The best office chair for back pain can be quite an investment, but it’s an important one. Whether you work at home or in an office or studio, if you’re a digital creative you probably spend a large portion of the day sitting at a desk. Experts on health warn against long periods of time sitting, and how we sit and what we sit on can exacerbate the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Taking regular breaks and changing posture, is highly recommended, but for those of us who have no choice but to spend long hours at a screen, the best ergonomic office chairs can at least help ensure we’re sitting well. 

Bad posture can cause really serious health issues in the long term. The best ergonomic office chairs can help avoid this by supporting the back in the right places, particularly the lower back area known as the lumbar spine. Supporting the lumbar spine’s natural curve and keeping it in a neutral position is recommended to alleviate stress on the spine. The best office chairs for back pain do this with the use of various forms of support – fixed in the case of cheaper chairs and adjustable in more expensive option.

There are other features that the best ergonomic chair should have to. Generally, the more adjustable the better since this means you can ensure that everything from height to seat depth, armrests and headrests fit your frame. At the very least , the best office chairs for back pain include height adjustment so you can set the chair’s height so that your feet are on the ground and your knees aren’t strained.

To make our own selection of the best office chairs for back pain below, we’ve evaluated each chair according to adjustability, build quality and either our own or own reviews with several hours of testing the chair or customer reviews based on confirmed purchases. Of course, you also want an office chair that looks good, so we’ve considered style as well. And since the best ergonomic chairs overall are beyond many budgets, we’ve been sure to include some cheaper options that still provide at least basic ergonomic adjustability and support.

If you need more pointers on what you should be looking for in an office chair to avoid back pain, scroll down to the questions section at the bottom of our guide. And if you want more ideas for how to help your back and posture, see our guide to the best standing desks. We do also have a guide to the best office chairs in general, not specifically for helping posture.

The best office chair for back pain

the best office chair for back pain: Mirra 2 office chair product shotCB

(Image credit: Herman Miller)

01. Herman Miller Mirra 2

The best office chair for back pain overall

Specifications

Colour: Graphite + Twilight, Dark Turquoise, Urban Orange or White + Twilight, Studio White, Dark Turquoise or Urban Orange

Weight: 15.9kg

Max load: 159kg

Dimensions: 111 x 76 x 47 cm

Assembly: Comes fully assembled

Reasons to buy

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Premium build-quality 

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Strong lumbar support 

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Fully adjustable 

Reasons to avoid

Only the price

If you work long hours at a desk every day, it’s worth investing in an ergonomic chair for back pain that will support your body properly. And our top recommendation is the Herman Miller Mirra 2. Yes, it’s expensive. But as you’d expect from a Herman Miller chair, it’s fantastically comfortable. And it provides the best back support we’ve experienced. The butterfly-shaped backrest responds effortlessly to your movements, making your spine feel cradled and supported, and preventing you from slumping or slouching. 

The mesh is lovely and breathable, so you can stay cool on warm days. The chair offers excellent lumbar support, which can be adjusted for height (many of the cheaper chairs in our list include lumbar support but that isn’t adjustable) and the arms are fully adjustable too. The seat cushion distributes your weight beautifully, and it also takes the largest maximum load (159kg / 350lbs) of all the chairs on this list.

In short, this is the best ergonomic office chair that money can buy, bar none. For more Herman Miller options, see our dedicated guide to the best Herman Miller chairs and our Herman Miller Mirra 2 vs Aeron showdown.

Product shot of Sihoo Ergonomic Office Chair one of the best office chairs for back painCB endorsed

(Image credit: Herman Miller)

02. Sihoo Ergonomic Office Chair

The best chair for back pain at a budget price

Specifications

Colour: Black

Weight: 18kg

Max capacity: 150kg

Dimensions: 62 cm x 45 x 119 cm

Assembly: Needs assembly

Reasons to buy

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Low price 

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Good looks 

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Highly adjustable 

Reasons to avoid

Lacks premium finish

Concerned about your back but don’t have enough funds for the first chair on our list? Here’s the best quality office chair for back pain at an affordable price. This stylish chair looks the part for office use and it compares favourably with many pricier models in terms of functionality as well as looks. The highlights here are the mesh back, which is breathable, and a good level of lumbar support. 

It’s also adjustable: you can tweak the back support, headrest, armrests, height and tilt of the chair. You can’t adjust the seat depth, but the features that are adjustable do at least let you make most of the adjustments that health experts recommend, for example allowing you to adjust chair height so your knees are slightly lower than your hips. This adds up to excellent lower back support for office chair users and at a price point much lower than its features would suggest.

The level of finish is quite evidently not up to the standard of more expensive designer chairs, which is unavoidable at the price. But in general, it not only looks the part but provides an excellent level of comfort and protection given the reasonable price.

Product shot of Sayl office chair, one of the best office chairs for back painCB endorsed

(Image credit: Herman Miller)

03. Herman Miller Sayl

The best ergonomic chair for great style in smaller offices

Specifications

Colour: Black + Black, Fog, Jezebel, Berry Blue or Apple Green; White + White, Black, Porcelain, Amber, Courgette, Java

Weight: 16.8-18.1kg

Max load: 159kg

Dimensions: 103 x 62 x 50cm

Assembly: Minimal assembly required

Reasons to buy

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Premium craftsmanship 

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Stylish design 

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Advanced ergonomics 

Reasons to avoid

Divisive looks

Whether you’re talking about style, craftsmanship or functionality, Herman Miller chairs are pretty difficult to beat. We’ve already featured one at the top of our list of the best ergonomic office chairs, but if the Mirra 2 is a little too expensive, or perhaps you prefer a more compact style, then the Herman Miller Sayl could be a very attractive option. It’s significantly cheaper, but it still has a sharp design and great ergonomic features.

It has fewer parts than its sibling, but the vented elastomer backrest, made with strands that vary in thickness and tension, provide an excellent balance between support and comfort, not to mention great air circulation. You can adjust the armrests, seat height and seat depth. And the four-setting tilt limiter lets you adjust the tension to your liking. The unique design inspired by the Golden Gate bridge may divide opinion, but we love this chic, offbeat take on the classic Herman Miller chair. And in terms of spinal support, it can’t be faulted. 

One of the best office chairs for back pain: HAG Capisco Puls 8010 chair product shot

(Image credit: Hag)

04. HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls

The best chair for back pain with a saddle style

Specifications

Colour: Black

Weight: 14.4kg

Max load: 114kg

Dimensions: 77.2 x 71.4 x 26.4 cm

Assembly: Needs assembly

Reasons to buy

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Promotes active sitting 

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Strong lumbar support 

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Minimalist looks

Reasons to avoid

Acquired taste

You may have noticed that the HÅG Capisco looks a little different from the other chairs on this list. That’s because it’s a saddle chair, which allows you to sit as if you are saddling a horse. This has been found to be very beneficial for countering and preventing back pain in research such as this study from Cardiff University (opens in new tab).

Saddle chairs are most popular amongst medical professionals, but their use has spread to other types of workplace. They’re especially good for use with standing desks. The HÅG Capisco has a wider saddle while the HÅGCapisco Puls has a firmer, narrower saddle that allows you to sit with your legs closer together.

Providing good lumbar and lower back support, it’s very comfortable and very adjustable too. The seat tilts, with a tilt lock, and you can tweak its height and depth too, from a low sitting position to a sit-stand position. Plus, from an aesthetic point of view, this radical and minimalist Scandinavian design will certainly put your home office setup on the cutting edge of cool.

Product shot of Secretlab Titan Software Chair one of the best office chairs for back pain

(Image credit: Secretlab )

05. Secretlab Titan Software Chair

The best office chair for back pain aimed at gamers

Specifications

Colour: Stealth, Black, Amber, Classic, Ash

Weight: 35kg

Max load: 130kg

Dimensions: 81.28 x 36.83 x 69.85 cm

Assembly: Fully assembled

Reasons to buy

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Premium construction

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Adjustable lumbar support 

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Comfy seat

Reasons to avoid

Only really for gaming

Are you going to be using your chair primarily for gaming? Then we’d suggest the Secretlab Titan. This award-winning chair benefits from a premium feel, great attention to detail, and a proactive approach to preventing back pain.

Most significantly, there’s a fully adjustable lumbar support system, which you control via a knob on the right side of the backrest. The seat has the same bucket-style design used on racing chairs, so it keeps your buttocks well supported over hours of gameplay. And the cold-cure foam used as padding throughout makes this chair super-comfortable. 

The Titan is actually one of three similar chairs produced by Secretlab, and is suitable for anyone under 130kg. If you’re heavier, we’d recommend the Omega (opens in new tab) – and if you’re a lot heavier, there’s the Titan XL (opens in new tab).

A product shot of Humanscale Freedom office chair, one of the best office chairs for back pain

(Image credit: Humanscale)

06. Humanscale Freedom

The best office chair for back pain that adjusts to your body

Specifications

Colour: Black

Weight: 11.3kg

Max capacity: 136kg

Dimensions: 69 x 63.5 x 109-135cm

Assembly: Needs minimal assembly

Reasons to buy

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Adjusts to your shape 

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High build quality 

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Attractive design

Reasons to avoid

Not cheap

If you suffer from back problems, you may often spend hours fiddling with your chair, in a vain attempt to hit that perfect sweet spot. If that sounds like you, we recommend the Humanscale Freedom. That’s because automatically adjusts to the shape of your body, in a way that other chairs just can’t match.

The clever thing about this design is that the flexible backrest tilts as you move; so if you lean back, it moves with your spine rather than pressing against it. That way, the chair supports your spine naturally, without you having to make any manual adjustments. 

On the whole, this is an expensive chair, but several satisfied customers claim that it’s changed their life for the better. The attention to detail and high-quality materials mean it should be good value in the long term. And that backrest pivoting function; well, that’s quite unique and something you just won’t find elsewhere.

A product shot of Comhoma office chair, one of the best office chairs for back pain

(Image credit: Conhoma)

07. Comhoma Office Desk Chair

The best cheap office chair for back pain

Specifications

Colour: Black

Weight: 10.5kg

Max load: 150kg

Dimensions: 86 x 140 x 5 cm

Assembly: Needs assembly

Reasons to buy

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Low price 

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Comfortable and breathable 

Reasons to avoid

Basic 

Not very adjustable

Short on cash? Don’t worry: for quite a small amount you can still get a chair that’s going to be kind to your spine. The Conhoma Office Desk Chair is a fairly basic chair, lacking the advanced features of the pricier models on our list. The only adjustments you can make are to seat height and tilt, as well as being able to position the armrests up or down. 

However, the mesh back and thick padded seat cushion will keep you comfortable throughout the working day, and both offer great breathability too. Plus the overall design is ergonomic and provides good support for your spine. We’ll emphasise again, this is a basic option, but if you don’t have much to spend on ergonomic office chair, it’s a good choice for at least the most essential recommended features.

Product shot of Realm of Thrones Admiral, one of the best office chairs for back pain

(Image credit: Realm of Thrones)

08. Realm of Thrones Admiral

A good mid-priced ergonomic office chair for back pain

Specifications

Colour: Black, grey, black and red, black and yellow

Weight: 26kg

Max load: 136kg

Dimensions: 68 x 72 x 135cm

Assembly: Needs assembly

Reasons to buy

+

Great lower back support

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Highly adjustable

Reasons to avoid

May be too small for some people

This is another of the best ergonomic chairs in the mid-price range. It’s not ultra-budget, but it is very reasonably priced and feels more expensive than it is, with a good quality build and finish, although the design is a bit “blocky”. Like many of the chairs we’ve compared, it has a mesh back, which experts recommend for air circulation to avoid getting sweaty in high temperatures. It also has what it calls a “waterfall” shaped seat edge, which means that even if the edge comes quite close to your knees, it tapers down reducing pressure on your thighs, which is something the NHS recommends. 

Height and seat depth are adjustable, and this chair has quite a unique weight-guided tilt tension control, which you can set according to your own weight,   is that as a one-size fits all chair t don’t quite fit me. As for the all-important lumbar support, there are three settings with a lever to lock the selection. The headrest also has an arc design that we’ve not seen in other models, allowing it to support your neck, keeping your head in a more natural position.

This is all ticking the boxes in terms of advice on ergonomics – if you’re of average size that is. But since the Admiral takes a one-size-fits-all approach and doesn’t have the same level of adjustment as some of the chairs above, it’s not going to be ideal for everyone, and we’ve seen customer reviews from people who say it’s either too small or too big for their frame. If you’re particularly tall, you mind find that the lumbar support sits too low even with the seat back raised to full height.

A product shot of Flexispot office chair, one of the best office chairs for back pain

(Image credit: Flexispot BS9)

An unusual budget ergonomic office chair design that “just works”

Specifications

Colour: Orange

Weight: 13.5kg

Max load: 120kg

Dimensions: 119-129 x 43 x 43cm

Assembly: Needs assembly

Reasons to buy

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Affordable price 

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Moulded lumbar support 

Reasons to avoid

Quite basic and not very adjustable

Only available in the UK

Another budget model available in the UK, FlexiSpot’s BS9 does a good job of meeting the basic needs of an office chair at an affordable price. This chair might look and feel basic, but when we reviewed it, we found that its generous padding made it instantly comfortable. 

One of its highlighted features is its “3D lumbar support”, which basically means the shape of the mesh curves in a way that supports the gap between the lumbar spine and the seat. Don’t get too excited, though. This support is not in any way adjustable; it’s just how it’s shaped. That said, in practice, it gives good support throughout day-long use – in the word of our reviewer, it “just works” (see our full Flexispot BS9 office chair review for more details).

You can adjust the seat height (between 44.5cm and 53.5cm), using the gas lift operated by a lever, and the back tilt (between 90 degrees and 120 degrees) by pressing your back against it. We also like the W-shaped seat, which uses foam rubber to stop you sliding and slouching. On the downside, the armrests are static and can’t be moved, and there’s no headrest. 

So this is by no means the best ergonomic office chair you can buy. It’s a fairly basic model and not all that adjustable, but if you’re on a limited budget and looking for something cheap and comfortable that at least offers lumbar support, this is great value. Note that the Flexiport BS9 is only available in the UK, but Flexiport’s US website (opens in new tab) has other reasonably priced ergonomic office chairs.

Product shot of Raynor Ergohuman, one of the best office chairs for back pain

(Image credit: Raynor)

10. Raynor Ergohuman

Another great ergonomic chair for back pain

Specifications

Colour: Black

Weight: 29.5kg

Max load: 114kg

Dimensions: ‎60.96 x 63.5 x 129.54cm

Assembly: Needs assembly

Reasons to buy

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Well built, heavy-duty construction

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Great lower back support

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Highly adjustable

Reasons to avoid

Armrests aren’t the best 

The Raynor Ergohuman ME7ERG Chair combines strong ergonomic features with a high back and headrest and a contemporary office look. The mesh back and leather seat are comfortable and keep you cool, although the  Adjustability includes tilt tension control, tilt lock, back angle, back height, synchro tilt, seat height, seat depth, and arm height. The armrests are very flexible but have no locking mechanism for horizontal or upward movement and can be accidentally moved out of place a little easily.

Other than that, build quality is certainly very good, but we feel that this is quite pricy and that if you’re looking at this sort of price, we’d really go for one of the Herman Miller options, but this is worth considering if you want a classic high-back office chair style.

Can office chairs help back pain?

Yes, the best ergonomic office chairs can help prevent back pain in the first place and can also help to alleviate it if you’re already suffering. That said, if you do already suffer from back pain, we recommend visiting a doctor as well as considering a new chair because there may be other underlying causes.

Health experts provide a lot of advice on the importance of using a good chair. “In the age of technology, we spend so much time sitting at our computers, and our bodies cannot maintain good posture for hours without fatiguing,” explains Dr Amy Hoover, a physiotherapist at workouts company P.volve (opens in new tab)

“A chair that allows your lower back to maintain a good neutral position, supporting the natural curve in the lower back, can alleviate stress on the spine and improve the alignment of your spine all the way up to your head.”

Lyndsay Hirst (opens in new tab), a physiotherapist specialising in back pain and a specialist in Pilates, agrees. “The right chair set up is essential, not only to support the natural curves of the spine but also the shoulders,” she notes. “Armrests are really useful for someone who suffers neck and mid-spine pain. Lumbar support is also very useful. An adjustable seat plate, backrest and arms will allow the user to adapt the chair to their specific posture.”

What’s the best office chair for back pain?

It’s hard to single out one product as the best office chair for back pain overall because there are so many options, but, as we say above, for our money the best ergonomic office chair is the Herman Miller Mirra 2. It’s highly adjustable, including lumbar support, uses quality materials and it also looks fantastic. If you’re able to invest in the very best support for your back, we’d certainly recommend it. 

That said, we recognise that with a price of around $1,500 / £1,300, the Mirra 2 is simply beyond many people’s budgets. We’ve taken that into account and included some more economical chairs for back pain in our guide too. Some of the cheaper options offer great ergonomic features for their prices, but they don’t have the same level of adjustability or support as the likes of the Herman Miller and HÅG Capisco chairs. We’d suggest reading below for a few pointers on what features to look for when you’re searching for the best office chair for back pain.

What chair features are good for back pain?

There are several ergonomic features that can make an office chair good for back pain. Adjustability is one of the key things so that you can ensure the chair has the right form for your own body shape. See our guide to what makes an office chair ergonomic for full details on what to look for, but in summary, you should look for chairs with:

  • Lumbar support (see below)
  • Adjustable armrests
  • Seat-depth adjustability
  • Recline and tilt

James Crow, owner of Posture Stars, a website promoting good posture, says: “The best office chair for back pain is one that’s highly adjustable, so you can get the back to support you in a meaningful way. Invest wisely: we wouldn’t buy the cheapest mattress or car, but many of us are spending eight to 10 hours a day perched on a ‘value’ chair.”

It’s also important to replace an ageing chair, he says. “If your chair has been around for more than a decade it’s probably time to upgrade. The materials wear down over time, with seat padding especially taking a beating.”

What is lumbar support?

When you’re shopping for an ergonomic chair for back pain, you’ll often see references to lumbar support. But what does that mean, exactly? Well, the word ‘lumbar’ refers to your lower back, which should curve inward, and as Chongsu Lee, a physiotherapist and creator of the robotic BackHug (opens in new tab) device, explains, “lumbar support can be an attachment, or a built-in part of an office chair that aligns with your lower back to maintain its natural inward curve.”

Why does this matter? Well, when sitting, your lumbar becomes sandwiched between the torso, above, and buttocks, below. When you sit, lumbar stress is one-and-a-half times higher than when you stand, and double compared to when you walk.

“Left unsupported over time, the strain causes stiffness, making the lower back prone to injuries like slipped discs,” Chongsu says. “Just like support beams in a building, lumbar support absorbs that strain and props your lumbar up, protecting it against stress and injury.”

How do you sit properly in an office chair?

According to the NHS website (opens in new tab), your knees should be slightly lower than your hips and your feet should be flat on the floor or a good footrest. Do not cross your legs as this is a recipe for posture-related aches and pains. An adjustable chair (tilt, height and recline) will make sure your lower back is properly supported, and if you’re using a keyboard then make sure your chair is positioned so you can use it with straight wrists and hands (level with the floor). 

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