Research says that office workers spend an average of five years sitting in an office chair over the course of their lives. This is about 5-6 hours a day sitting in a single location. With this being such a massive investment of your time, it would make sense to make a supplemental investment into a chair that will make that time as comfortable as possible.
Office chairs are often overlooked as a simple purchase, but by realizing the importance of choosing the right chair, you will not only be the stylish one in the office, but the most comfortable at the same time. Additionally, by understanding workplace ergonomics (i.e. the science of designing the workplace), you will be able to implement immediate changes into your life.
Top 10 Best Office Chairs Under $200
Office chairs have a wide range of price tags. High-end chairs can be more than $1,000, while budget prices are much less.
With that being said, here are the 10 best chairs for under $200:
The multi-function mechanism that comes with this chair provides a seat glide that allows back angle adjustment relative to the seat. Additionally, the adjustable tilt comes with two options, free floating or infinite locking), and a contoured seat cushion allow for the best posture, while minimizing the pressure on the legs. The chair also has fully adjustable armrests, allowing for maximum ergonomic positioning.
2. CMO 24 Hour High-Back Ergonomic Reclining Office Chair with Tilt Lock, Leather Headrest and Flexible PU Armrest
With the adjustable lumbar support this chair provides great support for your back. The T shaped armrest helps achieve the proper ergonomics when at work, and adjustable seat makes this chair a great budget-friendly solution.
Additionally, the chair is made with heavy-duty Nylon base and dual nylon asters that make it a stable chair.
The key differentiator with this chair compared to others is that it comes with flip up armrests and a 5-year limited warranty. That not only allows for more flexibility when working, but also gives you the piece of mind that the warranty will help a long way down the road.
It also comes with a lockable back position and double casters for extra stability while moving around the office.
Equipped with a passive lumbar support, this chair provides a great support. Additionally, the sponge seat, adjustable back, and armrests allow you to adjust the seat so it fits your body.
The fun part of this chair is that it offers so many color choices such as, red, orange, grey, green, blue, silver, and black vinyl. If you want to show off your energy while not being too dramatic, this seat is for you.
Stepping away from the nylon, Amazon offers an affordable chair with bonded black leather and PVC. Leather provides a great alternative option for those who do not get hot at work, but also want to branch away from the nylon choices.
It then tops the seat off with pneumatic seat-height adjustment, 360-degree swivel, and smooth-rolling casters.
If you commonly get hot in the office, this will be a great chair for you. With a mesh back, this chair is specifically designed to prevent body heat and moisture build up.
In addition to all the basic adjustment possibilities, this chair comes with a free two-year component-exchange warranty. Another key factor in this chair is that it comes with a headrest, which gives your head the support needed to help it not get misaligned while looking at a computer.
If you know someone who loves video games, you know that they are sitting for multiple hours at one time. That is a great reason to look into the chairs that they purchase.
This chair not only looks like a business chair, but it is designed with 1-2 inches wider back seat. Additionally, the armrests are thicker, providing more comfort for long durations. Lastly, it covers the basics with all the adjustable components needed to get a great ergonomic setup.
This chair will appeal to the worker that wants more of a stylish chair while still getting great back support. The stitched leather provides a high-end look at an affordable budget.
This chair also comes with the fully adjustable seat height and back reclines to match your comfort and work preferences. Lastly, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Another great leather chair that is water and oil resistant, saving your chair from damage from the days you eat lunch at the desk. Your back will be covered with the lumbar support. A pneumatic gas lift gives you the ease of adjusting the height and the soft PU leather upholstery offers great fabric for less than $70.
Accompanied with outstanding reviews on Amazon, this chair not only looks stylish, but provides all the necessities a chair could need: breathable mesh back for the people who get hot at work, adjustable height to maximize comfort levels, and an affordable price tag under $50.
At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable in your chair. Similar to a pair of shoes, even if it is a well-known brand, they might not fit comfortably for you. Do not risk making this investment without testing out the product first or making sure that the manufacturer offers a trial period.
Differences Between High-End and Budget Friendly Office Chairs
If you are wondering where the high-end chairs differ, it comes in two main categories: the quality of the material and build of the chair. These differences will show up in how long the seat padding, back padding, etc. last.
Most high-end also come with an extended warranty, like 8-10 years. On the other hand, budget options are more like 1-2 years.
What to Look For in an Office Chair
If none of those previous selections suit you or you are looking to spend some more money on a chair, here is a list of characteristics to look for in chairs.
- Adjustability – Adjustable chairs provide more flexibility to the person in order to position themselves in the perfect spot to minimize tensions. Different chairs offer different adjustment options, but the basics include the height and angle of the seat.
- Support – You want a chair that supports your back, especially the top half of it (your upper spine – the area between the should blades). If the chair is forcing the upper spine forward, then this chair is not a good fit for you. You should look for a chair that simply supports your back.
- Backrest – While many start-ups are offering barstools, exercise balls, and unique looking seats that have no backrest. These options are not sufficient for long periods. Make sure that your seat has a backrest.
- Wheelbase – It may seem obvious, but people often assume that all office chairs will have wheels. No one wants to do all the research and neglect checking if there are wheels, only to be surprised that their chair is better suited for the dining table.
What to Think Twice About When Buying an Office Chair
Some chairs might have the looks, but in reality, they will do you more harm than good. Since you are going to make an investment in an office chair, it is important to be aware of the chair characteristics or types of chairs to think twice about.
Prior to finalizing your purchase, think through these 3 points:
- Fabric: If you tend to get hot while working, the fabric of the chair will be important to you. While leather may seem the most comfortable, think about whether you will regret that decision during the summer. Leather seats are a great choice for people who do not get as hot.
- Space: While that large executive chair might seem appealing to you, you might regret the decision if you are crammed into a small cubicle. Think through your office space and make sure you choose a chair that allows you to maneuver easily in space.
- Style vs. Comfort: While most people are content with the simple black seats, the more edgy designs have started to make their way into the scene. Before joining the hip movement of sitting in a hammock, make sure that you think about the long-term of working multiple hours a day.
What Are Ergonomics and What to Look For
If you have ever caught yourself with bad posture, you have experienced an aspect of ergonomics. The commonly used definition of ergonomics is, “the science of designing the workplace, keeping in mind the capabilities and limitations of the worker. Poor worksite design lead to fatigued, frustrated, and hurting workers. This rarely leads to the most productive worker.”
Said another way, you are optimizing your posture, workplace structure, and choice of desk, chair, and computer to maximize productivity.
It is important to be an efficient employee and here are four tips to keep in mind when you go to work:
- Keep it in the strike zone – If you are a baseball fan, you know the strike zone is from your chest to your knees. Similarly, your work posture has a “strike zone”. This zone is from the chest to your bellybutton. Others call this principle the “hand shake zone”, meaning if you can shake hands with your work, you are in a neutral position that will minimize tension and pain.
- Stretch it out – This is one of the most common pieces of advice that people receive at work, but is hardly capitalized on. A quick stretch break can relieve tension and soreness from building up and having a negative long-term impact. There is no need to do an entire yoga session at work, but a quick stretch will help you get some energy back.
- Minimize frictions – Just like you learned in physics class, friction tends to slow the object down and the same is true for working. When your wrists, legs, feet, etc. are in a position of friction of pressure, you will begin to slow down. Two examples of friction are if you like your legs pressed tight under your desk or if you wrists rest on a sharp edge of desk.
- Keep body and head aligned – After putting in 8 hours of work at a desk, it is easy to start to learn to the side on an armrest or slouch, but it is important that you do not do this. Learning to the side has severe impact on your spine if you do this for extended periods. Moreover, if your head is angled awkwardly, this will have an impact on your spine too. A quick solution is to raise your computer screen up so you are not looking down at it (here is a great product to help with that).
There are a number of other tips and tricks that will help with your office ergonomics, but these are four great starting points. Keep these in mind next time you go to your office and start to see the benefits right away.
Pay it Forward with Office Ergonomics
Now that you know some information about ergonomics, pass it along. Most businesses are happy to invest in products that will help their employees be more efficient and effective.
If you do not think your office will make that investment, simply tell your co-workers. These simple fixes can really help them for the long-term.
Your Future of Sitting Comfortably
In conclusion, there is a wide range of prices when dealing with office chairs. By knowing what are the “bare necessities” you will be able to easily sort through all the different options and decide on a chair that works best for you.
It is important to re-consider the fabric, size, and comfort level vs. style when making the purchase. Try and picture yourself having the chair for multiple years and sitting in it for hours, day after day. If you cannot see that for a certain chair, move onto the next option.
Lastly, improve your posture and office ergonomics immediately with the four principles: keep it in the strike zone, stretch it out, minimize frictions, and keep the body and head aligned. By implementing these into your life, you will not only see immediate benefits in your energy and comfort, but the long-term impact will pay off.
Best Office Chair Under $200: Our Final Say
During the week, you spend about as much time in your office chair as you do in your bed. It is important to value your chair as much as you value your bed. Make the investment up front and reap the rewards on the back end.
Hope you enjoyed reading our guide about the best office chair under $200! What’s important to you in an office chair? Share with us!