Office Chair Sizing Guide

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Updated November 27, 2022

Finding the best office chair size and feature set for your needs doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Keep reading to learn about the features that make good office chairs and the steps you can take to purchase the best one for you.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Office chair ergonomics can make or break your sitting experience.
  • If you’re planning on using your office chair all day, it’s better to purchase an ergonomic office.
  • Buy an office chair that fits your body type because it will make you more comfortable.

How to Choose the Correct Size Office Chair

Finding an office chair is a combination of determining what features you need and careful research to find the right product to match those needs.

Why a Good Office Chair Matters

A good office chair is one of the most important pieces of your office furniture, especially if you’re seated at your desk all day long. Many studies have shown that good quality, comfortable office chairs can lessen back strain and fatigue, which in turn leads to higher productivity and concentration while you work. Similarly, if you purchase a low-quality office chair, it can worsen all of these problems. You should also determine if you need to be able to move around on wheels or not. If you don’t, you may save a lot of money with a much simpler chair like our Amazon Basics classic leather office desk guest chair review.

Types of Office Chairs

In general, there are three different types of office chairs.

Petite

For smaller framed individuals, these office chairs offer smaller dimensions overall. They can fit into tighter spaces and make for the perfect chairs for home offices with limited space. You can read our Modway Prim ribbed armless mid-back swivel conference office chair review for a chair that won’t take up a lot of room, or you can read our Hodedah armless task chair review for a chair suited for children.

Standard

These office chairs are the most common options available in today’s market. They fit most body types and dimensions. Plus, they offer plenty of variation in ergonomics. For an example of an affordable option, read our Flash Furniture mid-back executive chair review.

Big and Tall

If you have a larger frame, then big and tall office chairs are the best option for you. They are larger chairs overall, but more importantly, they allow you to adjust for proper seat height while still accommodating your larger frame. You can read our BestOffice 400lbs wide seat desk computer lumbar support adjustable arms task rolling swivel mesh executive high back ergonomic chair review for more information on these types of chairs.

Steps

Follow these simple steps to find and purchase the correct office chair size.

STEP 1 Determine How You Want to Use Your Office Chair

Before you can find the right office chair, you need to determine how you want to use it. If you’re planning on sitting on the chair all day long for work, then you’ll want an option with more ergonomic features and comfort. If you’re only planning on using it for a small amount each week, then these features become less important overall. You may be able to get by with a chair that doesn’t roll, like in our Flash Furniture black mesh sled base side reception chair review.

STEP 2 Determine Your Ergonomic Needs

The longer you sit in an office chair, the more ergonomics you’ll likely need. For the best experience, we recommend purchasing a chair that offers lumbar support, full adjustability, breathable fabric material, armrests, and a swivel base. If you work for long hours then you should consider an adjustable or reclining backrest. If you don’t need armrests, you may be able to save some money by getting a task chair like with our Boss Office Products budget mesh task chair review. Additionally, you can check out drafting chairs like with our Boss Office Products ergonomic works drafting chair review. You can also get drafting chairs suitable for big and tall users, like with our Harwick Evolve Heavy review.

STEP 3Determine Chair Measurements

Next, you’ll want to determine what size of chair you need. For most people, a standard office chair size is perfect. These chairs feature seat heights ranging from 15 inches to 21 inches, backrest widths ranging from 12 inches to 19 inches wide, and seat depths ranging from 17 inches to 18 inches. If you’re in the big and tall category, find a chair labeled as such, since it will have larger measurements to accommodate a larger frame. If you purchase a chair that doesn’t fit your measurements, you will be uncomfortable sitting in it. Learning how to check your office chair seat’s dimensions will help you avoid any future headaches. These tips are essential to understanding what size office chair to get.

STEP 4Pick the Right Office Chair for You

Now it’s time to do your research to find the office chair that meets most, if not all of your needs. Take some time to shop around, both in virtual and physical office supply locations. Once you’ve found a chair you’re reasonably certain will work for you, click the buy button and wait for it to reach your doorstep.

STEP 5Try Your Office Chair

You may not get the perfect office chair on the first go. Once you get your chair and it’s all assembled, give it a try and check the office chair seat height. We recommend using your office chair for at least a full day to determine if it works for you.

STEP 6Return the Office Chair, If Needed

If you find your chair doesn’t fit your expected needs or wants, it’s best to return it as soon as possible so you don’t run out of your return window. Look up the store’s return policy and process and follow those steps to return your office chair, if needed. If you are curious, you can check out Steelcase Leap vs Leap Plus, for a comparison of two well-regarded chairs.

F.A.Q.S

What kind of ergonomic chair is best?

The best ergonomic chair is the one that fits your body type and comfort needs.


What features should a good ergonomic office chair possess?

A good ergonomic office chair should feature good lumbar support and breathable fabric.


How long do desk chairs last?

Desk chairs should last anywhere from 7-10 years.


Are expensive office chairs worth it?

They certainly can be, especially since they typically offer the latest and greatest in ergonomic features and technology.


STAT: 58% of at-home workers have inadequate office chairs. (source)

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