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Ah yes, the home office chair – a most beloved throne for many, and the bane of so many others’ lives. Which one is it for you? I’ll wager it’s the latter. Either way, you’re most likely here because you’re due an upgrade.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the best home office chairs available in Australia fit for a king or queen (or whatever you cool kids feel like identifying as in November 2023).
Before we get down into the nitty-gritty of the best home office chairs, let me tell you that this isn’t of those listicles that regurgitate generic and boring facts.
Let me share with you what I’ve learned about choosing the best home office chair for your needs.
1. ErgoTune Supreme.
Best overall home office chair.
Above: The Ergotune Supreme cuts a handsome line in a home office. Note the independent lumbar support piece and headrest.
The ErgoTune Supreme has a synchro-tilt feature that provides a smooth, comfortable recline; it reminds me of the feeling you get when reclining in Herman Miller’s Aeron and Cosm models.
You can lean back up to 136 degrees and even adjust the tension of the recline.
If you’ve ever leaned back in a chair and suddenly felt like you’re falling back, you’ll appreciate being able to dial this setting up and down.
You can be forgiven for thinking these are just gimmicky pseudo-scientific names designed to suck you in, but the reality is that these demonstrate the attention to detail you don’t get with other home office chairs.
The ATLAS lumbar support, for example, is the most supportive of any other chair in this review.
Adjustable for height and tension, it consistently resists against your lower back, promoting your spine’s natural “S” curve.
Unlike armrests you get on home office chairs, these adjust for reach, width, depth and pivot. You can even angle them 90 degrees perpendicularly to your body, creating a little “table” to place your phone on.
By the way, this is a heavy-duty monster of a chair, which becomes apparent as soon as you remove it from its packaging.
It’s not a throwaway chair that will fall apart after 1-2 years.
(Related: Ergotune Supreme: Is It Worth Almost $750?)
Reasons To Buy:
- 21-day risk-free return. The Ergotune team is so confident you’ll love its Supreme home office chair that they offer a generous returns policy. It even includes the cost of return shipping and kerbside pickup.
- Top-notch ergonomics with superb lumbar support. This home office chair adjusts in every conceivable direction.
- Synchro-tilt mechanism. This premium feature creates a smooth, comfortable, rocking recline motion that reminds me of more expensive desk chairs.
- Superb warranty. Parts that are most likely to break (recline and adjustment mechanisms) are covered for only 4 years, but you can extend the coverage to 8 years by posting a review on social media).
Reasons To Avoid:
- Fabric-infused mesh can stain. The desk chair comes in three colours, two of which are very bright: Coral Red and Aqua Blue. Unfortunately, these lovely pastel shades are prone to picking up stains. For longevity, go for charcoal black. Clean freaks, check out a budget chair with plastic mesh, like the Sihoo M57 (see below).
- The headrest tilt doesn’t lock. Any decent pressure causes it to point down, and I find it fiddly.
- Armrests could be better. I wish I could upgrade them to include better-quality surfaces and stiffer adjustments. While they’re not terrible, I find that they adjust involuntarily with enough pressure, and the plasticky surface is a bit “meh”.
The Ergotune Supreme ticks a lot of ergonomic boxes. You get seat pan height and depth adjustment, plus the ability to spec the gas piston in one of three lengths.
This is a unique feature at this price point and allows precise fit for humans who are outside the norm – either shorter than 160 cm or taller than 180 cm:
- The small is best for people 140-160cm.
- The medium is best for people 160-180cm.
- The large is best for people 180-210cm.
Last, Ergotune’s DuraWeave mesh is perfect if you work if your WFH office happens to be in a warmer climate. It keeps you cool and minimises sweaty episodes that can be potentially embarrassing.
The mesh is taut enough to resist sagging but not so taut that it’s like sitting on a plastic school chair.
|Ease Of Assembly||5/5|
Best cheap home office chair.
Above: The Artiss Eamon high-back in black colour.
Well, what do we have here? A budget home office chair that looks like a pretty good replica of the classic Herman Miller Eames.
But before you get excited – the Artiss office chair has the fewest ergonomic adjustments in this review.
That’s understandable, considering it’s also the cheapest office chair in this review. It’s selling for around $130 on Amazon for the high-back size and, bizarrely, for around $210 on their website. (You should definitely go with the Amazon option).
The Eamon comes in two sizes: mid-back and high-back.
It’s a no-frills desk chair, but I refuse to throw shade at it.
If anything, the Eamon is an overachiever in its own niche, allowing WFH workers to elevate their professional image without splashing out on an expensive executive chair.
Reasons To Buy:
- Sleek design. It’s a cheap chair that tries hard to look like an executive chair with its chrome frame and faux leather upholstery. It succeeds, sort of.
- Awesome price. How are they even making any money on this thing? Don’t even question it. It’s probably bad luck. Shut up and take my money!
- Uncomplicated design. Yes, you get few adjustment options, but this means fewer moving parts, knobs and levers, which means there’s less that can buckle.
Reasons To Avoid:
- Lack of ergonomic functionality. While it has seat pan height adjustment and recline tension adjustment, it’s not the best desk chair for those needing many adjustment options.
- Thinly padded seat. Maybe it’s been designed to stop you from sleeping on the job… I doubt it. It’s OK for 2-3 hours of sitting, but not something you’ll want to use for 6+ hours each day.
- Creaks when reclining. To prevent creaking when moving, add a generous amount of lubricant on metal parts during assembly.
If you’re looking to add a touch of class to your home office but are on a budget, this is one of the best office chairs you can buy.
Visually, it punches well above its price point. If you were to ask people how much it costs, most would place the Eamon in a higher price bracket.
The padding is quite thin, too. Don’t expect your backside to feel pampered after sitting in it all day. If you’ve got a bony backside, it might feel akin to sitting on a bench after a while.
In extreme cases, prolonged sitting in chairs with poor padding can lead to the formation of pressure sores.
If you’re looking for a seat with the spongiest padding, the Steelcase S1 has built-in air pockets that adapt to your shape and relieve pressure points (unfortunately, the chair has other issues – see below).
This is a no-frills home office chair that buy when you need to sit for an hour a day during a Zoom meeting.
In a weird way, Eamon’s firm padding encourages you to sit in an ergonomic position without slouching. It’s not a chair that you want to recline and lounge in.
The Eamon is easy to wipe down and clean, making it great for those who wear dirty uniforms (e.g., tradies, project managers, and construction managers who split workdays between on-site and in the home office).
|Ease Of Assembly||4/5|
3. Sihoo M57.
Best value-for-money home office chair.
While it’s not the cheapest ($350 without a footrest), it represents huge value.
It’s a modern-looking, no-frills chair. Nothing flashy or remarkable, but that’s exactly why I like it. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not, but it fulfils its intended purpose very well.
M57’s ergonomic credentials are pretty good.
You miss out on seat pan depth, but you do get an adjustable backrest with tilt tension and lock, seat height, armrest height and depth.
The bidirectional lumbar support can be tweaked vertically by 5cm and horizontally (in and out) by 3cm, so it’ll keep your back supported throughout the day.
It feels a little pokey when fully extended, and the mechanism is rudimentary, but it works.
Sihoo M57’s adjustable headrest is adjustable for height and tilt but not for reach. Unfortunately, the tilt doesn’t lock off and will move down if you apply enough pressure with your head.
I noticed that many reviewers on Amazon complained about the chair’s castors, but I didn’t experience the same issue. They’re rubberised, so they don’t make any noise and won’t scratch hardwood floors.
However, you may get bogged if your home office has long-pile carpet floors. Buying a $25 set of hard plastic castors will solve that problem.
(Related: Sihoo M57 Review: Better Than The Ergotune?)
Reasons To Buy.
- Bidirectional lumbar support. A welcome feature in a budget home office chair, it will help you get comfortable and prevent back pains.
- Value for money. The M57 packs a lot of features in a home office chair that costs less than $350.
- Doesn’t look and feel cheap. Even though it’s inexpensive, it doesn’t have the cheap feel of the Artiss Eamon. It’s a chair you’ll like interacting with.
Reasons To Avoid.
- Kinda bland-looking. Not a statement piece.
- Not ideal for tall or short people. No seat depth adjustment means short people will have to sit closer to the edge. Single piston size means people taller than 185cm will feel like they’re sitting in a kids’ chair.
Think of the Sihoo M57 as your next best bet if your budget doesn’t stretch to the Ergotune Supreme, but you want a better home office chair than the al cheapo Artiss Eamon above.
Those looking for something stylish might find the M57 a little uninspiring. The design is smart and safe. Typical corporate office fare.
While the black and grey colours are inoffensive, they’re unlikely to serve as a statement piece that elevates your home office decor.
If you want to dress your home office to impress, the Steelcase S1 (below) is more stylish and available in striking colours (except the grey-brown medley reminiscent of a TV tuned to a dead channel). But it’s almost 3X the price and isn’t as comfortable.
Unlike the ErgoTune Supreme, the M57 comes in only one size. People taller than 185 cm will find it too small, and should opt for the ErtoTune Supreme in its large size.
|Ease Of Assembly||4/5|
Good premium option.
Above: The Steelcase is smart, understated and elegant – not at all ostentatious.
A cheap Steelcase? You’re probably sceptical – as you should be. If someone offered you a cheap Mercedes, you’d be equally dubious.
Car enthusiasts may remember the Mercedes B-Class – a boxy, ordinary-looking contraption favourite among the less skilled road users.
It was Mercedes’ attempt at building a people’s car.
Despite the lack of commercial success, Mercedes sold thousands of them, and you’re likely to spot one driving 20 km/hr under the speed limit on a busy overpass.
The Steelcase Series 1 home office chair is exactly the same.
Above: The Steelcase 1 is available in 5 colours to match your decor.
The cheapest desk chair in the Steelcase lineup, it’s reasonably competent all-around but not outstanding at anything.
I won’t call it the king of mediocrity – because it’s slightly better than that – but it’s definitely not a lot of chair for the $750 asking price.
What do you get for your hard-earned grand?
Adjustable seat height, tilt and tension (without recline lock, oddly), a firm but comfortable seat cushion with fore and aft adjustment, 4D adjustable arms and height-adjustable lumbar support.
While it’s made with lots of plastic components, they mould together well, with no gaps. It’s made in the US, and even after a few years of punishment, it doesn’t develop any chronic issues like creaking and loosening parts.
Armrests are the only exception to the rule – they’re flimsy and made from cheap plastic. Why did you use low-quality materials on such an important touch point, Steelcase?
They’re certainly more flimsy than ErgoTune Supreme’s and Sihoo M57’s armrests.
Height-adjustable lumbar support feels kind of “meh”. It’s there, but also not. It’s not a chair that will help you resolve lower back problems.
Reasons To Buy:
- Reasonably good ergonomics. If you’re small in build, you’ll find the chair willing to adjust to your needs and provide high comfort levels.
- Smart design. I personally find it a tad boring, but I can see it appealing to people who don’t want a prominent, shouty desk chair in their home office.
- Great warranty. Exactly what you’d expect from Merce.. I mean, Steelcase. Lifetime on frame and 12 years on mechanical parts give you peace of mind.
Reasons To Avoid:
- Armrests are cheap and borderline nasty. Hard as rocks, they’re not nice to interact with.
- Recline has a distinctive Steelcase hip-thrust feeling. Not for everyone.
- Limited lumbar support. Like an unsupportive partner, it’s there, but not really.
The height of the backrest is quite low, and you don’t have the option to spec the gas piston in larger sizes, so the Series 1 is not a good option if you’re taller than 185 cm.
The lack of reach-adjustable lumbar support is disappointing in a home office ergonomic chair with a nearly $1,000 price tag, especially when considering the Sihoo M57 (less than half its price) has bidirectional lumbar support.
|Ease Of Assembly||5/5|
Good ergonomic home office chair.
The Ergohuman’s lumbar support reminds me of the one you get on the Ergotune Supreme. It’s a separate piece that moves up and down with the backrest, and has an independently adjustable tension.
The subtlety of the Ergohuman lumbar design means you’re less likely to notice it’s there. In my opinion, this is the true hallmark of comfort.
The ergonomic chair has a single lever that controls most adjustable elements, including the height, seat slide, and angle. The design is very intuitive and less fiddly than multi-lever designs.
In that respect, less is certainly more.
At times, sitting in a Herman Miller Aeron or an ErgoTune Supreme can have you feeling as though you’re in the cockpit of a fighter jet, and have you feeling as though you want to eject yourself when you adjust the wrong thing.
It does, however, have a tendency to wobble when you’re moving in the desk chair. And while it won’t affect your comfort, it cheapens the look of the chair and reminds me of a standing lamp when viewed from the side.
So even though it’s firm, it lacks the elasticity to conform to your shape, and I imagine that over time, the mesh will sag rather than return to its original shape.
It has a somewhat rubbery feel that is closest to that of the Sihoo M57.
One thing I noticed immediately was the frictionless glide when moving around. Its dual wheel castors make you feel like you’re skating on ice – in a good way!
You’re less likely to scrape the wheels and damage your floor, and you may find that your desk mat is no longer required. It’s also pretty zippy for those who need to shift between workstations throughout the day.
If you have pets that harass you when working at home, or commandeer your seat the moment you stand up, you might want to consider another option.
There’s just something about the mesh that seems to attract pet hairs (and even lint, cotton, and other fabrics). Maybe it’s the weave pattern – I don’t know.
The adjustable armrests are lovely and soft. Probably my favourite armrests of all home office chairs in this review.
They’re also the only armrest that can slide far down for you to tuck the chair under your desk.
Reasons To Buy:
- 3D dynamic lumbar support. One of the most comfortable lumbar supports in this review, and very similar in design to that of the ErgoTune Supreme. A separate panel provides plenty of support across the width of your lower back.
- Synchro tilt. Kinda expected at this price point, but a welcome feature nonetheless. Provides a smooth, comfortable, rocking recline.
- Modern design. It’s an ergonomic home office chair that tries very hard not to look like one.
Reasons To Avoid:
- Mesh attracts fibres. It’s not the end of the world, but you’ll probably need to use a lint roller every month to remove any excess fibres.
- Unstable headrest. Unless pressure is applied, the headrest tends to wobble when in transit and seems flimsy. Functionally, it’s fine, but it can be a tad annoying. It can be removed, though (unlike most).
- It’s pricey. While it’s premium by name, it’s not by nature. For me, it sits just below the upper echelon of office chairs. You’d want to grab this desk chair in an EOFY sale rather than paying the RRP (when the price more accurately reflects the quality).
Good no-nonsense home office chair.
Here’s a lesser-known model: the J.Burrows Halifax ergonomic chair. It’s a new listing and only available at Officeworks, and I love it because it’s not trying to be anything other than itself… kind of like the chair version of Lewis Capaldi.
J.Burrows is the standard bearer for great value, and they deliver on their promise with this ergonomic office chair.
With the J.Burrows Halifax, you can pop into any Officeworks and test drive one – there are over 160 stores in Australia.
The padding springs back and feels closer in quality to the Steelcase S1 – the comfiest seat in this review.
Sure, seats like these have a lifespan and flatten after time, but let’s have a bit of context… Mesh seats are pancake-flat to begin with. So it’s unfair to judge foam seats by different standards.
We, humans, are obsessed with things lasting forever – maybe it’s because entropy reminds us we’re getting older…
Aside from the awesome seat, it boasts some other decent ergonomic selling points: a breathable mesh back, height-adjustable armrests, a synchro-tilt mechanism, and even seat slide functionality.
Despite all its strengths, even the Sihoo M57 lacks seat depth adjustment – something you definitely need to consider if you’re taller than six feet.
The J.Burrows Halifax office chair is suitable for five to eight hours of use per day.
I know there are other high-end office chairs that promise greater durability, but few of us are sitting for longer than that, especially when you factor in breaks and time spent working away from your desk.
You’ll need a premium office chair if you work for long sitting sessions, like 12 hours a day. The ErgoTune Supreme would be my chair of choice, given its dimensions and the 11 points of adjustability.
If you’re physically impaired or just plain lazy, you can add an assembly option for $85.
While that seems steep, costing an additional 25%, it’s a good option since assembly is a little more complicated than the other ergonomic chairs (the Halifax takes around 30 mins to build).
After completing your purchase at checkout, you’ll receive a call within 24 hours (Mon-Fri) to schedule a time to assemble your desk chair.
They have a no-quibbles returns policy if you change your mind within 30 days of purchase, and you can also visit them in-store with any problems.
That said, some reviewers on Trustpilot have lambasted their customer service, and the average rating is 1.7 stars.
Not only that, but I like that on their website they show high-resolution close-ups of the office chair’s upholstery and plastic and metal components.
Reasons To Buy:
- Seat padding. Among the softest and most comfortable seats there is. Though, with it being a new product, it’s not yet known how the integrity of the seat holds up after continued use.
- Returns policy. If you change your mind about a purchase within 30 days, Officeworks will offer you a refund or exchange.
- Uses FSC-certified wood. I doubt much wood has gone into making this, but it’s nice to know you’re supporting a company that sources timber harvested from responsibly managed forests.
Reasons To Avoid:
- New product. It’s not been out long enough to establish an objective consensus.
- Assembly is a challenge. Some users have reported that the bolts provided for the arms aren’t long enough to screw into the base. If something’s not right, reach out to the amazing customer service team.
- Non-adjustable lumbar support. This is a modern-day staple; consider picking up a lumbar pillow as an accessory.
Another good budget option.
This thing feels like an ergonomic chair with a price tag of over $800, and it looks very similar to the Ergohuman Premium! It’s a very comfortable chair and the metal structure is sturdy and feels really strong.
Other manufacturers like Ikea tend to use mesh for the backrest and fabric for the seat, whereas the ErgoDuke makes full use of the mesh for the seat and backrest for maximum ventilation.
While I prefer hybrid chairs (with fabric seats), the supple mesh of the ErgoDuke is elastic and springs back, meaning it adapts to your curves better than tough meshes – some of which, the Ergohuman
Premium included, are too taut and reminiscent of an outdoor folding patio chair.
All in all, its sturdy white aluminium frame makes a refreshing change from the depressing deluge of black. Still, its mesh is black, and that’s a sensible move.
You know how it ruins your day when you mark your white sneakers or stain a white t-shirt…? Well, that. After a while, white mesh discolours and turns to shades of ivory, magnolia, and yellows.
With a width of 51cm and a depth of 48cm, its wide seat is great for those of a bigger build and those with larger posteriors. In fact, it’s great for those of slimmer proportions too and those who love to curl up with their legs on their desk chair.
The Steelcase S1, a compact chair and comparably more expensive, has a seat width of 48.8cm and a depth of 45.7cm
It has a comfortable seat, which is arguably the most important part of a desk chair since most of your weight is placed on your two butt bones (ischial tuberosities).
Its waterfall design means that your weight is spread evenly across the seat; its edges slope downwards to relieve pressure behind the knees and improve circulation to the lower limbs.
The seat also slides back and forth too. Again, something that the Sihoo M57 doesn’t do.
Of all the desk chairs in this article, I find the ErgoDuke is the most stylish. Its dual tones give it a techy and edgy look that wouldn’t look out of place in a design agency or in the home office of a startup.
With cheaper office chairs, you need to be wary about their credentials for commercial use, but the ErgoDuke is SGS BIFMA certified.
Reasons To Buy:
- Price. You can grab an ErgoDuke for almost a tenth of the cost of the Herman Miller Aeron. If you have more money than sense, keep scrolling!
- Seat slide. This is great for either the long- or short-legged workers among us since you can adjust so that the seat sits flush with the back of the knees.
- Stylish. Clean and refreshing look that evokes a sense of sophistication.
Reasons To Avoid:
- Armrests. These are made of hard plastic and have no cushioning and they can only be adjusted up and down.
- Lumbar support. It’s hard plastic and there’s only a thin layer of mesh separating your lower back and the lumbar support.
- Chrome base scratches easily. If you rest your feet on the chrome legs while wearing shoes, they will scuff and scratch over time (unlikely to be a problem if you’re working in your home office space).
Have I Helped You Find The Best Ergonomic Office Chair?
Okay, so now there are no excuses to keep sitting in that office chair that’s been giving you grief.
I’ve been there before, and it was like a mild form of torture.
In fact, if there were a lite version of hell, say a place called “heck”, then for me, it would be a place in which Nickelback played a gig on an endless loop in which I’d have to spectate from the dis-comfort of a rickety office chair, perpetually fidgeting.
The stuff of nightmares.
Thankfully, you now have all the information you need to choose the right ergonomic office chair for you.
Did I miss something? Do you have a question? Let me know in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing The Best Home Office Chair.
If you’re looking for the best ergonomic office chair, consider these frequently asked questions before diving in head first.
You might save yourself some hassle (and a few bucks).
1. What are the downsides of using a substandard home office chair?
I’ll tell you if you pinky promise me you’re not some petty thrill-seeker or contortionist looking to permanently alter your physiology…
Okay, so the consensus is pretty grim. From a health perspective, here’s what you’re more at risk of when using a badly designed ergonomic chair:
- Poor posture. After some time, you can develop an unflattering hunch and an unnatural curvature of the spine. This is literally how Smeagol developed his (true story).
- Back and neck pain. It’s pretty hard to concentrate when your back or neck gives you grief daily. Your productivity will suffer, and your output will dwindle.
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). Inadequate support and positioning can lead to increased stress on the wrists, arms, and shoulders during repetitive tasks. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one example.
- Reduced circulation. Poorly designed desk chairs, especially those with acute edges, can restrict blood circulation. This can cause numbness, tingling, and even deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Marketing teams often play on these fears. But let’s be realistic, sitting in a good office chair doesn’t compare to the dangers of working on an oil rig or a fishing trawler, and I’ve yet to hear of any casualties of such a sedentary lifestyle.
2. What other types of desk chairs are there?
You’ve heard of ergonomic office chairs and executive chairs, but what are some of the other best office chairs out there for niche users?
- Kneeling chairs. These are unique in design as they do not have a traditional seat. Instead, they have angled pads that support the knees and shins. Kneeling chairs promote an open posture with the shoulders pinned back, reducing lower back strain.
- Ball chairs. Also known as exercise or stability chairs, they’re essentially large inflated balls you sit on. They engage the core muscles by promoting active sitting, as you need to maintain balance while working.
- Drafting chairs. Specifically designed for use with elevated work surfaces like drafting tables or artists painting at the easel. They tend to have taller seat heights, footrests, and features that allow for easy height adjustment and greater balance.
- Gaming chairs. These have high backrests, extra cushioning and padding, futuristic designs, and come in snazzy colours. Some even have built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity.
3. What time of year is best to buy a home office chair?
There are no guarantees, but typically, there is an element of seasonality with office chairs, due to stockists refreshing their range twice a year – once during spring and then again in autumn.
If you time your purchase during the off-season (right before the range changes) and aren’t fussy with what particular model you’re buying, then buy a quality office chair at the last minute.
It’s the exact same principle when booking a last-minute getaway! Chances are you’ll find the best discounts at these times of the year, but you might not always have your first choice.
Also, some retailers offer end-of-financial-year (EOFY) discounts starting in late May and running throughout June. If you can hold off waiting, set a reminder in your calendar to buy one at a later date.