Best Office Chair for a Short Person

Updated: Nov 2, 2023 4:31 PM
best office chair short person featured image that shows the top three best office chair models

After conducting extensive research, we nominated the Flash Furniture Mid-back Ergonomic Office Chair as our Top Pick for the best office chair for short people. We liked this office chair because it’s an ergonomic mesh-combination chair with a breathable backrest with built-in lumbar support and a padded cushioned seat. The pneumatic height controls allow for seat height adjustment between 17 to 21 inches, and you can still adjust the arms and backrest too.

To create our guide, we focused on the following key features: adjustability, lumbar support, seat height, and materials. Hands down, adjustability, and seat height are the two most important factors. We prioritized picks with seats that could be lowered even as far as 16 inches from the ground. We also ensured that all of our picks included built-in lumbar support. For the most part, we focused on mesh chair designs for breathability but did include other options such as microfiber, leather, textile, and faux leather upholstery. Keep reading to learn more about our selection criteria and to shop from our recommendations on the best office chairs.

Top 10 Office Chairs for Short People

 #1  Flash Furniture Mid-back Ergonomic Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A chair with adjustable pneumatic height controls and a breathable mesh back with built-in lumbar support as well as a large footrest makes this the best office chair for a short person.

  • Pneumatic height controls
  • Ergonomic seat back with built-in lumbar support
  • Flip-up seat arms
  • Casters aren’t compatible with rugs and carpeting

The Flash furniture office chair is great for shorter people, which is why we nominated it as our Top Pick and the best office chair for a short person. We like that it has some of the best seat adjustments for not just the seat, but the back and arms as well. You’ll especially like that the armrests can also flip up giving you the freedom to transition between a seat with armrests or without when you don’t need them.

Related: Take a closer look at the best office chairs for scoliosis.

We like that this chair comes with a ventilated mesh backrest that comes with built-in lumbar support. Thanks to the pneumatic controls, you can smoothly adjust the seat height from 17 to 20.5 inches. And thanks to the comfortable padded seat, you’ll stay comfortable as you work and will appreciate having this as part of your office furniture.

 #2  AmazonBasics Leather-Padded Adjustable Swivel Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: An executive style office chair that can support up to 275 pounds and a seat that can be lowered to 16.5 inches makes this the best petite ergonomic chair.

  • Supports up to 275 pounds
  • Padded faux leather upholstery
  • Seat height adjusts from 16.5 to 20”
  • Armrests aren’t adjustable

When you’re a petite person, a seat that can be lowered beneath 18 inches isn’t just a nice to have, but an essential feature. Our Honorable Mention goes to this leather executive office chair from AmazonBasics. In addition to creating a lux effect for any office setting, we like that that swiveling chair can adjust to as low as 16.5 inches for the seat height.

While this doesn’t feature the popular breathable mesh backrest, we do like that you get a 360-degree swivel function and that this chair is available in three colors — black, white, and brown. It also features one of the highest weight capacities from our research, with the ability to support up to 275 pounds. And as is common, this chair also features a five-spoke base with casters.

 #3  Modway Veer Drafting Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A drafting chair with height adjustment and flip-up armrests that are perfect for pairing with taller tables or standing desks.

  • Adjust height from 21.5 to 29.5 inches
  • Available in 4 colors
  • Breathable mesh backrest
  • Foot ring may be too small for some

While chairs with lower seat adjustment ranges are ideal for shorter people, this assumes that all short people are working at standard-height desks. Yet, we know this isn’t always the case. So, if you’re working at a taller table like a drafting desk, or like to work at a standing desk, you’re going to want a chair with a higher height adjustment range.

We like the Modway drafting chair because it’s one of the few office chairs that can still accommodate shorter people while also providing a large eight-inch height adjustment range. Through the use of gas cylinder controls, you can adjust your seat height from 21.5 to 29.5 inches. We like that you still get a breathable mesh back with built-in lumbar support out of this adjustable drafting chair. And since this is one of the best drafting chairs, you’ll get a built-in foot ring which can give you a place to rest your feet, and make you less reliant on needing a chair that allows you to firmly place your feet on the floor.

 #4  Boss Office Products Perfect Posture Delux Fabric Task Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A simple petite office chair that’s available in five colors — including a bold print — and with an adjustable seat height of five inches.

  • Seat height range from 18.5 to 23.5 inches
  • Supports up to 250lbs
  • Padded backrest with built-in lumbar support
  • Lacks a breathable backrest

If you’re only using an office chair occasionally, it’s not always necessary to splurge on some of the pricier models that we outlined in our guide. In fact, if you’re outfitting a home office that only gets used a handful of times a month, this pick from Boss Office Products is the ideal petite office chair and comes in five colors — including one bold camo print. Most importantly, we think it’s an ideal home office chair because you can adjust the seat height from 18.5 to 23.5 inches using the pneumatic seat controls.

Another great feature is that you can adjust the armrests too. Although this does lack the popular mesh backrest, we do like that it’s padded with lumbar support for added comfort. Note though, that it’s upholstered in tweed so you may experience heat buildup. Still, the armrests are also padded for extra comfort. Plus, this chair can support up to 250 pounds.

 #5  Alera Etros Series Petite Mid-back Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A multi-lever ergonomic chair that allows for precise adjustments on seat height, angle, and seat tilting, while featuring built-in lumbar support.

  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Adjustable armrests
  • Mesh combination chair for enhanced comfort
  • Lower weight support at just 220lbs

If you’re the type who’s focused on precise adjustments, then you’ll appreciate this option from Alera. Their Etros chair is available in a petite size and allows for some of the most precise adjustments that we’ve seen through our research. With three separate levels, you can control not just the seat height, but also the backrest angle, seat slide, and forward tilt.

We like that you can adjust the seat height from 17.5 to 21.5 inches which is ideal for shorter people. You’ll also like that the armrests are also adjustable. As is fairly common, this chair is a mesh combination option with a breathable backrest and a padded cushion for added comfort. And you’ll appreciate that the backrest has built-in lumbar support as well. And if you suffer from back pain, you will need best office chair for back pain.

 #6  OFM ESS Collection Big and Tall Bonded Leather Executive Office Chair

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WHY WE LIKE IT: A great executive chair with adjustable armrests and a lower seat adjustment range that makes it ideal for users of different heights.

  • Supports up to 275lbs
  • Adjustable seat height from 17.5 to 21.25in
  • Fully padded ergonomic backrest
  • Lacks ventilation
  • Fixed armrests

Some people are looking for the best executive office chair, which is why we’re including this pick from OFM Essentials. You’ll like that this is a plush, padded leather chair with a seat height adjustment from 17.5 to 21.25 inches. While this is one of the smaller seat height adjustment ranges that we’ve seen in our research, we still think this is an excellent choice for someone who wants a chair that gives a premium image without the markup.

While the armrests aren’t the most adjustable we have seen, many people might like that they’re curved, giving you a range from 23.75 to 27.5 inches, depending on where you place your arms. Still, you’ll like that you have the freedom to recline and that the plush chair offers padding throughout the backrest and includes a headrest too. For an affordable option that is easy to assemble, check out the top 6 best office chairs under $300.

 #7  Serta Hannah Microfiber Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A chair that makes you feel relaxed thanks to the soft microfiber finish and fully padded backrest and seat, making it the best office chair for a short heavy person.

  • Waterfall seat edge offers improved circulation
  • Adjustable height and recline settings
  • Soft cushioning throughout
  • Microfiber covering can retain heat

If you’re already a fan of Serta because of their ultra-soft yet supportive mattresses, then our Best Quality pick — their Hannah Microfiber Office chair — is going to be on your shortlist. We believe that this is the best office chair for a short heavy person because it’s an executive chair that’s fully padded from head to knee including a padded headrest. You’ll like that you get a soft yet durable microfiber finish and can choose from seven colors. Even the armrests are cushioned and covered in the same microfiber.

While a full microfiber design might not be ideal for everyone since it can trap heat, we like that this chair has the popular five-spoke design that’s set on casters with 360-degree swivel support. You’ll like that you can make precise adjustments for the seat height, arm height, and backrest height. You can customize the overall chair height from 40.25 to 44 inches. The seat can be adjusted from 18 to 21.75 inches. And the armrests can be shifted from 26 to 29.75 inches. And if that’s not your thing, the best armless office chairs with lumbar support will be appealing.

 #8  Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A truly customizable chair with an ergonomic floating mesh seat design that’s available in three sizes, comes in four finishes, and provides full lumbar support in any position, ensuring that everyone gets the right back support.

  • Available in multiple dimensions
  • Breathable full mesh seat and back
  • Full lumbar support whether reclining or sitting upright
  • Lacks an actual seat cushion

Normally, a full mesh office chair isn’t recommended since it might not provide enough support. But the Herman Miller Aeron Ergonomic Office Chair is the exception to this rule thanks to the floating support it creates. One of the biggest things we like about this pick is that the Aeron Task PostureFit SL office chair comes in three sizes-small, medium, and large. Another major feature is that this Herman Miller office chair adjusts to your movements to provide comprehensive support no matter what you’re doing.

While the size range is the biggest draw, we are equally impressed with the floating design that relies on its 8Z Pellicle elastomeric suspension seat and backrest. You can choose from three reclining postures and a forward tilt tension option for the seat angle adjustment. And of course, the arms are also adjustable, allowing you to raise or lower them to a height of 6.8 to 10.8 inches, as well as adjust their angles. The actual seat can be raised or lowered between 16 to 20.5 inches.

 #9  Yaheetech Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: A wallet-loving stylish office chair that’s available in seven colors, with built-in lumbar support and the lowest seat height adjustment range from our research.

  • Available in 7 colors
  • Lowest seat adjustment range
  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Lowest weight support at 200lbs
  • Armrests aren’t adjustable

Once again, there’s no need to break the bank to find a comfortable seat that works for your height. The Yaheetech ergonomic office chair is just such a chair. We like that this budget-friendly option provides plenty of customization but doesn’t require you to make financial sacrifices to take it home.

Specifically, we like that you can choose from seven bold colors, making this a great option for any setting from home offices to conference rooms. More importantly, the seat can be adjusted from 12.4 to 16.3 inches, one of the lowest seat adjustment ranges from our research, and most compatible for truly petite individuals. You’ll like that this is a classic mesh-combination chair with a breathable backrest featuring built-in lumbar support. The only drawback we noted was that along with fixed armrests, the Yaheetech chair has one of the lowest weight capacities at just 200 pounds.

 #10  Smugdesk Mid-Back Ergonomic Office Chair


WHY WE LIKE IT: An ergonomic computer chair that’s perfect for petite people thanks to the 17-inch seat width, proving it’s the best narrow office chair.

  • 17-inch wide to fit different body types
  • Mesh seat back with lumbar support
  • Pneumatic seat lift controls
  • Fixed armrests lack padding

A standard office chair can feel overwhelming for someone who’s truly petite. We think this Smugdesk office chair is the best narrow office chair because it features one of the smallest seat width measurements from our research. At 17 inches wide, this is ideal for a smaller individual who doesn’t want to feel like they’re sitting in an oversized chair.

Related: Discover the key qualities of the best office chairs for tailbone pain.

You’ll also get a 270-pound weight capacity with this chair. We like that the Smugdesk chair is another option that relies on pneumatic controls to adjust the seat height. So, you can adjust your seat height from 17 to 22 inches. And you’ll like that the mesh backrest offers plenty of ventilation while still providing built-in lumbar support. Best of all, the seat pad is made from breathable padding and covered in mesh to ensure you stay comfortable as you work.

How We Decided

Picking an office chair is all about finding the one most likely to keep you comfortable after extended periods. And this is especially true when you’re shopping for a chair and are shorter than average height. To create our guide, we focused on the following key features — adjustability, lumbar support, seat height, and materials.

All of our recommendations featured adjustability, specifically in customizing seat height. But if you want full customization, you’ll want to look for chairs that allow for backrests that can be independently raised or lowered, back angles, and adjustable armrests.

Lumbar support is another key feature that is fairly common when shopping for an ergonomic office chair. All of our picks come with built-in lumbar support. But another factor to consider is breathability, which ties into materials. You’ll note that the majority of our recommendations feature a mesh-combination chair with a mesh backrest and a padded seat. This option allows for some of the best ventilation while still providing lumbar support and a comfortable seat. Still, you can find fully padded backrests or chairs made from leather, faux leather, or other fabric upholstery. Just keep in mind that those chairs may not be as breathable.

Of course, seat height is going to be an important issue — especially for shorter people. Picking the wrong seat height range could leave you working in a chair where your feet don’t touch the ground. We prioritized options that offered a lower seat adjustment range. This means that we looked for chairs that could be adjusted to heights of at least 18 inches or lower from the ground to the base of the seat.

Best Office Chair for Short People Buying Guide

As you shop for the best economic office chair for a short person, you’ll want to keep several factors in mind. Most desk chairs for short people place two main elements at the top. Comfort and weight. For instance, the best office chair for a short heavy person will keep weight limits in mind. Many of these chairs can hold upwards of 350 pounds. As for comfort, the best office chair for a petite person will keep their back supported ergonomically and comfortably.

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Adjustability
    Hands down, one of the most important features that you’ll need to prioritize if you’re shorter is a chair with adjustable height.
    • Though it’s great to have a wide range of adjustable options, pay extra attention to the minimum seat height out of all the adjustable features since, as a petite user, you need the perfect office chair for your leg length.
    • That’s why the best ergonomic office chair for a short person should have a lower minimum seat height than standard chairs.
    • Though chair seat height is also important to the average person plus taller people, this is especially necessary for a desk chair for a petite person. This will ensure that you can properly position the seat height so that you’re able to maintain an ergonomic posture as you work.
    • Modern chairs can come in shorter sizes for a more comfortable fit.
    • You should be able to adjust the seat height, backrest height, and armrests so most people of different body sizes including petite individuals can get a decent sitting experience. Some chairs have height-adjustable armrests and flip-up arms so you can have more control and move them out of the way in case you need a wide seat but the arms are in the way.
    • In some instances, you can also find seats that allow you to control the forward tilt with a seat tilt limiter and pitch of the seat for a better seating experience. That way you can adjust to whatever position you want to sit in, like an angled or upright position. A chair that offers lockable positions can also be a nice feature so it doesn’t adjust when you don’t want it to. Some chairs may also feature adjustable seat depth to help some users manage to place their feet on the floor. If you can still manage to get your feet flat on the floor by adjusting the height, you may not necessarily need seat depth adjustment. After all, modern chairs that have a wide variety of adjustable parts can get more expensive and fall outside a reasonable price range for some people’s budgets.
    • You should get the most ergonomic chair with the most adjustable features you can afford in your price range so you get a quality ergonomic experience out of your petite chair. Pair an ergonomic chair with a height-adjustable desk and you’ll be on your way to taking better care of your health while at work.
    • Certain chairs that adjust to your body’s natural movement encourage active sitting, which have health benefits and can improve your concentration.
  2. Seat Height
    Most office chairs feature an adjustable seat height, which is considered a great office chair for a small person. The standard seat height range on adjustable chairs is between 18 to 22 inches.
    • For people who are shorter, an ideal height-adjustable seat should give you the ability to lower your seat to at least 18 inches tall, if not lower. Without that compact design and minimum seat height, a petite user might have a hard time keeping their feet flat on the floor. The goal should be for you to find a comfortable position on your chair suitable to where you’re able to comfortably work at a desk and have your feet firmly flat on the floor. That ergonomic design will help shorter users practice proper posture, plus it can roll beneath a keyboard tray more easily.
    • There are also mid-back chair headrests that tend to have a curved shape for the functionality of supporting the natural curve of your neck. Many gaming chairs have that high-back style, and some have a neck pillow to support your head as you game. Try to look for an adjustable neck support with a curved design, since some may find a non-adjustable curve annoying to lay your neck against. One of the coolest features about gaming chairs is that they can in a variety of vibrant colors to liven up the color scheme of a room.
  3. Lumbar Support
    Regardless of height, everyone should prioritize their back health. This means investing in a seat with proper lumbar support for your lower back. It’s important to look for adjustable headrests and high-density foam, as they provide additional comfort, albeit at a higher cost. An expensive chair with lumbar support and a seat with high-density foam can go a long way in ensuring comfort while working.
    • Countless desk chairs with adjustable lumbar support, like inflatable lumbar options, help with a healthy posture and feel like a comfortable chair.
    • However, the lack of adjustability, compact size, and 3D armrests of many modern office chairs provide less support and comfort than those with larger adjustable features.
    • Good lumbar options should support your lumbar spine but still put minimal pressure it. Therefore, the best office chair for a short person with back pain should have adjustable lumbar support so that it can be adjusted to fit their body shape.
  4. Material
    Office chairs are made in various color options and materials, including real leather, faux leather, fabric, mesh, and even plastic. While mesh is the most breathable, the material can also offer the least support if it isn’t paired with a cushioned seat or a backrest with built-in lumbar support.
    • Cushioned foam seats, supportive backrests, and other ergonomic features can help both shorter individuals and taller people relieve painful pressure while sitting and have a more plush experience. Though there are luxurious options out there, there can also be cheaper alternatives that are still decent options for seat cushions.
    • For example, a mesh computer chair can be used for work in your home office and is comfortable to sit on for long periods. It’s also more lightweight than a conference chair or an office desk chair, making it easier to move it from one room to another
    • If you’re very interested in an attractive chair or a cheap office chair but it has an uncomfortable office chair design, there are also lumbar pillows to substitute for an ergonomic desk chair.
    • Some chairs come with standard, short warranties while others can have longer versions like a 12-year warranty. If you want the coverage for years to come and you plan to use the chair frequently, a longer warranty can be a good factor to consider in a chair.

Best Office Chair for a Short Person Questions (FAQ)

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