Best desk chairs: cool and comfy picks for your home office

If WFH has you wishing for a comfier seat, these best desk chairs are a must

best desk chairs - Cotswold Company Upholstered Office Chair
(Image credit: Cotswold Company)

The past year has seen many of us start working from home, and if you’re one of the many who’s been making do with a dining chair, bench or sofa, then you’ll no doubt be wishing for a more supportive place to perch. 

Well, take a seat and get comfy as we’re about to take you through the best desk chairs, so you can make sure you’re investing in a model that’s right for you—and your budget. 

We’ve researched the best desk chairs on the market to save you scrolling for hours, and have come up with five strong candidates that will have you sitting straighter and pleased with your purchase. 

Our winner? Ikea’s modern—and purse-friendly—Langfjall chair, although we’re also pretty keen on The Cotswold Company’s stylishly upholstered chair, which set our hearts soaring. 

Read on to see our pick of the best desk chairs and find the perfect option for your home office.

What to look for in the best desk chairs?

Trying to choose one of the best desk chairs can be a minefield—we know it needs to look after our backs, be adjustable and able to tuck neatly under our desk space, but what about the looks? Sometimes the most practical options aren’t the most attractive, but luckily these models not only have our health and posture in mind, but they’re on-trend, so you don’t have to compromise on your chair’s looks. 

So, what are the key elements to keep our eyes peeled for when it comes to comfort, function and looks? Let’s start with the biggie: ergonomics. When it comes to a standard vs ergonomic desk chair, an ergonomic chair will be adjustable in height and also the back and armrests, so you can tailor its position to suit your shape and support your spine. Ergonomic chairs are often made from a strong mesh which is breathable, but there are other designs being brought onto the market in a range of different fabrics. 

Secondly, it’s worth taking into consideration how you’re going to be using your chair. Is it on a hardwood floor and will you need to be delving into drawers or shelves—in which case a swivel chair or one on castors will be much more maneuverable.

Lastly, what style will work with your current décor? If you’re living in an open-plan space, that’s an important factor too – after all, who wants a beast of a chair sitting in the middle of their living/dining area? Choose a design that works with your home’s aesthetic and either blends in seamlessly or makes a statement in the style stakes. 

Ready to shop? Here are our favorite five…

The best desk chairs to upgrade your home office

The best desk chairs for most people

best desk chairs - IKEA Langfjall chair

(Image credit: Ikea)

Best for simple, modern style at an affordable price

Reasons to buy
+Built-in lumbar support+Choice of muted colourways
Reasons to avoid
-No good for those wanting a traditional design-Allen key needed to adjust the height 

You’d be forgiven for thinking that "ergonomic" and "well-priced" are mutually exclusive, but the Langfjall chair is here to knock that theory right out of the park. Beautiful clean lines, sexy curves and a choice of colors are backed up by a range of practical features, such as its safety castors with an automatic brake mechanism (so no more unladylike exits as you stand up).

Built-in lumbar support gives your back the relief it needs for those long working days, along with comfortable armrests, plus the chair tilts back and is height adjustable. We love it in this beige and white combo, but the light green and pink options are hard to resist too. The best part? It comes in under $180—well done Ikea!

Read the full review: Langfjall office chair

The best desk chairs that are worth a splurge

best desk chairs - Herman Miller Aeron office chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Herman Miller Aeron office chair

Best for comfort and ergonomic technology

Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic design+Breathable mesh material
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey -Not the most luxurious looking

Consider yourself a trend setter? Then this slightly futuristic-looking chair should appeal and if comfort is at the forefront of your decision-making, you can’t go far wrong with its ergonomic design. The Aeron chair, designed by Herman Miller and Don Chadwick, has used the latest research around the science of sitting to ensure you’re seated in the perfect position while you work, with the back and seat tilting simultaneously at different ratios to support your lower back.

That’s not the only thing that’s been taken into consideration, though, as the height and width adjustable arms will help keep neck and shoulder pain at bay. As if that isn’t enough, this chair features a breathable mesh material on the backrest to help regulate your temperature. All you need is a foot spa under your desk and you may find you won’t want to leave the office!

The best desk chairs for those on a budget

best desk chairs - Orlando office chair

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Dunelm Orlando office chair

A modern adjustable design that’s cheap as chips!

Reasons to buy
+Faux leather material+Reclining tilt mechanism
Reasons to avoid
-Basic looks -No choice of colourway 

If your main aim is to get a chair that provides comfort but you don’t want to spend a fortune, then you can’t go far wrong with this budget buy. Weighing in at under £100 (yes, you did hear right!), Orlando gives you quite a lot for your money.

To start with, the faux leather headrest and padded foam seat are good for those expecting long days in the chair, while its lockable reclining tilt mechanism and tension control offer a sturdy, pain-saving solution to achy backs. Lastly, the mesh back rest helps with ventilation to keep you cool even when you’re steaming through your work.

Looks-wise, it’s not the most beautiful desk chair out there, but nor is it ugly and for £65, we think it’s a great all-rounder that won’t break the bank.

The best desk chairs that don't look "officey"

best desk chairs - Clarice Velvet office chair

(Image credit: Argos)

Argos Home Clarice Velvet office chair

Plush, velvet-style good looks make this design a winner

Reasons to buy
+Mounted on castors for easy mobility+Height adjustable
Reasons to avoid
-Non-breathable fabric-Non-adjustable armrests

Trying to find a desk chair that doesn’t look like a desk chair? Let us introduce you to the Clarice, with opulent velvet-style upholstery that’s sure to catch your eye—and we’re sure you’ll agree that it could easily be mistaken for a dining chair if it wasn’t for its castors.

The luxurious look doesn’t stop with the seat either. Its gold base is not only on-trend but gives it a high-end feel, and when teamed with the forest-green color makes it something of a stunning showpiece. Not keen on green? Opt for the dark midnight-blue colorway instead, which is just as lush.

The Clarice features tilt and swivel features for comfort and its castors mean that you can easily roll over to drawers or filing cabinets without having to leave your comfortable seat. All this for a great price, too!

The best desk chairs for on-trend, modern looks

best desk chairs - Suliac office chair

(Image credit: La Redoute)

Suliac office chair

Inject some Scandi-style magic into your home-working space

Reasons to buy
+Made from natural oak+Beautiful sculpted design
Reasons to avoid
-Non tilt -Non padded seat 

Natural materials have been seen everywhere in the interior world this season and it’s a trend that’s set to stay, with many of us looking to bring a little bit of the outside into our homes. Add to this that some of the most iconic furniture pieces have been created from wood and it’s no wonder that this Scandi-style chair, with its beautifully sculpted curves, has made it into our round-up.

The oak veneer seat is a hardwearing option—ideal if you have children or pets—and its curved back has all the comfort of an armchair. Pair it with other oak pieces or a crisp white desk, and you’ve got yourself a fresh modern look that’ll have you brimming with productivity.

The best desk chairs for timeless designs that will last

best desk chairs - Upholstered office chair

(Image credit: The Cotswold Company)

The Cotswold Company upholstered office chair

Elegant and understated, we love the upholstered touch for extra comfort

Reasons to buy
+Button-hole detailing+Classic design
Reasons to avoid
-No arm rests -Non tilt

If you’re happy to sacrifice the need for ergonomic design in return for good looks, then this chair is guaranteed to not only transform your home office, but last you for years to come. 

Button-hole detailing makes it a classic option, while its beautifully soft upholstery provides a seat to sink into. Skip to the chrome-style base and you have castors for easy maneuverability, while the seat height can be easily adjusted to suit. 

We’ve shown it here in Stone linen fabric, but it also comes in a soft grey color—either way, the neutral tones will work seamlessly in most office schemes. It doesn’t have arm rests, but if that’s not a concern then you’ve got yourself a stylish chair at a reasonable price.