Best Office Chair for Sciatica 2021

Let’s take a high-level view of the short list of chairs we considered for the best office chair for sciatica pain.

Best Office Chair for Sciatic Nerve Pain 2021 Comparison Table

Best Office Chairs for Sciatica 2021

Small Image View of Steelcase Leap

Steelcase Leap

Small Image View of Herman Miller Embody

Herman Miller Embody

Small Image View of Herman Miller Aeron

Herman Miller Aeron

Small Image View of Ergohuman High Back

Ergohuman High Back

Small Image View of GM Seating Ergolux

GM Seating Ergolux

Luraco i7 Chair

Price

$$$$

$$$$$

$$$$$

$$$

$$$$ ½

Our Rating

4.68

4.56

4.50

4.31

4.0

Product Dimensions

24.8” x 27” x 43.5”

28” x 27” x 38.2”

28.2” x 28.2” x 43”

26.5” x 29” x 46” to 52”

30” x 28” x 40.75” to 46.5”

Chair Weight

48 pounds

51 pounds

43 pounds

64 pounds

45 pounds

Max Supported Weight

300 pounds
Steelcase Plus supports up to 500 pounds

300 pounds

325 pounds

350 pounds

250 pounds

Seat Height Adjustment Range

15.5” to 20.5”
Plus is identical here

16.5” to 22”

16” to 20.5”
A: range is 14.75” to 19”
C: range is 16” to 20.5”

18.5” to 22”

18.9” to 23.25”

Recline Range

90 to 120 degrees

90 to 135 degrees

90 to 135 degrees

90 to 135 degrees

90 to 135 degrees

Pros

Arguably the most adjustable, customizable chair on the market today. Also offered in a range of color and upholstery options with extras available!

Optimized for gamers and other power users. Highly adjustable and offered in a modest selection of colors and upholstery options.

Herman Miller’s original flagship office chair. A venerable model kept lovingly up to date with all the latest ergonomic technology.

Lifetime warranty, articulated, ergonomic headrest, waterfall edge style seat, adjustable lumbar support, and more extras and enhancement than any other office chair we’ve ever seen.

Stylish, attractive, highly adjustable, and loaded with high quality ergonomic features.

Cons

Pricey.

The aesthetic might be off-putting to some.

Pricey.

It’s all mesh. That, combined with its slightly futuristic look may be off-putting to some.

Pricey.

Our Verdict

Recommended without reservation. In our view, this is the best office chair on the market today.

Recommended, provided you’re a fan of the chair’s vaguely futuristic aesthetic.

Recommended. If the Leap isn’t a good fit for you for any reason, this is a good alternative.

Recommended, especially to those who love add-ons and extras!

Recommended for light to moderate daily use, especially if none of the other top contenders will work for you for any reason.

Best Office Chair for Sciatica - Top Pick

Small Image View of Steelcase Leap

Steelcase Leap

OUR RATING

OUR VERDICT

Recommended without reservation. In our view, this is the best office chair on the market today.

PROS

Arguably the most adjustable, customizable chair on the market today. Also offered in a range of color and upholstery options with extras available!

CONS

Pricey.

More Specifications...

Best Office Chair for Sciatica - 2nd Pick

Small Image View of Herman Miller Embody

Herman Miller Embody

OUR RATING

OUR VERDICT

Recommended, provided you’re a fan of the chair’s vaguely futuristic aesthetic.

PROS

Optimized for gamers and other power users. Highly adjustable and offered in a modest selection of colors and upholstery options.

CONS

The aesthetic might be off-putting to some.

More Specifications...

Best Office Chair for Sciatica - 3rd Pick

Small Image View of Herman Miller Aeron

Herman Miller Aeron

OUR RATING

OUR VERDICT

Recommended. If the Leap isn’t a good fit for you for any reason, this is a good alternative.

PROS

Herman Miller’s original flagship office chair. A venerable model kept lovingly up to date with all the latest ergonomic technology.

CONS

Pricey.

More Specifications...

Best Office Chair for Sciatica - 4th Pick

Small Image View of Ergohuman High Back

Ergohuman High Back

OUR RATING

OUR VERDICT

Recommended, especially to those who love add-ons and extras!

PROS

Lifetime warranty, articulated, ergonomic headrest, waterfall edge style seat, adjustable lumbar support, and more extras and enhancement than any other office chair we’ve ever seen.

CONS

It’s all mesh. That, combined with its slightly futuristic look may be off-putting to some.

More Specifications...

Best Office Chair for Sciatica - 5th Pick

Small Image View of GM Seating Ergolux

GM Seating Ergolux

OUR RATING

OUR VERDICT

Recommended for light to moderate daily use, especially if none of the other top contenders will work for you for any reason.

PROS

Stylish, attractive, highly adjustable, and loaded with high quality ergonomic features.

CONS

Pricey.

More Specifications...


Do you suffer from Sciatica, Piriformis Syndrome, or some other form of chronic lower back and/or leg pain? If so, you know what a challenge it can be to stay productive. The pain can be blinding and all-consuming, and it can make it virtually impossible to get any meaningful work done.

If that’s something you’re currently struggling with, you’re going to like what you read in our latest roundup review.

We’ve scoured the internet on a quest to answer one question: What is the best office chair for sciatica in 2021? Our research has led us to a definitive answer, and in just a moment, we’ll tell you all about it, and the other top contenders we discovered along the way.

While it’s true that none of the chairs on this list provide a magic cure for sciatica, all of them make it possible to work with and around the condition, making it possible for you to have several productive hours a day at your desk, and that’s huge.

What is Sciatica?

Before we dive into the particulars of the chairs on the list above, let’s rewind a bit and say a few words about sciatica and sciatic nerve pain.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. It originates in the lower back and runs through the hips and buttocks, down the length of your legs and into your feet. Pressure on this nerve at any point can cause sciatic nerve pain, with the amount of pressure being placed on the nerve determining the intensity of the pain you feel associated with it.

In practice, one of the more common causes of this type of pain is when a disc in your back begins pressing into the nerve. When this happens, the pain is sharp, sudden and extreme, radiating from the small of your back and traveling down one and possibly both legs, usually to about the back of one or both of your knees but in some cases, even further.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

This is a specific type of sciatic nerve pain caused when the piriformis muscle puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located near the top of your hip joint, in your buttocks. Every time you take a step, shift your weight from one foot to the other and do anything that requires maintaining your balance, you rely heavily on your piriformis muscle. It’s not a terribly common condition, but it causes a great deal of suffering in those who have it.

Our Selection Criteria

As we said at the start, no office chair on the market today is a magic cure for sciatica, but there are certain features that office chairs for sciatica sufferers have in common, and these help to mitigate the pain and allow you to be more productive. In order of importance, here are the things we were most interested in seeing:

Adjustable Ergonomic Features

While static ergonomic features provide some benefit, in order to have any impact on sciatic nerve pain, an office chair needs to allow for a high degree of fine-tuning where its ergonomic features are concerned. This is especially important where lumbar support is concerned, but in truth, the more adjustable ergonomic features a chair has, the more benefit it’s going to provide to the person sitting in it.

Multiple Seating Options

One of the best ways to keep your pain at bay and stay productive is to be able to shift and adjust your seating position throughout the day. At a minimum, this means having a decent recline angle and tilt tension control, although chairs offering extras such as an optional footrest or dynamic, proprietary support systems were given additional consideration.

Seat Design & Padding 

Comfort is more than just the amount of padding the seat offers, although generous padding is certainly one way to approach the issue. All of the chairs on our list of finalists offer surprising levels of comfort, either by copious amounts of padding or more often, reasonable amounts of padding, paired with a waterfall-edge style or sculpted seat.

Fit

The last thing to mention here isn’t so much an element that guided our selection but is something that should definitely guide yours. No matter how many amazing features an office chair brings to the table, if it’s too big, or too small for you to use well and effectively, it’s not going to provide you significant amounts of pain relief. 

As you review the best chairs for sciatica in this report then, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take careful measurements and be sure that the chair you ultimately select has a seat height adjustment range that makes it a perfect fit for you. 

That said, let’s take a closer look at our winner and the other top contenders we discovered during our search.

A Closer Look - Best Office Chair for Sciatica 2021

Steelcase Leap Office Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.68

Summary

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

* 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.

In our view, the Steelcase Leap is the best office chair for sciatica pain on the market today. In addition to being masterfully constructed, it’s got a broad range of hard-hitting ergonomic features that not only help reduce sciatic nerve pain but help make your entire back feel better in general.

Even better, you can choose from a variety of colors, upholstery options, and extras, which allows you to really personalize your new favorite chair.

Leap Variants

One thing to mention here is that Steelcase actually has a variety of products that bear the Leap name, including the Leap chair, the Leap Plus, the Leap chair with headrest, the Leap stool, and the Leap Work Lounge.

For the purposes of this review, we’re not considering either the Leap Stool or the Work Lounge. Nonetheless, the chairs are all functionally similar to each other, with the key difference being in the core statistics that drive each model.

This is a fantastic approach that virtually guarantees that as long as you do a bit of due diligence before making your purchase, you’re going to get a chair that’s a near perfect fit for you. We love it and wish every company in the industry would adopt a similar strategy.

Aesthetics & Customization

Before we get into the design philosophy that guided the development of this fantastic chair and the powerful ergonomic features that arose from it, let’s talk about aesthetics and options.

Right Image View of Steelcase Leap Office Chair

At first glance, this chair doesn’t look like anything special. The designers stuck to convention where the overall look of the chair was concerned, which is probably a good thing in that it makes it easy for the Leap to blend seamlessly into almost any home environment.

One area that the company did go the extra mile on though is that they made sure that anybody who wanted one could order theirs in a variety of options.

Upholstery

For starters, when you place your order, you can select from three different upholstery options, including a breathable mesh-like material, a 3D knitted fabric, or a sewn fabric.

Color Options

In addition to that, the Leap is available in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Burgundy
  • Alpine
  • Blue
  • Cyan
  • Gray
  • Sable
  • Camel
  • Coconut
  • Graphite
  • Nickel
  • Navy

Finishes

And you have your choice of the following finishes:

  • Black
  • Platinum
  • Midnight
  • Polished Aluminum

Extras

You can even add two “extras” to your purchase depending on how you plan to use the chair.

Remember, the Leap product line comes with a model that features a headrest, and you can purchase the Leap ottoman if you like, which gives you a way to prop your feet up at various points during the day. Even better, the ottoman was designed such that it could be used as an impromptu workspace if you wish.

All that, and it’s made from 98% recycled materials, too? What’s not to like?

Design Principle

Of course, the Leap is much more than a versatile, customizable piece of office furniture. At the start, we mentioned that every member of the Leap family of chairs was designed with four key discoveries firmly in mind. These are:

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

These discoveries became the guiding principles that the design team built the Leap around, and the results have been impressive indeed. Before we get into a discussion of the specific features that will help you better manage your sciatic nerve pain, however, let’s start by taking a look at the core stats that define the model.

Back Image View of Steelcase Leap Office Chair

Note that for the purposes of this review, we’ll be looking at the Leap Chair itself, not the Leap Plus. If these measurements aren’t a good fit for you, just know that the Leap Plus is designed with bigger, taller folk in mind and it will probably be a much better fit.

Leap Chair Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 24.8” x 27” x 43.5”
  • Chair Weight: 48 pounds
  • Max Supported Weight: 300 pounds (Steelcase Plus supports up to 500 pounds)
  • Recline Range: 90 to 120 degrees
  • The depth of the seat (15.75” to 18.75”)
  • The height of the seat (15.5” to 20.5”)
  • The height of the lumbar support (5.25” to 10.25”)
  • The angle of recline (96 to 120 degrees)
  • The height of the armrests (7” to 11”)
  • The distance between the armrests (12.75” to 20”)
  • The armrest pivot range (30 degrees) – note that you can even take the arms off if you like!

We’ve only seen a handful of chairs that offer a greater number of customization options, and all of them cost more than the Leap does. This chair is flat-out amazing on that front, which means you have virtually unlimited freedom in terms of customizing and personalizing your seating experience.

Powerful Ergonomic Features

In addition to coming with adjustable everything, the Leap features a variety of powerful, well-implemented ergonomic features that will go a long way toward easing those aches and pains in your back. Note that some of these are utterly unique to Steelcase. Competing chairs don’t have anything comparable on offer.

LiveBack

This is a Steelcase proprietary technology. The seat back features a unique slatted design that bends and bows as you put pressure on it. Every time you move, the back of your office chair responds, always giving you exactly the support you need, exactly when you need it.

This feature alone makes the chair worth every penny of the asking price. Once you’ve experienced this kind of whole back support, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

LiveBack Support of Steelcase Leap Office Chair
Back Firmness Support of Steelcase Leap Office Chair

Adjustable Back Firmness

This ties in with the LiveBack technology. You’ll find a pair of dials on the chair, easily accessible from a seated position. These dials allow you to customize the firmness of the seat back, controlling the upper and lower portions of the seatback independently.

It takes some experimentation to find the ideal support settings for you, but once you’ve got it dialed in, no other office chair on the market today can even come close. This, more than any other single feature of the chair, is what will help keep your chronic pain to a minimum and allow you to stay productive.

Tilt Control

A minor feature found on virtually every office chair sold today, so we won’t spend a lot of time on it. You can set the Leap’s recline angle from 90 to 120 degrees. It’s not a huge amount, and in fact, not as good as the rest of the chairs on our list of finalists, but again, overall, it’s a relatively minor feature.

Tilt Control of Steelcase Leap Office Chair
Adjustable Lumbar Support of Steelcase Leap Office Chair

Adjustable Lumbar Support

Another tremendously powerful feature that is of special value to anyone suffering from sciatic nerve pain. The ability to customize the amount of support you get in your lower back is huge and can’t be understated. Like the LiveBack technology in general, this will simply work to make your back feel better, which in turn, will allow you to get stuff done throughout the day.

Front View Image of Steelcase Leap Office Chair

Waterfall Edge Style Seat

Seat design is another important factor to consider, given that your sciatic nerve runs through your legs. Some chairs are notoriously bad about cutting off the flow of blood to your legs when you sit in them, which only makes things worse for people who suffer with sciatic nerve pain, but you won’t have to worry about that with this chair.

While it’s true that the Leap isn’t the most luxuriously padded chair on the market today, it honestly doesn’t have to be, because comfort is about more than the amount of padding used.

The fact that you can adjust virtually every aspect of the chair to make it fit you like a glove and the strength of its ergonomic features do a great job of complementing the padding the chair comes with, creating a delightful seating experience.

Verdict

This is, in our view, not just the ultimate office chair but also the best desk chair for sciatica being sold today. It even comes (mostly) assembled, so getting it ready for first use is a breeze too!


Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.56

Summary

The Herman Miller Embody Office Chair 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.


It seems clear to us that the Steelcase Leap was designed with office use in mind. The Herman Miller Embody is a very different sort of chair and in our view, was designed with gamers and other power users in mind.

Aesthetics & Design

The Embody has a vaguely futuristic vibe to it that we find delightful, but might be off-putting to some. If you don’t fall in love with it, at first sight, the impressive array of features it brings to the table likely won’t be sufficient to change your mind.

That’s a pity, because like the Leap, the Embody is a marvel of engineering, brought to you by one of the finest companies in the office furniture industry.

Front Image VIew of Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

Customization

In addition to the chair’s futuristic design, we note that the company has taken pains to allow for at least some customization and personalization.

Granted, you don’t get as many fabric and color options as the Leap offers, and you won’t find any extras on offer here, but even so, there are enough options present that you get the definite sense that you’re getting a highly personalized piece of office furniture.

Upholstery

Where upholstery options are concerned, the Embody offers two choices, both of which are fabric variants. You can select from the company’s “Balance” or “Rhythm” fabric. In practice, these two are fairly similar, but a few minor differences may influence your thinking at the margins.

In a nutshell, the Rhythm fabric is the more breathable of the two, while the Balance fabric offers a slight increase in padding. It costs a bit extra, but if you’re interested in maximizing comfort, it’s probably the way you’ll want to go.

Color Options

Once you’ve picked your fabric, you can select its color, and note that Rhythm fabric has a few more color options available. Here’s what you’re looking at, depending on the material you select:

Balance Fabric comes in the following color options:

  • Berry Blue
  • Black
  • Carbon
  • Iris

Rhythm Fabric can be ordered in any of the following colors:

  • Berry Blue
  • Black
  • Charcoal
  • Mink
  • Mulberry
  • Twilight

Padding

Like the Leap chair, the Embody isn’t extravagantly padded, but it doesn’t need to be in order to deliver a comfortable seating experience. The padding is adequate but augmented by a number of superbly implemented ergonomic features and the fact that just about every aspect of the chair can be tweaked, fine-tuned and adjusted to create the perfect seating experience for you.

Specifications & Adjustability

Let’s move from aesthetics then, to a review of the core stats that drive and define the model, along with a quick overview of the various aspects of the Embody’s design that can be adjusted and personalized.

In addition to offering a fair number of color options, just about every aspect of the Embody can be adjusted. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Overall Product Dimensions: 28” x 27” x 38.2”
  • Chair Weight: 51 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 300 pounds
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 16.5” to 22”
  • Recline Range: 90 to 135 degrees
  • Seat Depth: 15” to 18”
  • Independently adjustable chair arm heights
  • “BackFit” technology customizations (straight or floating – see below)
  • Independently Adjustable armrest width
Side Image View of Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

As you can see, although the Embody isn’t quite as customizable as the Leap, it’s a very close second, which gives you plenty of opportunities to tweak the chair, so it fits you perfectly.

We were especially impressed with the Leap, Aeron, and Embody chairs, which can move up, down, in, out, and pivot. The only thing they can’t do is slide back and forth along the depth of the seat, but that’s a relatively minor omission, in our view. Also, note that the Embody has a better maximum recline angle than the Leap (135 degrees vs. 120).

The big thing to talk about in this section, though, is the chair’s “BackFit” technology.

BackFit Technology

When you look at the back of the chair, you’ll likely feel a mixture of wonder and unease. It looks almost alien. This chair literally has its own spinal column. You can set this spine to be either rigid or to float. If you let it float, then every time you move, the chair’s spine will move with you, providing perfect, dynamic, real-time support for the whole of your back.

It’s the same idea as the Leap chair’s proprietary back support technology, but with a very different implementation.

Back Side Image View of Herman Miller Embody Office Chair

The Embody doesn’t allow you to adjust or customize its lumbar support, but we’re not sure if this is a negative or not. After all, the support you get from the BackFit technology is so good that such an adjustment really isn’t necessary.

Easy Assembly

Like the Leap, the Herman Miller Embody is very easy to prepare for first use, because when you order yours, it will arrive at your door mostly assembled. In fact, it will probably take you longer to get it out of the box than it will to get it ready for first use.

Verdict

It’s a superb chair on every level, and the only negative we can think to bring to your attention goes back to the overall aesthetic of the chair. Some people are going to be put off by the futuristic look.

If you don’t like it, then know that the Leap delivers the same kind of next level seating experience but offers much more conventional styling. If you find yourself drawn to the look of the chair, this one will serve you well for years to come.


Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.5

Summary

The Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair is a solid, venerable design that has been recently updated. Recommended for anyone.

The Aeron is a legendary piece of furniture. This venerable model has been part of the Herman Miller family of products for more than two decades, and for a long time, it was the company’s flagship office chair.

Not content to rest on their laurels; however, Herman Miller has kept the Aeron up to date over the years, and to this day, it is one of the best office chairs for piriformis syndrome on the market, with only the Herman Miller Embody and the Steelcase Leap able to eclipse it.

Office Decoration View of Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

Aesthetics, Design & Customization

The Aeron is designed along purely conventional lines which makes it easy for the chair to blend seamlessly with a wide range of home or office décor schemes, and the chair is offered in a modest selection of mesh-like fabric upholstery options and base color configurations. These are:

  • Carbon mesh/carbon base
  • Graphite mesh/graphite base
  • Graphite mesh/polished aluminum base
  • Mineral mesh/polished aluminum base

As you can see, these color options are not nearly as extensive as those offered by either the Embody or the Leap, but this is a minor complaint. After all, most of the office furniture being sold today don’t give the buyer any options whatsoever, so even a few choices are big news!

Aeron Variants

The last thing to mention before moving on to the chair’s ergonomic features is the fact that unlike the two chairs we’ve talked about to this point, there are actually three variants of the Aeron, called simply ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C.’ These are effectively the small, medium and large versions of the chair.

Prospective buyers should keep this very much in mind because this is a pricey piece of office furniture and you don’t want to inadvertently order your Aeron in a configuration that’s too big or too small for you. Just take a few careful measurements and do a bit of due diligence before placing your order and you’ll be fine.

Chair Specification

Having said that, let’s take a look at the stats that define the model. These include:

  • Overall Product Dimensions: 28.2” x 28.2” x 43”
  • Chair Weight: 43 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 325 pounds
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 16” to 20.5” (A: range is 14.75” to 19”, C: range is 16” to 20.5”)
  • Recline Range: 90 to 135 degrees
  • Seat Width: 20.25”
  • Seat Depth: A = 16” | B = 16.75” | C = 18.5”
Side View of Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

As you can see based on these statistics, the Aeron has taken a markedly different approach to adjustability than the Leap or the Embody. Where the other sciatica chairs we’ve talked about to this point feature a highly flexible, one size fits all design, the Aeron delivers a comparable range of adjustability but broken out over three sub-models.

Overall, we regard the one size fits all approach as being slightly superior because it makes the Embody and Leap chairs much more flexible, but there is something to be said for the sheer simplicity of the approach used by the Aeron. Also note that surprisingly, the Aeron supports slightly more weight than the Embody, which is the newer chair, and the Leap, although the Leap Plus handily beats both in that regard.

Comfort

This is an area where the Aeron lags a bit behind the Embody and the Leap. Both of those chairs utilize fabric upholstery and conventional padding to provide comfort for the person sitting in the chair, bolstered by constellations of superbly implemented ergonomic features.

The Aeron takes a much simpler approach. It’s a mesh chair, with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with that. On the plus side, it’s delightfully breathable and well suited to the rigors of heavy daily use, and of course, it has the superb durability that mesh is known for.

On the flip side, of course, there’s no padding on offer at all. If you’re looking for a chair with foam padding in addition to well implemented ergonomic features, this, unfortunately, isn’t the model for you.

Ergonomic Features

Each of our top three contenders has some kind of proprietary technology it uses to good effect to render back support to the person sitting in the chair. The Embody uses a fully articulated spine that runs up the back of the seat. The Leap uses its “LiveBack” technology, and the Aeron uses something called “PostureFit SL” with the “SL” in the descriptor referring to the sacral and lumbar regions of the spine, which covers everything from your lower back to your midback.

Back View of Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

PostureFit SL Lumbar Support

On the Aeron, the upper and lower section of the seatback flex and move independently, which provides dynamic back support in real time as you move in the chair.

Even better, the Aeron allows you some ability to adjust this feature so that it fits the precise curve of your spine. We prefer the simplified method of adjustment offered by the Leap chair in this regard, but the Aeron’s implementation isn’t bad by any means.

In addition to the exceptional PostureFit SL technology, the Aeron also allows you to adjust the tension of (and thus, the amount of support gained by) the lumbar support system. Unfortunately, however, the lumbar support itself is stationary. There’s no way to tweak its position if it happens not to hit your back where you need it.

Tilt Limiter

The tilt limiter allows you to set the angle of recline via three predefined settings: Upright, Recline, and Full-Recline, with the full recline going back to the tilt limit of 135 degrees. While the presets are convenient, this seems a little overdone to us. If the chair reclined radically, the presets would make more sense, but given that the maximum angle of recline is just 135 degrees, we don’t think they’re necessary. Even so, if you love convenience, you’ll see this as a nice touch.

Armrests

Finally, the armrests of the Aeron are height adjustable between the range of 6.8” and 10”, and they pivot on the strut of the armrest, shifting in by up to 17.5 degrees and out by up to 15 degrees.

Verdict

Overall, it’s an impressive list of features that will serve you well. The feature set does, however, fall a bit short when compared against the Leap and the Embody. While we regard it as an exceptional piece of office furniture, it is, in our view, not quite as exceptional as the chairs we’ve talked about to this point. Thus, its middle of the pack rating.

Even so, it would be a mistake to discount this chair. Even with a third-place finish, it’s still the third best office chair on the market today in our view, and that’s pretty impressive.

Armrest of Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair

Final Note! If you order an Aeron, it will arrive at your door, mostly assembled. In the box, it comes in just two pieces, and getting it ready for first use is just a matter of sliding the seat onto the base.


Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.31

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.

Although the Ergohuman High Back boasts a somewhat futuristic look, it’s offered by a company that’s slightly less well known than our top picks, and at first glance, there seems to be little to recommend this model. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. In addition to being built with a collection of superb ergonomic features, this chair has two surprises that few of its competitors can top.

Before we get to that though, let’s do a quick review of the basic stats that define the chair:

Dimensions of Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

Chair Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 26.5” x 29” x 46” to 52”
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 18.5” to 22”
  • Seat Width: 20.5”
  • Seat Depth: 18.5”
  • Chair Weight: 64 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 350 pounds
  • Maximum Recline Range: 135 degrees

Color Options

In addition to that, the Ergohuman’s designers offer the chair in a modest selection of colors. When you place your order, you can select from:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Burgundy
  • Copper

In looking at the numbers, we see a chair that’s incredibly suited and capable of serving a vast swath of the market. Just about anyone from about 5’2” to 6’6” or so, and with a higher maximum supported weight limit than any other chair on our list of finalists. Technically, one of the Leap variants beats it, but then, there’s a reason that the Leap won top honors on our list of office chairs for sciatica nerve pain!

Although the number of color options the Ergohuman is available in falls short of beating out our top contenders, there’s still enough here to add to its versatility and make it easy for this chair to blend seamlessly with just about any home or office décor scheme.

A Trio of Great Ergonomic Features

On top of the basics, the Ergohuman comes equipped with three superbly-implemented ergonomic features: A fully articulated ergonomic headrest, a mesh waterfall-edge style seat and an adjustable lumbar support system.

Lumbar Support 

Of these, the lumbar support is the strongest of the three and is a tremendous boon to anyone who suffers from sciatic nerve pain, especially when combined with the ergonomically sculpted seat.

Seat

It suffers a bit due to the lack of padding, which is a common problem with mesh chairs, but the durability and breathability of mesh still makes it a good fit for anyone planning to use the chair for extended periods.

Armrests

Although the armrests are not ergonomically sculpted, they are highly adjustable, capable of swiveling 45 degrees in either direction and being independently height adjustable.

Tilt Function 

Finally, the Ergohuman features a three-setting tilt and lock mechanism, allowing you to set your angle of recline to either 90 degrees, 110 degrees, or 135 degrees, at your preference.

As great as all of those things are, none of them are the two surprises we mentioned at the start. We’ll talk about those next, and they are amazing.

Left Image View of Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

Warranty

First, there’s the fact that Ergohuman offers a lifetime warranty on every chair they sell. Make no mistake, Herman Miller and Steelcase both offer impressive warranties, but they can’t touch the Ergohuman’s warranty. It’s simply the best there is.

Extras

Second, the matter of extras. While the Steelcase Leap offers two great, high-value extras, it can’t compare with Ergohuman’s approach. They sell all sorts of fun extras for their chairs. Browse the company’s site, pick the ones you’re most interested in, and add them to your chair.

Front Image View of Ergohuman High Back Swivel Chair

Even better, order the chair in its stock configuration and use it for a while, then after a few months, think about the ways that the extras and add-ons can help you make more efficient and effective use of it.

Do you want an ottoman that doubles as an impromptu workspace? You can have that. Do you want an articulated arm that’s strong enough to hold a laptop in front of you, allowing you unprecedented freedom of motion and the ability to work in ways you’ve never been able to work before? You can have that too! The sky really is the limit with the Ergohuman. It’s fantastic.

Assembly 

As with most of the office furniture sold today, the Ergohuman doesn’t come assembled, but the company does a great job here. There are only a few pieces in the box, and the assembly process is a breeze, thanks to simple, clear instructions and amazingly high production quality.

Verdict

While it’s certainly not the most attractive chair on our list of finalists, and some people will be put off by the fact that it’s all mesh with no padding, it’s an incredibly robust design, especially if you’re looking for an office chair for sciatica pain that gives you unparalleled customization flexibility. This is a great chair.


GM Seating Ergolux Swivel Chair

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.0

Summary

The GM Seating Ergolux Swivel Chair is a stylish, attractive, comfortable, and amazingly adjustable chair that might be the perfect addition to your home office. Recommended for anyone who can afford one.

The Ergolux by GM Seating is an oddity in the office furniture world, but it’s such an interesting chair that we couldn’t resist giving it an honorable mention on our list of finalists. Before we get into particulars, we’ll start as we have with our other finalists, by reviewing the basic statistics that drive and define the model. 

Chair Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 30” x 28” x 40.75” to 46.5”
  • Chair Weight: 45 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 250 pounds
  • Recline Range: 90 to 135 degrees
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 18.9” to 23.25”
  • Seat Width: 20”
  • Seat Depth: 16” to 18”

A couple of things jump out on a review of these numbers. First, the chair is delightfully adjustable, although not quite in the same league with our top contenders. Second, it appeals to a somewhat smaller slice of the market, owing to its rather modest maximum supported weight.

Upholstery

In addition to the core stats though, the chair offers high-quality grain leather upholstery, and it’s well-padded and comfortable, but there’s a catch. The leather upholstery makes it somewhat less suited to long periods of use. 

If you use it for more than three or four hours at a stretch, you’re virtually guaranteed to start getting sweaty and uncomfortable simply because leather lacks the breathability of fabric or mesh. This then marks the chair as being an ideal choice for those looking for something for light to moderate daily use.

Delightful Adjustability

Although the Ergolux isn’t quite as adjustable as our top contenders, there’s still a lot to like here, including:

Side Image View of GM Seating Ergolux Swivel Chair
  • The fact that the headrest is fully articulated and provides excellent ergonomic support.
  • The “cutout” in the seatback allows the lumbar support to be highly adjustable and customizable.
  • Both the tilt tension and the tilt limiter can be adjusted (to a maximum of 135 degrees).
  • The seat depth can be adjusted within a narrow band, which helps ensure a better and more natural fit, allowing you to sit with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  • The waterfall edge style seat helps improve leg circulation, and working in tandem with the lumbar support, provides relief for those who suffer from lower back and leg pain.
  • And of course, the seat height is adjustable.

Posture Correction

All of these are good things, but there’s another catch. One of the biggest complaints people have about this chair is that it’s something of a harsh mistress. If you’re willing to sit in the chair properly, you’ll find it to be delightfully comfortable, but the Ergolux won’t tolerate any backsliding. Sit improperly in the chair, and you’ll get up from it aching and sore.

Most people tend to slouch when they sit in this chair. The Ergolux will break you of that habit very quickly, so expect a period of adjustment as you acclimate to the new reality that it will impose on you. 

Assuming you’re willing to commit to sitting in an ergonomically correct posture, you’re going to love this chair, and it will provide genuine pain relief and therapeutic benefits. If you insist on slouching, this chair will beat you up for it, and you’ll despise it.

Assembly

Finally, let’s talk about assembly. It probably comes as no surprise, but if you buy the Ergolux, it will arrive on your doorstep in a big box, unassembled. The good news is that there are only six pieces to contend with, the production quality is extremely high, and the instructions are clear. You’ll be able to put the chair together on your own in about twenty minutes.

Don’t panic if you don’t see the assembly instructions when you unbox the chair. They’re neatly folded and tucked into a small pocket that rests under the seat. Get them from there, and you’ll be in business!

Back Side Image View of GM Seating Ergolux Swivel Chair

Verdict

We readily admit that this chair won’t be for everyone, but for the right user, it’s a great alternative to the heavy hitters that earned a higher ranking on our list of finalists of desk chairs for sciatica and is well worth taking a closer look at.

What makes it a great work chair for sciatica sufferers is the fact that it actively promotes healthier seating positions, and if you’re willing to go along with that and work with the chair, you’ll find that it helps to reduce your pain.


Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool

Value

Comfort

Aesthetic Flexibility*

Brand Reliability**

4.1

Summary

The Varier Move Ergonomic Stool is a classic, venerable, timeless design, as comfortable as it is attractive. An ergonomic seating solution designed for light to moderate daily use.

Although the Move Stool didn’t make our list of finalists, we wanted to put at least one example of unconventional seating in this roundup review for your consideration.

Varier is the name in the world of unconventional office seating. Their products represent the gold standard that every other company operating in that segment of the market strives to beat. To date, none have been able to.

Not only is Varier incredibly well-respected as a brand, they have access to some of the best design talent in the world. The Move stool is a perfect representation of this, having been designed by Per Oie in 1985. To date, no other ergonomic stool has been able to match it.

Chair Specifications

Given that this is a stool, there aren’t nearly as many core stats to look at, but we’ll present them here as a summary of the model:

  • Overall Product Dimensions: 17” x 16.5” x 9”
  • Stool Weight: 15.05 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 250 pounds
  • Seat Height Adjustment Range: 22” to 32”
Using an Office of Varier Move Tilting Saddle Stool

As you can see, it’s lightweight and easy to move from place to place but note its modest maximum weight limit. Unfortunately, that’s a genuine limitation of the model, and it means that the Move stool won’t be the right choice for everyone.

If the weight limit isn’t an issue for you and you have a job that only sees you sitting for short periods before being back up on your feet and moving around, the Move is a tremendously powerful option.

Merely sitting in it provides outstanding ergonomic benefits without restricting your movement because the stool moves with you, always providing exactly the support you need when you need it.

Upholstery

Even better, all of Varier’s products are created sustainably and are offered in a variety of upholstery options. Where the Move stool is concerned, your options are:

  • Revive: 100% recycled polyester for those looking for a budget option.
  • Fame: 88% New Zealand Wool, blended with 12% Polyamide.
  • Leather: High quality, supple semi-aniline with a light finish.
  • Breeze Fusion: 88% New Zealand Wool, combined with 12% Polyamide (more breathable than Fame).
  • Halingdal: 70% New Zealand Wool, blended with 30% Viscost.
  • Dinamica: 88% polyester blended with 12% polyurethane.
  • Steelcut Trio 3: 95% New Zealand Wool, blended with 5% Nylon.
  • Or Dolce: 100% Rayon (another less expensive upholstery option).

Assembly

As with most of the office furniture being sold today, if you order a Move, it will arrive at your house in a box and unassembled. But being a stool, the assembly process is a snap, made even easier thanks to Varier’s excellent, clear-cut instructions and amazing production quality.

Verdict

It’s also worth noting that Varier makes a variety of other unconventional office furniture, so if the Move stool isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, it pays to check out the other products in their lineup, including the Varier Balans and the Wing Chair. Both of these are kneeling chair variants and are the best that the industry has to offer. All three are well worth considering if none of the models above are exactly what you’re looking for.


What is the Best Office Chair for Sciatica Pain in 2021?

So, what is the best office chair for sciatica nerve pain? We stand by our top pick of the Steelcase Leap, but we understand that opinions, tastes, and needs will differ, which is why we made sure to include details on the other models we evaluated during the course of finding our overall winner.

If you’re not satisfied with our top pick or find yourself disagreeing with our conclusion, here are some reasons you may find yourself gravitating to one of the other models we talked about here:

  • The Herman Miller Embody is an outstanding choice for gamers and other power users, especially if you’re fond of that model’s futuristic aesthetic.
  • The Herman Miller Aeron is a venerable classic and a great desk chair for sciatica, but is best suited as a one-owner chair, owing mostly to the decision to design it around a number of more precisely fitted models (A, B, and C) rather than adopting the one-size-fits-all design philosophy that our top two picks feature.
  • The Ergohuman High Back is an outstanding choice for tinkerers who will find great value in having the ability to add new enhancements to their chair. That’s made even better by the fact of Ergohuman’s lifetime warranty.
  • The GM Seating Ergolux is an unquestionably great office chair for sciatica, and it’s also stylish and attractive, but best suited to those who are looking for a chair for light to moderate daily use, and who are ready to commit to a lifetime of proper ergonomic posture. If that doesn’t describe you, you probably won’t be fond of this model!
  • And the Varier Move Stool is not only the best option for people with very active jobs who still want exceptional ergonomic support, but it’s one of the best office chairs for dealing with piriformis syndrome on the market today.

Ultimately then, the best office chair for your sciatica pain is something only you can answer definitively. But know that any of the models we’ve talked about here will serve you very well indeed, giving you the means to alleviate your pain and get stuff done.


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REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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Leave a Reply 2 comments

MIMama - November 14, 2019 Reply

Since starting with my new employer, I started experience sciatic pain. I replaced my office chair with a $25 exercise ball, and began to feel relief within 2 days. I went a step further, and purchased a seated>standing monitor stand for $200 for my desk, and I no longer have issues. I think the ball made the most difference if I had to only pick one. But sometimes I do miss having a true chair. 🙂

    Chair Institute - March 4, 2020 Reply

    Hello, and thank you for the comment! We love getting feedback from readers who share their real-world experiences and you’re absolutely right about exercise balls. For the right user, they can be a godsend. Which one did you get?

    While this piece did focus on conventional office chairs (with the Move stool being the outlier in this case), we do have another piece that explores the world of unconventional office seating, including a section on exercise balls. https://chairinstitute.com/office-chair-alternatives/

    If you find yourself longing for something a little different now and again, it might be well worth a look!

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