Good office chairs aren’t cheap. Buying the best office chair under £200 means you need to be strict with what you expect from the chair.
Of course, the more expensive a chair doesn’t mean it’s the most ergonomic. But expensive ergonomic office chairs come with more adjusters than a basic office chair.
‘’Can I still get a good cheap ergonomic chair?”
Yes, you can. But it might not always be the best for you.
But I get it if you are starting out you might be boot-strapped for cash. And with everything vying for your money, you have to make it go around. So here are some tips to help you make the most of your budget for the best office chair under £200.
Ergonomic Properties to Look Out for in an Office Chair Under £200
At this price point, most ergonomic office chairs would come with;
Adjustable seat height:
This enables you to increase or lower the height of your seat.
Backrest tilt and lock mechanism:
This enables you to recline or sit upright either in a fixed or rocking posture or rocking.
But, look out for an ergonomic chair with these extra 3 adjusters. The most important ones are;
1. Adjustable Lumbar Support
It might be tricky to get an adjustable lumbar support at this price point. This adjustment allows you to support the lower part of your back. Having an adjustable lumbar support allows you adjust to your height. You can either move it up to align with the small hollow in your lower back.
Most office chairs under £200 come with lumbar support, which is better than having none. But the problem with that is it can’t always sit snugly on your lower back (as we all have different sizes). So, the location of your lower back could be higher than the lumbar support.
So an adjustable lumbar support that you can adjust to fit the position of your lumbar is ideal. This is vital to reduce your risk of back pain.
Naturally, if your lumbar support is not flush against your back, it becomes uncomfortable. You will lean forward instead of resting against the backrest. Do not skim on this when purchasing your best office chair for under £200.
2. Five-Point Base Swivel Chair
Some chairs come with a four-point base. You might be wondering if this matter. It does because a 5-point base which is star-shaped is more stable than a 4-point base.
It all has to do with movement.
An office chair allows you to move constantly. You stretch to reach for the phone, slide to the printer , open the cabinet. You even twist to get your mug. A 4-point base swivel chair is not as stable as a 5- point base to support all the moves, twists, and turns.
I have sat in a 4- point swivel base office chair where I was constantly getting up. Every time I pulled in the chair to sit, it tilted forward. I had to make sure I didn’t sit on the edge but right in the middle or else I could have toppled over. A 5- star-point base is the most stable and would prevent toppling. Reducing your risk of falls and keeping you comfortable throughout the day.
3. Adjustable Armrests
Yep, you are right. Most ergonomic office chairs come with armrests. But aim to get one that can either folds away or moves up and down. You need it to rest your arms. But you also need to adjust it (either lower or fold away) if you want to sit as close as you can to your computer desk. Armrests can get in the way.
It sometimes lengthens the space between you and the desk. And that might lead to overstretching to reach items on your desk. Thus, having an adjustable armrest would allow you to move the armrest away so you can sit closer to your desk.
Or if you want to rest your elbow on the armrest instead of the desk while typing you can too. But it must be at the same height as your desk. That’s where adjustable armrests play their part in reducing your risk of shoulder pain. This is vital when buying an office chair for under £200.
What Office Chair to Avoid Under £200
a. A High Back Chair
I know it sounds glamorous to have a high-back chair. They are great if you recline to read or edit from your small tablet. But they can become uncomfortable when you sit upright e.g. when typing.
There is nothing wrong with a high-back chair.
But for the office chairs under £200, they are not properly designed to curve and align with your upper back. Bear in mind that your upper back is convex with your neck concave. So, a high back office chair must be designed adequately to align and support those different curvatures.
Unless you are a big person, i.e. over 6 feet tall, it is best to avoid a high-back ergonomic office chair at this price point.
b. Executive Chairs
A plush executive chair is extra padded so that it feels like you sink into it. They usually come with a high back and a slight recline tilt.
Of course, some ergonomics chairs are executive chairs but they don’t come at this price point. Executive chairs at this price point are usually rigid and the armrests are fixed. With fixed armrests, you can’t tuck them away and keep you further away from your desk. Meaning you have to either lean forward to get to your desk or over-reach. This puts you in an awkward position that would result in back and shoulder pain.
The bigger they are, the farther away the armrests are to you. And they don’t come with many adjusters at this price point. It would mainly have the seat height adjuster and the tilt lock mechanism.
And moreover, all that extra padding can make you sweat and scratchy in the summer warm months.
c. Conference Chair
Conference chairs are what they are – conference chair. They are stylish and meant for for meetings but not for sitting all day long. It would fit seamlessly with the aesthetics in a home.
But they don’t have the ergonomic properties you expect from an office chair. They usually comes with wheels but that’s it. No lumbar support or armrests. The height of the chair are fixed so you cannot raise or lower the seat to suit you. Some seat pans are padded and other made of plastic or wood losing its comfortability. They do not have lumbar support or and the armrests can’t be adjusted to suit you. This leads to back pain and shoulder pain.
d. Armchairs with swivel wheels
Armchairs just like conference chairs are not suited to be office chairs. They are padded and stylish too but lack adjustability.
They are good to have as part of your sitting options when working from home as discussed in this blog post, but should not be used as desk chairs.
The Must-Have Ergonomic Properties for Best Office Chair Under £200
I would still recommend you get an ergonomic office chair with a higher price point. Because they come with more adjusters and are better designed to curve around you and fit like a glove.
But if you must invest in an office ergonomic chair under £200, make sure they come with these 5 properties;
1. Adjustable seat height
2. Backrest tilt and lock mechanism
3. Adjustable lumbar support
4. Five-point base swivel chair
5. Adjustable armrest
Remember the rule of thumb, the more adjusters, knobs or levers a chair has the better they would support you.
Invest in Second Hand Office Chairs Instead
Another way to go is to buy second-hand office chairs. Now that many of us work from home, companies have closed offices and sold off their furniture. There are good bargains around. Visiting charity shops, furniture stores, and even online second-hand shops, are the places to find these bargains. But at this price point, you would find a good ergonomic office chair. Remember to tick off the 5 basic ergonomic properties you expect for an office chair under £200.