In Search of the Perfect Office Chair: 10 Sources

Shopping Guide

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Comfort and durability — that's what most people want out of an office chair, since such a huge percentage of time is spent sitting in it. If a chair is attractive as well, so much the better. In case you're shopping for a new seat, here are 10 good sources to check out.

5093ef6cd9127e2f26000419. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Steelcase Store
They've been making office furniture since 1912, and their office chairs are well made, with a 10-year limited warranty. Many of them have Cradle to Cradle certification, a strict 3rd party standard of environmental sustainability. The Think Chair (starting at $709) is made from 37% recycled content and is 98% recyclable by weight.

5093ef6ddbd0cb033500046f. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Herman Miller
Their Aeron Chairs are the ones we use in the Apartment Therapy offices. The chair is designed for comfort — with adjustable parts and three different sizes — and it's up to 94% recyclable. Starting at $600, it's not cheap, but it's well made and durable.

5093ef6dd9127e2f1c000460. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Sit4Less.com
This online store carries most major office chair brands (including Herman Miller and Knoll) and they have their own budget line. They offer free shipping on chairs delivered within the Continental US, and they have daily specials and discounts that are worth checking out when you're comparison shopping.

5093ef6edbd0cb032f00050e. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Humanscale
They focus on ergonomic office chairs, and their most popular version is the Freedom Chair designed by Niels Diffrient in 1999. It starts around $500 and goes up in price depending on styles and features. Their website also features a helpful ergonomic guide on how to position your desk, computer, and chair for optimal comfort.

5093ef6fd9127e2f1c000461. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Knoll
Knoll office products are generally very well made and well designed, and the company follows strict environmental production practices. They're also aggressive about third-party environmental certification of their products. Apartment Therapy tested their popular Generation Chair (starting around $700) — read the review here.

5093ef70dbd0cb03490004cb. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop West Elm
If you're on a budget, this store has some stylish and inexpensive options for the office. These chairs don't have the same ergonomic design of brands like Herman Miller or Steelcase, but they're worth checking out if you want something simple and attractive.

5093ef70d9127e2f1c000462. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Smart Furniture
This online store carries several major office furniture brands and they have helpful sales staff that are available online or by phone to answer questions. They offer free shipping on select office furniture lines, including Knoll, Steelcase, and Herman Miller.

5093ef71dbd0cb034f0004b3. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Spacify
Spacify is an online/catalogue only operation that runs out of Redwood City, California and focuses on home office furniture. They offer free shipping on several brands, and they also carry budget lines and knockoffs. The Nico Chair, for instance, is similar to the Herman Miller Eames office chair, but sells for $286.

5093ef72d9127e2f1c000463. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop CB2
They're a good resource for office furniture on a budget, and although their chairs aren't as high-end as Herman Miller or Knoll, they're popular and simple. We've read good reviews of the Studio Chair, priced at $189.

5093ef72dbd0cb032f00050f. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Emeco
Emeco's aluminum furniture is classic and virtually indestructible. They're a good source for well-made, old-school office furniture, and their chairs are made from 80% recycled metal. Prices are on the high end, but their stuff is made to last.

Photo: Steelcase Think Chair