Support your back with the best office chairs that will suit any desk from Made.com, Lakeland, Habitat, West Elm, Cult Furniture and more
Home working has encroached on our living space enormously over the past year. We’ve had to give up precious square footage for makeshift workstations we didn’t know we needed, and with that, re-think our furniture choices in the long term. Indeed, despite restrictions easing across the country, for many of us, it’s looking like at least an element of WFH is here to stay.
Unless you’re blessed with a dedicated home office, you’ll want a stylish desk chair that fits in with your existing décor – whether your work set-up’s in the corner of the bedroom, or tucked behind the sofa in the lounge. Put simply, an office chair at home has to earn its place in the domestic sphere.
But, while there are some striking office chairs to choose from – the kind you’d never accuse of being corporate – you’ll need to think about your poor old back, too. We’ve found some nifty products that look beautiful but at the same time, offer ergonomic shaping to support your spine.
Think about the space you have available for your desk’s dimensions – some office chairs offer a pleasingly compact silhouette and are designed to tuck in, where others are statement armchair-like affairs complete with bulky armrests.
We put our top office chairs to the test, looking for the very best in form and function – and of course, affordability.
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The best office chairs for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Made denham office chair: £199, Made.com
- Best for smaller spaces – Habitat industrial office chair: £60, Habitat.co.uk
- Best for a touch of luxury – Cult Furniture heather office chair: £149, Cultfurniture.com
- Best for back support – Danetti marco black faux leather office chair: £189, Danetti.com
- Best for retro chic – Lakeland Furniture beckett wooden office chair light grey fabric: £139.99, Lakeland.co.uk
- Best for unapologetic glamour – Furniture 123 grey velvet office swivel chair: £119.97, Furniture123.co.uk
- Best for vintage lovers (and font nerds) – West Elm helvetica leather office chair: £559, Westelm.co.uk
- Best for classic design – Vitra hal office armchair: £430, Heals.com
Made denham office chair
The denham is one handsome office chair that offers a retro Seventies look with its angular frame and big, bold armrests. But, as is the case with much of Made’s vintage-inspired wares, the aesthetic is fresh and contemporary, too. The generous seat is as comfy as it looks; it is adjustable in height and sits on a fixed base in powder coated steel, while its polyester upholstery fabric is hardwearing and boasts an attractive mottled wool-like texture. We loved its simple but effective buttoning detail and its side voids, which successfully break up the bulk. Sit back and swivel ’round – this one will make you feel suitably powerful.
Habitat industrial office chair
Best: For smaller spaces
Habitat’s offering gives us a charming utilitarian vibe with its fuss-free design. In a muted, burnt orange, it offers a vintage Eighties vibe, too. This is a compact piece suited to smaller office spaces, or our makeshift WFH workstations in the corner of the bedroom or living room. Small but mighty, its padded seat and ergonomically curved backrest offer comfort and support just where you need it, while its gas lift function ensures you can find the perfect seat height for your desk with ease. On castors and a five spoke base, it’s both nifty and lightweight enough to move around, yet it feels reliably sturdy.
Cult Furniture heather office chair
Best: For a touch of luxury
Where corporate meets homely, this stylish office chair is perfect for the home study. It’s upholstered in an on-trend boucle fabric, which adds a touch of textural luxury to the comfy seat. Its moulded backrest envelops the sitter without the need for bulky armrests, meaning it tucks under the desk neatly yet gives you sufficient spinal support. Height adjustable and with an unapologetically large and industrial wheeled metal base, this one manages to be elegant and highly functional at the same time.
Danetti marco black faux leather office chair
Best: For back support
Perhaps the most conventionally office-like chair in our roundup, the marco is on the corporate side but it scores points on great design. You only have to look at its curvy shaping to know that this one’s got your back. It’s upholstered in high-quality faux leather with attractive lined stitching detail, while purposeful chrome armrests jut out to give you a place to rest your elbows. It also features a nifty tilt-lock mechanism, allowing you to find the perfect angle as well as height. A win for form and function.
Lakeland Furniture beckett wooden office chair
Best: For retro chic
Another mid-century inspired office chair, this one pays homage to 1960s retrofuturism and therefore more than earns its place in a stylish home office. With its padded and curved seat and backrest, the Beckett is all about stylish shaping. The wooden outer frame is rich in tone with a characterful natural grain and is smooth to the touch, while the foam-padded interior is both comfortable and offers good support as it envelops the body. The chair boasts a gas lift mechanism for easy adjustability as well as a smooth swivel action.
Hashtag home reis desk chair
Best: Value for money
With its one-piece ergonomic seat and back rest, this is a comfy and thoughtfully designed office chair. It offers a relatively compact silhouette, giving support exactly where you need it whilst allowing your arms to be free. Upholstered in a durable leather-look fabric, and with deep diamond stitching, it’s both comfortable and looks much more expensive than it is. It also comes in an array of fun and funky colours – as well as the conventional leather-esque neutrals. Its chunky chrome frame on castors award it an industrial aesthetic, while its adjustable height and swivel function allow you to find the optimum desk position.
Furniture 123 grey velvet office swivel chair with button back
Best: For unapologetic glamour
If only a plush armchair on wheels will do for your glamorous home study, look no further. We loved this wingback-inspired number for its contrast in style and material: its sturdy, industrial chrome base on castors is juxtaposed with soft grey velvet upholstery, complete with traditional-look buttoning to the interior. The chair boasts a deep comfy cushion, subtly contoured shaping for back support, 360-degree swivel action and height adjustability – although with its high armrests you won’t be able to tuck it under a compact desk. This beauty demands a bit of space.
West Elm helvetica leather office chair
Best: For vintage lovers (and font nerds)
Another armchair-like piece, West Elm’s Helvetica is one handsome office chair with its inviting deep seat and enveloping form. It’s upholstered in a genuine Italian leather that boasts a rich and varied patina and promises to age beautifully. On the functionality side, this one’s height adjustable and both swivels and tilts. Its vintage look is continued in the metal base, which is finished in an antique bronze coating – a thoughtful design detail. The helvetica is not cheap, but its quality is palpable.
Vitra hal office armchair
Best: For classic design
This brilliantly utilitarian office chair echoes Vitra’s classic plastic shell design. In the shade “brick”, even its colourway hints at the industrial. With its organic and ergonomic shaping, the Hal is much more comfortable than its inflexible materials would have you believe. We loved the moulded, all-in-one seat, and way the arm rests gently curve outwards, allowing us to sit back and rest our elbows. Height adjustable and with a sturdy wheeled base, it’s practical and stylish in equal measure. This one’s made to order so expect a wait – but well worth it for true design lovers.
The verdict: Office chairs
We loved Made’s denham office chair for its stylish retro look and its comfy seat, back and armrests. This one’s as practical as it is pretty. It’s also reasonably priced for a substantial, upholstered desk chair. We were impressed with Hashtag Home’s affordable reis desk chair, which offered a comfy, padded seat for lengthy sessions at the laptop, while Cult Furniture’s heather office chair proved our favourite for when we wanted to avoid the corporate look in the living room.
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