Mid Back Vs. High Back Chairs: 9 Pros And Cons To Help You Decide

Which one to choose between Mid Back Chair and High Back Chair? – the common debate between any random chair lovers. But does this make any difference for you? Before investing in an office chair, I suggest you know the difference between Mid Back Chair and High Back Chair.

What is the difference between a high back and a medium back chair? The main difference between a High Back and a Mid Back Chair is the backrest height. Moreover, the High Back Chairs come with additional ergonomic adjustments and are suitable for long-time sitting positions.

In this article, you will get a clear idea about the Mid Back Chair and High Back Chair. Later, you will get a complete picture of identifying the difference between these chairs so that you can choose the best one for you. 

Let’s get started. Happy Reading!

What Is A Mid Back Chair?

A Mid Back Chair is a chair whose backrest height is slightly shorter than shoulder height. The Mid Back Chairs focus on providing good lumbar and thoracic spinal support

Nonetheless, the headrest is missing from a Mid Back Chair; that is, your head remains unsupported. 

Mid Back Chair would be the best option for you when you have a limited workspace and need you to perform many tasks while continuously moving back and forth. The reason is Mid Back Chairs offer great support to the mid and lower back. 

Since the Mid Back Chair does not come with a headrest, you have to be highly conscious of maintaining good posture so that the neck stays upright and the ears are perfectly aligned with the shoulders. 

Why Choose A Mid Back Chair?

Mid Back Chairs are best for the workers who need to move back and forth around the workspace. That is, when portability during office hours is essential, I recommend you to buy Mid Back Chairs. 

Then again, when you are using the office chair for a short period of time and require maximum support, you should choose Mid Back Chairs. Mid Back Chairs will provide comfort & support for less than five hours of continuous use. 

Mid Back Chairs will best fit as a part of minimalist room design and suit in a conference or meeting room. 

The Mid Back Chair that I personally found to be healthy functioning and comfortable is the Mid Back office chair by HON Convergence. It is a premium quality office chair that can be found in both breathable Mesh and Fabric.

This chair is very well priced. Currently it costs around 231 bucks. However, the price always keeps changing. So, check the latest price of this chair by clicking here.

I love the back support of this chair. The seat cushion has 3 inches contour and adjustable lumbar support. The height and width of the armrest are adjustable. The synchro-tilt mechanism helps to recline the seat and back for proper back alignment.

If you are looking for a mid back office chair and tour budget is around 200-250, I think the Hon convergence is a solid option for you to consider.

What Is A High Back Chair?

A High Back Chair is a chair with a backrest that extends to support the neck & head adequately. These High Back Chairs come in two forms, one with a tall piece of the backrest and another with separate neck support attached to the top of the chair. 

High Back Chairs are usually more expensive and higher than the Mid Back office chairs. High Back Chairs are more comfortable as it supports the neck, shoulder, and back. Moreover, High Back Chairs come with more adjustable features. 

One of the main advantages of High Back Chairs is they support your cervical spine, and whenever you lean back, the chair guides and supports your back, neck, and head. This, in turn, reduces your back and neck pain. 

Why To Choose A High Back Chair?

When you need to sit for an extended period in an office chair, a High Back Chair is the best option for you. The High Back Chairs have a more noticeable backrest and usually have additional parts to support the head, neck, and shoulder

Then again, when you need more ergonomic adjustable features, I recommend you to go for High Back Chairs. It is suitable for people who suffer from back pain because the chair looks after your body posture. 

If you want my suggestion for a high back office chair, then I would suggest you buy the Nouhaus Ergo3D. It has dynamic lumbar support and good backrest and adjustable headrest and armrests. Check out the review of Nouhaus Ergo3D High back office chair on our site, by clicking here.

9 Pros And Cons To Help You Decide Between Mid Back Chair And High Back Chair:

Now that you are familiar with both Mid Back Chairs and High Back Chairs, let me give you a clearer picture by highlighting the pros and cons of these chairs. 

1. Adjustability:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Offers adjustability for good lumbar and thoracic spinal support.  

CON: Big and Tall people find these chairs uncomfortable, as the backrest might seem not high enough and the headrest is missing.  

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs offer adjustability for better back support.  

CON: Shorter people can find High Back Chairs uncomfortable.

Although full back support is missing in Mid Back Chairs, they provide good lumbar support and thoracic support. The missing headset can be an issue when you are working for longer hours. 

On the other hand, more adjustability of High Back Chairs makes the chairs comfortable to sit in for an extended period. However, the height of the backrest can be troublesome for short people. 

2. Ergonomic Features:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Provide lower back support and flexible design.   

CON: Neck, head, and shoulder support are missing.  

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs offer almost all ergonomic features, including back and head support.   

CON: Too many ergonomic features in High Back Chairs can be overwhelming.   

Mid Back Chairs can have all the ergonomic features which provide lower back support. But the neck, head, and shoulder support are missing, so if you sit in the chair for a long time, you might experience back and neck pain.

On the contrary, there is a high chance all the ergonomic features are present in a High Back Chair, but some might find it challenging to conduct.

3. Price:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Cost much less than a High Back Chair.  

CON: Lower price makes the chair less effective, as most of the chairs miss some essential components.   

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs are costly chairs that allow manufacturers to introduce many ergonomic features for your betterment.    

CON: High Back Chairs can sometimes be unaffordable.

Since a High Back Chair comes with a lot of ergonomic features and adjustability, the price of these chairs is relatively higher. There is a saying, in order to increase the price, manufacturers add features to it.

Whereas Mid Back Chairs are more affordable, but the High Back chairs seem more economical in the long run due to better durability. 

4. Appearance:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Available in various designs, more colors, and style & feel.   

CON: Some of the colors and designs can be too overwhelming.  

High Back Chair:

PRO: The High Back Chairs look very classy and elegant in any office environment   

The High Back Chairs fit perfectly in a standard office environment; its classy look can change the office environment. 

On the contrary, Mid Back Chairs can be found in different colors and styles. You can choose the one by considering your office environment. The designs and colors that will fit with your taste, you can simply purchase that.  

5. Size:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Mid Back Chairs are lighter and easily fit in a small workplace. 

CON: Mid Back Chairs are much shorter. 

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs have perfect height, so even tall people can sit comfortably. 

CON: High Back Chairs are mostly heavy and can obstruct views around the office. 

Whereas the High Back Chairs are hard to move around and can restrict the office view, the Mid Back Chairs are lighter and can quickly move around. 

6. Longer or Shorter Period Sitting:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Great lower back support for shorter periods   

CON: Longer period sitting position can be uncomfortable due to missing headrest. 

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs are especially suitable for prolonged use.

CON: Difficulty in moving around the chair, as High Back Chairs can be heavy. 

Mid Back Chairs are more suitable for short-term sitting positions. You will feel comfortable sitting in a Mid Back Chair for a certain period because the missing headrest will initiate neck, shoulder, or head pain. I recommend you sit for at least 4 to 5 hours in a Mid Back Chair.

On the other hand, I would like to mention that there is no definite timeline to sit in a High Back Chair; although don’t sit for an extended period, at least take a short break every 30 – 40 minutes. But Sitting in a High Back Chair will not initiate neck or back pain.

7. Movement:

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: Mid Back Chairs are easy to move, suitable for a conference room or meeting room   

High Back Chair:

CON: The High Back Chairs will be difficult to move around, and they require bigger space. 

Since the High Back Chairs are heavy compared to Mid Back Chairs, you will find it hard to move around the office. Therefore, if your office work requires too much movement, I recommend you to use Mid Back Chairs.

In stark contrast, if you don’t need to move around, instead work simply by sitting in one place; for example, if you do a desk job, you should go for High Back Chairs.

8. Reclining Features:

Mid Back Chair:

CON: It can have reclining features, but it can be uncomfortable since the headrest is missing.  

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs provide more support for your upper torso and head with additional reclining and tilting features.

CON: Reclining features on high back chairs can lead you to relax more often and work less because of better comfort. It might hamper productivity for people who need to work constantly on the desk.

The missing headrest in mid back chairs not only affects the balanced posture but also initiates severe body pain and reclining on mid back chairs are not satisfying for this reason. 

9. Space Requirements: 

Mid Back Chair:

PRO: This chair is best for small spaces where someone has minimal room to maneuver other furniture around because of its accessibility and lightweight.

High Back Chair:

PRO: High Back Chairs are most suited in a personal or cubical desk, as it requires little movement.

CON: Usually big in size and not suitable for a small workspace.

Mid Back Chairs are usually shorter & smaller, in turn, requiring a small working zone. However, the High Back Chairs are bigger than the Mid Back Chair, so they require bigger space.

If you want to buy office chairs for the conference hall or meeting room, you should definitely buy the Mid Back Chairs as they are easy to move and do not require a long-time sitting position.

Nonetheless, when you are to choose an office chair for your personal cabin or office room, you should never hesitate to buy a High Back Chair. 

Final Thoughts:

The Mid Back Chairs are mostly seen to be available in more styles, colors, and feels than the high-back office chairs. Moreover, Mid Back Office is less expensive and suitable if you don’t sit in the same spot too long.

Mid Back Chairs are typically used to replace an office chair that you might use in a cubicle or while sitting at an open desk as you might need to move a lot. Mid Back Chairs are excellent in providing adequate lower back support for shorter periods.

Mid Back Chairs are better in air circulation and often come with curve adjustment features for your neck.

However, sacrificing some ergonomic features, Mid Back Chairs may not provide much help with your comfort concerning dimensions of support. While using a laptop, the Mid Back Chairs require more muscle strain to adjust the sitting position.

If we talk about High Back Chairs, they will provide head & upper back support to help you sit up straight. Hence, you will feel relaxed by releasing pressure from the lower spine. You can more comfortably rest your head in the headrest.

High-back chairs offer support for your upper torso. If you’re very tall, I recommend High Back Chairs because they will fully support your back and head due to their height.

High Back Chairs require standard office spaces and are most effective for prolonged use.

A High Back Chair provides adequate support for your backbone if you are taller even though your spine does not touch the backrest and can benefit those who suffer from backache. Nonetheless, the cost of High Back Chairs is greater.

So, Is a high back or mid-back chair better? After careful observation, I found the High Back Chairs to be more effective than A Mid Back Chair due to its provided ergonomic features. 

If you are wondering about the importance of ergonomic features, make sure to read the article on Are Ergonomic Chairs Worth It?

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.