Not every chair is a winner. Here are a few others we like enough to recommend, but they’re not as good as our top picks above.
Knoll Newson Task Chair for $1,195: This minimalist chair looks best in the graphite and petal colors; it’s a bit drab in black and umber. It’s nice that I didn’t have to fuss with any levers or knobs much—it’s comfy out of the box and decently adjustable if you need to make some tweaks—and it feels especially nice when you recline. (The red knob adjusts the tension of the recline, but you need to twist it for five rotations, and I found it hard to turn sometimes.) The Newson didn’t give me trouble in the two months I sat in it. I’m just not a huge fan of how the elastomer mesh backrest distorts, depending on how you sit. It feels lumpy. This chair also doesn’t let me sit as upright as I’d like, but maybe you’re fine with a bit of give. Ultimately, it’s the price that pulls it out of our top recommendations, but you do get a 12-year warranty.
X-Chair X2 K-Sport Management Chair for $969: This used to be our top mesh chair pick but it has been supplanted by the Steelcase Karman. Sitting in the X-Chair feels like lounging in a hammock. Every part of my body feels well supported, and you can adjust nearly everything on the chair. Pull the seat up and push the armrests up, down, and side to side, or angle them in or out. The lumbar support feels like a cushion, and it adjusts as you move in your seat. If you want to rest your head, you can pay extra for the headrest. It has held up extremely well after three years of near-continuous sitting, but I don’t like how bulky it is. X-Chair has a number of models to choose from. I tested the X-2 K-Sport with the wide seat, and it fits my 6’4″ frame really well, but it was too wide for my partner, who is 5’1″. Most people should be fine with the standard X1.
Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 for $519: If you absolutely must have the gaming chair vibe, then the Secretlab Titan Evo (7/10, WIRED Recommends) is classy enough for the home office. It sets itself apart from similarly priced competitors with its durability and flexibility. It’s comfortable for marathon gaming sessions, thanks to the adjustability it offers (particularly the lumbar support). The headrest pillow is magnetic and stays attached to the chair, which is a nice touch. But the firm cold cure foam molds to your body and may not suit everyone. This material also doesn’t deal well with heat—it can cause your lower back to heat up.
Ikea Markus Chair for $290: The Markus is a perfectly fine office chair. It’s not the most comfortable, but it’s far from the worst. The mesh design keeps you cool, and the tall back lets you fully lean into it. It’s rather thin and isn’t obtrusive in a small home office or bedroom. It was annoying to put together (lol, Ikea), and you might need someone to hold up the back of the chair while you properly attach the seat. Unfortunately, if you often sit with at least one leg up or with your legs crossed, the width between the arms will make you uncomfortable.
X-Chair X-Tech Executive Chair for $1,899: Functionally, the X-Tech is similar to the X-Chair above. In this version, the M-Foam cooling gel seat is indeed wonderful to sit on, though it’s not as heat-wicking as the all-mesh X-Chairs. It’s the Brisa Soft Touch material that impresses the most—it’s ridiculously soft. I recommend you stick with the standard armrests instead of the FS 360 armrests, which tend to move about too much. But my biggest gripe with this model is the price. Why on earth does it cost that much?
Mavix M7 Chair for $777: If it looks strangely similar to the X-Chair (see above), that’s because both are owned by the same company. WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe ran into some issues with assembly, but customer service was able to exchange the model without much effort. The M7 has similarly adjustable armrests and seat angles, but you get wheels that lock. The mesh back and wide seat construction keep you cool and comfortable during sweaty League of Legends sessions, and the lumbar support does the job. If you’re short, contact customer support while ordering—Mavix offers shorter cylinders so your feet touch the ground.
Herman Miller Vantum Gaming Chair for $795: Initially, I really liked this chair. I liked how I could keep myself in a super upright position, which made me feel more engaged in what I was doing. The mesh backrest also disperses heat quite well. However, the overall build quality feels cheap and doesn’t scream Herman Miller (nor does the asking price, which has since dropped by $200). The headrest isn’t great either—I’ve nearly broken it trying to move it up and down. As I kept sitting, it was the back support that disappointed me the most. You can feel the lumbar support on your lower back, and not in a good way, almost like it’s digging in. At least it didn’t give me back pain.
Hon Ignition 2.0 Office Chair for $399: This chair is easy to set up and looks great, but it gave me really bad back pain, which is why I originally placed it in our “Avoid” section. I thought it was perhaps the long hours I was working, so I switched back to the Knoll Newson Task chair and my pain quickly began to ease. Sometime later, I gave it a shot again. After a few hours, the pain came back, and switching to another chair dissipated it. Color me confused, because this chair has positive reviews around the web. I then asked a friend who is around 5′ 4″ to try it for a few weeks, and she has had zero issues. This seems to be the answer. It’s possible the Ignition doesn’t work for my 6′ 4″ self and is better suited for smaller folks.
Hon Ignition 2.0 Big and Tall for $675: I had a much better experience with this Hon chair, which, as the name suggests, is suited for big and tall people like me. It has a reinforced steel frame that can support up to 450 pounds with a wider seat. It’s comfy, transfers heat away well, and does a nice job supporting my back. However, it looks incredibly dull in Boring Black. I had a fine experience in the chair, aside from the arms that tend to slide left and right whenever you put some pressure on them. I’m just not sure it’s worth the weirdly high price.
Pipersong Meditation Chair for $349: Have a problem sitting in a traditional chair? If your legs need to be bent and twisted for you to be comfortable, you’ll want to check this chair out. It has a 360-degree swiveling footstool that can accommodate pretty much any sitting position you want. I can go from kneeling to cross-legged to one leg up, one leg down. It’s possible to sit regularly too, with the footstool behind you and your feet flat on the floor. It’s the only chair I’ve found that’s designed for odd sitting habits. There are no armrests, which I didn’t mind because that’s what makes it possible to sit in many of these positions. The actual stool and chair back could stand to be bigger and taller, respectively. I had to use a pillow to keep my back comfy.