Mid Back vs High Back Office Chair

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Updated December 7, 2022

If you are shopping around for a new chair, you may be comparing high back vs low back office chairs. The best office chairs, after all, come in a wide variety of designs to suit different body types. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two types of chairs.


  • High-back office chairs are great for those who suffer some upper back pain or pain in the shoulder blades, making them an excellent choice for an ergonomic office chair
  • Each chair type excels with users of different heights, so be sure to read up on the appropriate height range.
  • High-back chairs tend to be slightly more expensive than a mid-back office chair or a low-back chair.

Differences Between Mid Back and High Back Chairs

The primary difference between these two types of chairs is the size of the backrest. As the names suggest, high-back office chairs boast a higher-than-average backrest (height-wise) and low-back office chairs feature a low-or-medium-sized backrest (height-wise.) This key difference leads to a number of other contrasts, such as when you are comparing a mat vs wheels for hardwood floor office chair, Herman Miller Aeron Size B vs C, and vinyl vs leather office chairs.

Here are more differences between a high back and low back seats.

Insider Tip

If you are concerned about postural health, try out any chair before making a purchase and experiment with all of the adjustment options available.

Upper Back Support

If you are someone that suffers from health issues regarding the upper back, including spinal problems and the like, you could be well-served by choosing a high-back chair or, in some cases, a medium-back chair. These taller-than-average chairs are great for upper back issues and even typically include a headrest. Most often, you’ll find some great gaming chairs for kids that are designed for back support. You will find these advantages in most varieties of high-back chairs, even if you are comparing leather office chairs to mesh chairs. To check out a high-back option, read our VANSPACE executive office chair high back ec01 leather executive chair review.

User Height

Obviously, these chairs work best depending on how tall you are. If you are on the shorter side, go for a low-back chair. If you are taller than average, go for a high-back chair. If you aren’t sure which chair type would suit you best, choose a medium-back chair. Also, be sure to peruse any documentation that accompanies the chair’s advertising materials, as it will typically list the appropriate height range for each model. You’ll also find these measurements on many gaming chairs and office chairs.


This will depend on the make and model, but typically high-back chairs tend to be slightly more expensive than medium-back chairs or low-back chairs. This should be taken into consideration before making a purchase.

Desk Space

High-back chairs take up more room than low-back chairs, which should be something to consider if you work in a small home office. High-back chairs may make it more difficult to tuck them into a desk when not in use, whereas low-back chairs can easily squeeze out of the way when not in use.


How to measure the ideal backrest height for a mid-back chair?

The backrest should be around 26-inches in height, but this will vary depending on your size. When it comes to an executive chair or mid-back chair, be sure to conduct measurements ahead of time.

Are office chairs bad for your back?

They can be depending on the type of chair you go with. If you are concerned about postural health, choose a chair made by a renowned company like Herman Miller and try out all of the available adjustment options, including the lowest arm height and maximum seat height.

Which office chairs are best for your back?

A rolling office chair can be bad for your back, but it really depends on the make and model. A mid-back office chair could be bad for your back or great for it, depending on its maximum height.

STAT: Prolonged sitting has been associated with musculoskeletal dysfunction. For desk workers, workstation modifications frequently address the work surface and chair. (source)

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