workaholics, or simply the most stylish option available. 

Our pick of the best office chair for home working in 2020 is the Ikea JÄRVFJÄLLET thanks to its combination of great support, quality build, good looks and value. If money is no object however the Herman Miller Mirra 2 is a hugely popular option that’s found in the busiest offices around the world.

How to choose the best office chair for you

It’s an eye-opening statistic, but eighty-one per cent of us spend between four and nine hours a day sitting at our desks. Given what we now know about why sitting is bad for you, choosing the right chair is even more important - especially as many of us are now working even longer hours from home.

But no matter how many hours you spend at your desk, the fundamentals of a good office chair remain the same to ensure the right level of comfort and support. These are the key factors to consider...

Adjustability

A key consideration is finding a chair that fits the height of your workstation. An adjustable seat height that allows you to place your feet squarely on the floor is essential. 

Being able to adjust the angle is also a bonus as ergonomically it’s good to have your hips the same height or slightly higher than your knees.

If you will be sharing your chair with someone and you're very different heights, make sure it’s fully adjustable to fit all your needs.

As a rule, if a chair can’t be adjusted it shouldn’t be used for more than two hours a day.

Support

Your chair should be supportive of your body in a number of comfortable postures. Backrests and lumbar supports can help reduce strain on your spine, and make sure they’re as adjustable as possible and support upper and lower parts of the back, especially if you’re sharing the chair.

Any physiotherapist will also tell you that the correct sitting position includes arms at a 90-120 degree angle, with your elbows fully supported - which makes armrests another key consideration.

Chairs on castors help promote more movement throughout the day, although put a protective mat down to preserve floorboards.

Quality

The best office chairs are built to last, with quality metal components where possible. As a general rule, the more you spend on your chair, the better the investment, and the more comfortable you’ll be.  

Best office chair: Ikea JÄRVFJÄLLET

(Image credit: IKEA)

1. The IKEA JÄRVFJÄLLET

The best office chair for most people

Specifications
Seat height: 46-57cm
Seat width: 52cm
Max weight: 110kg
Lumbar support: Yes
Heigh adjustable: Yes
Tilt lock: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great back support+Fully adjustable
Reasons to avoid
-Headrest too high for shorter users-Flimsy armrests

There are several IKEA office chairs worthy of the best buy, not least because each model is subjected to heavy loads and components tested up to 300,000 times.  

But the JÄRVFJÄLLET stands out for us thanks to the combination of impressive value and must-have features. You can adjust the height, the seat can be tilted forward and back, and best of all, you can slide the nice wide seat forward and back to suit the length of your legs. 

Lumbar support is also fantastic, especially for this price, offering all-round support for long days at the desk, and while the headrest might be a bit high for some, it’s nicely padded and adds further to the overall comfort.

Armrests are available for$30/£25, but we found them to be quite flimsy, so it might not be worth the extra cost.

Best office chair: Herman Miller Mirra 2

(Image credit: Herman Millar)

2. Herman Miller Mirra 2

The best premium office chair

Specifications
Seat height: 42.5-56.5cm
Seat width: 49.5cm
Max weight: 136-159kg depending on model
Lumbar support: Yes
Height adjustable: Yes
Tilt lock: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic support+Fully customisable
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Large footprint

Designed to use the least material possible without sacrificing comfort or performance, the Mirra 2 is one of the most recognisable, and desirable office chairs available. And with a plethora of gorgeous colours and customisable options, including a choice of two highly breathable and flexible back rests it’s easy to see the appeal.

The chair has been designed to adjust to and support your slightest movements, and while it doesn’t have a big squishy seat, every aspect can be adjusted and you’ll be all the more productive for it.

It’s quite a large model with a wide base and larger than average arm rests, so measure carefully, but you won’t be disappointed if you can squeeze it in. 

Best office chair: AmazonBasics

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. AmazonBasics Mesh Back Office Chair

The best budget office chair

Specifications
Seat height: Adjustable
Seat width: 60.9cm
Max weight: 125kg
Lumbar support: Yes
Height adjustable: Yes
Tilt lock: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Phenomenal value+Breathable design
Reasons to avoid
-Minimal lumbar support-Non-adjustable arm rests

If you’re glued to the laptop from dawn until dusk we’d strongly recommend you spend a little more on your office chair, but if you just need something for a few hours a day that isn’t a kitchen chair, this design from Amazon is hard to beat.

It's ergonomically designed and has a cushioned seat and soft back that’s breathable for added comfort. It has height adjustment (although not on the arm rests) and can be tilted and locked into the best position for your body. Like the IKEA chairs, the castors are weight sensitive, so there’s no danger of it rolling away.

Impressively, especially given the price, you can tilt the chair both forward and back and adjust how much effort you need to apply to rock back in your chair.

Best office chair: HÅG Capisco 8106

(Image credit: HÅG)

4. HÅG Capisco 8106

The best office chair for sit/stand desks

Specifications
Seat height: 410 - 550/660/810mm (depending on height option)
Seat width: 49cm
Max weight: N/A
Lumbar support: Yes
Height adjustable: Yes
Tilt lock: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Brilliantly versatile+Encourages movement
Reasons to avoid
-Atypical design-Not great for relaxing

It’s an unusual looking chair, but the Capisco is the sort of design you’ll find in an upmarket architect’s office, mainly because it is the most versatile design we’ve ever seen. 

The saddle-shaped back and seat mean you can sit forward - as you’d imagine - but also perch on it sideways, or straddle it backwards, whatever feels most comfortable. This unusual configuration encourages you to move about instead of sitting motionless for hours staring at your laptop, and with a choice of adjustable heights, it can work brilliantly if you use a sit/stand desk. 

The HAG Capisco 8106 is also impressively customisable with dozens of fabric types and colours available, three different max heights, two footrest designs and three castors for hard floors, carpets and fixed stools.

Best office chair: Ikea HATTEFJÄLL

(Image credit: IKEA)

5. IKEA HATTEFJÄLL

The best office chair for style on a budget

Specifications
Seat height: 41-52cm
Seat width: 50cm
Max weight: 110kg
Lumbar support: No
Height adjustable: Yes
Tilt lock: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable and stylish+Adjustable height and tilt+10 year guarantee 
Reasons to avoid
-Fabric stains easier than leather-Armrest height not adjustable

Smooth curves, small footprint and interior friendly colour options (grey and dusty pink woven fabric) mean this chair won’t stand out if you’ve been forced to turn your bedroom into an office during the day.

Available with or without armrests, the deep seat and use of high quality polyurethane foam gives you plenty of cushioning while the pneumatic mechanism makes adjusting height quick and easy. There’s also a nice smooth tilt mechanism, but you can’t lock it in position. We also like the fact the castors don’t roll unless you’re putting pressure on them, so it will still be in the same place when you sit back down.

The steel frame and aluminium components feel robust, and the 10 year guarantee shows how confident IKEA is about their office products.