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The Best Office Chair in Australia for 2022

Or how to work happily at your desk without getting a grouchy back.

The Best Office Chair
Updated 
Nov 15, 2021

Age comes with a load of good things. Like a legit reason to not want to party until 1am. It also comes with less good things. Like the ability to strain your back bending over and assorted aches and pains that you swear weren’t there a month ago. Keep your back happy when working at home by investing in the best office chair. It’ll keep your back well-supported, be adjustable to your size and keep you cool as you sweat over your huge inbox. Here are our picks for the best ergonomic office chair for your home, including ergonomic and mesh office chairs, chosen from hours of research and online shopping.

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How we picked

CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group, hasn’t tested office chairs. But the real experts (Aussies) have. So, we began by heading to ProductReview.com.au, Australia’s first consumer opinion site. Although there were a lot of listings, most chairs didn’t have many reviews. The highest number was around 50, with most clocking up a handful of reviews (less than 5).

We sifted through to find the chairs that most delighted Aussies. We focused on office chairs, not gaming chairs. Gaming chairs tend to recline more and have bucket seats and backrests. Which means they aren’t necessarily suited to at-desk work. We worked to find a good range of budgets and materials and locally sourced options too. And there you have it, the 9 best office chairs in Australia.

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The best ergonomic office chair

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R4 Executive Seating Kube
R4 Executive Seating Kube
R4 Executive Seating
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The R4 Executive Seating Kube is our pick for the best ergonomic office chair because of the amount of adjustability it offers: a lot.

As well as full back support, it offers a huge range of adjustability, including seat height, seat and back angle, seat depth, weight tension, lumbar support, and arms which can move up and down and tilt left or right. It also has an optional adjustable headrest which you can remove if you prefer.

The seat is fabric covered and padded for all-day comfort, while the back and headrest features breathable mesh to avoid a sticky back situation. It has a synchron mechanism which is a fancy way of saying the seat and back move together, to respond to your body's movements. It has 3 different locking positions so you can find the comfiest one for you.

It comes in black only but with all these ergonomic features, we don't think you'll mind too much. It also has removable castors, with soft tyred castors for tiles and hard tyred for carpets - like a chair you'd find in a real office would. Coming in around $500, it comes with a 5-year Aussie warranty

The best for being active

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ErgoFlip Active Ergonomic Office Chair
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If being sat at your desk all day without moving makes you sleepy / unmotivated / unproductive, ErgoFlip has got the answer. Enter the Active Ergonomic Office Chair. This 2-in-1 office chair converts to an active seat. Flip the seat pad and you’ll find a ‘fit ball integrated surface’. If you’ve ever sat on a fit ball, you’ll know it wobbles and helps strengthen your core and back muscles. So, you can work out while you’re at your desk. ErgoFlip reckons it helps with better posture and balance too.

It’s also packing ergonomic features like adjustability, lumbar support and back and seat angles that can be free-floating or lockable. It’s got a mesh back, which is handy to keep you cool as your body works to keep you stable on the fit ball surface. Note it doesn't have armrests (so no cheating while sat on the fit ball seat).

The seat measures 49cm W x 47cm D. The back measures 45cm W x 50cm H. The seat height can go from 42cm up to 55cm and it holds up to 135kg.

It’s endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association and is Australian owned and made. It costs around $750 and comes with a huge 10-year warranty plus a 30-day money back guarantee. It too gets 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au, from 2 reviews.

The best massage office chair

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Gucca Electric Massage Office Chair
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Sitting in an office chair for hours is no one's idea of fun. But if there's an office chair that'll change your mind, it's the Gucca Electric Massage Office Chair. Not only does this office chair look as welcoming and comfy as a duvet, it'll even give you an 8-point massage. Covered in plush and well-padded faux leather, this might not be the best choice for the warmest places in Australia but for everyone else, it could soon become your favourite WFH buddy.

Simply sit in it and reach down and you'll find a little pocket containing your own massage remote control. It targets 4 different areas of your body: upper and lower back, hips and thighs - basically every body part that works hard when you sit down. At your fingertips you've got control of 6 vibration modes and 4 intensity levels. It's got a 15-, 30- or 60-minute timer so you don't accidentally leave it running for hours if (when) you fall asleep it in.

Other than the massage function, it has a range of features to keep you comfortable. This includes lockable recline, tilt and height adjustment, and a padded headrest and armrests. It even has a heated lumbar function to soothe an aching lower back. It's yours for around $400 which is far less than daily massages would cost you over the course of a year.

The best mesh office chair

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Ergohuman Classic Mesh
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A mesh chair is great for keeping you cool, allowing air to circulate even if you get hot and bothered by your inbox. We reckon the best one is the Ergohuman Classic Mesh. It’s the original chair by Ergohuman, a global brand of ergonomic office chairs.

To keep you comfortable while working, it’s got a tonne of features. This includes 14 adjustment points, as well as an adjustable headrest, adjustable wide backrest (which can be moved up and down) and adjustable armrest. You can adjust the armrest by height, depth and angle or remove it altogether.

Designed in 2 separate sections, it provides good lumbar support for your lower back. A wider than standard seat base (52cm) makes it a good choice for taller or heavier users. The seat base also tilts and adjusts to your seating position. It’s not one ring to rule them all, but one lever. This lever controls all the ergonomic adjustments, making it easy to use.

Ergohuman reckons it best suits users 5’4” and above with a max. weight of 150kg. As you’d expect with all this, it’s not cheap, although it’s still one of our most affordable picks. It comes in around $690. Buy from the official Ergohuman Australia website and you’ll get a 5-year Australian warranty and a 60-day money back guarantee to protect your investment. It gets a full 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au (from 2 reviews).

The best for looks

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Austin Chair
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If your home office is in a visible spot in your home (i.e. the kitchen table) you might want to make sure your office chair is as easy on your eyes as it is on your back. Enter the Mocka Austin Chair. This is a simple, Scandi-inspired chair that will suit all home decor thanks to its clean lines and neutral design. The frame is birch wood and features wide splayed legs for stability.

The white seat is curved slightly to mimic your back's natural shape. It has a padded polyester grey cover to keep you comfy as you work. It sits 47cm from the ground, with a 42cm wide and 38cm deep seat.

And that's it really! Although it doesn't have any flash features, it only costs around $120. Its good looks and good consumer reviews who love the quality and quick and easy assemble is what sets the Austin Chair apart from our other picks.

The best value office chair

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Bathurst Racer High Back Chair
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Want to bring the excitement of the race course into your home office? Check out the Bathurst Racer High Back Chair. This leather look office chair has race car styling, like contrast stitching and air mesh to keep you cool. Looks aside, it’s got firm padding, a high back and lumbar (lower back) support for comfort. You can adjust the height and seat tilt. Plus, choose whether you have the armrests up or down.

It measures 66.5cm W x 69cm D x 122cm H with a minimum height of 112.5cm. It’ll hold up to 120kg. It’s available in 4 colours and will take you about 30 minutes to assemble. The Bathurst Racer Chair is one of the best office chairs on ProductReview.com.au where it gets almost 3 stars. It’ll set you back around $150 making it the most affordable office ergonomic chair on our list (apart from our kids pick and the Mocka chair). It comes with a 3-year warranty for peace of mind.

The best for simplicity

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IKEA MARKUS
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The Swedes really have the Scandanavian design thing down. If you’re after a modern, sleek and simple-looking office chair, meet the IKEA MARKUS. This mesh backrest chair with built-in head and lumbar support will help keep you cool as you work.

You can adjust the tilt to suit you, which is also lockable. You can also adjust the height. It has 2 levers for adjustments. The safety castors have a smart pressure sensitive brake system. Which means it won’t move when you stand up. The wheels release automatically when you sit down.

It’s got a steel and wooden veneer frame, plus plastic components, and the cover, although leather looking, is actually 100% polyester. It’s suitable for up to 110kg and it measures 62cm W x 60cm D x 129-140cm H. The seat width is 53cm and depth is 47cm. The seat height ranges from 46-57cm.

It costs $329 and has a 10-year warranty. You can also change your mind within 365 days. It gets almost 5 stars from a handful of reviews on ProductReview.com.au.

The best luxury office chair

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HermanMiller Aeron
HermanMiller Aeron
HermanMiller
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Originally debuting in 1994, the HermanMiller Aeron chair is a cult figure in the office chair world. The latest version uses 2 decades’ worth of technological and ergonomic insights to help you sit and work more comfortably.

Cutting through the marketing jargon isn’t easy, but it boasts 8 zones of differing tension - tightest at the edges and less tight where your body sits. These zones ‘envelop’ you for extra comfort and support. It features a mesh-like fabric to keep you cool and adjustable, individual pads that support your lower back and spine to hold your body in a standing position, while you’re sitting.

The rest of the ergonomic features are difficult to explain. Let’s just say there’s loads of support for however you’re sitting and whatever you’re doing. Attention has also been paid to the environmental footprint of this chair, with materials selected for their eco-friendliness. It comes in 3 muted colours. We like that it comes in 3 sizes to help you find your ideal fit:

  • Size A (small). Suitable for heights of 147cm to 175cm and weights of 40kg to 68kg. Weight limit 136kg.
  • Size B (medium). Suitable for heights of 157cm to 198cm and weights of 50kg to 150kg. Weight limit 158kg.
  • Size C (large). Suitable for heights of 160cm to 198cm and weights of 80kg to 158kg. Weight limit 158kg.

As you’d expect with such an engineered chair, it starts from a huge $1,850 - the most expensive on our list. It comes with a 12-year warranty though.

Almost 10 Aussies have given it a go on ProductReview.com.au, awarding it almost 4.5 stars. It’s also the Wirecutter’s runner-up pick for best office chair. They reckon “The well-known Aeron isn’t as great at a wide variety of tasks because its armrests have limited adjustability, but it’s more breathable than foam chairs and just as comfortable and supportive for typing at a desk. Three sizes help it fit a wider range of body types and sizes.”

The best office chair for kids

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MesaSilla Adjustable Chair
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It’s not just us adults who are working from home more these days. If the kids are home-schooling, you might want to treat them to their own chair. Enter the MesaSilla Adjustable Chair, which grows with your child. MesaSilla (table and chair in Spanish) was founded by a mum concerned about her toddler’s poor posture. She thought this was because they were using tables and chairs set at the wrong height during their fast growing early years.

The MesaSilla Adjustable Chair helps encourage and promote good posture in your child. Because the height is adjustable, your child can sit in the ergonomically correct way whatever their age: knees bent at a right angle, feet flat on the floor. It adjusts through 4 different heights: 19cm, 22cm, 25cm and 28cm.

Back and arm support keeps them comfy (and little ones safe). The legs are angled and have anti-slip pads for extra stability. The Scandi looks means you won’t mind it being highly visible in your home. While the cute cut-out designs (rabbit, elephant, star, bear and car) will be kid-approved.

Made of solid hardwood, this chair is designed to last. Not bad for around $120.

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What we looked for

Adjustability

The most important thing to look for - and what sets an office chair apart from a dining chair - is how you can adjust the chair to suit your body and needs. The bigger the range of things you can adjust, the bigger the chances of a comfortable chair. Look for adjustable armrests, lumbar (lower back) support and height. Lots of adjustability might mean a lot of levers. They should be gas powered for easy, powerful use. They should also be labelled so you know what you’re adjusting. They should be positioned in a way that avoids you overstretching to reach them.

Lumbar support

Your lumbar is the lower part of your back. If your chair doesn't support it correctly, your lumbar area is going to let you know - it’ll be sore and achy and cause your posture to collapse. Look for great lumbar support, with extra padding that fits the natural curve in your lower back. Some chairs have none. Others have curves that are so big, they push you forward which isn’t ideal (or comfortable). 

Material

Sure, sitting on a leather chair might feel luxurious. But it’s also going to feel quite hot and sweaty too. Most office chairs opt for soft, comfortable and breathable fabric covers. 

Armrests

Armrests are a handy feature. They support your arm, reducing the strain of holding them up yourself while typing. They also keep your arms in the correct alignment with your body, about 90 degrees. It’s good to be able to adjust your armrests and for them to be durable. They’re not essential though. 

Wheels

Wheels help you avoid stretching and leaning as you reach for things. Plus, they allow you to position yourself close to your desk easily, and push away from it too when you need to get up. (They also turn chairs into excellent hallway racers for office olympics on those quieter days.)

Sources

  1. ‘Best Office Chairs,’ ProductReview.com.au
  2. ‘Aeron Chair Product Details,’ HermanMiller 
  3. ‘The Best Office Chair,’ The Wirecutter 
  4. ‘Sustainability,’ Steelcase
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