The mesh-covered cushion is contoured to fit the body like a glove. Like the Office Factor Executive Chair, this one from Modway sports a well-padded seat but made of softer foam cushion and more breathable mesh cover. The seat design also culminates in a comfortable waterfall edge, though not as delicately shaped as the former.
If you suffer from back pain or sciatica, you are probably familiar with the consequences of sitting on the wrong work chair.
With many of us now working at home, an ergonomic mesh office chair is one of the best ways to prevent back pain and sciatica from sitting too long.
For a far less expensive alternative, Dr. Rudy Gehrman, the founder of New York City–based wellness center Physio Logic, recommends this chair from Modway, which has supportive mesh as well as the. KOLLIEE Mid Back Mesh Office Chair Ergonomic Swivel Black Mesh Computer Chair Flip Up Arms with Lumbar Support Adjustable Height Task Chair 3.9 out of 5 stars 4,671 $79.99 $ 79. 99 $99.99 $99.99. This mesh task chair provides exceptional support to the hard-working professionals in your office. The office chair transparent mesh across the back allows air to circulate. The desk chair raise and lower the seat using the adjustment lever, conveniently located under the seat.
In this post, you’ll find why ergonomic mesh task chairs are better, and how to choose the best ones to keep your spine aligned and your back muscles supported when you work.
- 3 The 6 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs for Back Pain
Choosing an Office Chair for Sciatica/Back Pain
The right task chair for people who suffer from back pain/sciatica is an adjustable, high-back chair with lumbar support, a headrest (to support the neck), and a reclining option (preferably up to 135 degrees).
Adjustable, high back chair with lumbar support and reclining
According to Mayo Clinic, to sit properly you’ll need to adjust the height of the chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. You’ll also need to adjust the armrests so that your shoulders are relaxed when you rest your hands on them.
Finally, A reclining option and a headrest will allow you to get a few minutes of rest from work, and help your back muscles to fully relax. This is especially vital for people with sciatica and lower back pain.
Using MRI scans, Canadian researchers concluded that the ideal biomechanical sitting position to reduce spinal pressure and discs wear is in a chair with the backrest reclined 135 degrees, with your two feet planted on the floor.
👉 In a Hurry? see our short comparison table, followed by our detailed ergonomic mesh office chair reviews:
|Bottom Line||Pros & Cons||Price|
|Herman Miller Aeron Task Chair||🥇Top Pick||Fully adjustable but pricy|
👉Jump to Review
|✅Check sale price at Herman Miller|
|Gabrylly Mesh Office Chair||Best Value|
|No bells and whistles but good support for a fair price|
Jump to Review
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair||Best Herman Miller Alternative||With adjustable headrest|
👉Jump to Review
|✅Check Price on Amazon|
|NOUHAUS Ergo3D Office Chair||Best for Short-Average Users||Fairly adjustable|
Fits shorter people
👉Jump to Review
|✅Check Price on Amazon|
|Modway Articulate Mesh Office Chair||Best Under $200||Fairly adjustable|
Great for students
👉Jump to Review
|✅Check Price on Amazon|
|RESPAWN-205 Gaming Chair||Best Gaming Chair for Back Pain||Under $200|
Detachable headrest & lumbar support
👉Jump to Review
|✅Check Price on Amazon|
Ergonomic Mesh Task Chairs Benefits
There are many types of ergonomic chairs: kneeling chairs, ball chairs, saddle chairs, mesh chairs, and mesh chairs.
Here’s why we recommend a mesh office chair for back pain sufferers:
Mesh office chairs are best when it comes to proper back support. They are highly adjustable high-back chairs, and the curve in the back keeps you in the optimal posture – without pressure on your shoulders, hips, and neck.
The mesh backrest is breathable, dynamic, doesn’t trap heat, and sort of bends and move with you throughout your workday as you change positions.
The 6 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs for Back Pain
We reviewed and compared the 6 best-selling ergonomic mesh office chairs, here’s our conclusion:
1. Herman Miller Aeron Task Chair 2021 Top Pick
Herman Miller Aeron Task Chair – check price at Herman Miller
|Adjustments - Lumbar support, seat, |
armrests, tilt, recline
3 chair sizes
|Recline - up to 135 degrees|
|Weight support - 325 lbs.||Warranty - 12 years|
The best way to find a neutral posture and full support for your back (to prevent sciatica pain) is by sitting on a fully adjustable task chair, such as the award-winning Herman Miller Aeron task chair.
Sitting on the Aeron chair (Made in Michigan at a 100% green-energy facility), you can fully adjust the lumbar support, the seat, and the armrests. The durable mesh backrest is breathable, comfortable, and helps support your back muscles and spine.
If that’s not enough, the Aeron chair (that comes in 3 sizes) has an adjustable tilt and reclines up to 135 degrees (the optimal reclining angle for low back pain/sciatica). This chair is amazingly comfortable, with top quality finish and fit, and makes you feel you get what you paid for.
While it’s more expensive than average, the Herman Miller Aeron chair benefits (optimal back support, high-quality materials, and 12-year warranty) add up and make it the best (and most copied) ergonomic office chair of 2021.
Do not order before you take some measurements to decide the right size for you. You don’t want a chair that’s too big or small for you. This means this may not fit other people in your home. Also, if you are looking for extra padding in the backrest – this chair is not for you.
✅ Herman Miller Aeron chair Price – check sale price at Herman Miller
2. Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair Best Herman Miller Alternative
Duramont mesh office chair – best Herman-Miller alternative – check price on Amazon
|Adjustments - armrests, lumbar support, |
seat, tilt, recline
|Recline - up to 120 degrees|
|Weight support - 330 lbs.||Warranty - 5 years|
The Duramont is also a highly adjustable mesh chair, but this one comes with an adjustable headrest, which is helpful for those moments of relaxation and for supporting your neck when you are reclining (up to 120 degrees).
It also features rollerblade wheels that glide easily over the entire room (but not so easily on carpets).
Mesh Task Chairs With Arms
You can adjust the headrest height and angle, the lumbar support height and depth, the armrest height and distance from the seat, the seat height, the backrest tilt, and the tilt tension.
However, shorter people may struggle to reach the floor due to the seat depth.
The mesh backrest allows for cool air to circulate, keeping your back sweat-free, and we liked that the reclining tension knob is very easy to reach and gives you a wide range of adjustments.
For the price, the Duramont chair just can’t be beaten. With the 90-day money-back guarantee and 5-year warranty, this is a risk-free purchase for working at home or anywhere. Plus, many users love the fact that you get extra hardware and everything you need to assemble the chair with ease.
The lowest setting of the arm rests may be too high for shorter people and this may cause shoulder muscle tension.
✅ Price – check today’s price on Amazon
3. NOUHAUS Ergo3D Office Chair Best for Short-Average Users
NOUHAUS Ergo3D Ergonomic Office Chair – popular on Amazon
|Adjustments - armrests, tilt, recline||Recline - up to 135 degrees|
|Weight support - 275 lbs.||Warranty - 3 years|
The Nouhaus Ergo3D office chair is fairly customizable (except for the headrest), almost like its top luxury competitor – The Aeron chair – yet costs less than half its price.
Because it is not the prettiest office chair around, the brand is unknown, and because it won’t fit bigger and taller people.
The self-adjustable backrest automatically adjusts its tension based on the pressure you apply and cradles your back and neck whether you lean back or forward.
Versatile and perfect fit for short-average people
War thunder is 2. The headrest takes care of your neck at any angle, the adjustable tilt allows for up to 135 degrees reclining, the 3D armrests move in 4 directions, and with the waterfall seat, this is one of the most versatile office chairs in this price range and recommended even for 8+ hours of work.
The lever on the right side of the chair allows you to lock the chair in the upright position, semi recline, and full recline.
Bottom line, this mesh office chair is a great fit for small-average users and made with high-quality materials that will last for years.
No padding between the edges of the frame and the mesh may cause some leg pain if you lean into the chair for long periods of time.
✅ Price – Check today’s price on Amazon
4. Modway Articulate Mesh Office Chair Best Under $200
Modway Articulate – best budget choice – check price on Amazon
|Adjustments - backrest height, |
seat depth, armrests, tilt
|Recline - up to 120 degrees|
|Weight support - 331 lbs.||Warranty - 1 year|
(only for chair frame)
For a far less expensive option, the Modway ergonomic mesh office chair offers a surprising level of comfort and adjustability. The back height, seat depth, and armrests are easily adjustable, and it also includes tilt tension and lock functions to recline comfortably.
The seat is generously padded (6” thick mesh seat cushion) and it comes in many fun colors like blue, orange, and purple – great for high school or college students.
For under $200, we would recommend this as a good new mesh chair that won’t empty your pockets, but it’s not our #1 or #2 choice for sitting 8+ hours of work on and doesn’t feel as durable as the other computer chairs on this list.
As for the warranty, we had to contact the company and found there is only a 1-year warranty, and only for the chair frame.
The mid-back design doesn’t offer any support for your head or neck.
✅ Price – check today’s price on Amazon
5. RESPAWN-205 Gaming Chair Best Gaming Chair for Back Pain
Respawn mesh gaming chair -best for gamers with back pain – check price on Amazon
|Adjustments - seat height, armrests, |
|Recline - up to 130 degrees|
|Weight support - 275 lbs.||Warranty - Lifetime|
The Respawn 205 features a half mesh, half-cushion back, so you get the benefits of the cushion’s comfort and the mesh’s breathability while you play.
The headrest is detachable and so is the lumbar support cushion, and you can also adjust the height of the seat and armrests.
The respawn chair reclines up to the optimal 130 degrees angle and locks in position (3-position tilt lock), and the Full 360 degrees of swivel rotation enable dynamic movement.
This great-looking racecar-style gaming chair provides luxury and comfort, whether it’s used for intense gaming sessions or long workdays, backed with a lifetime warranty by Respawn.
While it’s not as adjustable as some other mesh chairs on this list, the price is relatively low (less than $200!), making it a great-value work-at-home/gaming chair for back pain prevention.
Some users claimed that assembly is more difficult than other chairs.
✅ Price – best price is found on Amazon
6. Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair Fastest Assembly
Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Task Chair – best price on Amazon
|Adjustments - seat height, headrest, |
backrest and flip-up arms
|Recline - up to 120 degrees|
|Weight support - 280 lbs.||Warranty - 1 year|
The Gabrylly ergonomic mesh office chair’s best features are the 4 supporting points, including lumbar support, and a headrest. The first support point is in the backrest, which has just enough curve and some lumbar support. The second point is the curve and shape of the seat to relieve pressure on the hips, and there’s the adjustable headrest.
Another great thing about this chair is the deep 120-degree tilt and the flip-up armrests that come with removable padding (if you do not want to use it).
The high-quality mesh keeps this chair cool and is easy to clean, and the 360-degree swivel is great (the chair moves smoothly and quietly).
And here’s something important for people who don’t like complicated assembly: users have reported that this chair takes no more than 5 minutes to assemble, instructions are straight forward, and you may not even need them!
Amazon buyers love this chair and give it high reviews consistently.
The headrest is clearly stated to only fit people up to 5ft 8 or shorter, so many people may not be able to use it.
✅ Price – best price found on Amazon
How to Sit on an Ergonomic Mesh Task Chair
Many people who already have an ergonomic office chair just don’t sit on it properly. To prevent back pain, you’ll need to change your seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor (or use a footrest), adjust the seat depth so there’s at least one inch between the back of your knees and the seat edge, and move your back so that the lumbar area fits into your lower back.
Continue with adjusting the armrests so your shoulders are relaxed, and adjust the headrest to the back of your head so it’s not pushed forward or downward.
Here’s a short video demonstrating how to sit on an ergonomic chair:
What is the Best Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair?
In this post, you’ve found the top 5 ergonomic mesh office chairs for back pain and sciatica, at quite a large price range and adjustability options.
Our top pick for 2021 is the Herman Miller Aeron Task chair.
Our recommendation for the best Herman Miller alternative is the Duramont Mesh office chair.
The best choice for under $200 is either the Modway Articulate or the Gabrylly mesh gaming chair.
The best office chair for shorter people is the NOUHAUS Ergo3D Office Chair.
We hope we’ve saved you some time and money with this research, feel free to ask us anything in the comment section below. 😊
The Back Pain Relief Products
One request that we have been getting quite a bit at BTOD.com is recommendations for chairs for short or petite people. It can be difficult to find small chairs. Manufacturer specs can often be tough to find, and even when you can, the choices are pretty limited.
Below is a list of five chairs that I feel are nice options if you need an office chair for a short or petite person. I am defining short as 5’ 6” and under. These chairs all feature dimensions that are smaller than standard office chairs.
I also recommend checking out my seven things to consider when shopping for these chairs; you can find them right after the final chair in the list. This information will help you on your quest to find a new office chair. It also helps to explain why I chose the chairs featured in this list.
Need help? Get our Free Office Chair Buying Guide!
Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Learning Center?
Best Office Chairs for Petite People in 2021
Best Office Chairs For Petite People Video
Best Office Chairs For Petite People List
1. Steelcase Leap v2
Starting Price: $842.00
We’ve found that the Steelcase Leap v2 chair is a contender for almost any “best of” list that we create, but I was still a bit surprised when I found that the Leap v2 is also a great option for short and petite people. You do want to make sure to upgrade to the four-way adjustable arms to ensure that you can take advantage of the huge adjustment range the Leap v2 arms offer.
The Leap v2 has a low minimum seat height of 15.5 inches and the seat depth adjustment allows for the seat depth to be as small as 15.7 inches. You also have a nice arm height range of 7 to 11 inches and a massive width adjustment range of 12.75 to 20 inches. Basically, you can make this chair really small, and that is one of the biggest reasons why this was my number one pick.
The next reason is that the Leap v2 has a ton of adjustability. This is one of the most adjustable chairs that you will find. It comes with a synchro-tilt mechanism, multiple locking positions, and two-way adjustable lumbar support. The lumbar height range is large, which is another bonus for short people. The lumbar goes almost all the way to the bottom of the backrest.
On top of the nice sizing specs and the huge amount of adjustability, the Leap v2 features a great build quality and has one of the best warranties in the industry. You are guaranteed to have one of the best chairs in the industry for a minimum of twelve years.
2. Neutral Posture XSM
Starting Price: $713.40
My second pick is the XSM by Neutral Posture. Neutral Posture is a Texas-based company that specializes in high-end ergonomic seating. The XSM is made in Texas and features a high-end build. The chair is also backed by a solid ten-year warranty.
The XSM does a really good job of meeting the size requirements for short and petite people. It has a minimum seat height of 15.75 inches and the seat depth can be as small as 15.5 inches because of its large seat depth adjustment range. Like the Leap v2, the arms are also well suited for petite people. They have a minimum height of 7 inches and can go as narrow as 13.5 inches.
One thing that really sets the XSM apart from most chairs is the thickly padded seat. It features 4 inches of high-end molded foam. This is going to offer a soft, cushy sitting experience. There are a lot of chairs, like the Leap v2 and Aeron (next on the list), which feature a firmer sit. The XSM can be a nice option for people who prefer a soft, thickly padded seat.
The XSM is also highly adjustable, even more so than our number one pick. This is due to the multi-function mechanism and five-way arms. You get seat angle adjustment with forward seat tilt. The back angle and back height are adjustable. You can also control the tension of the recline and the five-way arms are the most adjustable on this list.
The XSM has a number of add-ons that you can choose to customize your chair. Inflatable lumbar support, three different back options, and a headrest specifically made for petite people are a few of the options available on the XSM.
3. Herman Miller Aeron size A
Starting Price: $995.00
The third chair on our list is the Aeron size A. The size A is the smallest version of the Aeron, so it is best suited for short and petite people. This is a very well-built chair with a really clean design. It is made in the USA and functions smoothly. It is also backed by an industry-leading, twelve-year warranty.
The Aeron has the lowest minimum seat height range on this list at 14.75 inches. The 16-inch seat depth is also smaller than standard office chairs. Unfortunately, the Aeron does not have seat depth adjustment. There are several upgrades that you can choose from on the Aeron when it comes to functionality. I would recommend almost all of them. The adjustable lumbar support is great to give you that extra lower back support for long hours. The tilt limiter upgrade will allow you to lock the chair in three different positions, while also giving you forward seat tilt.
The final upgrade I would recommend is the fully adjustable arms. This will give you a nice 7 to 11.5-inch arm height adjustment range. The arms are set 16 inches apart, so they are narrower than most standard office chairs. While the arms do not have width adjustment, they do pivot inward quite a bit, which helps to make them narrower.
The Aeron is the only mesh office chair on our list, so this will be the best option for those of you who want a petite mesh chair. It features some of the nicest mesh we have had a chance to see. It offers good support, breathability, and comfort.
The final thing that really sets the Aeron apart from the rest of the chairs on this list is its recline function. The Aeron has one of the smoothest recline motions we have had a chance to use. It has a nice rocking motion and it feels really natural and easy to rock back and forth in the chair.
4. BTOD Petite Series
Starting Price: $396.99
The fourth chair on our list is the BTOD Petite. This is one of the lower priced options featured on our list but does a nice job of fitting small people. It is made in Taiwan and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. You get lifetime coverage on the chair frame and parts, with five years of coverage on the foam and fabric.
The Petite gives you a lot of customization for such a low price point. Choose from different mechanisms, different arms, various back options, and more. There aren’t too many chairs that are specifically designed for petite people that can be this highly customized.
The chair features a thick, 4-inch padded seat, which offers a soft and plush sitting experience. The adjustments also help to add to your comfort. With so many adjustment options, you can choose to make the chair as adjustable as you’d like. The price will increase as you add adjustments, but you can decide what is important to you and what isn’t.
With a standard two-way arm set-up, you get an arm height adjustment range of 5 to 7.5 inches. This is among the smallest available. They also offer a width range of 16 to 20 inches. The seat height will go as low as 15.5 inches and the seat depth is 16 inches, but can be adjusted when purchased with the seat slider add-on.
Another thing to consider with this series of chairs is that there is an even smaller option, called the BTOD Bantam. The Bantam features a smaller seat, back and seat height range if you need something smaller than the BTOD Petite.
Best Mesh Task Chair
5. OM Paramount Petite
Starting Price: $328.99
The final chair on our list is the Paramount Petite from Office Master. This chair has the lowest starting price on our list, but it still offers good value. The chair is made from parts coming out of China and Taiwan. It is then built and assembled in the U.S. by Office Master. It comes with a seven-year warranty with five years of coverage on the foam and fabric.
The Paramount Petite has some of the smallest dimensions found on our list. The seat goes as low as 15.5 inches, and the arms go as low as 5.25 inches. The arms can get as narrow as 13.25 inches and the seat depth can be as small as 16 inches. Overall, this chair is comparable in size to the top two chairs on our list, and it is available for a fraction of the price.
Even though it comes in at a low price point, it is still packed with adjustments. It comes with a center tilting ability with tension control. It has seat depth adjustment, seat angle adjustment, and forward seat tilt. It has an adjustable backrest angle and adjustable back height. Add the two-way arms and it will be tough to find a more adjustable chair for this price point.
7 Things to Consider When Looking For Small Office Chairs
1. Seat Height
The first thing to think about is the seat height of your office chair. You want to be able to have your knees at 90 degrees, with your feet flat on the floor. Most office chairs will have a seat height range of around 17 to 22 inches. This is going to be too tall for people who are five feet six inches and under.
You will need to find a chair with a minimum seat height of 16 inches if you are five-foot-six and 15 inches if you are five-foot-two. If you are shorter than five-foot-two, then you will want to find a chair that gets as low as 14 inches if you plan to have your feet flat on the floor.
2. Adding a Footrest
One super valuable tool for your workstation can be a footrest. Adding a footrest allows you to bring the floor up to your chair, instead of forcing your chair to go down to the floor. By doing this, you will make it much easier to achieve that 90-degree knee angle, while also opening the door to chairs with higher minimum seat height ranges. Most of the people in our office use a footrest, including myself.
3. Desk Height
Your desk height is another really important factor. You want your typing height to be about 8 inches above your seat height. If you are going to use a chair at 16 inches, then your desk needs to be able to go as low as 24 inches to accommodate an ergonomic position. Standard desk height is 30 inches, so there is quite a big difference there.
There are a few ways to help you accomplish this. The first is to go with the footrest discussed above. This can close the gap by a few inches by bringing your chair height closer to a standard height desk. The second is to get a height-adjustable desk that can lower to a position that is below the standard desk height. The final option is to add something to lower your keyboard, like a keyboard drawer or keyboard tray.
4. Seat Depth
The next thing to consider is seat depth. You want to be able to position the front of the seat to within 1 to 2 inches from the back of your knees. Most standard office chairs will have seats that are around 17 to 18 inches deep. This will be too large for short people.
If you are five-foot-six or under, you want to find chairs with minimum seat depths of 16 inches or less. Chairs with an adjustable seat depth range as low as 15 inches will be the best options to go with for this category.
5. Arm Width
The armrests will be another important factor to consider. You want to be able to hang your arms naturally at your sides and then place your elbows at a 90-degree angle. You do not want to have to angle your arms outward to reach the armrests. This can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders and neck.
Standard office chair arms will typically be about 17 to 18 inches apart. If you are under five feet six inches, you will want to look for arms that have a minimum width of 16 inches or less. For those of you in the five feet and under range, then arms as narrow as 13 inches will probably be what you want to look for.
6. Arm Height
Height is the second thing to look at when it comes to the armrests. You really want to make sure that the arms on the chair you want to buy have a range that will work for you. People that are under five feet six inches will want to have their arms about 9 inches above their seat to be able to achieve that 90-degree elbow angle. People who are five feet tall or under will want a minimum arm height of 7 inches or less.
Be careful when buying chairs with headrests if you are a short or petite person. We have found that headrests will often be in an awkward position for short people. Many headrests are designed to fit into the curve of your neck. If you are too short to use them properly, then the headrest just ends up pushing the back of your head forward.
The same thing can happen on chairs with more standard headrests. If you are too short to reach the intended headrest, then the chair will not be comfortable because it was not designed to fit you properly.
If you really want a headrest, then look for chairs that were specifically made for short people that also offer a headrest option. This should ensure that the headrest was designed for short people and will give you the best chance that it fits you properly.
Mesh Back Task Chair
The selection of office chairs for petite and short people can feel limited. There certainly isn’t going to be as many options as standard office chairs, but there are things that you can do to expand your selection. Things like a footrest and keyboard tray can be amazing tools. An electric height-adjustable desk can also be a game changer for a lot of people. These will make the seat height less of a problem.
If there isn’t a chair on this list that will work for your needs, then make sure to take our “7 Things to Consider” with you on your search. If you are armed with the knowledge of what to look for and what to avoid, you should be able to find the best chair for your needs.