Top Pick: Nouhaus ErgoFlip | $230 | Amazon
Let’s talk chairs. It’s been one of our favorite topics over the past year and for good reason. Working from home has made us think a lot more about what we sit in literally all day. Before the pandemic, I was using a cheap $50 IKEA swivel chair that was peeling. It had no support to speak of and was probably killing my back. It was fine for coming home and sitting down in for a few minutes after hours, but not so much for eight hours of straight sitting. I eventually upgraded, but even that’s not enough to deal with the workday strain.
So we asked our readers to help out last week by telling us the best office chairs for under $300. While a really great chair can cost up to $1,000 and over, we wanted to see if it was possible to get a great chair on a budget. Our readers were up to the challenge and shared a wide range of ideas (including a straight-up recliner, which I respect). So, the good news is that it’s very possible to get a good office chair for under $300. They may not be as top-of-the-line as a pricey chair, but they’ll certainly be an upgrade.
Without further ado: sit up straight and enjoy this list of the best office chairs for under $300, as chosen by our readers.
Nouhaus ErgoFlip | $230
- Installation was simple and easy to follow (one person can complete in 30 minutes)
- Aluminum wheel base
- Came with both roller-blade and caster wheels (the roller-blade works best and is quieter, but adds an extra inch or two)
- Complete mesh upholstery makes it breathable all around
- Padded armrests flip up and out of way if needed
- Tilt and lock backrest, four colors to choose from (Black, Blue, Red, Gray)
- Headrest only goes so high, so if you are a tall person, it becomes a neck/shoulder rest
- If you are shorter person, installing the roller-blade wheels makes it harder for your feet to touch the floor at the lowest setting
- Can’t adjust height of armrests
- No forward tilt - CGJackal
Tempur-Pedic TP8000 | $234
I bought a Tempur-Pedic office chair from Staples several years ago. I then purchased a second one because it is the only chair I’ve ever found that eliminates numb butt.
It has a Tempur-Pedic cushion for the seat, and a mesh back that is comfortable. Sturdy. I sit at my desk for hours, and I used to have to get up because my butt was numb and lost circulation. This never happens with this office chair–I highly recommend. - Samwiseglamgee
Autonomous Chairs | Starting at $189
Last May, I decided to treat myself to a new computer chair due to how much time I actually spend in it. I searched all over for reviews but they were scant and hard to find, as people seemed to aim at the Hyken from Staples for my budget at the time. I really liked the option footrest, though. In the end, it was a toss up between this and the Hyken. I ended up going with this one because it had the option leg rest, and I like to have my feet up on something, whether or not they are actually up. Also, I figured if Autonomous makes a good $200 chair, then when this one moves on to the shadow realm, if it left a good impression, I might be convinced to upgrade. The chair has a good rock that also allows you to lean back when the backrest is unlocked. There are three “lock” positions that can be engaged depending on how far back you want to go, which my last chair only had one and no rocking motion. I managed to find a decent promo that got me $50 off. So far I’m happy. Some of the reviews stated the pad doesn’t last long, but after a year of use I’m still comfy and don’t feel the bars they spoke about.
In my eyes, the pros out weight the cons as the cons are more in the personal taste row, for me.
- Wide seat so I can sit cross legged
- Good rock/lean back that isn’t too stiff/loose
- Optional foot/leg rest
- Optional headrest
- HEAVY in the packaging. Moving this thing solo kinda sucked.
- Headrest is loose/wobbly. Unsure if this is the standard as the reviews weren’t easy to find.
- Headrest also seems a little too far back to be useful.
- Arm rests may be too hard for some people.
- Cannot change angle of seat pad, itself.
- Lack of fun colors. You get Black or Gray.
Serta Smart Layers | $268
This is great. My only complaint is that it isn’t a high back chair, but for the price point, [it has] great support and [is] very comfortable. - Chris Frickland