Why Are Office Chairs So Expensive?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The way we work has changed dramatically over the years. Remote working is becoming more commonplace, while freelancers and office workers are use to sitting at a desk for several hours a day.

Those who try to recreate an office space at home may wonder, why are office chairs so expensive?

Office chairs cost a lot of money for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they aim to make desk work more comfortable for the user.

We’ll cover why office chairs are expensive in this article, as well as some of the chair features that rack up the price tag.

Why Are Office Chairs More Expensive Than Others?

Unfortunately, it isn’t simple to answer how much office chairs cost. You may find a chair that costs $50 and find another one that looks the same for $300.

This price variance may seem pointless, but there is a valid reason why this is so.

Sitting down for a long time is one of the worst things for your health, both physically and mentally. Chair manufacturers aim to make sitting down less harmful and more comfortable for us.

You’ll often see chairs that cost more laden with ergonomically designed features. Ergonomic chairs aim to let you sit down for lengthy periods, without the aches and pains felt sitting in a standard chair. Yes recliners are good for this as well. Check out our article on the best recliners for tall men.

Chairs with more features will cost more than ones without.

What Are Ergonomic Chairs?

a person’s natural body position, creating a more comfortable experience.

Standard office chairs and ergonomic chairs have different features. Here are some good office chair options. General chairs will have armrests and a fixed seating position.

What are Ergonomic Chairs?

Ergonomic chairs let you change these features in a few different ways. Steelcase chairs have many of these options. You and others adjust the seating position so you feel more comfortable.

Fixed chairs can be frustrating as you have to adapt the chair instead of having the chair adapt to you. For instance, a chair without moveable armrests can make typing on a keyboard difficult.

General chairs may come with a flexible seat, but this feature isn’t enough for people to get the most out of their chairs.

Why Are Office Chairs Expensive?

We’ve covered what ergonomic chairs are, so now we can get into why ergonomic chairs cost more than standard ones. Remember that these reasons may not apply to some office chairs that have fewer features.

Ergonomic Design

As stated above, ergonomics makes a big difference in making a chair practical. Chair manufacturers have spent decades learning how to make their chairs more comfortable.

Ergonomic designs are born out of research that looks into the body’s movements. In the case of ergonomic chairs, researchers have looked into how a person is positioned when they sit.

This presents a conundrum. It’s impossible to create the ‘perfect’ chair, as everyone sits differently. Some may slouch while others may lean back.

Taller people and shorter people need chairs at various heights. Chair manufacturers aim to make chairs that account for all of these variances.

Ergonomic chairs are enhanced so that the majority of people can adjust their chairs to their specifications. Click here for a list of the best office chairs.

The research and development that went into the design cost money, which explains the high cost of office chairs.


Branding isn’t as huge as the other factors on this list, but it still affects the price. You should always consider the brand you’re buying from before you purchase an office chair.

Popular brands will charge more for their products as they are already well known.

Their history and the fact that many people use their brand make them seem more trustworthy. Lesser known brands may not charge as high a price.

You may see some lesser-known brands charge more for their chairs, but reputation still affects how products are priced.

Some chairs may cost much less than their competitors but work similarly. It’s important to do your research and choose a brand you trust and to get the best quality for price.

Material Composition

A chair’s materials can make a huge difference in how they’re priced. Standard mass-produced office chairs can be made with cheaper materials.

This doesn’t mean that these are awful chairs, but if you use them for a few years, the lack of padding and adaptable features may cause health problems later on.

Office ergonomic chairs are normally made from quality materials, like vinyl, leather, and polyurethane.

These can be softer and more comfortable for the user. These chairs may also include extra padding, adjustable seating positions, and moveable armrests.

When you do start shopping for a new office chair, always check what materials it was made out of.

It’s always better to spend more on expensive materials as cheaper ones can cause discomfort.

Customized Features

Newer ergonomic chairs will have customizable features.

Some regular chairs may have some padding and allow you to adjust the seat, but ergonomic ones can let you change the position of the armrests, headrest, and back support.

If you only need the chair for an hour or two, you might not need all of these abilities.

However, freelance, remote, or office workers who sit down for more than eight hours should think about buying an ergonomically designed chair.

Specific Features

The features of a chair are the main reason why office chairs cost a lot. If you notice a chair with a high price tag, look at its features to ensure the cost is justified.

We’ll cover the most important office chair features to look out for below.

Back Support

Back and lumbar support is the most important feature to look for in a chair, especially if you plan on sitting down for many hours. This is true in recliner lift chairs, office chairs and other chairs as well.

A back support will have the chair accommodate your spinal curve. This will encourage better posture, putting less strain on your back.

Chairs with lumbar support will have support cushions at the base.

Some chairs will use lower quality padding to reduce the manufacturing costs, so always check the materials used before you purchase one.

Reclining Ability

Even people with perfect posture will feel muscle strain now and again. A reclining chair lets you switch seating positions without hurting your back.

This will reduce the amount of pressure on your neck, back, and hips, promoting better spinal health overall.

Height Adjustment

Most office chairs these days come with height adjustable seating, but not all of these offer the same advantages.

The majority of standard chairs are created to seat the average user, so their adjustable seating may not suit some people.

Ergonomic chairs let you make more changes to the height adjustment.

They aim to accommodate lots of different builds without the user straining too much.


The swivel feature lets users turn the chair around 360°. Swiveling doesn’t affect the user’s posture that much, but they let people move around freely.

This lets the user turn to talk to others, move around a room easily, and navigate a larger desk with ease.

The Bottom Line

Office chairs are expensive for many reasons, but the main one is due to their ergonomic design.

Chair makers have put lots of time and effort into researching how people sit. All of the adjustable features made to accommodate different builds will cost more money.

If you’re thinking about purchasing an office chair, but are put off by its cost, think about how often you’re going to use it. Workers who sit at a desk for eight hours will be better off spending more on an ergonomic chair.

If you only use a chair for an hour or two, you may want to spend less and purchase a regular chair. However, be aware that these may cause health issues later down the line.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.