The world’s top office chair makers furnish mega-corporations — not buffet tables. That’s why most corpo models are designed to fit slimmish, average 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:
Ergo Challenges: For Heavy, Tall, And Big & Tall Sizes
Best Elite XL Chairs: For Big OR Tall
Most of the best ergonomic office chairs support 350 pounds or less. Steelcase is the only elite brand with chairs that support 400 pounds.
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″|
|Aeron Size C||350 pounds||18.25″||18.5″||5’2″ to 6’6″|
|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 & Tall
Like most Steelcase chairs, the Gesture supports sizes 5’4″ to 6’2″ and up to 400 pounds. It’s the priciest Steelcase model with the most adjustable armrests.
The Gesture ranks as 3rd-best in our 2023 review of the best high-end ergonomic office chairs. Herman Miller’s two flagship chairs rank higher with unique back support concepts. In contrast, the Gesture serves up a classic lumbar-powered support style.
But the Embody only supports up to 300 pounds; the Aeron’s max capacity is 350 pounds. Ultra-heavy sizes looking for the strongest reinforcement should definitely keep the Gesture’s 400-pound capacity in mind.
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|
But in practice, the mobile support is similar to what other chairs serve up. All provide decent support for short periods of mobile computing. For longer periods, text neck syndrome becomes a risk.
So don’t believe in any ‘mobile armrest’ hype on any chair. In fact, none provide better mobile support than a chair + sit-to-stand desk.
Like other Steelcase chairs with this feature, 3D Liveback is built into the backrest and it’s not height-adjustable.
That produces a mild tilting of your hips during deep reclines for an extra shot of (subtle) movement. Wile you can easily live without sync tilt, it’s a nice extra on such a pricey chair.
- 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.
- Size rating: 5’4″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds.
- Warranty: 12 years.
Gesture Advice For The Overweight & Obese
The Gesture is a great chair for big and tall sizes. But it’s pricey; cheaper Steelcase chairs do a similar job. The premium price buys a fancier design and funky 360° arms.
Review: Gesture Vs Other Steelcase Chairs
Gesture (fully-loaded) on Amazon $1,457.99
Customizable Gestures also available for USA residents from SmartFurniture for $1347+.
Herman Miller Aeron: For Semi-Big & Tall
$1275-$2340 from Herman Miller
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). Realistically, most non-extreme heavy sizes should fit fine.
The Aeron’s suspension mesh concept can provide great relief to heavy bodies. 8Z Pellicle mesh debuted in 1996 on a racetrack. Its purpose: to help a driver with a broken back win that year’s Indy 500.
Soon after Buddy Lazier’s victory, the magical mesh formula made its way onto the Aeron chair. Basically, this stuff adapts to micromovements with variable tension zones. The point is to keep the user in near-perfect balance at all times. It works!
Aeron Highlights For Big And Tall Sizes
Summary of highlight features:
It lays over the seat with spring support and delivers a legit floating sensation. Heavy people needing to reduce pressure on their butts might find the gentle support it delivers life-changing.
But the bladed edges could potentially squeeze extra-wide bottoms. If in doubt, choose the Aeron Size C, which has the widest seat pan.
Posturefit’s lack of height adjustability isn’t an issue. It’s only supposed to provide generalized mild support. In contrast, the Lumbar Support Pad ($80) provides a more predictable, reassuring fit. However, it’s flimsy: moderate pressure can pop it out of its sockets!
Learn more: Herman Miller Aeron Posturefit Vs Lumbar Pad
You can also combine the seat and backrest into a synchronous tilt. When the backrest reclines, the seat tilts up (max 16°). When leaning forward, the seat tilts down(max -1°).
- 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
Despite its sub-400-pound weight limit, the Aeron is an excellent option for big sizes. The ultra-adaptive suspension mesh makes a big difference. On the downside, I find both lumbar support options mediocre.
But I find that neither makes a major difference — the mesh provides the primary posture support. So regardless of which lumbar you choose, maintaining good posture feels almost effortless.
Learn more: Aeron Remastered Review | Aeron Gaming Chair Review.
Aeron from Herman Miller $1275-$2340
The Aeron Gaming Edition is also available from Herman Miller (preconfigured) for $1805.
Best XL Office Chairs Under $400
Below the elite XL chairs, 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)
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.
Raynesys Big and Tall Office Chair (400 lbs)
This new product stands out with a mesh backrest, fabric padded seat, a headrest, and support for 400 pounds. Unlike most chairs in this review, it also sports the contemporary look of a modern ergonomic office chair.
As with most new Amazon chairs, the Raynesys isn’t yet proven. But early reviews laud its build quality and stability. It also comers with a 1-year warranty. These factors make it an intriguing option for big and tall sizes.
The Raynesys comes with basic adjustability that’s decent for the price:
- Functionality: 1D armrests; height-adjustable lumbar support; rocking function with tilt-lock (90-135° recline) .
- Upholstery: mesh backrest; fabric seat with foam padding.
- Reinforcements: class-4 gas lift, metal armrests, reinforced steel frame.
- Warranty: 1 year.
The Raynesys XL chair is rated for sizes 5’5″ to 6’2″ weighing up to 400 pounds. However, based on our sizing guide, a 5’5″ size needs a seat with a max depth of 20″. Therefore, we’ve revised the recommended sizing to people 5’6″ and up.
|Raynesys XL Chair||Space Seating XL||Aeron Size C|
|Seat||22″ (W) x 21″ (D)||22″ (W) x 21″ (D)||18.25″ (W) x 18.5″ (D)|
|Backrest||20″ (W) x 23.5″ (H)||20.75″ (W) x 22.5″ (H)||22.75″(W) x 23″ (H)|
|Seat Height||18.1-22″||19.75″ to 22.25″||16″ to 20.5″|
|Size Rating||5’6″ to 6’0″; 400 pounds||5’2″ to 6’6″; up to 350 pounds|
The Raynesys Big and Tall chair’s specs are solid. Its 1D arms, height-adjustable lumbar, and 90-135° provide everything needed to support good posture. Its modern styling ost sets it apart from competitors.
This looks like a regular ergonomic office chair — not a ‘special’ seat for gargantuan freaks. Given its price, it looks worthy of consideration for thick figures 5’6″ to 6’2″.
Flash Furniture Hercules (fabric, 400 lbs)
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)
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
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)
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-adjustable 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.
Hamaoka Office Chair (400 pounds)
The Hamaoka Office Chair supports 400 pounds with a unique collection of features. These include depth-adjustable lumbar support, rollerblade wheels, and breathable bonded leather.
It also sports an extra-wide 23″ seat layered with thick, semi-firm padding. On the downside are functional limitations. For one thing, you can’t lock the recline at angles (only rock or lock). For another, the armrests are not adjustable.
Highlights include the extra-wide seat, depth-adjustable lumbar, and 1-year warranty:
- Functionality: fixed armrests; depth-adjustable lumbar; rock or lock (90-110° range).
- Upholstery: perforated bonded leather.
- Warranty: one year
Here’s how the Hamaoka Office Chair measures up with two competitors:
|Seat||23″ (W) x 22.05″ (D)||22″ (W) x 20.9″ (D)||25″ (W) x 21″ (D)|
|Backrest||26.38″ (W) x 31.89″ (H)||22″ (W) x 22.3″ (H)||24″ (W) x 27″ (W)|
|Seat Height||20.6″ to 23″||19.9″ to 22.5″||21.5″ to 25.5″|
|Size Rating||5’6″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’2″; 400 pounds||5’6″ to 6’3″; 400 pounds|
Readers burned out on fancy ergonomic chair functions might prefer going retro. The Hamaoka is an old-school office chair with adjustable lumbar support.
Super-heavyweights wanting basic, easy to use support should consider this chair. You can adjust the seat height, rock or lock, and adjust the lumbar support’s depth. If that’s all that you need in a 400-pound chair, check this one out:
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 typically cater to sizes from around 5’10” to as tall as 6’7″.
Most also support 400 pounds or more with extra-wide seats. Most overweight sizes should find enough space in these seats.
Among the top models, the widest gaming chair seat is the AKRacing Master Max (23.5″ total width). Ultra-wide bottoms needing even more space should consider an ultra-wide office chair instead.
For reference, here are two of the top-rated big and tall gaming chair 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 on offer.
Those on a budget have several sub-$400 ergo office chair alternatives. The other option: choose a full-back gaming chair (Secretlab or otherwise).
If undecided on type, check out our Gaming vs Ergonomic Office Chair 2023 breakdown (physical + psychological points of appeal). Another angle is to look for something specialized for your particular body type.
Within the ‘big and tall’ genre are big, tall, and big & tall sizes. Each type has unique musculoskeletal challenges.
Short fatties usually have super-weak back muscles. Tall thin types develop longer (but thinner) spines. Big and tall show a mix of both traits. Learn more: