Most have to sit at a desk for at least some period of time, and for those that have to sit for longer periods, one of the best cheap office chairs is a must. You need something that's comfy, supportive, and most of all, affordable. Looking nice is always a bonus as well, and there are some great options out there that don't cost the earth to fit in with your budget.
We've made sure that all the chairs on this list stick to a $150 price limit. That makes sure that they're affordable, but you'll still get something high quality. There are plenty of chairs out there, but we've found all the best that will make sure that you don't break the bank. If you're a student looking for a new desk, then we've also found all the best budget dorm desks.
Tammy spends most of her working day sat in a desk chair, as well as doing the testing for a range of different desk sitting options. She's put this list together knowing what a range of different users need in a chair, from comfort to ergonomics.
This chair has arms and a mesh back, to keep it breathable against your back. The seat cushion is covered with leatherette, while there's contouring on the backrest to make sure your back is supported. Unlock the tilt, lean back, and you'll be comfortably reclined.
This pink number has lumbar support built into the mesh backrest, and has a super comfy headrest so that you can get some relief for your neck and head. The armrests feature the same soft cushioning as the seat base itself, it'll tilt back super easily as well.
Best for offices
A little larger
This simple chair is available in a couple of different colors and features adjustable arms and lumbar support in the backrest. It doesn't tilt quite so much as the other options, but that makes it a more stable choice if you don't need your chair to swing back at all.
Best for penguin lovers
A, er... penguin?
The Hbada Task Chair looks phenomenal, particularly in its black-and-white color scheme. There are also some pretty great features built into its frame as well - the arms lift up and out of the way if you find them cumbersome, and the thick padding on the seat keeps you comfortable.
Best executive chair
Amazon is back with another comfy option to slip under your desk. It's padded on the armrests, back, and seat, and is finished a soft leather alike. It is very much 'just a desk chair' but it's got features from far more expensive options you'll find out there. Amazon even provides instructional videos.
How about something more modern? The Belleze is a lovely piece of design that'll fit any modern office space. It lacks arms and back support, but if you only use your home office occasionally, this could well be the option for you. That, or it would make a good option for any villain's lair.
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Best budget gaming chair
If you're a gamer, you're probably looking for one of those cool, racing-style seats. You're also probably looking at the prices of some of them and dropping your jaw to the ground. This budget-oriented gaming chair is a great alternative, offering cushions for ergonomics at a much lower price.
Best low backed chair
This leather number is a stylish chair option with fixed armrests. It's not going to be high-backed like some, but it'll still keep you comfy throughout the day. It's available in a range of colors too, so there's a chair for every room. The metal wheelbase is sturdy too, if a little tricky to assemble.
Best mesh back
This comfy desk chair features adjustable armrests that swing out of the way and comes in a range of colors. Its seat base is deep, so it should stay comfy for a long time too. The lumbar support in the back is permanent though, so if you want to adjust it you may have to get busy with a hammer.
This futuristic-looking number should bring some cool looks to a home office. It is black and white though, so make sure you're keeping on top of cleaning lest it becomes mucky in three milliseconds flat. It is plush, and under $100 though, so it's a great comfortable, budget-friendly option.
Best for small spaces
Slim and comfy
This classy little number comes in a range of colors, and features adjustable arms and a nice wide wheel base. We're particularly fond of the pink version, although the green looks equally tempting. It comes in well under $100 too, so you'll get a great chair for less.
Funny name aside, this office chair comes in a number of colors and features lumbar support built into the backrest. It's mid-height so don't expect any neck support, but those folding armrests can get out of the way when you slide the chair under a desk.
Which would we go for?
If you're looking for a decent chair that's a great all-rounder, then the X XISHE Ergonomic desk chair is one of the best. It has a breathable mesh back, a nicely cushioned seat base for your rear end to enjoy, and adjustable arms to ensure you're more supported. It also comes in under $150, which is always a bonus.
If you're looking for more of a gaming chair, then the High Back Gaming chair with lumbar cushion from BestOffice is a good option. It's got a lumbar cushion in the box to make sure that the curvature of your back is kept up, and it'll keep you comfortable for those long gaming sessions. There are several color options as well.
If you want something that looks great, then the Ovios Ergonomic office chair is going to be the one to choose. It's got a stunning leather-like surface, and looks akin to something from The Godfather, or the chair that Ernst Blomfeldt spins around in with his white cat. If you're an aspiring villain then there's everything you need here for a nicely intimidating lair.
What should I look out for in a desk chair?
Everyone has their own needs in an office chair, but there are some things that are a must when choosing a chair that won't do you any damage as you sit at your desk for the long workday.
- Back support - your back is important. Make sure that any desk chair you're choosing has some amount of support for your posture and back - that means keeping you upright throught the day, so that you don't end up slumping in front of your computer.
- Lumbar support - we'll say it again - your back is important. It's also not a straigt line from head to leg, it's a kind of subtle S shape. Lumbar support keeps your back in shape, making sure that your lower back is catered for. Ideally, a chair should have adjustable lumbar support to make sure the back rest is the perfect shape for your back.
- Height adjustment - you don't want to be sat on your chair on tip toes, and neither do you want to be sat at your desk, barely able to see over. It might sound obvious, but height adjustable desk chairs make working for long hours not only more comfortable, but also better for your legs and back health.
Where to buy desk chairs on a budget?
If none of the above are quite your style, then there are a great range of places to have a look at other cheap, comfy office chairs. Wayfair has some really stylish options at really great prices, and Home Depot has an entire office section where you can sort your options by price and go from there. There's always the ever-faithful Amazon, although searching through the enormous range on offer can be daunting at best. Make sure you're doubling checking reviews, and if in doubt, pop back here! The list will continue to evolve with time, and we'll keep making sure this list reflects how you can get a cheap office chair on a budget for a long time to come.
- Amazon - Good old faithful Amazon - they've got thousands of options.
- Home Depot - It's very easy to sort the options on their site, so you can really narrow down your search.
- Walmart - We've already put an Ascending price filter on here, so you'll see the cheapest options first.
- BestBuy - They've mixed in some accessories with the chairs here, so you'll have to scroll a bit to get to the chairs. They are there though, we promise!
- Wayfair - Wayfair may not be the cheapest, but they have some very stylish options for good prices.
Do I need lumbar support with my desk chair?
Given you'll be spending many hours sitting at your desk on your desk chair, lumbar support is very important. See, your back isn't dead straight - there's a subtle curve that needs to be looked after. Lumber support gives that carve some support, so you don't end up with a twisted, painful spine by the end of the day.
What kind of chairs are good for long sitting?
A high backed chair is going to do you the best over longer periods, as they provide more support for your neck and your back. You can add that to lumbar support pillows and the like as well to make sure you're comfortable all day. Remember, however, that sitting for too long can be unhealthy in other ways, so make sure you're standing up enough, and going for a walk or a stretch.
We have a few more buying guides you might be interested in too. If you can stretch that budget further, then the best ergonomic office chairs are well worth a look. Our roundup of the best desk chair for kids is great for the little workers at home.
Or maybe you quite like the chair you already have and just wish it was a bit more padded? If that's the case, then you might be able to skip buying a chair if one of these best seat cushions suits you.
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As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.