Home office chairs: five of the best

Hag Capisco home office chair

Almost overnight, COVID-19 changed the way we work. For many of us, the daily commute to the office was replaced by a short stroll to the kitchen, spare bedroom or garden. The difficult days of lockdown are thankfully a thing of the past, but flexible, hybrid working models seem set to stay. Lying in bed with your laptop, or stretching out on the sofa, may have been acceptable as a short-term solution. But looking to the long-term, there’s simply no substitute for a dedicated home working setup.

Chair care

If you’re lucky enough to have a stand-alone home office space, it really will boost your concentration and productivity. But if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Ultimately, all you really need is somewhere sensible to sit. Which is why it’s so important to do your research about the best home office chairs. The right model will keep you comfortable, focused and industrious all day long. The wrong model, however, could be responsible for any number of physical health issues. These include lower back problems, neck and shoulder complaints, and muscle spasms.

Personal experience

It’s estimated that in the UK, over the last 20 years, there’s been a +12% increase in how likely a person is to experience disability because of lower back pain. It’s responsible for millions of lost work days – and costs billions to treat. Back pain is miserable and debilitating, and I speak from bitter experience! A few years ago, during my kitchen renovation, I developed a bulging disc in my back; this is a common cause of neck, back and leg pain. It took months to heal completely, and I wouldn’t wish the pain and incapacity on my worst enemy.

Like most people in my profession, I have to sit for long periods while I’m working. But nowadays I make sure to stretch and take a quick walk every twenty minutes – even if it’s just to make a cup of caffeine-free tea! I also took the time to thoroughly research some of the best home office chairs available. Read on to discover exactly what to look for to keep you sitting comfortably throughout your working day.

The key requirements

Every body is different, of course. But in general, the best home office chairs should have a full back that extends from the seat to your shoulder or above. This supports your lower back, and helps to prevent slouching. Chair height is crucial, too. It’s important to keep your feet flat on the floor, and slightly ahead of your knees. Ideally, any arm rests should sit slightly under the elbows, to allow the shoulders to relax. To sum up, look for dedicated lumbar supports, adjustable heights and arm rests, and a swivel back for extra movement.

The ergonomic option

One of the most impressive ergonomic chairs I discovered is the SitSmart RH Logic 400. The company claims it’s one of the most popular quality chairs for both alleviating and preventing back pain.

“With more people working from home than ever, a supportive chair has never been so important,” notes SitSmart Sales Director Matthew Hutchinson. “We are sitting for long hours at a time, and it’s important that doesn’t affect our comfort or concentration. Most ergonomic chairs are now designed to shift with the shape of the human frame. As the body moves, so the chair moves, promoting good posture, energy, support and wellbeing.”

Matthew lists spine support, comfort, adjustability , accessories, usage, material and cost versus longevity as the key criteria to use when selecting home office chairs. “Based on the unique ‘two-point principle’ of upright posture and active sitting, our RH Logic 400 high back chair improves breathing and circulation, and stimulates the muscles,” he explains. “The one-to-one tilt action ensures that lower back support remains constant, whatever position the user sits in.”

SitSmart RH_Logic home office chair
Priced at £942, the SitSmart RH Logic 400 is available in a variety of different fabrics and options. A high backrest and lumbar pump come as standard. Optional extras include armrests, an extra-large seat, neck rest and coccyx cut-out seat

Eco-friendly alternatives

If you’re looking for eco-friendly home office chairs, you’ll love the Hag Capisco 8106. This very distinctive looking model incorporates a saddle seat. However, you can sit on in three different ways: sideways, backwards and forwards. Importantly, you can adjust the height of the back, the depth of the seat, and lock/unlock the seat for reclining purposes. The Xtreme fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester.

Quy Ban, E-commerce Manager at Back2, a back care retailer that offers free ergonomic advice, consultations, assessments and set-up, is full of praise for this model’s versatility. “What makes the HAG Capisco so unique is its ability to be dynamic with the way you sit,” he explains. “As well as the standard forward sitting, the user can sit backwards and use the backrest as an armrest/chest support, or sit  sideways for a more informal seating position. Adopting different sitting positions during the day helps to improve work performance and productivity, reduce fatigue and also increase blood flow through the body.”

He continues: “Usually, back pain stems from the hips being cramped from sitting at a right angle. The saddle seat on the HAG Capisco allows the user to sit with the hips higher than the knees to open the hips, which also encourages an upright sitting posture.” Quy underlines how most people simply don’t realise that they spend almost half the day sitting down. “Sitting comfortably and supported will reduce the risk of health problems like muscle and joint pain, and circulation issues,” he concludes. “Improving your posture with an ergonomic office chair will also save visits to the doctor and money on treatments.”

Hag Capisco home office chair
You can customise the HAG Capisco 8106 chair. Simply choose from a huge range of fabric colours and options and this model costs £958.08

Cost-effective comfort

With my medical history, I’ve tried a lot of different home office chairs. My current model is the Soho Office Chair from Interiorna. The steel frame is super sturdy, and I find the ribbed high back so supportive. This chair is height adjustable using BIFMA-rated class 4 gas lifts, which means you can raise and lower the seat smoothly and easily. I find it really comfortable, even after sitting down for long periods of time.

My office chair by Interiorna in my studio
The super-stylish, on-trend mid-century design leather-look Soho Office Chair usually costs £369. But if you hurry, it’s on sale for £189 – an absolute steal!

It’s all about the knees

Have you ever considered a kneeling chair? They have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people try to improve their posture and address lower back pain issues.

A big advantage of kneeling home office chairs is that they allow you to work with your spinal column upright and aligned. They also allow you to sit with your knees at a 60-70-degree angle (as opposed to the 90-degree of a normal chair). Importantly, when you use a kneeling chair, your shins support some of your body weight. This rebalanced weight distribution alleviates compression on your spine, especially in the lower back area.

Variable Plus home office chair
How gorgeous is this green Varier Variable Plus kneeling chair (colour number 9565)? I love the frame’s natural lacquered finish. An added bonus? The Dinamica fabric is hypoallergenic, hardwearing, eco-friendly and easy to clean. The model starts from £582 and, in this fabric, costs £799

I think the Varier Variable Plus kneeling chair from Back in Action could provide a fabulous future investment for any home office. This brand began in 1987 to help people manage, prevent and treat the symptoms of back pain. Dave Sameiro Varier account manager at Back in Action explains: “Movement is not just about what you do outside work. Your office furniture should enhance your movement rather than get in the way or hold you in one spot. The key to The Varier Variable Plus chair is movement, the more movement the better. This is ‘active sitting’. When you tilt forwards a little on the Variable Plus you balance the spine over the pelvis. This is good posture. The rock of the Variable Plus is exceptionally good at helping you to maintain good posture, even when you are tired.”

Best of the rest

My final pick of the best home office chairs is at opposite ends of the spectrum, stylistically speaking. Humanscale’s Diffrient World chair, designed by Niels Diffrient, is a full-function ergonomic task chair that offers customised back support via its physics-powered design and tri-panel mesh. It incorporates a weight-sensitive recline function and armrests that are attached to the back of the chair, so they move with the user. I always try to shop sustainably, so I like that this model is Living Product Certified. This means that each chair produced restores energy and clean water while reducing environmental waste.

Humanscale Diffrient home office chair
Humanscale’s Diffrient World office chair is available in a contemporary white/ black/silver palette. Prices start at £770

Looking for other ways in which to improve your health at home? Then read my blog, which reveals all the benefits of house cleaning now!