Affordable ergonomic task chairs cut some luxuries to keep prices reasonable. These are prosumer chairs for buyers wanting high-end ergonomics for under $600. While high-end gaming chairs suit this purpose, some prefer traditional office chair styling. This article reviews the best mid-range ergonomic office chairs of 2021. All come with robust ergonomic features, contemporary styling, and solid after-care protection.
Since the start of the work-from-home era, ergonomic chair sales have skyrocketed. In the ultra-competitive seating industry, many brands have beefed up their products to meet increased demand.
As a result, consumers looking for an ergonomic chair in 2021 are spoiled for choice. For full-time power users, luxury task chairs from top brands like Herman Miller and Steelcase are the top-of-the-line. A tier below, pro esports gaming chairs provide comparable ergonomic support for under $550. However, not everyone likes racing-style designs.
As a result, mid-range ergonomic task chairs are the best alternative to high-end gaming chairs. Most chairs in an emerging mid-range class share these common features:
- Dynamic seat: height and depth adjustable.
- Adjustable lumbar: some models offer height and depth-adjustable lumbars. Other models let you adjust the backrest height instead.
- Adjustable armrests: at least 2D adjustable.
- Lockable backrest recline: tilt and lock from 90° to at least 120°
- Warranty: at least two years.
Best affordable ergonomic task chairs
Affordable ergonomic task chairs are an emerging class. There’s no clear market leader. There are only a few established brands in this genre, plus several recent startups.
We rank the ‘best’ based on a few factors. These include technical features, company credibility, durability/ warranty, service team responsiveness.
Direct buy price: $549
Neue (pronounced ‘noy-yuh’) means ‘new movement’ in German. It’s also the name of a Secretlab sub-project launched in late 2018. Among all sub-$600 task chairs, the Neue has the most innovative features and (by far) the longest warranty. Backed by Secretlab, it also comes with industry-leading aftercare support.
The Neue chair is a modernized riff on the $1395 Herman Miller Aeron. Compared to the Aeron, the biggest cutback on the Neue chair is the lack of synchro-tilt. The Aeron’s version tilts the seat up or down as you lean back or forward. In comparison, the Neue chair has a fixed seat pan with a very slight tilt during deep recline.
Luckily, synchro-tilt is a luxury feature, not an essential one. It’s helpful to work your hips while reclining. However, while the backrest and seat are moving, typing isn’t practical. Thus, synchro-tilt works best in non-typing, passive reclined positions.
The NeuChair costs over $800 less than the Aeron. Minus the synchro-tilt, both chairs offer comparable features and warranty protection.
The NeueChair comes with several standout features. For one thing, it has one of the largest recline ranges in its class, ranging from 85-130 degrees. That range is infinite, meaning there are no fixed slots. You can literally lock at any angle between 85-130.
For another thing, its lumbar support is both height and depth-adjustable. On top of that, it also has Controlshift levers under each armrest. One controls the chair’s tilt angle. The other controls the height of the seat. No more reaching under the seat — controls are at your fingertips.
Binding everything together is a polished ADC12 aluminum frame covered in adaptive mesh upholstery. 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 everything, the NeueChair comes with an impressive warranty. It includes 12-year protection on the frame, 5-year coverage on components, and 3-year coverage on the gas lift and armrest mechanisms.
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.
The NeueChair is for average adult sizes. Its flat seat allows a wider spread of the legs. As a result, those with moderately thick legs or hips should also find a decent fit in this chair.
- Seat width x depth: 19.6″ (W) x 16.5″-18.5″ (D)
- Backrest width x height: 19.5″ (W) x 22.4″ (H)
- Floor to seat range: 18.5-22″
- Size rating: 5’3″ to 6’0″; up to 240 pounds
The NeueChair is produced by one of the most reputable brands in the industry. It matches ergonomic features as other chairs in this class, with a few extras. First, no other chair in this class has a wider range of recline. Second, NeueChair is the only model offering ergonomic control levers under the armrests. As well, this model has the longest warranty in this price range.
Essentially, it’s an updated Aeron chair mins synchro-tilt — for over $800 less.
Available from Secretlab for customers in the USA, UK, EU, Australia, and Singapore. A headrest addon is also available for USD $99.
Oak Hollow Aloria Series
Direct buy price: $449 to $599
Before the lockdown era, most office chair companies sold B2B. Corporations, schools, and government offices were the main clients. As B2B demand dried up, demand for work-from-home furniture surged.
Oak Hollow Furniture is a B2C office chair producer. In response to growing consumer demand, the company set up its B2C operation in early 2020. Oak Hollow produces a range of chairs with the Aloria Series as its flagship.
In this price class, Aloria Series chairs stack up with the best. Models cost between $449 to $599. All have the same features and a mesh backrest, plus differing seat upholsteries. The $599 model has a genuine cowhide leather seat. The cheapest $449 model has a fabric seat. There is also a mesh seat option, plus the option to include a headrest or not.
On top of great features plus industry-leading seat options, the Aloria Series also comes with an Oak Hollow lifetime warranty.
The Aloria Series offers a complete suite of ergonomic features. Highlights include height-adjustable lumbar support, a 4-position backrest tilt-lock, and a depth-adjustable seat. It also ships with two pneumatic seat height cylinders. If under 5’9″, use the short one. If taller, use the longer one.
Summary of features:
- Backrest: 4-position recline tilt-lock.
- Headrest: height-adjustable.
- Lumbar support: padded, height adjustable.
- Seat: height and depth-adjustable.
- Armrests: 4-directional.
- Extra: ships with two pneumatic seat height cylinders (for tall or short users).
- Warranty: lifetime coverage on components; 5-year limited warranty on seat upholstery.
On this chair’s Amazon listing, the stated warranty is lifetime on components, plus 5 years on the seat upholstery. However, the Oak Hollow website only states a 30-day return policy. We’ve confirmed with the Oak Hollow team that the Amazon listing is correct. Oak Hollow chairs (frame and componenents) are covered for life.
Like most chairs in this category, the Aloria Series has a flat, wide seat. That assures both slim and heavyset figures a comfortable fit. Because it ships with two pneumatic seat cylinders, it also suits both short and tall users.
- Seat width x depth: 21.5″ (W) x 20-22.5″ (D)
- Backrest width x height: 21″ (W) x 23.5″ (H)
- Floor to seat range: 16.9″ to 21.6″
- Size rating: 5’5″ to 6’9″; up to 300 pounds
There’s a lot to like about Aloria Series. For one thing, it has a complete suite of ergonomic features. For another, the design is ultra-customizable. You can choose between leather, mesh, or fabric seat upholstery. All options come in a choice of black, grey, or red. On top of that, it also ships with two seat cylinders, making it ideal for both short and tall users.
As well, the stated lifetime component + 5-year seat warranty is intriguing. However, Oak Hollow’s consumer sales division is just over a year old. As noted here, chair companies transitioning from B2B to B2C chair sales face several challenges.
Keep your eye on this brand. As Aloria Series sales pick up, we’ll get a clearer idea of Oak Hollow’s place in the prosumer ergonomic chair market.
The Oak Hollow Aloria Series is also available on Amazon for $519.99.
Amazon price: $359.00
Despite being one of the cheapest chairs in this review, this chair is also one of the most full-featured. In fact, it’s one of the best chairs many may never have heard of. First launched in 2009, the Sidiz T50 has sold over 1.6 million units, but most were in South Korea and smaller markets. That is changing.
Sidiz is South Korea’s leading high-end furniture producer. Based in Gyeonggi-do, the company has been in the ergonomic furniture business for 25 years. Since then, Sidiz has won numerous design awards. It has also provided seating for leading companies like IBM, Toyota, and GE. The Sidiz T50 is the company’s flagship model.
The Sidiz T50 is a cheaper version of the Sidiz T80. That is a luxurious synchro-tilt task chair costing twice as much as the T50. The T50 has the same features as the T80, minus the synchro-tilt. For that omission, you save over $300.
The Sidiz T50 comes in a few variations. The model listed here includes a headrest, adjustable lumbar support, and adjustable armrests. Here are some highlight features, followed by a feature summary:
Summary of Sidiz T50 features:
Despite its low price, the Sidiz T50 is packed with high-end features. For example, like pricier synchro-tilt chairs, you can tilt the seat upward while reclining. That keeps your thighs parallel to the floor even when in a deep recline. For long periods of passive sitting, this feature is a nice luxury extra.
- Backrest: recline and lock in five positions between 90° and 115°.
- Lumbar support: height and depth adjustable.
- Headrest: height and depth-adjustable.
- Upholstery: breathable mesh backrest; fabric padded seat.
- Seat: adjust height, depth, and seat slope.
- Armrests: 3D adjustable (up/down, forward/back, angled left or right)
- Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee; 3-year warranty.
Sidiz lists the T50 with a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. It’s a slim-fitting model best-suited to users of average height and below.
- 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
The Sidiz T50 is one of the cheapest full-featured ergonomic chairs in its class. It has all the ergonomic adjustments you need, a modern design, and a solid 3-year warranty. The only thing missing is a wider array of designs.
According to the Sidiz marketing team, there are big plans to promote the T50 to western markets in 2021. As part of the push, the company plans to release updated T50 designs in the coming months. As awareness spreads about Sidiz T50 chairs, we expect demand to pick up as well.
To learn more, check out our detailed Sidiz T50 chair review.
Autonomous ErgoChair 2
Direct buy price: $399
Autonomous made its debut with a Kickstarter-driven SmartDesk in 2015. A year later, the company launched its first Ergochair, which went on to sell a million units. A year after that, the company released an updated ErgoChair 2.
The ErgoChair 2 has a reclining mesh backrest, adjustable lumbar support, and adjustable armrests. It also comes with a padded fabric seat and height and depth-adjustable headrest.
Autonomous touts this as a home workstation chair for both gamers and desk workers. It’s also a common recommendation on many Reddit PC gaming forums. If you’re not into racing-style gaming chairs, the ErgoChair2 is a popular alternative.
The ErgoChair2 falls well below the quality of elite ergo task chairs. For instance, both Herman Miller and Steelcase chairs come with a 12-year warranty. In comparison, the ErgoChair has a 2-year warranty. This model also lacks a tilt tension knob. That limits the usefulness of the rocking functionality.
As well, the ErgoChair’s padded seat is mediocre. Compared to the Steelcase Jack, the Ergochair 2 seat looks and feels like that of a cheap office chair.
Despite these quibbles, the ErgoChair 2 offers good value for money. Check out the Autonomous ErgoChair 2 highlight features in this slideshow. After, we summarize all features in bullet points.
Summary of features
This chair comes with all the essential features. You can recline, adjust the armrests, and adjust the lumbar support.
- Backrest: 90-110 recline range; rocking with tilt-tension.
- Headrest: height-adjustable with a 3-inch range.
- 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: two years.
One quibble with this build is the plastic frame. Unlike aluminum frames, plastic frames flex. As JayzTwoCents reported in this review of the original ergo chair, that leads to instability. After three years of use, his biggest quibble was that the chair had become “a noisy, creaky mess”.
The ErgoChair2’s flat, wide seat provides enough room for users with moderately thick hips or legs. For instance, JayzTwoCents is 6’4″ (193 cm) and 250 pounds (116 kg) and finds the fit good for his size.
- Seat width X depth: 20″ (W) x 20″ (D)
- Backrest width X height: 21″ (W) x 22″ (H) (without headrest)
- Floor to seat range: 18″ to 20″
- Chair height: 46″ to 50″
- Size rating: 5’6″ to 6’4″; up to 350 pounds
The ErgoChair2 is a solid ergonomic task chair. Under full-time use, it provides comfortable posture support for long periods of sitting. The chair’s features are effective and easy to use.
As a work-from-home chair, it’s a decent option. From home, it’s impractical to sit up straight all day. With four recline angles. it’s possible to lean deep enough back for short power naps.
Nouhaus Ergo3D chair
Amazon price: $329.99
The Nohaus Ergo3D is one of the top-selling mid-range task chairs on Amazon. It has a contemporary design, solid features, and offers good value for money. Ideal for slim sizes of average height, this model supports users weighing up to 275 pounds.
Ergo3D chairs come with an aluminum frame, plastic components, and breathable mesh upholstery. Design-wise, this is a good option for those wanting a gaming chair-type experience in an office chair package.
The mesh upholstery gives the chair a clean, corporate look. At the same time, the rounded curves and chunky armrests give off a racing-style vibe reminiscent of gaming chairs. Overall, it’s a comfortable, supportive, and attractive option.
Ergo3D chair features include a headrest, dynamic lumbar support, roller blade wheels, and 4D armrests. Note that the lumbar support and headrest and both ‘dynamic’. The headrest shifts angles and adjusts up and down on the fly. Similarly, the lumbar support is weight-sensitive: as the user leans back, it extends. These dynamic features work fine but might frustrate users who prefer setting manual controls.
This model also comes with two sets of rollerblade wheels: one for hard floors, and one for carpets. There are several advantages of using roller blade wheels on office chairs. For one thing, they glide easier. For another, they are more protective of floors. On top of that, they give the chair a striking look.
Summary of features:
- Backrest: 135 degree recline; rocking with tilt-tension.
- Headrest: dynamic (non-adjustable) support.
- Lumbar support: non-adjustable dynamic support.
- Seat: height-adjustable.
- Armrests: 4-directional.
- Extra: two sets of rollerblade chair wheels (for hard floors and carpets).
- Warranty: 3-year warranty (extendable to 5 years on the Nouhaus website)
This model also comes with a 3-year warranty that’s extendable to 5 years (details).
Although this chair’s seat is technically 19.7″ wide, it compresses a little under more than 150 pounds. If you have thick legs or wide hips, that will push the frame into your thighs (it’s annoying and painful). As a result, we suggest this model only for slim figures. If you have thick legs of wide hips, this isn’t the right chair for you.
- Seat width x depth: 19.7″ (W) x 16.3″ (D)
- Backrest width x height: 20.3″ (W) x 31.8″ (H)
- Floor to seat range: 18.5″ to 22.44″
- Chair height: 44″ to 49″
- Size rating: 5’5″ to 5’11”; up to 275 pounds
The Nouhaus Ergo3D chair is an attractive office chair with a solid set of ergonomic features. Overall, this model supports full-time sitting loads with consistent comfort and a solid feel. Incentives to buy include an affordable price and good warranty protection.
On the downside, the headrest and lumbar support are both dynamic, rather than user-adjusted. For those who prefer manual controls, that will frustrate.
Amazon price: $499.99
The Cougar Argo has the most innovative design in this review. It comes with a bright orange aluminum frame, extra-large lumbar support, and traditional office chair mesh upholstery. Feature-wise, it has all the essentials. Those include 3D armrests, a depth-adjustable seat, and innovative height and depth-adjustable lumbar support.
There are downsides. For one thing, the Argo costs more than chairs having comparable or superior features. For another, it only comes with a basic 2-year warranty. On top of that, the Cougar logos on the lumbar and headrest are gaudy. They make the chair look like an advertisement, rather than the centerpiece of a high-end workstation.
Despite these issues, the Argo makes this list as a design pioneer. It’s the first task chair we know of built specifically for gamers. If Cougar could lower the price, lengthen the warranty, and clean up the design, the Cougar Argo chair would rank much higher.
The Cougar Argo comes with standard features in this price range. Standouts include a height and depth-adjustable lumbar support, and a large backrest recline range. On the downside, a 2-year warranty for a $500+ chair is unusual. Most chairs in this price range offer 3-5 year protection.
- 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.
The Argo has a weight capacity of 330 pounds. Like most chairs in this genre, this chair suits people of average height and moderate width.
- Seat width x depth: 19.6″ (W) x 16.5″-18.5″ (D)
- Backrest width x height: 19.5″ (W) x 22.4″ (H) (29.72″ height with headrest)
- Size rating: 5’6″ to 6’0″; up to 240 pounds
The Cougar Argo offers similar ergonomic features as the other chairs in this review. However, it costs more than competing models, yet only comes with a 2-year warranty. It’s also the only chair with bright orange corporate logos plastered all over the front. That ruins the look of an otherwise striking chair.
The bottom line is that the Cougar Argo offers mediocre value for money. But despite these issues, it’s a great proof-of-concept. We’re hoping to see more gamified task chairs in the future. We’d also love to see an Argo 2.0, with cleaner styling, a lower price, and a longer warranty. If that happened, the Cougar Argo would rank a lot higher.
To learn more about this chair, check out our detailed Cougar Argo chair review.
Work-from-home ergo chair alternatives
This article covers the best mid-range task chairs costing between $250 to $600. This category flanks more expensive and cheaper options. THere’s also a specialty task category for XL users. Here is a summary:
High-end task chairs: $650 to $1650
The best high-end ergonomic task chairs are superior to mid-range task chairs in a few ways. First, high-end brands like Herman Miller and Steelcase offer 12-year warranty protection (including parts and labor). Second, the best ergo task chairs also come with luxury extras like adaptive backrests and complex synchronous tilting functionality.
High-end task chairs are also more attractive. Many are produced by high-end design houses with a heavy emphasis on aesthetic appeal. The top brands also come with a huge range of customization options. In many cases, you can customize the color of both your chair’s frame and upholstery.
Pro esports gaming chairs: $350-$550
Pro esports gaming chairs support many of the world’s top esports teams. Head to head with high-end task chairs, these models provide comparable ergonomic plus much better value for money.
Secretlab is the clear industry leader. Other notables include high-end models from AKRacing, Vertagear, and Noblechairs. Chairs in this range typically come with cold foam padding, 4D armrests, a multifunction tilt-lock, and a range of bold designs.
Cheap task chairs under $250
The cheapest task chairs come with basic ergonomic features and (in most cases) a 1-year warranty. Even so, these provide enough to support healthy sitting over full-time loads. Typical features in this price range include a tilt-lock reclining backrest, 1D armrests, and adjustable lumbar support.
Luckily, these models will support a healthy posture just as well as pricier chairs. On the downside, expect basic comfort instead of mind-blowing luxury.
Big and tall ergo chairs: under $300
These chairs have extra-wide seats and generally support up to 400 pounds. Features generally include 1D armrests and adjustable lumbar support.
Some models also include a tilt-locking backrest recline. Others instead only offer rock and lock functionality.
The best ergonomic chairs from top companies like Herman Miller and Steelcase cost over $1000. Two high-end features add to the expense of a chair. First is synchronous tilt, which tilts the seat in sync with the backrest. The second is an ultra-adaptive backrest that responds to micromovements.
Dropping those luxuries results in affordable ergonomic task chairs. As of this writing, the best mid-range ergonomic chairs cost between $359 and $599. All models come with a tilt-lock reclining backrest, adjustable lumbar support, and adjustable armrests. Here is a recap of our top picks for 2021:
- NeueChair ($549): a full-featured chair with clever extras and a 12-year warranty.
- Oak Hollow Aloria Series ($449): this model has robust features plus a choice of fabric, mesh, or genuine leather seat. It ships with two gas cylinders to better serve shorter or taller users.
- Sidiz T50 ($359.00): full-featured powerhouse with a great price. Made by one of South Korea’s most innovative ergonomic design firms.
- Autonomous ErgoChair2 ($399): affordable, full-featured, and very popular among PC gaming enthusiasts.
- Nouhaus Ergo3D ($329.99): one of Amazon’s top-selling mid-range chairs. It has a 3-year warranty and solid ergonomic features. It also ships with two sets of rollerblade chair wheels.
- Cougar Argo ($499.99): this task chair for gamers is a fantastic concept with a clunky execution. It has a solid features and a (partially) striking design.