If you’re after a list of the best cheap office chairs available, we’ve gone one better. Here’s a guide to take you through everything you need to know, with five of the best cheap options available on the internet to boot.
There’s nothing wrong with being price conscious, and it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to settle for something that would make the Iron Throne look comfortable.
Let's get started with what to look for in a cheaper office chair.
What to look for in a cheap office chair:
The fact is, you're never going to find a cheap chair that can do everything. Inferior build quality and materials are to be expected, although some manufacturers do take the time to polish their budget range.
It's a cut-throat business near the bottom of the pile, and poor reviews will lead to an eventual burial. And who wants to order a chair that regularly gets one star reviews? So there are a few chairs on the market that won't fall apart straight away, but they can be hard to find.
It's best to get a chair that does a couple of things well. Support and comfort are better than looking nice, but it's tough to find something that does all three. Nonetheless, we’ve tried and tested some of the best chairs available at a cut-price.
Value for money is important at the lower end, so let's check out the top five on the market at the moment.
Our Top 5 Cheap Office Chairs - Ultimate Recommendation
Intimate WM Heart Swivel Mesh Ergonomic Desk Chair
Pros: This chair offers ergonomic support, at minimal cost compared to the majority of competitors. If you need to work with a tight budget, it's hard to find better at such a low price.
It's available in a number of colours, and it's a smart and functional chair. You probably won't find one in a lawyer's office, but it would be great for personal use, or if you plan on using it frequently.
Low cost chairs don't always provide decent support. Some lack basic features like armrests or adequate padding, so it's good to see that user manoeuvrability and comfort are key aspects of the build.
Wheels allow for a full range of movement, and it’s designed to put the least amount of strain on the user's body during extended periods.
Cons: Despite the additional lumbar support, it's nowhere near the best ergonomic chair on the market.
Overall: If you need an ergonomic chair, it's better than a traditional option. Then again, you could get something a little more comfortable in the long term if you’re worried about back pain, or if you’ve been told to buy one by a medical specialist.
If you want to get an entry level ergonomic chair it's not a bad choice. It’ll keep you supported in the meantime, and that’s the most important thing.
Songmics Office Computer Desk Chair with Adjustable Armrest
Pros: This comfortable looking chair is well-reviewed by the majority of buyers. The padding is plush and noticeable straight away, especially when compared to the chairs featured both above and below.
It’s slightly more expensive, but it does offer basic ergonomic support. That's why the adjustable armrests are marketed so strongly, with good reason. Compared to the Amazon chair below, the arms will allow for a whole range of movement, which is good news for anyone with longer limbs.
It's simple enough to assemble yourself, and it’s not bad on the eye.
Cons: Once again, it'll only offer basic ergonomic support compared to a specialist chair.
Overall: It's a solid effort by Songmics, blending comfort and support at a cheap price. A jack of all trades, but maybe not a master of any of the above.
The chair looks great, and it's tough to find a more comfortable seat within the same price range. It's definitely worth taking a look at.
AmazonBasics Low-Back Computer Chair
Pros: When in doubt, you can generally trust Amazon to provide a decent product. Their basic range of chairs are just that, but they're near unbeatable for price.
If you just need a cheap chair to fill a space, it'll do the job. A modicum of back support is provided by padding and adjustable height. It's available in a range of colours, and it'll suit a smaller home office setup. It's one of the best reviewed chairs on their website, because of the easy setup and general value for money.
Cons: The lack of arm support is noticeable, and it's likely to prove uncomfortable in the long run. The 225lb maximum weight capacity is also on the lighter side of the scale.
BestOffice New Black Modern Fabric Mesh High Back Office Task Chair
Pros: For Low $XX, you get a decent chair, that's larger than many of the others on this list. It's an incredible price, and you won't be able to find much cheaper online.
The high back makes it a little sturdier, while it actually has armrests, unlike the Amazon chair above. It has a spring tilt mechanism to allow for some movement, and it comes with a mesh design.
Cons: It's hard to find many problems considering the price, but there's a distinct lack of lumbar support. It might look nicer than the ergonomic options, but you're bound to feel it in the long run if you plan on using the chair frequently.
Overall: You can't go wrong with the BestOffice chair, but it might be better to look for a cheap ergonomic alternative for regular use. If you just want a chair for browsing the internet from time to time, it's well worth taking a look at. Especially considering the size.
That might not seem like the most positive feedback, but for the price it's more than respectable.
AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair
Pros: Another product from Amazon, this mid-back chair offers a little more than the alternative above, and that's reflected by the higher price point.
It's still incredibly cheap, considering the quality look and feel. It's more solid, with enough padding on the seat and the back to keep you comfortable for a couple of hours. For a modest price, it's a great starter chair, and wouldn't look out of place in any office.
It has four out of five stars with over 2000 reviews on Amazon, showing that the vast majority of buyers are impressed when they've tried it out. There's typical height adjustment, but that's your lot in terms of extras.
Cons: The padding is only going to do so much, and it's not enough to last for extended periods without having to take a break. The maximum weight capacity of 225lb is a little light, so it's probably not best for heavier buyers.
Overall: It's a great looking chair, although the lack of ergonomic support means that it's a case of style over substance. It's a decent entry level model and it'll work well for short bursts, but you may want to reconsider if you're looking for something to use regularly.
Once again, for the price, you can't really go wrong, but it will suit smaller users.
How cheap is too cheap?
When I first began writing, I used an old office chair that began to take its toll on my lower back. As an embodiment of the starving writer trope, pricing was important for me, but I had to get something new as soon as possible.
With a limited budget, I found a decent seat with good padding and posture support. It kept me going until I eventually upgraded, and I did miss it until I got used to my latest purchase.
If you just want the chair to use now and again, it's fine to get something cheap and cheerful, or even borrow from a friend or relative in the meantime.
Second hand chairs might seem great for the price, but much of firmness and quality that made it unaffordable in the first place is likely to have worn away. It’s best to get a solid, new, decent chair for now, and replace it as soon as you have the financial stability to do so. Especially if you’re planning on using it a lot.
It’s like a crappy mattress in many ways. You get used to the lumpiness, and it’s only when you finally replace it do you look back and think, “wait, I really slept on that?”
Some people have reported getting rashes from inferior chairs, while it's going to cost more to continually replace cheaper chairs each year when they eventually give up the ghost and go to chair heaven.
No matter your budget, there are decent chairs out there. The ones above should be enough to keep you going in the meantime, although we do advise to get one with better protection if you plan on using the chair regularly.
We'd all like the best chair money can buy, but it's also important to stay within your means. More expensive chairs do tend to last longer and work better, but there are a few decent ones at an affordable price.
Then again, people don't usually scrimp by choice, so don't feel bad about opting for an entry level model. I managed to find a decent chair at a good price for me when I was first starting out, but it took a few hours of research to see which was best. Consider the options above, and make the best decision for you.