To help you find the best office chair under $500, we’ve tried out dozens of models, testing them for back and neck support, ergonomics, breathability and adjustability. We also tended to favor ultra-durable products, with a high weight capacity, made from quality materials. Finally, we wanted to make sure each chair we chose looked great, came with a decent warranty and was easy to assemble.
Of the seven models featured on this list, our favorite is the Liccx Ergonomic Office Desk Chair. It is extremely comfortable, with a durable mesh backrest that truly breathes, a fully adjustable 4D armrest, integrated lumbar support and a neck rest. Keep reading to find out more about the Liccx Ergonomic Office Desk Chair and the other products on this list.
Make sure to also read our best office chair for all prices.
Top 7 Best Office Chair Under $500 Compared
#1 Liccx Ergonomic Office Desk Chair
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: An extremely adjustable product to suit every body type, featuring 4D armrest adjustment, a leaning chassis that automatically adapts to preferred seat tightness and a durable mesh backrest to help keep things cool. This is just a great all-around office chair that, thanks to its adjustable design, is perfect to stave off back pain.
- Extremely adjustable
- Large weight capacity, 300 lb
- Easy to assemble
- Footrest costs extra
- Wasn’t packed well
- Only one color
The Liccx Ergonomic Office Desk Chair is extremely adjustable, featuring an armrest that can be twisted and contorted at will, a leaning chassis that automatically adapts to your preferred seating style and an easy lever for up/down adjustment. The chair features a mesh backrest, which helps keep it cool, and it is made from durable components, such as steel.
Though the chair was extremely easy to assemble, thanks to the inclusion of all relevant tools, the box it came in was packed extremely haphazardly, which could impact useability if anything went wrong during shipping. A retractable footrest is available for the product but it costs extra. Of course, if you want a super affordable chair, read best office chairs under $100.
#2 Duorest Gold Ergonomic Office Chair
Award: Honorable Mention / Best for Posture
WHY WE LIKE IT: An innovative product, featuring dual backrests that move on the X, Y and Z axes, allowing the spine to maintain its natural curvature, an adjustable headrest, to suit a variety of heights, and fully removable armrests. This is a great chair for those looking to keep their posture healthy.
- Dual backrests for spinal health
- Large weight capacity, 400 lb
- Armrests are removable
- Easy to assemble, but knobs are torqued tight
- Pretty heavy, nearly 50 lb
- Most expensive on list
The Duorest Gold Ergonomic Office Chair boasts an innovative design, with twin backrests that move along the X, Y and Z axes, which helps the spine maintain its natural curvature and promotes a healthy posture. The tilt and tension can be locked in place per user specification and the armrests are fully removable, which can also help with posture, depending on height.
It boasts a large weight capacity, at 400 pounds, and we found the chair extremely easy to assemble, though we did notice that several of the tension and adjustment knobs were torqued extremely tight, forcing us to loosen them with a wrench in order to fully test out the product. It does, however, fit our criteria for best office chair for lower back pain.
#3 SMUGDESK Ergonomic Office Chair
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts many of the features of comparable models at a much lower price point, including a breathable mesh backrest, a memory foam seat cushion, soft armrests and an integrated lumbar pad for posture support. This is a great choice for those looking for a budget-friendly way to stock their home office.
- Lowest price chair on list
- Supports up to 300 lb
- Easy to assemble
- Mesh backrest
- Not suitable for heights above 6’2”
- Wheels aren’t quietest on list
- No option for footrest
The SMUGDESK Ergonomic Office Chair is a high quality product, with a breathable mesh backrest, a comfortable memory foam seat cushion, soft armrests and an integrated lumbar pad which helps support posture. The product is fully adjustable on a variety of axes, adding to its useability rating. The installation was easy, with everything we needed coming right in the box, and the price is right. Additionally, it comes with a one year warranty, which is nice, and boasts a clothes hanger on the back.
Though the chair is extremely well made and can support weights up to 300 pounds, the dimensions make it difficult to provide comfort for heights above 6’2”. Also, the wheels below the swivel mechanism are not the quietest we tested, though the noise is by no means a deal breaker. Read about the Smugdesk 5579 Ergonomic Office Chair.
#4 Alera Neratoli Tilt Chair
Award: Stylish / Most Color Choices
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts an extremely attractive design, made from stain-resistant faux leather available in three color choices, and features padding throughout, making for a comfortable product. This is a great chair for those with refined tastes who want their office decor to really pop.
- Attractive design in 3 colors
- 2 year warranty (some others have 1)
- Padded cushions throughout are comfortable
- No headrest
- Not as adjustable as other chairs on list
- Weight capacity 250 lb
The Alera Neratoli Tilt Chair is a very attractive product, with a stain-resistant faux leather design that is available in three cool colors (red, white and black.) It’s still comfortable, with padded cushions running throughout and a tilted back to help promote circulation, which helps decrease knee discomfort.
Though the chair is still adjustable, with removable armrests and the capacity to change the height, it doesn’t boast as many related options as some of the other products on this list, with no headrest and no tilt back function. Additionally, the weight capacity is just 250 pounds, which is on the lower end. Speaking of affordable chairs, there are some great choices in the best office chairs under $300.
#5 HON Wave Big and Tall Executive Chair
Award: Highest Weight Capacity
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts an array of features for big and tall users, including a 450 pound weight capacity, a reinforced frame and a fully adjustable high back. This is a great product for people who are unsure if garden variety chairs will cut it for their body frames.
- Weight capacity 450 lb
- 2 year warranty (some others have 1)
- Extremely durable design
- Seat squeaks from time to time
- Back is hard plastic, not that comfy
- Extremely heavy, over 50 pounds
The HON Wave Big and Tall Executive Chair is built like a tank, with a reinforced frame, a fully adjustable high back and a max weight capacity of 450 pounds. Other features are in line with comparable models, including an ergonomic tilt mechanism with a lock feature, breathable mesh, a comfortable cushion and a pair of adjustable armrests.
Though the chair is comfortable in nearly every aspect, we found the hard plastic back to be a slight issue, especially with extended use. We also noticed that the product squeaked from time to time as we performed our tests. Still, though, it is a solidly built piece of office furniture perfect for larger frames.
#6 Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
Award: Best for Space Saving
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts several features ideal for space saving, including an adjustable armrest that can be flipped up, out of the way, and a base that can tilt forward, which allows the chair to easily slide up flat against a desk or other surface. This is the ideal product for those with a cramped home office.
- Space saving design
- Large amount of adjustable components
- Easy to assemble
- Headrest difficult to remove
- On heavy side, around 50 lb
- Weight capacity 280 lb
The Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair has several innovative features designed to save space, including armrests that flip up and out of the way with the press of a button and a base that can tilt forward, allowing the product to snug up close to a desk. It’s also a comfortable chair, with a large amount of adjustable components to help achieve a perfect, pain-free sit. The breathable mesh backing stays cool and the product is quiet as it rolls around the floor on five wheels.
Though the chair was easy to assemble, coming with a large manual complete with pictures, we found removing the headrest, an advertised function, to be on the difficult side. The weight capacity maxes out at 280 lb, which is decent, but on the lower end of the chairs featured on this list. If you have a bit more money to spend, take a look at the best reclining office chair instead.
#7 Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair
Award: Best for Carpeted Offices
WHY WE LIKE IT: Features rollerblade caster wheels, the highest quality wheels on this list, that excel on all manner of flooring, including carpeting, and an extremely adjustable frame, with options to adjust headrest height, lumbar support, backrest tilt and armrests. This is a great chair for offices with wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Caster wheels excel on carpeting
- Highly adjustable
- Weight capacity of 330 lb
- Wheels cannot be locked
- Padding on armrests is thin
- Headrest is a bit wobbly
The Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair boasts four high quality caster wheels that excel on difficult floorings, such as thick carpeting. They are quiet and make rolling around a joy. The product also features a bevy of adjustment options, including the capacity to change up the headrest height, the lumbar support frame, the backrest and the two armrests. The relatively high weight capacity, at 330 pounds, also makes this a winner.
Though the caster wheels are fantastic, and great for carpeting, we couldn’t help but wish they featured a locking mechanism. Additionally, the padding on the armrests is a bit thinner than average, though these are both minor nitpicks on what is otherwise a fantastic product. For some other options, have a look at any of the best office stools available today. But for more comfort, you could just get the best office chair seat cushions that are portable, orthopedic, and extremely comfortable.
How We Decided
To help narrow down to truly the best office chairs under 500 and create the above list, we tested out dozens of chairs, looking for models that were extremely comfortable and offered good lumbar and neck support. We focused on products that remained comfortable even after using it for several hours, causing no back pain to speak of. To that end, we favored chairs that were fully adjustable, allowing use by a wide variety of body types.
We also took a look at aesthetics, choosing models that would look great in the home office or in the office away from home. We chose chairs made from ultra-durable materials, such as steel, that stayed cool even in use, thanks to fine mesh backings and other comfort forward features. Additionally, we leaned toward products with a high maximum weight capacity, as much as 450 pounds.
Finally, we picked products that were easy to assemble, with everything you need coming right out of the box and no need for external tools or screws. We also wanted to make sure these chairs were backed with money back guarantees, for as long as 90 days, and warranties in the one to five year range.
If you’re happy to spend a bit more than $500, there are a number of great chairs available with even more fantastic features and customizable options. Check out the Sayl Chair from Herman Miller.
Office Chair Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Adjustment Functionality
If you are sensitive to back and neck pain, you are going to want to pick a chair that boasts a large amount of adjustment capabilities. Modern office chairs often allow for the adjusting of height, headrest height, armrest location and lumbar cushions, among other options. Finding the exact right specifications for your body can help relieve pressure throughout the body, leading to pain-free extended sitting sessions.
- Money Back Guarantees
Look for chairs that offer some form of money back guarantee, in the 30 to 90 day range. Every person is different with their own unique comfort needs. The chair could be of a high quality and still cause back pain or discomfort, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. These are fairly expensive purchases, after all. Every item on the above list boasts at least a 30 day money back guarantee, which should be enough time for you to figure out if you like it.
- Easy to Assemble
Unless you are handy in the carpentry department, look for chairs that are advertised as being easy to assemble, as every option in the above list is. These products come with all of the tools and screws you need in the package and can usually be put together in 30 minutes or less. If the company does its job right, there will only be several things to screw in with the included allen wrench.
Office Chair Under $500 FAQs
What does the knob under an office chair do?
The knob, or knobs, located underneath an office chair typically adjust the product’s height or tilt tension. The tilt tension knob will increase or decrease the amount of force needed to make the chair rock or recline backward.
Is there a “right” way to adjust an office chair?
No. Each person’s needs are different, so there isn’t necessarily a correct way to make adjustments. Just find the right fit for your body, and your spine, and test it out for a few hours. Your body will be sure to tell you if you need to make further adjustments.
Why do many office chairs have five legs and not four?
Office chair legs support load perpendicular to their orientation so they need to be strong enough not to snap. Therefore, they tend to need more support to adequately address the load, thus five legs as opposed to four. Another reason to have five legs as opposed to four is that the wheels aren't in a fixed position relative to the chair.
What's the difference between a task chair and an office chair?
A task chair is a specialized office chair or ergonomic chair. Although the terms best ergonomic chair, best office chair, or best task chair are often used interchangeably, a real task chair has a few distinct features that other basic office chairs may lack. Task chairs evolved from operator-style chairs, which typist and early stenographers used them to encourage good posture. A task chair also promotes productivity opting for functionality over fancy accessories. They are highly adjustable and meant to accommodate multiple body types. The best office chairs or ergonomic chairs should be task chairs in disguise. They should promote good posture and productivity, offer adjustable lumbar support, height adjustments, back support, seat height adjustments, and adjustable arms. They should also ensure that aches and pains are avoided, even if you sit for long periods.
What is the difference between a gaming chair and an office chair?
The key difference between gaming vs. office chairs is the backrest functionality. Office chairs often cannot recline and can only be altered if they offer adjustable lumbar support. Gaming chairs, on the other hand, can recline completely, some to 180°.
Can you find a good gaming chair under 500 dollars?
Gaming chairs can get expensive. However, there are some fantastic models available under $500. Have a look at the Respawn 200 Racing Style Gaming Chair, the VERTAGEAR SL5000, or the NOBLECHAIRS Epic.