Types of Office Chairs: Which is Best for your Workplace?

Office chairs are used (but not only) in office workplaces, as they offer extra-ordinary lumbar support, a padded seat, and swivel capabilities to enhance productivity for long-hour workers.

Ultimately, no other type of chair (dining, kitchen, or regular chair with a straight back) can be used for a prolonged period of time. As a result, chronic lower back or neck pain can develop over time.

The beauty of office chairs is that they are highly adjustable to the purpose for which you use them. Therefore, you need one as part of your workplace decor to improve productivity.

However, different tasks, weather, surroundings, and budgets demand different chairs.

Thus, we are here to make you aware of the different types of office chairs available on the market and what fits your requirements?

What are Different Types of Office Chairs?

  1. Ergonomic Chairs
  2. Executive Office Chairs
  3. Mesh Office Chairs
  4. Big and Tall Office Chairs
  5. Small Office Chairs
  6. 24-hour Chairs
  7. Conference Chairs
  8. Task Chairs
  9. Folding Chairs
  10. Kneeling Chairs
  11. Balance Ball Chairs
  12. Beam Seating

1. Ergonomic Chairs

ergonomic office chair

BEST FOR: The most popular type of office chair built to last are ergonomic chairs. In addition, these chairs maintain a neutral posture to prevent back pain or sciatica, spondylosis, poor postures, and blood circulation caused by prolonged sitting.

Office chairs with ergonomic features include mesh seats, flip-up armrests, headrests, swivels, and last but not least, lumbar support to enhance productivity and prevent strain injuries.

Salient Features:

  • Adjustable Headrest
  • Best Lumbar Support
  • Swivel Function to Avoid Overstretch
  • Flip-up or 3D Armrests
  • Adjustable Tilt
  • Stable Base
  • Padded Seat

In addition to their comfortability and adjustability, ergonomic chairs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and built materials ranging from leather to fabric and mesh.

Although these chairs are a bit more expensive, investing in a cause such as this can yield the highest ROI.

To prevent neck, back, and shoulder pain, this is a must-have item for individuals who spend most of their working hours sitting.

2. Executive Office Chairs

executive office chairs

BEST FOR: Executives in an office seeking high-end options with an array of ergonomic yet luxurious features.

As the name implies, these types of office chairs are usually used by senior persons in an organization as designed to look imposing in appearance.

Salient Features:

  • High-back with extra cushioning
  • Thickly padded armrests
  • Waterfall edge
  • Woody finish
  • PU or real leather material
  • Lumbar Support

How is it different from ergonomic chairs? Often, the difference between ergonomic and other types of office chairs is minimal. While most chairs are ergonomic in nature, their primary purpose is to meet a particular need.

Expect overstuffed seats, thickly padded armrests, and PU or real leather on executive chairs. Some are even equipped with extras like a reclining function or a massage head.

3. Mesh Office Chairs

mesh office chairs

BEST FOR: Those working in hot and humid environments or those who sweat a lot while on the job will appreciate their breathability.

From an ergonomic perspective, mesh chairs are lightweight and easy to move around. The mesh material’s holes allow free-flowing air to keep you cool during the day.

Salient Features:

  • Better blood circulation
  • Allows you to stay cool
  • Cushioned seats for comfort

Along with all ergonomic features, a net-like fabric covers the backrest of the chairs, which are paired with cushioned seats for comfort.

4. Big and Tall Office Chairs

big and tall office chairs

BEST FOR: These heavy-duty chairs are designed for tall and heavy people who need more room and breathability.

Big and tall chairs are meant to bear high loads ranging from 250 pounds to 1000 pounds normally. This means people above 6’2” can rely on this type of chair.

Salient Features:

  • Higher & Wider backrests
  • Higher & Wider seat adjustments
  • Thicker padding
  • Heavy-duty frame

It is not so common to see these chairs in the market, but are worth mentioning because made of better materials and are thicker for special individuals.

5. Small Office Chairs

small office chairs

BEST FOR: Specifically designed for people with smaller height.

The armrest is relatively low since the higher armrest can be problematic for a petite office worker.

Salient Features:

  • Smaller Seats
  • Lower Gas Lifts
  • Lower Armrest Height
  • Smaller Base

Like ‘big and tall chairs,’ these chairs are a subclass of computer desk chairs.

6. 24-Hours Office Chair

24-Hours Office Chair

BEST FOR: Usually used in the busiest workplaces, such as hospitals, call centers, shopping malls, and police stations.

These intensively used chairs are designed for long sitting hours and are more durable than other office chairs.

The 24-hour chair has to go through rigorous testing of various important features, including back tilt, backload, seat, and baseload.

Salient Features:

  • Robust mechanism
  • Extra Strong Frame & Bases

A manufacturer specifies a chair whether it’s able to withstand this kind of use along with all ergonomic features.

7. Conference Chairs

conference office chairs

BEST FOR: Conference room, meeting room, and boardrooms to promote activeness.

Conference chairs tilt the seat forward slightly, encouraging the user to lean forward and actively participate in the meeting.

Salient Features:

  • Adjustable Seat Height
  • Low or Mid Height Backrest
  • Forward Leaning
  • Swivel
  • Nylon Caster

For the sake of creating a more open space and avoiding blocking people’s views, conference chairs usually have low backrests or mid-backrests.

8. Task Chair

task chair

BEST FOR: Short-term sitting of 1-3 hours a day maximum.

Task chairs are considered to be the most basic type of office chair with the lowest price.

You could choose a task chair if you aren’t looking for your chair to serve a specific purpose other than a place to park yourself for a few hours.

Typically, these chairs just provide a seat, but they don’t usually include extra benefits like adjustable lumbar support and headrests.

9. Folding Chair

folding office chair

BEST FOR: Folding chairs are great for short-term and portable seating at reception, guest halls, or waiting areas.

In addition to being highly portable, these chairs are easy to set up, take down, or store.

Usually, the frame and seat are made of metal or plastic, but some folding chairs have an upholstered seat to make them more comfortable.

Folding chairs have little to no ergonomic features due to their use as a convenient seating solution.

10. Kneeling Chair

kneeling chair

BEST FOR: People suffering from lower back pain, sciatic, or spine problems.

Kneeling chairs are non-traditional types of chairs that distribute the weight from your hips and joints by bending on your shins, which prevents your glutes from getting tight.

Salient Features:

  • Reduces Lumbar Lordoces
  • When set at +20° inclination, it maintains the standing lumbar curvature better than conventional office chairs.
  • Supports the back by strengthening the Psoas muscle and core muscles

However, kneeling chairs aren’t intended for long-term use, leading to the following problems:

  • Limited leg movement
  • Constant pressure on the shins might cause pain in the long run
  • Limitation in the circulation of the legs
  • It’s difficult to get in and out.

Kneeling chairs can cause discomfort if used for extended periods of time, so they shouldn’t be used as a permanent substitute for ergonomic office chairs.

11. Balance Ball Chairs

balance ball chair

BEST FOR: Workout, engage the core, and promote better blood circulation (in shorter bursts).

Balance ball chairs are also known as yoga ball chairs and stability ball chairs because they are made of an inflatable ball with a secure base at the bottom.

To mimic the design of traditional office chairs, some balance ball chairs include casters and even a backrest.

NOTE: These chairs are not recommended to use over 20-30 minutes time.

Salient Features:

  • Improved mobility, concentration, and productivity
  • Boost Blood Circulation
  • Helps Burn Calories

A balance ball chair is designed to be used in short bursts to engage your core and possibly improve blood circulation, but it is not a replacement for a regular office chair or prolonged sitting.

12. Beam Seating

beam seating

BEST FOR: Usually placed in waiting halls, reception areas, and lobbies.

The beam seating, or tandem seating, is a chair in which multiple chairs are welded together on a horizontal metal bar to create stability and adjust maximum people in a shorter space.

In general, these bean seating are made from plastic and metal and usually come without armrests and wheels.



Do office chairs use hydraulics?

In most office chairs, the seat can be raised or lowered using hydraulics or pneumatics.

What is a sinking office chair, and what causes it?

Sinking office chairs cannot maintain their height. The pneumatic gas cylinder helps maintain the height of the office chair. Due to the worn-out seal, the gas cylinder leaks over time, causing the chair to sink.


Any organization following productivity and ergonomics standards uses these types of office chairs. We hope this helped you determine what’s best for you.

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