After researching over 40 of the best office chairs under $300 online, we can confidently say that the Smugdesk 5579 Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair is our #1 pick thanks to its ergonomic and fully adjustable features. With its built-in lumbar support and headrest, this chair lets you sit comfortably for long hours all at a low price, making it a great choice for anyone on a budget.
To find our top pick, we assessed the entire sub $300 office chair market. We then bought the top 20 chairs in this price range so we could sit in them and test each one. After we received the chairs and assembled them, we placed our derrière in them for a full work week allowing us to measure their durability, comfort and adjustability. Throughout the process, we eliminated the chairs that didn’t meet our expectations and finally settled on the top 10 choices.
Top 6 Best Office Chairs Under $300 Compared
#1 Smugdesk 5579 Ergonomic Office Chair
Award: Best Office Chair Under $300
WHY WE LIKE IT: This seat offers a lot of adjustable settings for maximum comfort and blood flow, along with breathable mesh fabric for better ventilation. Ergonomic, adjustable and breathable with great lumbar support
- Adjustable, ergonomic design
- Easy to assemble
- Breathable mesh backrest
- Adjustable lumbar support
- Armrests don’t adjust forward or backward
The SmugChair 5579 Back Mesh Executive Chair features an adjustable and ergonomic design that provides lasting comfort, even over extended periods of use. It’s made with a breathable mesh fabric that encourages better ventilation and prevents your body from overheating. This office chair is dark black in color, with a textile material and measures 24.88 x 17.2 x 46.46 inches.
This office seat features lumbar support that is superb, mostly because it can be adjusted up and down to fit the position of your lower back. Having this option allows you to promote better blood flow in your back and throughout your body.
The Viva also features armrests that are only height adjustable; they don’t adjust back and forth. This may limit you on how close you can get to your desk while sitting in this chair. Also, if you’re a taller person, you may experience some discomfort due to the lower headrest. Therefore, this office furniture isn’t for everyone, and it might be a good idea for any taller individuals to check out designs with a high back, but it does still offer some great features.
#2 Poly and Bark Inverness Ergonomic Chair
Award: Best Ergonomic Office Chair Under $300
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Poly and Bark Inverness Ergonomic chair is made with comfort in mind. It’s made to be ergonomic in almost every way possible, and it allows you to easily adjust settings.
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- Easily adjustable
- Breathable mesh on backrest and seat
- Armrests aren’t padded
- Tall people may be uncomfortable
The only thing it lacks is padding on the armrests, but this is a downside that can easily be ignored. Focused on ergonomic design and easily adjustable to fit your needs. This is one of the best ergonomic office chairs that features a head rest and a padded waterfall seat cushion.
This seat features a unique adjustment dial for adjusting seat height, tilt and depth. Simply push the button corresponding to the setting you want to adjust, and then turn the wheel to until you reach your desired comfort level.
The backrest features a breathable mesh fabric and built-in lumbar support that creates an extra-comfortable experience for anyone sitting in this chair. It’s heavy, which might make it more difficult to carry between rooms, and tall people may be uncomfortable in it. However, it still makes a great choice for anyone looking for an ergonomic chair for less than $300. Compare that with any of the most comfortable office chairs that feature adjustability, and lumbar support.
#3 AmazonBasics Classic Leather Office Chair
Award: Best Leather Office Chair Under $300
WHY WE LIKE IT: The AmazonBasics Classic office chair features durable leather upholstery in both the backrest and the seat itself.
- Compact, comfortable design
- Built-in lumbar support
- Very affordable
- Lower weight limit
- No headrest
- Chair tilts a little, even when locked
Along with this leather, the chair features full adjustability and super comfortable cushions to encourage better blood flow while sitting. Tie that up with an affordable price tag, and you’ve got an office chair that is hard to beat. Features extra-comfortable, durable and easy-to-clean leather upholstery.
The chair is also compact, making it easier to use anywhere, regardless of available space. Unfortunately, the armrests can’t be adjusted, but the chair makes up for this by making the armrests extra comfortable with additional padding.
Besides the lack of a headrest or adjustable armrests, most of this office chair’s settings can be adjusted. This is one of the best office chairs on the market today. It features a unique tilt system that allows you to lock in a 2:1 ratio to promote better blood flow and comfort. Just like the best office stability chair which could mean the difference between a slouched back and an active, engaged core to improve alertness and concentration on tasks.
#4 Alera Neratoli Mid-Back Swivel Chair
Award: Best Non-Mesh Office Chair Under $300
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Alera Neratoli Mid-Back Swivel chair is sleek and attractive. Its compact design features eye-catching faux leather that’s sure to double as a showpiece and a chair.
- Attractive waterfall design relieves knee pressure
- Can install without the arms
- Stain-resistant, durable materials
- Lack of adjustability
- Padding isn’t made for long periods of sitting
- Can’t lock the seat tilt
The waterfall design of the seat is also functional, serving to relieve the pressure in your knees while sitting for increased circulation. Attractive design with a waterfall seat to relieve knee pressure
Unfortunately, the thin padding isn’t made for long periods of sitting, and there’s a decided lack of adjustability on the Alera. However, this makes an excellent pick for less than $300.
Assembling the Alera is easy, and you can even assemble it without the arms if you so desire. The faux leather material is stain-resistant and durable, though it doesn’t breath as well as mesh chairs. That said, this is an excellent option due to the combination of attractive form and decent function.
#5 HON Wave Big and Tall Executive Chair
Award: Best Non-Mesh Office Chair Under $300
WHY WE LIKE IT: The HON Wave Big and Tall Executive chair is made specifically for users who are bigger and/or taller than the average user, as the name implies.
- High weight capacity
- Adjustable lumbar support
- No headrest option
With an increased weight capacity topping out at 450 pounds and a low price, this top pick provides an inexpensive solution to those who have a harder time a chair due to their size. Made for big and tall users with a sturdy and comfortable design
While this office seat under $300 doesn’t offer any kind of headrest option, it still offers adjustable lumbar support and other adjustable settings, such as seat height and tilt. This sturdy chair is also a little heavier than most seats, weighing in at 53 pounds, which might make it more cumbersome to move.
Overall, the HON Big and Tall Executive is comfortable, mostly due to the dual layer of padding under the mesh fabric. The mesh nature of this fabric also provides ventilation to cool your body down, even when you’ve been sitting in the chair for a long period of time.
#6 Topsky Mesh Chair
Award: Best Lumbar Support Office Chair Under $300
WHY WE LIKE IT: Unique design featuring a built-in hangar and fine-tuning lumbar support. The Topsky Mesh chair is the king of lumbar support.
- Fully adjustable, including lumbar support
- Durable, strength mesh back
- Ergonomic, comfortable design
- Assembly can be a little difficult
- Armrests don’t adjust front-to-back
It offers a fully adjustable lumbar support cushion on the backrest that you can move back and forth to fine-tune the amount of lumbar support provided.
This chair also features a ton of different adjustable settings, including a headrest, seat tilt, and seat depth. The armrests are also height adjustable, but you can’t move them back or forth. The mesh fabric on the Topsky is breathable and comfortable, especially when paired with the cushioned seat.
The Topsky also features a built-hangar on the back to conveniently store your coat or bags.
Assembling the Topsky can be a little difficult with the included instructions, so you may need to turn to online resources for help. Overall, though, this chair provides an excellent solution for people with lower back pain who are also on a budget.
Office Chair For Less Than $300 Buying Guide
When you start to research the best office chair for less than $300, you may find that you should look for the same general features found on any chair.
In previous office chair lists, we’ve outlined all the features you should consider when purchasing a new chair.
Our buying guide outlines the most important features to consider when you’re on a budget, be it less than $300 or under $200.
Before you get going, you should recognize that you’re not going to get all the premium features you would get when you spend more than $300 on an office chair. However, that doesn’t mean you will sacrifice comfort or health just to save a little money.
Features to Consider When Shopping for a Sub-$300 Office Chair
Office chairs that offer these features are the best choices when you’re on a budget. As such, consider the following features when you start shopping.
Sometimes, buying an office seat under $300 means you’re going to get a poorly constructed chair. However, this definitely isn’t the rule, and you’ll want to purchase a chair that will last you at least three to five years.
When considering sturdiness, look at the materials used in the design. Caster wheels are commonly made from rubber, plastic, nylon, aluminum, and stainless steel and you’ll want to avoid purchasing office chairs that use flimsy plastic parts, especially in the wheels. You should also pay attention to reviews that speak to the durability of the backrest and seat materials. Both mesh and non-mesh fabric chairs can be made cheaply, so try to purchase a chair with durable materials. Another material to look out for is PU leather. Genuine leather is extremely durable and can last between 10 to 20 years, whereas PU leather is artificial and can begin to crack and crease in just a few years.
The best office chair for less than $300 will offer a good variety of adjustable settings. If you want an elevated level of comfort while sitting in your chair, consider what kind of adjustable settings it offers. These settings can include things like seat height, tilt tension, and depth, among others.
The settings you need to adjust can vary depending on your own personal preferences. As such, think about what matters most to you, and then make your buying decision based on those preferences.
While many of these chairs aren’t as comfortable as more expensive options, there are still plenty of choices that feature designs to promote overall comfort and healthy sitting.
When you think about comfort, consider features like breathable materials, lumbar support, and pressure relief. Breathable materials allow for greater ventilation and lower body heat, especially while sitting for long periods of time. Lumbar support and pressure relief features both help alleviate back pain and increase your body’s circulation.
Office Chair FAQ
What makes a great ergonomic chair?
Working in an office or from home usually involves long hours sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen. Sitting all day in a typical office chair puts a significant amount of stress on the spine and can lead to a number of health issues and back problems. That’s why ergonomic chairs are not only an excellent investment; they’re also a necessary addition to any office or desk at home. Since there are a variety of different ergonomic chairs to choose from, it can be a challenge to pick one and say this chair design is the best. However, there are some specific features you should definitely look out for. As mentioned above, comfort is a critical element to any chair, and features like lumbar support, pressure relief, and adjustable arm rests will help alleviate aches and pains and increase your body’s circulation. Other features, such as seat height adjustment, tilt tension, depth, and durability are also important.