Can Office Chairs Under $100 Compete with Expensive Ones?

comfortable-office-chairs

Since the time Egyptians invented the chair there has been a sea change in its shape and use. Once only used by high officials, today chairs are used by all and are designed for specific purposes, such as for office, leisure, computer and the like.

A chair that offers true office ergonomics is a chair that is designed for both comfort and functionality. This helps reduce injury and increase efficiency. We have listed some of the best affordable ergonomic chairs that you can set up in your workplace. These task chairs are comfortable and offer adjustability features without burning a hole in your pocket.

Office Chairs Below $100 Comparison (Updated 2018)

Image Product Weight Capacity (Pounds) Editor Rating (0-5) Estimated Price Range
Ergonomic Mesh Computer Office Desk Midback Task Chair w/Metal Base, One Pack BestOffice Ergonomic Mesh Chair 250 4.0 $
AmazonBasics Low-Back Computer Chair - Red Low-back computer chair 250 4.4 $$
Boss Office Products B315-BK Perfect Posture Delux Fabric Task Chair without Arms in Black Boss Delux fabric task chair 250 4.2 $$
AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair AmazonBasics mid-back mesh chair 225 4.2 $$$
AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair, Black AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair 225 4.0 $$$
Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel Task Chair with Flip-Up Arms Flash Furniture mid-back black mesh swivel task chair 250 4.0 $$$$

Best Office Chairs below $100

Furmax office chair

Furmax-Office-Chair

Furmax office chair comes in PU leather finish that offers both comfort and right posture. Little wonder this chair is deemed ideal for office and gaming.

Features

  • Ergonomic shape with a high adjustable back, headrest, bucket seat and padded armrests.
  • 360-degree swivel wheels run smoothly on the floor.
  • Can be rocked back and forth, providing total relaxation while working.
  • Bucket seat designed for lumbar support.

Pros

  • PU leather looks great and is easy to clean.
  • Comfortable to use for long periods of time.
  • Back mesh improves air flow and reduces sweating.
  • Adjustable height.
  • Back can be reclined up to 30 degrees.

Cons

  • Armrests not adjustable, but can be removed.
  • Limited color options.
  • The reclining angle cannot be locked.
  • Chair supports 280 lbs.

Customer feedback

  • Chair parts get loose through daily use and start making noises.
  • Padding is very nice and comfortable on the chair.

AmazonBasics Low-back computer chair

AmazonBasics-Low-Back-Computer-Chair

This low-back computer chair is both comfortable and stylish. Its smooth contours and adjustable settings give it a professional look.

Features

  • Contoured back mesh provides support and breathability.
  • Pneumatic seat height adjustment.
  • Two-inch thick padded seat for enhanced comfort.
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs.

Pros

  • Smooth contours and adjustable settings provide all-day comfort.
  • It’s Available in a range of colors that can match your room’s décor.
  • Pneumatic controls help in raising and lowering of seat.
  • Ergonomic design supports lower back and back mesh enhances breathability.
  • 360-degree swivel makes multitasking convenient.

Cons

  • Not as comfortable as claimed.
  • Poor material affects durability and makes it prone to quick wear and tear.

Customer feedback

  • The chair has a nice thick cushion on the seat and a good back support.
  • Takes little time to assemble
  • Is comfortable and lightweight.
  • Provides lumbar support, ideal for pregnant women.

Boss Delux fabric task chair

Boss-Delux-Fabric-Task-Chair

This contoured chair with waterfall seat design comes with a built-in lumbar support. It is ideal for those spending long hours remaining seated.

Features

  • Thick padded seat; built-in lumbar support.
  • Pneumatic seat height adjustment.
  • Hooded double wheel casters.
  • Ideal for persons up to 250 lbs. weight.

Pros

  • Built-in lumbar support wards off fatigue and back problems.
  • Waterfall seat reduces stress to legs.
  • Nylon base allows smooth movement and stability.

Cons

  • Thin seat cushion padding makes user’s bottom sore after long use.
  • Adjusted chair height refuses to remain in position.
  • Chair material not durable and gives it a cheap look.
  • Chair does not tilt back.

Customer feedback

  • Despite built-in lumbar support, lower back/sacral joints start to hurt.
  • Pneumatic height adjuster faulty, chair does not remain in position, but sinks with body weight.
  • Armrests can be slightly adjusted, but the backrest does swivel back a little bit.

AmazonBasics mid-back mesh chair

AmazonBasics-Mid-Back-Mesh-Chair

This comfortable and sturdy chair is a no-frills, no-nonsense addition to your office or home. It is exceptionally comfortable.

Features

  • Designed for comfort; equipped with a padded seat and contoured mesh back.
  • Pneumatic seat height adjustment.
  • Dual wheel casters function very smoothly.
  • Weight capacity: 225 lbs.

Pros

  • Thick and firm seat cushion allows hours of sitting without discomfort.
  • Contoured back mesh aids breathability.
  • Comes with a tilt lock and tilt tension adjusting knob.
  • Dual wheel casters run smoothly.

Cons

  • Lumbar back support is placed too high; chair back is excessively curved.
  • Seat cushion hardens after continued use.
  • In some cases, wheels fall apart and need to be put back again.

Customer feedback

  • Ribbing that holds the mesh in place keeps falling out that may lead to the ripping of the mesh.
  • Backrest is too far back and there is no provision for adjusting it.
  • The armrests are too short and useless and the seat is too firm to be comfortable.

AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair

AmazonBasics-Mid-Back-Office-Chair

If you have a home office and desire a most comfortable chair, this is it. It looks professional with a faux leather finish, even though it lacks a headrest.

Features

  • Upholstered in black bonded faux leather.
  • Provided with a padded seat.
  • Equipped with pneumatic seat height adjustment.
  • Can carry a maximum of 225 lbs. weight.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Sturdy and very comfortable.
  • Wheels function efficiently both on hardwood flooring and carpet.
  • Height is adjustable and tilt function works perfectly.

Cons

  • Padded seat cushion goes flat over time.
  • Backrest does not support back, thereby giving a backache.

Customer feedback

  • Chair back has a sharp, rigid edge running just underneath the upper padding across the backrest that hits the middle of the back, proving most uncomfortable.
  • Unstable chair, tilts in all directions, rocks and is sorely lacking in comfort.

Flash Furniture mid-back black mesh swivel task chair

Flash-Furniture-Mid-Back-task-chair

A chair fit for a professional setting, comes with a great-looking faux leather and ventilated mesh back material. It is provided with all the mechanisms of a modern office chair.

Features

  • Mesh back is durable and very breathable.
  • Built-in lumbar support.
  • Provided with tilt lock mechanism and tilt tension adjustment knob.
  • Weight capacity: 250 lbs.

Pros

  • Sturdy chair, even fit for persons weighing 280 lbs.
  • Curved mesh gives total support to the back.
  • Armrests fold up, if desired.
  • All hardware is steel.

Cons

  • Cheap build quality; has serious durability issues.
  • Narrow chair, puts arms at an awkward angle.
  • Chair does not recline.

Customer feedback

  • Seat is titled downward; one struggles to stay in the chair.
  • Not ergonomically designed, leading to back pains.
  • Chair too narrow and makes it difficult to use the armrests comfortably.

After reviewing the chairs under $100, it is evident that you get what you pay for. These chairs may not compete with their more expensive cousins, but are certainly an excellent option for both homes and offices.  

Ergonomic chair features

Best Office Chairs below $200

AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair

AmazonBasics-High-Back-Executive-Chair-image

The AmazonBasics Executive Office Chair is an affordable chair for office workers. The design of the chair focuses on comfort as well as ergonomics. The high quality soft leather prevents formation of pressure points and the curved frame provides a firm back support.

Tips and features

  • The armrests are cushioned but not adjustable. They are bolted to the seat and are about 8 inches high from the seat.
  • The base of the seat is about 22 inches from the floor when fully raised. At the lowest height it is around 15 inches from the floor.
  • The lean back tension is adjustable using the round knob. However, the chair does not tilt more than 30 degrees. Users have reported that there is a 10-degree forward tilt to the chair. The tension is quite stiff even at its lowest setting.
  • The height of the backrest is around 26 inches from the seat.
  • Maximum weight limit is 250 pounds.
  • The seat depth is around 20 inches and is not adjustable.
  • The chair only locks in the upright position and does not lock in the tilted position.
  • This chair weighs around 35 pounds.
  • The seat height is adjustable using a lever.
  • The chair is extremely easy to assemble if you follow the directions carefully. It takes less than 20 minutes to assemble. Some people have assembled it in 10 minutes. The required hex wrench is included in the package.
  • This chair does not have a lumbar support.
  • It can swivel 360 deg.

Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Swivel Chair

Alera-Elusion-Series-Mesh-Mid-Back--Chair-image

The Alera Elusion ergonomic office chair has a nice nylon breathable mesh back support with premium commercial grade durable polyester fabric on the seat. The contoured seat is extremely comfortable. The chair is fully adjustable and comes with a tilt lock function found only in high-end chairs.  The seat cushion has a rounded ‘waterfall’ edge that helps prevent a circulation block in your legs while sitting for long hours.

Tips and features

  • Levers present to adjust seat height and enable tilt. Rounded knob is used to control tilt tension.
  • The seat depth is about 21 inches and it can be adjusted with a hex key.
  • The minimum seat height is 18 inches and the maximum is 22 inches including the width of the seat pad.
  • Can swivel / rotate 360 degrees.
  • The chair weighs around 46 pounds.
  • Assembly is straightforward and clear directions are provided.
  • It is recommended for users weighing up to 250 pounds.
  • The arm height and width is adjustable. The arms are not soft padded but are made of a firm rubbery material.
  • The seat upholstery is not leather but fabric.
  • The chair has a good built in lumbar support. The backrest can be raised or lowered according to the user’s preference.
  • You can easily remove the arms if needed.

BestOffice Black PU Leather Ergonomic High Back Executive Chair

BestOffice-O10--Ergonomic-Chair-Image

The O10 is made of Polyurethane leather that is extra tough and resistant to stains. This low cost chair has all the comfort, looks and feel of a high-end luxury executive chair.

Tips and features

  • It has a 360-degree free swivel.
  • The armrests are padded but not adjustable.
  • The seat height can vary between 19 to 23 inches.
  • The weight limit is 250 pounds.
  • It may take around 30 minutes to assemble this chair with easy to follow instructions.
  • The seat depth is around 20 inches and the backrest height is around 28 inches.
  • The backrest can recline to about 3 inches or stay upright in a locked position.
  • You may feel sore if you sit on this chair continuously for a very long duration, as the material is not breathable. You should take breaks frequently when using this chair.
  • There is no adjustable lumbar support. You should use a back support or a chair cushion.
  • The arms are lightly padded and not adjustable.
  • Recline tension adjustment is present.
  • The chair weighs around 65 pounds.

Lorell Executive High-Back Chair

Lorell-Executive-High-Back-Chair-image

The Lorell Executive task chair with the ergonomically designed ventilated mesh back is quite user friendly. It has easy to adjust controls, pneumatic height adjustment and has fire-retarding properties.

Tips and features

  • This chair features 360-degree swivel, tilt and adjustable armrests.
  • The chair height can be pneumatically adjusted from 17 to 21 inches measured from ground to top of the cushion.
  • The chair weighs around 48 pounds.
  • The tilt can be locked in three different positions. This means that you can permanently lock the backrest tilt angle to the position you prefer.
  • The armrest is made up of a flexible semi hard material.
  • Easy to assemble with step by step instructions.
  • The seat is padded and covered with a fabric.
  • The height of the backrest is not adjustable.
  • The weight limit of the chair is 250 pounds.
  • There is an option to adjust the distance between the two armrests using a knob below the chair.
  • The seat depth is about 19 inches.
  • The seat has an adjustable forward tilt.

VIVA Office Ergonomic High Back Mesh Chair

VIVA-Office-Ergonomic-High-Back-Mesh-Chair-image

The VIVA 1168F1 desk chair is one of the few less expensive mesh fabric chairs with an adjustable headrest. This sleek looking chair has a lightweight frame, soft cushioning and a high quality finish.

Tips and features

  • The chair has a height adjustable headrest that can be removed if required.
  • Supported weight capacity is 250 pounds.
  • Seat height and tilt tension are adjustable.
  • The chair weighs 41 pounds.
  • The armrest height is adjustable.
  • Backrest locks in upright position only. No tilt lock supported.
  • The adjustable seat height ranges from 16 to 20 inches.
  • This chair does not have a forward tilt.
  • Seat depth is around 19 inches.
  • Backrest is made of a breathable mesh fabric.
  • The seat is cushioned and upholstered with fabric.
  • Backrest has inbuilt low back / lumbar support.
  • Five step assembly process. Instructions and tools are included.

Choosing a Comfortable Office Chair

One of the decisions that you will make regarding your workstation is what chair will you use. Many factors could affect the ergonomics of a chair. Let’s discuss some of these factors:

Is the chair adjustable?

The chair should be easy to adjust and the adjustments should be intuitive requiring little instructions.

Seat height

The chair should allow you to adjust the seat height so that the feet are firmly on the floor or footrest. The proper height also ensures that the keyboard or work surface is at an appropriate height. This also makes it suitable for both tall and short users.

Backrest height adjustment

Ideally, the backrest height adjustment should change the height of the lumbar support area of the chair backrest. This ensures that the lumbar support curve contacts the back in the right place.

Best Active Chairs for backache prevention

Backrest angle

The backrest angle adjustment changes the angle of the backrest relative to the seat. Reclining the backrest while not working forward allows the backrest to take some of the weight of your upper body. Reclining the backrest too far can take the support away from the back and can increase strain elsewhere such as the neck or the shoulders if you are doing desk work.

Seat depth adjustment

This allows you to adjust the seat depth by moving the seat or backrest in or out. It is one of the most important adjustment features in a chair. If the seat depth is too short, you can increase pressure on the back of the legs. If too long then users will not be able to sit back into the chair as the front edge of the chair impacts the back of the knee.

Seat tilt

This allows the seat to tilt forward to rotate the pelvis. When your pelvis is tilted forward, your lumbar spine curves naturally and the rest of your spine follows. The backward seat tilt can be used in conjunction with the backrest tilt to relax the spine and take some pressure off discs and muscles. This should not be used when typing as this can cause stresses and strains elsewhere.

Armrests

Armrests adjustments include height, width, depth and rotation. When positioned properly, armrests can be very beneficial as they support the weight of your arms. However if they are not adjustable they can cause problems when armrests hit the edges of tables.

Lumbar Support

Have a look at the natural support of the backrest. Some have more pronounced curves and others are a lot flatter. In addition to this, a supplementary lumbar support can be added on some chairs. Lumbar support provides additional support to your lower back. It comes in the form of inflatable lumbar, back panel or mesh back panel. These are usually built in the backrest.

Read about lumbar support for back support

Neck rest option

Badly positioned neck rest can be a problem and can actually do more harm than good. So make sure it is adjusted in height and depth. Also, check if it is possible to add or remove the neck rest option as necessary.

Rocking mechanisms

The chair recline tilt allows the whole chair to tilt relatively to the floor. This allows movement while being seated and movement is always great for full body circulation. There are two kinds of tilts.

Central tilt

This tilt pivots from the central point under the seat. This means that as you lean back the front edge of the chair raises. It keeps the calves active and promotes circulation.

Knee tilt

Pivot is closer behind the knees. The front edge of the seat does not raise and the feet stay on the floor. This reduces pressure on the back of the legs.