Office Chair Types 101: A Complete Guide to the Different Styles

If you’re thinking about buying an office chair, there are many different types and options to explore. Office chairs come in a wide range of sizes, weights, and price ranges. If you learn about different types of office chairs and their uses, you won’t find it difficult to choose the right office chair for yourself.

The different types of office chairs are:

  • Ergonomic Office Chairs
  • Executive or High back Office Chairs
  • Mesh-back Office Chairs
  • Task or low back office Chairs
  • Leather Office Chairs
  • Kneeling Chairs
  • Big and Tall Office Chairs
  • Office Loveseats
  • Petite Office Chairs
  • Mid-century Modern Office Chairs
  • Office Drafting Chairs
  • Writing Tablet or tablet arm Chairs
  • Stools

Each of these individual types of office chairs comes with different features, Sizes, uses, and styles. There are so several manufacturers and brands as well, and this can make your purchase decision tough. Below we’ll look at each type of office chair in detail and figure out what to expect from them.

Ergonomic Office Chairs

Ergonomic office chairs are different from regular office chairs because of their special adjustable features and abilities.

Ergonomic office chairs are made in such a way that they will provide extra comfort, promote proper sitting posture for the user and minimize health risks that are associated with prolonged hours of sitting.

If you have a desk job that requires you to sit for 7-8 hours daily, then an ergonomic office chair will be the right choice for you.

An average American with a desk job spends more than 40 hours weekly sitting on his/her office chair. This causes various health issues like back and neck pain in the long run.

Ergonomic office chairs are built keeping this in mind, e. An ergonomic office chair contains numerous adjustments to support your whole body while you are sitting.

The most important adjustable features of an ergonomic office chair are seat height, armrests, headrests, and lumbar support. All these parts of an ergonomic office chair can be well adjusted as per the needs of any unique individual.

Ergonomic office chairs are always more expensive than standard or regular office chairs because of all these features, extended durability, and companies invest a lot in the R&D of these chairs. 

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of ergonomic office chairs for you to check out. This will give you an overall idea of ergonomic office chairs.

Herman Miller Aeron:

  • Item Weight: 40 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • Price: Around $1500
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Seat heights: Size A: 14.75″-19″, Size B:16″ -20.5″.

Steelcase Series 1:

  • Item Weight: 29 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 400 pounds
  • Price: Around $430
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Seat heights: 16.5″ – 21.5″

Steelcase Gesture:

  • Item Weight: 57 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 400 pounds
  • Price: Around $1000
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Seat heights: 16″ – 21″

Executive or High back Office Chairs

As the name suggests, executive office chairs are built for the executive bodies of an office.

In simple words, these chairs are for the person who is in charge of an office. Executive chairs are also known as boss chairs.

They are distinct from other office chairs because of their different design and high back. Most executive office chairs are made with premium quality leather.

You can say these kinds of chairs are to show off your position to your employees. You can not work for hours sitting at this kind of chair on your desk.

The high back of executive office chairs is not good for air ventilation from your back. Thus during the summer, your back will sweat if you sit for prolonged hours in such chairs.

However, these chairs are very popular among high officials because of their dominant and premium look, and they are actually strongly built. Otherwise, in terms of ergonomic features, they are not that special.

If you work for long hours, then this type of office chair is not for you. On the contrary, if you are a high-level executive or the boss of your office and you don’t have to work hard by sitting all day, you can consider getting one.

Executive office chairs are always highly padded and bulky in size. The most common materials found on these chairs are either bonded or real leather.

If you are looking for the best executive office chairs, check out our recommendations for executive office chairs here.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of executive office chairs for you to check out. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

Serta Executive Office Chair:

  • Item Weight: 58 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 350 pounds
  • Price: Around $290
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Seat heights: 19″-21″

AmazonCommercial High-Back Executive Chair

  • Item Weight: 42 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 275 pounds
  • Price: Around $196
  • Warranty:  2 years
  • Seat heights: 19″ – 22”

La-Z-Boy Executive Office Chair

  • Item Weight: 57.2 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 250 pounds
  • Price: Around $369.99
  • Warranty:  3 years
  • Seat heights: 19″ – 22”

Mesh-back Office Chairs

Meh-back or mesh office chairs are possibly the most popular office chairs right now in the market. A recent study shows mesh office chairs are preferable to even leather chairs. [Source]

Mesh office chairs have some unique advantages that other material-built office chairs just can’t provide.

For example, you must have experienced that during hot weather or when you sit for a long time, your back begins to sweat.

But if you use a mesh back chair, then due to proper airflow through the backrest, your back stays cool, and you do not sweat.

This might sound simple, but this feature of mesh chairs can improve your seating experience to a great extent.

Some chairs even contain mesh-fabric seats for better ventilation of heat from the body and to prevent sweating, like the Nouhaus Ergo 3D chair.

Let’s check out the details of some good examples of mesh chairs so that you can understand them better.

Nouhaus Ergo3d Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair

  • Item Weight: 46 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 275 pounds
  • Price: Around $315
  • Warranty:  5 years
  • Seat heights: 18.5” – 22.44”

Sidanli Mesh Office Chair

  • Item Weight: 34.6 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 250 pounds
  • Price: Around $130
  • Warranty:  1 year
  • Seat heights: 18” – 22”

Task or Low Back Office Chairs

Task chairs are the most versatile office chair out there. These chairs are fit for any office work environment. They are made for productivity, and maintenance of such chairs is also easy.

The designs of task chairs are usually simple, and the price is also lower than ergonomic or executive chairs as they contain just the basic ergonomic features.

You don’t have to worry about any adjustments when you sit on a task chair. You can start working just after sitting down, and the chair will accommodate naturally.

Also, you can transport a task chair very easily as they are lighter than regular office chairs. On average, a task chair weighs around 20 pounds.

Below, I’ve picked out a few examples of task office chairs for you to check out. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

NEO Task Office Chair:

  • Item Weight: 20.5 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 250 pounds
  • Price: Around $71
  • Warranty:  1 year
  • Seat heights: 18” – 22”

KaiMeng Office Task Chair

  • Item Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 265 pounds
  • Price: Around $60
  • Warranty:  1 year
  • Seat heights: 17” – 21”

Leather Office Chairs

Leather office chairs are also very common and widely used in offices. Most leather office chairs you see in the market are made of bonded leather. 

Bonded leather office chairs are cheaper than real leather office chairs.

IKEA, Serta, and Lazy Boy brands are renowned for top-quality manufacturing leather chairs in the market right now.

However, leather chairs contain fewer ergonomic features, and that’s why most leather chairs are not comfortable for prolonged uses.

However, leather chairs look very premium, and if you buy a good quality leather chair and take good care, it can last for ages.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of leather office chairs for you to check out. This will give you an idea of this type of office chair.

KERMS Bonded Leather Chair

  • Item Weight: 34.7 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 275 pounds
  • Price: Around $170
  • Warranty:  1 year
  • Seat heights: 18.1” – 22.1”

Serta Leather Office Chair:

  • Item Weight: 58 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 350 pounds
  • Price: Around $290
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Seat heights: 19″-21″

IKEA ALEFJÄLL:

  • Item Weight: 58 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • Price: Around $299
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Seat heights: 18″-22″

Kneeling Chairs

I personally like the concept of kneeling chairs. When I sit on a kneeling chair, it feels like The weight of the body is shifted at the bottom of the body and stress from the back and spine is relieved, and the core muscles are engaged properly.

According to several recent studies, kneeling chairs are effective against lumbar lordosis, and it also helps to minimize back pain.

The seat height of the kneeling chair is mostly adjustable, and they can accommodate tall people very easily and comfortably. If you are a very tall guy and having a hard time finding the best office chair for yourself, check out our article, 12 Best Office Chairs for Tall People (6’4″ – 7’2″): A Complete Guide with Pricing.

Experts also say that sitting on a kneeling chair can strengthen your core muscles. 

But there is a limitation to it. I am sure when you will use a kneeling chair for hours, you will definitely feel that your leg movement is compromised, and I think this can reduce blood circulation on the legs.

If you are worried about blood circulation and looking for office chairs that can promote blood circulation, go check out this article, Best Office Chair for Better Blood Circulation: A Complete Guide.

Also, getting in and out of a kneeling chair is not as easy as it seems. It feels a little bit harder to get out of a kneeling chair after sitting for a while.

However, for short-term uses kneeling chairs are fun to use, but I don’t recommend buying for long hours of sitting.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of kneeling office chairs for you. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

VIVOHOME Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

  • Item Weight: 16 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 330 pounds
  • Price: Around $78
  • Material: PU Leather
  • Seat heights: 21″ to 28″ (Also suitable for Tall people)

DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

  • Item Weight: 24 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 250 pounds
  • Price: Around $140
  • Material: Fabric
  • Seat heights: 21″ to 31″ (Also suitable for Tall people)

Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair

  • Item Weight: 24 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • Price: Around $299
  • Material: Dark blue fabric
  • Seat heights: 21″ to 31″ (Also suitable for Tall people)

Big and Tall Office Chairs

Big and tall office chairs are not for everyone. As the name suggests, big and tall office chairs are for the big guys out there.

These chairs are built with a premium built quality, heavy frame, and wider seat to provide proper support and comfort.

They usually have a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds.

Also, the seat height of big and tall office chairs is quite adjustable to support tall persons as well.

If you are a big dude like me, it can be a difficult task for you to find the right office chair for yourself.

For this reason, I would like to suggest some articles for you to read if you are looking for an excellent office chair for yourself. Check out the articles below:

  1. 12 Best Office Chairs for Tall People (6’4″ – 7’2″): A Complete Guide with Pricing
  2. Best Office Chairs For Heavy People: A Detailed Guide with Pricing

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of big and tall office chairs for you. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

KBEST High Back Big & Tall Office Chair

  • Item Weight: 57.5 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 400 pounds
  • Price: Around $240
  • Material: Leather

Secretlab Titan XL

  • Item Weight: 24 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 390 pounds
  • Price: Around $454
  • Material: Fabric
  • Seat heights: 19″ to 22.8″ (Recommended for people of height 5’11” – 6’10”)

Office Loveseats

Loveseats are just small chairs sofas that can accommodate two people.

These are really good for keeping the guests at your office cozy and comfortable.

Loveseats are usually found in the reception area, where people actually wait for appointments and stuff like that.

Modern Small Loveseat

  • Item Weight: 34.8 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 550 pounds
  • Price: Around $169.99
  • Dimensions: 26.5 x 45.5 x 25 inches

Amazon Brand – Rivet Goodwin Modern Loveseat Sofa

  • Item Weight: 34.8 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 550 pounds
  • Price: Around $700
  • Dimensions: 61.8 x 36.2 x 35.8 inches
  • Seat Height: 18.5 “H

Petite Office Chairs

These office chairs are the opposite of big and tall office chairs. They are small built. The body frame is smaller, and the weight capacity, seat width, and seat height are lower to fit small people.

The headrest and armrests of petite chairs are also smaller than regular chairs as petite office chairs are for people whose height is below 5 feet 4 inches.

If you are a small person and looking for the best office chairs for yourself, you can check out this article: 11 Best office chairs for Short People (4’11” to 5’4″): A Complete Guide with Pricing.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of petite office chairs for you. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

Herman Miller Aeron (Size A)

  • Item Weight: 58 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • Price: Around $1500
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Seat heights: 14.75 – 19″
  • Supported Person’s Height: 4’10”-5’10”

Rimiking Home office chair

  • Item Weight: 24.03 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 200 pounds
  • Price: Around $110
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Seat heights: 14.57 – 18.51″
  • Supported Person’s Height: 4’10”-5’8″

Mid-century Modern Office Chairs

Mid-century or mid-century modern office chairs are very minimal and elegant-looking office chairs.

The term mid-century reflects the time period of 1930-1970. These office chairs are for old-school folks who love more organic color blending with bolder patterns.

The Mid-century modern chairs design lineup is inspired by the office chairs that are used between that time period.

However, a lot has changed within. These chairs now have better ergonomic features, which they previously did not have.

These chairs are still very popular as many people still love minimal-looking office chairs.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of mid-century modern office chairs for you. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

Art Leon Mid-Century Modern Office Chair

  • Item Weight: 20.7 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 330 pounds
  • Price: Around $134.99
  • Seat height: 19.29″
  • Material: Fabric/leather
  • Item Dimensions: 23.62 x 22.83 x 33.46 inches

2xhome Brown Modern Mid Century Modern

  • Item Weight: 25 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • Price: Around $164
  • Item Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 37.5 inches
  • Material: Leather

Office Drafting Chairs

Drafting chairs are not as popular as leather or mesh office chairs, but drafting chairs have some unique features which are really cool.

They come with a foot ring that is a unique feature of this kind of chair, and this promotes blood circulation in the legs.

Drafting chairs also contain other ergonomic features like seat height adjustments, back tilting, and 360-degree swivel features.

Drafting chairs are best for using, along with standing desks and drafting tables.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of drafting office chairs for you. This will give you a better idea of this type of office chair.

High-Back Mesh Ergonomic Drafting Chair

  • Item Weight: 38.7 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 285 pounds
  • Price: Around $190
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Seat heights: 22.4″-30.3″

Hylone Drafting Chair:

  • Item Weight: 38.5 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 275 pounds
  • Price: Around $179
  • Warranty: 1 year

Writing Tablet or Tablet Arm Chairs

These are special types of office chairs that have a writing surface attached to them. Most tablet armchairs have minimum ergonomic features. Most of these chairs don’t have a swivel feature. 

These chairs are widely used in the training sessions of office employees.

The writing arm also helps the employees to take notes during training sessions.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of Tablet Arm chairs for you. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

Cadence Nesting Tablet Arm Chair

  • Item Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 250 pounds
  • Price: Around $62
  • Warranty: 1 year

Flash Furniture Flip-Up Tablet Arm

  • Item Weight: 48 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 260 pounds
  • Price: Around $70
  • Warranty: 1 year

Stools

Stools are used in various offices from the earliest times. Stools are similar to chairs, but they don’t have backrests. Typical stools have 3-4 legs. But the ergonomic stools have adjustable seat heights and 360-swivel features.

The manufacturers claim those stools to be ergonomic. But I strongly disagree as stools don’t have back support, they can not be comfortable for long hours of sitting.

Below, I’ve picked out some examples of drafting office chairs for you. This will give you an overall idea of this type of office chair.

Boss Office Stool:

  • Item Weight: 17 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 275 pounds
  • Price: Around $61
  • Item Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 26.5 inches

Seville Classics Airlift Desk Stool

  • Item Weight: 16 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 300 pounds
  • Price: Around $120
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Item Dimensions: 16.1 x 16.1 x 28 inches

Final Thoughts:

Among the 13 types of office chairs, ergonomic office chairs are the most comfortable, real leather chairs are most durable, and task office chairs are the most widely used in offices these days.

There are also other types of office chairs that we have discussed in this article, like kneeling chairs, stools, loveseats, etc.

Each of these chairs has its own unique purposes, features, and price range. Now, as you know about each type of chair, I guess it will be easier for you to realize your needs better and find the particular type of office chair that meets your budget and fulfills your particular needs.

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.