Office Chairs With Pivoting Armrests vs No Armrests

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Updated December 7, 2022

If you are shopping around for an ergonomic chair, you may be comparing office chairs with pivoting armrests vs no armrests. The best office chairs, after all, ship in a wide variety of styles and designs to suit the needs of differing consumers. Keep reading to learn about the differences between these two chair types.


  • Office chairs with pivoting adjustable armrests, or armrests of any kind, help reduce the spinal load by up to ten percent and allow users to easily find a comfortable position.
  • This leads to reduced injury and an overall increase in postural health when using a chair with armrests, so long as the armrests are adjusted correctly.
  • As for space, chairs with no adjustable armrests will take up less space and make it easier to tuck them underneath desks when not in use.

Differences Between Chairs With Pivoting Armrests Vs No Armrests

The primary difference here is obvious. One chair type features pivoting armrests and the other does not. This difference may seem minor at first, but it leads to a variety of other contrasts between the two, such as when you are comparing a task chair vs an office chair.

Here are more differences between armrest chairs and chairs without armrests.

Insider Tip

Give the armrests a try before buying the chair, going through all of the adjustment motions.


One of the primary reasons to choose an office chair with pivoting armrests, or armrests of any kind, is the ergonomic adjustment options that will be available. Experts say that properly configured armrests can reduce the load on your spine by around ten percent, which is nothing to sneeze at. The arms and hands comprise up to 12 percent of your overall body weight after all. You will experience these benefits on any chair with a properly configured pivoting armrest, no matter if you are comparing drafting chairs vs office chairs.


If your chair lacks armrests, you will find it much easier to tuck underneath a desk when not in use than one that features armrests. In other words, these armrests may be useful, but they can sure get in the way. Check out our Hodedah armless task chair review for a chair without arms. Additionally, the armrests will put some more weight into the chair, making it slightly harder to carry around when not in use. If your chair has armrests, opt for a model with wheels for easy movement. This way you’ll be able to move it wherever you want to when you are not sitting on the chair. For a peek at two we recommend, read our Bayside Metrex mesh chair vs Bria office chair article.


Chairs with pivoting armrests tend to be more expensive than chairs with no armrests at all. Armrests have to be built, after all, so the components therein add to the chair’s overall price. You can certainly find budget-friendly chairs with armrests, but the ergonomic adjustment options may suffer. For a comfortable option, check out our HON ValuTask low-back task chair review.


What to consider when shopping for chairs with armrests?

Make sure the armrests are height adjustable and look at any other armrest adjustment options. Also, take a good look at the pivot feature.

Why is an ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests important?

Ergonomic chairs are important for the overall postural condition. Look for a chair with adjustable armrests, adjustable seat depth, and a comfortable seat cushion.

Should I get a desk chair with or without wheels?

Go for a desk chair with wheels if mobility is important to you. This depends on personal preference.

STAT: Using the armrests as support when standing up reduces the force in your hips by 50%. (source)