Office chair buyer’s guide

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Easily find the perfect office chair to suit your needs with our buying tips and advice

Whether you’re looking to complete your home office or kitting out your business premises – the right, high-quality office chairs will make a huge difference to your working environment.

With so much choice available, choosing the perfect office chair to match your requirements and budget can be a real challenge. Get clued up and learn everything you need to know with help from this handy buying guide.

Types of office chairs

Common work chairs explained

Office chairs come in a wide range of different styles. Here are some of the most common styles available:

Task chair


Overview and features

Also known as operator chairs or computer chairs, these are the types of chairs that probably come to mind first when you think about office chairs. In reality, ‘task chair’ is a bit of a broad-brush term, covering a wide range of different styles, materials and features.

Standard task chair features include swivel casters for easy manoeuvrability, and a gas lift so you can adjust the height of the chair to fit your needs. More advanced models tend to come fitted with more ergonomic features, designed to improve support and comfort during extended working sessions.
Advanced features found in Task chairs include:

  • Adjustable armrests

  • Headrests

  • Adjustable backs

  • Lumbar support

  • Ergonomic design

  • Materials

Task chairs come in a wide range of different materials, from plastic chairs with padded foam seats, to metal and fabric, mesh and leather.


Task chairs are suitable for both homes and businesses. Designed for working at a computer, they are perfect for workstation use, and as long as you choose high quality, ergonomic designs will provide good all-day comfort for most users.

Executive chairs
Overview and features

Also known as manager’s chairs, these are larger and more stylish than ordinary task/operator style seats. Design-wise, they feature an elongated shape and tend to have higher arms and deeper padding, making them much more comfortable for sitting at.

Generally, executive chairs come with height adjustability but don’t come with fully adjustable backs. This can make them unsuitable for some people who need to work at a computer for extended periods of time.


Cheaper executive chairs come manufactured in plastic, with either a fabric, leatherette or leather finish. High-end executive chairs tend to be manufactured from metal and come finished in leather.


Executive chairs are great for management, and ideal for meeting rooms. Many people find executive chairs comfortable enough to work at a computer all day with, task chairs will usually provide a better option.

Designer chairs
Overview and features

As the name suggests, designer chairs are made to look nice. Simple, elegant and non-adjustable, they’re available in a range of colours, materials and styles to suit any environment, and will enhance the look of your office space.

Generally, designer chairs aren’t made for comfort, so don’t have the same levels of padding, support or adjustability as other kinds of office chair.


Designer chairs tend to be hard chairs manufactured from materials like plastic, mesh, chrome and leather.


Designer chairs are suitable for short working sessions, but generally, won’t be comfortable or supportive enough for all-day computer use. They are perfect for communal areas like canteens, as well as for use in meeting and breakout rooms.

Ergonomics explained

The benefits of ergonomics in the workplace

One of the key terms you’re likely to come across when shopping for office chairs is ‘ergonomic’. Ergonomic doesn’t actually refer to a style of chair – it’s a design principle. Having said that, most people looking for ergonomic chairs tend to be after high-end task chairs.

An ergonomic chair is any chair that’s designed to work with the human body, providing the right support and improving posture to maximise comfort during extended work sessions. Everybody is different, and an ergonomic chair will be able to be adjusted to match the user.

In practice, ergonomic chairs tend to feature lumbar support, extensive padding, tilt control, height adjustability, adjustable armrests and head supports.

Whether you’re working from home, or kitting out your whole business, investing in ergonomic chairs can deliver a wide range of benefits in terms of wellbeing, comfort and productivity.

Whilst ergonomic chairs do tend to be more expensive to buy in the short term, the long-term benefits will almost certainly outweigh the cost of the initial investment.

The important details

Things to consider when choosing an office chair


When it comes to choosing an office chair, comfort is king – it’s the single most important thing that you need to think about. Comfortable workers are more productive, so it’s really important to pick chairs that provide enough padding and support. The wrong office chairs can actually impact on employee health, contributing to aches, pains and sick days that could end up costing you money.

Generally, ergonomic features that improve the adjustability of a chair, like armrests, headrests, lumbar support and gas height adjust, will help to improve the comfort of the chair. Other important considerations are the amount and quality of the padding.


Before you go out and purchase your office chairs, it’s sensible to think about how much space you’ve got available. Consider the height and style of your office desks, and how much space you have underneath.

Office chairs come in a range of different styles and sizes, and whilst big executive chairs might look fantastic, they can be impractical for smaller office spaces. Task chairs generally provide the best balance between size, comfort and usability.

Working practices

How you and your employees work will have a big impact on the kind of office chair that’s right for them. If your employees are sitting, working at a computer all day, then an adjustable, ergonomic and supportive task chair will be better than a hard designer chair.

Executive chairs are really comfortable for sitting at during long meetings, but they may not provide the adjustability or correct working position for all-day comfort when working at a computer.

Design and colour

Remember, any office chair you purchase will have to go in your home or business. You’re going to have to look at it every day, so it’s sensible to invest in something that you actually like!

If you’re purchasing for your business, then it’s also worth thinking about the feel of your company and its branding. Your office furniture is a reflection of your business, so picking matching furniture that suits your business will help to create the right environment.

Need more informations or suggestions?
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