Are you sitting comfortably? What, you’re not?! Too often, when we set up a home office, we focus on getting the tech right: a state of the art laptop, a decent set of speakers, maybe even a flashy second screen. We forget the most important part – the chair. Remember, you’ll potentially be sitting in this chair 8+ hours a day, so pulling up a spare from the dining table or making do with the creaking plastic wheely chair you’ve had since uni simply won’t do. Using an uncomfortable or poorly-fitted chair can lead to aches and pains, difficulty concentrating and poor circulation. If you’re ending the day with back pain or swollen legs, it’s time to take another look at what you’re sitting on. Here’s our top picks for upgrading your work-from-home throne.
This is not a sponsored article and neither Dinghy nor our staff has received any kind of promotional gifts or payment for featuring the above products. Prices and links correct at the time of writing.
If you’re on a budget
For just £55, you might be expecting a stripped-back performance, but the good old Swedish furniture chain does it again. Ikea’s FLINTAN chair comes with lumbar support, a pressure-sensitive brake system, and rubber-coated castors so it won’t ruin your floor. The tilt-tension mechanism helps the chair adjust to your weight and movements so you’ll be well-supported. It comes in a choice of two colours and there’s even the option to add armrests for extra stability.
A kneeling chair endorsed by chiropractors
There’s a new trend in the ergonomics world and that is “active sitting”. Because sitting at our desks for hours every day is not what our bodies were designed to do, experts have been looking for more spine-friendly ways to sit that allow for natural movement and posture. This kneeling-chair is one good option if you’re looking for a chair to stop back problems and other sitting-related aches and pains. Sitting on this requires you to engage your core and keeps the natural curve of your spine. It’s been endorsed by chiropractors, and although it might look a little strange, you do still get a choice of colours and finishes so you can customise it to your office decor.
For the style-conscious
Designed by industrial designer Niels Diffrient, and coming in two exclusive upholstery fabrics, John Lewis’s budget-blowing Diffrient World Task Camira chair really does mean business. The mesh back is non-stretch and made of three different panels to give comfortable but firm lumbar support. It also boasts a weight-sensitive recline mechanism that will adjust automatically to your movements. Its sleek metal base and castors will glide easily across your floor. It’s built to last and comes with a 15-year guarantee.
Good for your core
Another active sitting option if you’re feeling restricted and achy in your chair is swapping in a yoga ball. A yoga ball makes you work to keep your core engaged to stay upright, and one study found that office workers who used an exercise ball reported improved posture, more energy, and better balance. You’ll need to know your height so that you can buy the correct size yoga ball and the usual rules of desk ergonomics still apply here as well, so your elbows should be in line with your keyboard. It’s worth mentioning that most experts don’t recommend a yoga-ball as an all-day solution – most people’s cores aren’t strong enough to keep engaged for 8 hours, and it doesn’t meet HSE standards for office equipment. Stints of up to 20 minutes throughout the day are a great way to reap the benefits without risking slumping.
Another budget option, with a splash of colour
Small spending needn’t mean being restricted in choice here with this Amazon budget buy, which comes in a selection of six colours for less than £50. Despite the price tag, this model comes complete with all the features you’d expect in a pricier chair, including adjustable height, curved backrest for lumbar support, and that all-important swivel. We’ll take one in purple, please!
For the gamer
We’re frequently asking our home office spaces to multi-task, especially during lockdown. If you’re a freelancer by day and a gamer by night, this Andaseat Dark Demon Series Gaming Chair might be for you. Made from high-density mould shaping foam, this is definitely one of the more comfort-focused options on the list, which is good as you may be spending quite a few hours here! It also comes with optional pillows for lumbar and neck support, and armrests that are adjustable in four directions. It has different weight-responsive tilt modes to support a range of activities from PC work to movie-watching. All you need is someone to bring you snacks!
For comfort (and won’t break the bank)
For a chair where comfort is king, take a look at Amazon’s SIHOO Ergonomic Office chair. It has 5 adjustable ergonomic points so you can tailor it to fit you perfectly. The W-shaped seat pad ensures you sit comfortably and centrally for the best support, and the headrest offers that extra stability when you’re pulling all-nighters to hit those deadlines. We love the shiny chrome base, and this chair comes in standard black and a funky orange option.
For the big spender
The Herman Miller Aeron office chair is a thing of beauty – with a price tag to match. For roughly the price of my first car, you can get a precision-engineered piece of kit designed around the latest research in “the science of sitting”. What we particularly like about this chair is the way it has been designed to accommodate and adapt to a range of different sitting positions, which is excellent news for the fidgets among us. The chair back and seat are linked and tilt simultaneously to offer up support in whatever arrangement you end up in. The attention to detail here is second-to-none, and it even comes in different sizes to suit different users.
For the retro lover
If your home office also doubles up as the corner of your living room or bedroom, you might be looking for vintage vibes to match the rest of your decor. A towering, mesh-backed ergonomic wonder is going to stick out like a sore thumb. Enter the Kendal Dining Office Chair. Its stylish mid-century design in brown faux-leather makes us feel like we’ve just stepped into the set of Mad Men. The padding means it should stay comfy and supportive for long periods of sitting, and it can be tucked neatly away under the desk so that it doesn’t intrude on the room once you’ve packed work in for the day.
Once you’ve got the seat sorted, settle in and check your business insurance is up to date.