If you work from home, a good chair shouldn’t just be an afterthought – it’s a necessity. Sure, you might last for a while without one, but eventually, lower back pain and muscle strain are going to catch up to you.
Don’t worry though: a high-quality chair doesn’t have to cost the earth! We’ve created a list of some of the best office chairs under $100 so that you can personalize your office space, be more comfortable and even take care of your own wellbeing with minimal impact on your wallet.
The Top 5 Office Chairs Under $100 in 2018
In the table below, you’ll see the name of each of our top recommendations, as well as a couple of their relevant specifications. This is just a brief overview, so don’t jump to a decision just yet.
|Office Chair||Reclinable?||Adjustable Height|
|AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair||No||35.6 – 40.3”|
|Essentials Leather Executive Computer/Office Chair||No||17 – 22”|
|Flash Furniture Task Chair||No||34 – 38.75”|
|Essentials Gaming Chair (Editor's Pick)||Yes||44.5 – 48.25”|
|BestOffice Desk Chair||No||18.11 – 21.6”|
Now that you’ve gotten a feel for the kind of products we’ll be discussing, let’s briefly hit upon what we’ll be looking for. We’re particularly interested in finding any strengths or weaknesses the office chair has, where it excels, where it could use some work, and also, who it would be best suited for.
With that said, we’ll begin with the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair.
AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair – Best Budget Office Chair
The AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair is the least expensive product in our list (retailing at just under $50), but that doesn’t mean it’s low-quality. It has a number of features which make it fantastic for office work, particularly if you do a lot of typing or are sitting for long periods of time.
The back of the seat is covered with a black mesh to make it more comfortable and enhance the breathability of the chair. As anyone with a leather chair will tell you when the office starts heating up, things get sweaty and uncomfortable very quickly indeed, and this chair will minimize this. The backrest has a gentle curve to it which provides a small amount of lower back support, but for best results, you might want to add a throw cushion to it. Overall, the AmazonBasics product is a basic and somewhat comfortable office chair.
The seat itself is fairly straightforward. It’s made of padded foam covered with the same mesh as the backrest. A lever on the base allows you to change the height from 35.6” all the way to 40.3”, and there’s a bar which can be pulled out to allow you to rock back and forth. You can change how much force is required to tilt the chair by adjusting the tension knob on the underside – we found that higher values were better since we weren’t accidentally reclining when we swiveled on the chair.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to lock the chair into a reclined position, but this feature is of limited use in an office anyway, plus generally, it’s uncomfortable, so we’re not too bothered. Additionally, when you take into account the low weight of this product (just 23.1 pounds), it’s likely it’d tip over if you reclined too far anyway.
The armrests are made of black nylon and are okay except they could use a little padding. They’re also curiously low, and this can make them all but unusable for tall people. In fact, the only way we could comfortably use them was to slouch down in the chair which thoroughly defeats the purpose of a chair with lumbar support. The armrests can be unscrewed and removed if they annoy you, though, which is nice.
This product is pretty sturdy, with a maximum capacity of 225 pounds. If any components arrive damaged or the chair breaks through no fault of your own, you can take advantage of its one-year limited warranty to make sure you don’t have to pay for a replacement.
All too often, budget chairs are uncomfortable, impractical and downright ugly. The AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair is none of these things and is actually a great office chair for anyone who spends a lot of their time sitting thanks to its ergonomic design and good back support. Additionally, its low cost ensures that you can fill an office with these for far less than you might think, so it should be attractive to bosses, not just workers.
Essentials Leather Executive Computer/Office Chair – Best Office Chair for Short People
The Essentials Leather Executive Computer/Office Chair is a high-quality office chair (as you might have guessed). It has one area where it excels – its small size makes it ideal for office workers who aren’t the tallest, and on top of that, it looks great.
This chair is on sale for around $60, so it’s not the cheapest one around. We believe that this price is justified, though, since the chair itself is extremely comfortable. It has a segmented, padded back and seat and the padding is just firm enough to provide support whilst remaining comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
The manufacturer has obviously paid a lot of attention to common office chair problems. Muscle stress is minimized thanks to an integrated headrest, padded armrests, and an inward slope towards the lower back area. The headrest can’t be removed but as you have to lean back to use it, it’s not really a problem. These are the areas where many chairs falter, causing or exacerbating existing back problems to the point where employees dread coming to work. Thankfully, this isn’t a problem that this model has – it’s a pleasure to sit in.
The armrests are comfy and well-padded but pretty narrow. This could be a problem for taller people since they’d have to pull their arms in to use them, but for short people or teenagers, they’re just fine. This is a fairly low to the ground chair, although the height can be adjusted between 17” and 22” using a base-mounted lever so there is a little wiggle room in that regard. Additionally, the seat can support up to 250 pounds of weight, so that’s not an issue.
Like the last one we reviewed, this chair has no permanent reclining option.
You can rock back and forwards when a lever is pulled out from underneath the seat, and twisting the tension wheel makes this easier or more difficult. This lack of complexity makes it a snap to assemble though, plus since it only weighs 28.2 pounds, it’s easily constructed by a single person.
You can choose to buy this product either in black faux leather with silver trim, black trim or in a fetching brown leather that looks far more expensive than it actually is.
The brown variant is a couple of dollars over our budget though, so we chose to review the black one instead. This chair comes with a three-year limited warranty, so should anything go wrong with it, you’re covered.
All things considered, this is a pretty decent office chair. It shows that a chair doesn’t have to be functional or comfortable – in reality, it can be both. It has a timeless, professional look and is (perhaps unintentionally) perfect for teenagers or short adults thanks to its low height and relatively narrow frame. If you’re looking for an office chair that has it all on a budget, this is the one for you.
Flash Furniture Task Chair – Most Stylish Office Chair
If you’re looking for an office chair that makes a statement, look no further. The Mid-Back Quilted Vinyl Chairs from Flash Furniture comes in five colours: a plain black and four stunning shades of green, pink, blue, orange, and baby pink. Whatever the décor of your office, there’s a colour to match it.
The upholstery is made of high-quality vinyl, so you don’t have to worry about staining it when you spill your coffee at your desk, it’ll just slide right off. It’s quilted too, so it’s more comfortable than any office chair has any right to be, plus the way the vinyl is sewn together makes the chair look great.
We’d have liked to have seen some of this exceptional padding on the armrests. They’re made of solid black plastic, so there’s definitely room for improvement here.
If you find the armrests restrictive, you can remove them by loosening the three screws securing them to the base of the chair. If you don’t like this idea, there’s an armrest free variant available, but honestly, there isn’t much point buying it since removal is so simple.
This chair isn’t all that expensive. It costs around $70, which is about the average for an office chair, although it is possible to pay nearly double this if you opt for expert assembly, so don’t bother.
For what it’s worth, this chair is super simple to assemble – just attach the chair to the base and screw on the armrests. It’ll take less than ten minutes and you’ll save yourself more than $60.
The height of this chair can be adjusted – at its lowest, the seat is 34” high, but this can be raised all the way up to 38.75” using the lever on the bottom. This seat is fairly rigid in that there’s no recliner function and unlike some of the competition, you can’t tilt it back at all. This means that for those of you who like to fidget at your desks, you’ll have to find another way to release tension.
The chair is pretty light at just 23.5 pounds, so it’s easily portable, plus, like most office chairs, it’s on casters. Movement across a carpeted surface is quick and easy, and we never ran into problems with the wheels refusing to turn.
Despite its low weight, it can hold up to 250 pounds, so even if it’s been a while since you hit the gym, don’t let that put you off.
This is a low-maintenance chair. It’s easily cleaned and because it doesn’t have the recliner or tilting functionality, there are less moving parts, which in turn means that it’s a lot simpler to find the source it if it develops a squeak or begins to creak. We particularly liked that the colours were more vibrant than the competition; normally you can only find a chair in grey, brown, black or maybe cream but this model shows that professional doesn’t have to mean plain.
Essentials Racing Style Leather Gaming Chair – Best Office Chair for Writers
A lot of people romanticize the life of a writer, but it’s not all sipping cappuccinos and wallowing in angst. The most important piece of equipment a writer has (other than their word processor) is their chair.
Long days spent at the keyboard put a lot of stress on the lower back and shoulder muscles, so it’s important to have a good chair to help support you and the Essentials Racing Style Gaming Chair is perfect for this.
It features an integrated headrest for those moments when you can’t think of the right word and a heavily padded backrest which leans inwards to provide lower back support. The arms are similarly heavily padded, so all things considered, this chair is about as comfortable as they come.
It has a design aesthetic which is simultaneously conservative and modern. The black parts are made of SofThread leather and the contrasting brown parts are a mesh. This is a chair which is designed for long workdays and since you’ll be spending so much time in it, it’s nice to have an office chair which looks as good as it feels.
The height can be adjusted using the bottom-mounted lever.
It goes as low as 44.5” and as high as 48.25”, but the real attraction of this model is the recliner.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t lock in place, but if you lean backward, the rear of the chair slides back with you. The arms of the chair can be flipped up and out of the way and you can also rock back and forth, if you’d like to – again, not everyone will need this ability, but it’s nice to have. It goes without saying at this price point (around $90), but you can also swivel the chair 360°.
This chair is heavier than most at 37 pounds. Although it’s heavier, it’s not any sturdier than any of the others we’ve seen and can still only support 250 pounds of weight. It has a fairly simple construction, but due to the weight of the individual components, you’ll likely need someone to help you put it all together.
As with the other chair by Essentials, this one comes with a generous three-year limited warranty to provide you with the peace of mind you deserve.
If we had to come up with a criticism of this product, it’d be the noise.
Because parts of the chair are leather, it does make some sound when you move around or when two leather parts rub against one another, like when you’re rocking back and forward. This is a fairly minor issue and can be minimized by treating the chair with a leather conditioner, but we thought it worth mentioning nonetheless.
There’s a lot to like about this chair. It’s comfy, looks great and does everything you’d expect from it, so if you can fit it into the budget, give it a try. Overall, the Essentials is a great ergonomic office chair.We promise you won’t regret it.
BestOffice Desk Chair – Best Office Chair for Gaming
This chair is one of the best you can get on a limited budget. It slips in just under our budget of $100 and caters to a specific kind of job – one which involves countless hours sat in front of a desk. It’s a job that a lot of people might not consider – professional gamers.
Like writers, pro-gamers need a comfortable chair but it’s equally important that the chair should look good since it’s likely to be seen by any viewers.
In this regard the BestOffice desk chair does not disappoint: it has a visually striking black and blue colour scheme coupled with a fetching silver frame which lends it a professional air.
The black padding is made of leather and the blue parts are a nylon mesh. The padding is durable, quite firm and doesn’t sag, so you know you can rely on this product for years to come.
It comes with a detachable headrest which is attached using Velcro straps.
The beauty of this inclusion becomes apparent almost immediately – conventional headrests often require you to lean back in your chair, but this one is thick enough to use whilst sitting normally. Additionally, it has a bulge at the base of the backrest which provides additional lumbar support, although this is fixed and cannot be removed. The arm rests can be raised upwards to allow for more freedom of movement and the chair can even rock back and forth, although there’s no reclining functionality.
The seat is pretty low down, even at its highest setting. It can be adjusted from 18.11” to 21.6”, so there isn’t as much scope for adjustment here as we’d like. This may or may not be a problem depending on the height of your desk. The chair can support up to 250 pounds, like most of the others we’ve seen so far, and weighs a massive 39 pounds. This isn’t something you’ll be able to set up on your own easily – you’ll need someone to keep the seat itself raised as you tighten the nuts underneath.
The one real issue we have with this chair is that it doesn’t come with a warranty.
Even a year would have given customers a degree of protection and increased sales, however, this chair does seem to be particularly hardy, so if you treat it right, you shouldn’t run into any problems with it. It’s easy to clean – just give it a wipe down and grease the mechanisms underneath every now and then and it’ll be alright.
This office chair is pretty great. It provides a large amount of support to your back, neck, and thighs which make it perfect for marathon gaming sessions. On top of this, it has a visually distinctive style and looks fantastic. The lack of a warranty is annoying, but at under $100, this may well be the best chair on the market.
At first, glance, buying a chair seems like the simplest thing in the world. A chair’s a chair, right? Dive a little deeper, though, and you’ll that each chair is as unique as the person who sits in it. We’ve put together a short guide to make you aware of some of the important considerations you should make before you go spending any of your hard-earned cash on an office chair.
It’s important to think about the way in which you work. How long do you normally sit down for? If you’re a writer, it’s likely hours and you should find a chair with good lumbar support in order to prevent back problems from developing, but if you just check emails periodically, your chair is far less important.
If you do a lot of typing, the height of your chair comes into play. You probably know that your wrists are supposed to be parallel to your elbows when typing, and that means you might need a chair with a wide range of possible height adjustments. Consider measuring the height of your desk before spending any money.
If you’d like to know more about protecting yourself from repetitive strain injuries at work, check out the helpful article here: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/office-ergonomics-using-ergonomics-at-the-workstation-to-prevent-injury#1
What do you do when you need to think for a moment? Maybe you spin around in your chair. Maybe you like to rock back and forward. If so, a standard “four legs on the floor” chair just won’t cut it – try and find one which has casters and a tiltable backrest. Some even allow you to recline, although whether or not this is appropriate depends entirely on where you work.
Office chairs don’t have to be boring looking. There’s a wealth of different designs and materials out there, although not all of them will be suitable for your workplace. For example, if you work from home, you can have whatever chair you like, but if you work at a law firm, your employer may disapprove of your hot pink chair, no matter how comfortable it is.
What kind of surface will your chair be on?
If it’s carpet, will it still be able to move freely?
Deep-pile carpets can severely impede the chair’s casters movement.
Conversely, a laminated floor may cause you to move more than you’d like to – nobody wants to find themselves drifting down the office when all they intended to do was turn around.
Can your chair be easily cleaned? Fabrics are generally more comfortable but are prone to staining and we’re sure you’ve seen what a really old fabric office chair looks like torn padding, leaking foam all over the place. It’s extremely rare to find a chair which uses real leather these days (and for good reason), so you don’t have to feel guilty if you decide to opt for a leather-based chair instead. These can take a little while to warm up but do generally last longer, so it might be worth taking a look and seeing if one of these catches your eye.
So there you have it. Five fantastic office chairs, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
It’s always difficult to choose one overall, but given the high quality of these products, it was even harder than usual. Ultimately, we’ve decided that the best office chair under 100 USD is the Essentials Racing Style leather gaming chair.
It’s comfortable enough to use for extended periods, can be reclined and it even has a generous warranty period. It’s not without its flaws, but we feel they are heavily outweighed by this product’s benefits.
Now that we’ve reached the end of our list, we hope you’ve found a chair that you like. If so, be sure to come back to us the next time you need product advice. Until then, enjoy yourself and thanks for reading.