The 8 Best Office Chairs For Upper Back Pain

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Originally Published:

It doesn't matter how much time you spend behind your desk; if you're uncomfortable and unsupported, your back will likely speak up about it. Thankfully, the best office chairs for upper back pain can help — but contrary to popular belief, it's not just about fluff and cushioning. If you want a comfortable, supportive office chair, you'll need to consider the backrest design, the materials, the height, and the adjustability of various angles. In order to help me find the best options, I reached out to Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS and owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic in North Wales, Pennsylvania.

When it comes to a chair's backrest, there are two main qualities that help to ease pain, and oddly enough, they're opposites: ample back support or none at all. “Additional support in an ergonomic high back chair helps reinforce the normal kyphotic curve of the thoracic spine. By mimicking the natural curvature of your back, you will be able to sit longer with better posture,” Dr. Conrad wrote in an email to Bustle. On the other hand, a chair with no backrest at all may also help, assuming it's designed to activate your spine and core. According to Dr. Conrad, active sitting (like with kneeling chairs and exercise balls) “can help your body use its muscles to strengthen your posture, as your muscles have to work harder to keep you sitting up straight.” Dr. Conrad does point out, though, that active-sitting chairs “are not recommended for people who already have back pain or degenerative arthritis, as there is already additional pressure on these areas.”

The materials your chair is made from are also important, and this one applies to both the backrest and the seat of the chair. Many best-selling options utilize a mesh fabric or structured cushioning for the backrest, as to promote comfort while simultaneously giving your back some ergonomic support. The seat, on the other hand, is typically made from softer foam or padding, but it shouldn't be too soft: According to Dr. Conrad: “Firmer and more compact materials for an ergonomic chair help reinforce the spinal curvature. A softer material may feel comfortable in the beginning, but all chair materials will sag and wear down over time.”

Last but not least, consider the chair's height and angles. “Some may say adjustable settings are the most important part of a chair,” Dr. Conrad wrote. “The goal is to get your line of sight with the middle of the computer screen. Various settings like height adjustment, swivel, and angle settings can help fit the chair specifically to your height and body type.” If you can change the height, the angle of the backrest, and the tilt of the seat, you'll be much more capable of achieving the aforementioned posture.

Regardless of your budget, style tastes, and personal needs, these are the eight best office chairs to ease your upper back pain on Amazon.

1. The Overall Best Office Chair For Back Pain

Especially for a reasonably priced option, the Hbada office chair has a ton of great features, including an S-shaped backrest for ergonomic support, several adjustable parts, a sleek, rounded appearance, five silent rolling wheels, and a heavy-duty design that can support up to 250 pounds. Unlike some other brands, it even has flip-up armrests so you can pull your chair all the way in, even when working at a lower desk. Pair that with the high rating and thousands of reviews, and it's no wonder it's the number-one pick for most people.

  • Height of backrest: 18.5 inches
  • Backrest material: high-density mesh
  • Seat material: high-density foam
  • Adjustability: 17.7- to 21.1-inch seat height, rotatable seat, 90- to 120-degree rocking backrest, 180-degree rotatable armrests, 360-degree swivel
  • Maximum weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Available colors: black, white

One reviewer wrote: "I've had this office chair for a little over a month now. I needed an office chair that provided back support, and I am really glad I decided on this one. The "S" curve of the back of the chair helps relieve my lower back pain. I really appreciate the foldable arm rests since my "office space" is very small.”

2. The Best Cheap Office Chair

On a budget? No problem. While the AmazonBasics swivel chair doesn't have all of the features, it definitely offers some of the most important ones at a great price. It has a contoured backrest made of mesh as well as a 2-inch padded seat, plus it swivels, raises, lowers, and rolls. For just over $60, it's a definite upgrade from that folding chair, especially considering it has thousands of five-star reviews.

  • Height of backrest: approximately 15 inches
  • Backrest material: mesh
  • Seat material: padding
  • Adjustability: 15- to 20-inch seat height, 360-degree swivel
  • Maximum weight capacity: approximately 250 pounds
  • Available colors: black, blue, green, red

One reviewer wrote: "So far this chair is excellent. Nice and thick cushion on the bottom and good back support. It only has height adjustment and is very basic, but it feels well made and it is comfortable.”

3. The Best Kneeling Chair

At first, it may seem counterintuitive to choose a chair with zero back support — but as previously discussed, active seats, like this one, help engage your core muscles and train you to improve your posture and hopefully reduce back pain in the long run. The DRAGONN ergonomic kneeling chair cushions your knees and your bottom while you sit in a kneeling position, which causes your spine to straighten automatically. As a result, hunching over is much more difficult. This chair also offers four rolling wheels with locking casters and a height-adjustable seat, so it's suitable for most people.

  • Height of backrest: N/A
  • Backrest material: N/A
  • Seat material: thick cushioning
  • Adjustability: 21- to 28-inch seat height
  • Maximum weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Available colors: black, white

One reviewer wrote: "This chair rescues me from the misery of back pain. I have chronic back pain that when it's acute I cannot stand straight or after sitting in a conventional chair I have a hard time walking. This chair eliminates the latter situation and gives me relief when I cannot get comfortable in any other position. I like the relief that this chair gives me so much that I bought a second one for my office outside of the house.”

4. The Best Gaming Chair

Just like working, gaming often requires a desk and a computer, but as a gamer, your posture and daily screen hours may differ — which is why a specific chair could be a worthy investment. The Homall gaming chair has a few standout features, like a steel frame covered in PU leather, built-in lumbar and neck pillows, high-density memory foam throughout, and a wide range of adjustable angles. It also comes in nearly 10 different color options to match your gaming setup.

  • Height of backrest: 22.5 inches
  • Backrest material: high-density foam
  • Seat material: high-density foam
  • Adjustability: 17.3- to 21.5-inch seat height, 150-degree backrest tilt, 360-degree swivel
  • Maximum weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Available colors: blue, red, white, black, gray, green, pink, purple

One reviewer wrote: "My back hurt at the end of most work days in the old chair. I've had this chair for about half a week now and it has been great - no more backpain! The cushioned pillows that attach to the chair are really helpful for lumbar support, and overall the chair is quite comfortable and fits me perfectly.”

5. The Most Stylish Office Chair

If aesthetics are just as important as comfort, opt for the Serta Leighton home office chair. Its stylish twill fabric comes in your choice of seven different colors (there's also a bonded leather option) while the seat has nail-head trim and piping. But it's not just about looks, the design also incorporates both memory foam and pocket coils to keep you comfortable while supporting proper posture.

  • Height of backrest: 19 inches
  • Backrest material: memory foam
  • Seat material: memory foam and pocket coils
  • Adjustability: 19.25- to 22.25-inch seat height, 360-degree swivel
  • Maximum weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Available colors: blush pink, ivory, gray, navy blue, medium gray, beige

One reviewer wrote: "I've been looking for a new desk chair after now solely working from home [...] (usually 8-10 hours a day in the chair) and my current desk chair giving me horrible back problems. I wanted something that looked good but was also comfortable, and finally came across this. [...] I'd definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a stylish and comfy desk chair!”

6. The Best Stability Ball For Sitting

When you sit on an exercise ball instead of a standard chair, your core muscles engage to keep you balanced and upright. This, in turn, promotes better posture and may help to reduce back pain. The PharMeDoc balance ball utilizes that same model of thinking and improves upon it with its chair-like design. The base features four locking wheels and a folding backrest that you can use for better control and improved lumbar support while you work.

  • Height of backrest: approximately 10.3 inches
  • Backrest material: plastic
  • Seat material: inflatable vinyl
  • Adjustability: density/inflated size
  • Maximum weight capacity: 300 pounds
  • Available colors: black

One reviewer wrote: "If you work from a desk daily and suffer from back pain [...] you NEED to try this chair. It is SO worth the money! I will buy these for the rest of my working life! A lifetime of pain-free working is worth this $$!”

7. A Popular Soft Office Chair

Softer isn't always better when it comes to back pain, but if a chair is both structured and adequately padded, it can help to improve your posture while also minimizing pressure on your bones and joints. The Furmax office chair is so highly rated because it's "really plush and comfortable" while simultaneously offering "terrific" back support, according to reviewers on Amazon. That's all due to the multiple panels of cushioned bonded leather all over the chair, including on the armrests.

  • Height of backrest: 27.9 inches
  • Backrest material: cushioned bonded leather
  • Seat material: cushioned bonded leather
  • Adjustability: 17.3- to 20.5-inch seat height, 90- to 120-degree rocking backrest, 360-degree swivel
  • Maximum weight capacity: 300 bounds
  • Available colors: gray, black, brown

One reviewer wrote: "Upgraded from the wooden chair I’ve been working from. I did plenty of research into an office chairs like this one for my at home office since I’m working from home all day now. The chair is quite comfortable and hugs you a bit on the sides. You can lock into position or allow it to rock gently, which I enjoy. The material is soft and I’m very happy with the purchase, especially since this was one of the less expensive chairs I was considering.”

8. A Highly Adjustable Chair That’s Breathable

Finally, there's the NOUHAUS Ergo3D, which is highly adjustable and worth the splurge if you're willing to invest in an incredible office chair. This pick has dynamic lumbar support that moves with you, easy-to-maneuver rollerblade wheels, and an adjustable headrest — and while we're on the subject of adjustability, you can also change the height, seat tilt, backrest tilt, and armrest height, too. Since the entire thing is made out of high-quality mesh, it's supportive, breathable, and comfortable, all at the same time.

  • Height of backrest: 27.6 inches
  • Backrest material: 3-D mesh
  • Seat material: padded mesh
  • Adjustability: 18.5- to 22.44-inch seat height,135-degree rocking backrest, tilting seat, adjustable neck rest, adjustable armrests
  • Maximum weight capacity: 275 pounds
  • Available colors: black, blue, burgundy, gray

One reviewer wrote: "This ergonomic office chair has been uniquely designed to imply the biomorphic principles of the body. It helps in the genuine reduction of the lower backpain. Also, the headrest that is provided has the power to be moved so that you can align your neck in different positions. It has a mesh back that helps in the proper passage of hair, thereby making you remain cool throughout your work.”


Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS, chiropractor and owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania

This article was originally published on