If there’s one word to describe a good office chair, the word would be “indispensable”. In fact, Aside from a good cup of coffee and no distractions, one of the most important parts of a good office setup is a comfortable, ergonomic office chair that will stand the test of time. There’s just 1 problem though: they are quite expensive! It seems that to get a decent office chair that doesn’t have many compromises, you really need to pony up and be willing to spend 4 figures.
This is the reason why I created this article. I wanted to make a complete guide of the very best office chairs out there – all under 500 bucks! The truth is that not everybody has thousands of dollars to spend on the most cutting edge seats, and thankfully, you don’t even have to pay that amount to get a good product. The chairs below are overall the very best choices on the market, providing the most comfort, ergonomics, ease of use, and styling for the price point. This article will be really useful for anybody looking to purchase an office chair without breaking the bank. Anyways, without further ado, on to the chairs!
In Summary, here are my top 10 picks for the best office chairs under $500:
- SIHOO Ergonomic Adjustable Mesh Office Chair
- REFICCER High Back Big & Tall 400lb Leather ExecutiveOffice Chair
- NOUHAUS Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair
- AmazonBasics Big & Tall Executive Office Desk Chair
- Serta Smart Layers Executive Tranquility Office Chair
- Herman Miller Sayl Ergonomic Office Chair
- Dowinx Gaming and Office Chair
- KLIM Esports Gaming and Office Computer Chair
- AKRacing Masters Series Premium Gaming and Office Chair
- Duramont Reclining Office Chair with Lumbar Support
Weight Capacity: 330lbs
Perhaps the holy grail of office chairs at this price point, this particular choice distinguishes itself from the other models in the market by being the whole package: It’s supremely comfortable and cozy, the build quality definitely exceeded my expectations, and there is a LOT of attention to detail throughout. The rollerblade style casters is a nice touch, and the executive styling is eye-catching without feeling overwhelming or like it’s trying too hard. Overall, you can’t go wrong with this office chair, especially at this price point.
While generally mesh office chairs tend to be a little bit more flimsy because of the intrinsic nature of some of the materials used, this is not the case with this one. In fact, the mesh material used on this particular choice is very resistant and sturdy, while at the same time maintaining a certain level of comfort when sitting on it. The use of mesh in this chair means that the breathability of this model is more than adequate, making this a good choice for people living in hotter climates.
Aside from this, you are going to be very pleased with the attention to detail in this office chair. It honestly feels much more expensive than what the price suggests. I love the roller blade casters used, and you will too if you are going to be moving a lot in the room. In general, this is a heck of a choice without any flaws. While not everybody will appreciate the mesh material used on the seat back, this is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. This is perhaps the best office chair on this list, and I’d recommend that you have it at the top of your shopping list.
- Very comfortable and ergonomic office chair
- Attention to detail makes this feel much more expensive than what it is
- Tasteful executive style will fit well in any room
Weight Capacity: 400lbs
If you are struggling to get a proper office chair for bigger folks that doesn’t skimp on the build quality, you have to take a look at this wonderful seat from the folks at REFICCER. The combination of thick, supple leather, ergonomic construction, and ample seating room make this a winner in my book, not only for big & tall folks, but for anybody that is looking for a throne-like chair that will keep them cozy for hours on end. This is a great chair for heavy-duty use, and I’d recommend that you check it out if you are looking for that kind of use.
As soon as you have this office chair in front of you, you will notice how thick the seat cushion feels. This is because it’s meant for 300-pound giants with massive thighs. But you don’t have to be that heavy to enjoy the dimensions of this chair. In fact, The seatback is huge but it’s strangely welcome for average-sized folks. The armrests are appropriately roomy, and the end result is a chair that is so inviting that you could easily fall asleep if you recline back a bit!
I also love the inherent sturdiness of this office chair. As I mentioned above, this chair definitely feels like a throne, and while the only problem with it is the fact that the weight of this model is a little bit higher than other choices on this list, many people will definitely appreciate this. I highly recommend this model if you are looking for a comfortable office chair that you can sit on for hours on end without feeling out of place or uncomfortable.
- Supremely comfortable choice
- The leather used on this model gives it a more luxurious vibe
- Very sturdy model gives you a good impression of quality
- Weight of chair is a little bit high
Weight Capacity: 275lbs
Another great choice for the office, this model from NOUHAUS does one thing very well: it’s very adjustable. In fact, this would make for a great model if more than 1 person is going to be sitting on this chair often. While I would like for the manufacturer to use higher quality materials throughout, the adjustability of this chair more than makes up for it. It seems that anybody can find a comfortable seating position on this seat, and that is something that must be talked about.
One of the things that I most love about this particular model is the fact that the manufacturer decided to use 3D armrests in it. The end result is a very adjustable armrest that can move forward, back, down and up, and they can even rotate! This means that you can use the armrests rather comfortably no matter what sitting position you adopt. The headrest is also adjustable, just not as much as the armrests though.
While the mesh used on this chair is quite comfortable and soft, some of the materials used throughout the chair leave something to be desired. The mesh is soft but feels cheap, some of the plastics used on the chair feel super flimsy and cheap, and overall I would like for the manufacturer to make this chair feel more substantial. It would have easily been #1 if that were the case.
- Very adjustable choice makes it easy to get a comfortable seating position
- 3D armrests are wonderful and help you sit in different positions without a problem
- Would like for manufacturer to use better quality materials
Weight Capacity: 500lbs
Another executive style chair, this one made from amazon themselves! This is a great office chair for the big and tall kind, and amazon made sure to maintain the same quality standards that they have with their other amazon basics merchandise. However, this chair is not perfect. I would like for this model to be a little bit more inviting for normal sized folks. I would also argue that that styling is a little bit boring and insipid.
Let’s talk about what amazon did right with this model: they maintained a good level of quality on this chair. The chair feels very sturdy and substantial, something that many people appreciate. While I would like for Amazon to use genuine leather instead of the bonded stuff, you really can’t ask for that much at this price point.
There’s just 1 problem with this model though: normal-sized folks might not feel as comfortable sitting here. The armrests are in an awkward position, which makes getting a comfortable position a bit hard. Still a great choice, but it’s important that you have that in mind.
- High build quality typical of Amazon products
- Sturdy and very substantial chair. It feels quite heavy.
- Normal-sized people might feel a little bit uncomfortable and out of place
Weight Capacity: N/A
This office chair from Serta is another worthy choice for anybody looking for a good office chair with little compromises. This particular choice is another well-built choice and it’s probably going to last a very long time. The comfort is quite up there with the other choices out there, with the seat cushion being especially thick and inviting. While I would like the armrests to be a little bit better made, the rest of this seat is very well made. Another worthy choice.
The first thing that we must talk about with this office chair is how comfy it feels. The reason for this is that the model uses Serta Smart Layers Premium Ultra foam material, which is Serta proprietary foam material. The end result is a memory foam-like material that contours to your body over time. This is a great material for those folks who are looking for a model to sit on for a very long time.
There are a few things that I do not like about this model though. The first one being the fact that the armrests aren’t as supportive as the rest of the chair. They kind of feel like they aren’t well screwed and kind of an afterthought. This can be very irritating, and it’s going to be a dealbreaker for some. Still a great chair worth a look if you are willing to overlook that though.
- The foam used on this chair feels very cozy and will feel that way for a long time
- Very attractive design works well in any kind of room design
- The armrests need some work!
Weight Capacity: N/A
Unlike some of the chairs on this list, you could say that this is more of an avant-garde design. The first time that you see this chair on person you might be a little bit flabbergasted which is completely understandable. The design used on this model is perfect for people that tend to move a lot in the seat of their choice. The mesh used will support your back while at the same time giving you enough wiggle room as to not undermine comfort.
You could say that Herman Miller is at the top of the office chair hierarchy when it comes to the quality of the products. Some say that they are the best chair manufacturer in the world, making innovative products like this one. The stalwart offering of this model is the weblike seatback. Not only is the material used super comfortable when compared to other mesh-like materials on the market, but it’s also very supportive without feeling awkward to sit on.
There’s just one problem with Herman Miller chairs: they are outrageously expensive! In fact, this is the reason why it’s down here in the list. The price point makes this a dealbreaker for many of us, and some people even have the opinion that they aren’t worth the price of admission. If you have the cash, you should really check this seat out, but if you do not, there are better choices out there for you that aren’t as expensive.
- The inherent design used on this chair is very supporting and comfortable while giving you some wiggle room for your back
- Very high build quality typical of Herman Miller chairs
- Very expensive choice
Weight Capacity: N/A
For gaming chair aficionados out there, Dowinx made a really nice chair that can also be used for office chair purposes. This has all the characteristics of a traditional gaming chair but it’s not as tight when you sit on it. The chair is ergonomic enough for most people out there and there’s some nice attention to detail, but the truth is that it’s not as comfy as other choices on the list. It’s also pretty expensive in my opinion.
When it comes to gaming chairs, people either love them or hate them. This particular one is a gaming chair that doesn’t feel as tight when you sit on it, which makes it a great choice for sitting for long periods of time. The attention to detail on this is phenomenal. The stitching is nicely done, and overall the chair feels very high quality and well made. The only thing that is sucky is the casters but if you want an office chair you probably won’t be rolling around much.
The gaming chair design does bring a significant con to this: it’s not as comfortable as most of the choices above. It might feel ergonomic and it might hold you in place, but when it comes to sheer comfort, I think you can do better with one of the choices above. Not everybody will find this uncomfortable though. If you are used to the feel of a gaming chair, this might be for you!
- Gaming chair inspired design makes this a more ergonomic choice than most other models on this list
- Very high build quality
- expensive choice
- Not as comfortable as I’d like
Weight Capacity: 330lbs
Another gaming chair, this one unlike the gaming chair above, is even more ergonomic and tight fitting. This makes it a great choice for hardcore gaming, but the problem with this chair is that the comfort isn’t quite up there when compared to other choices above. Many users have also complained about the fact that there are some quality control issues with this model. The price is also a little bit higher than I’d like.
The first reason why you want this chair is that you want something that is very form fitting for office use. Gaming chairs took the world by storm 3 or 4 years ago, and they only seem to be gaining popularity as time goes on. They are starting to be used in offices because they are great for spine health, but while this might be the case, there’s something that is lost with these kinds of chairs: comfort, which I’ll talk about below.
The comfort of this seat is a serious concern for anybody even considering buying it. You probably won’t find a comfortable sitting position unless you are very skinny. It feels like the dimensions of the model are messed up. As I said above, some users have reported quality control issues in this model.
- Gaming chair inspired design makes this a more ergonomic choice than most other model on this list
- Expensive choice
- Not as comfortable as I’d like
- Quality control issues
Weight Capacity: 330lbs
AKRacing is one of the stalwarts of the gaming chair market, and this particular seat is perfect for those willing to use this chair in an office environment. This isn’t a very ergonomic gaming chair, but the comfort is decent when compared to the other 2 chairs that I reviewed above. Still, the build quality is excellent as expected from AKracing, and overall you might like this chair if you are okay with sitting on something that is a little bit more firm than most other choices on this list.
There are a few caveats about this chair: The first one is that it’s more expensive than most other chairs. You get what you pay for though, and this model will probably last a really long time. The other one is that the PU leather used is not as smooth as i’d like it to be. Still a great office chair with a very appealing design.
- Firm but comfortable cushioning used throughout
- Very attractive design and build quality is top notch
- Expensive model
- PU leather not as smooth as I’d like
Weight Capacity: 330lbs
The last choice on this list, this model from Duramont is good but not great. The lumbar support used on this model does a good job of keeping your lower back comfortable when sitting for long periods of time, and the seat covering feels pretty plush and luxurious. The pricing is okay, but I have found problems with some other things on this particular seat.
The first one is the fact that this seat doesn’t have any ergonomics whatsoever. It features lumbar support, but you can’t find a comfortable seating position because of it. It feels kind of like the chair was made for very wide, but average height folks. The recliner function is a nice touch, but the inherent shape of this model makes this a good choice for only a particular type of body type or people that really need an office chair with decent lumbar support.
- Seat covering feels plush and luxurious
- Lumbar support is a high point
- Poor ergonomics
- Hard to find a comfortable seating position on this seat
How to Choose the Best Office Chair Under $500 – A Complete Buyer’s Guide
Before we proceed to the chairs themselves, I think it’s important that we talk about the things that are actually important in them. In other words, these are the things that you should most focus on when choosing an office chair, and depending on what you are looking for, you might want to compromise on something to get a more comfortable chair or a seat with better build quality.
Ergonomics are very important in office chairs, and it’s one of the main things that you should be looking for when shopping for one. Ergonomics are directly correlated with chair comfort, and an ergonomic chair will seriously improve your posture when sitting for long periods of time. You should really care about ergonomics if you have back problems, or really care about sitting straight for health reasons.
Many think that build quality is compromised in chairs under 500 bucks, but I’m happy to report that this is not the case. Manufacturers have really stepped up their game and have started providing chairs that really stand the test of time at this price point. Most of the office chairs above will easily last you several years provided that you don’t surpass the recommended weight capacity. Build quality also has to do with the quality of the metal used on the office chair, which is really good for most of the models below.
Comfort (seat comfort, back comfort, arm comfort)
Perhaps the most important thing that a chair must-have is a comfortable seating position. The most comfortable office chairs tend to have a lot of foam padding, preferably memory foam, but it’s not a necessity. They also tend to be ergonomic, without being too restrictive or tight. In general, comfort tends to be subjective, and what feels comfortable to me might not be comfortable to you, but if you have a normal body type, then you won’t feel out of place in any of the office chairs below.
Adjustability is especially important for people that are big & tall or just have a different body shape than 99% of people. Things like 4D armrests, adjustable backrest, lumbar support and more are things that are really appreciated, not only by big & tall folks but by everybody in general. Some office chairs even give you the ability to completely recline them so you can sleep on them.