Many CEOs and high-achievers use ergonomic task chairs with synchro-tilt. That’s because these are the most advanced ergonomic chairs in the world. Better than any other chairs, these support pristine posture while allowing the seated body to move. That keeps users comfortable, relaxed, and ready to perform. ChairsFX reviews the best synchro-tilt ergonomic office chairs in the world.
Traditional office chairs have fixed components that force users into static sitting positions. That stresses certain muscle groups, leading to fatigue. When fatigue sets in, users tend to compensate by shifting positions to find comfort.
Ergonomic chairs are different. Instead of forcing users to adapt to the chair, the opposite happens. High-end ergonomic chairs have moving components that adjust to the user while supporting a healthy sitting posture.
What is an ergonomic task chair?
In 2020, healthy ergonomic sitting standards are well-defined. The gist is that humans are not designed to sit for long periods. Doing so leads to health issues like poor posture, chronic pain, and varicose veins. A good ergonomic chair needs three adjustable components to counteract the health risks:
- Effective lumbar support: solid support for the lower back curve provides the foundation for a healthy sitting posture (learn more).
- Adjustable armrests: adjustability helps to sync armrests with the user’s body size and desk height. Doing so will spare the spine from having to support the weight of the arms.
- Reclining backrest: provides the user with opportunities to move their hips and lower back while sitting.
Advanced adjustable features
At the highest levels, the world’s best ergonomic chairs exceed these requirements in spectacular fashion. Chair features adapt to support the spine and promote a healthy sitting posture. That helps to boost working performance while sitting. Comfortable, aligned bodies enjoy many productivity benefits. Those include deeper breathing, improved circulation, and sharper focus.
By using the backrest for support, users gain a healthy sitting posture. The chair does the work, letting the upper body muscles rest. That saves a huge amount of energy. Instead of burning it on strained muscles, it becomes available for productivity. Thus, the user gains more energy for their deskwork.
At the same time, sitting with healthy posture yields added health benefits. These include improved circulation, deeper breathing, and improved concentration. As a result, using these chairs help users feel comfortable, energized, and alert — optimal conditions for super-productivity.
Comfort and posture support helps, but doesn’t change this reality: humans are not designed to sit for long periods. That explains why top ergonomic scientists suggest that there is no single correct sitting position. Instead, good posture while in motion is the ideal.
Balancing active sitting and standing with walking helps maintain physical and cognitive wellbeing.
Thus, the best ergonomic chairs justify high prices with robust seated movement features. Conventional tilt chairs let you adjust the back angle, while the seat pan stays fixed in place. Synchro-tilt chairs combine backrest recline with seat angling for the ultimate sitting solution.
$1000 sync-tilt chair examples
The higher-priced chairs offer a more robust synchro-tilt range. For example, the $1300+ Herman Miller Aeron has a seat pan angle of -1° to 16°.
That pairs with a backrest recline range of 93° to 104°. With the backrest set at 93°, the seat tilts down to -1°. When the user reclines to 104°, the seat tilts up by 16°.
The more expensive Embody chair has a smaller sync range, without a downward-sloping seat. Its seat pan angle range is 3-15 degrees. That syncs with a backrest recline range of 94-120 degrees.
That limitation means the Embody’s seat only tilts up when the user leans back. When the user leans forward, the seat remains flat.
Cheap chair sync-tilt chair examples
Sub-$1000 models tend to have smaller sync-tilt ranges. For example, the $690+ Sidiz T80 has a seat pan angle of 1°, with a backrest recline range of 90° to 114°. That means the seat will only tilt up by one degree with a fully-reclined backrest. This small of a range also enables seated movement, but not as spectacularly as the Aeron.
All types keep the thighs parallel to the floor while encouraging flexing in the hips. No matter what position to sit in, sync-tilt chairs will keep you in the perfect position for upright computing.
High-end ergonomic chairs over $1000
All of the elite models over $1000 share some common features:
- Synchro-tilt: as the user reclines, the seat pan tilts up. In some models, when the user leans forward, the seat angles down. As a result, users moving through the recline ranges enjoy healthy movement in their hips and lower back.
- Adaptive backrest: the backrest flexes in response to user movement to provide consistent posture support.
- Adjustable lumbar support: some models let you control the height and depth of a dedicated lumbar unit. Others have integrated lumbar support that you customize by adjusting the backrest height.
These models are among the elite class of ergonomic chairs. They have the highest prices, most complex features, and the longest warranties. Paying over $1000 for any of the following guarantees world-leading ergonomic support for over a decade.
Chairs are rated based on the ergonomic features, synchro-tilt performance, and overall value for money.
Herman Miller Aeron
Current price: $1185.75
The Herman Miller Aeron made its debut in 1994 and quickly rose to iconic status. The Aeron went through zero revisions until 2016. A 2017 update introduced 8Z pellicle mesh, a lumbar support upgrade, and minor tweaks. A 2020 update saw a new “gamified” Aeron chair added, along with an entire gaming collection. The Aeron gaming chair has a new skin, but no new features. Essentially, the modern edition is the same chair that launched 26 years ago.
There have been so few revisions because the Aeron remains the gold standard of ergonomic task chairs. It has the most sophisticated synchro-tilt system, the most advanced upholstery, the best warranty, and plenty more.
Like all chairs in this price range, the Aeron has an adaptive backrest. That provides consistent back support through all possible ranges of motion. The Aeron’s backrest material is an adaptive 8Z Pellicle mesh fabric. 8Z Pellicle mesh is a “suspension material”. The mesh varies between eight zones of tension that distribute body weight.
The tightest zones sit along the edges. Those keep your body off of the frame. The zones in the middle are more flexible. They better conform to the nuances of your body.
The mesh works in tandem with the best synchro-tilt function in the industry. When deactivated, the backrest reclines independently of the seat. When activated, the seat will angle up when you recline and down when you lean forward. This is the most complete synchro-tilt on the market. All others only work in recline — only the Aeron sync-tilts when leaning forward.
The result is that when the user sits in an Aeron, the 8Z mesh distributes body weight across the seat and backrest. The sensation feels like floating. On top of that, the synchro-tilt adds a layer of fluid, natural motion. Rounding out the posture system is an adjustable lumbar support system.
The Aeron’s PostureFit supports the lumbar and sacral-pelvic areas. Two pads attached to the unit flex independent of each other. The top pad supports the lumbar, while the lower one stabilizes your sacrum. You can adjust the lumbar height, and also the depth of both pads. Together, these pads encourage the spine to stay in a healthy S-shaped position.
The Aeron’s base model ships with fixed armrests, no lumbar support, and no synchro-tilt. In the Herman Miller store, that base model sells for a regular price of $995. Fully-kitted with adjustable armrests, PostureFit and synchro-tilt, the price goes up by $400. Below is what you get in the most expensive, full-featured version:
- Synchro-tilt: seat pan angle -1° to 16°; backrest 93° to 104°
- Upholstery: Pellicle 8Z mesh provides eight zones of varying tension for ultra-responsive support..
- Seat: adjust the height; limit the tilt range; adjust the tilt tension; sync-tilt with the backrest.
- Backrest: forward tilt option; height and depth adjustable PostureFit lumbar support.
- Armrests: 3D adjustable.
- Warranty: 12 years.
The Herman Miller Aeron comes in three different sizes:
Size A fits users 4’10” to 5’9″ and up to 150 pounds. Size B fits users 5’2″ to 6’6″ and up to 325 pounds. The large size C fits users between 5’3″ to 6’7″ and up to 350 pounds.
Here are the dimensions of the largest C size option:
- Seat: 18.25″ (W) x 18.5 (D)
- Backrest: 22.75″ (W) x 23″ (H)
- Total height: 36.5″ to 43″
The Aeron is the world’s first and still most popular ergonomic task chair. Its standout feature is that it supports the users back at all times.
Whether leaning forward or back in the chair, support is consistent. The backrest and seat move in sync with the user, keeping the body balanced and posture on-point. This makes the Aeron a fantastic way to boost productivity. It keeps users sitting upright, refreshed, and focused.
On the downside, mid-back chairs like the Aeron stop at around the shoulder blades. When leaning upright or forward, that works fine. But when leaning back, it provides no support for the shoulders and neck.
So if you need an elite chair for pure productivity, the Aeron chair is the benchmark. But if you need something for work and play, a PC gaming chair might be a better (and cheaper) choice. Those chairs offer less precise back support but are much better for relaxing.
To learn more, check out our detailed Aeron chair review.
The Aeron is now on sale for 15% off from Smartfurniture. Includes free shipping for all USA customers. Browse all ergonomic chair sales live right now.
$1105 (without headrest)
Based on earnings, Steelcase is the largest office furniture company in the world. The Steelcase Gesture is its flagship chair. It ranks a close second to the Aeron chair. As part of the Gesture’s development, Steelcase conducted a global posture study across six continents. They found that emerging tech had an erratic influence on users. People were adapting to tech fluidity with a wider range of unhealthy postures.
To support such users, the Gesture chair (like the Aeron) has a dynamic, adaptive backrest. It also has a synchro-tilt feature, but with a much smaller range than the Aeron chair. Compared to the Aeron, the Gesture chair pulls ahead in three areas. First, it’s cheaper than the Aeron by a few hundred dollars. Second, it has a headrest option to enable full-body support. Third, it comes with a 15-year warranty, while the Aeron is only covered for 12 years.
Finally, the Gesture has the largest armrest dynamic range in the industry. You can pull the arms in to support mobile device use. You can also swing them away from your body when you want them out of the way.
The Steelcase posture study concluded that technology can only boost productivity in certain conditions. Discomfort disrupts work, hinders concentration, and dims creativity. The Gesture chair is the solution.
It allows healthy movement while sitting in all postures. Whether leaning back or forward, it will keep your spine aligned, with eyes locked on the screen.
One standout feature of the Gesture chair is its 3D Live Back backrest. That is a dynamic backrest that adapts to provide consistent support. In regular chairs, when the user reclines, a gap opens up between the lumbar curve and the chair. To compensate, most tend to flatten their lumbar curve.
To prevent that from happening, the 3D Live Back flexes. That provides consistent support throughout the recline range. That keeps the lumbar curve intact while ensuring a healthy spinal and hip alignment.
Another standout is the robust synchro-tilt feature. The backrest reclines at a 2:1 ratio. When you recline the backrest by two degrees, the seat will angle up by a maximum of one degree. Compared to the 3-15° range on the Embody chair, this is tiny. But outside of the Herman Miller chairs, a 1° seat tilt pan on synchro-tilt chairs is the standard.
In fact, it was Steelcase engineers who first came up with the 1° seat tilt pan. This was a design strategy influenced by the natural motions of the human body. Like the body’s natural support, the Gesture’s sync range provides support no matter how you sit.
The armrests are also worth mentioning. No other chair offers such a large range of adjustable motion. The point of this design is to support work across multiple devices. For example, to support long periods of work on a tablet, you can raise the arms and swing them closer to your body. That will provide effective support for your elbows while you use the device.
Summary of features
- Synchro-tilt: seat pan angle 1°; backrest recline from 98° to 116°
- Seat: height and depth adjustments.
- Armrests: 4D armrests. Height range 7.25-11.5 inches; width range 10.25-22.5 inches.
- Back support: adjustable lumbar; adaptive 3D Live Back system; 3-position seat and backrest tilt lock.
- Warranty: 12 years on parts, lifetime on the frame.
Gesture chair sizing
The Steelcase Gesture has a versatile one-size-fits-all design that should cater to a wide range of body types.
- Seat width x depth: 19.25″ (W) x 15.75 to 18.75″ (D)
- Backrest height x width: 24″ (H), 16.25″ (W)
- Floor to seat range: 16-20.5″
- Chair height: 38.5-43.5″
- Size rating: people 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall; up to 400 pounds
Compared to the Aeron, the Gesture lacks forward synchro-tilt. But it has much better 4D armrests, a wider range of styles and a cheaper price. What you get with the Gesture is a solid, reliable chair that should last for most of your adult life. To learn more about this model, check out our detailed Steelcase Gesture review.
Steelcase Gesture chairs are now 15% off from SmartFurniture. If you prefer having a headrest, the fully-loaded Gesture with headrest now costs $1088.85
Herman Miller Embody
Sale price: $1270.75
$1495 (%15 off)
Herman Miller released the Embody chair in 2008 as a specialty model for computer users. This model has a smaller synchro-tilt range than the Aeron, with no forward-leaning support. However, its adaptive backrest is even more sophisticated than the Aeron’s. For that reason, the Embody is the most expensive Herman Miller chair.
Embody chair features
There are several differences between the Aeron and Embody chairs. First, the Aeron uses breathable mesh, while the Embody uses fabric. Second, while the Aeron backrest uses adaptive mesh, the entire Embody backrest (including the edges) is dynamic. It has a “Pixelated” human-like spine with “ribs” attached to a central pillar. The ribs adjust as your body moves. As with the Aeron’s adaptive mesh, the point is to hold your body in a healthy sitting posture while you work.
But like the Aeron chair, synchro-tilt is a key function in the Embody chair. As the sitter shifts back into a recline, the Embody adjusts to keep the thighs horizontal. This keeps the pelvis stabilized, with consistent support in the thoracic region. However, sync-tilt only angles up. When you lean forward in the chair, the seat remains flat.
The backrest has a fixed lumbar curve built into the backrest. But it’s not adjustable. Instead, you can adjust the angle of the backrest using a feature Herman Miller calls a “BackFit” dial. Turn it to increase or decrease curvature between the thoracic and lumbar regions. The point is to apply the right angle to keep your body forward.
Another noteworthy feature of the Embody chair is the “Kicker”. Wobbly desk stools force users to flex their core muscles to stay upright. While that’s good in short bursts, it’s tiring over extended periods. The Kicker works on the same concept. When you need a refresher, push up with your feet and flex your core. The Embody chair will extend beyond its settings to let your body have a full stretch.
Summary of features
Beyond the standout features, the Embody also comes with a depth-adjustable seat. Grip handles on either side of the seat to easily extend or shorten.
But while the Aeron has 3D armrests, the Embody has basic 2D ones. Summary of all Embody chair features:
- Synchro-tilt: seat pan angle 3° to 15°; backrest 94° to 120°
- Pixelated back support: the backrest has a central spine with flexible ribs. Each rib adjusts when you lean back to support the natural curve of your spine.
- BackFit angle adjustment: this lets you position the back of the chair to fit the curvature of your back.
- Seat adjustments: adjust the seat’s height and depth.
- Backrest: adjust recline tension; 3-position tilt-lock; synchro-tilt
Armrests: 2D-adjustable (6-inch vertical and 6-inch horizontal range)
Herman Miller designed to Embody to fit 95% of adults. It’s adjustments provide a good seat height range, arm width range, and seat depth. These features make the Embody a good fit for a wide range of people.
- Seat: 21.25″ (W) x 15″-18″ (D)
- Backrest: 23.5″ (H) x 14″ (W)
- Total height: 42″ to 45″
The Embody supports up to 300 pounds and should suit most users between 5’4″ and 6’2″ tall.
The Embody costs more than the Aeron, yet offers lesser features (on paper). It has a smaller synchro-tilt range than the Aeron. It also has 2D armrests, compared to the Aeron’s fully-adjustable ones.
Its standout Pixelated backrest helps to compensate for those shortcomings. It’s a potent feature that looks good while proving exceptional back support.
If you can afford the cost, this is a robust computing chair for power users. It’s comfortable, good for your back, and very well made. If you can’t afford this chair, don’t sweat it. There are [plenty of other models on this list that offer comparable features for a lot less money.
To learn more about the ‘gamified’ version of this chair, check out our Herman Miller Embody gaming chair review.
This chair is now on sale from SmartFurniture for 15% off. Buy the Embody now for just $1270.75
$1036 (15% off)
Released in 1999, the Leap chair was the longtime flagship of the company before the Gesture chair emerged. The Leap was the first Steelcase model to employ an adaptive, 3D Live Back backrest. Over the years, the Leap enjoyed many revisions that helped it maintain its position on the cutting edge.
Compared to the Gesture, there are two key differences. First, the Leap chair’s 4D armrests have a smaller adjustment range than the Gesture chair’s. Second, the Leap chair employs an alternative version of synchro-tilt.
When a user reclines in a Leap chair, the seat tilts up by one degree, but also extends forward. When the user leans forward, the seat slides back to its original angle and depth. That allows for healthy movement in the hips while also keeping the thighs consistently parallel with the floor.
Steelcase Leap features
The modern version of the Leap comes with every ergonomic feature imaginable. The armrest width range is impressive, although it’s around 4″ less than the Gesture chairs width range. Another thing we like about the Leap is the easy lumbar support adjustment. Simply reach behind the chair and slide up or down until you find your sweet spot.
- Synchro-tilt: seat pan angle 1°; backrest 98° to 125°; 3-inch forward seat slide.
- Seat: height and depth adjustments.
- Armrests: 4D adjustable (7-11″ height range; 12.75-20″ width range)
- Functionality: 3-position seat and backrest tilt lock; 4D armrests with a huge adjustment range.
- Back support: 3D LiveBack (changes shape to mimic the natural motion of the spine).
- Back support: height and depth-adjustable lumbar; 5-position tilt-lock recline.
- Warranty: 12 years on parts, lifetime on the frame.
The Steelcase Leap should suit most adult body sizes. It has a flat seat with generous width between the armrests. As a result, there’s enough room to cater to those with wide hips or very thick legs.
- Seat width x depth: 19.25″ (W) x 15.75-18.75″ (D)
- Backrest width x height: 18″ (W), 25″ (H)
- Seat height: 16-20.5″
- Arms: 7-11″ height range; 12.75-20″ width range.
- Size rating: 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall; up to 400 pounds
If you choose the headrest addon, it comes with four inches of height adjustment range. Toggle up and down until it fits the nape of your neck. Then, lock into place.
The Steelcase Leap offers a decent price, superb build quality, and robust ergonomic features. Features match up well with more expensive chairs, making it easy to customize for your needs.
The only thing missing is a height-adjustable backrest. The dedicated lumbar support is height adjustable for the small of your back. However, a height-adjustable backrest unit would make this model a better fit for users taller than 6’2″. Other than that quibble, this is a fantastic chair with excellent features offering solid value for money.
To learn more about this model, check out our Steelcase Leap ergonomic chair review.
The Leap chair is now 15% off. The Leap chair with a headrest is also available from SmartFurniture for $1015.75
$1195. All orders include free shipping in the USA.
Best sync-tilt chairs $600-$900
Below the elite chairs is a cheaper range of ergonomic chairs with synchro-tilt. Most models cut costs using a variation of three methods:
- Hard-shell backrest instead of a flexible adaptive one.
- Smaller synchro-tilt range.
- Limited backrest recline (can only tilt and lock into a few positions).
As well, most (but not all) sub-$1000 ergonomic chairs come with shorter warranties between 2-5 years. Both the Steelcase and Herman models come with 12-year warranties.
$804 (without headrest)
This is a stripped-down version of the elite Steelcase chairs. Its key missing feature is a backrest with variable recline tilt-lock.
Instead, the Think chair has a weight-activated recline. To lean back, you need to push up with your feet while leaning back with your upper body.
Think chair features
Minus a variable-tilt backrest lock, the Think chair matches the features of the pricier chairs, with some tweaks. For example, the lumbar support is powered by dual springs that provide consistent support through all possible ranges of motion.
- Live Back: an upgraded dynamic backrest with linked flexors for more reactive support.
- Dual-energy lumbar: adjustable lumbar support powered by dual springs for greater structural integrity.
- Advanced synchro-tilt: the backrest reclines in sync with the seat at a 2:1 ratio. This allows the user to recline and lean forward with fluid, consistent support.
- Variable recline modes: choose weight-activated recline; weight-activated with a 20% boost; mid-stop recline; upright back lock.
- 4D armrests: adjust height, width, pivot, and depth.
- Seat: height and depth-adjustable with flexible seat edges.
- Warranty: 12 years on parts, lifetime on the frame.
Think chair sizing
Think chair dimensions are similar to other Steelcase chairs. These models support up to 400 pounds and cater to a wide range of body types. Small, average, and extra-large users will enjoy a great fit in a Think chair.
- Seat width & depth: 20.25″ (W) x 15.5 to 18″ (D)
- Backrest height & width: 24″ (H), 16.25″ (W)
- Lumbar adjustment range: 6-10.25″
- Armrests: height range 7-11″; width range 14-21.25″
- Size rating: 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall; up to 400 pounds
Think chair advice
The base Think chair comes with a range of powerful (and optional) addons. Those include 4D armrests ($145.35), adjustable lumbar support ($34), and a headrest ($98.60 extra). Without question, you should invest in both the 4D amrrests and adjustable lumbar. Without those, the Think becomes a very basic chair with limited ergonomic potency.
In contrast, the height-adjustable headrest is optional, depending on your taste. Some enjoy having their neck supported, while others prefer the freedom of sitting without one. Whichever style you choose, expect comfortable and consistent back support.
To learn more, check out our Steelcase Think chair review.
The Steelcase Think with headrest costs $782
$920 from SmartFurniture. Both models are now on sale for 15% off.
Herman Miller Sayl
Sale price: $633.25
$745 (%15 off)
The Sayl chair has similar features as the Aeron chair, with some cutbacks to justify the lower price.
Like the Aeron, the Sayle stands out from other chairs with a robust synchronous tilt range. Its seat pan angles from -3° to 13°. The backrest reclines in three positions: 91°, 101°, or 124°. The Sayle also employs an adaptive backrest, but with a radically different design. Instead of breathable mesh, Sayle chair backrests are curved plastic polymer pieces in a range of colors.
The chair applies the same suspension principles as the Golden Gate Bridge. The Sayl uses a suspension tower to support an unframed plastic backrest. As the body moves, the plastic backrest stretches to adapt. At the same time, the suspension tower keeps good posture intact. The result provides the freedom to move, with consistent adaptive support.
From the side, the chair resembles a full mainsail. The name “Sayl” references the sailing vessels that often pass under the Golden Gate bridge.
Sayl chair features
The Sayle almost matches the features of the Aeron chair, minus the backrest, and recline functionality. The Aeron has a fluid backrest recline. In contrast, the Sayle can only recline in three positions: 91, 101, or 124 degrees. Even so, the sync-tilt feature is fluid. When angled at 91°, the seat angles down to support forward-leaning. Setting a deeper recline will sync the seat into an upwards tilt.
It’s a limited range but still works well. For forward-leaning work, angle to 91 degrees and slope the seat down. For upright work, the 101-degree angle is best. Use the 124-degree setting for web surfing and relaxing.
As for the backrest, both offer adaptive flexibility and superb breathability. The Aeron’s 8Z Pellicle Mesh fabric is more comfortable. Predictably, the Sayle backrest has a synthetic, plastic feel.
One cool feature the Sayle has which the Aeron lacks is a manual downward seat tilt. For users who often lean forward, you can manually set the seat to slope down.
Summary of Sayl chair features
- Synchro-tilt: seat pan angle -3° to 13°; backrest reclines to 91°, 101°, or 124°.
- 3D Intelligent backrest: an unframed 3D Intelligent back stretches or contracts to support the back as the user moves.
- Posturefit: a unit at the rear of the backrest supports the sacrum (lowest point of the spine) to reinforce the pelvis. That prevents slouching and sitting fatigue.
- Seat adjustments: contoured seat pad; adjust the seat’s height and depth; downwards tilt to -3°.
- Armrests: 4D adjustable (adjust height, angles, width, and depth).
- Warranty: 12 years.
Sayl chair sizing
Unlike the Aeron chair, the Sayle is one-size-fits-all. It has the widest seat and backrest dimensions of all Herman Miller chairs. This model should fit everyone between slim and extra-wide sizes.
- Seat: 24.5″ (W) x 16-18″ (D)
- Backrest: 16.8″ (W) x 20.9″ (H)
- Floor to seat range: 15″ to 20″
- Chair height: 33.75″ to 40.75″
- Size rating: 5’3″ to 6’7″; 350 pounds
Sayl chair summary
The Sayle chair offers brilliant features at a cheaper price than other Herman Miller chairs. Highlights:
- A flexible backrest that supports good posture, no matter what position the user sits in.
- The powerful synchro-tilt function angles the seat up or down, depending on your depth of recline.
- To support working while leaning forward, you can slope the seat down to as much as -3°.
At present, Herman Miller offers Sayle in classic and gamified colors. The former designs are muted, while the latter are bolder, with striking color schemes. To learn more about the new versions, check out our Sayle gaming chair review.
The biggest downside of the Sayle chair is the odd-looking plastic backrest. It’s a good look in a gleaming corporate office, but less so working at home in your sweatpants.
The price quoted below is for the fully-loaded model. That includes adjustable arms and adjustable seat depth.
To learn more about the Sayle, check out our Sayle gaming chair edition review.
Sidiz T80 task chair
Current price: $699.00
Sidiz is a South Korean office chair developer. They released the Sidiz T80 task chair in 2014. It won several design awards, but never gained any mainstream traction. That changed in 2019 when Dr. Disrespect (one of the world’s top streamers) started using one.
The T80 is cheaper than the famous ergonomic office chairs. The main corner cut is a variable backrest recline. Unlike the premium chairs, the T80 can only lock into four different recline positions. That should provide enough range for most people, although it still falls short of what the premium chairs offer. Another limitation compared to pricier chairs is the warranty. This model only comes with 3-year protection.
The Sidiz T80 encourages dynamic sitting. You can adjust the lumbar support, armrests, seat depth, seat angle, and neck support.
Unlike the fluid Aeron chair, the T80 backrest only reclines in four positions. Its synchro-tilt is also more limited, working with the standard 1° seat pan angle range. But like the Aeron, the T80 also supports forward-leaning work. There is a manual setting that lets you slope down the seat to support forward-leaning.
The T80 has are also plenty of controls letting you adjust on the fly.
- Synchro-tilt: seat pan angle 1°; backrest 90° to 114°.
- Adjustable spine support: height adjustable lumbar; height and depth-adjustable padded headrest.
- 3D armrests: adjust the arms in three directions. The range provides robust support for the shoulders and wrists.
- Seat slide plus slope: slide the seat forward or back; manually slope down by -1°.
- Premium Padding: resilient memory foam plus a layer of antibacterial elastic sponge. This provides dense but pliable support with a superb level of comfort.
- Warranty: three years, plus 30-day money-back-guarantee (details)
The Sidiz T80 has a compact seat with flat edges. This configuration gives lots of room for the legs.
- Seat width & depth: 19.8″ (W) x 19.6″ (D)
- Backrest height & width: 19.8″ (H), 29.7″ (W)
- Size rating: people 5’5″ to 6’6″ tall; up to 250 pounds
On paper, these dimensions resemble those of typical gaming chairs for small people. But Dr. Disrespect is 6’8″ tall. Like the Embody and Gesture, the T80’s versatile dimensions should fit most adults.
The Sidiz T80 brings fresh energy into the ergonomic office chair scene. Its high-end features plus Dr. Disrespect’s endorsement have put this chair on the map.
Its price is a lot more digestible than the other high-end chairs, yet its features are comparable. Looking for a high-end ergonomic chair at a cheaper price without cutting corners? The Sidiz T80 is one of the best off-brand alternatives on the market.
Interested to learn more about this chair? Check out its features plus a value analysis in our detailed Sidiz T80 review.
Sale price: $575.91
$886.01 (35% off)
Based on turnover, Steelcase is the largest office furniture company in America. Herman Miller ranks second. The HNI Corporation ranks 4th. Their biggest subsidiary is Hon Office Furniture. Headquartered in Muscatine, Iowa, Hon has been making office furniture in America since 1944.
The first version of the Hon Ignition chair came out in 2009. Then, Hon described it as an all-in-one seating solution to support every body type, work style, and office activity. The Ignition has gone through several revisions over the years. The modern version includes seven ergonomic options and exceptional durability for a decent price. Every year, Hon offers seasonal specials with deep discounts on Hon chairs. Especially during those times, the Hon Ignition offers incredible value for money.
Hon Ignition chair features
In total, the Hon Ignition allows for seven key chair adjustments. You can adjust the seat height and depth; backrest height; tilt-tension. The latest version also comes with a 1-degree seat pan synchro-tilt plus fully-adjustable 4D armrests.
Synchro-Tilt is the highlight. When set, the backrest will recline at a 2-to-1 ratio to the seat angle. So for every two degrees that the backrest reclines, the seat will angle up by one degree. The benefit of the Synchro-Tilt is that it opens up the angles in the torso. This optimizes spinal alignment and improves circulation.
In this chair, balanced movement while sitting is the ideal. The Ignition chair encourages movement and changing positions often. This helps to increase circulation and redistribute pressure points while sitting.
Summary of features
Clever extras start with height and recline controls using levers under each armrest. Another standout are the 65mm Holtron Hub-Less Casters. These come with rubber parts in the cavity that dampen noise down to almost zero.
- Synchro-tilt: 22° of backrest recline plus 11° of seat tilt plus. Sync-tilt works with a 2;1 ration (backrest tilt to seat angle).
- Back height and angle adjustment: disable sync-tilt to adjust the backrest at various angles, independent of the seat. You can also adjust the height to fit your lumbar curve.
- Armrests: 4D adjustable with a 17-19.5 width adjustment range.
- Seat: height and depth adjustable.
- Lumbar: fixed integrated lumbar. A height-adjustable addon is available for around $30 extra. 2.0 chairs
- Warranty: lifetime.
The synchro-tilt range is robust. When it’s disabled, you can lock the backrest at various angles of recline. The lumbar support is an integrated curve in the backrest. You can’t adjust it, but you can adjust the backrest height. That makes it easy to position the curve so that it fills your lower back.
Hon Ignition chairs are for average-sized adults of moderate width.
- Seat width & depth: 20″ (W) x 17″ to 19″ (D)
- Backrest width & height: 19″ (W) x 25.5″ (H)
- Size rating: 5’5″ to 6’2″; up to 300 pounds
The Hon Ignition is a great chair from one of the biggest furniture companies in America. What stands out most is the fluid sitting experience. A common method of using an Ignition is to find a comfortable position, then engage the tilt lock. That will keep your body within a fixed range of motion while doing focused work. When thinking, relaxing, or taking a call, release the chair to recline freely.
This chair’s qualities suit big business needs. But Ignition chair prices also make them an option for work-from-home consumers as well. Home users should expect exceptional build quality and intuitive features. Hon Ignition chair designs aren’t flashy. On the flip side, they are very comfortable. They also perform well at supporting power users to enterprise-class levels of quality.
The fully-loaded Ignition chair is now on sale for 35% off the list price of $886.01. Buy now for $575.91 and enjoy superb ergonomics for a decade or more.
Eurotech Ergohuman mesh chair
Current price: $620.00
The Ergohuman chair has all the bells and whistles. It only ranks behind the others for some minor quibbles. The style is very plain. It costs a few dollars more than the Sidiz chair. It costs a few hundred more than the Hon Ignition.
But the positives outweigh the quibbles. The Ergohuman packs in an impressive array of features. These exceed the features of both Herman Miller chairs. From that context, these chairs offer fantastic value for money.
Eurotech Ergohuman chairs have the same features as the high-end chairs. You get adjustable lumbar support, synchro-tilt, and adjustable armrests. But it also comes with an adjustable neck support system that makes it a great option for full-body support.
- Synchro-tilt: 1°; backrest 90° to 115°
- Adjustable headrest: you can adjust the height and tilt of the head support.
- 3D armrests: adjust in three directions (up and down; diagonal; forward and backwards).
- Seat adjustments: tilt tension control; 3-position tilt lock; height and depth adjustments.
- Backrest: 3-position recline; height and depth adjustable lumbar support. The lumbar is also self-adjusting, adapting its pressure to the user’s body weight.
- Upholstery: choice of mesh fabric or faux leather with foam padding.
The Ergohuman has a rich feature set, but the backrest isn’t ideal. You can only recline the backrest in three positions. Other chairs have a more fluid recline range. Since all bodies are different, a 3-point recline is a curious choice for such an expensive chair.
The Ergohuman has a compact seat with flat edges. This configuration gives lots of room for the legs.
- Seat width & depth: 20.5″ (W) x 18.5″ (D)
- Backrest height & width: 28″ (H), 20.5″ (W)
- Size rating: people 5’4″ to 6’2″ tall; up to 250 pounds
Compared to the Herman Miller Aeron, the Ergohuman lacks adaptive intelligent mesh. But it exceeds the Aeron with a height-adjustable neck support device. The neck support is our favorite feature. You can adjust the height and angle that fits perfectly into your neck’s natural curve.
On the downside, the styling is subdued. Some might even call it bland, or boring. If looks don’t matter but advanced ergonomic support does, the Ergohuman is an affordable high-end option.
WorkPro Quantum 9000 Series
Current price: $690.83
The WorkPro Quantum 9000 Series is a Herman Miller Aeron knockoff. Made by Office Depot, this model cuts some corners but offers similar features and styling. For less than half the price of the Aeron, it’s an intriguing option. Both the Workpro 9000 and the Aeron are mid-back chairs. That means the backrest provides support up to the user’s shoulder blades.
They look and work alike, with a few differences. The Aeron uses intelligent mesh upholstery that adjusts to micro-movements. The Workpro also uses mesh, but without the dynamic adaptability. The other big difference is that the Aeron has a height-adjustable lumbar system. The Workpro 9000 uses a fixed lumbar, but the entire backrest is adjustable. That means both chairs let you adjust the lumbar using different methods.
Finally, Office Depot bills the WorkPro Quantum 9000 as having a synchro-tilt function. Both the seat and backrest work as a fixed unit. When the user leans back, the force of their weight angles the seat up by around one inch. That’s technically a synchro-tilt, but not at the level of the other chairs.
The WorkPro Quantum 9000 Series comes with padded 3D armrests and a “Waterfall Seat”. It slopes down, reducing stress on the legs while you sit. Other key features:
- Synchro-tilt: 1°; backrest 90° to 120°
- Height adjustable backrest: this features lets the chair cater to a wider range of sizes. It also lets you customize the lumbar support to suit your body type.
- Adjustable seat depth: push a switch on the side of the chair to slide between 19″ to 20″ deep. Once you find your sweet spot, lock in place.
- Backrest tilt: you can tilt the backrest back by 30° with a lockable tilt that stops rocking.
This model suits users between 5’2″ and 6’2″ weighing up to 250 pounds. Its dimensions are best for average-sized adults with slim hips.
- Seat width & depth: 20.5″ (W) x 19.25″ (D)
- Backrest height: 37″ to 40″ (W)
- Size rating: people 5’2″ to 6’2″ tall; up to 250 pounds
If you love the Herman Miller Aeron but not the price, the WorkPro Quantum 9000 Series is a good option. It offers huge savings over the Aeron, with similar features and performance.
Ergonomic task chair advice
Are you thinking of buying an ergonomic task chair? This section adds additional context to help you make an informed buying decision.
Cheaper ergonomic chair collections
This review covers the best ergonomic office chairs in the world. The elite models cost over $1000. Cheaper variations cost between $600 to $900. The common feature among all chairs in these classes is synchro-tilt. Minus the synchro-tilt features, prices drop drastically.
Beyond elite models are three other types of ergonomic chairs. Those include gaming chairs, mid-range ergonomic chairs, and cheap ergonomic office chairs.
Here are the other office-style options in descending price order:
- High-end chairs without sync-tilt ($300-$700): these have the same features as the best ergonomic chairs, minus the synchro-tilt.
- Cheap ergonomic task chairs (under $250): typically come with adjustable lumbar support, 1D armrests, and a variable-recline backrest tilt-lock.
- Big and tall cheap ergo chairs (under $300): these support up to 400 pounds with wide seats and 1D armrests. Some models come with adjustable lumbar support and a reclining backrest.
Across all types and price ranges, these chairs meet healthy sitting guidelines. They all support good posture and movement while sitting. That ensures comfort, stable energy levels, and optimal productivity while sitting at a computer.
To get your head around the biomechanical basics of healthy seating, check out this feature:
Ergonomic task chair vs PC gaming chairs
Both ergonomic task chairs and PC gaming chairs have the same purpose. That is, to support a healthy posture over long periods of sitting.
The world’s first task chair (Aeron chair) first appeared in 1994. That filled an emerging need as computing first became a part of office culture. In the years that followed, esports emerged to become a global phenomenon. As more people spent time gaming, back problems increased. To address those problems, DXRacer released the world’s first gaming chair in 2006.
Why didn’t gamers use ergonomic task chairs? If they had, gaming chairs may never have been invented.
There are three reasons: first, task chairs are more expensive. The best task chairs cost around three to four times as much as the best PC gaming chair. Second, gaming chairs are more versatile. Task chairs force users to sit in an upright position at all times. In contrast, gaming chairs offer deep recline modes ideal for napping, reading, or watching movies.
Finally, like ergonomic task chairs, gaming chairs good for your back. Whether seated upright or in recline, a tall backrest plus adjustable support cushions keep your posture on-point.
Check out our detailed analysis of gaming chairs versus ergonomic task chairs. That compares different models head-to-head and reaches these conclusions:
- Task chairs offer more precise back support than what gaming chairs offer.
- Gaming chairs are more comfortable because they support a wider range of recline.
- PC gaming chairs offer much better value for money. You lose some precision but gain a wider range of uses for your chair.
Is synchro-tilt worth the price?
The human body thrives when in motion. Sitting in fixed positions reduces the natural pumping action of the muscles. That clogs circulation and delivers fewer nutrients to the intervertebral discs. Synchro-tilt helps sitting bodies to change position while holding a healthy posture.
Synchro-tilt is a luxury. Like Wagyu steak or driving a Lamborghini. You can just as easily freshen the muscles by standing up and walking around for a few minutes. Even on sub-$200 gaming chairs, you can easily switch positions while sitting upright. You can adjust the backrest, the armrests, or the position of the lumbar support.
On the best pro esports PC chairs, you can also angle the seat. Both types of gaming chairs lack synchro-tilt, which means you need to adjust the parts manually.
With synchro-tilt, the chair makes the adjustments for you. Is synchro-tilt worth it? Only the $1000+ Herman Miller chairs offer a broad range of motion through the sync. For instance, the Herman Miller Aeron has the widest range. The seat pan angle is from -1° to 16°. In sync, the backrest has a range of 93° to 104°.
Most task chairs under $1000 only have a 1° seat pan angle. It’s a nice feature, but a minor one with such a limited range.
Who should buy a high-end task chair?
If seeking office seating for executives, ergonomic task chairs are a better investment. When the staff sits down in task chairs, they are more likely to work hard. That’s because these chairs force users to remain in a working position. It’s hard to slack off in a task chair. No matter how you sit, the chair will cradle your body and force you to sit up.
But if looking for a work-from-home chair, a gaming chair is a much better investment. While saving you money, it will become your working chair and also your lounger.
PC gaming chairs are good for your back and super comfortable. It’s easy to spend most of your day sitting in one. Through work, play, and hanging out, they ensure good posture and comfort while sitting.
This year, millions of office workers switched to working from home. Typical homes with kitchen chairs and a sofa aren’t optimal for working. Thus, 2020 has also seen a huge surge in demand for ergonomic chairs.
What’s the ideal centerpiece of the ultimate home office for professionals? For sharp, focused work, few products match the impact of the best ergonomic task chairs.
There are two downsides to buying a high-end task chair. First is the price. The best task chairs cost three times more than the priciest gaming chairs. The second is the disciplinarian aspect. Task chairs offer limited recline range, keeping your body in a position for doing tasks at all times.
The upside is the performance boost. Using a task chair for work will keep you comfortable, rested, and super-focused. Even if you fidget, the chair will adjust and make sure your posture is on-point.
Slackers won’t enjoy task chairs. These chairs keep your body aligned with eyes locked onto the computer screen. They make you feel like your only option is to focus and work hard.
Hours pass in a blur of productivity. You will forget that you’re sitting and feel like you’re floating. Any time the floating sensation stops, alter the back angle, kick in the rocker, or active synchro-tilt.
At the end of eight hours, get up out of your chair. Expect your mind to feel fried from a hard day of work. But your body will feel fresh, and ready to spend the evening moving.