High-Back Ergonomic Office Chair Models to Buy (Updated for 2019)

High-back office chairs are everywhere.

But how can you pick a good model that is right fit  just for you?

It must have a headrest…

I swear mesh chair is the best. No, I prefer leather, it’s much classier.

You can’t get a chair that doesn’t rock!

Oh, my. That lumbar is to die for!

Design of Embody

You’ve probably heard all of these lines before from friends or coworkers.

Here’s a secret…

The best high-back chair is the one that fits your purpose.

I wrote this article with this idea in mind.

All the chairs below are high-quality, of course, and have only the best features.

But aren’t you sick of reviews that mindlessly praise all products?

I know I am.

So I always do extensive research and testing of endless models to understand how these products fit real, live people and their needs.

Best High Back Office Chair (Updated List)

1. Herman Miller Embody High-Back Office Chair – #1 Best Ergonomic Office Chair

Embody Chair

The Embody comes with a 30-day return guarantee and a 12-year warranty, which shows this chair is resistant and durable.

The Embody has an innovative ergonomic design because 20+ physicians and PhDs have contributed with their expertise in devising and testing this chair.

The Embody is a functional chair with quality components specifically designed for it. This chair is made in the USA, with top materials included steel and custom-molded aluminum, plus plastic.

The Embody is marketed as a functional, high-tech chair because it can improve your health thanks to the use of dynamic surface pressure that corrects your posture.

The Embody’s seat is comfortable and unique thanks to its four stacked layers of materials with different properties that offer zonal support. These materials are so flexible and supportive; they even take creases and pockets into account.

The seat also allows:

Good airflow

Even weight distribution thanks to its pixelated support

No tailbone or hamstring pain because it touches no pressure points

Improved blood circulation thanks to the wide seat with a contoured edge and seat adjustment

Supportive cushioning

The back-rest is slim and features a Backfit adjustment for added flexibility and dynamic support whenever you move. Backfit is a patented HM technology, with a design that mimics your own back: a central spine plus flexible ribs.

The Embody’s back-rest is unique because it has a bending, flexible top, which feels good on the shoulders when you lean back. The problem with high back chairs is that they push your shoulders forward, especially if you’re petite. However, Embody doesn’t have this problem.

Unfortunately, Embody lacks lumbar support. Although the back-rest has an S-shape design, some people don’t like how the lumbar curve feels on their backs.

The armrests are mediocre for an expensive chair because they lack padding and aren’t curved, plus they allow limited adjustments (just height and width). However, they’re wide and rounded, so they don’t dig into your arms.

Another plus is that the Embody reclines and rocks. The synchro-tilt technology lets the arms and seat recline together with the seatback, so you’re always supported, and your work is always centered in front of your eyes.

PROS

 Quality build

 Made in the USA with custom-made parts

 12-year warranty

 Unique pixelated support system for great weight distribution

 Wide seat

Synchro-tilt recline with tension adjustment and tilt lock

 Back angle adjustment

 Seat depth adjustment

 A flexible back and seat material

 Eco-friendly

 300 pounds max weight

CONS

 Expensive

 No lumbar adjustment

 Limited armrest adjustments

 Firm pixelated support

Summary: The Embody is the top-rated office chair thanks to its unique flexible back rest top, plus other features that combine to offer reliable support for longer hours. It is the best lumbar support office chair

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2. Herman Miller Aeron Chair – Best High Back Mesh Office Chair

Herman Miller Aeron

The Aeron has some similarities to the Embody as they’re made from the same company. These features include a 12-year warranty, custom-designed parts, and eco-friendly materials, plus a lot of research and testing.

The Aeron uses 8Z Pellicle mesh suspension for the upholstery, which means it’s a firmer chair than the Embody. However, this mesh fabric is flexible, supportive, and offers good airflow, which is why it’s a good choice for longer hours.

The Aeron’s armrests are more comfy and supportive than the Embody because they’re soft-padded and come with 3D adjustments.

When you’re working a lot at the computer, you need a chair that alleviates backaches. The Aeron can do that because:

It reclines, helping you take the pressure off your spine

It offers an optional Posture Fit lumbar adjustment for extra support

The back rest has a curved design, which adjusts to your natural spine curvature and encourages a correct posture

If you’re typing a lot at the computer, you might also consider purchasing the optional Forward Tilt option. This option allows the chair to incline forward, so your back is supported even when you’re bending over your keyboard.

PROS

 12-year warranty

 Made in the USA with custom-designed parts

 Breathable and flexible mesh

 3D adjustable armrests

 Reclines and rocks

 Optional Posture Fit Lumbar cushion

Curved back rest

 Optional Forward Tilt option

 350 pounds max weight

CONS

Some people don’t appreciate the firm mesh seat

The Aeron comes in three sizes, so it misses some ergonomic adjustments

No seat depth and back height adjustments

Some people feel the metal frame through the mesh

Summary: The Aeron is a reliable mesh fabric office chair to use for longer hours sitting at the computer due to being breathable and flexible. I it comfy computer chair that alleviates backaches, and it provides great back support.

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3. Steelcase Gesture Chair – Best Сomputer Сhair for Long Hours

Steelcase Gesture

The Steelcase Gesture is my number one choice for people who need to interchange their devices and technologies. As such, the Gesture is more adaptable than both the Embody and the Aeron.

The Embody contours your shape for increased comfort, while the Aeron offers ergonomic support for prolonged hours. The Gesture comes with real-time, instantaneous adjustments according to your new position.

When you’re working long hours at the computer, you need armrests that move together with your arms, especially when you’re changing devices.

That’s what the Gesture can do, with its flexible and most comfortable armrests that can be adjusted in terms of angle, depth, height, and width.

The seatback and seat move together and together with your body, for increased support whenever you recline. As such, your back and legs are always supported, and the computer is always in front of your eyes.

Gesture

The flexible seat perimeter is another plus because it means it can bend according to your new position, so the seat never digs into your hamstrings.

I also appreciate the curved backrest, which follows your natural spine curvature. Your spine stays relaxed, which means no more backaches and no pressure points.

The Gesture comes with optional lumbar support, which you can easily adjust. This support cushion is especially useful if you already suffer from chronic back pain because you can place it in your lumbar curvature, so there’s no space between your back and the chair.

This space is what causes backaches because it means your weight pushes into your spine instead of being supported by the chair.

PROS

Fully assembled

It reclines

Dynamic adjustment when you change devices

Ideal lumbar support

Supportive backrest

Adjustments galore

400 pounds weight limit

Lifetime frame warranty

CONS

 Expensive

 Some people find the seat foam very firm

 It’s difficult to keep the chair upright

Summary: The Steelcase Gesture Chair adapts to your ever-changing movements so you can use different devices and change positions. The result is a pain-free back and increased productivity.

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4. Ficmax Inexpensive Ergonomic High-Back Office Chair (Under 200$)

Ficmax Chair

The Ficmax Ergonomic Chair is supportive thanks to included  features susch as headrest, lumbar cushion, and footrest.

All these parts are easy to adjust, and they serve to alleviate muscle sores and pain in your upper and lower body because they take the pressure off these areas.

Besides, the lumbar cushion vibrates so that you can benefit from a reliable massage. Although massage chairs are more functional, this massage is good enough for general purposes.

Tbh, neither the Embody, nor Aeron, nor the Gesture has all these useful extras, even if the Ficmax is a much more affordable chair.

Ficmax FeaturesI like FIcmax because it’s supportive and comfortable for prolonged periods thanks to design particularities relating to its seatback, seat, and armrests.

The racecar-type backrest is cushiony and enveloping, contouring your natural spine curvature and body shape.

This design forces you to keep a correct posture because your weight is absorbed into the backrest, and your spine doesn’t have to work extra-hard at supporting your weight in an incorrect position.

The backrest also reclines to 180ᵒ, with tilt-stop at 120ᵒ and 150ᵒ. These positions help take the pressure off your back and accommodate various tasks, from typing at the computer, to reading, or napping.

The seat is thick and comfortable thanks to its 4.9-inch memory foam padding that adjusts to your shape and weight, without sinking your bum uncomfortably into the seat.

The armrests eliminate shoulder and neck pain because they’re height-adjustable so that you can fix them depending on your height. The armrests improve your circulation because they’re curved, but they have thin padding, which might be uncomfortable for long periods.

The Ficmax may be inexpensive, but it’s made with quality materials, such as heavy-duty steel for the base and frame, high-density memory foam for the padding, and PU leather for the upholstery.

PROS

 180ᵒ max recline

 30-day money-back guarantee

 With headrest

 Adjustable lumbar support with massage

 Quality materials

 Retractable footrest

 S-shape backrest

 Thick and wide seat

CONS

 Just a 1-year warranty

 Very few adjustments

 No installation instructions

 The headrest is better for average-sized people

Summary: The Ficmax Ergonomic model is a good choice for people who need an affordable model. This recliner chair is good for gaming, as well as people who want to nap or have a quick massage in their chair.

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5. Gates Leather Executive Chair – Best High Back Leather Chair

The Gates Leather Executive Office Chair is a very elegant model, although it’s no Eames. Not only is it made with real, full-grain leather, but Brazilian Leather is one of the most top-quality types of leather available today.

The Gates wants to make sure you get a stylish chair that fits with your home or office décor, so it features various colors for this chair, such as sober black-brown nuances, along with haute-couture white-cream hues, and bright, modern orange.

Gates LeatherThe Gates is not just good-looking; it’s also the perfect mix of comfort and support.

The seat is thickly padded with high-density memory foam, while the seatback has a curved and contouring design, just like the Ficmax chair.

The thick seat padding plus the waterfall seat edge take the pressure off your legs and keeps your hips aligned with your spine while the backrest takes the pressure off your spine. The result is a correct posture that comes natural, with no back pain.

The Gates’ headrest is comfy for tall people because it supports your head, so you don’t have to tense your neck or shoulder muscles while you’re working.

The curved, padded armrests improve your blood circulation and don’t put a strain on your arm muscles so that you can work for long hours.

The downside is that this Gates Leather Executive Chair features just swivel, seat height, and tilt adjustments. I like the synchro-tilt mechanism, though, which allows the seat to recline together with the backrest, meaning you’re always supported. Read my guide on what is the best leather office chair model here.

PROS
Elegant

Breathable and smooth Brazilian leather

Different colors

Cushiony foam seat

S-shape and contoured backrest for long hours

Improves posture and circulation

Synchro-tilt

CONS

 Very few adjustments

 Not a dynamic support

 Not for constant writing

 Better for tall people

 Might not fit under a regular desk

Summary: The Gates Leather Executive Chair is best for people who want an elegant chair that’s comfortable and plush, but are ok with having few adjustment options.

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6. AmazonBasics Big and Tall Chair

The Amazon Basics Big and Tall chair is a good choice for people who need a model that accommodates their imposing dimensions.

The backrest is 28×21 inches, the seat is 21×22 inches, and you can adjust the seat height from 18.75 to 22.5 inches. As a bonus, this chair supports a max weight of 350 pounds.

This chair is said to be manufactured with commercial-grade parts, but it’s not as resistant as the HM or Steelcase models above. The 1-year warranty is good, but not as good as what premium models offer.

AmazonBasics Chair

I like the S-shape backrest because it keeps your spine in a natural, curved position, decreasing the risk of back pain and strains.

The headrest is built-in, so you can’t adjust it, but it’s also supportive and prevents neck and shoulder cramps.

You can adjust the lumbar cushion, though, for some extra support in your lower back region. This cushion takes the pressure off your spine, which is good for people who suffer from compressed disc pain.

The armrests are curved and padded, so they don’t dig into your arms and keep them in a position that encourages blood flow.

The seat cushion is thick and firm, keeping your hips in a correct angle, so they don’t push into your lower back. The waterfall edge is another advantage for people who need to sit for long hours because it doesn’t restrict your blood circulation.

The Amazon Basics Big and Tall chair reclines back, and you have an Infinite tilt lock mechanism that allows you to secure it in any position you need.

PROS

Value for money

Wide

Stylish

It keeps your spine relaxed

Incorporated headrest

Adjustable lumbar cushion

Supportive and comfortable armrests

Supportive seat

CONS
Not resistant

Very few adjustments (not with adjustable arms)

Summary: The AmazonBasics Big & Tall Office Chair is a good affordable heavy duty office chair if you need prolonged support, but it’s not the type of chair you can use 24/7.

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7. AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair

The Amazon Basics Executive model is in the affordable price range, but it looks stylish because its upholstery is made with a combination of bonded leather and PVC.

This chair is good for people who are always straining their neck and shoulder muscles when they’re working at the computer.

High Back AmazonBasicsThat’s because this Executive Chair provide a supportive headrest that allows you to rest your neck, while the curved and padded armrests take the pressure off your shoulders.

This Amazon Basics model boasts a curved, padded backrest that keeps your spine in a natural and relaxed position. As such, your body weight is supported by the seatback and doesn’t push into your spine.

The seat is supportive, too, because it aligns your hips and spine, keeping them in a correct position.

Although its cushion isn’t thick, the seat features a waterfall edge that doesn’t compress your hamstrings. This edge improves blood circulation to your thighs so that you can sit for long periods.

The Amazon Basics Executive Chair has contouring, enveloping design that cushions you for hours.

The minuses are a lack of adjustments and tilt options, although you can rock in it a little.

PROS

275 pounds weight limit

Elegant

Cheap

Supportive headrest

Curved armrests

Contoured S-shape seatback

Padded butterfly seat

For prolonged hours

Rocking

CONS

No tilt options

No adjustments except seat height and swivel

Squeaky

The leather peels off within a couple of years

Summary: The Amazon Basics Chair is a good choice for people who need support in the upper body area, but it’s not durable.

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8. Furmax PU Leather Office Chair

This Furmax PU Leather Chair looks like the Ficmax model, minus the extendable footrest. You’ll notice the same slightly curved racecar backrest design that’s good for long hours because it contours your body for long hours sitting.

Furmax Chair

You can recline the seatback to 110ᵒ, 130ᵒ, and 150ᵒ for various activities like watching TV, reading, and even napping.

This chair is also good for lower back pain because it has a removable lumbar support cushion that keeps your lumbar region pressing on the seat, so your body weight doesn’t press into your spine.

The removable headrest is another plus because it alleviates neck pain, especially when you seat back in the chair.

The armrests are curved and soft, so they don’t dig into your arms if you’re sitting down for long.

The seat is comfortable, albeit a little firm, because it has a bucket design that cradles your thighs, along with a waterfall edge that takes the pressure off your hamstrings.

PROS

Enveloping design

Reclines at various levels

For lower back pain

For shoulder and neck pain

Curved and soft armrests

Firm and supportive seat

CONS

A bit of work to install

Limited adjustments

Side seat support isn’t comfortable for everyone

The lumbar cushion is too large for some people

The rocking is somewhat stiff

Summary: The Furmax PU Leather Chair is a good choice for gaming because it reclines, and it has a racecar design, plus some features to eliminate back pain.

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9. Best Office Ergonomic Chair – Budget Office Chair (Under 100$)

The Best Office Ergonomic Chair is the good budget chair because it is very comfortable and wide. Its design resembles a little the Choice Products Ergonomic PU Leather Chair due to it’s backrest and seat are thickly padded and cushiony, which some people prefer over mesh seats that can feel too firm.

BestOffice High-Back

This chair has an incorporated headrest and lumbar cushion, meaning these areas in the seatback are somewhat bulging to fit your natural curves and to keep your spine in a relaxed position, which improves your overall posture and makes for a pain-free sitting experience.

The seat is comfortable too because it’s plush and wide, and it also comes with a waterfall edge that doesn’t compress your thighs so you can sit down for hours.

The seat is made with PU foam on top of a layer of coil springs for extra resistance and elasticity.

The PU leather looks well, plus it’s resistant to oil, water, and stains. Although it might not last for decades, like genuine leather, it’s still a good affordable option for a couple of years.

The Best Office Ergonomic Chair offers just a few adjustments, such as adjustable height, swivel, and tilt. As such, the armrests aren’t adjustable, so you can’t use them for increased support while working, but they’re curved and well-padded when you want to relax.

PROS
Tilt and lock up to 125ᵒ

Plush backrest and seat

Incorporated headrest

Lumbar cushion

Padded and curved armrests

Flexible and supportive seat

Metal base

Quiet and smooth rolling

Cheap

CONS

 250 pounds max weight

 Limited adjustments

 Squeaky

 Fixed armrests

 The leather wears out in time

 The seat and armrests padding flattens in time

Summary: Although it’s not a resistant chair, this best office ergonomic chair is the good budget option because it’s plush, wide, and supportive. Also it looks kind of coo!l

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What is a High Back Chair?

A high back chair is a chair with a high back that extends up to your neck for optimal upper body support.

High Back vs. Mid Back Office Chair

Mid-back office chairs provide good support to your lower back and encourage a correct posture. High back chairs provide good upper body support because their higher backs allow you to rest your neck and shoulders on them.

Vs Mid Back

High back office chairs can feature all the same ergonomic characteristics of mid-back chairs, but they have one extra advantage: a headrest to relax your neck. As such, your neck won’t cramp, your shoulders won’t hurt, and you can even alleviate tension headaches.

Executives prefer high back chairs because they want to sit down for long periods, while mid-back chairs are more portable and, therefore, better as task chairs.

Things You Must Consider Before Buying a High Back Chair

High back chairs are bigger than mid-back or low-back chairs, so here are the things you have to think about before getting one:

Your feet reach the floor and rest comfortably with the soles on the ground.

There are a few inches of space between your knees and the seat edge.

The armrests aren’t too low for optimal support or too high to cramp your shoulders.

The chair can fit under your desk (ergonomic office chairs are usually not compact).

The chair’s back isn’t too high for you. If it is, it means it pushes your shoulders too much in front, thus causing upper body pain.

You can adjust the seat depth in case the backrest is too high, or your feet can’t reach the ground.

Office Chairs Buying Advice

The wisest thing to do is to take your measurements before getting a chair to make sure it fits your body shape and size.

Leaphomeward Chairs

Consider the recliner as well because leaning back might mean your feet lift off the floor.

The second biggest advice is to ensure your chair is ergonomic, which means:

  • A curved backrest that follows your natural spine curvature
  • A wide-enough seat padded with a material that’s firm and cushiony at the same time, to keep your hips in a correct angle
  • Curved armrests that don’t dig into your arms
  • A wide range of adjustments, depending on your needs. Some people might want highly adjustable armrests if they’re always changing devices, while people who want to recline for various activities need a wide tilt angle with an infinite lock or even chairs with no wheels for when they’re napping
  • Headrest for proper neck and shoulder support
  • Lumbar cushion to take the pressure off your lower back

Final Conclusion on Best High-Back Office Chair

My article covers a wide range of products, so hopefully, you will find something that fits your purpose.

That’s my golden rule: get a desk chair that works well for your needs.

Let’s recap. If you need:

  • Support for long hours, get the Embody.
  • The best chair for working a lot at your computer, choose the Aeron.
  • Dynamic support in all positions and with changing devices, choose the Gesture.
  • An affordable gaming chair with massage, get the Ficmax Ergonomic Chair.
  • An affordable chair for big and tall, get the Amazon Basics Big and Tall Chair.
  • An affordable desk chair with good upper body support, choose the Amazon Basics Chair.
  • A plush, wide, and comfy chair, choose the Best Office Ergonomic Chair.

That said, the Embody by Herman Miller is one of the best office chairs available. This chair is extremely flexible and supportive, molding itself even over your pockets. If you want comfort for long hours with no back pain, the Embody is your choice because over twenty researchers and medical practitioners have contributed to its design.

Remember the Embody’s bending back-rest top and Backfit adjustment? Only experts in ergonomics and anatomy could have come up with these ideas.

Don’t miss your chance at getting the best support for your back and get Embody now.