Aside from your bed, it’s your single most important piece of furniture. If you’re working 40-hour weeks, you’re using it upwards of 160 hours a month. Yes, that comes to 1,920 hours a year that you could be utilizing a single piece of furniture. That’s time you could’ve spent reading War and Peace 20 times, walking from London to Moscow (and back), and watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy 123 times. Of course, we’re talking about office chairs.
Snag a good one, and you’re doing wonders for your spine. Grab a bad one and you’ve just bought a one-way ticket to lower back pain land. But there are other added benefits to a great office chair. Just like a car or a road bike, it’s a status symbol, and a great way of projecting wealth and power and making all of your colleagues super jealous of you. (If you watch HBO’s Silicon Valley, you may have seen the episode in which a $500 mandarin ergonomic chair plays a key role.)
So we’re here to ensure that both your back and your reputation are well taken care of. Below, you’ll find a curated list of the most stylish, luxurious, sleek, ergonomic office chairs on the market. Pick your favorite, and get your boss to stock the conference room—it’s time to conquer your business meetings in style.
Herman Miller Aeron
From $930; buy now at Herman Miller
The Aeron is the most basic, fundamental office chair—perfected. You’ve got lumbar support, plush armrests, adjustable height and tilt, the cushiest mesh backing on the planet, and smooth-as-an-ice-rink wheels (perfect for soaring down the hall when you need a break). Allegedly, these are the office chairs that stock Facebook’s headquarters. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Emeco Hudson Task
From $1,065; buy now at Design Within Reach
The Hudson Task Chair is art. Literally—this thing is included in MOMA’s design collection. Originally introduced in the ‘40s for the desks at Manhattan’s boutique Hudson Hotel, this vintage design has been reintroduced into the office worker’s landscape. This starkest of office chairs is available in brushed or polished aluminum, and, if you need some extra padding, you can pick up midcentury-inspired vinyl seat cushions.
Arper Catifa 60
Price upon request; inquire now at Arper
This seat will literally help you make the difficult decisions required of a guy in charge. The Catifa 60 is fully customizable. Does yours swivel or tilt? Is it on wheels or glides? How tall is it? And don’t even get us started on the color and fabric options. (There are more than 30.) The world truly is your oyster. Or, rather, this chair is.
Poltrona Frau Cockpit
Price upon request; inquire now at Poltrona Frau
The designers behind Ferrari—yes, the same luxury sports car company—teamed up with legendary Italian décor firm Poltrona Frau to create the zaniest of office chairs. The Cockpit was designed to emulate the dynamic sensation of driving an insanely fast car, so you’re sure to get your work done at the speed of light.
West Elm Helvetica
$599; buy now at West Elm
Upholstered in sumptuous leather and sculpted to fit bodies of any shape like a glove, the Helvetica is the high-water mark of modern office chairs. It would look out of place in, say, a tech company, sure—but put this baby behind a desk, and you’re golden. The Helvetica also comes in a high-backed model, if you want the option to ominously wheel around like the villain in spy films.
$2,196; buy now from Knoll
The Pollock has been around for more than five decades, which means designer Charles Pollock—the chair’s namesake—did something right. Sure, the absence of armrests seems odd. But once you plop down on the impeccably plush leather, nothing short of a building fire will get you to stand up.
$349; buy now from CB2
Charmingly minimalist, the Fillmore combines a mahogany back, a nickel base, and linen cushions—all things that, on paper, shouldn’t go together. But you know what? It works. Just like you—when you’re sitting in something as effortlessly comfortable as this. Final verdict: They should fill more workspaces with office chairs like these.
$199; buy now at IKEA
Remember Legos? Legos were fun. (Or maybe they are fun, for you dads out there.) Well, now, when it comes to stocking your workplace with seating, you get to play with Legos again. The Markus, from IKEA, is as versatile and uncomplicated as office chairs get. Plus, it comes in four separate colors, so you get to have some fun with that.
Price upon request; inquire now at BuzziSpace
This is about as minimalist as you can get. Designed to fit in anywhere, the BuzziSpace brings an elegant simplicity to any office, from Palo Alto tech companies to Madison Avenue marketing firms. The wooden frame—available in a clean white wash or a dignified black stain—is contoured to line the human form up with any desk. Now, it’s time to get your office style to match this beauty.
$549; buy now from BoConcept
Do you want your workspace to look like it’s staffed with a bunch of hyper-stylish Danish male models? Well, stock up on a bunch of these office chairs—simple, elegant, and, most importantly, comfortable. At the end of the day, if it’s good enough for Mads Mikkelsen, it’s good enough for us. Not that we’re susceptible to celebrity endorsements in any way. No, not at all.
Humanscale Freedom Headrest
From $1,170; buy now from Humanscale
It’s a real pain in the ass adjusting office chairs to be perfectly contorted to your body. With the Freedom Headrest, that’s not an issue; it was designed to automatically shape to your spine. The New York Times even described this chair as “the gold standard of office seating.” Take it from us: That wasn’t fake news.
RH Modern Oviedo
From $1,400; buy now at Restoration Hardware
Inspired by the plush comforts of a bygone era—that’d be the 1960s—the Oviedo is reminiscent of grey flannel suits and three-Martini lunches. This piece of art exudes manliness and belongs in only the most decadent of corner offices.
Blu Dot Daily Task
$599; buy now at Blu Dot
Ergonomic without sacrificing an ounce of fun, the Daily Task is an anomaly among office chairs. The streamlined design on this charmingly minimalist piece of office furniture lends a level of sophistication to any desk. And, since it’s available in three fun colors—red, green, and charcoal—you can mix and match to breath life into even the most drab work environments.
Herman Miller Eames Executive
From $3,800; buy now at Herman Miller
Here it is: the crème de la crème of office chairs. The Eames Executive is meant for, well, executives. This beast conveys sophistication, power, gravity, elegance. It’s sleek. It’s sexy. It’s sumptuous. And it’s more comfortable than a Tempur-Pedic. Sure, four grand is a lot to spring for an office chair. But if you’re far along enough in your career to pull off sitting in this chair, you’ve earned it.
Try Out a Standing Desk
Don’t knock it—you’ll do wonders for that lower back pain.
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