The world’s top office chair makers furnish mega-corporations — not buffet tables. That’s why most corpo models are designed to fit average to tall sizes. Among the elites, only the Steelcase collection supports 400 pounds. Lower on the pricing scale, cheaper models with basic ergonomic features also exist. A few support super-heavyweights up to 550 pounds. ChairsFX summarizes the best big and tall ergonomic office chairs of 2023.
Before getting into the chairs, let’s define ‘big and tall’ using modern size standards. Circa 2023, a normal-sized adult is between 5’7″ to 6’1″ with a body mass index (BMI) under 25.
Women taller than 170 cm (5’7″) and men taller than 185 cm (6’1″) tend to develop longer but thinner spines. Hence, they’re more susceptible to lower back pain.
On the flip side, a body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight; over 30 is obese. For example, I stand 5’10” and weigh 165 pounds. My 23.7 BMI is in the ‘normal’ range. Use this BMI calculator to figure out yours.
Obese people do not develop larger or thicker spines. They typically suffer from weaker joint strength and chronic musculoskeletal pain. That makes sitting up straight in mid-back office-style chairs difficult. Learn more:
Best Elite XL Chairs: For Big OR Tall
The Gesture, Leap, Think, and Amia all support up to 400 pounds with a 5’4″ to 6’2″ size rating. Since 6’2″ is the global ‘tall’ average, these are disqualified as truly ‘big and tall’ office chairs. Rather, they’re a great option for overweight and obese sizes.
For example, a person 6’0″ and 180 lbs has a 24.4 BMI (normal). At 185 lbs, their 25.1 BMI makes them ‘overweight’. At 221 pounds, they reach an ‘obese’ BMI of 30. Steelcase chairs provide superb support throughout that range.
All models have a height-adjustable lumbar, seat slider, synchronous tilt, and recline functions. As you go lower down the pricing scale, more extraneous luxuries get stripped out.
That means you can pay as much or as little as you wish — while getting the same level of (12-year warranty) Steelcase quality. Here’s how the Gesture and Think chairs compare to the best XL gaming chairs of 2023:
|Model||Weight Capacity||Usable Seat Width||Seat Depth||Size Rating|
|Steelcase Gesture||400 pounds||19.25″||15.75-18.75″||5’4″ to 6’2″|
|Steelcase Think||400 pounds||20.25″||15.5-18″||5’4″ to 6’2″|
|Secretlab Titan 2022 XL||390 pounds||22.8″||19.7″||5’11” to 6’9″|
|AKRacing Master Max||400 pounds||23″||20.3″||5’7″ to 6’7″|
Steelcase Gesture: For Big Sizes
The Gesture ranks as our #1 high-end ergonomic office chair of 2023. It’s not as aesthetically flashy as the Herman Miller Embody or Haworth Fern.
However, it’s the only one that supports 400 pounds. It’s also the only one with mobile-compliant 360° armrests.
These have good height adjustability (7.25-11.5″) and a massive width range (10.25-22.5″).
Here’s how the Gesture compares with the Secretlab Titan 2022 XL. Head-to-head, the Gesture looks like a good fit for short + stocky sizes:
|Seat Pan||19.25″ (W) x 15.75 to 18.75″ (D)||22.8″ (W) x 19.7″ (D)|
|Backrest||16.25 (W) x 24″ (H)||22″ (W) x 35″ (H)|
|Size Rating||5’4″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’11” to 6’9″; 395 pounds|
The Gesture serves up a world-class array of features in a versatile package. Its sliding lumbar and adjustable seat depth (3″ range) provide enough legit adjustability to fit sizes 5’4″ to 6’2″.
Paired with its 360° arms, it provides insane support for all computing postures across multiple devices.
- Synchro-tilt: seat angle 1°; backrest recline from 98° to 116°
- Seat: height and depth adjustments.
- Armrests: 4D, 360° armrests. Height range 7.25-11.5 inches; width range 10.25-22.5 inches.
- Back support: adjustable lumbar support; adaptive 3D Live Back system; 3-position seat and backrest tilt lock.
- Warranty: 12 years.
Gesture Advice For The Overweight & Obese
The Gesture ranks #1 in our 2023 best office chair rankings. It’s elite all-around (build quality, warranty, functionality) with mobile-compliant armrests to boot.
But don’t be fooled: paying a premium for a Gesture (or any elite chair) does not buy better back support. Instead, it gets you some thrills: a fancier, ‘starship captain’s chair’ design and funky 360° mobile-compliant arms.
For around $380 less, the Steelcase Think delivers similar functionality — minus the gimmicky extras. For those with extra-wide bottoms, it also serves up a slightly wider seat than the Gesture.
Fully-loaded Gestures with adjustable lumbar also available on Amazon for $1,398.24.
Steelcase Think: For Big Sizes
The Steelcase Think is a stripped-down Gesture chair with more basic styling. It has similar features, minus a tilt-locking backrest recline. Instead, it has a weight-activated recline with adjustable tension and 4 modes.
These modes let you limit backrest tilt to 98, 108, 110, or 116 degrees with variable tension controls. Use the knob under the right of the seat to toggle modes. Then, tilt your head and push up with your feet to activate.
Think Vs Gesture Functionality
The Think and Gesture both come backed by a 12-year Steelcase warranty. Here’s how the features of both models compare:
|Recline + Sync tilt||98-116° recline + 3-position lock; 1° seat sync tilt||98-116° recline (no lock); 2-6° seat sync tilt|
|Lumbar Support||5.25-9.25″ height from seat||6-10.25″ height from seat|
|Armrest Type||4D + 360° rotation||4D + 30° in/out pivot;|
|Armrest Height x Width||7.25-11.5″ height x 10.25-22.5″ width||7-11″ height x 14-21.5″ width|
|Seat Depth Slider||15.75 to 18.75″||15.5 to 18″|
Think Vs Gesture Dimensions
Both the Gesture and Think chairs support 400 pounds and sizes 5’4″ to 6’2″. The latter differs with a slightly wider seat and backrest. Here’s how both measure up with the Secretlab Titan 2022 XL gaming chair:
|Seat Pan||19.25″ (W) x 15.75 to 18.75″ (D)||20.25″ (W) x 15.5 to 18″ (D)||22.8″ (W) x 19.7″ (D)|
|Backrest||16.25 (W) x 24″ (H)||16.25″ (W) x 24″ (H)||22″ (W) x 35″ (H)|
|Size Rating||5’4″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’4″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’11” to 6’9″; 395 pounds|
Advice: Think Chair For The Overweight And Obese
Chunky sizes shorter than 6’2″ seeking a solid (but not extravagant) seat can choose the Think over the Gesture chair for significant savings. For example, at his fattest, 5’6″ Hollywood star Jonah Hill weighed 250 pounds (an obese 40.3 BMI) — a good fit in a Think chair.
Similarly thick sizes of average height or less can also find a good fit and decent value ($354 cheaper than the Gesture). While $900+ is still a high price to pay, it’s the one of the cheapest elite options (the best of the rest are all under $400).
Loaded Think chairs (w. adjustable lumbar + arms) also available on Amazon for $811.70.
Herman Miller Aeron: For Big AND Tall Sizes
Herman Miller’s Aeron is the only elite chair optimized to fit three sizes. The Sizes B and C versions both support tall sizes up to 6’6″ with 350-pound weight capacities.
The Size C differs with a slightly deeper and wider seat. Otherwise, dimensions (and prices) are exactly the same.
Sizing Comparison vs the Secretlab Titan XL:
|Titan XL||Aeron Size B||Aeron Size C|
|Seat||22.8″ (W) x 19.7″ (D)||17″ (W) x 16.75″ (D)||18.25″ (W) x 18.5″ (D)|
|Backrest||22″ (W) x 35″ (H)||21.5″ (W) x 22″ (H)||22.75″(W) x 23″ (H)|
|Seat Height||18.1″ to 21.9″||16″ to 20.4″||16″ to 20.5″|
|Size Rating||5’11” to 6’9″; 395 pounds||5’2″ to 6’6″; up to 350 pounds||5’2″ to 6’6″; up to 350 pounds|
The 350-pound size limit may sour tall, heavy sizes on Aeron chairs. However, a person 6’6″ tall and weighing 350 pounds has an extremely obese BMI of 4.4 (like a bigger, heavier Jonah Hill at his fattest). Realisitically, most non-extreme heavy sizes should fit fine.
There are two keys for big and tall sizes to enjoy an Aeron investment. First, it comes with a choice of Posturefit or sliding lumbar pad types.
The latter is flashier but not height-adjustable — an ill fit can ruin your sitting experience like it did Pokimane’s.
Second, the Aeron’s seat is lined with hard plastic edges. These are designed to prevent users putting their feet up (thus ensuring good posture). However, these also prevent a problem for people with particularly big butts.
Before choosing an Aeron Size B or C, ‘big and tall’ types should measure the width of their hips while sitting. Make sure they fit within the hard bladed edges before buying!
- 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.
Advice: Aeron Chair For Big & Tall
Since its debut in 1994 cubicle era, the Aeron has reigned as one of the most revered ergonomic office chairs. However, by 2023 multi-device computing standards, its rigidity makes it feel a bit antiquated.
Beyond its bladed seat edges, it also has a tiny backrest recline range of 93-104 degrees. These two elements reveal its posture supporting magic. By forcing users to sit right with planted feet, they’re more likely to sit straight.
The $1785 version includes: graphite frame; lumbar slider; tilt limiter + seat angle; 3D arms.
Best XL Office Chairs Under $400
Based on global averages, a ‘tall’ person is anyone standing 6’2″ or more. Given that, the only ergonomic office chair specially designed for tall sizes is the Aeron Size C.
Below the elite XL chairs, there’s a massive dropoff in the quality. The best of the rest all cost less than $400. These provide 400-pound support for average sizes (6’2″ and shorter).
Space Seating XL (400 lbs)
Amazon price: $373.99
The Space Seating XL comes with typical features in this price range and genre. It has height-adjustable armrests and lumbar support, but no locking backrest recline.
Instead, like the most basic office chairs, you can rock the seat or lock it upright. It ranks #1 in the sub-$400 XL genre because of its warranty.
The Space Seating XL has the best warranty in its class: lifetime on parts + 3 years on upholstery.
Beyond that, you can adjust the lumbar and arms plus rock or lock the seat. Features summary:
- Functionality: 2D armrests; adjustable lumbar support; rocking function with tilt-lock.
- Upholstery: mesh backrest; fabric seat with foam padding.
- Warranty: lifetime on gas lift, base and casters. 3 years on upholstery and fabric.
Here’s how the Space Seating XL measures up with the Steelcase Think and Aeron Size C:
|Steelcase Think||Aeron Size C||Space Seating XL|
|Seat||20.25″ (W) x 15.5 to 18″ (D)||18.25″ (W) x 18.5″ (D)||22″ (W) x 21″ (D)|
|Backrest||16.25″ (W) x 24″ (H)||22.75″(W) x 23″ (H)||20.75″ (W) x 22.5″ (H)|
|Seat Height||16.5-21.5″||16″ to 20.5″||19.75″ to 22.25″|
|Size Rating||5’4″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’2″ to 6’6″; up to 350 pounds||5’6″ to 6’0″; 400 pounds|
The Space Seating XL has similar features as other sub-$400 XL ergonomic chairs. But its lifetime parts and 3-year upholstery add significant value. It also explains the solid build of this chair — it feels like a tank!
Even so, cheaper models exist with similar features. For instance, the next model (Flash Hercules) has an extra-wide seat and complete 5-year (parts and upholstery) warranty.
Flash Furniture Hercules (fabric, 400 lbs)
Amazon price: $280.49
Flash Furniture makes a series of Hercules ’24-hours’ chairs. These are multi-shift task chairs serving up 24-hour support for dispatch offices, medical stations, call centers, etc. The Hercules Series GO-2085-GG is a fabric padded Hercules variation.
Those wanting to use it as a work-from-home chair get a rugged, super-sturdy build guaranteed for five years of round-the-clock 24-hour use.
Like the Space Seating XL, the Hercules GO-2085-GG pairs an adjustable lumbar and arms with rocking + locking functionality.
Notably, its lumbar is only depth-adjustable (using a pressurized knob under the seat). Its 2D armrests (height and width-adjustable) also beat the Space Seating XL’s 1D version.
- Functionality: 2D armrests; adjustable lumbar support; tilt tension and rocking.
- Upholstery: padded seat and backrest with built-in neck support; black fabric cover.
- Warranty: 5-year limited warranty.
The 5-year warranty only covers non-moving metal parts. Component parts (pneumatic cylinder, control mechanism, base, casters) are warranted for 2 years.
Everything else (fabric and padding) comes with a 1-year warranty. That’s not a concern: the fabric is an ultra-durable nylon mesh that’s almost indestructible. Even so, you’ll need to work at keeping the fabric clean over time.
The Hercules GO-2085-GG is better for heavy, tallish types than thick, shorter ones. Specifically, its 21.5″ to 25.5″ seat height range is taller than average chairs; shorter users will likely need a footrest. Here’s how it compares with the Space Seating XL:
|Spec||Hercules||Space Seating XL|
|Seat||25″ (W) x 21″ (D)||22″ (W) x 21″ (D)|
|Backrest||24″ (W) x 27″ (W)||20.75″ (W) x 22.5″ (H)|
|Seat Height||21.5″ to 25.5″||19.75″ to 22.25″|
|Size Rating||5’6″ to 6’3″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’0″; 400 pounds|
The Hercules fabric edition is a wider chair than the Space Seating XL with a slightly taller seat height range. That makes it one of the few options beyond the Aeron that can fit sizes slightly taller than 6’2″.
On the downside, the gimmicky pressurized lumbar knob isn’t as practical as the Space Seatings simple lumbar slider. For one thing, you can’t adjust the height. For another, the pressurized knob control does not feel solid enough to last 5 years.
Flash Hercules (mesh, 500 lbs)
Amazon price: $318.69
This Hercules chair variation differs with a mesh backrest and a more sensible ergonomic kit. Like the fabric Hercules, it has a pressurized, depth-adjustable lumbar support.
However, the GO-99-3-GG Hercules pairs it with a height-adjustable backrest. That lets the users customize the fit to their particular lower back curve.
This model also has slightly larger dimensions plus a super-heavyweight 500-pound weight capacity.
Besides the listed differences, this model has the same functionality as the fabric edition:
- Functionality: 1D armrests; adjustable lumbar support; tilt tension and rocking.
- Upholstery: padded fabric seat; mesh backrest.
- Warranty: 5-year limited warranty.
The 5-year warranty only covers non-moving metal parts. Components are covered for 2 years. Mesh, fabric and padding come with a 1-year warranty.
Compared to the fabric edition, the Hercules Mesh (GO-99-3-GG) caters to heavier and slightly shorter sizes. It differs with a larger seat pan and slightly shorter seat height adjustment range:
|Spec||Hercules Fabric||Hercules Mesh GO-99-3-GG|
|Seat||25″ (W) x 21″ (D)||25.5″ (W) x 22″|
|Backrest||24″ (W) x 27″ (W)||23″ (W) x 22″-25″ (H)|
|Seat Height||21.5″ to 25.5″||19.75″ to 22.25″|
|Size Rating||5’6″ to 6’3″; 400 pounds||5’5″ to 6’3″; 500 pounds|
This model is cheaper than the Hercules fabric chair, with better lumbar functionality and a more modern-ish style. It’s comfortable, built like a tank, and suitable for ultra-wide bottoms.
BestOffice 500 Pound Support Chair
Amazon price: $183.99
This is a cheaper version of the Hercules mesh chair with a flimsier build but decent features for the money. Highlights include a height-adjustable lumbar and arms, 500-pound support, and an ultra-wide 27.4″ seat.
Despite the solid feel of the base and seat, everything above that feels crude, industrial, and sort of toy-like. Even so, someone needing a 27.4″ seat is at the most extreme end of obesity.
Therefore, it’s hopefully just a temporary measure to help extreme sizes maintain good posture while trimming down. From that perspective, the cheap, no-nonsense feel seems sufficient.
This chair supports up to 500 pounds with height-adjustable lumbar support, and a rocking/recliner function. The only warranty protection is a 30-day money-back-guarantee.
In the best case, chairs of this caliber can survive around one year of full-time use before deterioration (loosened parts, saggy mesh and seat).
- Functionality: 1D armrests; rocking with tilt-tension to 125°; height-adjustable lumbar support.
- Comfort: mesh backrest, fabric-padded seat
- Support: heavy duty steel frame that supports up to 500 pounds
- Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Seat width & depth: 27.4″ (W) x 24.4″ (D)
- Backrest width x height: 27.3″ (W), 28.6″ (H)
- Floor to seat range: 18.9″ to 22″
- Total height: 41.9″ to 45″
- Size rating: 5’6″ to 6’2″; up to 500 pounds
It’s cheap, wide, and lets extra-wide users sit in comfort. On top of that, the adjustable lumbar will help to align the spine while sitting. As a result, big and tall users can fortify good posture habits while also enjoying simple, solid computing comfort.
Sadie Big and Tall (400 pounds)
Amazon price: $298.99
The Sadie Big and Tall HVST141 is made by Hon Furniture. Hon is a sub-brand of HNI, the 4th-largest office furniture company in the world.
This model comes with a superb pedigree, 3-year warranty, and solid ergonomic features.
Like other models in this price range, the Sadie HVST141 has a height adjustalble lumbar and rocking + upright locking functionality.
That’s paired with 2D arms offering height (5.9-8.4″) and width adjustability (3.7″ lateral).
- Functionality: 2D armrests; adjustable lumbar support; rock & lock function.
- Upholstery: mesh backrest; fabric seat with resilient foam padding.
- Warranty: 3-year warranty from Hon Furniture.
Here’s how the Sadie compares with the Hercules Fabric Edition and Space Seating XL:
|Spec||Sadie||Hercules||Space Seating XL|
|Seat||22″ (W) x 20.9″ (D)||25″ (W) x 21″ (D)||22″ (W) x 21″ (D)|
|Backrest||22″ (W) x 22.3″ (H)||24″ (W) x 27″ (W)||20.75″ (W) x 22.5″ (H)|
|Seat Height||19.9″ to 22.5″||21.5″ to 25.5″||19.75″ to 22.25″|
|Size Rating||5’6″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’3″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’0″; 400 pounds|
The Sadie Big and Tall by Hon Furniture is a solid pick. It’s made by a reputable brand, has decent features and warranty, and a great price to boot. If the sizing meets your needs, the Sadie is a low-risk high-reward option.
BestOffice Budget Mesh (400 pounds)
Amazon price: $148.39
Behold one of the cheapest 400-pound office chairs on the market. It’s a cheap but sturdy build not likely to last beyond one year.
Even so, it serves up pretty good features for the money. If you’re looking for a solid short-term solution, this one’s worth a look.
Features are decent on paper. The lumbar support is fixed to the backrest, which is height-adjustable. That ensures that you can align the lumbar support to fit perfectly into the small of your back.
- Functionality: 3D armrests; height-adjustable backrest; rocking with tilt-tension.
- Upholstery: ventilated mesh backrest, padded fabric seat with spring support.
- Warranty: 30-day return policy only
The big downside is the 30-day return policy. Beyond that, there is no warranty protection. Although they feel solid, the warranty is a sure sign that these chairs aren’t built to last.
Here’s how the BestOffice 400-pounder measures up with two competitors:
|Spec||BestOffice 400||Sadie||Hercules Fabric|
|Seat||23″ (W) x 22″ (D)||22″ (W) x 20.9″ (D)||25″ (W) x 21″ (D)|
|Backrest||22″ (W) x 24″ (H)||22″ (W) x 22.3″ (H)||24″ (W) x 27″ (W)|
|Seat Height||17″ to 20.5″||19.9″ to 22.5″||21.5″ to 25.5″|
|Size Rating||5’6″ to 6’0″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’3″; 400 pounds|
This is a cheap model with decent features that can do the job in a pinch. However, its value is only good up-front. 8-12 months later, when you need to buy a replacement, you may regret buying a rock-bottom model.
Big and Tall Gaming Chair Alternatives
Compared to the office chairs in this review, big and tall gaming chair options are more diverse. Most support 400 pounds or more. Several also cater to sizes as tall as 6’7″.
However, the widest gaming chair seat is the AKRacing Master Max (23.5″ total width). Ultra-wide bottoms needing more space should consider an ultra-wide office chair instead.
For reference, here are two of the top-rated models:
World’s best XL gaming chair. Comes with integrated lumbar support, 4D arms, a 5-year warranty, and a seat 22.8″ wide.
Fully-loaded with 4D arms, multifunction tilt, and a 5-year warranty. The seat is 23.25″ wide.
For more XL gaming chair options, see this review:
Most of the world’s best ergonomic office chairs are for people of average height and width. On the heavy side, Steelcase and Herman Miller both have high-end options to consider.
If not into gaming chairs, the other genre for big or tall sizes are cheap ergonomic office chairs. Most support up to 400 pounds with a height adjustable lumbar and arms plus a rocking function.
But if the sizing options don’t exactly meet your needs, a gaming chair may be worth considering. See this feature to compare the two seating types: