Not every chair is a winner. Here are a few others we like enough to recommend, but they’re not as good as our top picks above.
Knoll Newson Task Chair for $1,350: This minimalist chair looks best in the graphite and petal colors; it’s a bit drab in black and umber. It’s nice that I didn’t have to fuss with any levers or knobs much—it’s comfy out of the box and decently adjustable if you need to make some tweaks—and it feels especially nice when you recline. (The red knob adjusts the tension of the recline, but you need to twist it for five rotations, and I found it hard to turn sometimes.) The Newson hasn’t given me trouble in the nearly two months I’ve sat in it. I’m just not a huge fan of how the elastomer mesh backrest distorts, depending on how you sit. It feels lumpy. This chair also doesn’t let me sit as upright as I’d like, but maybe you’re fine with a bit of give. Ultimately, it’s the price that pulls it out of our top recommendations. But you do get a 12-year warranty.
Fully Alani Chair for $379: The Alani, from the maker of our favorite standing deskcomes in a few color combos that blend neatly into any home office. There’s a nice contoured cushion on the base and a mesh back to keep you cool, plus lumbar support for good posture. You can adjust the height, seat depth, armrests, and recline tension, and you can lock the recline. WIRED reviewer Simon Hill found it comfy for long days of up to 16 hours, and it worked for both his 6’1″ self and 5-foot-tall daughter. It’s a solid alternative to the Branch Ergonomic Chair (our top pick) and frequently dips to around $303 during sale events.
Ikea Markus Chair for $289: The Markus is a perfectly fine office chair. It’s not the most comfortable, but it’s far from the worst. The mesh design keeps you cool, and the tall back lets you fully lean into it. It’s rather thin and isn’t obtrusive in a small home office or bedroom. It was annoying to put together (lol, Ikea), and you might need someone to hold up the back of the chair while you properly attach the seat. Unfortunately, if you often sit with at least one leg up or with your legs crossed, the width between the arms will make you uncomfortable.
X-Chair X-Tech Executive Chair for $1,900: Functionally, the X-Tech is similar to the X-Chair pick above. In this version, the M-Foam cooling gel seat is indeed wonderful to sit on, though it’s not as heat-wicking as the all-mesh X-Chairs. It’s the Brisa Soft Touch material that impresses the most—it’s ridiculously soft. I recommend you stick with the standard armrests instead of the FS 360 armrests, which tend to move about too much. But my biggest gripe with this model is the price. Why on earth does it cost that much?
Mavix M7 Chair for $778: If it looks strangely similar to the X-Chair (see above), that’s because both are owned by the same company. I ran into some issues with assembly, but customer service was able to exchange the model without much effort. The M7 has similarly adjustable armrests and seat angles, but you get wheels that lock. The mesh back and wide seat construction keep you cool and comfortable during a sweaty session of League of Legendsand the lumbar support makes me feel like I’m in good hands. If you’re short, contact customer support while ordering—Mavix offers shorter cylinders so your feet touch the ground.
Herman Miller Vantum Gaming Chair for $795: Initially, I really liked this chair. I liked how I could keep myself in a super upright position, which made me feel more engaged in what I was doing. The mesh backrest also disperses heat quite well. However, the overall build quality feels cheap and doesn’t scream Herman Miller (nor does the asking price, which has since dropped by $200). The headrest is awful too—I’ve nearly broken it trying to move it up and down. As I kept sitting, it was the back support that disappointed me the most. You can feel the lumbar support on your lower back, and not in a good way, almost like it’s digging in. At least it didn’t give me back pain.
Hon Ignition 2.0 Office Chair for $399: This chair is easy to set up and looks great, but it gave me really bad back pain, which is why I originally placed it in our “Avoid” section. I thought it was perhaps the long hours I was working, so I switched back to the Knoll Newson Task chair and my pain quickly began to ease. Sometime later, I gave it a shot again. After a few hours, the pain came back, and switching to another chair dissipated it. Color me confused, because this chair has positive reviews around the web. I then gave the seat over to a friend who is around 5’4″ and she has had zero issues. This seems to be the answer. It’s possible the Ignition doesn’t work for my 6’4″ self and is better suited for smaller folks.
Pipersong Meditation Chair for $349: Have a problem sitting in a traditional chair? If your legs need to be bent and twisted for you to be comfortable, you’ll want to check this chair out. It has a 360-degree swiveling footstool that can accommodate pretty much any sitting position you want. I can go from kneeling to cross-legged to one leg up, one leg down. It’s possible to sit regularly too, with the footstool behind you and your feet flat on the floor. It’s the only chair I’ve found that’s designed for odd sitting habits. There are no armrests, which I didn’t mind, because that’s what makes it possible to sit in many of these positions. The actual stool and chair back could stand to be bigger and taller, respectively. I had to use a pillow to keep my back comfy.