Best Office Chair for Big and Tall 2020

Chair Institute's 2020 Picks



Are you a bigger, taller person?  Have you been frustrated in your search to find the perfect office chair for you?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, you’re going to love this roundup review.

Let’s face it, if the office chair you’re using isn’t comfortable and isn’t built for you, you’re not going to be very productive.  It’s hard to get any work done if you’re constantly shifting uncomfortably in your seat, which is why finding the right office chair for you is so important.

We’ve scoured the internet on a quest to find the best office chair for big and tall people on the market today.  It’s a crowded market with some great contenders, but after much searching, we’ve narrowed the field and declared an overall winner.

In this piece, we’ll share the results of our research with you.  Before we do that, however, there’s one detail we need to share.  That detail revolves around upholstery.  Where office chairs are concerned, you’ve got three upholstery options: Fabric, Leather, or Mesh.

We’ve broken our results into two categories, listing the best leather and fabric-upholstered big and tall office chairs together, and creating a separate listing for mesh chairs.  We’ll have more to say about that in the section on our selection criteria, but for now, we’ll just say this:

While most people typically don’t have a strong preference for leather upholstery over fabric or vice versa and usually don’t mind switching between them, people who are looking for a good mesh chair usually aren’t interested in anything else.  As such, we’ve broken them out and given mesh chairs their own table in this report, so whatever your preferences are, we’ve got you covered.

Selection Criteria

To a big and tall user, standard office chairs can seem like little more than toys.  Given that, we had a few pretty specific things we were looking for when evaluating these chairs.  In particular, we gravitated toward chairs with the following characteristics:

Generous Weight Capacity and Sturdy Construction

Standard office chairs typically have a weight capacity in the range of 250 to 300 pounds.  We consider that to be the absolute floor limit, with more being better.  In addition to that, construction quality matters very much.  The materials used in construction don’t necessarily have to be top end (although that helps!), but they do have to be durable and ruggedized with good quality welds and high capacity and high-quality pistons to control height adjustment.

Seat Dimensions

Big and tall people need big and tall chairs.  At a minimum, we want to see a chair that can adjust to a height of at least 18” with more being better.  Granted, this will make these chairs unsuitable for use for a segment of the market, but that’s to be understood and is a necessary tradeoff to make a good chair for bigger folksThe current industry standard for big and tall chairs seems to be in the range of 18” to 22”.

In a similar vein, the best chairs in this category need to have high, wide seatbacks and wide, deep seats, with seat depths starting at 18” being an absolute necessity in our book.

Generously Padded & Highly Adjustable

Bigger people need more padding if the chair is going to be comfortable.  This is particularly important for people looking for a great office chair designed to be used for several hours at a stretch. 

In a similar vein, adjustability matters.  While this aspect of office chair design certainly isn’t unique to big and tall users, more adjustability is always better.  The more a chair has to offer on this front, the higher we tended to rate it.

Upholstery Options

Earlier, we mentioned the three upholstery options office chairs are available in.  People typically have a clear preference for one or the other, but typically, people will happily switch between fabric or leather.  Mesh, however, tends to be a different matter.

While leather upholstery looks nice, it has the disadvantage of not being very breathable, which means that if you sit in a leather chair for any length of time, you’re all but guaranteed to start to sweat.  Further, many leather chairs are upholstered in bonded leather.

Bonded leather is real leather, but it’s made from scraps that have been fused together.  This makes it less supple and less durable.  It doesn’t tend to stand up very well to the rigors of heavy daily use.

For this reason, although we’ve included leather and fabric-upholstered chairs in the same table above, fabric chairs tend to have a slight advantage where overall ranking score is concerned, simply because they’re more breathable and thus, better suited to the rigors of heavy daily use.

Mesh chairs tend to be somewhat less attractive than the others, but the material is incredibly durable and long lasting.  Even so, most people who are interested in mesh chairs aren’t interested in anything else, which is why we’ve broken them out into a separate category.

Best Office Chairs for Big and Tall People 2020 (Non-Mesh)

Overall Best Office Chairs for Big and Tall People (Non-Mesh) - Top Pick

Image of Steelcase Leap Plus for Big and Tall People Reviews

Steelcase Leap Plus

RATING

PRICE

$$$$$$ ½

PROS

Cutting edge chair filled with top-notch ergonomic features and offered by a legend in the industry.

CONS

Expensive. If you’re especially tall, the max. Seat height adjustment may not be quite enough for you. Measure carefully before committing to this purchase!

Our Verdict

Highly recommended, if you can afford it. It’s especially great for people who suffer from chronic back pain. The Steelcase Leap Plus is an amazing chair you’ll be proud to own.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Office Chairs for Big and Tall People (Non-Mesh) - 2nd Place

Image of Herman Miller Embody for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

Herman Miller Embody

RATING

PRICE

$$$$$$

PROS

Twelve-year warranty, adjustable everything, and superbly implanted ergonomic features melded with bleeding-edge design. Offered in a variety of colors.

CONS

This chair was designed to appeal to as broad a segment of the market as possible, so straddles the line between being useful for normal sized and big and tall folks. As such, if you are especially tall, the seat height, even at maximum extension, may not be enough for you. Expensive.

Our Verdict

Recommended for big and tall folk, but be sure to take careful measurements before you commit. Highly recommended for people who suffer from chronic back pain and need a chair well-suited for heavy daily use.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Office Chairs for Big and Tall People (Non-Mesh) - 3rd Place

Image of Serta Tranquility for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

Serta Tranquility

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

Incredibly comfortable. 10-year warranty. Exceptionally well-priced.

CONS

Not especially well-suited for heavy daily usage.

Our Verdict

Recommended for most users. It’s a good, well-rounded option offered by a company with an excellent reputation for quality.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Office Chairs for Big and Tall People (Non-Mesh) - 4th Place

Image of ErgoHuman High Back Swivel for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

ErgoHuman High Back Swivel

RATING

PRICE

$$$$

PROS

There are an almost unbelievable number of customization options for this chair. Lifetime warranty!

CONS

You’ll have to pay extra for the options above, and the chair is already rather expensive. On top of that, while its stats qualify it as a big and tall model, it only just makes the cut, meaning it may not be a good fit for every big and tall user. Available in a broad range of colors and upholstery options.

Our Verdict

Recommended for users who are interested in maximizing their color, upholstery, and seating options – if the chair’s dimensions work for you.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Office Chairs for Big and Tall People (Non-Mesh) - Honr. Mention

Image of Flash Furniture Herc 24/7 for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

Flash Furniture Herc 24/7

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

Incredibly low-priced, more comfortable than you might expect, and practically indestructible. Highest weight limit on our list.

CONS

Compared to most of the other chairs on this list, it’s not very feature rich, but it does have the basics well covered.

Our Verdict

An ideal chair for the biggest and tallest people in this segment of the market. This is a chair worthy of giants.

More Specifications...

Best Big & Tall Office Chair
(Non-Mesh)

Image of Steelcase Leap Plus for Big and Tall People Reviews

Steelcase Leap Plus

Image of Herman Miller Embody for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

Herman Miller Embody

Image of Serta Tranquility for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

Serta Tranquility

Image of ErgoHuman High Back Swivel for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

ErgoHuman High Back Swivel

Luraco i7 Chair

Honorable Mention

Image of Flash Furniture Herc 24/7 for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall Reviews

Flash Furniture Herc 24/7

Price

$$$$$$ ½

$$$$$$

$$

$$$$

$$

Rating

4.6

4.5

4.5

4.3

4.0

 Dimensions

24.8” x 27” x 43.5”

28” x 27” x 38.2”

33” x 28.2” x 46.25”

26.5” x 29” x 52”

28” x 31” x 51”

Chair Weight

48 pounds

51 pounds

57.6 pounds

64 pounds

66.6 pounds

Max. Supported Weight

500 pounds

300 pounds

400 pounds

350 pounds

500 pounds

Seat Width

19.25”

21”

21”

20.5”

22”

Seat Height

15.5” to 20.5”

16.5” to 22”

18” to 22”

18.5” to 22”

21.5” to 25.5”

Seat Depth

15.75” to 20.5”

15” to 18”

19”

18.5”

22”

Summary

An amazing, versatile chair brimming with cutting edge features.

A bleeding-edge, futuristic design, loaded with features you’ll love.

An exceptional, and exceptionally comfortable chair built with bigger, taller folks in mind.

A sturdy, capable design with a lifetime warranty and an insane amount of adjustability and customization options.

Good looking, rugged, and durable. This is a rock-solid office chair.

Pros

Cutting edge chair filled with top-notch ergonomic features and offered by a legend in the industry.

Twelve-year warranty, adjustable everything, and superbly implanted ergonomic features melded with bleeding-edge design. Offered in a variety of colors.

Incredibly comfortable. 10-year warranty. Exceptionally well-priced.

There are an almost unbelievable number of customization options for this chair. Lifetime warranty!

Incredibly low-priced, more comfortable than you might expect, and practically indestructible. Highest weight limit on our list.

Cons

Expensive. If you’re especially tall, the max. Seat height adjustment may not be quite enough for you. Measure carefully before committing to this purchase!

This chair was designed to appeal to as broad a segment of the market as possible, so straddles the line between being useful for normal sized and big and tall folks. As such, if you are especially tall, the seat height, even at maximum extension, may not be enough for you. Expensive.

Not especially well-suited for heavy daily usage.

You’ll have to pay extra for the options above, and the chair is already rather expensive. On top of that, while its stats qualify it as a big and tall model, it only just makes the cut, meaning it may not be a good fit for every big and tall user. Available in a broad range of colors and upholstery options.

Compared to most of the other chairs on this list, it’s not very feature rich, but it does have the basics well covered.

Our Verdict

Highly recommended, if you can afford it. It’s especially great for people who suffer from chronic back pain. The Steelcase Leap Plus is an amazing chair you’ll be proud to own.

Recommended for big and tall folk, but be sure to take careful measurements before you commit. Highly recommended for people who suffer from chronic back pain and need a chair well-suited for heavy daily use.

Recommended for most users. It’s a good, well-rounded option offered by a company with an excellent reputation for quality.

Recommended for users who are interested in maximizing their color, upholstery, and seating options – if the chair’s dimensions work for you.

An ideal chair for the biggest and tallest people in this segment of the market. This is a chair worthy of giants.

*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 or office 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.

Top 6 Office Chairs for Big and Tall People (Non-Mesh)

Steelcase Leap Plus Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.6

Summary

The Steelcase Leap Plus is an amazing, versatile chair brimming with cutting edge features. Recommended for anyone, but especially people who suffer from chronic back pain.

Overview

According to information published by the company about the Steelcase Leap, every design decision made during the creation of this chair was informed by the following four pillars:

  • The human spine does not move as a single unit.
  • Each person’s spinal motion is unique.
  • Each person’s upper and lower back require different types and amounts of support.
  • And each person’s vision and reach have an impact on their posture.

Steelcase is a legendary company in the industry to begin with, and given that this model was based around the guiding principles and key discoveries described above, it should come as no surprise that this chair was our top pick as the best big and tall office chair on the market today.

A quick note before we get into the specifics of the Leap Plus:  The company Leap product line contains a number of different products, so if you’re not big or tall, know that Steelcase makes a comparable chair for you that contains most of the features offered by this model.

Having said that, let’s take a closer look at our winner, starting with a review of the basic stats that define it:

  • The seat depth is adjustable in a range between 15.75” to 20.5”
  • The seat height is adjustable in a range between 15.5” to 20.5”
  • The seat width is 19.25”
  • And it supports an impressive 500 pounds of user weight
Seat Depth

While the smallest setting of the seat depth is quite far from being suitable to the big and tall market, this is one of the few office chairs being sold today that allow you to modify the seat width on the fly.  At maximum extension, it has a quite respectable 20.5” depth, which is outstanding.

Seat Height Adjustment

The same thing holds true for the seat height adjustment range.  While most big and tall chairs gravitate toward an 18” to 22” height adjustment range, the Leap Plus takes a different approach, starting at 15.5” and going to 20.5.” 

Left Upper View of Steelcase Leap Plus Task Chair

This puts it comfortably within the big and tall range, although it’s certainly not hard to find a chair that offers more on this front.

This has advantages and disadvantages.  On the one hand, the Leap Plus’s height adjustment range makes the chair more useful and accessible to a wider band of the market.  That’s a good thing if you’re buying an office chair for a home where several different people will ultimately be using it.

On the other hand, though, if you’re especially tall, even at its maximum height, this chair may not work for you.  Here, it’s important to take careful measurements before you buy.  After all, this is an expensive piece of equipment.  You want to be sure it will work for you before you spend that kind of money.

Seat Width

The seat width is one of the few elements of the Leap that can’t be adjusted, but at 19.25” it sits comfortably within the range we like to see for a big and tall chair, which brings us to the maximum supported weight.

The only other chair on our list that supports as much weight as the Leap Plus is the Flash Furniture Hercules, so where supported weight is concerned, the Leap has just about everybody in the big and tall market covered.

Of course, a good office chair is more than just the sum of its dimensions, and we’ll talk about the Leap Plus’s features next.

Features Galore

LiveBack

There’s a lot to like here, with one of the most powerful features being a proprietary technology that Steelcase calls “Liveback.”  The seat is made up of a series of slats.  When you sit in it, and your back begins to put pressure on the seatback, each slat will give depending on how much pressure you’re back is exerting on it.

The theory is delightfully simple, but it has a powerful impact, allowing the seatback to custom-conform to the shape of your body, providing optimal support along the length of your spine.

In our book, this feature alone makes the chair worth its hefty price tag, especially if you suffer from chronic back pain.  Back pain comes in all shapes and sizes, but most chairs offer a one size fits all ergonomic solution that will wind up leaving you feeling underwhelmed. Maybe the company’s ergonomic features will help you, and maybe they won’t.

You don’t have to worry when you own a Leap Plus.  The seat back will provide exactly the support you need, no matter where your back pain stems from.

Lumbar Support

The second big innovation takes the form of Leap Plus’s lumbar support system.  You’ll find a simple dial on the back of the chair.  Adjusting the position of the lumbar support is as simple as turning the dial, which allows you to make quick and easy adjustments on the fly until it’s exactly where you want it.

Front Upper View of Steelcase Leap Plus Task Chair
Tension and Support Control

Third, the chair offers not one, but two different dials you can use to tweak the amount of tension and support the seatback provides.  One dial controls the tension in the upper portion of the seatback, and the other dial controls the tension and support level for the lower portion.

Again, this builds on the idea that everybody is different and one part of your back may require more support than the rest. Giving you the ability to fine-tune the level of support you’re getting for your upper and lower back is huge and has tremendous therapeutic value.  If you suffer from chronic back pain, you may currently find it virtually impossible to spend more than short periods in a conventional office chair. The Leap Plus can literally redefine your ability to work productively in those cases. That’s huge.

Recline Angle

Finally, the angle of recline is also controlled via a simple dial, allowing you to select any angle between 90 and 120 degrees. Simply dial in the position you want and lean back.  That’s all there is to it.

Upholstery & Finishing Options

You’ve got three choice where upholstery is concerned:

  • Standard (a very breathable material that’s technically fabric, but that does share some characteristics with mesh).
  • 3D knitted fabric
  • Or sewn fabric

In general, the standard upholstery option is the most breathable of the lot, making it the best suited for long duration sitting, with the others getting progressively less breathable, but still quite good.  In practice, we found the differences between the three to be minimal, but your mileage may vary.

Color Options

In addition to choosing your upholstery of choice, all variants of the Leap are available in a modest number of colors, including:

  • Black
  • Burgundy
  • Alpine
  • Blue
  • Cyan
  • Gray
  • Sable
  • Camel
  • Coconut
  • Graphite
  • Nickel
  • Navy
Left Image View of Steelcase Leap Plus Task Chair

In addition to that, when you order your Leap, you can select from a few different finishing options which provide accent colors on the base and anywhere else the fabric doesn’t cover.  These include:

  • Black
  • Platinum
  • Midnight
  • Polished Aluminum

Extras 

Finally, Steelcase offers a few different options and extras for their chairs, allowing you to further customize and personalize yours.  The most popular of these is the Steelcase Ottoman, which you can use as an impromptu workspace when you’re not propping your feet up.

They also sell an optional headrest which addresses the one shortcoming of the design, which is the lack of head and neck support.  Granted, you’ll have to pay extra to acquire these goodies, but you end up with exactly the chair you want.

Minimal Assembly Required

It gets better!  Unlike many office chairs being sold today, the Leap comes mostly assembled.  It might take you ten minutes to get the chair ready for first use when it arrives at your house, which is a nice touch.  No need to spend upwards of an hour struggling with getting the thing put together!

If none of the above is enough to convince you that this is the best chair on the market today, there’s also the fact that it’s made from 95% recycled materials, which makes it a great “green” option!

Honestly, the only negative we can find where the Leap is concerned is the fact that it’s expensive, but you get what you pay for.  It’s an amazing chair, especially if you suffer from chronic back pain.  Even if you don’t, buying one can help minimize the risk of back problems developing, given its rock-solid ergonomic support.

Where the big and tall market, in particular, is concerned, the only potential wrinkle is the fact that the height adjustment range isn’t quite as robust as you’ll find in other big and tall chairs.  That may be a deal breaker especially for tall users, so you’ll want to take careful measurements before committing to the purchase. 

We can’t recommend this chair highly enough.  It is well deserving of top honors in this roundup review.  It’s not only the best ergonomic office chair for big and tall people, it’s one of the best office chairs on the market, period.


Herman Miller Embody Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.5

Summary

The Herman Miller Embody is a bleeding-edge, futuristic design, loaded with features you’ll love. Recommended for anyone, but especially people who spend several hours of each day working from their office chair.

Overview

Herman Miller is one of the best companies operating in the industry today, known for making durable, long-lasting office chairs that constantly push the envelope.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more innovative company in this industry.  While their products are expensive, this is definitely a case of getting what you pay for.

play

The Herman Miller Embody was designed with power users in mind. So, if you’re a gamer or if you work from home or have an office job that sees you spending long hours at a stretch sitting in your chair, this model was designed with you specifically in mind.

Starting with aesthetics, the Embody has a decidedly futuristic flair that may not appeal to everyone. And in fairness, it does make it somewhat difficult for this design to blend seamlessly with some home décor schemes, although it typically has an easier time blending into office environments.

If you find the aesthetic appealing, then you’re sure to love just about every other aspect of the chair.

Chair Specifications

In terms of basic statistics, here’s a quick review from the summary table:

Left Image View of Herman Miller Embody Chair
  • Overall Dimensions: 28” x 27” x 38.2”
  • Seat Width: 21”
  • Seat Depth: 15” to 18”
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 16.5” to 22”
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
  • Chair Weight: 51 pounds

There are several things to talk about here, some good, and some not so good for big and tall folks.

On the good side, check out the height adjustment range!  Although 16” is well below the seat height we like to see in a big and tall chair, it extends all the way up to 22,” which means that this chair appeals to an incredibly broad swath of the market that includes average sized folks as well.  The seat width is also splendidly suited to the big and tall market.

A Few Things to Consider

There are two potential issues that big and tall users might have with this model, however.  First, the weight limit of 300 pounds is adequate but far from exceptional.  In fact, we consider 300 pounds to be the starting point for a big and tall chair.  The Embody makes the cut, but only just.

Second, the maximum seat depth is just 18”.  Again, this is what we’d consider to be the minimum threshold for a chair designed for the big and tall market. 

Of interest though, note that the seat depth is customizable.  You can compress it down to a seat depth as small as 15”.  Again, this makes the Embody a great chair for a household where you’ll have a number of different users of a variety of shapes and sizes, while still managing to meet the criteria for big and tall users.

That brings us to what is, in our view, the single most impressive thing about this chair.  Virtually every aspect of it is adjustable.  You can adjust:

  • The height of the seat
  • The depth of the seat
  • The tilt tension, which controls the amount of resistance you feel when you lean back in the chair
  • The tilt limiter, which allows you to set the maximum angle of recline in a range between 90 and 135 degrees
  • The height of the arm rests, which may be adjusted independently
  • The “Backfit” which allows you to set the chair to have either a flat back or to allow more play in the seat back, allowing it to adjust to the natural curve of your body’s spine, at your preference
  • The width of the arms, which may be adjusted independently.  Note that you can also pivot the chair arms, but they do not slide backward and forward
Back Side View of Herman Miller Embody Chair

In addition to the extreme amount of adjustability this model brings to the table, it’s got two other design features that you just won’t find in other chairs currently sold today.

Unique Design Features

First, there’s the seat design.  Although the Embody only offers a modest amount of padding compared to the other chairs on our list of finalists, it’s much more comfortable than you might think because the seat itself is articulated, so its shape adjusts to the shape of your body as you move and shift position in the chair.  It’s a brilliant bit of design that makes the chair a delight to sit in, even for extended periods.

Second is the fact that the Embody has its own spine.  Looking at the back of the chair, you’ll find a series of articulated “vertebrae” which provides dynamic support.  It is this feature which allows the seatback to mold to you, following the natural curve of your body’s spine.  Again, this is brilliant, and exactly the sort of innovation that has made Herman Miller such a force in the industry.

Finish Options

Next, let’s talk about the Embody’s upholstery.  This is yet another feature that underscores the uniqueness of this design. There’s nothing about the Embody that is standard.  

Balance Fabric Upholstery Image of Herman Miller Embody Chair
Upholstery

When you order your chair, you can select from two different fabric types for the upholstery:

  • Balance Fabric
  • Rhythm Fabric

Both fabric options are futuristic, combining traits of both traditional fabric and mesh, but the fundamental difference is this:  The Rhythm fabric tends to be more breathable, and as such, tends to be better suited to long duration sitting, adding to the chair’s comfort.  The Balance fabric provides a bit of additional padding, which makes it the better choice for short to medium duration sitting.

Colors

If you order Balance fabric, you can choose from four different colors (Berry Blue, Black, Carbon, or Iris).

If you order Rhythm Fabric, you have a slightly expanded color palette to choose from:

  • Berry Blue
  • Black
  • Charcoal
  • Mink
  • Mulberry
  • Or Twilight
Minimal Assembly Required

Another cool thing about the Embody is the fact that when you order one, it will arrive at your door mostly assembled.  Sure, there are a few bits you’ll need to finish up on your own, but this process is quick and painless and can be done solo in a matter of minutes.  It will probably take you at least as long to get the chair out of the box as it will to get it set up and ready for first use.

Having said that, you will need to go through a period of familiarization and customization.  Since so many aspects of the Embody can be tweaked and adjusted, finding the perfect settings for you and how you use the chair can take some time. The exact amount will vary from one person to the next, of course, but every improvement you make as you optimize the settings for you, the more deeply you’ll fall in love with it.

In the final analysis, the Herman Miller Embody is simply a masterpiece, representing the bleeding edge of office furniture design.  Given that, and its impressive twelve-year warranty, we highly recommend this model.

The only reason this chair didn’t win top honors in this Roundup Report is the fact that since it’s designed to appeal to such a broad swath of the total market, in a few dimensions, it only barely meets our requirements as a big and tall chair. The fact that it claimed a second-place spot in spite of that fact speaks volumes about its overall quality and utility. 

Rhythm Fabric Upholstery Image of Herman Miller Embody Chair

Truly a great chair, and one of the best office chairs for big guys who are also power users.


Serta Tranquility Office Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.5

Summary

The Serta Tranquility is an exceptional, and exceptionally comfortable chair built with bigger, taller folks in mind. Recommended for big and tall folks weighing up to four hundred pounds who need a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Overview

Few companies know more about comfort than Serta.  Granted, they’re best known for their mattresses, but they have put those skills to good use in designing office chairs and other types of furnishings.  The Tranquility is an excellent example of their work.

Size & Specifications

A quick review of the chair’s basic stats reveals that the Tranquility is well-suited to the big and tall market, with a seat width of 21” and a height adjustment range that starts at 18” and extends to 22,” which is perfectly acceptable, and a slightly underwhelming seat depth of 19,” which exceeds our minimum threshold for a good big and tall chair, but not by much.

Max Supported Weight

In addition to that, the Tranquility supports up to 400 pounds of user weight.  While there are other chairs on our list of finalists that can support more weight, this is a generous number that makes the chair a good fit for a broad swath of the big and tall market.

Comfort

The raw stats, however, only tell part of the story.  The Serta Tranquility is easily the most comfortable chair on our list of finalists.  If comfort is what matters most to you, then this one is going to be hard to beat.

Right Image View of Serta Tranquility Office Chair

While the overwhelming majority of office chairs use standard block foam for padding, the Tranquility takes things to a whole different level, utilizing a comprehensive comfort system composed of five different layers of padding, which we’ll outline in detail:

  • Layer One: occupies most of the surface area of the seat. In the place of block foam, Serta uses a proprietary poly-fiber which provides about the same level of comfort as block foam but has the advantage of added flexibility.
  • Layer Two: is memory foam, which rests beneath the poly-foam.
  • Layer Three: is a dense block foam that supports the memory foam.
  • Layer Four: is focused on the seat edge where your legs rest. Here, you’ll find a double layer of the dense block foam which provides added support, while Layer Five consists of comfort coils that are not unlike the springs you find in mattresses.

It could even be argued that there’s a sixth layer of comfort technology in place here because all of these rest in a padded comfort cradle.

In short, the Serta Tranquility is hands-down the most comfortable chair on this list.  It doesn’t sport the suite of cutting-edge ergonomic features of our top picks, but again, if comfort is what you’re looking for, nothing else comes close.

Ergonomic Features

Despite not having the latest and greatest in ergonomic features, the Tranquility does have a suite of well-designed, well-implemented standard ergonomic features, including:

  • A waterfall-edge style seat which helps improve blood flow and circulation in your legs.
  • Ergonomically designed, padded armrests.
  • Excellent head and neck support.
  • And excellent lumbar support.
Armrests

Of these, the weakest link are the armrests. While they are well-padded and comfortable, they’re not adjustable in any way. That’s certainly not a deal breaker, but it does mean that as an ergonomic feature, the armrests are just not as well-implemented as the others in the set.

Lumbar Support

On the flip side, the chair’s lumbar support is its best ergonomic feature.  The company utilizes a proprietary design they call “Pivoting Air Lumbar Support,” which provides dynamic lumbar support that’s superior to the static support bar or pads used by many other chairs and helps to increase breathability.

Bonded Leather

The note about breathability is important because this chair is upholstered in bonded leather, which means it’s not very breathable.  If you spend any length of time sitting in it, you’ll start to get hot.  Your back will sweat.

Mesh Pockets

Serta has taken steps to improve the breathability, however.  They incorporated mesh side pockets in both the seat and the seat back, which definitely make a difference.  Even so, fabric-upholstered chairs still beat it out on the breathability front.  Still, we have to say, this is the most breathable leather-clad chair we’ve ever seen.  Kudos to Serta!

Front Image View of Serta Tranquility Office Chair

On the flip side, there’s the matter of the bonded leather itself.  As we mentioned in earlier sections, bonded leather is real leather, but it’s composed of scraps that have been fused together, which makes it somewhat weaker and less supple than grain leather.  It just doesn’t stand up well to the rigors of heavy daily use.

Does Not Come Assembled

As with most office furniture, the Serta Tranquility doesn’t come assembled.  It will arrive at your home in a large box and in several pieces.  Production values are high, and the assembly instructions are quite clear, but this is a big piece of furniture and assembling it solo will take the better part of an hour and present you with a number of challenges.

Back View Image of Serta Tranquility Office Chair

The hardest part about putting the chair together on your own will be attaching the arms to both the seat and seat back and getting the seat and seat back connected.  Once you overcome those hurdles, the rest is easy.  If you have a pair of helping hands, you’ll probably cut the assembly time in half.

Overall then, our view is that this is a solid chair and well worth considering.  It’s offered at a delightfully low price, supports an impressive 400 pounds of user weight, and comes with an impressive ten-year warranty that unfortunately does not extend to the chair’s upholstery.

Given the relative weakness of the upholstery, we recommend this model to anyone looking for a big and tall office chair for light to moderate daily use.  We highly recommend it for anyone whose primary concern is a comfortable seating experience.  In that regard, the Tranquility is heads and shoulders above the rest.  It’s the most comfortable big and tall office chair we’ve seen to date.


ErgoHuman High Back Swivel Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.3

Summary

The ErgoHuman High Back Swivel Chair is a sturdy, capable design with a lifetime warranty and an insane amount of adjustability and customization options. Recommended for anyone. This is a solid chair by any reckoning.

Overview

There’s no denying that this is a great chair that has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, as you’ll see below, it’s got a couple of shortcomings that kept it from ranking more highly on our list of finalists. It’s important to bear those things in mind when deciding for yourself if this is the right chair for you.

Chair Specifications

Let’s start with the chair’s basic statistics, which brings its three less-than-awesome features right to the fore. The seat width is good at 20.5” but falls short of being exceptional, and the seat depth of 18.5” only barely qualifies as big and tall in our view, which is a bit underwhelming in our view.

Left Image View of ErgoHuman High Back Swivel Chair
Max Supported Weight

In a similar vein, the chair’s maximum weight limit clocks in at 350 pounds which isn’t bad but does reside at the lower end of what we’d like to see in a big and tall chair.

Seat Height

Those few underwhelming aspects of the design aside though, this is a great chair, and everything else about it is amazing. The seat height range is quite good, starting at 18” and going up to 22”, making it well suited to a broad swath of the big and tall market, although the very tallest of users might want a bit more on that front.

Extras and Add-ons

Hands down, the best and coolest feature this chair brings to the table is the fact that ErgoHuman sells a variety of extras and add-ons that allow you to customize your seating experience in ways that just aren’t possible with any other chair on the market.

This is the reason we included the link to the company’s website because the extras and add-ons aren’t typically offered on third party vendor sites. If you want them, you’ll have to buy direct from the company, and those additions will add to the already hefty price of the chair.  Even so, depending on how you plan to use the chair, they’re well worth the added investment.

Standalone Ottoman

While there are a variety of options to choose from, the most popular are the matching, standalone ottoman which is designed in such a way that it could serve as a low work table if you wanted it to, and the articulated arm.

Articulated Arm

This is an impressive innovation.  The arm can be attached to either chair arm and supports a level platform that’s big enough to hold a full-sized laptop, allowing you to work just about anywhere.

Upholstery

In addition to that, this chair is offered in fabric upholstery, grain leather (which is significantly better and more durable than bonded leather), or mesh, at your option.  You can also select from a variety of color finishes, with the exact color options varying depending on the type of upholstery you select.

Ergonomics

It gets even better though.  The ErgoHuman is no slouch where its ergonomic features and ‘extras’ are concerned.  Ergonomically, you’ll find an excellent, adjustable lumbar support, a waterfall-edge style seat design that improves the circulation in your legs and makes this model exceptional for long stings of sitting, and a fully articulated headrest for excellent head and neck support.

Lumbar Support

The great thing about the lumbar support is that it can be adjusted to taste without changing the way the rest of the seat back feels because the seat back is broken into an upper and lower segment.

Recliner Angle of ErgoHuman High Back Swivel Chair

That’s awesome, but ErgoHuman’s implementation doesn’t give you the same kind of whole back support that a chair like the Leap Plus offers. Even so, you’ll like the chair's lumbar support system, especially if you suffer from chronic lower back pain.

Armrests

Turning our attention to the armrests, we find that although they are not ergonomically designed, they are height adjustable, and on top of that, they swivel in and out by up to 45 degrees.

Lifetime Warranty

Clearly, the designers put a lot of thought into the chair, and it is unique among our finalists in terms of sheer flexibility. There’s nothing else that even comes close. You can order exactly the chair you want, optimized for how you plan to use it and get it in a variety of colors. Best of all, ErgoHuman offers a lifetime warranty on their products, so if the dimensions of this model work for you, this is literally the last office chair you’ll ever need to buy.

Stylish Design of ErgoHuman High Back Swivel Chair
Easy Assembly

The only other thing to mention here is the fact that if you decide this is the chair for you, it will arrive at your door unassembled and in several large pieces. Fortunately, the assembly instructions are clear, and the production quality is exceptional, both of which combine to make the process of putting it together pretty straightforward.

If you’re assembling the chair solo, expect it to take about 35 minutes, with the only real tricky part being attaching the seat to the seat back which is made slightly easier by virtue of the fact that the seat back comes in two separate pieces, with the bottom-most section dedicated to lumbar support.

If you have a trusty assistant to lend a hand, you’ll find the seat to seatback attachment to be significantly easier, and it will probably shave ten to fifteen minutes off the total assembly time.

Overall then, we provisionally recommend the chair, noting that the relatively modest weight limit (by big and tall standards) and the underwhelming seat depth may make it unsuitable for some segments of the big and tall market. If the dimensions work for you, however, and you love customization options, this is an amazing chair you’ll be proud to own.


Flash Furniture Hercules 24/7 High Backed Office Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.0

Summary

The Hercules 24/7 High Backed Office Chair is good looking, rugged, and durable. This is a rock-solid office chair. Recommended for anyone who spends several hours a day in their chair. This thing is virtually indestructible.

Overview

Flash Furniture is an off-brand so it wouldn’t be surprising if you hadn’t heard of them before. As an off-brand though, Flash is in a class by itself. They make incredibly good furniture, offered at amazingly low prices, which is why their products are so commonly featured right alongside much larger and better-established brands.

The company’s Hercules lineup of furniture was specifically designed for high volume call center use. These chairs were intended to be used by multiple shifts operating twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As such, Flash pulled out all the stops here, constructing these chairs with durable, heavy duty materials and providing copious amounts of padding.

Front Image View of Flash Furniture’s Hercules 24/7 High Backed Office Chair

While this model is a reasonably attractive design, the company played it safe here, opting for a conventional, if oversized aesthetic. The good news about that is the fact that this chair is delightfully unobtrusive which means it will blend in seamlessly with almost any home décor scheme.

The Hercules 24/7 also has the distinction of supporting more user weight than any other chair on our list, mostly owing to the fact that the design team made it a point to use heavy gauge steel in the base and heavy-duty components elsewhere, which combine to make the chair virtually indestructible. It also has the unavoidable side effect of making this an incredibly heavy piece of furniture for an office chair!

Although the padding is conventional block foam, there’s a lot of it, with the one exception being the armrests. Although they are padded like the rest of the chair, that’s the one area where the padding is a bit on the skimpy side. Certainly not a deal breaker, but something to make a note of.

The armrests are ergonomically designed, the chair offers decent ergonomic support in the headrest and also features a good-quality lumbar support. Unfortunately, the lumbar support is not adjustable in any way. While this is another limitation of the design, for most people, it won’t be a deal breaker.

It gets better though. This chair offers an incredibly wide, deep seat and has a massive height adjustment range that starts at 21.5” and extends to 25.5.” That, combined with its incredible maximum supported weight makes this chair an ideal choice for the biggest and the big, and the tallest of the tall.

Since the overwhelming majority of home users aren’t going to be using this office chair anywhere close to 24/7 (which again, is what it was specifically designed for), you’ll find it to be delightfully durable and long lasting, capable of dealing with just about anything you can dish out.

The chair does not come assembled, and owing to its size and weight, putting it together without help can be a bit of a frustrating, time consuming process. If you have to do it solo, expect it to take the better part of an hour. With an extra pair of hands, you can probably cut that time to about thirty minutes, and once you’ve got it assembled, about the only thing you’ll have to do is periodically re-tighten the arms using the included Allen Wrenches.

While many of the other chairs on our list of finalists feature cutting-edge ergonomic features and are much more adjustable, it’s hard to beat this model in terms of price, durability and basic functionality.

If you don’t have a ton of money to spend and want a rock-solid chair, this one belongs on your short list and is well deserving of the “Best Value” award we gave it. Highly recommended. It’s quite possibly the best heavy-duty office chair on the market today.

Right Side View of Flash Furniture’s Hercules 24/7 High Backed Office Chair

Note: Although this chair is upholstered in fabric, you can also order a (bonded) leather-clad version. In our opinion, doing so would make this chair less well-suited to heavy daily usage, but if you prefer leather, you have that option here.


AmazonBasics Big and Tall Executive Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.0

Summary

The Amazon Basics Big and Tall is a great option for people on a budget, struggling to find a good big and tall chair that will fit them. Recommended for anyone on a budget, looking for a low-priced leather-upholstered chair.

Overview

The reason we’re including this chair at the end of this section of our review is that it tied with our honorable mention and best value item, scoring exactly the same.

Given that the two chairs scored the same overall, and the fact that Amazon is such a respected company, we didn’t feel our review would be complete if we didn’t give this model a short mention.

In our view, although this model ranks identically with Flash Furniture’s Hercules 24/7, it’s not quite as good as a big and tall chair for reasons we’ll get into below.

First, let’s take a quick look at the basic stats that define the chair:

Front Image View of Amazon Basics Big and Tall Executive Chair
  • Overall Dimensions: 27.25” x 29.5” x 47”
  • Maximum Weight Supported: 350 pounds
  • Seat Depth: 22”
  • Seat Width: 21”
  • Chair Weight: 44.1 pounds
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 18.75” to 22.25”

As you can see, in many ways, this chair is well-suited to the big and tall market it serves, although its height adjustment range isn’t quite as impressive as the Flash Furniture offering. It should be noted, however, that unless you’re exceptionally tall, you don’t necessarily need the full height extension of the Flash Furniture chair.

Also, note that the seat isn’t quite as wide as the chair we just talked about, but the difference is only a single inch, which won’t be a deal breaker for most people.

Unfortunately, this chair only supports a maximum of 350 pounds of user weight, which qualifies this as a big and tall chair based on the selection criteria we talked about earlier, but it’s definitely in the lower end of that spectrum, which means this chair won’t work for people at the top end of the big and tall segment of the market. We prefer seeing big and tall office chairs that support 400 lbs. or more, but those are surprisingly rare.

That one shortcoming aside, however, it’s an unmistakably solid design that is surprisingly full-featured. In our view, the chair’s biggest selling point is the fact that its excellent lumbar support system is height adjustable, allowing you to customize your seating experience for optimal comfort and ergonomic support.

In addition to that, it features excellent head and neck support with a well-designed headrest. The chair arms aren’t adjustable in any way, but they are generously padded. Unfortunately, although the seat seems to have been inspired by the waterfall design, it falls short of being a true waterfall-style seat, which limits its ergonomic use on that front.

There are two reasons this model didn’t make our list of finalists, with the first being its relatively low weight limit for a big and tall chair. Given that it was competing directly with a chair that offers nearly double that amount, it was hard to justify its inclusion on our short list.

The second reason though has to do with the chair’s upholstery. It’s cladded in bonded leather, which as we talked about earlier, is certainly attractive, but not as well suited to, or able to stand up to the rigors of heavy daily usage.

Given both of those, we simply felt the chair offered by Flash Furniture was the better choice, but at the same time, Amazon is such a well-respected company that we didn’t feel this section of our review would have been complete without giving it at least a brief mention. It’s the best office chair for big and tall men who are looking for a good leather upholstery option. We provisionally recommend it.

Side Image View of Amazon Basics Big and Tall Executive Chair


Best Mesh Office Chairs for Big and Tall 2020 

Overall Best Mesh Office Chairs for Big and Tall - Top Pick

Small Image View of Herman Miller Aeron for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall

Herman Miller Aeron

RATING

PRICE

$$$$$$

PROS

This is one of the oldest, most time-tested office chair designs on the market today, offered by a giant in the office furniture industry.

CONS

In some dimensions, it only barely qualifies as a big and tall chair, which means it may not be appropriate for the biggest of the big and the tallest of the tall.

Our Verdict

Honestly, this is the best big and tall ergonomic office chair being sold today. Highly recommended, IF its dimensions are a good fit for yours.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Mesh Office Chairs for Big and Tall - 2nd Place

Small Image View of Ergohuman Executive Chair for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall

Ergohuman Executive Chair

RATING

PRICE

$$$$

PROS

There are an almost unbelievable number of customization options for this chair. Lifetime warranty!

CONS

You’ll have to pay extra for the options above, and the chair is already rather expensive. On top of that, while its stats qualify it as a big and tall model, it only just makes the cut, meaning it may not be a good fit for every big and tall user. Available in a broad range of colors and upholstery options.

Our Verdict

Recommended for users who are interested in maximizing their color, upholstery, and seating options – if the chair’s dimensions work for you.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Mesh Office Chairs for Big and Tall - 3rd Place

Small Image View of Amazon Basics Big & Tall Mesh

Amazon Basics Big & Tall Mesh

RATING

PRICE

$$

PROS

Impressive seat width. Independently height adjustable arm rests. Excellent, adjustable ergonomic support. Offered for a song by a great company.

CONS

Bare bones. While there are a few notable features, this chair doesn’t do much more than cover the basics.

Our Verdict

If you’re struggling to find a chair that’s wide enough for you, and you don’t have a lot of money to spend, this is a great option. Recommended.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Mesh Office Chairs for Big and Tall - 4th Place

Small Image View of Flash Furniture Hercules Mesh for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall

Flash Furniture Hercules Mesh

RATING

PRICE

$$ ½

PROS

Tremendous weight limit paired with well-implemented basic ergonomic features, offered at an almost shockingly low price.

CONS

No cutting-edge features.

Our Verdict

This chair basically picks up where Amazon’s chair leaves off where height is concerned. If the Amazon chair isn’t big enough for you, this one almost certainly will be! Recommended.

More Specifications...

Overall Best Mesh Office Chairs for Big and Tall - Honr. Mention

Small Image View of Flash Furniture Hercules Mesh for Best Office Chair for Big and Tall

Flash Furniture Hercules Task

RATING