Office Chair: Review & Recommendations

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Welcome to our big office chair test 2020, where we present you all office chairs tested by us in detail. We have put together detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best office chair for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy an office chair.

The most important facts in brief

  • Especially during long working days at your desk it is important that you can sit comfortably and ergonomically. This way you are able to prevent back pain.
  • When buying an office chair, pay attention to the maximum load capacity, stability and quality. Before you decide on a particular model, you should test the chair first.
  • Depending on what equipment you prefer or need and how long you will be sitting on the office chair every day, we recommend our presented alternatives to the classic swivel chair.

Office chair test: Favourites of the editorial staff

  • The best office chair with extra thick upholstery
  • The best office chair with spinal disc relief
  • The best office chair with cushion
  • The best office chair with fold-away armrests
  • The best office stool

The best office chair with extra thick upholstery

This executive chair is equipped with upholstered armrests, a headrest and a bulge in the lumbar region. Furthermore, the chair is infinitely height adjustable. The castors are wrapped and are suitable for hard floors. Additional castors and screws are included in the delivery.

The motion function of the Songmics OBG24B is a rocker function that can be locked. The chair has a maximum load capacity of 150 kg.

The dimensions are as follows: The seat width is 55 cm. The seat height varies between 46 cm and 56 cm. The backrest is 76 cm high. With its own weight of 16 kg the Songmics OBG24B is quite light.

Visually this executive chair convinces with its thick upholstery and leather look. The cover of the chair is imitation leather.

The best office chair with spinal disc relief

The TOPSTAR OPEN POINT SY is equipped with height-adjustable armrests and a breathable mesh backrest. The seat is also continuously height-adjustable, as are the armrests. Safety double castors for soft floors are included in the delivery.

The movement mechanism used in this chair is the point synchronous mechanism. The dimensions of the TOPSTAR OPEN POINT SY are as follows: The seat height varies between 43 cm and 51 cm. The seat width is 48 cm. The backrest is 60 cm high.

The price is reasonable for this product. This is a cheaper model. The price-performance ratio is very good.

The best office chair with cushion

The office chair from Robas Lund is an executive chair with a sporty look. With its ergonomic shape and adjustable imitation leather cushions it is also well suited for gamers.

The chair can be loaded up to 100 kg. The backrest can be adjusted up to 135° and also has a rocker function. The office chair is also infinitely adjustable.

The chair is 52 cm wide, 78 cm deep and 124-134 cm high. The backrest is 59 cm wide, the seat 52 cm.

The best office chair with fold-away armrests

This office chair from SONGMICS is characterized by its high stability and its long durability. It is infinitely adjustable and the thick upholstery guarantees a good seating comfort.

The chair has a variable total height of 119-129 cm. The seat has a width of 54 cm and a depth of 51 cm. Due to its wide base of 70 cm the office chair is very stable. The chair can be loaded up to 150 kg.

The best office stool

This stool is equipped with the original Walser patent, i.e. the base is surrounded by a tyre. Furthermore, the TOPSTAR SITNESS 20 has a vertical swinging effect. Furthermore, the seat is infinitely height-adjustable with Toplift.

This stool has a maximum load capacity of 120 kg. The dimensions are as follows: The seat height varies between 43 cm and 56 cm. The seat diameter is 41 cm. The own weight is 8 kg.

Visually, the TOPSTAR SITNESS 20 convinces with its elegant, modern design. The colours are black and silver. The cover is made of 100 % polypropylene.

Advisor: Questions you should deal with before buying an office chair

What is ergonomics?

You wonder what ergonomics actually is? If you feel like a little excursion, we would be happy to explain it to you. The Duden’s definition is: Ergonomics is the “optimal mutual adaptation between humans and their working conditions”.
It explains that ergonomics is derived from the Greek words “ergon” and “nomos” and means “rule of work”. It is therefore the “adaptation of the working conditions to the human being”, but not vice versa. This is intended to minimise damage to health.

However, you should not only buy the right office chair for your ergonomic workplace, but also place it, your desk and PC at certain distances. For example, you can calculate at what seat height your legs are at a right angle.

Among other things, the distance between the eyes and the screen, the height of the desk or the height of the armrests are also important here.

Even if you have an ergonomic chair or stool, you should get up at least once an hour. This will also prevent tension in the neck area. Henry Dreyfuss, an American designer, laid the foundation for our current concept of ergonomics.

How do you sit properly on an office chair?

If you sit long hours every day at work, it is important that you change your posture often. Stand up calmly if possible and walk around a bit. There are certain guidelines for sitting correctly at work.
As a rough guide, you should make sure that the angle between your upper and lower leg is 90 degrees when both feet are firmly on the floor. So adjust your sitting height accordingly.

Did you know there’s a turtle position?
In a bent position, the back is bent, the shoulders hang down and like a turtle, the head pushes forward. After only a few minutes this position can cause pain.
However, if you are very absorbed in your work on the computer, you may notice this tension pain only after a longer period.

There should also be a right angle in the elbow joint. However, the sitting angle should be greater than 90 degrees, so the pelvis should be above the knees.

What is the maximum time you should sit on an office chair?

The maximum recommended sitting time is usually specified by the manufacturers. After the specified time, damage to health can no longer be completely excluded.

Peter CarstensEditor at Geo.de

Researchers have investigated not only the absolute number of hours we spend sitting, but also the periods of time during which we sit continuously.
They came to the conclusion that health is even more damaged if we spend longer periods of time sitting without interruption. The risk of dying can be increased by 55% if you sit often without interruption compared to those who sit for less than 30 minutes at a time.
Scientists therefore recommend getting up after half an hour at the latest and moving around for a few minutes.
(Source: geo.de)

The maximum recommended sitting time can vary from 2 hours to 8 hours. If you want to use your office chair in everyday office life, we recommend that you make sure that this is at least 8 hours. For your home office, 2 hours a day may be enough.

Can the costs for an office chair be covered?

Health insurance companies are sometimes able to grant you a subsidy for a health-promoting office chair on presentation of a medical certificate. Ask your health insurance company in person whether a subsidy is possible. However, it is also possible to receive a subsidy, for example, from the German Pension Insurance.

You can receive a subsidy of about 400 € for an orthopaedic chair, if it serves your professional rehabilitation or the preservation of your ability to work. Often a 50 percent degree of disability must be proven here.

If neither the health insurance company nor the employer is able to cover the costs, the employer’s liability insurance association, the employment agency or the integration office remain.

Decision: What types of office chairs are there and which one is right for you?

What is an ergonomic stool and for whom is it suitable?

An ergonomic stool has 3D technology at best. So it can be moved flexibly. It is also equipped with a foot ring that provides stability. The swinging behaviour and thus also the lateral mobility are usually adjustable. The seat height is adjustable with a gas pressure spring. Overall, the freedom of movement is higher than with any other chair.

The ergonomic stool is suitable for anyone who has back problems or wants to support their health while sitting. The ergonomic stool has some health benefits due to its flexibility. Active-dynamic sitting not only strengthens the back, but also the muscles, intervertebral discs, tendons and joints.

In addition, blood circulation is stimulated by the constant changes in posture, which in turn promotes concentration. If you are interested in ergonomic sitting, the ergonomic office chair is also worth a recommendation.

What is a gaming chair and for whom is it suitable?

A gaming chair is characterized by the durable, high quality materials that are used. The look is sporty but elegant. It also impresses with its high level of comfort and convenience. The special feature is also that there are many adjustment options to adapt it individually to every body. More on this under the purchase criterion “equipment”.

The difference to the ergonomic office chair is partly fluent. However, design and comfort are in the foreground with the gaming chair.

As the name suggests, the gaming chair is particularly suitable for gamers. It allows you to sit comfortably while playing for hours on end on your PC and still protect your back.

The gaming chair is often confused with a playseat or game seat. These are designed more for racing simulations and have additional features.

What is an executive chair?

The executive chair is distinguished above all by its size. This does not necessarily mean the overall size, but rather the seat and backrest. Moreover, executive chairs are usually very well upholstered.

The focus here is on comfort.

In addition, executive chairs are representative, noble and often symbolize “power”. This does not mean, of course, that you cannot buy an executive chair if you are not the boss.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate office chairs based on these factors

Equipment

An office chair can have various equipment options. These are briefly explained below.

Did you know that seesawing is healthy?
There are office chairs in which the seat is pushed forwards when leaning against it and the backrest moves backwards at the same time. This relieves the intervertebral discs in particular, as the otherwise monotonous sitting position is changed. This is also called synchronous mechanism.

Backrest

An office chair may have a backrest that may even have an integrated head and neck support. Sometimes neck cushions are also supplied separately.

Often there is also an integrated lumbar support, which is primarily intended to support the lumbar region. This is sometimes available as a loose accessory.

The backrest can also be divided in two, horizontally or, as in most cases, vertically.

Ideally, the backrest is equipped with a movement mechanism, such as the rocker or synchronous mechanism, and is adjustable in height.

Through all these additions, the chair should above all adapt better to the back and relieve it.

Under no circumstances should the back adapt to the chair! This could lead to tension and pain.

Backrests can be found on all models presented. However, these are not standard features of ergonomic stools and standing aids.

Armrests

An office chair can also have armrests. Ideally, these should be adjustable in height, width and depth and allow 360° swivel.

This supports the shoulder and neck area, but also the arms themselves.

Also make sure that your armrests do not protrude too far forward, as this could hinder you when working at your desk.

Armrests are standard features of the ergonomic office chair, the executive chair and the gaming chair.

Sitz

The seat of an office chair can have different shapes. In the case of ergonomic stools, for example, it is usually round.

This should be adjustable in height if possible and have a movement mechanism that is usually coupled with the backrest (if available).

Base with castors

Many office chairs, with the exception of cantilever chairs and standing aids, have a base with castors, which promises greater mobility.

Here you must make sure that you choose the right rollers for your surface.

Hard castors are suitable for soft floors, such as carpeting. They are made of solid plastic and are single-coloured.

Soft castors are suitable for hard floors, such as tiles, laminate or parquet. They have a soft coating, are two-coloured and smaller than the hard rolls.

As standard, the ergonomic office chair, the executive chair and the gaming chair have base crosses with castors.

Dimensions

The dimensions of the presented chairs differ from type to type. Of course, the chairs with base and castors have a larger volume.

If you do not have much space, we recommend an ergonomic stool. Cantilever chairs or standing aids can also save space, as they are often stackable or foldable.

However, the focus should not only be on the size of the office chair, but above all on healthy sitting.

Quality

When buying an office chair it is important that it is stable. This means that the workmanship, but also the materials themselves, are of high quality.

This applies above all to the base or stand or skid frame, as these ensure stability.

For each type of the mentioned office chairs, there are recommendations for high quality models on the respective subpages.

Also pay attention to the specified maximum load capacity, which is usually stated by the manufacturer.

But you should also not neglect the cover materials. To give you a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the covers, we have included this table:

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about the office chair

The ergonomics of a desk

Are you wondering what information on the ergonomics of a desk on the homepage of the office chair has to do with it? Well, also the desk plays a big role in ergonomic sitting, which exactly, is explained in the following.

As with the office chair, a desk is optimal if you can adjust its height. This is often possible at the push of a button. This allows you to adjust your desk directly to yourself.

There are certain standard dimensions for a good desk. It should be about 160 cm wide and about 80 cm deep. The height should be variable between 65 cm and 85 cm. If you prefer a stand-sit desk, the maximum height should be about 125 cm.

If your desk is set too low, you will automatically assume a bent position. A hunched back is unhealthy in the long run. In addition, if your height is too low, your arms and hands are put under more strain.

Even if your desk is too high, this can be harmful to your back. Tensions in the neck and shoulder area are particularly common.

When it comes to the stability of the table, you should also pay attention to the foot, among other things. 4 feet are usually less stable than a T-foot or a C-foot. You can imagine the former, for example, in the form of the inverted letter “T”. In this case, one foot leaves the left and one foot leaves the right side of the table.

If possible, adapt the desk to your office chair. For example, the armrest of the chair should be at the same height as the edge of the table and thus serve as an extension. Upper and lower arms should form an angle of 90°. This also applies if you want to stand at your desk, although the angle may be slightly larger.

When you are now sitting at your desk, make sure that there is no light source directly in front of or behind your PC or laptop. So if necessary, align it accordingly. In addition, no surfaces should be reflective. It is better to choose a matt surface when buying a desk. Both the light sources and the reflections are initially hardly noticed. However, they often cause headaches in the evening.

To relieve the strain on your forearms, choose rounded edges for the desk.

When working at your desk, it is useful to divide it into specific work areas. Make sure that your main activity can be performed in the middle.

A concrete example would be the desk of a secretary: She has to enter data into a PC, make a phone call and, if necessary, take notes by hand. Let us assume that the main task is data entry. In this case, the PC or laptop should be in the middle of the desk.

The phone could then stand on the left side and the notepad could be next to it. On the right side could be the folders or a shelf. If she now wants to make a call, she can move the entire chair to the left. This way the secretary remains in motion despite sitting all the time.

Another tip for more movement at work is to get up. It sounds simple, but is often not put into practice. For example, you can go to your colleague if you have a question instead of calling him. Or you can opt for a stand-up/sit-down desk.

If you want to know how you can design your workplace ergonomically yourself, this video offers you a supplement and can be a great help.

Office concepts

Often 6 different office concepts are distinguished, above all according to the number of users. These can also have an influence on the choice of your office chair, because the type of office often determines your spatial possibilities.

In the following, the individual office concepts are briefly examined and their advantages and disadvantages are shown.

1. the individual office

As the name suggests, this is an office that is used exclusively by one person. Here the individuality of the furnishing is often in the foreground. As long as this is allowed, you can give free rein to your creativity when furnishing. Thus, with the right office furniture you can also create a certain atmosphere. You can therefore conduct confidential conversations in peace and quiet.

However, this type of office requires a lot of space, which is often not available. In addition, the users often feel isolated.

2. the multi-person office

This type of office is usually used by 2 to 4 people. This is often the case when employees have similar tasks to perform, as this improves communication and cooperation. Also here you often have the possibility to set up as you wish.

Negative aspects to be mentioned here are the slightly higher noise level compared to the individual office and the higher conflict potential.

3. the combined office

The combination office is, as the name suggests, a mixture of the first two types. Here there are jointly used zones. This concept makes full use of the advantages of the individual and multi-person office.

4. the group office

This is an office for 10 to 20 employees. This option is often chosen when teams or departments should be in constant contact. In order to preserve some privacy, room partitioning systems are often used. Even in a group office, the workstations can often be arranged flexibly. However, the rather high noise level must be taken into account.

5. the open-plan office

One speaks of this if at least 10 employees use this room. There are often room dividers here to ensure some privacy. This is certainly the most space-saving alternative. Here too, the high noise level cannot be denied.

6. the non-territorial office

This is a special form of open-plan office. The employees do not have a fixed workplace here. These are changed depending on the area of responsibility or availability. This type of office is particularly suitable for shift work.

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