Office Chair vs. Task Chair: What’s the Difference?

Task chairs are the most commonly used chairs in the offices of the USA. There are different types of office chairs, and among them, task chairs are the most versatile ones. Task chairs are fun to use and promote productivity. Office chairs is a broader term, and there are many types of office chairs out there. A standard office chair has some distinct features that a task chair lacks.

So, what is the difference between an office chair and a task chair? Task chairs are really just a type of specialized office chair. They are made focusing on basic ergonomic features and productivity of desk workers. Task chairs tend to be smaller in size and weight in relation to standard office chairs. They are also generally cheaper.

There are also other major differences between task chairs and office chairs in terms of design, durability, and comfort. Actually, there are many other major differences between them that you might need to know if you want to buy the right kind of chair for yourself or for your workers.

In this article, I will discuss all the major factors that make a task chair different from any regular office chair. So, keep reading!

Ergonomics Features:

The first and foremost difference between a task chair and an office chair that you will notice just after seeing these chairs is the difference in ergonomic features.

Task chairs have basic ergonomic features that will improve productivity while providing decent comfort. Most task chairs have adjustable ergonomic features like adjustable height, mesh-back, 360-swivel, and casters for mobility. You will not find any other ergonomic features on 99.99% of task chairs.

For instance, you will not find any task chair with adjustable arms. Let’s look at the picture below:

Almost all task chairs have fixed armrests. There may be one or two exceptional task chairs. But I have not encountered one yet.

Also the lumbar support of maximum task chairs are not adjustable. You will not be able to adjust the height of the lumbar support as they don’t come with this feature.

Check the image below and you will understand better what I am trying to say:

The lumbar support of task chairs are fixed as you can see in the above image. It reduces the comfort level of the user and provides less support for your back.

On the other hand, ergonomic office chairs have unique ergonomic features that provide extra comfort. Some good examples of such exceptional features would be the synchro tilting, adjustable headrests, 3D armrests, adjustable lumbar support, etc.

However, there are some office chairs as well that contain minimal ergonomic features. You might have seen office chairs with fixed height, no arms or wheels. Those office chairs can be termed as non-ergonomic office chairs or just cheap office chairs.

It takes time to adjust an ergonomic office chair. Some ergonomic office chairs have a lot of features that users don’t even know about.

According to some research papers, most people who use ergonomic office chairs don’t even use the adjust abilities other than seat height adjustment.

The lumbar support of ergonomic office chairs is needed to be adjusted manually. But task chairs have dynamic lumbar support, which adjusts according to the user’s need.

That’s why, for most people, task chairs are a perfect choice as they require minimal adjustments, and they are always ready to use for long hours of intense work with self-adjusting features.


If you have ever been in the market for buying chairs for your office, you certainly know that, in general, task chairs are much cheaper than professional office chairs.

I have seen great quality task chairs, which cost around 50 – 150 bucks. On the other hand, if you want a good quality standard office chair, it will cost around 200 – 400 bucks or more.

Let’s check out some real examples of task and office chairs with their prices:

#Task ChairPrice#Office ChairPrice
1.Hbada Office Task Chair$1101.SIHOO Office Chair$210
2.Furmax Office Task Chair$452.ErgoChair 2$350
3.VANSPACE Task Chair$1403.KERMS Office chair$160
4.KOLLIEE Task Chair$854.Herman Miller Aeron$1200
5.AmazonBasics Task Chair$725.NOUHAUS Ergo3D$315
6.YAHEETECH Office Task Chair$346.All33 BackStrong C1$799
7.CORALONE Task Chair$457.SIDIZ T50$340
8.SIHOO Task Chair$1458.HON Ignition 2.0$334
9.Ergonomic Task Chair$1599.Secretlab Titan XL$479
10.Flash Furniture Task Chair$14510.Clatina Fabric office chair$239
11.VECELO Mesh Task Chair$6011.OFM Fabric Chair$197
12.Staple Hyken Task Chair$19912.CLATINA Big and Tall Office Chair$240
13.MOLENTS Armless Task Chair$7013.NOUHAUS Palette Ergonomic Office Chair$200
14.Home Office Task Chair$8914.Mimoglad Office Chair$180
15.Sytas Office Task Chair $12915.Famre Home Office Chair$140
Average Price of Task Chair:$102Average Price of Office Chair$359

The above table shows the prices of real task chairs and office chairs. The average cost of a task chair lands around 102 bucks, and the average cost of an office chair is around 359 bucks.

As I have noted before, the price difference between an office chair and a task chair is more or less huge.

The average price of an office chair is three times that of a task chair. But is an office chair three times better? To find that answer, you will have to wait a bit longer.

Size & Design :

Generally, task chairs are smaller in size in comparison to any standard office chair. Their dimensions are lower as well.

If we compare the dimensions of some task chairs with other office chairs, this will be more clear.

So, let’s check out the dimensions of some task chairs and office chairs below:

Task Chair ModelsDimensions (LxWxH)Office Chair ModelsDimensions (LxWxH)
Hbada Office Task Desk Chair23.6 x 23.6 x 39.4 inchesCLATINA Executive Office Chair28.5 x 29.9 x 46.5 inches
HomeOffice Task Chair22 x 9 x 20 inchesErousit Ergonomic Office Chair27.8 x 25.4 x 46.7 inches
Flash Furniture Task Chair25.5 x 24.5 x 41.25 inchesCoolerMaster Ergo Office Chair30.5 x 20.1 x 52.8 inches
VECELO Premium Mesh Chair18.7 x 19.7 x 37 inchesXUER Ergonomics Office Chair28.35 x 26.97 x 51.18 inches

As you can see, the dimensions of task chairs are considerably smaller than other office chairs out there in the market. This makes the task chairs suitable for small spaces.

If your workspace is limited in size, consider getting a task chair instead of any other big and bulky office chair.

Now, let’s talk about the design. Task chairs are very minimalistic and simply designed. Most task chairs have very similar designs. This can be a turn-off for some people who were thinking of buying a task chair.

On the other hand, office chairs will provide you with lots of design choices. It really feels good to have choices. So, I think the task chairs are inferior to any other office chair out there in terms of designs.

Comfort & Productivity:

In terms of productivity, task chairs are at a sweet spot. They have all the basic ergonomic features that allow the users to sit on them and get work done quickly.

On the other hand, there are some office chairs that are not as productive as task chairs.

You might say ergonomic office chairs are more productive than task chairs. In a sense, it is true. But those chairs are highly individualistic. They are meant for extra comfort. The extra features that you get from an ergonomic office chair are properly used by only 5-10% of people.

Before you start to work on such work, you have to adjust everything properly.

Again, ergonomic office chairs are not the only type of office chair. There are executive office chairs, drafting chairs, and these types of office chairs are not made for intense desk jobs like the task chairs.

Task chairs adapt according to their users’ needs. There is no time wastage adjusting unnecessary knobs or levers.

So, I will say, in terms of productivity, task chairs are way ahead of regular office chairs. But office chairs are more comfortable in general.

Durability & Build Quality

If you buy good quality office chairs or task chairs from reputable brands, both will last for a long time.

But since task chairs are used for prolonged periods, they tend to wear out sooner than other office chairs.

You might have heard that task chairs are also called 24-hour chairs. The name explains that this chair will be used all day long. The more you use, the less your chair will last. It is an established fact. So, Task chairs are less durable in comparison to standard office chairs.

Now, if we come to the build quality, there are some task chairs that are very well built. But in general, most task chairs do not come with premium built quality. On the other hand, if you look at ergonomic office chairs or boss chairs, you will notice that their build quality is at a different level.

Materials Used:

I have seen hundreds of office chairs and task chairs so far. I have noticed that almost 99% of task chairs are made of fabric material with mesh fabric on the back. So, task chairs are mostly built using fabric materials and plastics.

On the other hand, office chairs made of fabric, leather, plastic, and wood are very popular in the market.

For this reason, you will notice the design options for office chairs are huge. But the design of all task chairs are somewhat similar and monotonous. 

Main Usage:

Office chairs are mainly used for office work that requires sitting like desk jobs, conferences, training.

They are actually multi-purpose. Office chairs in the conference room and in the room of a CEO have different purposes. I think you got my point.

But the task chairs have specific usage. It is meant for those employees who have specific desk jobs that involve typing, reading, or operating computers.

Availability, Demand & Popularity:

Task chairs are very popular all over the world. In the past and even today, most people use task chairs in offices as well as at home. Task chairs are usually cheaper than standard office chairs. So, the demand for task chairs is very high.

On the other hand, different types of office chairs have different levels of demand. The demand for ergonomic office chairs is increasing these days as more and more people are becoming health conscious these days.

However, if you do some research on google trends, you will notice that the demand for executive office chairs is falling. But the need for task chairs is on the rise. 

Origin and History

Office chairs most probably originated in the mid 19th century. I did not find any solid evidence. But that’s what Wikipedia has to say.

 During that time, industrialization took place all over the world, and people moved to work at the office at their desks. Desk jobs became more and more popular, and different furniture manufacturing companies started selling chairs specifically for office chairs for use. From that, the name office chair came to use.

On the other hand, the task chairs we see today were not like that in the past. The modern-looking task chair was developed from the chairs that typists used in the early days of office chairs.

As far as history goes, task chairs are actually a new concept. It evolved with the concept of modern office chairs.

Manufacturers modernized the operator-style chairs that typewriters used in the past by introducing swivel features, wheels, and fixed armrests to them.

Final Verdict:

Now, after knowing all the differences between regular office chairs and task chairs, you might ask, which one is better?

If you ask me this question, I will say you are not asking the right question. Every type of office chair has different ergonomics and uses.

The question that you should be asking instead is, Which one is best for yourself. Well, there is no direct answer to that as well.

If your top priority is productivity and you are tight on budget, then task chairs are the best option for you.

However, if you are a boss of any office chair, then you might go for executive office chair as you won’t have to work at your desk all day and you also need to show off who the boss is! I am not kidding. Executive office chairs are actually made for showing your class instead of promoting productivity.

Finally, if you prefer extra comfort and excellent productivity, go for a decent ergonomic office chair like the Nouhaus Ergo 3D. I recommend this chair to everyone. It has the perfect balance of design, features, and durability. Check out the review of this chair on our site by clicking here.

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading my article. I hope it was helpful. I have written a lot of other useful articles on office chairs. Make sure you read them as well. Take care!

Asif Iqbal

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