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The best Humanscale office chairs are premium options with a unique approach to ergonomics. Instead of providing a wide variety of manual knobs and levers for adjustments, Humanscale chairs automatically adjust to your weight, body type, and position. This makes them the best office chairs for comfort and customized adjustability.
These office chairs are perfect for remote workers and large-scale office spaces, especially if you’re looking for the ultimate level of comfort. While they are more expensive than many other competitors, the comfort and ergonomics you get with Humanscale chairs are well worth it.
Keep reading to learn more about the best Humanscale office chairs and how they stack up against the competition.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This chair has a self-adjusting headcushion for supporting the neck and head. It has an automatic reclining system that dynamically adjusts the recline tension based on the user’s weight.
The Humanscale Freedom Headrest office chair has an innovative design that dynamically adapts to the user. It has an articulating headrest to support the neck and head. The headrest moves along with the user, eliminating the need for manual adjustment. It has sculpted cushions that mimic the body’s natural contours to help relieve tension on pressure points. This chair’s seat and back are padded to provide support. However, the seat cushion is a bit hard for some people.
Featuring synchronous armrests, this chair’s arms and back move together, automatically conforming to the user’s movement during recline. It has an automatic recline mechanism that responds to the user without the need for pressing any lever. With a weight rating of 300 lbs, this chair is suitable for smaller and heavier individuals. It has a five-star base with casters for stability and mobility. This chair has a stylish design that will raise the look of any office.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This chair has a self-adjusting recline system that changes the recline tension based on the user’s weight. It has a 360-degree breathable design to keep the user cool.
This Humanscale Diffrient World W11BN10N10-S office chair comes with hard-floor optimized casters that are suitable for tiled, wooden, and granite floors. It has levers for adjusting the seat height and depth for convenience. A weight-activated recline system dynamically adjusts the recline resistance based on the user’s weight and other parameters. The chair has a mesh back and mesh seat to promote airflow. However, the seat and back are hard compared to cushioned chairs.
A form-sensing lumbar support system adjusts the back without any levers or knobs. This chair weighs just 30 pounds for hassle-free transportation. It has a sturdy five-star base, providing lasting support. Featuring adjustable Duron armrests, this chair provides support to the upper body. The armrests are attached to the back, so they move along with the body as the user reclines. This chair is made of premium parts for lasting durability.
Award: BEST FOR CARPETED FLOORS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This chair has a self-adjusting recline that provides the needed support without the need for recline tension levers. It has a breathable design that will appeal to most office dwellers.
The Humanscale Diffrient World W11BN10N10 office chair has a mesh back and mesh seat, slowing heat buildup for comfort. This chair is very lightweight, so it can be moved easily from room to room. It has carpet-optimized casters that glide seamlessly on carpeted floors. The chair has a seat height adjustment lever for customizing the seat. With adjustable seat depth, this task chair is ideal for smaller and taller people. However, it doesn’t have a headrest.
This chair was designed for users weighing up to 300 pounds. It has glass-filled nylon 6 construction for durability. With adjustable armrests, this chair supports the user’s upper body. It has a compact footprint and folding seat for easy transportation. The Diffrient World meets all BIFMA standards for safety. This chair has a self-adjusting reclining mechanism that automatically provides the needed support based on the user’s weight and needs. A pivoting backrest automatically adjusts to provide lumbar support.
Award: BEST VENTILATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This chair has a self-adjusting lumbar support system and dynamic recline, automatically conforming to the user’s unique needs. The chair is ventilated to help users stay cool on hot days.
The Humanscale Liberty office chair is a mesh-back chair that provides support without compromising airflow. A self-adjusting recline system enables users to seamlessly switch from a sitting to a reclining position without turning any knobs. It has height-adjustable arms, which retain a horizontal position after adjustment, for comfort. The armrests are attached to the back, so they move along with the body when the user reclines. However, the back may be uncomfortable for some people.
This chair comes with a carpet caster for gliding around freely on carpeted floors. It has a high-quality five-star base and heavy-duty frame that provide structural integrity. This chair has a modular design that makes it easy to replace broken parts. With a dynamic lumbar support system that adjusts automatically and a form-sensing design, the task chair automatically contours around the user’s body for comfort. This chair is lightweight for easy transportation.
Award: BEST APPEARANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This chair has a stylish design that complements office decor. It has a self-adjusting recline system that automatically locks based on the user’s weight. A self-adjusting recline system offers convenience.
The Humanscale Freedom F111GCF10 office chair features a revolutionary form-sensing back and seat that contours to the user’s body. This chair has a weight-sensitive recline system that locks itself without the need for a manual lock. It is foldable for space-saving transportation. This chair has a unique back that supports automatic pivoting, providing dynamic lumbar support without the need for adjusting levers. However, this model doesn’t have a headrest.
This chair has a sturdy five-star base and metal frame that stand up to daily use. It’s equipped with casters for gliding around the office easily. This chair has adjustable armrests to provide support to the body. These armrests adjust synchronously with the back, offering a comfortable position when the user leans back. The chair’s back, arms, and seat are thickly padded for comfort. It’s available in a variety of attractive colors and fabrics variants, allowing organizations to fit it into their unique design schemes.
Award: BEST VERSATILE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The human scale has standard dimensions and a form-sensing design suitable for most people. This model has a breathable mesh back and self-adjusting recline system for comfort.
Featuring standard dimensions, the Humanscale Diffrient Smart office chair is suitable for 95% of the working population. It has a loading capacity of 100 – 300 lbs, making it a good choice for men and women. The chair has a form sensing seat and back, wrapping itself around the body for comfort. A tri-panel mesh back provides adequate ventilation, so the chair is handy during the hot months. However, the back is a bit hard for some users.
With a five-star base and metal frame, the chair provides durability. It has high-quality casters for effortless mobility. A dynamic lumbar support system provides support to the lower back. The chair has a weight-sensitive lever-free recline system to adjust the recline tension without the need for the user’s input. This chair has performance armrests that allow users to move their arms in four directions. We love the fact that the arms move as the user reclines.
Humanscale is a relatively new competitor in the office furniture industry, especially compared to competitors like Herman Miller, founded in 1905, and Haworth, founded in the early 1940s. Humanscale started in 1981 when founder and CEO Bob King created tools to support a healthier and more active way of working in a classic office setting. For a look at a couple of their competitors, check out Herman Miller office chairs and the Neuechair.
Humanscale’s first major win came about in 1993 as a result of the company’s release of a revolutionary articulating keyboard system. This product was attached underneath an office desk and served as a fully adjustable keyboard tray to provide a customized and ergonomic experience for office workers. These keyboard trays featured the world’s first self-locking negative-tilt functionality to completely eliminate knee-clearance issues that plagued most offices during that time.
However, Humanscale’s real breakthrough came when the company partnered with Niels Diffrient, a world-renowned industrial designer, to create the Freedom chair in 1999. This ergonomic office chair features an internal counterbalance system that supports your body no matter what position you are in. With minimal manual controls, this ergonomic chair was revolutionary for the office furniture world. It also features a unique adjustable armrest option that moves both sides simultaneously.
Humanscale continued innovating with ergonomic office furniture in the following years, releasing monitor arms, LED task lights, and height-adjustable tables. It also released ergonomic office chairs like the Freedom chair, including the Humanscale Diffrient World chair, the Humanscale Diffrient Smart chair, and the Humanscale Diffrient Liberty chair.
Today, Humanscale’s ergonomic office chair lineup remains their most popular and highest-selling product. If you’re looking for a desk chair that keeps you comfortable all day long, you can’t go wrong with a Humanscale option. The office furniture company also offers a broad range of additional ergonomic office products, including monitor arms, sit/stand solutions, desk lighting, keyboard systems, and laptop holders.
(Pro 1): Intuitive Ergonomic Adjustments: The biggest selling point of Humanscale office chairs is what the company calls intuitive ergonomic adjustments. Instead of featuring a host of complicated manual knobs and levers, these ergonomic office chairs use your own body weight to make accurate and fine-tuned adjustments. This way, you’ll get the perfect fit when it comes to the adjustable lumbar support, tilt mechanism, and recline. For a nice option, read our Humanscale freedom office desk chair review.
The only manual adjustments you need to make are seat depth, seat height, backrest position, and headrest position. However, these are also intuitive and easy to use. For seat depth and seat height, simply press the button and adjust the seat cushion accordingly. For the backrest and headrest, simply slide them up or down to your liking.
(Con 1): You Cannot Lock the Office Chairs Into Place: While the intuitive and automatic ergonomic features on these office chairs are certainly convenient and innovative, they also mean that you cannot lock them into place. You won’t find any tilt lock mechanisms or tilt limiters here. This can take some users a little while to get used to since most office chairs, like the best Steelcase office chairs, provide those locking mechanisms.
(Pro 2): Excellent Build Quality and Extra-Comfortable Designs: No matter what Humanscale office chair you purchase, you’ll be getting a high-quality chair made from high-quality materials. All of these products feature premium builds that will last you for years to come. Plus, they’re extra comfortable thanks to features like breathable mesh and a padded seat. If you’re looking for a solid chair that is comfortable over long periods, you can’t go wrong with a Humanscale option.
(Con 2): Expensive for Home Offices: A Humanscale office chair is generally considered a high-end office chair. Due to their premium materials and extensive ergonomic adjustable features, these chairs are much more expensive than something you can get in your local office furniture store. If you’re planning on getting an ergonomic office chair from this manufacturer, you’ll need to plan to pay a pretty penny for it. If you need something more budget-friendly, consider the best Hon office chairs.
(Pro 3): Fits Most Body Types and Sizes: Thanks to their automatic adjustments, Humanscale office chairs are well-suited for most body types and sizes. Whether you’re short and petite or tall and large, you’ll most likely find something that works for you. Of course, we always recommend you check the exact measurements of the specific model you’re considering to ensure you’ll fit without discomfort.
(Con 3): Armrests Can Be a Little Too Wide for Smaller Users: Some users report that the armrests on Humanscale office chairs can be too wide for smaller users. Most models feature an 18-inch distance between the armrests, which may be uncomfortable for some people.
Whether you’re looking to create a more comfortable experience for your home office or you’re shopping for your business, a Humanscale office chair is the perfect choice. No matter what model you purchase, you’ll be getting a comfortable chair with plenty of ergonomic features like adjustable seat heights and lumbar support that molds to the natural curve of your spine. Plus, with premium build quality, you’ll get an ergonomic office chair that will last you for years to come, no matter how often you sit in it.
When it comes to office chairs, the price you pay has a direct correlation to how long it will last. More expensive office chairs will last you longer than budget alternatives. You can also get a good idea of how long an office chair will last based on the manufacturer warranty it carries.
A study performed by Baylor University determined that office chairs with a 10-year warranty should last as long as 15 years. Alternatively, office chairs with a five-year warranty or less will typically only last around seven or eight years.
Of course, there are certain scenarios in which this expected lifespan can last shorter or longer. If you treat your chair well, maintaining it regularly and using it correctly, you can expect to get its full lifespan out of it. On the flip side, if you treat the chair poorly, you can actually decrease its lifespan. This rule also goes for even the best reclining office chairs.
Most Humanscale office chairs carry a 15-year warranty, which is one of the best warranties on the market today. As with most warranties, this is limited to covering manufacturer defects that may occur in your chair. It will not cover normal wear and tear or accidental damage. Humanscale also specifies that their warranties are non-transferable, meaning you will not get warranty coverage if you purchase one of their chair’s used.