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Best affordable ergonomic task chairs

Expensive Herman Miller ergonomic chairs come with a robust “synchro-tilt“. That feature angles the seat in proportion with the backrest as you recline. Ergonomic chairs without synchro-tilt cost a lot less, with otherwise the same features. This article reviews the best conventional tilt task chairs currently available for sale.

Affordable ergonomic office chairs
These chairs offer solid ergonomic features for reasonable prices.

Conventional tilt task chairs support a healthy upright posture while sitting. An upright sitting posture is what most people use while doing demanding tasks at a computer. Gamers, programmers, and others doing intensive computing can gain from using these chairs.

All models on this list have a few features in common:

  • Seat: adjustable height and depth.
  • Lumbar support: depth-adjustable, or height and depth adjustable.
  • Armrests: at least 2D adjustable.
  • Lockable backrest recline: from 100° to at least 120°

Best affordable ergonomic task chairs

The most expensive ergonomic task chairs come with an advanced synchro-tilt feature. The models in this review lack synchro-tilt, but otherwise have similar ergonomic features of the high-end task chairs.

Chairs are listed from cheapest to most expensive. At the end of the article, we summarize our top picks.

Hon Ignition 2.0 with seat slider

Amazon price: $256.04

The Hon Ignition 2.0 mesh back chair comes in two variants. The more expensive synchro-tilt version can angle the seat up as the backrest reclines. But the seat has a tiny tilt range of 1°, which only makes a subtle difference. This cheaper version has a fixed seat that doesn’t tilt. Instead, it comes with a depth-adjustable seat slider. That is the more useful of the two features, as it lets you better customize the chair to your body.

Hon Ignition 2.0 task chair

Features

The star feature on the Ignition 2.0 is the Ilira-Stretch mesh back. It works similar to the backrest on the $1400+ Herman Miller Embody. It moves in four directions against pressure, providing multi-directional spine support. The backrest also comes with standard rocking and tilt-tension features. You can also lock the recline at four different angles.

Hon Ignition 2.0 features
Standout features include the Ilira-Stretch mesh back and height-adjustable lumbar support.

  • Backrest: lock upright or at four deeper angles; rocking with tilt-tension.
  • Lumbar support: height-adjustable.
  • Seat: the 16.25″ seat can adjust forward or back with a range of 3″.
  • Armrests: height and width adjustable.
  • Warranty: lifetime warranty from Hon Furniture.

Sizing

  • Seat width & depth: 20″ (W) x 16.25″ to 19.25 (D)
  • Backrest width & height: 19″ (W) x 23″ (D)
  • Floor to seat range: 16.25″ to 19.25″
  • Chair height: 41.5″ to 44.5″
  • Size rating: 5’5″ to 6’2″; up to 300 pounds

Buying advice

The Hon Ignition 2.0 is a plain-looking office-styled chair with solid features and a great price. Its mesh back with Ilira-Stretch gives comfortable and adaptive support, without the need for a headrest.

Hon Ignition 2.0 mesh back chair

Despite its plain looks, this chair’s ergonomic features allow plenty of options to support long periods of healthy sitting. You can adjust the armrests two ways, adjust the seat depth, and angle the backrest recline at four positions.

Hon is one of the largest and most reliable names in the office chair industry. Given the price and lifetime warranty, the Hon Ignition 2.0 offers excellent value for money.

Hon Ignition 2.0 on Amazon $256.04

Steelcase Jack

Amazon price: $293.00

This is a ‘Steelcase Turnstone’ product. Turnstone is a sub-brand of Steelcase, one of the world’s largest office furniture manufacturers. ‘Turnstone Simple Seating’ takes advanced ergonomic features and simplifies them.

Steelcase Jack ergonomic office chair

The Steelcase Jack is a super-simple ergonomic chair yet with fully adjustable features. It has a hard-shell back with contours to support the back’s natural curves. There is no adjustable lumbar support. Instead, you can adjust the height of the backrest so that the chair’s lumbar curve meets your lower back.

Features

This chair only has a few adjustable features, yet still offers plenty of adjustment options. For instance, the armrests are only height-adjustable. However, you can manually widen them by unscrewing from the base and re-positioning. You can also angle and lock the backrest at various angles up to 115°.

Steelcase Jack features
You can adjust the height of the backrest, and also lock the backrest at angles.

It’s an upright chair, with the backrest meant to support the spine at all times. The hard shell back is less breathable than mesh back chairs. Despite that, the fabric covering keeps the back cool even after several hours of sitting.

  • Backrest: lock upright or various angles; rocking with tilt-tension.
  • Lumbar support: integrated lumbar with height-adjustable backrest.
  • Seat: depth-adjustable with a 1.5″ range.
  • Armrests: height and width adjustable
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty (covered under ‘Turnstone simple seating‘).

Sizing

The Steelcase Jack is an average-sized chair suitable for slim figures. Those with wide hips or thick legs may find the space between the armrests too narrow.

  • Seat width & depth: 18.5″ (W) x 16.25″ to 17.75 (D)
  • Backrest width & height: 17.5″ (W) x 19.5″ to 21.7″ (D)
  • Floor to seat range: 17.25″ to 22″
  • Chair height: 35″ to 43″
  • Size rating: 5’5″ to 6’1″; up to 250 pounds

Buying advice

One problem with fancy ergonomic chairs is that they are very complicated to use. The Steelcase Jack is for those who want good back support without the fuss.

Steelcase Jack ergonomic chair

The Steelcase Jack meets modern ergonomic standards with adjustable armrests, adjustable back support, and a reclining backrest. It’s also very comfortable, easy to use, and affordable.

Steelcase Jack on Amazon $276.00

Sidiz T50

Amazon price: Price not available

The Sidiz T50 is one of the cheapest yet most full-featured chairs on this list. This is the smaller cousin of the Sidiz T80, a luxurious synchro-tilt task chair that costs twice as much as the T50.

Sidiz T50 ergonomic chairs

The T50 has the same features as the T80, minus the synchro-tilt. For that omission, you save over $300.

Features

The Sidiz T50 comes in a few variations. The model listed here includes a headrest, adjustable lumbar support, and adjustable armrests.

Sidiz T50 features
Features include a mesh backrest, depth-adjustable seat, adjustable lumbar and adjustable armrests.

  • Backrest: recline and lock in five positions between 90° and 115°.
  • Lumbar support: height and depth adjustable.
  • Headrest: included with this model.
  • Upholstery: breathable mesh.
  • Seat: height and depth adjustable.
  • Armrests: 3D adjustable (up/down, forward/back, angled left or right)
  • Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee; 3-year warranty.

Sizing

Sidiz lists the T50 with a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. They don’t include a height rating.

  • Seat width & depth: 19.3″ (W) x 18.3″ to 21″ (D)
  • Backrest width & height: 19.1″ (W) x 23″ (H)
  • Seat height: 15.7″ (W) x 18.7″ (H)
  • ChairsFX size rating: 5’3″ to 6’0″; up to 250 pounds

Buying advice

The Sidiz T50 offers excellent ergonomic features with a solid warranty and very low price.

Using a Sidiz T50 in the office
Image: Sidiz

That makes a great alternative to high-end chairs like the Herman Miller Aeron. The Sidiz T50 is also a great option for gamers uninterested in racing-style esports gaming chairs. Those models are in the same price range as the Sidiz T50, but the T50 offers superior ergonomics.

Buy the Sidiz T50 on Amazon Price not available

Cougar Argo

Amazon price: $499.99

Cougar Argo ergonomic chair review

The Cougar Argo is a full-featured ergonomic task chair for gamers. It’s cheaper than the NeueChair but has similar features. It ranks #3 because its gamified office chair styling might be too daring for all tastes. Also, despite the price, it only comes with a paltry 2-year warranty.

Features

This model comes with all of the expected ergonomic features. One standout is the height and depth-adjustable lumbar. Another is the robust backrest recline functionality. On the downside, the price is very high, given that this chair only comes with a 2-year warranty.

Cougar Argo depth adjustable lumbar support
The Argo’s depth-adjustable lumbar is one of its several high-end ergonomic features.

  • Backrest: rock, recline, or lock at angles between 105° and 130°.
  • Headrest: adjust the angle; adjust up or down; slide out of the way.
  • Depth adjustable seat: the 20″ seat can adjust forward or back with a range of 2.4″
  • Armrests: 3D adjustable (up/down, forward/back, angled left or right)
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty on the aluminum frame and base.

Sizing

The Argo has a weight capacity of 330 pounds.

  • Seat width & depth: 19.6″ (W) x 16.5″-18.5″ (D)
  • Backrest width & height: 19.5″ (W) x 22.4″ (H)
  • Size rating: 5’3″ to 6’0″; up to 240 pounds

ChairsFX size rating: combined, the height of the backrest and neck support covers 29.72″. The seat width (and space between the armrests) is 20″. These dimensions are a suitable for slim figures between 5’6″ to 6’0″. People with extra-wide wide hips or thick legs may find too tight a squeeze into this chair.

Buying advice

The Cougar Argo offers similar ergonomic features as the other chairs in this review. It costs more than several competing models, but only comes with a 2-year warranty.

Cougar Argo ergonomic chair

Despite those quibbles, this is a solid option for those who like the styling. Standout features include the striking orange and black frame, depth-adjustable lumbar, and an included head support.

Buy the Cougar Argo on Amazon $499.99

To learn more about this chair, check out our detailed Cougar Argo chair review.

NeueChair (Secretlab)

Direct buy price: $549

Neue (pronounced ‘noy-yuh’) means ‘new movement’ in German. It’s also the name of a Secretlab subsidiary launched in late 2018. The NeueChair is its first product release.

NeueChair ergonomic task chair

The NeueChair is tailored for productivity. It works fine as a gaming chair but isn’t ideal for napping or watching movies. Rather, for upright working, it delivers a crisp computing experience.

Features

Neuechair back support features
An adjustable lumbar plus backrest rocking with tilt lock provides the back support.

NeueChairs have three ergonomic keys. First is a backrest recline with angle-lock and tension functions. That lets you angle the backrest as a rocker or at a fixed angle. Second is a height and depth adjustable lumbar support. This offers the same caliber of lumbar supporting precision as the Herman Miller Aeron chair.

NeueChair foundation
Breathable NeueMesh and an ADC12 aluminum alloy structure provide the support.

The third key is an adaptive mesh fabric that ties the whole thing together. NeueMesh is a 3-layer mesh that combines top-grade polyester fiber and DuPont yarn. This material is optimal for long hours of sitting: breathable, comfortable, and durable.

On top of the ergonomic features are some slick enhancements. For instance, under each armrest is a Controlshift lever. Press the right lever to adjust the height of the chair. Press the left to lock or unlock the backrest tilt. Once you get used to this, it becomes very convenient to slip your fingers under the armrests to adjust.

ControlShift armrest levers
Use the ControlShift levers to adjust the height or recline of the chair from under the armrests.

Summary of features
  • Armrests: 2D adjustable (up and down, side-to-side).
  • Seat: height and depth adjustable.
  • Backrest: recline from 85° to 130°; tilt tension and angle lock.
  • Lumbar: height & depth adjustable
  • Warranty: 12 years on the frame; 5 years on components; 3 years on armrests, casters & gas lift.

Sizing

The NeueChair is for average adult sizes. It’s a smaller seat than the Omega, Secretlab’s smallest gaming chair. But the NeueChair has a flat seat, while the Omega has ridged edges. The flat seat allows a wider spread of the legs, resulting in a roomier fit.

  • Seat width & depth: 19.6″ (W) x 16.5″-18.5″ (D)
  • Backrest width & height: 19.5″ (W) x 22.4″ (H)
  • Size rating: 5’3″ to 6’0″; up to 240 pounds

Buying advice

While sitting, the NeueChair will keep you in position for healthy computing. There’s enough play in the backrest to keep your body moving. At the same time, the adjustable lumbar ensures a perfect fit for your body. Given the price, warranty, and company behind the product, the NeueChair is a solid option to consider.

Buy the NeueChair from Secretlab for $549

Vertagear Triiger 350

Direct buy price: $799 ($999 with neck support)

Vertagear Triiger 350 chair

The Triiger 350 is the most expensive chair on this list, but far from the best. We don’t recommend it, because of the exorbitant price. The other chairs in this review offer much better value. We include it as a reference, mainly because Vertagear is a big name in the gaming chair industry. Based in Los Angeles, the company released its first gaming chairs in 2015. A year later, they came out with a line of ergonomic task chairs to complement their collection.

Features

The keys to the back support on the Triiger 350 are the adjustable lumbar support and tilt-locking backrest. You can adjust the height of the lumbar and also the depth. Leaning back with the backrest locked ensures a crisp upright working posture.

Vertagear Triiger 350 back support features
Core ergonomic features include a depth adjustable seat and tilt-locking backrest.

You can also enable the tilt-lock or adjust the height of the chair using ‘triigers’ under each armrest. These triggers take a while to get used to — most chairs stash the controls under the seat. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun shifting things while you work. For instance, you can lock the seat at an angle while cracking out an intense burst of work. Once you’re done, flick the left lever under the armrest to unlock the seat and enable rocking.

Vertagear Triiger 350 ergonomic task chair build closeup
Build features include an aluminium frame, reinforced mesh fabric and calfskin leather accents.

Adding a luxurious finish are premium calfskin leather accents on the seat and backrest. Those fit between bands of reinforced DuPont TPEE mesh. This material is breathable with an elastic quality engineered to retain its shape for years.

Summary of features

Clever extras start with height and recline controls using levers under each armrest. Another standout is the 65mm Holtron Hub-Less Casters. These come with rubber casters in the cavity that dampen noise down to almost zero.

Vertagear Triiger 350 armrest levers
Press the left lever to adjust backrest angles and deploy the tilt-lock. Use the right one to adjust seat height.

  • Armrests: 2D adjustable (up and down, side-to-side).
  • Seat: height and depth adjustable.
  • Backrest: 90° to 123° recline with 22 lockable positions.
  • Lumbar: height & depth adjustable.
  • Warranty: 2 years on parts, 10 years on the frame.

Sizing

Triiger 350 dimensions resemble those of the NeueChair. It’s for average sizes, but with enough room for those with wide hips.

Seat width & depth: 19.7″ (W) x 18.5″ to 20″ (D)
Backrest width & height: 18.3″ (W) x 21.4″ (H)
Size rating: 5’5″ to 6’2″; up to 330 pounds

Buying advice

The Vertagear Trigger has solid ergonomic features. But it only comes with a 2-year warranty. It’s also the most expensive chair on this list.

Triiger 350 SE differences
The Triiger 350 SE comes with a brilliant red finish and a 3-way adjustable neck support.

Five years ago, this may have been revered as a cheaper alternative to the Herman Miller Aeron chair. Today, compared to the other chairs, the Vertagear Triiger offers mediocre value for money.

Buy the Trigger from Vertagear for $799.99

Conventional tilt chair pros and cons

This section summarizes what’s to like and dislike about conventional tilt chairs.

Pros

Minus synchro-tilt, conventional tilt chairs have similar features as pricey Herman Miller chairs. But conventional tilt chairs are several hundred dollars cheaper.

Herman Miller Aeron synchro-tilt
The Herman Miller Aeron’s synchro-tilt system is nifty and pricey, but also unnecessary.

Testing out any of these chairs reveals synchro-tilt as luxurious but unnecessary. Without that feature, these chairs are still super comfortable. One reason is that all models have breathable mesh seats and backrests that always stay cool.

Four affordable ergonomic office chairs
These four models offer high-end performance and excellent value for money.

Another is the quality of the back support. All models support good posture while allowing your seated body to move in the chair. In that sense, they do the same job as chairs $1000 more expensive.

When you need to refresh, simply recline back or forward a few degrees. Such small changes are all you need to activate new muscles while putting tired ones to rest.

Cons

The biggest drawback to conventional tilt chairs is that they force you to sit upright at all times. All models have limited recline that will always keep you in a working position.

When sitting down for work all day, leaning into a deep recline is a nice way to take a break. When using a conventional tilt task chair, you won’t get that chance.

It’s a minor quibble, but one to consider before buying one of these chairs.

Affordable task chair alternatives

At the highest end of the scale are synchro-tilt task chairs.

Best ergonomic office chairs for your back
The best synchro-tilt ergonomic task chairs cost between $450 to $1500.

Top synchro-tilt models include the Herman Miller Aeron, Steelcase Gesture, and Sidiz T80.

Next on the price scale are pro esports gaming chairs. These are racing-style chairs with comparable features as synchro-tilt chairs, minus the sync-tilt.

Large and small pro gamer gaming chairs
A collection of some of the best pro esports gaming chairs in the world.

Top models come from Secretlab, Maxnomic, AKRacing, and other brands. Those chairs offer varied sizing for different bodies and rich ergonomic features. Those include deep recline, multifunction tilt-lock, 4D armrests, and dense cold foam padding.

The cheapest option with sufficient back support is a cheap ergonomic office chair. These models cost between $160 to $250.

Cheap ergonomic office chair reviews
The cheapest ergonomic office chairs cost less than $250.

Cheap ergonomic office chairs have height-adjustable armrests, adjustable lumbar support, and breathable mesh backrests. The biggest downside of paying so little is the durability. Most chairs have a one-year warranty or less.

Conclusion

The best ergonomic chairs from top companies like Herman Miller and Steelcase can cost over $1000. A big part of the high price is the synchro-tilt feature. That angles the seat up at a 2:1 ration as you deepen the backrest recline. It’s a cool feature to have, but an expensive one.

Minus synchro-tilt, a few options in this list offer comparable features, plus great value for money. Here are our top five picks:

  1. Sidiz T80: a full-featured ergonomic task chair with all the trimmings for less than $400.
  2. NeueChair: a viable alternative to the Herman Miller Aeron, with a much cheaper price.
  3. Cougar Argo: this innovative task chair for gamers has robust features and unique aesthetics.
  4. Hon Ignition 2.0: this model comes with solid features, subtle styling, a very low price, and a lifetime warranty.
  5. Steelcase Jack: super-simple controls enable rich features. These chairs are durable, affordable, and effective.

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