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Whether you’re working from home and tired of sitting on the sofa or countertop bar stool or trying to update the chair in your work office that’s seen better days, choosing a new office chair can make you more comfortable and productive. There are office chairs on the market that exceed a thousand dollars, but if you can’t—or don’t want to spend—a significant amount of money, you can still find budget-friendly options with features that can make it a worthwhile investment. The best office chairs under $200 will keep you focused and relaxed at any price point.
How we chose the best office chairs under $200
We conducted extensive research and considered peer recommendations and consumer reviews to compile this list of the best office chairs under $200. And while we didn’t have the opportunity to test these particular chairs, we’ve tested some of the higher-priced models of several office chairs on the list (Flexispot, SIHOO, AndaSeat), so we’re familiar with the quality these brands provide.
The best office chairs under $200: Reviews & Recommendations
You won’t find my two favorite chairs, the Humanscale Freedom Task Chair with Corvara Leather (around $3,000) or the X-Chair Leather Executive Chair (around $1,500), on this list. However, my experience with these high-end office chairs helps me easily identify the important features in inexpensive office chairs as well. Here are our top five picks; grab one and a chair mat and enjoy an more ergonomic, affordable workstation.
Best overall: Flexispot OC3B Ergonomic Executive Mesh Chair
Why it made the cut: The breathable mesh seat and back keep you cool all day long—and the chair has a headrest and a coat hanger.
- Dimensions: 21.26″D x 25.2″W x 51.9″H
- Weight: 27 pounds
- Weight capacity: 220 pounds
- Seat height: 21.7 inches
- Seat depth: 21/26 inches
- Fully adjustable
- Lumbar support
- Includes headrest
- Includes coat hanger
- Three color choices
- Weight limit is rather low
For sitting for long periods, the Flexispot OC3B Ergonomic Executive Mesh Chair provides a comfortable experience. It curves in all the right places to provide ergonomic support. The backrest can be tilted from 90 to 130 degrees so you can sit perfectly upright or lean back far enough to close your eyes and nap. The tilt lock ensures that you won’t topple over when leaning back.
The chair also has a headrest, which can adjust up or down by 1.9 inches, as well as armrests that adjust up to 3.9 inches, and the seat height can be adjusted up to 3.9 inches. The back, headrest, and chair cushion are all made of mesh—although the cushion is also sturdy enough to provide support. The chair also has lumbar support and can be adjusted up or down by 1.9 inches. The mesh components allow air to circulate instead of trapping heat, which keeps you cool. The chair is available in three colors: grey, blue, and black. Flexispot also makes a Plus version of this chair, which can accommodate up to 300 pounds. However, when it’s not on sale, the chair is $246—which is why it is not on this list.
Best low back: HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair
Why it made the cut: The armless, low-back chair can easily glide from one side of the room to the other.
- Dimensions 33.5″D x 24.5″W x 38.25″H
- Weight: 26 pounds
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Seat height: N/A
- Seat depth: 18 inches
- Provides unhindered movement
- Plush back and seat cushions
- Several adjustment features
- No dedicated lumbar support
If you want a no-frills chair that allows you to roll around easily, the HON ValuTask Low Back Task Chair certainly fits the bill. The lack of arms means you’re unhindered when sitting still or rolling from one side of your desk or room to the other. The low-back design of the chair is another factor that allows you to be unconstrained. The upholstered chair is simple, but it still provides a comfortable seating experience with a seat cushion that’s firm enough to be supportive but not too firm to be uncomfortable.
The chair’s back is also cushioned to provide support, but don’t expect any dedicated lumbar support with this model. The chair makes it easy to swivel 360 degrees, and both the tilt tension and tilt lock are adjustable, and the seat’s height can be adjusted as well. There aren’t any other adjustable features—but remember that the chair doesn’t have armrests or a headrest, so there’s nothing else to adjust.
Best gaming: AndaSeat Jungle 2 Series Gaming/Office Chair
Why it made the cut: The 160-degree recline lets you take a nap, and the footrest makes it comfortable to sit in any position.
- Dimensions: 34″D x 25.9″W x 16.5″H
- Weight: 56.5 pounds
- Weight capacity: 330 pounds
- Seat height: N/A
- Seat depth: N/A
- Pull out leg rest
- Removable foam neck
- Removable support
- Tilts 160 degrees
- PVC Leather
If you want a gaming chair/office chair, the AndaSeat Jungle 2 Series Gaming/Office Chair has all of the bells and whistles. The PVC leather and linen combine to make it a stylish choice that’s breathable and looks good in any office or gaming setting, and the material is also scratch- and stain-resistant. The thick foam creates a comfortable experience throughout the chair, from the seat to the back to the headrest. In addition, the neck and lumbar pillow add extra support, and they can both be easily removed if desired.
The chair can recline from 90 to 160 degrees, so you can nap in the chair—especially if you use the pull-out leg rest. However, the leg rest is also convenient when sitting upright, and your legs and ankles tire of being in the same position. When slightly inclined, the chair becomes a rocking chair that allows you to sway back and forth gently. In addition, the 2D armrests can be adjusted up and down as well as left and right for maximum comfort.
Best drafting chair: Flash Furniture Kelista Mid-Back Drafting Chair
Why it made the cut: Flip-up arms and the adjustable foot ring provide a lot of additional functionality.
- Dimensions: 25.5”X x 24.5” x 50.75”H
- Weight: 33 pounds
- Weight capacity: 250 pounds
- Seat height: 30 inches
- Seat depth: 19 inches
- Armrests flip up
- Adjustable features
- Several color choices
- Padded waterfall seat
- Colors are different prices
It’s currently on sale, and when it’s not, the Flash Furniture Kelisa Drafting Chair costs more than $200—but not by much. However, the chair provides a lot of variety for the price. Because it’s a drafting chair, you can rest your feet on the footring to relieve pressure. And the chair is tall enough to be used with adjustable standing desks at various heights, and also to provide seating at a counter workspace. The armrests also flip up and out of the way when you don’t want to use them.
The 3-inch padded seat has a waterfall design, which is easier on your thighs and legs, while the back is made of mesh, which is breathable instead of trapping heat. The ergonomic chair also has a dedicated lumbar support to keep you comfortable. You can adjust the seat’s height, foot ring, tilt level, and tilt tension knob. There are also plenty of color choices, including black leather soft/mesh, black mesh, blue mesh, dark gray mesh, red mesh, and white mesh.
Best value: SIHOO M18 Ergonomic Office Chair
Why it made the cut: The chair can accommodate users up to 330 pounds.
- Dimensions: 28.35″D x 26.97″W x 49.21″H
- Weight: 37 pounds
- Weight capacity: 330 pounds
- Seat height: 21.5 inches
- Seat depth: 12.8 inches
- Accommodates users up to 330 pounds
- Fully adjustable
- Sturdy headrest
- Thick sponge cushion
- Ergonomic S-shape design
- Large chair legs
- Black chair is more expensive than other colors
The Sihoo M18 Ergonomic Office Chair is comfortable for various body types and sizes. It has a generous weight limit of 330 pounds. Whether you need the chair to be 62 inches or 72 inches in height, it can accommodate your needs. If you fall in the “big and tall” category, this chair is perfect for you. Other size varieties include the ability to adjust the headrest and also adjust the armrest to 2.8 inches. In fact, the headrest can rotate up and down, and the sturdy components keep it firmly in place. The chair’s legs are also 2 inches larger than the average competitor’s, which provides a safer and more stable experience.
The chair has an ergonomic S-shape design that supports the shoulders and protects the spine while relieving cervical vertebra pressure. That’s because it has a lumbar valve that can be adjusted in height and also rotated to open. The seat’s height and inclination level are also adjustable, and this contributes to a comfortable experience when sitting for long periods. The high elastic sponge cushion has a W shape and is 3.15 inches in depth to prevent pain. The chair is available in grey, black, and orange.
Don’t find yourself on your butt while looking for a cheap, suitable office chair. Here’s what to know before making the plunge:
The chair’s material can determine how comfortable you’ll be. Some people like mesh because it’s breathable and doesn’t trap heat—which helps to keep you cooler. Mesh chairs also tend to be lightweight, making them easier to maneuver.
If your tailbone tends to hurt when sitting for extended periods, you’ll want an office chair with plenty of cushioning in the seat. That’s because sitting for a long period can put extra pressure on your tailbone, and a softer seat can help you avoid this uncomfortable feeling.
Some people find leather and PVC leather chairs to be hot. I have several leather office chairs, and I have never experienced heat issues. However, I also have central heat and air, so my home is always at the desired temperature. If you can’t adequately control how hot your environment can get, it’s possible that heavier materials could make you even hotter.
Consider your size when choosing an office chair. The seat size, in particular, will be important if there’s a possibility that it might not be big enough. When available, we provide seat size and depth information to help you decide what’s best for you. If you’re on the larger or taller side, also ensure that the seat’s back is tall enough and the chair is sturdy.
On the other hand, it’s also important to make sure that the chair can fit under your desk. Usually, this is not an issue; however, one of my desks has a glass top with chrome A-frame sawhorse legs, for example, and I chose to move the legs inward by several inches. It’s my favorite desk and beautiful, but not all of my office chairs can fit neatly underneath it.
Back support can help you maintain the correct posture when sitting at your desk. An S-shape design and/or lumbar support features will mimic the curve of your spine and help you feel more comfortable for long periods. This will help you avoid back, neck, and other aches and pains.
To truly create a sitting experience that’s comfortable for you, always look for as many adjustable components as possible. The ability to raise or lower the chair’s height, push the chair’s depth backward or forward, and tilt the chair backward can make a world of difference. In fact, after tilting the chair back, you can actually take breaks or even a quick nap.
Adjusting the armrests or even moving them out of the way can also make you more comfortable.
A headrest provides additional support for your head and neck, which can help to reduce fatigue. Adjusting them to the desired degree provides yet another comfort element. However, some people hate headrests and consider them to be in the way, so this is a personal choice.
Q: Is a chair $200 or less really worth it?
Generally, I test and recommend chairs that cost more than $200. However, your budget may not allow you to spend more than that. As our list reveals, several quality selections are under the $200 mark. Keep in mind that a studier chair is likely to last longer than a lightweight model. Also, the amount of weight placed on the chair and how roughly or gently you use it can make a difference. For example, if you’re going to let your kids treat the chair like a toy, you shouldn’t expect a lightweight chair to last that long—in fact, most $200 chairs may not be that durable under intense horseplaying. Consider your environment and habits before choosing a chair.
Q: Do I need lumbar support?
Lumbar support can help avoid and relieve back pain. It will also keep your pelvis and shoulders in proper alignment. To get the right support, you need to be able to adjust the lumbar support if it doesn’t line up with your back. It’s also possible to purchase lumbar pillows that can be inserted into the chair.
Q: How important is the chair’s height?
The chair’s height is important for several reasons. It needs to be a height that places your feet on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Your feet shouldn’t be dangling, which implies the chair is too high. However, if you use a footrest, you can still maintain the proper height. If you’re using a drafting chair, your feet can rest on the footring. When deciding the proper height, you also need to consider the desk’s height. If you have to strain to reach the desk because it’s too high, these strains will eventually lead to pain in your wrists, arms, and shoulders. If you’re using a keyboard and mouse, you may develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, consider the monitor or laptop’s height to ensure you’re comfortable viewing it.
Final thoughts on the best office chairs under $200
Many of the chairs we’ve selected have several adjustable features, including the ability to adjust the height, headrest, armrest, and other options, proving that the best office chairs under $200 can be as comfortable and even ergonomic as they are affordable.
Why trust us
Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.
Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.