The Takeaway:

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $300 (Fabric/Leather)

1. Our Pick: La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair

2. Runner-Up: Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Fabric)

3. Third Pick: Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Leather)

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $300 (Mesh)

1. Our Pick: Tempur-Pedic TP9000 Ergonomic Executive Chair

2. Runner-Up: AmazonBasics Big and Tall Mesh Swivel Chair

3. Third Pick: Nouhaus Ergo 3D Ergonomic Office Chair

Do you spend several hours each day, either at home or at the office, sitting in a chair, working on your computer? Does your current chair leave you fatigued and sore after that? Are you looking for a way to remedy that? If so, you’re going to love this roundup review.

Most people don’t fully appreciate how much of a difference the right office chair can make, both in terms of overall comfort and in terms of minimizing the long-term impact on their posture and overall level of health. However, the reality is that a well-designed ergonomic office chair will do much to minimize your long-term risk of injuries and muscle pain.

Unfortunately, there’s a problem. The very best ergonomic office chairs, while tremendously effective, are also incredibly expensive. If you’re on a budget, that might be a total non-starter. Finding a good ergonomic option on a budget can be a daunting task.

Daunting, however, does not mean impossible. We’ve scoured the internet on a quest for the best ergonomic office chair under $300 in 2024, and we’ve found an overall winner. Before we introduce you to the overall best, though, we need to offer a brief explanation for how this roundup review has been constructed.

You’ll note below that we’ve divided our top picks into two groups: one table for ergonomic office chairs upholstered in fabric or leather with a separate one for mesh chairs. We did this because, in general, a person who’s looking for a mesh chair is only interested in mesh. He or she is usually not interested in a chair upholstered with fabric or leather. Thus, we broke mesh out from the rest, treating them as a separate group.

Our Selection Criteria

So, what makes a great ergonomic office chair? There’s more to it than you might first imagine. In selecting our finalists and evaluating them against each other, here are the specific things we kept a sharp eye out for:

The Basics

Every chair on our list of the best ergonomic office chairs under 300 dollars needs to have the basics well covered, so at a minimum, we looked for chairs that swivel, offer height adjustment, and either rock slightly (worst case) or offer some ability to recline to some degree (best case).

Production Value

Given the price point we’re considering, and in order to have a chance of making our list of finalists, the chair in question needs to have relatively high production value. The materials can’t be low-end. The screw holes have to align well, and the welds have to be of good quality or better.

Comfort

Since many people spend several hours a day in their chairs, all of our finalists need to be comfortable. Comfort, however, is both relative and subjective. It can take several different forms, including:

  • Generous amounts of padding
  • Luxury padding options like memory foam
  • Well-implemented ergonomic features
  • Breathability

This last item is the reason why leather upholstered chairs tend to rank somewhat lower in these kinds of roundup reviews. Although they look nice, they tend to make the people sitting in them sweat if you spend more than just a couple of hours at a stretch in the chair. Fabric and mesh are both more breathable and, as such, tend to be more comfortable.

Ergonomic Supports

Even if a chair meets both of the above requirements, since we’re specifically looking for great ergonomic chairs, our finalists need to have well-implemented ergonomic features. Granted, at the $300 price point, a given chair may not have all of these, but it needs to have at least a few of the following:

  • Lumbar support
  • A Waterfall-Edge style seat
  • Ergonomically designed armrests
  • Ergonomic head and neck support

Bonus points if any of these are also adjustable.

How important each of these elements will vary from one person to the next, so as you read about our overall winner and the various finalists we considered, you may find yourself disagreeing with our conclusions.

That’s fine, and in fact, it’s exactly why we included details on all of our finalists as well! Our goal, after all, is to help you find your next office chair, and there is no cookie cutter, one size fits all solutions.

So, with that said, let’s dive in and take a look at our winners and the rivals we compared it with. We’ll start with the fabric and leather-clad chairs and provide a separate section where we’ll detail the best mesh ergonomic office chair under $300 and the other contenders in that group.

Best Ergonomic Office Chairs Under $300 – Fabric & Leather

Our Pick
 
 
4.5
4.4
4.4
$383.07
$265.00
$280.99
31.2” x 27” x 44.5”
30” x 27” x 40.8”
30” x 27” x 40.8”
57.2 pounds
51 pounds
51 pounds
20”
18”
18”
22”
20”
20”
18” to 22”
17.5” to 20”
17.5” to 20”
400 pounds
250 pounds
250 pounds
  • Superbly implemented ergonomic features (head and neck, waterfall-edge seat, ergonomic arm rests and lumbar).
  • An innovative, proprietary cushioning system for added comfort.
  • Outstanding chair offered by a great company.
  • Proprietary comfort system and dynamic lumbar support.
  • Also offers head and neck support and a waterfall-edge style seat.
  • Offered in a modest selection of colors.
  • Identical to the fabric-upholstered Serta Works, save for the upholstery.
  • On the pricey side.
  • No adjustable ergonomic features.
  • Bonded leather wears quickly and is not breathable.
  • No ergonomic arm rests.
  • Not quite as comfortable as some of Serta’s other office chairs, but certainly above average.
  • Modest supported weight limit.
  • No ergonomic arm rests.
  • Not quite as comfortable as some of Serta’s other office chairs, but certainly above average.
  • Bonded leather wears quickly and is not breathable.
  • Modest supported weight limit.
Highly recommended for light to moderate daily use.
Highly recommended, assuming you’re okay with the modest weight limit.
Highly recommended for light to moderate daily use, provided that you’re okay with the chair’s modest weight limit.
Our Pick
4.5
$383.07
31.2” x 27” x 44.5”
57.2 pounds
20”
22”
18” to 22”
400 pounds
  • Superbly implemented ergonomic features (head and neck, waterfall-edge seat, ergonomic arm rests and lumbar).
  • An innovative, proprietary cushioning system for added comfort.
  • On the pricey side.
  • No adjustable ergonomic features.
  • Bonded leather wears quickly and is not breathable.
Highly recommended for light to moderate daily use.
4.4
$265.00
30” x 27” x 40.8”
51 pounds
18”
20”
17.5” to 20”
250 pounds
  • Outstanding chair offered by a great company.
  • Proprietary comfort system and dynamic lumbar support.
  • Also offers head and neck support and a waterfall-edge style seat.
  • Offered in a modest selection of colors.
  • No ergonomic arm rests.
  • Not quite as comfortable as some of Serta’s other office chairs, but certainly above average.
  • Modest supported weight limit.
Highly recommended, assuming you’re okay with the modest weight limit.
4.4
$280.99
30” x 27” x 40.8”
51 pounds
18”
20”
17.5” to 20”
250 pounds
  • Identical to the fabric-upholstered Serta Works, save for the upholstery.
  • No ergonomic arm rests.
  • Not quite as comfortable as some of Serta’s other office chairs, but certainly above average.
  • Bonded leather wears quickly and is not breathable.
  • Modest supported weight limit.
Highly recommended for light to moderate daily use, provided that you’re okay with the chair’s modest weight limit.
03/30/2024 05:20 am GMT

*While aesthetics is a matter of taste, aesthetic flexibility is a measure of how easily a given design would fit into a wide range of home décor schemes.

**Brand Reliability is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect.

Our Pick: La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair

Our Pick
La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair
4.5

Recommended For: Anyone looking for a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Buy Now Read Detailed Review

La-Z-Boy is probably one of the most recognizable furniture brands in the United States, so it probably comes as no surprise that the company snagged top honors here.

Technically, our winner is sold at a price just barely above our $300 threshold, but given that it’s by such a small amount and that the model is frequently offered for sale at well below our threshold, we couldn’t resist including it.

This is a wonderful chair, and a striking design, both graceful and charming, and its wood finish accents almost give it an Old-World feel. It’s very pretty, but that almost works against it in some ways. If your home or office has a very casual décor scheme, it might honestly be a bit overdone and look a little out of place.

Memory Foam of La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair
Waterfall Design of La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair
Wooded Armrest of La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair

If you’re a fan of the aesthetic and think it would make a great addition to your home, you’ll also find it to be an extraordinarily capable chair, offering not only impressive comfort but also a series of extremely well-implemented ergonomic features, including:

  • Lumbar support
  • Head, neck, and shoulder support
  • Ergonomic, padded armrests
  • And a waterfall-edge style seat

While none of these are adjustable in any way, they’re all so well rendered in the chair’s design that they’ll serve you quite well and work to enhance the comfort of what is already a delightfully comfortable chair.

While most office chairs use conventional block foam for padding and a few use memory foam, La-Z-Boy takes an entirely different approach to comfort with the Bellamy, using a comprehensive, proprietary padding system called ComfortCore Plus that consists of five different layers.

Starting from the bottom-most layer and working up, you’ll find:

  • A layer of extra-firm block foam providing a base and resting on the seat pan itself.
  • Running parallel to this but on the front half of the seat you’ll find a double layer of softer block foam designed to gently cradle the backs of your legs.
  • A middle layer of slightly more pliable block foam padding.
  • Then a layer of memory foam near the surface of the seat
  • With a layer of poly fiberfill parallel to the memory foam but sitting near the back edge of the seat, right up against the seat back to provide a pillow-like cushion.

It’s terrific, and you’ll love sitting in it.

As great as all that sounds, there is one drawback, and it’s potentially a big one. It’s upholstered in bonded leather.

Front View of La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair

Bonded leather is real leather, but it’s created by fusing leather scraps together. As such, it’s not as durable and pliable genuine grain leather. If you plan on using this chair for more than about four hours a day, you’ll find yourself sweating because the leather isn’t breathable, and there’s really no way to fix that.

On top of that, bonded leather starts showing its age very quickly, and it’s just not designed to withstand the rigors of heavy daily use. If you use it several hours a day anyway, you can expect to start seeing it cracking and peeling after about a year. 

If you only use it lightly to moderately, you can reasonably expect it to last 2-3 years before it starts cracking and peeling. After that, you’ll need to look into having it re-upholstered. Even given that, it’s still a solid value for the money, and upholstery aside, the rest of the chair will last for years.

Side View of La-Z-Boy Bellamy Executive Office Chair

It’s not assembled, but the production quality is quite good, and the instructions are clear, so you won’t have any particular trouble with the assembly, although it will go more quickly if you have an extra pair of hands to help you on the day the chair arrives in its box at your door.

Overall, we highly recommend this chair for light to moderate use but can only give it a provisional recommendation if you’re a power user looking for a chair to spend the better part of the day in.

Runner-Up: Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Fabric)

Runner-Up
Serta Works Back in Motion Executive Office Chair, Fabric
4.6

Recommended For: Average-sized people who are looking for a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

Serta is another incredibly well-known brand, but the company is best known for its exceptional mattresses. Their furniture, however, is every bit as good as their bedding, and in fact, their experience in the bedding market serves them very well and gives them a leg up where the comfort of their office chairs is concerned.

Left View of Serta Works Executive Office Chair

The Serta Works is an outstanding design and very nearly the equal of our top pick, the La-Z-Boy Bellamy. It’s got a much more conventional appearance than our top pick and tends to blend more easily into whatever home or office décor scheme you might have. It also looks comfortable and inviting, and when you sit in it, it will not disappoint!

Rather than utilizing conventional block foam for padding, Serta takes a page from their bedding playbook, utilizing the same comfort coils they use in mattresses, and the result is a delightful seating experience. That, combined with the obvious quality of the materials, right down to the double stitching of the upholstery, means that this chair will last far longer than its modest one-year warranty.

Best of all, it’s available in a modest selection of colors, which allows you to personalize a bit and better match the color palette you’re using inside your home.

The Serta Works is no slouch where ergonomics is concerned, either. You’ll find a trio of well-implemented ergonomic features, including:

  • Lumbar support
  • A waterfall-edge style seat
  • An ergonomically designed headrest

While all of these are very well rendered, the lumbar support feature is heads and shoulders above the rest. Here, the company utilizes a proprietary technology they call Back In Motion (BIM) which basically means that any time you shift or move in the chair, the lumbar support follows you so that you’ll always have proper support for your back.

On top of that, the Serta Works uses a second proprietary technology called posture-correct tilt, which causes the seat of the chair to tilt as you move, adjusting its position so that it always keeps your spine in a neutral position.

All of that is magnificent, but like our top pick, Serta Works has a weakness that may or may not be a deal breaker for you.

Front View of Serta Works Executive Office Chair

It has a fairly modest maximum supported weight limit of 250 pounds. If you’re a smaller or average-sized person, this won’t be an issue, and you’ll flat out love the chair. If you’re on the taller side or are a heavier user, then as good as this chair is, it, unfortunately, won’t be a good fit.

The other wrinkle to consider, which ties into the chair’s weight limit, is the padding. While most of Serta’s chairs are extremely well padded, this one isn’t quite as generous on that front. It’s very comfortable, but the closer you are to the chair’s maximum supported weight limit, as you spend more time in the chair, you’ll find it becoming less and less comfortable.

Side View of Serta Works Executive Office Chair

As with all the chairs we’ll be talking about here, this one comes to your home in a giant box and in pieces. The production quality is high, and the instructions are clear, however, so you won’t encounter any particular difficulties with the assembly itself. As ever, though, an extra pair of hands will certainly speed things along.

Overall, this is an outstanding design and well-deserving of its second-place finish. We highly recommend it for smaller to average-sized users who are looking for a great office chair for light to moderate use. If you’re a smaller, lighter user, we also highly recommend it for heavy daily use, but the closer you come to the chair’s maximum weight limit, the less attractive it will be for a power user.

Third Pick: Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Leather)

Third Pick
Serta Ergonomic Executive Office Chair
4.4

Recommended For: Average-sized people who are looking for a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Buy Now Read Detailed Review

Our third-place winner is identical to the chair we just talked about, except for one detail. This variant of the model is clad in bonded leather. As we mentioned earlier, when we talked about the La-Z-Boy Bellamy, bonded leather just isn’t as breathable or durable as fabric, which is why this variant ranks slightly lower than the Serta Works fabric upholstery model.

Had La-Z-Boy’s Bellamy been upholstered in fabric, it would have led the pack by an even wider margin. As it stands, our top pick succeeded in spite of its bonded leather upholstery, not because of it. In a similar vein, this version of the Serta Works was almost destined to be somewhat lower ranked than its fabric-clad cousin.

Front View of Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Leather Upholstery)
Side View of Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Leather Upholstery)
Back View of Serta Works Executive Office Chair (Leather Upholstery)

Even so, the heart wants what the heart wants, and if your heart is set on a leather chair and, for whatever reason, the Bellamy isn’t to your liking, this is a great choice. We recommend it for small to average-sized users who are looking for a great ergonomic office chair for light to moderate daily use.

Also Great

Flash Furniture Hercules 24/7 Executive Office Chair

Flash Furniture HERCULES Series 24/7 Office Chair
4.0

Recommended For: Anyone who spends several hours a day in their chair. This thing is virtually indestructible.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

Flash Furniture is a plucky little company. They’re not a big brand, they’re not especially well-known, and they don’t have a national footprint, but they make really surprisingly good furniture. The Hercules 24/7 Executive Office chair is a great example of their work. 

The design team took a conventional approach here. There’s nothing flashy or showy about the chair, which makes it easy for it to blend seamlessly into almost any home or office décor scheme but be warned, it’s a really big chair, capable of supporting an impressive 500 pounds of user weight

Side View of Flash Furniture Hercules 24/7 Executive Office Chair

It’s also an incredibly sturdy, heavy chair, weighing close to seventy pounds, mostly because the base is constructed of solid steel. Everything about this chair is heavy-duty and built to last. If you buy one of these, you may wind up feeling like every chair you’ve owned previously feels a bit like a toy.

On top of that, this model has a full suite of basic ergonomic features, including:

  • Well-implemented lumbar support
  • Head, neck, and shoulder support
  • Ergonomically designed armrests
  • And a waterfall-edge-style seat

All of the ergonomic features are well-rendered, but the lumbar support is the best of the bunch. The only real downside is that none of the features are adjustable in any way, but that’s not surprising given the modest price the chair is being sold for.

There is, however, a catch, and it’s a significant one. Let’s review the basic stats we mentioned in the summary table:

  • Seat Width: 22”
  • Seat Depth: 22”
  • Height Adjustment Range: 21.5” to 25.5”

This is a chair built for giants. If you’re a shorter person, you probably won’t be able to sit all the way back in this chair and keep your feet on the floor. In fact, if you’re on the short side of average, you still may not be able to.

Front View of Flash Furniture Hercules 24/7 Executive Office Chair

If you are tall enough to use this chair, you’ll find it a sturdy, reliable addition to your home or office. This is a chair that will last you for years. We highly recommend it but caution potential buyers to be sure they’ll be able to effectively use the chair, given its dimensions.

Office Star Executive Office Chair

Office Star Big Man's Executive Mesh Chair
3.9

Recommended For: Anyone looking for a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Buy Now Read Detailed Review

Office Star Products has a lot in common with Flash Furniture. They’re not especially well-known, but they make surprisingly good furniture. The company markets this model as a “Big Man’s chair,” but let’s review the basic stats from the summary table:

  • Seat Width: 21.5”
  • Seat Depth: 19”
  • Height Adjustment Range: 18” to 23”
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 350 pounds
Left Image View of Office Star Executive Office Chair

So, some of its features support the idea of this being a big and tall chair, and others, not so much. What that means, then, is it’s an incredibly versatile chair, capable of serving average-sized users who are on the taller end of that range and shorter big, and tall folk.

If, after taking careful measurements and factoring in your weight, you conclude that this chair isn’t quite big enough for you, then you’ll naturally gravitate to the Flash Furniture Hercules. For just about everyone else but the shortest of users, this is an outstanding choice.

This is the lowest-priced chair on our list of finalists, and because of that, we were very pleasantly surprised to find four ergonomic features on offer. These are:

  • Lumbar support
  • Head, neck, and shoulder support
  • A waterfall-edge style seat
  • And ergonomically designed armrests

The head, neck, and shoulder support are quite good, the waterfall-edge seat design is excellent, and the armrests are flat-out amazing, mostly because they’re also height adjustable. We were beyond impressed to find such a well-implemented ergonomic feature on a chair at this price point.

Of the four, the lumbar support is the weakest link in the chain. It’s not bad, but of all the chairs on our list of finalists, this one has the weakest lumbar support. If that’s a super important feature for you because, for example, you suffer from chronic lower back pain, then you’re better off picking a chair with stronger lumbar support. If that’s not the case, then this one will probably be just fine for you.

Right Image View of Office Star Executive Office Chair

One of the most interesting features of this chair is its upholstery. It’s not mesh, but it’s not quite fabric either, existing somewhere between the two of those in the form of a mesh-like fabric that offers the best features of both. It’s both incredibly durable and highly breathable. That, combined with its ample block foam padding, makes it quite comfortable to sit in, even for extended periods.

This is a great chair for power users and comes highly recommended. Just be sure to take careful measurements to be sure the chair is a good fit for you.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $300 – Mesh

Our Pick
 
 
4.4
4.3
3.8
$271.33
N/A
$369.99
26.5” (W) x 28” (D) x 40” (H)
29.1” (W) x 28.1” (D) x 40.5” (H)
26” (W) x 30” (D) x 56.2” (H)
39 pounds
45.2 pounds
51 pounds
18.5”
20”
16.9”
18.5”
23”
19.7”
17.5” to 21.5”
18” to 22”
18.1” to 21.2”
250 pounds
450 pounds
275 pounds
  • Fantastic company, world-class post-sales support, offered in six different colors, lumbar support, molded seat, and ergonomic armrests.
  • Generous upper weight limit, versatile height adjustment range, excellent lumbar support.
  • Exceptional, proprietary dynamic lumbar support, molded seat, five-year warranty!, molded seat, highly adjustable armrests
  • No head and neck support.
  • Modest weight limit makes it unsuitable for big and tall users.
  • Armrests aren’t as well padded as they could be.
  • Decent seat but not a true waterfall-edge.
  • Armrests could stand to be longer and ergonomically designed.
  • Relatively modest upper weight limit, armrests are not ergonomic, relatively unknown brand.
Highly recommended for smaller to average sized users looking for a chair for heavy daily use.
Highly recommended, especially for big and tall users.
Highly recommended for shorter and average sized users looking for a chair for heavy daily use.
Our Pick
4.4
$271.33
26.5” (W) x 28” (D) x 40” (H)
39 pounds
18.5”
18.5”
17.5” to 21.5”
250 pounds
  • Fantastic company, world-class post-sales support, offered in six different colors, lumbar support, molded seat, and ergonomic armrests.
  • No head and neck support.
  • Modest weight limit makes it unsuitable for big and tall users.
  • Armrests aren’t as well padded as they could be.
Highly recommended for smaller to average sized users looking for a chair for heavy daily use.
4.3
N/A
29.1” (W) x 28.1” (D) x 40.5” (H)
45.2 pounds
20”
23”
18” to 22”
450 pounds
  • Generous upper weight limit, versatile height adjustment range, excellent lumbar support.
  • Decent seat but not a true waterfall-edge.
  • Armrests could stand to be longer and ergonomically designed.
Highly recommended, especially for big and tall users.
3.8
$369.99
26” (W) x 30” (D) x 56.2” (H)
51 pounds
16.9”
19.7”
18.1” to 21.2”
275 pounds
  • Exceptional, proprietary dynamic lumbar support, molded seat, five-year warranty!, molded seat, highly adjustable armrests
  • Relatively modest upper weight limit, armrests are not ergonomic, relatively unknown brand.
Highly recommended for shorter and average sized users looking for a chair for heavy daily use.
03/30/2024 04:20 am GMT

Our Pick: Tempur-Pedic TP9000 Ergonomic Executive Chair

Our Pick
Tempur-Pedic TP9000 Ergonomic Mesh Chair
4.4

Recommended For: Power users, provided you’re under the chair’s modest weight limit.

Buy Now Read Detailed Review

Like Serta, which we talked about earlier in this review, Tempur-Pedic is best known for its presence in the bedding market, but the company has made recent forays into the realm of office furniture. The results have been spectacular, and the company has proved that the skills they’ve gained in making world-class bedding translate well into this new market.

There are two basic approaches a company can take when designing an office chair. They’ll either load it with features, often lowering the overall product quality in a bid to keep the price reasonable, or they’ll focus on the fundamentals, offering a chair with a few key, well-implemented features that provide exceptional value.

Left Image View of Tempur-Pedic TP9000 Ergonomic Executive Chair

Tempur-Pedic has opted to take this second approach, and we heartily approve. The chair is designed along wholly conventional lines and seems to go almost out of its way to look perfectly ordinary. Lurking beneath its understated appearance, however, are some powerful ergonomic features.

The chair has a trio of ergonomic features, all uniformly well-implemented. You’ll find:

  • Lumbar support
  • Ergonomic armrests
  • And a molded seat

Although none of these are adjustable in any way, they’re about as well implemented as we’ve ever seen and will provide you with years of reliable support.

The chair only offers two items we’d classify as extras but they’re both excellent, too: The armrests flip up for those times when you don’t need them, and the seat is padded with the same material Tempur-Pedic uses in their mattresses, making it delightfully comfortable even after spending several consecutive hours in the chair.

On top of that, while the seatback is mesh, the seat itself is upholstered in durable fabric and offered in a modest variety of colors, including:

  • Black
  • Gray
  • Burgundy
  • Beige
  • Olive
  • Navy

This, combined with its under-the-radar appearance, makes it incredibly easy for this chair to blend into just about any home or office décor scheme.

Side Image View of Tempur-Pedic TP9000 Ergonomic Executive Chair

The only serious quibble we’ve got with the design is that the weight limit is too modest for our tastes. The height adjustment range is just under the standard range commonly found on big and tall chairs, but the weight limit just won’t support that, which limits the chair’s market range to smaller and average-sized folks. That’s a pity because there are a lot of big and tall people who’d’ love this chair.

Highly recommended, especially for power users.

Runner-Up: AmazonBasics Big and Tall Mesh Swivel Chair

AmazonBasics Big & Tall Mesh Swivel Chair
4.3

Recommended For: Big and tall folks who are specifically in the market for an ergonomic mesh chair.

Buy Now Read Detailed Review

While our top pick focuses on a broad swath of the market and is a great choice for small to average-sized people, Amazon’s mesh chair focuses more on the other end of the market. Most shorter users will find this chair too big to use effectively, but long-legged average-sized folks and big and tall people will find it to be just about perfect.

Side Image View of Amazon Basics Big and Tall Mesh Swivel Chair

Amazon is perhaps the perfect generalist company. They’re not experts in the furniture market, but they study the experts and replicate their creations, generally doing a good job, and often producing outstanding products that are very well priced.

This chair is definitely one of their strongest models. Being mesh, it suffers a bit aesthetically, but just as Tempur-Pedic did with their offering, Amazon took a hybrid approach here, which helps improve both the look and the comfort of the chair.

While the seatback is pure mesh, the seat itself is upholstered in a more tightly woven form of mesh fabric, stretched over conventional block foam. It’s not as comfortable as the Tempur-Pedic chair, but you certainly won’t mind sitting in it, even for extended periods.

This chair sticks to the basics, offering two ergonomic features: Lumbar support and an ergonomic seat. The lumbar support is not just well-implemented, it’s also height adjustable, allowing you to customize it so it provides support exactly where you need it. 

Most people consider lumbar support to be the most powerful and important of the ergonomic features and the fact that Amazon did such a great job with it makes this chair worth buying for that feature alone.

The ergonomic seat is good, but not on the same level as the lumbar support. It tries gamely to be a true waterfall-edge style seat but doesn’t quite manage to get there. It still provides ergonomic value, but again, it’s just not as strong a feature as the lumbar mechanism.

Front Image View of Amazon Basics Big and Tall Mesh Swivel Chair

We regard the armrests as a bit of a missed opportunity. They’re not ergonomically sculpted and honestly a bit on the stubby side for our tastes, but they are height adjustable, which is valuable in its own right.

While a few users might be disappointed that there aren’t more ergonomic features on offer, honestly, we think you’ll be impressed. In our view, we’d much rather see one or two very well-implemented features than several that are lackluster, and we think a majority of the market feels the same way.

Amazon does that with this design. It’s a great chair, offered for a song. We love it and recommend it without reservation to average-sized or bigger folks who are looking for a chair that can stand up to the rigors of heavy daily use.

Third Pick: Nouhaus Ergo 3D Ergonomic Office Chair

While our first and second-place winners are both offered by companies that almost everyone will recognize, our third-place finalist is offered by a company you’ve probably never heard of. Nouhaus is a tiny off-brand. They don’t have a big national footprint, and as such, their products tend to get overlooked, which makes this chair something of a hidden gem.

At first glance, some people might be put off by the chair. It’s not outright ugly, but mesh chairs do tend to take a hit on the aesthetics front, and this one makes matters worse by featuring a segmented seatback design. It definitely won’t win any beauty contests, but most people who are in the market for a mesh chair care more about function and form, and this chair has all kinds of functionality.

Before we focus on its ergonomic features, though, let’s review the stats from the summary table to see exactly what this chair is:

Specification of Nouhaus Ergo 3D Ergonomic Office Chair
  • Maximum supported weight: 275 pounds
  • Chair weight: 51 pounds
  • Overall Product Dimensions: 30” x 26” x 56.2″
  • Seat Depth: 16.9”
  • Seat Width: 19.7”
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 18.1” to 21.9”

Most big and tall chairs have a seat height adjustment range of 18” to 22” so on the face of it, it looks like this chair should be geared to that segment of the market but check out the seat depth. Check out the maximum supported user weight. 

Neither of those elements supports the idea that this is a big and tall chair. While it’s useful for taller people with lean builds and long legs, big-boned folks are going to find this chair too small to be useful. 

Granted, big and tall people represent a minority of the total market, so this chair still appeals to quite a broad swath, but it would be a mistake to classify this as a big and tall chair, in our view. We’d estimate that this one would be of use to people up to about 6’2” in height, just to give you a general guide.

While the other mesh chairs we’ve talked about so far took a hybrid approach, using tightly woven mesh or fabric to cover padding in the seat, this model is mesh through and through, so there’s no padding at all in the seat.

If you’ve owned mesh chairs before, you know that doesn’t mean it’s not comfortable; it is! It just approaches comfort from a different direction, relying on the inherent breathability of the mesh itself, combined with well-implemented ergonomic features to make it a joy to sit in.

This chair offers three such features:

  • Exceptional lumbar support
  • An ergonomically sculpted seat
  • And next-level armrests

While the seat design falls short of greatness, we actually can’t decide which of the chair’s other two ergonomic features are better. They’re both incredibly well done.

Where the lumbar support is concerned, the company uses a proprietary technology they call DVL, which stands for “Dynamic Variable Lumbar” support. The implementation of this feature explains why the company opted for a segmented seatback design. 

Right Image View of Nouhaus Ergo 3D Ergonomic Office Chair

The lower portion of the seat back is designed exclusively to accommodate this technology. Any time you move or shift your position in the chair, the lumbar support that segment provides shifts with you, so it always provides you with exactly the support you need, no matter how you’re using the chair.

We were stunned to see proprietary technology being used by an off-brand and were absolutely blown away at how great a job they did on this feature. Honestly, Nouhaus’ lumbar support shines even when compared to ergonomic office chairs that cost twice this chair’s asking price.

The chair’s armrests are equally impressive. While they’re not ergonomically sculpted, they are highly mobile, which provides a certain amount of ergonomic benefit all by itself. You can move the armrests forward toward the edge of the seat, backward toward the seat back, and scoot them closer together or farther apart as you like.

Components of Nouhaus Ergo 3D Ergonomic Office Chair

This gives you the ability to totally customize your seating experience for maximum comfort and performance. Again, not something we expected to see from an off-brand and certainly not at this price. That’s amazing.

While Nouhaus may be relatively unknown, we don’t expect that they’ll stay that way. Not when they’re capable of producing chairs like this. It’s just a matter of time before they’re nipping at the heels of the bigger, more established brands in the same way that Flash Furniture is. 

We fully expect to see Nouhaus products winning spots in roundup reviews we do in the future. This is a great chair, made by a fantastic if relatively unknown company. We recommend it for smaller to average-sized power users who need a chair that can stand up to the challenges of heavy use.

Also Great

Hbada Ergonomic High Back Office Chair

Hbada High Back Ergonomic Office Chair
3.6

Recommended For: Anyone who wants to try out ergonomic office furniture.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

If you’ve spent any time in Europe, you’re probably familiar with the Hbada brand. It’s quite popular there, but here in the United States, they’re not very well known. That’s slowly changing thanks to the wonders of online shopping, which makes it easier than ever for someone living in the States to get one of these chairs. There are a number of reasons why you should consider doing so:

First, check out the score of this chair if you take the Brand Reliability dimension out of the mix. This chair scores just above a 4, which is outstanding. Second, check out how consistent the numbers are. Literally, the only thing dragging this model’s overall score down is the fact that the brand is relatively unknown in this country. The chair itself, though, is pretty amazing.

Third is the aesthetic. While mesh chairs aren’t exactly known for their stellar looks, Hbada takes a different approach to design than most American companies do, which gives this chair a delightful and refreshing aesthetic. It’s just different enough to be distinctive and interesting, which is a very good thing

Specification Stats of Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair

Before we go further, though, let’s do a quick review of the basic stats that define this model so we know what we’re dealing with.

  • Overall product dimensions: 27.2” x 27.2” x 51.2”
  • Chair Weight: 38.8 pounds
  • Maximum supported weight: 400 pounds
  • Seat Width: 20.4”
  • Seat Depth: 20.4”
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 19.6” to 22.4”

This is a very different chair than the Nouhaus we talked about just before getting to this model. 

It’s very clearly aimed at the big and tall segment of the market, with the seat depth, width, height adjustment range, and maximum supported user weight all working in tandem to support that conclusion. In fact, given the lowest seat height setting of 19.6,” shorter people probably won’t be able to use this chair effectively.

Like our top picks in this category, the Hbada chair utilizes a hybrid approach, featuring mesh fabric in the seat, stretched over a modest amount of padding

Note that the padding isn’t as plush or as plentiful as you’ll find on most other padded office chairs, but it’s certainly enough to provide a comfortable seating experience, and as with other mesh chairs, this one relies on the strength of its ergonomic features to further enhance comfort, making up for its relative lack of padding.

Although the seat isn’t waterfall-edge, it is an ergonomically sculpted design that provides impressive ergonomic benefits, which means you won’t have to worry about getting that annoying pins and needles sensation in your legs, even if you spend several consecutive hours in the chair.

Left Side View of Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair

In addition to being delightfully breathable mesh, the seatback is curved to follow the shape of your spine and is further augmented by a well-implemented lumbar support system. 

This ties in beautifully with the articulated headrest that provides good head and neck support, giving the person sitting in the Hbada ergonomic office chair stellar support that begins at the head and runs all the way to the backs of the user’s thighs.

The chair’s armrests are a mixed bag. On the plus side, they’re height adjustable through a total of seven different settings, which is a good thing that adds versatility to the design. On the minus side, though, they’re not very long and covered in low-quality PU, which won’t stand up well to the rigors of heavy daily use. 

Recliner Angle of Hbada Ergonomic Office Chair

Another interesting thing to note is the chair’s recline angle, which starts at 90 degrees and extends all the way to 150 degrees. Most office chairs recline to about 120 degrees, with a few reclining to 135 degrees, so this model gives you more of an ability to lounge back and relax. Unfortunately, the chair doesn’t include an ottoman, but it’s easy enough to engineer one, giving you a passably good makeshift recliner when you’re ready to take a break.

The Hbada chair has more strengths than weaknesses, but there are two things that keep it from being a great model for heavy daily use. First, the padding. It’s decent but falls short of greatness, and after spending more than about four hours in the chair, it’ll start getting progressively more uncomfortable. Second, those stubby little armrests will begin to show their age rather quickly.

Based on that, we’d rate this is a great choice for bigger, taller users who are looking for a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Smugdesk High Back Mesh Recliner

It was agonizing to try and select the final model for our mesh chair list because there were so many interesting options to choose from but ultimately, the Smugdesk mesh recliner won us over. We’ll be quick to say that this chair won’t be for everyone, but it’s so interesting we didn’t feel that this portion of the roundup review would be complete without giving it a mention.

Smugdesk is another one of those little companies you may not have heard of, but if you look at the breakdown of the chair’s score, you’ll see that it’s exceptionally capable and well-rounded, with the only thing dragging its final score down being the lack of brand heft and recognition. Functionally, this is a great little chair. 

Let’s start by reviewing the core statistics that define the model:

Left Image View of Smugdesk High Back Mesh Recliner
  • Overall Dimensions: 34.3” x 28.3” x 46.1”
  • Seat Depth: 16.9”
  • Seat Width: 19.3”
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 18.5” to 20.5”
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 250 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 64.3 pounds

As we’ve been doing, when focusing in on the seat depth, the height adjustment range, and the maximum supported range, we can conclude that this chair isn’t targeted at the big and tall market, nor is it an especially good fit for shorter users. It’s aimed squarely at the middle of the market. Average sized people. If you fall into that segment of the market, you’ll find a lot to like.

It’s got all the features you’d expect in an office chair: Tilt and lock, recline to a maximum of 135 degrees and 360-degrees of swivel, but you also get a little something extra in the form of a pull-out ottoman!

There aren’t many office chairs that pull double duty as recliners but this is one of them, and the fact that you can use it in that way makes it an excellent choice for power users who spend tons of time in their office chairs, enabling you to stretch out and take a break when you need to, getting far more comfortable than most office chairs allow.

As cool as that is, though, this roundup review is focused on finding great ergonomic chairs, so the rest of our notes about this model will be focused squarely on that, and there’s quite a lot to talk about. The Smugdesk mesh recliner features all four of the major ergonomic features commonly found in the office furniture environment:

  • Lumbar support
  • Head and neck support
  • An ergonomically sculpted seat
  • Ergonomic armrests

Early on, we mentioned that there are two basic approaches furniture companies take when designing office furniture: Focus on a few features and implement them very well or offer everything and the kitchen sink in hopes of dazzling prospective buyers with a rich, diverse feature set.

While our top picks took the more focused approach, Smugdesk lives at the other end of the spectrum. While none of their ergonomic features are as well-implemented as those offered by our top contenders, they’re certainly good enough to provide genuine value.

Backrest Design of Smugdesk High Back Mesh Recliner

Of the four, the chair’s lumbar support is the best of the bunch, offering decent but less than stellar support. While you’re unable to adjust the tension, you can height adjust the lumbar support mechanism, which is a nice bit of customization you won’t find on a huge number of chairs on the market today.

The head and neck support is the weakest of the bunch. The headrest is height adjustable, which is good, but it’s not articulated, so the amount and flexibility of the support you get are limited.

While the armrests are ergonomically sculpted and quite comfortable, they’re not height adjustable which again limits their value somewhat, and the seat is another clear bright spot in the design, being, in our view, the second-best ergonomic feature of the chair. 

We applaud the company’s decision to use a sculpted seat rather than trying to work a waterfall-edge style into the design. Given the presence of the pull-out footrest, that would have been difficult, if not impossible, to implement well. Their decision clearly demonstrates their knowledge of the office furniture market.

Side View of Smugdesk High Back Mesh Recliner

Just so we’re clear on this point, none of these features are bad; they’re just not as well or as strongly implemented as the ergonomic aspects of the other models we’ve talked about to this point. Most of the time, when an off-brand tries to implement a whole raft of features, many of them wind up being so badly rendered that they’re practically useless. 

Smugdesk’s ability to handle them fairly well is proof positive that the company has some serious design chops. We’d love to see more of their work and see what they can do with a tighter focus. 

As it stands, though, this chair is a pleasant surprise. Unless you need superb lumbar support because you have chronic back pain, this one will almost certainly be good enough to serve you well.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that Smugdesk incorporated oversized casters into the design of their chair. It’s a small thing, but it was another detail that impressed us. 

Many office chairs use smallish casters that are fine for hardwood or other flat flooring surfaces but struggle on the carpet. The casters that come with this chair are great on just about any type of flooring except for the thickest and plushest carpet. Bravo. We’d love to see this become standard practice across the industry.

Finally, Smugdesk offers a surprisingly good warranty for an off-brand. With most smaller brands, you’re lucky to get a year. Smugdesk offers eighteen months and free component replacement for two years, which includes things like the levers and controls and the gas lift mechanism itself.

Features of Smugdesk High Back Mesh Recliner

Based on all of this, we feel certain that we’ll be seeing Smugdesk appearing in some of the other roundup reviews we do. They’re an interesting, up-and-coming company and this chair is an excellent example of their work.

We recommend it to any average-sized person and perhaps a few shorter folks who are looking for a robust, versatile ergonomic office chair that also pinch-hits as a decent recliner.

Best Ergonomic Office Chairs Under $300 Roundup 2024 Conclusion

So, what is the best ergonomic office chair under $300 in 2024? While we stand by our top picks in the two categories we outlined at the start, we understand that tastes and preferences vary, and because of that, our top picks may not align with yours, which is why we included the other models we compared against the ones we ultimately selected.

If you find yourself disagreeing with our top picks, here’s how we’d recommend finding the chair that is right for you:

  • Step 1 – Decide whether you’re more interested in a mesh chair, one with leather upholstery, or a fabric-clad office chair.
  • Step 2 – Take a few measurements to come to a firm understanding of what market segment you fit into. Are you a smaller user? Average sized, or big and tall? Depending on your answer, you’ll be looking out for chairs with markedly different dimensions.
  • Step 3 – Determine what kind of user you are. Are you looking for a chair for use for just a couple of hours a day? Are you a moderate user (3-4 hours a day)? Or are you a power user looking for a chair that can stand up to the demands of heavier use?
  • Step 4 – Is there one particular feature you value more than all the rest? For instance, if you suffer from chronic lower back pain, then exceptional lumbar support will probably be much more important than any other aspect of the chair. If aesthetics really matters to you, you’ll gravitate toward chairs that offer an interesting, unusual or striking appearance. Depending on your answer, you’ll be led down a path toward very different chairs.
  • Step 5 – Finally, consider your budget. This will help narrow your search, making it easier to find “The One.”

In any case, we feel certain that if you’re looking to spend three hundred dollars or less, your next office chair is lurking somewhere inside this roundup review!

Recommended Reading

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REFERENCES & RESOURCES

2 Comments

  1. Is there an ergonomic reclining office chair with a sturdy footrest that you can recommend to me?

    1. Chair Institute says:

      Hi Joe, and thanks for writing in!

      We’ve got a couple of different recommendations for you, depending on your tastes, preferences, and budget.

      First, if you’re looking for something with a minimalist aesthetic or are on a budget, the Hbada reclining office chair is a good choice: https://amzn.to/2ZFs42G

      While they’re not too well known in the US market, they’ve been in the business for a while and have a significantly larger footprint in the European market, which influences the chair’s styling. They make good products, and their reclining office chair is well priced.

      If you’re willing to spend a little more, and you’re not firmly wedded to the idea of a footrest (if an Ottoman will do nicely in its place), then the Ergohuman is the chair you want: https://amzn.to/2ZF71Jh

      There are lots of things we love about Ergohuman. First and foremost, although the model linked to above is mesh, they do make upholstered versions of their chairs. They’re also covered by a lifetime warranty and the best thing – the most compelling reason in our view to consider an Ergohuman is the fact that they offer an insane number of mods, customizations, and accessories, including an ergonomic Ottoman to pair with the chair.

      In our view, Ergohuman is one of the biggest hidden gems in the office furniture world today. Let us know what you think!

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