The In-Depth Buyer's Guide 2019

Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain

Over 50+ Hours Testing & Reviewing 40 Different Ergonomic Chars


9.8 out of 10

Sitting in an office chair for 8+ hours a day can cause some serious back pain. So, to help you relieve your pain from sitting, we purchased and tested 40 different ergonomic chairs to find the best office chair for lower back pain.


As a part of our tests, we sat and worked in each of these chairs for hours on end, measuring their pain-relieving functionality, overall ergonomics and adjustability. After our hands-on testing, we narrowed down our list to the top 10 products and discovered that the Herman Miller Embody Chair is the best for back pain relief. This chair is extremely comfortable no matter how long you sit on it, and it promotes blood flow throughout your entire body. The Embody automatically adjusts to your body to alleviate the strain on your lower back when sitting for extended periods of time, making it an easy choice for our #1 spot. It also happens to be our top pick for 2019, but it’s so effective (for avoiding nagging back pain), we had to list it here, too


Test Results and Ratings

- October 2019

How We Decided


4 main factors come down to picking the top office chair for lower back pain.

​Ergonomics
Chair Comfort


​Adjustability
Movement


​Support
Lumbar Area

$60-$1000
Value


Herman Miller Embody Chair - Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain

9.8
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Unique, health-positive design
  • The backrest can be fine-tuned to your spine
  • Fully adjustable
  • Durable
  • Expensive
  • No back-and-forth arm movement
  • No headrest option

Why We Like It: The Herman Miller Embody is our top office chair. It has a super unique design that offers a lot in the way of customization and adjustability. If you suffer from back pain, you should definitely give this chair some serious thought, even with the high price tag. This chair will have you saying goodbye to that old seat cushion you used to use.


Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair - Best Value Office Chair For Lower Back Pain

9.7
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Comfortable mesh backrest
  • Easy assembly
  • Lacks adjustability options
  • No headrest
  • Not great for taller or larger people

Why We Like It: The Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh chair offers great back support for a small price. It’s got a simple design with built-in lumbar support that makes it a good choice for anyone looking to buy an office chair on a budget. The lumbar support isn’t adjustable, but it works well enough that you’ll likely still benefit from it being there.


Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair - Best Ergonomic Office Chair for Lower Back Pain

9.4
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Fully adjustable
  • Comfortable mesh backrest
  • Sturdy construction
  • Difficult assembly
  • Armrests don’t lock
  • The mesh sticks a little

Why We Like It: The Ergohuman High Back Swivel chair is similar to the popular Amazonbasics Midback Mesh, or the Herman Miller Aeron chair, but better. It has a unique design with one purpose in mind: ergonomics. This chair lets you customize almost every single component so you can create the most comfortable mesh seating experience tailored specifically to your preferences. You can adjust the backrest, the headrest, the seat depth, the armrests, and it has adjustable height.


Steelcase Amia- Best Office Chair Lower Back and Hip Pain

9.1
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Lumbar support moves with your back
  • Lots of seat ergonomic adjustments
  • Sleek design
  • No headrest
  • Heavy

Why We Like It: The Steelcase Amia is sleek, simple and highly adjustable. If you have both back pain and hip pain or even neck pain, you’ll want to find a chair that offers a lot of adjustability in the seat to reduce back pain. The Steelcase Amia fits the bill, which is why it’s the best at addressing “lower back and hip pain”.


SmugDesk Ergonomic Adjustable Headrest Mesh Office Chair - Best Home Office Chair
Lower Back Pain

9.1
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Breathable mesh material keeps you cool
  • Lumbar and headrest support
  • Adjustable back and arm rests
  • Plastic components are somewhat flimsy
  • Aesthetics aren't up to snuff with high end brands

Why We Like It: This office chairs may look simple and affordable, but don't let those two things fool you. The SmugDesk office chairs offers an adjutsable back and is built with ergonomics in mind.

Office Chair Lower Back Pain Buying Guide


When looking for good task chairs for low back pain, there are a few things you should consider. And while sitting in the chair is the best way to know if it’s comfortable, there’s still a lot of research you can do beforehand to ensure a good level of success.

The top chairs for lower or mid back pain not only alleviate this pain point, but they can also help you start on the path of curing it completely. You can choose a low back, midback office chair or a high back. There is a lot of science that goes into office chairs for back pain that focuses on increasing blood flow and preventing important ligaments from shrinking. Some popular models that didn’t make our ranking include the Serta Midback office chair, the Herman Miller Sayl chair, Amazonbasics midback, Viva Office, the Leap Fabric chair and the Steelcase Gesture chair, which are runners up.

However, remember that buying a chair for back pain is only the beginning. Consider getting up, moving around and stretching every so often while working at your desk to promote even better blood flow.

You may also want to consider purchasing a standing desk that you can use along with your office chair for alleviating your discomfort and to create a comprehensive solution.

Features to Consider When Shopping for a Lower Back Pain Chair

Consider the following features as you do your research. Office chairs with these features are the best choices when it comes to relieving pain your lumbar and hip areas.

1

Lumbar Support

If you’re looking to relieve chronic pain in your lower back throughout the day, you absolutely need to buy an office chair that features some kind of lumbar support. Most office chairs are curved in the lumbar area to provide this support, but the best chair for back pain will do more than that. If you have poor posture these chairs will help.


Consider finding a chair that offers adjustable lumbar support or lumbar support that contours to the shape of your body automatically. These chairs will relieve your pain the best.

2

Comfort and Blood Flow

It may go without saying, but you’ll want to buy an office chair that’s comfortable. Increased comfort typically leads to increased blood flow (and vice versa), which will help you stay healthy while sitting for extended periods of time. For this reason, a padded seat is recommended.

Again, you may not be able to gauge specific comfort without sitting in the seat itself, but you can form a pretty good idea of overall comfort based on the materials used in the chair’s construction. The most comfortable office chairs encourage blood flow and increase breathability using a mesh-fabric hybrid that is both durable and well-ventilated.

3

Adjustability

Most people suffer from back pain because they sit too stiff in their office chairs. The best ones let you lean back and adjust a wide range of comfort settings to prevent ligaments and hip flexors from shrinking and pulling on your back. As such, adjustability is an important component to consider. Chairs that offer more adjustments also make good standing desk chairs due to their flexibility. It should have the proper height and width to seat you comfortably.

The top chairs for back pain will allow you to adjust almost every single component of the chair, including the lumbar support to help correct poor posture. Consider chairs that also allow you to adjust seat depth, seat height, and have adjustable armrests. When you buy a fully adjustable chair, you can customize your sitting experience to target your comfort needs and wants. Some people may prefer a kneeling chair, treadmill desk or an electric standing desk to stay upright and exercise, but most of us have to sit. Speaking of standing desks, a standing desk mat is great for your feet while using any chair as it encourages your feet to be in the proper position.

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Who Contributed to this Review

Dan Seitz

Editor

Conor Galagan-Mead

Contributor

Christian Hokenson

Editor

Caleb Clark

Editor

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