Best desk chairs 2020: stylish and comfy picks for your home office

If home working has you wishing for a more comfortable seat, choosing one of the best office chairs is a must

best office chairs
(Image credit: Argos)

This 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 rounded up the best on the market for 2020 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 design, although we’re also pretty keen on The Cotswold Company’s stylishly upholstered chair, which had our hearts soaring. Read on to see our pick of the best and find the best option for you and your home office. 

What to look for in a desk chair? 

Trying to pick the best desk chair 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 2020’s 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. An ergonomic chair [link to ergonomic chair vs once live] 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 manoeuvrable.

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’s our favourite five… 

The best desk chairs you can buy right now

Langfjall chair

(Image credit: Ikea)

IKEA Langfjall chair

The best desk chair for most people

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 

Best for… simple, modern style at an affordable price
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 colours 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 at well under £150 – well done Ikea!

Herman Miller Aeron office chair

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Herman Miller Aeron office chair

The best premium desk chair

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

Best for… comfort and ergonomic technology
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!

Orlando office chair

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Dunelm Orlando office chair

The best budget desk chair

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

A modern adjustable design that’s cheap as chips!
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.

This model is currently sold out but check out Dunelm's other options.

Clarice Velvet office chair

(Image credit: Argos)

Argos Home Clarice Velvet office chair

Best for… a desk chair that doesn’t look ‘officey’

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

Plush velvet-style good looks make this design a winner
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 colour makes it something of a stunning showpiece. Not keen on green? Opt for the dark midnight-blue colourway 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!

This model is currently sold out but check out Argos' other options.

Suliac office chair

(Image credit: La Redoute)

Suliac office chair

Best for… on-trend modern looks

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

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

This model is currently sold out but check out La Redoute's other options.

Upholstered office chair

(Image credit: The Cotswold Company)

The Cotswold Company Upholstered office chair

Best for… a timeless design that will last

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

Elegant and understated, we love the upholstered touch for extra comfort
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 manoeuvrability, 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 colour – either way, the neutral tones will work seamlessly in most office schemes. Now, 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.

This model is currently sold out but check out The Cotswold Company's other options.