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I’m excited for the opportunity to compare two of the most iconic ergonomic chairs; the Herman Miller Aeron and Humanscale Freedom. While no chair is quite as recognizable as the Aeron, the Freedom chair, by Humanscale, is still near the top of that list.

While these chairs may have their obvious aesthetic differences, they do share some similarities as well. Which chair is best for you? In this comparison, we will be taking a closer look at each to help you decide.

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?

Aeron vs. Freedom Links

Specifications
Pricing
Return Policy and Warranty
Shipping and Assembly
Build Quality
Scope of Users
Seat Comfort
Back Support
Armrest Comfort
Ergonomic Adjustments
Upholstery Options
Bottom Line

Herman Miller Aeron vs. Humanscale Freedom Specs
  Aeron (size B) Freedom w/ Headrest
Manufacturer Herman Miller Humanscale
Country or Origin USA Mexico
Overall Dimensions 27”D x 27”W x 36.5-41”H 26.75”W x 26”D x 48.2-53”H
Seat Height Range 16” – 20.5” 16” – 21”
Base Dimensions 27” Diameter 26” Diameter
Seat Dimensions 17”W x 16.75”D 20”W x 17.5”-19.5”D
Back Dimensions 21.5”W x 22”H 18”W x 20.9”H
Distance Between Arms 17” 19” Standard / 18″-21″ Adj.
Arm Height from Seat 5.5 -9 .75” 2.5” – 8.75”
Weight Capacity 350 lbs. 300 lbs.
Chair Weight 41 lbs. 38 lbs.
Price
Aeron Chair Freedom Chair
Starting Price $920.00 $1,019.00
Fabric Options N/A $0 – $190
Leather Upgrade N/A $750 – $1570
Frame Options $0 – $260 $0 – $160
Base Options Included w/ Frame $0 – $115
Add Fixed Arms Included N/A
Add Height Adjustable Arms $100.00 $20.00
Add Fully Adjustable Arms $160.00 $110 – $200
Adjustable Lumbar Support $75.00 N/A
PostureFit Lumbar Support $95.00 N/A
Tilt Limiter with Seat Angle $100.00 N/A
Hard Floor Casters $50.00 $16.00
Braking casters N/A $100.00
Gel Seat Pad N/A $53.00
Return Policy

Herman Miller offers a 30 day return policy on the Aeron. If you wish to return your chair, Herman Miller will cover the costs of the return shipment and will give you a full refund. It is recommended that you use the original packaging, but Herman Miller will still work with you on a return if you do not have it.

Humanscale chairs are made to order and cannot be returned.

Warranty

Herman Miller includes a 12 year warranty on the Aeron chair. There are no parts on the chair that are excluded from the 12 year period. The warranty is valid for 24/7, round the clock use. The size A version is covered for 300 lbs. Sizes B and C are covered for people up to 350 lbs.

If a chair needs to be repaired, the costs will be covered by Herman Miller. They will also send on-site technicians to make repairs, depending on what’s needed and your location. Herman Miller’s warranty is one of the best in the entire office industry.

Humanscale seating products come with a 15-year, 24/7 rating warranty on all seating components. This includes frames, cylinders, casters, base, etc. Humanscale upholstery, cushions and arm pads are covered for a period of five years. It is a single shift warranty on the upholstery, cushions and arm pads.

Shipping & Assembly

The Aeron chair comes with a big advantage for those not wanting to assemble their chair. When ordered in smaller quantities, Herman Miller will ship your new Aeron fully assembled. Because they use a common carrier like FedEx or UPS, you can expect for it to be brought to your door or office suite.

Herman Miller Aeron Chair Unboxing and Assembly Guide - YouTube

The Freedom chair doesn’t come fully assembled, but it is very close. With the upper half of the chair fully assembled, you’ll need to drop the cylinder into the base and set the upper half of the chair onto the cylinder. Like the Aeron, the Freedom ships via common carrier which will bring the chair to your door.

Build Quality

The Aeron is the number one ranked chair for build quality with a 95/100. The Freedom wasn’t ranked as high, but still found itself in the top five, with a score of 88/100. The Freedom tied with the Steelcase Gesture chair at number four overall. Both Aeron and Freedom featured componentry designed and made specifically for each chair. There weren’t any off the shelf components that are typically found on less expensive chair alternatives.

Taking a closer look at the Herman Miller Aeron, there is a clear reason why it was five points higher than the closest competitor. Built in the USA, the Aeron’s quality can be felt the first time you touch or sit in the chair. The quality in the steel, aluminum and plastic components is especially noticeable as you begin to use it.

Herman Miller Aeron’s armrest and backrest build quality

Even after close to a year of sitting in the Aeron, there aren’t awkward sounds and it moves just as smoothly as when it was brand new. The Pellicle mesh is hands down the highest quality of all the chairs we’ve tested to date as well.

Aeron’s mechanism build

Even though the Humanscale Freedom isn’t as highly ranked for build quality, it was still one of the best-built chairs we’ve tested. It only rated two points lower than the second-ranked Leap chair, making a Freedom a good investment, even at $1,000.

Showing build quality through Freedom back and frame

The attention to detail on the Freedom was obvious, with a perfect fit and finish throughout the entire chair. Humanscale used a ton of aluminum throughout the frame structure of the Freedom, which helps to keep the weight down and adds to the design elements of the chair.

The Freedom also incorporated a lot of plastic molded parts and like the aluminum componentry, it was well done throughout. Less expensive chairs will miss here, and the lower quality will shine through. All of the high-end chairs we’ve tested had much better-quality control in these areas of the chair.

Build quality shown in Freedom’s mechanism Scope of Users

The scope of users score is important for many reasons, especially for those looking to buy a chair sight unseen. Understanding how likely a chair is to fit you properly is one of the most important aspects of proper ergonomics. When we score this category, we use a single chair’s ability to fit all users properly. The Aeron chair scored a 66/100 and the Freedom 71/100 for scope of users.

The way we score scope of users puts the Aeron chair at a disadvantage. Their take on fitting a wide range of the population is using three sizes of chairs. By doing this, Herman Miller has stated they can comfortably fit up to 98% of the population. This isn’t a great solution for shared work areas or people that fall between sizes.

There are three areas for improvement on the Aeron, that would instantly improve the scope of users score. Adding back height adjustment, a seat slider and width adjustable arms would go a long way to improve the Aeron’s ability to adjust to a wider range of people.

The Humanscale Freedom scored higher for this category, mainly because they included the adjustments that Aeron did not. The sliding seat function and adjustable height backrest helps to fine tune the fit to a wider range of users. The headrest on our model is also height adjustable, which is important to get positioned properly.

The advanced Duron arms on our test chairs provided a little over 6” of height adjustment, with the lowest position 2.5” above the seat pad. They also had 3” of width adjustment, going from 18” to 21” wide. At 18” wide, the arms could be too far apart for smaller users. Humanscale Freedom’s standard armrests are 19” wide.

Seat Comfort

One of the most subjective things about an office chair is the seat comfort. Because of this, we take a completely different approach to scoring seat comfort. Using the average of nine user scores from our office, we were able to come up with a better idea of how comfortable a seat would be to most people. The Aeron scored 73/100 and the Freedom scored 69/100.

The sitting experience for both the Aeron and Freedom was similar from the standpoint that either you liked it or preferred something else. The Aeron experience tended to be a bit more polarizing, with a couple scores in the 90’s and 50’s. The Freedom on the other hand only had one score in the 80’s, but had two in the 50’s.

The Aeron’s Pellicle mesh is the highest quality we’ve tested; providing good flexibility and softness to the touch. One of the most unique things about sitting on mesh is the floating experience that you feel. Even though it has this float like experience, mesh provides a firm sit which isn’t expected by most.

Top view of Aeron’s seat with side bolsters

The Aeron’s seat is designed with plastic side bolsters, which created a feeling of sitting in the seat vs. sitting on top of it. Depending on your size and preference, this can be a limiting factor for overall comfort. The hard-plastic frame is also noticeable in the front edge of the seat pan, when in different positions in the Aeron.

Front of Aeron’s seat pan shape

The Freedom chair that we tested included the upgrade gel seat option. This was a miss overall for the office, as the seat score was middle of the pack with that option. Like the mesh material, the gel didn’t provide as forgiving of a feel as the standard seat pad alternative from Humanscale. On both the Liberty and Diffrient, the standard seat pad scored 10 points higher than the gel found on the Freedom.

Pushing down into Freedom’s gel seat pad

When looking closer at the 18 user scores on the standard seat pad, tested on the Liberty and Diffrient, only one user scored below 70. If you’re on the fence about the gel seat pad vs. standard, the safest option is the standard pad. With a $53 savings going this route, it will even help bring the chair price down.

Pushing down into the Liberty seat pad Backrest Support

Back support is another category that we felt was subjective enough that we needed the help of our whole office. When scoring the backrest, we look at how the entire backrest supports you, instead of just the lower lumbar area. After polling our office, the Aeron scored a 78/100 and the Freedom scored a 72/100. Both chairs ended up in the top six overall so they each have a lot of nice things to offer.

The Aeron test chair included the PostureFit SL lumbar support system, which is unique in that it is vertical versus the horizontal system. The lumbar support covers a large vertical area and includes two pads that flex independently of each other. Even if you were to purchase your next Aeron without the PostureFit SL, the natural curve in the backrest provides good support.

Back view of Aeron showing PostureFit SL

The Pellicle mesh material on the backrest is soft and flexible, making it nice to lean back against. The material is breathable as well, so it keeps you cool throughout the workday. One downside to the backrest is the thick frame, that is similar to the seat. With a mid-back design, there are certain postures that you’ll feel the frame, especially when leaning back in the Aeron.

Side view of Aeron’s backrest

Because of the way we look at the backrest support score, the Freedom chair’s score suffered a bit. When you first sit in the Freedom, you’ll likely notice how pronounced the lower support is. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for great support up higher on your back, the backrest isn’t quite tall enough for that.

Seated in Freedom chair

The Freedom chair’s backrest is height adjustable, which allows you to fine tune where you feel the support most. Paired with the pivoting function, I personally enjoyed how the Freedom promotes good posture, no matter what seated position you’re in.

Range of motion on Freedom backrest Armrest Comfort

Armrest comfort is the last of three categories that we used the input of all users in our office to create an average score for comfort. When scoring armrests, we looked at two areas. The first qwas how comfortable the pads are for your elbow and forearm, secondly was the ability to get a proper ergonomic fit. The Aeron scored 81/100 and the Freedom scored 72/100.

Our test chair for the Aeron included the fully adjustable arm set. This includes height adjustment, arm pad depth adjustment and pivoting adjustment. While not as adjustable as other arms like that on the Steelcase Leap, they are adjustable enough to offer a customized feel.

Lowest arm height and tallest height shown on Aeron Arm pivot on Aeron’s arms

The pads on the Aeron were the standard version. Aeron does offer an upgraded leather arm pad option as well. The standard arm pads provided a nice squishy feel, with a durable exterior. The Aeron still ranked in the top three overall for comfort, so even though the arms didn’t include width adjustment, they were well received.

Pressing thumb into Aeron’s arm pad

The Humanscale Freedom test chair included the adjustable Duron arm set. These arms had a squishy feel that was similar to the Aeron, but not quite as bottomless feeling. The Duron coating provided a nice durable exterior coating that is also similar to the Aeron chairs adjustable arm set.

Pushing down into Humanscale’s Duron armrests

The Freedom’s adjustable arm set is a..

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If you do a search for the best office chairs, you will typically find people recommending brands like Steelcase, Herman Miller and Humanscale. While these brands make great chairs, they are on the higher end of the price spectrum. Not everyone wants to spend $1,000 on an office chair. Luckily there are a lot of chair options available that can provide similar comfort and adjustability, for a price of around $500 or less.

In this review, we will be focusing on one of those potential options, the Office Master Affirm. The Affirm has a good amount of adjustability and a ton of customization for a mid-market chair. Is the Affirm the right chair for you? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

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?

OM Affirm Review Snapshot
7.5
Ergonomic Adjustments 7.3
Build Quality 6.8
Scope of Users 5.7
Seat Comfort 7.9
Back Support 7.5
Armrest Comfort 7.5
Warranty 7.5
Assembly 9.5
Pros
  • Good ergonomic adjustments
  • 5-way arms with soft pads
  • Good seat comfort
  • Ships almost fully assembled
  • Strong warranty
Cons
  • Middle of the road build quality
  • Seat may be too firm for some people
  • May not be good option for multi user scenarios
Manufacturer

The Affirm is a product by OM Seating. OM Seating was formerly known as Office Master. Office Master was founded in 1986 and has maintained a focus on office seating since its foundation. OM Seating is located in Ontario, CA and specializes in producing highly customizable seating solutions for the office. They import parts from around the globe and combine them with domestic parts. OM then completes the upholstery additions and assemblies on site. This helps to maintain a high level of quality control while being able to maintain lower price points.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Specs / Features / Pricing
Return Policy and Warranty
Shipping and Assembly
Build Quality
Scope of Users
Seat Comfort
Back Support
Armrest Comfort
Ergonomic Adjustments
Upholstery Options
Wheel/Caster Options
Environmental
What I Like
What I Don’t Like
Bottom Line

Country of Origin

Built in the USA

Specifications

Overall Dimensions: 27”W x 27”D x 38.25-45.75”H
Standard Seat Height: 17” – 22”
Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
Standard Seat Dimensions: 20.75”W x 17.5-20.6”D
Back Dimensions: 19.75”W x 20.5”H
Distance Between Arms: 15”-20”
Arm Height from Seat: 5.25”-8”
Base Dimensions: 27” Diameter
Chair Weight: 57 lbs.
Shipping Box Dimensions: 36” x 26” x 25”
Shipping Box Weight: 101 lbs.

Features

Pneumatic seat height adjustment
Synchro tilt mechanism
Mesh backrest
Seat depth adjustment
Back height adjustment
Tilt lock
Tension control
Fully adjustable arms
Molded foam, contoured seat
GREENGUARD GOLD certified for low chemical emissions.

Starting Price – $281.99

Because there are so many different ways to configure the Affirm, it has a wide price range. You can get the chair in a very basic configuration for as low as $281.99. This will have a simple mechanism, no arms, and a standard cylinder. You can also get the Affirm fully loaded but it will cost $581.99.

For the model we tested, we chose to go with the Mid Back, Executive Synchro mechanism, KR-445 arms, Standard Seat size and Standard 5” cylinder. We also chose the Basic Grey seat upholstery and Nightfall mesh back. The current price for the chair that we tested is $502.99.

Return Policy

The OM Seating line is sold through a network of authorized dealers. They do not sell directly to the public through their website, like some other manufacturers do. This means that the return policy on OM Seating products will vary from dealer to dealer. Dealers offer different return policies, so it is important to know what it is before you purchase the chair. 

Warranty

The Affirm is covered by OM Seating’s 12-year Limited Warranty. Everything on the chair is covered for 12 years, with the exception of the foam and fabric. The foam and fabric are covered for five years. The warranty only applies to the original purchaser. It covers the chair for usage of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week and people weighing up to 275 lbs. This is a solid warranty for a chair with a low to mid-range price point.

Shipping

The Affirm chair ships in a large box but it can still be delivered via FedEx ground. The chair weighs over 50 lbs., so the box is heavy. You may want to have some assistance on hand to help you move the box to your office or inside your house. The chair is well packaged with large cardboard pieces inside the box to keep the components safe during shipment. We did not have any damage to our Affirm test chair.

Assembly

One great thing about the Affirm chair is that it arrives almost fully assembled. It comes in three pieces. The first piece is the top portion of the chair, which consists of the seat, backrest and arms pre-installed. The 2nd piece is the cylinder. The 3rd piece is the base with casters pre-installed. All you need to do is drop the cylinder into the base, remove a plastic cap from the top of the cylinder and then place the top portion of the chair onto the cylinder. The total assembly time is about a minute. One thing to consider is that the top portion of the chair is the majority of the weight of the chair, so you may want someone there to help you lift that portion onto the cylinder.

Office Master Affirm Office Chair Unboxing and Assembly Guide - YouTube

Build Quality

The Affirm has a decent build quality. It does not stack up against higher end brands or even other chairs from the OM Seating line, like the Truly and OM5. It is a step up in quality over almost every imported chair we have tested though. The Affirm is made mainly of imported parts from countries like Taiwan.  OM Seating has the advantage of doing quality control, upholstering and assembly at their facility in California. This allows them to maintain the highest standards possible while still keeping the price on the Affirm low.

Affirm’s backrest and arm build quality

Some of the reasons the Affirm didn’t score as well as high-end chairs include its lower quality mesh, a less sleek looking design and play that can be found within some parts. The Affirm is comprised of parts that are available on a lot of different chair models. This gives the chair a huge amount of customizability, but it also means that not every part or add-on can fit the chair perfectly.

Affirm mechanism build quality Scope of Users

For the scope of users category, we are looking at how much of the population a chair model can fit properly. The Affirm is a weird chair for this category because it is so customizable. Because you can choose from different back, seat and cylinder sizes, the Affirm can be configured to fit a lot of different people. There are some limiting factors, though and these caused the score to be reduced quite a bit for this category.

The first is that the chair has a 275 lbs. weight limit, which is lower than a lot of the other chairs we have tested. The Affirm also sits taller than most of the chairs we have tested. The standard cylinder has a seat height range of 17-22”, but that is taken from the front of the waterfall seat. The height from the portion you sit on is closer to 19”-24”. This is quite tall and will require people under 5’8” or 5’9” to use a footrest to be in an ergonomic position.

Affirm back in lowest position Affirm back in tallest position

The final reason that caused the score to be lowered is that the Affirm doesn’t come in one configuration that can fit the 95th percentile comfortably. This means that you cannot place a large order in one configuration to fit a large group of people. You will need to order chairs with different specs, based on the person using the chair. 

Seat Comfort

Seat comfort is the first of three categories that we used the opinions of everyone in our office to score. We let everyone sit in the chair and then they gave it a score of 1-100. We then averaged all of the numbers to get our final score. The Affirm ended up scoring a 79/100, which is in the upper portion of the list of chairs we have tested. The seat is available in two different width options. You can get it a small version, which is 19” wide or a large version, which is 20.75” wide.

Pushing down on Affirm seat pad

The seat on the Affirm has thick padding and no pronounced frame. This allows you to use the entirety of the seat comfortably. The foam is good quality and holds its shape well. The seat has thick padding, but it is on the firm side. There are a couple people in our office that did not like how firm it is. This seat is a nice option for those of you that like thick cushions but don’t like to sink way down into the padding. 

Front of Affirm seat pad Backrest Support

Back support is the second category that we scored by polling our whole office. The back support scored similarly to the seat comfort, with a 75/100. This puts the Affirm as the 10th ranked chair that we have tested for back support. The chair features a mesh back that has a natural curve at the lower part of the back to provide lumbar support. The mesh is not going to be as flexible as the higher priced chairs that we have tested but it is still soft to the touch and breathable to keep you cool.

Showing natural curve in Affirm backrest

The backrest does not have an independent lumbar adjustment so you will not be able to make it more or less pronounced. One thing that does help with the lumbar support is the back-height adjustment. The Affirm has a ratchet back, so you can place the lumbar curve in the right spot to provide the most support possible. Another cool adjustment on the Affirm, when you opt for the Executive Synchro mechanism, is that you get independent back angle adjustment. This lets you tilt the back more or less before you recline. This can help to make the lumbar more or less pronounced as well as allow you to work in a more upright or replaced position.

Seated in Affirm Armrest Comfort

Armrest comfort is the 3rd and final category that we used our whole office to score. The arms that we used for testing are the KR-445. The arms scored a 75/100, which places the Affirm at the 7th ranked chair for armrest comfort. The KR-445 arms have great adjustability. You have height and width adjustment. The Arms caps are also adjustable with the ability to slide in and out, pivot and adjust forward to back.

Affirm arm height adjustment Affirm arm width adjustment Affirm arm cap adjustment

The pads themselves are also comfortable. The have a good amount of squish to allow you to sink in a bit and the edges of the pads are slated so there are no hard edges. One thing that I do not like about the KR-445 arms is that they have a bit more wiggle or play than I would like to see. They do not feel firm and sturdy all the time, which may be an annoyance for some people.

Pushing down on Affirm’s arm pads

The Affirm has a couple other arm options. Both will be more basic than the KR-445. They cost less but are a definite downgrade in quality. The first is the KR-25. These are the most basic arms. They only feature height adjustment, but they do have soft arm pads with a waterfall front. The final option is the KR-200. These are the same arms as the KR-25 but you also gain width adjustment.

Ergonomic Adjustments

The adjustability on the Affirm is going to depend fully on how you decide to configure your chair. If you go with the basic mechanism and arms, then you will not have much adjustability. If you configure it the way we did, with the Executive Synchro mechanism and KR-445 arms, it becomes one of the most adjustable chairs available for the price.

How-to Adjust The Office Master Affirm Ergonomic Office Chair - YouTube

When fully loaded, it has almost every adjustment that we look for in an ergonomic chair. You will get seat height and depth adjustments. You get back height adjustment with a recline function that has tension control and 5 lockable positions. You will also get 5 way adjustable arms with the KR-445 set-up. The only adjustment missing on this chair that we look for is adjustable lumbar support. But that is mitigated by the back height and back angle adjustments, as mentioned earlier.

The Affirm comes with a synchro-tilt recline function on all three mechanism options. This causes the seat to tilt up at a smaller ratio to the backrest recline. The chair keeps you in an ergonomic position without drastically changing the positioning of your feet and legs. The recline functions smoothly and the tension adjustment really helps to get the recline at the right spot for your preferences.

Mechanism Options

We discussed the Affirm having different mechanism options in the Ergonomics section. Here we will look at the three different mechanisms in a bit more detail so that we can see exactly what we are getting with each option.

Simple Synchro – Seat height, seat depth, tilt tension, 1 position tilt lock.

Management Synchro – Seat height, seat depth, tilt tension, 3 position tilt lock.

Executive Synchro Tilt – Seat height, seat depth, tilt tension, 5 position tilt lock, back angle adjustment.

Cylinder Options

You can choose between two base/cylinder colors and three different sizes for a total of six different options. The three size options are a Petite 4”, Standard 5” and Tall 6”. The Petite offers a seat height range of 15.5”-19.5”, the Standard has a seat height of 17”-22” and the Tall options gives you a range of 19.5”-26”.

You can also pick between a black base or polished aluminum finish. The black base will feature a matte finish, while the polished aluminum will have a high shine to it.

Wheel Options

The Affirm comes with one caster option and it is designed to be a good option for low to medium pile carpets and hard floor surfaces. The caster is a little over 2” in diameter. It rolls smoothly and matches the chair nicely.

Upholstery Options

The Affirm chair is available in three different commercial grade one fabrics. The three different fabric families are called Basic, Celestial and Spice. The Basic fabric is made from marquesa lana. The Spice fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester. The Celestial fabric is made from 100% polyester. Each family has six color options, giving you 18 different fabrics to choose from. The Spice family is the most durable, testing at 400,000 double rubs. The Basic is next with 250,000 double rubs. Celestial is behind Basic with 183,000 double rubs. All of the seat upholstery options are the same price.

The backrest mesh is available in two different colors options. They are Nightfall and Starlight. The Nightfall is black, and the Starlight is silver. Both options are the same mesh, just different colors.

What Do I Like? Good ergonomic adjustments

The high amount of adjustability available on the Affirm is my favorite thing about the chair. This type of adjustability is comparable to chairs that cost upwards of $1,000 or more. The numerous adjustments really allow you to customize the chair to your preferred sitting posture.

5-Way arms with soft pads

I think the 5-way arms are a great addition to the Affirm. They give you a huge amount of adjustability and they have the added bonus of comfortable arm pads. These arms really help to give the chair the adjustability and comfort to compete with chairs that have..

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Two common questions that we receive at BTOD.com are: What is the best chair under $200 and what is the best chair under $150? There are many of you that don’t want to spend a ton of money on an office chair, but want to make sure that you are still getting good value out of the model you purchase.

It is important that we keep our expectations in check when searching for a low priced product. $200 is definitely on the lower end of the spectrum for an office chair so we need to understand that some sacrifices will need to be made in order to get the price below $200. With that being said, you can still find good value in office chairs less than $200, if you know what to look for. This list will give you a nice variety of chair options that we have found to be successful with our customers.

6 Best Office Chairs Under $200
  1. BTOD 100MC – Best Ergonomic Office Chair under $200
  2. OFM 1182AA – Best Task Chair under $200
  3. Boss B7501 – Best Leather Office Chair under $200
  4. OFM Encore – Best Leather Office Chair under $150
  5. Boss B8106 – Best Budget Office Chair under $150
  6. OTG 11650 – Best Cheap Office Chair under $150
  7. 5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Chairs under $200
  8. Bottom Line
1. Best Ergonomic Chair under $200 – BTOD 100MC

100MC Starting Price: $199.00 + Free Shipping!

The #1 chair on our list of best office chairs under $200 is the 100MC. This chair is going to provide the best bang for your buck, under $200. It comes with a high mesh backrest that provides support through your mid to upper back. The mesh is not high-end, but it is breathable to keep you cool while working and soft on your skin and clothing. The 100MC is the only chair on our list to feature an adjustable lumbar support system. You can change the height to ensure that you have good lower back support.

The 100MC also comes with a nice mechanism and adjustability for a chair that costs less than $200. It comes with a synchro tilt mechanism that has tension adjustment and five different lockable positions. It has a smooth reclining motion and the backrest goes fully upright, so the 100MC is a nice option if you like to work while sitting straight up and down.

The 100MC comes with height and width adjustable arms which enable them to accommodate different typing positions. The seat features a decent amount of padding, but it is on the firm side. It is supportive for long hours, but it is not a cushy seat like some other chairs on our list. The 100MC also comes with a solid warranty for the price. You get lifetime coverage on parts and five years of coverage on the foam and upholstery.

2. Best Task Chair under $200 – OFM 1182AA

1182AA Starting Price: $187.99 + Free Shipping!

Our #2 chair is a nice option for those of you that are looking for a more standard computer chair. The OFM 1182AA is a basic task chair that has enough adjustability to adapt to your preferences. It comes standard with gas lift seat height adjustment, back height adjustment and back angle adjustment. You are able to lock the backrest at any angle, which gives you a nice variety of seating positions. The backrest has a built-in lumbar curve. The back height adjustment allows you to take full advantage of the lumbar curve to make the chair as comfortable as possible for each person.

The 1182AA also has height adjustable “T” arms, which allow you to keep your elbows at the proper height for an ergonomic position. There are seven positions to choose from, so there is a good range for people of varying heights.

The seat and back are both thickly padded, with the seat being 3.5” thick. Both are upholstered in a stain-resistant fabric that has been tested to exceed 150,000 double rubs. This is well above “commercial grade” standards. There are seven different colors to choose from.

3. Best Leather Office Chair under $200 – Boss B7501

B7501 Starting Price: $177.44 + Free Shipping!

The Boss B7501 is our recommendation if you need a high back leather chair for less than $200. The B7501 does not feature real leather but the LeatherPlus gives the look of real leather while also giving you a bit of cleanability with the upholstery. This is your prototypical cushy leather office chair. It features a 30” high backrest and a 21” wide seat. Both are padded with extra thick cushions that allow you to sink into the chair.

The backrest has thicker padding at the top, giving you a soft headrest. It also has a built-in lumbar support curve which helps to keep you in a better sitting posture. It comes with loop arms that are padded and upholstered for added comfort. The B7501 features a large, 27”, 5-star base and dual wheel, hooded caster wheels.

The B7501 features a standard swivel tilt mechanism that includes tension adjustment. You can also lock the chair in the most upright position. If you want a better mechanism, you can upgrade to knee-tilt while still keeping the price below $200. A knee-tilt mechanism is an upgrade to swivel tilt because it moves the pivot point from right under your seat to behind your knees. This makes it easier to recline and provides a more comfortable experience.

4. Best Leather Office Chair under $150 – OFM Encore

Encore Starting Price: $149.99 + Free Shipping!

The OFM Encore is a nice leather office chair for less than $150. This chair is similar to the B7501 but not quite as good. It has the same functionality. You have gas lift seat height adjustment and a swivel tilt mechanism. The chair has tension adjustment and upright position lock. The backrest is 30.5” high and the seat is 21.25” wide, so its a very spacious chair.

The leather is not real on the Encore, but it still maintains that leather look and keeps the price down. The seat and back have thick padding but you are not going to have extra padding for the headrest. The backrest on the Encore is also lacking a built-in lumbar support curve so this chair may not be as comfortable for long periods as the B7501. The Encore comes with loop arms. They do not have padding, but they do give you a place to keep your arms, which makes you more comfortable in the chair.

5. Best Budget Chair under $150 – Boss B8106

B8106 Starting Price: $127.99 + Free Shipping!

If you are looking for a cheap leather office chair and find the B7501 or Encore to be out of your price range, then the B8106 is your best bet. This is a very basic leather office chair, but another chair that does not feature real leather. It has fake leather and due to the lower quality, it is not going to have the same leather look as the two higher ranked leather chairs on our list.

The B8106 features a 26.5” high backrest and a seat that is 20” wide. It features a 27” wide base with dual wheel hooded casters. The B8106 has the adjustments we expect to see on a leather office chair. You have seat height adjustment and swivel tilt. You can change the tension to make it harder or easier to recline in the chair. You can also lock it in the upright position.

The B8106 does have loop arms but they do not have padding or nice look, like the B7501 does. The arms are functional, but they look a bit lower end and will not have the same comfort level as higher priced chairs.

6. Best Cheap Office Chair under $150 – OTG 11650

11650 Starting Price: $123.99 + Free Shipping!

If you just need a very basic computer chair, then the OTG 11650 may be your best option. This is an armless task chair that only comes with two adjustments. You get seat height and seat depth adjustments. These two adjustments ensure that people of wide ranging heights can use the chair comfortably.

The 11650 has a large seat and back and both feature molded cushions for added comfort. The chair features a textured black upholstery and a scuff resistant black base. This chair is best suited for people that do not need to adjust their chair and are looking for a simple seating solution for their desk.

5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Chairs Under $200 1. Lower End Build Quality

One of the most important things to consider is that chairs that cost less than $200 will have lower end build qualities. This is simply unavoidable at this price point. Our top pick, the 100MC, has the best build on this list and it still only scored a 43/100 for build quality on our big list of best office chairs for 2019.

In order to have such a low price point, the chair will almost always need to be imported from Asia and made from more basic, lower end parts. The most common counties to see lower priced chairs being produced in are China and Taiwan. Quality control will not be the same as higher-end products so the opportunity for defects is greater.

You will also see a downgrade in things like fit and finish. Lower end chairs do not look as nice as higher end chairs. They do not have clean lines and nice finishes that better products offer. The parts themselves also often do not fit together as well. It is much more common to see parts that wiggle or have “play” in them that wouldn’t be there on a higher priced chair.

2. Little Adjustability

Chairs that cost less than $200 are not as adjustable as similarly designed chairs with higher price points. Sure, you can find a $150 task chair with more adjustments than a $500 leather executive chair, but it is much less common to see a $150 task chair have more adjustability than a $500 task chair.

Adjustments are some of the costliest additions to an office chair. The less adjustments a chair has, the lower the potential price can be. This is one of the easiest ways to keep the price of a chair low. This is why most chairs under $200 will only have a basic set of adjustments.

Another thing to think about is that the ranges on the adjustments that these chairs do have are often limited compared to higher end chairs. The chair may have seat height adjustment but instead of a 5” range, like top of the line chairs offer, it may only have 3” of adjustment range. This can be true for all the adjustments on the chair.

3. Short Warranties

One thing to think about with office chair warranties is that it is not as important for low priced chairs as it is for higher priced chairs because the replacement cost is so much lower. If you are buying a chair for less than $200, then it may not last too many years. It will all depend on how much it is used each day, but you will likely replace a chair like this every few years. This differs from a $1,000 ergonomic office chair that you expect to last around 10 years. If you are buying something to last 10 years, then you need a really solid warranty. As long as your $200 chair lasts two years, you will pay the same amount over a 10 year period as a $1,000 chair. A warranty will help mitigate some costs, but it is not as vital as the $1,000 chair.

It is pretty rare to find a chair for less than $200 that has a solid warranty. Some chairs may have a limited lifetime warranty, but the exclusions are always what is important to look at. It is important that you know how long each portion of the chair is covered. It is common to see things like foam, upholstery and moving parts to be limited in coverage, often times to a year or less. If warranty is important to you, then make sure you read the full warranty policy so that you know how each component will be covered.

4. Weight Capacities

Make sure that you know the weight rating on the chair you are purchasing. Lower end chairs will typically have smaller weight capacities. The most common weight rating for office chairs is 250 lbs. This will be the weight rating most often found on chairs under $200. Some really low priced chairs may have capacities of 200 lbs. or even as low as 150 lbs. If you need a chair with a higher weight capacity, then be sure you know the weight rating on the different chairs you are considering.

5. Upholstery

The upholstery selection for chairs that are priced below $200 will be lower in quality and limited in options. When looking at leather office chairs, it is important to understand that most chairs do not actually feature real leather. Real leather is expensive. Finding a chair that is real leather, for less than $200, is usually too good to be true. Fake leather goes by a lot of different names, but they are all a synthetic material that is meant to mimic leather, while being much less expensive.

Mesh is very similar to leather when it comes to quality. Good quality mesh is expensive. Good quality mesh is soft, supportive and has nice elasticity. Lower quality mesh is lacking in some or all of these things. It is not realistic to expect high quality mesh, like we see on the Aeron or Liberty, to be on a low priced chair like the 100MC.

The same can be said for fabric but the limiting factor with fabric is usually color and pattern selection. You can find low priced chairs that have commercial grade fabric with 100,000+ double rubs, but they will almost always be a basic, solid color. Colors like black, blue, burgundy and grey are very common on low priced chairs. Fabrics in more unique colors or patterns are more expensive to produce, so they bring the price up and usually push it over the $200 mark.

Bottom Line

Shopping for a chair that costs less than $200 can be a tricky task. There are so many options, from so many different manufacturers, that it can be hard to know what is good and what isn’t. It is important to know what to look for when considering a cheap office chair. You also need to be willing to sacrifice on some things in order to get the cost down to $200 or less.

As long as you know what factors are important, then you can also identify what you are willing to sacrifice. That should make your search much easier. Hopefully, this list gave you some nice options to choose from to find the best chair for your needs.

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If you’re considering the purchase of an ergonomic chair, getting the fit right is one of the most important aspects of that investment. Without the proper fit, your new chair won’t provide the support required to keep you comfortable throughout the day. Because our bodies are different, one of the easiest ways to create this custom fit is through ergonomic adjustments.

While an ergonomic chair doesn’t need to have every adjustment under the sun, if you’re looking to customize your fit, there are some key adjustments required. This post will rank the best chairs based on the ergonomic adjustments we feel are most important for customizing your chair’s fit.

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 Ergonomic Office Chairs For 2019
  1. Steelcase Leap – 90/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  2. Steelcase Gesture – 89/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  3. Office Master Truly. – 89/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  4. Eurotech iOO – 89/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  5. Humanscale Freedom – 88/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  6. Nightingale CXO – 88/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  7. BTOD Akir – 85/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  8. Eurotech ME7ERG – 78/100 Rated Ergonomic Chair
  9. 10 Adjustments You Must Consider Before Buying an Ergonomic Chair
  10. Bottom Line
1. Steelcase Leap – 90/100 Ergonomics Rating

Our highest ranked chair in the list is the Steelcase Leap chair. This also happens to be our best office chair for 2019. Steelcase put a big emphasis on fitting the 5th to 95th percentile with this chair and it’s no surprise that it ended up in the first position on this list.

The Leap chair comes with almost every ergonomic adjustment you could want in an ergonomic office chair. The two areas of the Leap that we really liked were the widely adjustable armrests and the LiveBack technology lumbar system.

The arms on the Leap chair ranked second overall, with only the Steelcase Gesture scoring better. With a ton of adjustment range to fit most users and soft pads, there is a lot of reason to like them.

The lumbar support system on the Leap is also one of the best that we tested, with independent height and depth adjustment. While some chairs’ adjustable lumbar systems are gimmicky, the Leap provides real impact for your back.

2. Steelcase Gesture – 89/100 Ergonomics Rating

Ranked second overall for ergonomic adjustments, the Gesture chair was one point behind the Leap. Like the Leap, the development of the Gesture was focused around fitting the 5th to 95th percentile. The only reason that the Leap chair scored one point more was the additional two tilt lock positions. The Gesture has three and the Leap has five.

One of the best ergonomic adjustment features on the Gesture is the widely adjustable arms. Ranking number one overall, they are pretty incredible when considering the adjustment range. When Steelcase developed the Gesture arms, they considered how the use of devices has changed over the years. With that in mind, they knew there was a need for a significant amount of arm width adjustment.

The second ergonomic adjustment that our office really liked was the seat depth. Most seat depth adjustments are clunky and require an awkward movement of the user to adjust the seat pan. The Gesture has a knob that allows you to move the seat depth while seated in the chair. This is a game changer and allows you to quickly fine-tune the seat depth.

3. OfficeMaster Truly. – 89/100 Ergonomics Rating

The OfficeMaster Truly. is our highest ranked ergonomic chair that is available for under $600. Truly. is also the only chair in the list that included all of the nine standard ergonomic adjustments. It’s important to note that the Truly. is a highly configurable chair. The options we have included with our test chair can vary from what you ultimately select.

The Poly back design of the Truly. is one of the most unique features on the chair. Because of the flexible design, increasing and decreasing lumbar is done through flexing the backrest. The flexible nature of the plexi material also creates the ability to move in the chair, which can be nice during long sitting periods.

If you’re looking for a nice tall backrest, the Truly. is a good option. It is the first chair in the list to offer back height adjustment as well, so if you like this adjustment it is standard on all Truly. chairs.

4. Eurotech iOO – 89/100 Ergonomics Rating

The iOO chair is ranked fourth overall, but technically tied with the OfficeMaster Truly. chair. This chair is Eurotech’s alternative to their Ergohuman series. Depending on your aesthetic preference, it is easier on the eyes than the Ergohuman chairs as well.

One of the first features, that really stands out on the iOO, is the lower lumbar support. Based on the Ergohuman design, it is very pronounced and the first part of the back to hit you when you lean into the chair. If you tend to lean forward while tasking at the computer, it continues to provide really good lower support. The lumbar automatically adjusts to your body weight and has some additional height adjustment to it as well.

While the model we tested didn’t include a headrest, there is an option to add it to the iOO. The headrest feature has height and tilt adjustment, to help fine-tune it for your body.

5. Humanscale Freedom – 88/100 Ergonomics Rating

The Humanscale Freedom chair with headrest might look simple, but don’t let that fool you. The Freedom chair is a highly adjustable ergonomic chair. With a score of 88/100, it has almost all of the standard ergonomic functions and then some.

The signature ergonomic adjustment on the Freedom is the weight-activated mechanism. When Niels Diffrient created the Freedom, he wanted to create an easy to use mechanism and this was his answer.

Unlike other chairs we’ve tested, the Freedoms weight-activated mechanism works at all positions. Whether you’re upright, fully reclined or somewhere in the middle, the Freedom’s mechanism has no problem holding the position. I really enjoyed the ability to work in a 75% recline and easily move back to an upright position when needed.

The second ergonomic feature that was well received on the Freedom was the pivoting backrest/lumbar. Because the Freedom was designed to promote movement, it was nice having lumbar support that moved with you. The lumbar support is also height adjustable, letting you fine-tune its placement.

6. Nightingale CXO – 88/100 Ergonomics Rating

The Nightingale CXO is closer to your traditional chair than the Freedom chair, which is tied in score at 88/100. The CXO features all the standard ergonomic adjustments, except for back height adjustment.

The CXO comes with an optional headrest and the test chair we used included this feature. The unique thing about the CXO’s headrest is the ability for it to be added while the chair is in the field. All the other chairs in the list that include a headrest need to pre-order this feature.

The CXO also features a unique foam seat pad, which is constructed of a material called ENERSORB. While this isn’t something that is manually adjusted, it does function based on the user’s weight. This special formulation of foam is specifically designed to allow a more uniform distribution of weight. In the end, this helps to redistribute pressure over a wider area.

7. BTOD Akir – 85/100 Ergonomics Rating

The BTOD Akir chair is one of the least unique chairs in the list. This can be a good thing, especially if you’re looking to stay on budget. The most popular combination (fabric seat/mesh back) is available for just over $400 and is the least expensive option on our list.

With a score of 85/100, it is no slouch in the ergonomic chair game. Featuring almost all of the standard ergonomic adjustments, it has a ton of features for close to the $400 mark. The only adjustment it’s missing from our big nine is back height adjustment. With an already tall backrest, this might not be an issue for most users.

8. Eurotech ME7ERG – 78/100 Ergonomics Rating

The second to last chair in the list is the wildly popular Ergohuman ME7ERG. This chair rose to fame over ten years ago, when it was the first real chair to provide a good alternative to the Herman Miller Aeron.

The biggest selling feature on the Ergohuman chair is its pronounced lumbar support system. It was this feature that kept me in the leather mesh combination for over seven years. If you’re looking for incredible lower lumbar support, you really can’t beat the original product to feature this design.

The ME7ERG also features a unique headrest for its time, which has since been copied quite a bit. Instead of being a traditional headrest that pushes against the back of your head, it actually fits between your neck and head. This provides good support for both when reclined in the chair. The design of the backrest also keeps the headrest out of the way when you’re upright tasking in the chair.

10 Ergonomic Adjustments You Must Consider

There are nine foundational ergonomic adjustments that should be considered for all office chairs. In addition to that, there are ergonomic adjustments that aren’t as commonly found on chairs but can provide value, depending on your needs.

Below we have outlined all nine and cover some of the more common additional adjustments that are available. We also include the potential points out of 100 that each adjustment represents. The more important we feel the adjustment, the higher the available points will be for the feature.

Seat Height Adjustment (16 Points)

This is the most basic feature on an office chair and is an absolute must-have. Getting the seat height correct is the foundation for the rest of your chair’s adjustments. The ergonomics standard for fitting the 5th to 95th percentile (5’2 to 6’4”) of the population is 16” up to 21” tall. The correct position for your body should be with your feet flat on the floor.

Seat Depth Adjustment (16 Points)

Seat depth adjustment isn’t as common as seat height, but it is still one of the most important functions on an ergonomic chair. Because of this reason, it is given 16 potential points. Having a sliding seat pan will allow you to adjust the seat depth for shorter or longer legs. This is important to fine tuning the support underneath your legs. The recommended set up is to have three to four fingers from the back of your knee to the front of the seat pan.

Back Height Adjustment (4 Points)

The ability to adjust the height of the backrest isn’t as important as a lot of the other functions listed. Because of this, it only has four available points. If you’re a tall user this can be a nice feature to have, since some backs aren’t tall enough in the lowest position to fully encompass your back.

Back height adjustment can be a nice feature if you’re trying to fine-tune the height of the lumbar on your backrest as well. This is especially true if the chair’s lumbar is built into the backrest or is just a natural curve in the backrest.

Arm Height (13 Points)

The first arm adjustment we look for is height adjustment. This is the most basic and also the most commonly found arm adjustment. Don’t let that fool you though since this is one of the most important. Getting your office chairs’ arms set at the proper height will ensure good support of your arm while typing. This helps to reduce pressure in the shoulders and neck.

Arm Width (13 Points)

The second of the arm adjustments that we look for is arm width and is equally as important as height adjustment in our opinion. Because of this, it has thirteen total points available. Without the ability to adjust the width of your armrests, there is a good chance the arms will be too wide for a medium to small frame. If the arms of your chair are too wide, you’ll either discontinue use of the arms or sit in an awkward position. Both are bad for ergonomics.

Arm Depth (4 Points)

The third arm adjustment is arm depth. This movement of the arm is as important as height or width. Because of that, it has four points available. Even though we don’t feel it is as important, doesn’t mean it’s not a nice feature to have.

If you use a keyboard tray or work in a corner of a desk, it can be nice to customize the individual pads. Getting support for your forearm is important for typing and using the mouse comfortably for long periods of time.

The other thing to consider is how your arms work with the backrest when in a reclined position. For most chairs that have the arms attached to the seat, the arms won’t move with the backrest in mid to full recline. This creates an awkward gap between the arm and backrest. With depth adjustable arms, you can move the arm pads closer to the backrest when in the reclined position.

Arm Pivot (4 Points)

The last arm adjustment is arm pivot adjustment. This is equal to depth as far as importance is concerned, so it has four points available as well. Like arm depth, arm pivot adjustment provides a customized fit for your forearms. Most will be looking for this for their typing tasks.

Adjustable Lumbar (16 Points)

Having good lower support in an office chair ranks near the top of the list for importance. This is only reaffirmed with the number of times back support is paired with office chairs when searching for a new chair. Getting that support in the right spot is specific to the individual and so the lumbar needs to be adjustable. Because this adjustment is so important, it has sixteen points available.

Tilt Lock (4 Points)

Depending on how you work at your desk, having multi-position tilt lock can be an important feature to have. This function allows you to lock the chair in various reclined positions and upright as well. Most chairs will have between one to four positions, but some chairs will come with infinite position lock.

Chairs that have one position will get one point. If you have two to three positions, we give two points. Three to five positions score three points, and infinite position lock gets the max of four.

Additional Adjustments (5 Points)

The last ergonomic adjustments we score are extra or additional adjustments for office chairs. These aren’t as common as the first nine but can be important to smaller groups of people. This includes things like adjustable headrests, forward seat tilt or weight activated recline mechanisms. There is up to five additional points for these, with each extra function scoring two points and if a chair has three, it will max out at five points.

Bottom Line

If you’re shopping for a new ergonomic office chair sight unseen, paying attention to the ergonomic adjustments is important. Being able to fine tune a chair’s fit to your specific needs can make or break your sitting experience. While we feature nine of the most commonly found adjustments in our list, there are plenty of other unique features available. Paying close attention to the adjustments you require for good ergonomics will maximize your ergonomic seating investment.

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Hans Christian Mengshoel first came up with the principle of a knee chair over forty years ago. Since then there have been a lot of new variations and styles. Doing a search in Google or Amazon may be overwhelming due to the numerous choices, especially since quite a few brands look similar. If you are looking for some guidance, you’ve come to the right place. Over the last three months, we’ve been testing 10 of the most popular kneeling chairs on the market. I learned a lot through the testing process and will share as much information with you as possible. I will also provide some information about each chair so that you can quickly decide whether it may be a good fit for you.

Need help? Get our Free Kneeling 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 Breakroom Blog?

10 Best Kneeling Chairs For 2019
  1. Varier Thatsit Balans – 74/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  2. Varier Variable Balans – 64/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  3. Jobri Jazzy – 59/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  4. Boss B248 – 52/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  5. Office Star KCM1425 – 51/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  6. Office Star KCW773 – 50/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  7. SLEEKFORM – 34/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  8. Dragonn DNC312 – 33/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  9. 1420 – 32/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  10. Flash WL-SB-101-GG  – 31/100 Rated Kneeling Chair
  11. Why trust The Breakroom Blog?
  12. What is our testing process?
  13. How did we pick the best kneeling chair for 2019?
  14. What did I learn about kneeling chairs?
What is a kneeling chair?

In the 1970s, Hans Christian Mengshoel worked with Norwegian designers Oddvin Rykken, Peter Opsvik and Svein Gusrud. They developed the first kneeling chair, known as the Balans. The Balans was an immediate success and the kneeling chair category was born. There are now a lot of models and designs to choose from.

Kneeling chairs put your legs at a more open angle. Your body weight is shared between your shins and your butt. Kneeling chairs have a frame design that allows for a padded seat and knee pads that allow you to stay in a more upright position. It is important to note that the knee pads are not actually meant for the knees. The correct position is to place your shins on the pads.

Kneeling chairs were developed to help people with lower back or tailbone pain. The kneeling position is meant to reduce lower back strain and the angle of the seat helps to keep your back in a natural arch. They can also help to introduce a bit more movement into the work day.

 Compare The 10 Best Kneeling Chairs for 2019
Rank Product Build Quality Warranty Mobility Knee/Shin Comfort Seat Comfort Range of Motion Adjustability Score
#1 Varier Thatsit Balans 90 90 30 80 75 85 70 74/100
#2 Varier Variable Balans 80 90 40 80 70 90 0 64/100
#3 Jobri Jazzy 55 85 90 40 60 10 70 59/100
#4 Boss B248 40 75 75 65 60 0 50 52/100
#5 Office Star KCM1425 45 90 80 25 60 10 50 51/100
#6 Office Star KCW773 35 90 75 60 60 0 30 50/100
#7 SLEEKFORM 35 5 70 50 50 0 30 34/100
#8 Dragonn DNC312 35 5 70 45 50 70 30 33/100
#9 1420 30 70 30 35 30 0 30 32/100
#10 Flash WL-SB-101-GG 30 70 40 35 30 0 15 31/100
The Best Kneeling Chairs for 2019 1. Varier Thatsit Balans® – 74/100 Rating


Thatsit Balans® Price: $1,399.00 + Free Shipping
Read the full Thatsit Balans® Kneeling chair review >>

Thatsit Balans® Pros and Cons
Pros:

High end build quality from Scandinavia
Strong warranty
Good knee/shin comfort
Good seat comfort
Wide range of motion
Adjustable backrest
Adjustable knee pads

Cons:

Low sitting mobility
High price point
No seat height adjustment
 

Varier Thatsit Balans® Summary What we liked

The top chair on our list is going to be the Thatsit Balans® by Varier. This sled based kneeling chair has the best build quality out of all the chairs we tested, and it also features the most bells and whistles. The base is made from wood, specifically plywood in a lacquered ash finish. The curve of the base and flexibility of the wood allows for a wide range of motion while you are sitting. You can easily lean in one direction and the base will flex. You can also rock back and forth to stay active while you work. This is a huge advantage compared to the rigid designs of x-based and 5-star models that keep you locked in one position. The Thatsit Balans® also has a backrest, which is rare for kneeling chairs. The backrest is well padded and is “t” shaped, allowing you to lean back and rest your arms. The backrest is height adjustable as well as depth adjustable, allowing many different people to find a comfortable position. The seat, backrest and knee pads all have good quality padding. It is not overly thick and does not bottom out after short periods of time. The chair comes in three different upholstery options, with a wide range of colors. The upholstery is good quality and built to last. The final feature that sets this chair apart is that the knee pads are independently adjustable, which made the knee pads on the Thatsit Balans® the most comfortable knee pads I tested.

What we didn’t like

Even though this is the top chair on our list, it does have some downsides. The first road block for most people will be the price. $1,399 is not going to be in everyone’s price range. If you like the idea of the Thatsit Balans® but want something a lot less expensive, I’d recommend the next item on our list, the Variable Balans®. It has a lot of the same functionality but costs $1,000 less. The next downside is that the Thatsit Balans® is not going to be as mobile as other chairs on this list. You can shimmy and slide the sled base, but it does not move as well as most of the models with wheels. The final downside is that there is no seat height adjustment on the Thatsit Balans®, which is a feature almost all the other chairs have.

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2. Varier Variable Balans® – 64/100 Rating


Variable Balans® Price: $399.00 + Free Shipping
Read the full Variable Balans® Kneeling chair review >>

Variable Balans® Pros and Cons
Pros:

High end build quality from Scandinavia
Strong warranty
Good knee/shin comfort
Good seat comfort
Wide range of motion
Backrest option for $199.99

Cons:

Low sitting mobility
No adjustability

Varier Variable Balans Summary What we liked

The next chair on our list is the original kneeling chair, the Variable Balans® by Varier. It was invented in 1979 and is the most recognizable kneeling chair in the world. There are many copycats out there but none of them match the quality of the Scandinavian made Variable Balans®. It is like the Thatsit Balans® but it is a more basic version. It does not feature the backrest or adjustable knee pads. It does have the same high-quality beech plywood sled base though. This gives it the same flexibility as the Thatsit Balans®. It also has a rocking ability, but the range is actually larger than the Thatsit Balans® because you are not restricted by a backrest stopper. The Variable Balans® has good quality padding and upholstery. The padding does not bottom out and provides good support for numerous hours. You can choose between a polyester, wool or leather upholstery. There is a wide range of colors to choose from. You also have the option to add a backrest. It is not a t shape, like the Thatsit Balans. But it still gives you a lot of the functionality for a fraction of the price.

What we didn’t like

The two major drawbacks to the Variable Balans® are the low sitting mobility and the lack of adjustments. The chair is not completely immobile when you are sitting but it does take some swiveling and wiggling to move the chair into a comfortable typing position. Most of the chairs with wheels were much easier to move for those small micro adjustments to get comfortable with your keyboard. The Variable Balans® is the only chair on our list that does not have any adjustments. The flexible wood frame helps a lot to fit different people, but the lack of adjustments means that you cannot customize the chair to your preferred position.

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3. Jobri BetterPosture® Jazzy – 58/100 Rating


Jobri Jazzy Price: $266.63 + Free Shipping
Read the full Jobri BetterPosture® Jazzy Kneeling chair review >>

Jobri BetterPosture® Jazzy Pros and Cons
Pros:

Strong warranty
Great sitting mobility
Pneumatic seat height adjustment
Adjustable backrest

Cons:

Knee/shin pads may not be comfortable
Only range of motion is seat swivel

Jobri BetterPosture® Jazzy Summary What we liked

The next item on our list is a product that most resembles a normal office chair. The BetterPosture® Jazzy by Jobri features a 5-star base with good quality casters. This is the most mobile kneeling chair I tested. This chair was great for micro adjustments and allowed me to roll to different sections of my desk with ease. It has pneumatic seat height adjustment and offers a seat height range that is much taller than the other chairs on this list. Another thing that puts the Jazzy in rare territory is its backrest. The Jazzy and Thatsit Balans® are the only two chairs I tested with backrests. The backrest on the Jazzy is really small. It connects to the seat with a J bar and has a plastic covering. The look and padding remind me of a lower quality chair you’d find at a big box store. But, the backrest is depth and height adjustable. These functions made it a nice tool for helping to extend the amount of time I could be comfortable in the chair at one time. The seat is large and has decent padding. It is high density foam and doesn’t bottom out right away.

What we didn’t like

The biggest things to be concerned about with the Jobri Jazzy are the lack of motion it allows while you are sitting and that the knee pads may not be comfortable. The only motion you are going to have is the seat swivel function. This will help you to turn in your chair to do tasks easier, but you will still be locked into the same kneeling position. The metal frame will not flex to allow you to move and fidget with your legs. I thought the knee padding was fine but the shape and size of the frame for the knee pads made it feel like my legs were sliding slightly off the sides.

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4. Boss B248 – 52/100 Rating


Boss B248 Price: $100.00 + Free Shipping
Read the full Boss B248 Kneeling chair review >>

Boss B248 Pros and Cons
Pros:

Strong warranty
Good sitting mobility
Pneumatic seat height adjustment
Very affordable

Cons:

Low end build quality
No range of motion

Boss B248 Summary What we liked

The B248 knee chair by Boss is a product that surprised me. It has a low-end build quality, but it has a good warranty and all the parts do their job well enough to put together a decent little kneeling chair. The B248 has a metal x shaped base with four casters. The casters roll smoothly, giving the B248 good mobility while you are sitting in the chair. The padding on the seat and knee pads is not very thick but it holds its position well and provides better support than some of the models with much thicker padding. It also features pneumatic seat height adjustment, which makes the adjustment process much easier on the B248 than competing models with x bases. I think the B248 provides some of the best value you can find for under $100 in the kneeling chair category.

What we didn’t like

The things to look out for on the B248 are the low-end parts and the lack of any motion while you are seated. The parts all function well for now but they are not built to last. The B248 comes with a nice warranty but you may need to use it more than you’d like. The bigger problem, in my opinion, is that you can’t move your legs and be active like you can on sled-based models. You are not even able to swivel, like the Jazzy allows. Having to stay in the same position all the time made me want to switch chairs after about 60 minutes.

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5. Office Star KCM1425 – 51/100 Rating


KCM1425 Price: $135.00 + Free Shipping

Office Star KCM1425 Pros and Cons
Pros:

Strong warranty
Good sitting mobility
Pneumatic seat height adjustment
Very affordable

Cons:

Low end build quality
Poor knee/shin comfort
Only range of motion is seat swivel
200 lbs. weight limit
May not be comfortable for long hours

Office Star KCM1425 Summary What we liked

After the Jobri Jazzy, the KCM1425 is the next closest kneeling chair to a standard office chair. It has a 5-star base with wheels that function smoothly. This is one of the better options for chair mobility while you are seated. The KCM1425 has a pneumatic cylinder that is controlled with a lever under the seat. This adjusts much easier than the hand screw models on x bases. The seat is large with an adequate amount of padding but the fabric is thin and stretchy, so it is probably not the best option for durability.

What we didn’t like

My main concerns that I want you to look out for are the low-end build quality, poor shin comfort and limited range of motion. The low-quality parts are covered by a nice warranty, so you will be able to get replacement parts if something goes wrong. If you do not want to replace parts, then this will be a bigger concern for you. My shins were uncomfortable mainly due to the seat angle. It is almost flat, so it is tough to get your shins up against the support pads. I found my shins hovering slightly above the pads quite often while using the KCM1425. When I purposefully leaned forward to press my shins against the pads, they had the feeling like they were sliding off the sides. My final concern is something that comes with the 5-star base design. Your range of motion is limited to seat swivel. People looking for a more active kneeling chair should look for a sled-based model.

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6. Office Star KCW773 – 50/100 Rating

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Today we are taking a closer look at two of the most popular mesh office chairs in the world: The Herman Miller Aeron and the Eurotech Ergohuman. The Herman Miller Aeron is the OG when it comes to mesh chairs. The Ergohuman isn’t so new anymore, with over ten years of history being sold around the world. Like most of the mesh chairs to hit the market, Ergohuman was designed with the sole purpose of knocking the Aeron off its mountain.

Did Ergohuman succeed in its quest to beat out the Aeron? Not quite, but it did make a name for itself over the last decade. While both chairs are mesh, they have more differences than similarities. Is either chair better for your specific needs? In this post we will compare the most important aspects of each, to help you decide if either is a good fit for you.

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 Breakroom Blog?

Aeron vs. Ergohuman Links

Specifications
Pricing
Return Policy and Warranty
Shipping and Assembly
Build Quality
Scope of Users
Seat Comfort
Back Support
Armrest Comfort
Ergonomic Adjustments
Upholstery Options
Bottom Line

Eurotech Ergohuman (left) vs. Herman Miller Aeron Specs
  Aeron Chair Ergohuman Chair
Manufacturer Herman Miller Comfort Seating
Country or Origin USA China
Overall Dimensions 27”W x 27”D x 36.5-41”H 26.5”W x 29”D x 46-52”H
Seat Height Range 16” – 20.5” 18.1” – 22.9”
Base Dimensions 27” Diameter 27.5” Diameter
Seat Dimensions 17”W x 16.75”D 20.5”W x 18.5”D
Back Dimensions 21.5”W x 22”H 20.5”W x 28-30”H
Distance Between Arms 17” 18.75”
Arm Height from Seat 5.5-9.75” 5.5-9”
Weight Capacity 350 lbs. 275 lbs.
Pricing

The Aeron and Ergohuman chairs are priced at two different points in the industry. The Aeron is on the high-end, with a base price at $920.  Depending on the options, it can exceed $1300. The Ergohuman starts at $685 and maxes out at $724. The only options for the Ergohuman are different upholstery configurations.

  Aeron Chair Ergohuman Chair
Starting Price $920.00 $685.00
Add Fixed Arms Included N/A
Add Height Adjustable Arms $100.00 N/A
Add Fully Adjustable Arms $160.00 Included
Adjustable Lumbar Support $75.00 Included
Adjustable Lumbar Support $95.00 Included
Tilt Limiter with Seat Angle $100.00 N/A
Hard Floor Casters $50.00 Included
Braking casters N/A N/A
Translucent casters N/A N/A
Return Policy

The return policy of each of these chairs is about as close to polar opposites as you can find. The Herman Miller Aeron comes with the best return policy in the business, offering 30 days to try it.  If you decide to return it, Herman Miller covers the return costs and there are no additional fees.

The Ergohuman chair is available for return 30 days after you receive it, but there is a 25% restocking fee and the return shipping costs incurred as well. This means that you can expect to pay upwards of $225 to $250 if you don’t like the Ergohuman.

Warranty

The Aeron comes with the best office chair warranty available today. It includes 12 years of coverage, with no exclusions on any of the components of the chair. This warranty covers 24/7 usage and a 300 lbs. capacity for the size A version of the Aeron. The B and C sizes come with a 350 lbs. capacity. If an Aeron needs service in the field, Herman Miller will either send a technician or cover the cost for service.

The Ergohuman comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which has some exclusions. The foam and upholstery are covered for a period of five years. There is a lifetime warranty on the remaining parts of the chair (casters, mechanism, frame, etc.) The warranty is rated for 275 lbs. and for 40 hours a week.

After Months of Testing, We Have Picked The Best Office Chairs For 2019!

Read Reviews on the 21 Best Desk Chairs For 2019 >>

Shipping & Assembly

If you’re looking for an office chair that doesn’t require any assembly, the Aeron is a great option. When ordered directly from Herman Miller you will receive your new chair fully assembled. It ships via common carrier like FedEx Ground or UPS. Both carriers will bring the box up to your door or office suite.

Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair Review - YouTube

The Ergohuman will also ship via common carrier as well but requires some assembly. While it’s not overly difficult, it will take 15-45 minutes to complete. The parts are heavy, and you may want to consider an extra set of hands to help. The mechanism is pre-assembled to the bottom of the seat which helps speed up the assembly process. In total, there are seven bolts: two for each arm and three to hold the backrest and seat together.

Assembly of the Ergohuman Office Chair with Adjustable Headrest - YouTube

Build Quality

Between the two chairs, the Aeron has the upper hand with regards to the build quality. There is a distinct difference between the Aeron that is made in the USA and the Ergohuman that is made in China. The Aeron is our top-rated chair for build quality, with a 95 out of 100. The Ergohuman is more of the middle of the pack, with a 65 out of 100 rating.

The Aeron is the highest rated chair in our list for a reason. It features high-quality steel, aluminum and plastic throughout. When you sit in the chair or feel the Aeron’s components, the level of build is obvious. Even after using the Aeron for close to a year, everything fits tightly, and the chair still moves like new. The Pellicle mesh on the Aeron is the highest quality of any that we’ve tested to date.

Herman Miller Aeron’s armrest and backrest build quality Aeron’s mechanism build

The Ergohuman is closer to the middle of the road for build quality. For the price, this is a bit disappointing, since other chairs around the same price point rank higher, including the Raynor IOO. Some of the most obvious differences are the fit and finish of the Ergohuman. The components fit a bit looser, so there is some play in things like the arms and backrest. The molded plastic components on the Ergohuman are nice, but again, they aren’t as perfect as the Aeron.

Close up of Ergohuman backrest to show build quality Scope of Users

The scope of users score is important for many reasons, especially for those looking to buy a chair sight unseen. Understanding how likely a chair is to fit you properly is one of the most important aspects of proper ergonomics. When we score this category, we use a single chair’s ability to fit all users properly. We feel this is especially important for those looking to buy for large offices or shared work areas.

The Herman Miller Aeron scored 66/100 in this category. Because of the way we score scope of users, the Aeron suffered here. While the Aeron can fit 95% of the population with their three sized chairs, single chairs are not able to do as well.

Three major areas for improvement include: adding a sliding seat pan, adjustable height backrest and width adjustable arms. All of these adjustments help to customize a chair’s fit, specific to the individual.

The Ergohuman chair is the exact opposite when it comes to adjustment required to do well with scope of users, but even so it still scored near the Aeron. The biggest reason for this lower score was the odd ranges that Ergohuman has for seat height and arm height/width. This is a common issue that we’ve found with chairs being manufactured in China.

Seat Comfort

One of the most subjective things about an office chair is the seat comfort. Because of this, we take a completely different approach to scoring a seat’s comfort. Using the average of nine user scores from our office, we were able to come up with a better idea of how comfortable a seat would be to most people. The Aeron scored 73/100 and the Ergohuman ME7ERG scored 67/100.

With both chairs being upholstered in mesh, it is interesting how different the seat comfort scores were. With the Aeron scoring six points higher than the Ergohuman, I wanted to look at the individual scores. The first commonality between the two chairs was how polarizing a mesh seat is for people. This type of seat is either loved or hated.

Top view of Aeron’s seat with side bolsters Front of Aeron’s seat pan shape

One thing that was consistent through testing is users who scored low for the Aeron mesh seat, also scored low for the Ergohuman’s mesh seat. The two highest scores for seat comfort were found on the Aeron, with a 95 and 90 score. The lowest scores were on the Ergohuman, with a 35 (by me) and 55.

Pushing down on Ergohuman mesh seat Close up of Ergohuman waterfall front seat

When you take out the top two scores on the Aeron and remove the bottom two for the Ergohuman, the overall scores basically flip. This means the Ergohuman rating jumps to 73/100 and the Aeron 68/100. What does this mean? Both of these mesh seats are around the same overall and most won’t notice the difference.

Backrest Support

The second category that we scored with an average of nine users was the backrest. This area of the chair is almost as subjective as the seat. When scoring this area of the chair, we considered how much support the entire backrest offers. This meant chairs with incredible lumbar support and below average upper support scored lower overall. The Aeron scored 78/100 and the Ergohuman 67/100.

Unlike the seat scores, there was a wider margin for the backrest scored between these two chairs. The Aeron chair configuration that we used for scoring included the Posture-Fit SL lumbar system. Even without this added option, the Aeron’s natural curve in the lumbar of the backrest offered good lower support. Adding the Posture-Fit SL added unique support, that is vertical, supporting your spine versus the entire lower lumbar region.

Aeron’s backrest while seated in chair Pushing into the Aeron’s mesh upholstery

The upper portion of the Aeron’s backrest was a better option overall. The design of the chair allows the user to sit upright and have good upper back support. The added forward seat tilt makes this upper support even more noticeable for computer tasks.

Side view of Aeron’s backrest

The Ergohuman ME7ERG’s lower lumbar system is one of the most standout features on the chair. If you’re looking for incredible lumbar support, you won’t find a chair that has a more pronounced system. Even when you cheat and lean forward in your chair, you’ll notice the lumbar provides solid lower support. The lumbar can be moved up and down 2”, to fine tune where the support is.

Showing pronounced lumbar on Ergohuman

Unfortunately, when you consider the backrest as a whole, the Ergohuman loses points because of the lack of upper support when seated in an upright position. Because the lower lumbar pushes out so far and the upper backrest isn’t in a perfect 90-degree position, you’ll notice a lack of upper support. If you like to sit in a slightly reclined position, this won’t impact you as much as those who want to sit perfectly upright.

Difference in lumbar on backrest on Ergohuman (left) vs. Aeron Armrest Comfort

Armrest comfort is the final of three comfort scores that utilize the average of nine users for scoring. When scoring the comfort, we looked at two specific areas of the armrest. First, how well do the arms adjust and fit the user’s body? Secondly, how comfortable are the pads of the armrests for forearms and elbows? The Aeron scored an 81/100 and the Ergohuman 74/100.

The Aeron’s armrests that we tested were three dimensional, offering pivot height and depth adjustments. The Aeron is also available with height adjustable only arms and no arm options. The first thing that users noticed, when testing the Aeron’s arms, was how soft and squishy they were. Even though they are soft, the arms still come with a durable outer shell that will hold up well to most abuse.

Pressing thumb into Aeron’s arm pad

The arms on the Aeron are attached to the backrest of the chair, which creates a unique experience for those that enjoy reclining in their chair frequently. This is where most chairs fail, not offering great support for the arms in a reclined position. The Aeron’s arm offered consistent support when seated upright and fully reclined.

Side for of Aeron’s armrests

The Ergohuman armrests are also three dimensional, offering a similar range of motion. While the arms aren’t quite as squishy as the Aeron’s, they are made with a bit softer material. Overall, they offer a good amount of squishiness, better than most of the chairs we’ve tested.

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So, you’ve decided that you want to invest in a premium office chair but you are unsure of which model to choose. You’ve heard good things about the Leap chair but the Embody also sounds interesting. How do you know whether the Leap or Embody is the right chair for you? This can be tough unless you have the right resources to help you understand the differences. That’s where we come in. We have both chairs in our office and have extensive experience with each model. In this comparison, we will highlight what separates the Leap and Embody, which will ultimately allow you to decide if one of these chairs is the best pick for you.

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 Breakroom Blog?

Leap vs. Embody Links

Specifications
Pricing
Return Policy and Warranty
Shipping and Assembly
Build Quality
Scope of Users
Seat Comfort
Back Support
Armrest Comfort
Ergonomic Adjustments
Upholstery Options
Bottom Line

Steelcase Leap vs. Herman Miller Embody Specs
  Leap Embody
Manufacturer Steelcase Herman Miller
Country or Origin Mexico USA
Overall Dimensions 24.75”D x 27”W x 38.5”-43.5” H 29.5”W x 26.5”D x 42-45”H
Seat Height Range 16” – 20.5” 16” – 20.5”
Base Dimensions 26.5” Diameter 26.5” Diameter
Seat Dimensions 19.25”W x 15.75”-18.75”D 21.25”W x 15”-18”D
Back Dimensions 18”W x 23.5”H 14”W x 23.5”H
Distance Between Arms 12.75 – 20” 11.5 – 21”
Arm Height from Seat 7” – 11” 4” – 8.75”
Weight Capacity 400 lbs. 300 lbs.
Chair Weight 45 lbs. 51 lbs.
Shipping Weight 64 lbs. 63 lbs.
Shipping Dimensions 24.8” x 27” x 43.2” 40.5” x 28.5” x 28”
Price

The Leap and Embody are both higher priced chairs but the Embody is quite a bit more expensive than the Leap when they are similarly equipped. The Leap starts at a lower price of $842.00, because Steelcase offers the base model with no arms. The base model of the Embody includes fully adjustable arms and costs $1395.00. When the Leap is equipped with fully adjustable arms, it comes in at a current price of $1,036.00.  It is about $350 less than the Embody.

Both chairs are available with caster upgrades and they each have optional upholstery upgrades as well. We will go more in-depth on the upholstery and finish in their own sections below. The Leap is available in leather, while the Embody is not. This makes the top end price on the Leap $1,757.00, with all upgrades selected. The top end price on the Embody is $1920.00.

  Leap Embody
Starting Price $842.00 $1395.00
Armless Included N/A
Add Height Adjustable Arms $132.00 N/A
Add Fully Adjustable Arms $194.00 Included
Add Headrest $159.00 N/A
Soft Casters for Hard Surfaces $18.00 $40.00
Braking Casters N/A $40.00
Translucent Casters N/A $60.00
Return Policy

Steelcase and Herman Miller both have great return policies. They each give you 30 days to use their chair for a full refund. Both companies will cover the return shipping charges. Steelcase requires that the Leap is returned in the original packaging and in new condition. Herman Miller also requires that the Embody is returned in new condition but they will work with you to facilitate a return if you don’t have the box it came in.

Warranty

Steelcase offers a really solid warranty on the Leap. The frame is covered for a lifetime and the rest of the chair is covered for 12 years. The warranty is valid for 24/7 usage and for people weighing up to 400 lbs. Steelcase will repair or replace your chair with a current comparable model. Any shipping charges associated with repairs or replacement will be covered by Steelcase. If a repair or replacement is not possible, then Steelcase will give you a credit for the chair.

Herman Miller also offers a great warranty on the Embody. The entire chair is covered for 12 years. This applies to people weighing up to 300 lbs. and can also be used around the clock in 24/7 areas. Herman Miller will repair your Embody and cover the shipping costs required. If you live close enough to an authorized dealer, Herman Miller will perform repairs on-site.

After Months of Testing, We Have Picked The Best Office Chairs For 2019!

Read Reviews on the 21 Best Desk Chairs For 2019 >>

Shipping & Assembly

Both chairs arrive via ground carrier so they will be brought to your door. Both chairs arrive in a large box that weighs almost 65 lbs. You may want someone available to help you with the box. There will be no assembly required on either chair. You can simply open the box, remove some plastic protectors and the chairs are ready for use.

Steelcase Leap Office Chair Unboxing and Assembly Guide - YouTube

One thing to keep in mind is that not all sellers will ship the Embody and Leap chair fully assembled. There are some sellers, like Amazon, that will ship their chairs knocked down and they will require assembly. This will also be the case for people selling used or refurbished chairs. If having your chair arrive fully assembled is important to you, make sure to check with the seller prior to purchase.

Herman Miller Embody Office Chair Unboxing and Assembly Guide - YouTube

Build Quality

Herman Miller and Steelcase did fantastic jobs with building the Embody and Leap. They both placed in the top three for the best build qualities we have seen on an office chair. The Embody has high-end components throughout the chair. The parts fit together nicely and the chair has a very sleek look overall. The chair utilizes technology that is only found on the Embody.

Embody’s backrest and arm build

The Leap is similar to the Embody with regards to its components being high-end. The chair is well built from the ground up. Every part feels like it is good quality and you will not find any parts that fit together loosely or points that wiggle. The Leap uses a fair amount of plastic but it is high-end and gives the chair nice flexibility.

Leap’s build quality shown in backrest and armrest Scope of Users

The Embody and Leap chair did well in our scope of users category. This is a category that allows us to evaluate how much of the population a chair model will fit properly. The Embody placed 4th with a score of 75/100 and the Leap scored 2nd with an 84/100.

The Embody has a seat height range to fit the 95th percentile of the population. The Embody also has seat depth adjustment which helps it fit a wide range of people comfortably. The Embody has a large arm height and width adjustment range. This allows the chair to work for short people, tall people, small people and large people.

The Leap chair has the same seat height adjustment range. It also has seat depth adjustment and a large arm height adjustment range. The two factors that pushed the Leap’s score past the Embody’s is the larger arm width adjustment range on the Leap and its 400 lb. weight rating compared to the 300 lb. rating on the Embody.

Seat Comfort

Seat comfort is the first of three categories that we polled our whole office to get a wide range of opinions. We then averaged the numbers to get our final score. Both chairs did well with the Leap nabbing the top score with an 85/100 and the Embody close behind with a 79/100. The seats on the Embody and Leap chair are similar because they both use a small amount of padding that provides a firm, supportive feeling, yet they go about it much differently.

The Leap features a flexible plastic seat pan and there is no outer frame on the seat. This allows you to use the entire seat comfortably and the seat will also move and bend with you as you move. The seat features a thin layer of foam but it holds its shape well and does not bottom out. This allows the seat to remain cool while also being supportive for long hours.

Front of seat pad on Steelcase Leap v2 Showing flex in front of seat pan on the v2

The Embody’s seat features a four-layer system of padding but it is still quite firm. It still remains supportive for long hours. Along with the four-layer system, the seat also has a pixelated support system. There is a grid of individual pixels under the seat that flex and provide support depending on how you move in the chair. The seat on the Embody is large and flexible, with no pronounced frame. This allows you to move freely, like the Leap chair’s seat. One drawback that we found on the Embody’s seat is that sometimes you can feel the individual pixels, which can be uncomfortable.

Embody’s flexibility in the seat pad Embody’s pixelated seat Backrest Support

Back support is the second category that we used our whole office to score. With something so subjective, we wanted as many opinions as possible. Our office scored the Leap at an 82/100 and the Embody at a 75/100. The backrests on these chairs are quite a bit different so they have unique things to offer.

The backrest on the Embody features a narrow, high back design. It is meant to be shaped like your spine. The backrest has great flexibility and also features the same pixelated support system as the seat. The thin back, flexible plastic and pixelated support system really give you a wide range of motion. This allows you to stay active and loose while working.

Front view of Embody’s backrest Showing flex in the Embody’s backrest

The Embody has a nice natural lumbar curve that provides good support but there is no adjustability for the lumbar. Another potential downside with the back on the Embody is that it is curved inward. This made the backrest push some people’s shoulders forward, which is not comfortable for extended periods.

Lumbar curve while seated in the Embody

The back on the Leap chair has a more standard shape but it also gives you good flexibility to move. It is made from a thin injection molded plastic. It is strong but flexes. The Leap chair also features Steelcase’s LiveBack technology. This allows the top half of the back to move and bend while keeping the lumbar section stable to provide constant support.

Adjusting lower tension of Leap’s backrest

The Leap’s backrest is shaped to provide automatic lumbar support, which is also adjustable. You can slide the support up and down to make sure it is placed correctly for you. You can also adjust the support in and out to make it more or less pronounced.

Adjusting the Leap’s lumbar support bar Armrest Comfort

Armrest comfort is the final category that we scored by using our entire office. The Leap scored an 83/100, which trailed only the Steelcase Gesture. The Embody was behind a bit at a 74/100. The reason the Leap’s arms scored higher is that they are much more adjustable. The Leap’s arms have height, width, depth and pivot adjustments. Along with having 4-way capabilities, each adjustment has a large range, which really gives you a ton of different ways to position the arms.

Showing full range of the Leap’s armrests

The Embody’s arms only have height and width adjustment. The ranges are really large but not being able to adjust the arm caps limits the positions you can use them in. The arms on the Embody are comfortable though. They are large and the padding is soft. I have personally used the Embody for several weeks and find the arms to be comfortable for long hours. The same can be said for the arms on the Leap. They are also soft and comfy to use for prolonged hours at a time.

Embody’s armrest height adjustment Embody armrest width adjustment Pushing down on Embody’s arm pad Ergonomic Adjustments

The Leap scored much higher in the ergonomic adjustments category and that is simply because it is more adjustable. Both chairs have seat height, seat depth, arm width, arm height, tilt lock and tilt tension adjustments. The Leap chair also has arm depth, arm pivot and 2-way adjustable lumbar adjustment. One function the Embody does have that the Leap doesn’t is independent back angle adjustment.

Recline Motion

One major difference between the ergonomics on the Embody and Leap are the way the chairs recline. When you recline the Leap’s backrest, the seat slides forward but its angle remains fairly consistent. When you recline the backrest on the Embody, the seat will tilt quite a bit, which allows you to rock back and forth in the chair.

The Leap chair is more suited for tasking applications due to the way the chair reclines and its high amount of adjustability. The Embody is not as adjustable as the Leap but it still has good ergonomics and is better suited for people that want to be able to rock back and forth in their chair.

Reclined position in Embody chair Upholstery Options

The Leap comes in a much larger variety of upholstery and color options than the Embody. The Embody is available in two different polyester fabric options, Rhythm and Balance, with a total of 10 colors to choose from. The fabric is commercial quality and has been tested to 200,000 double rubs so it is made to last a long time. If you upgrade to the Balance fabric, there is a $200 upcharge.

The Leap is available in a lot of different upholstery options, including leather. All of the upholstery options are commercial quality and have been tested to a minimum of 100,000 double rubs. Upgrading your fabric will range in price from $13-$56, while upgrading to leather will be $544.00.

Finish Options

The Leap is available in three different finish options. You can choose between black, platinum and polished aluminum. This is the color for the base and frame around the arms and backrest. The black is standard and comes in a matte finish. Platinum is a medium grey color and also comes in a matte finish. The platinum comes with an upcharge of $31. The polished aluminum is a high shine option for those of you that want something flashy. It comes at a cost of $323.

The frame and base on the Embody are available in several color combinations. The frame is basically going to constitute everything except the base, cylinder and upholstery. You can mix graphite, white, titanium and polished aluminum. Depending on the combination you select, the price could go up anywhere from $25.00..

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The FlexiSpot M2 is one of the most popular standing desk converters currently being sold. While it has a lot of really good reviews, it does have its list of potential problems.

Because the desktop converter category has grown so much over the past few years, there is a lot of competition for the M2.

There are many different products with varying advantages and disadvantages. In this list, I will provide five of the best FlexiSpot M2 alternatives and competitors. I will let you know the tradeoffs between the different products so that you can be as informed as possible if you are considering the FlexiSpot M2.

Need help? Get our Free Standing Desk Converter 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 Breakroom Blog?

5 Best FlexiSpot M2 Alternatives
  1. VertDesk Converter
  2. Ergotron WorkFit-T
  3. Fully Cooper
  4. Halter ED-258
  5. Duke VESA
  6. Final Thoughts
1. VertDesk Converter

  VertDesk Starting Price: $299.00 + Free Shipping
  Read The Full VertDesk Standing Desk Converter Review >>

The first item on our list is BTOD.com’s very own VertDesk converter. The concept is similar to the FlexiSpot M2 but the execution is a bit different. Instead of using a double x base like the FlexiSpot, the VertDesk Converter uses a Z lift base. The Z lift base is adjustable by pressing two handles, like the FlexiSpot, but it will extend up and out when raised instead of straight up and down.

The VertDesk Converter has infinite position lock instead of 12 pre-set heights to choose from, like the FlexiSpot M2. While the adjustment process requires a bit more physical effort on the VertDesk Converter, I think that it has a higher build quality with better aesthetics.

The task space and keyboard tray will be larger on the FlexiSpot M2 but the VertDesk Converter is one of the most stable standing desk converters available and it also comes fully assembled.

VertDesk Converter vs. FlexiSpot M2 35″
Pros:

Ships Fully Assembled
Infinite Position Lock
Higher Build Quality
Better Aesthetics
More Stable

Cons:

Up and Out Raising Pattern
Adjustment Requires More Physical Effort
Smaller Task Space
Smaller Keyboard Tray
Shorter Warranty

After 10 months of testing 40+ standing desk converters the results are in!

Read The Best Standing Desk Converters For 2019 >>

2. Ergotron WorkFit-T – $384.25

  WorkFit-T Starting Price: $384.25 + Free Shipping
  Read The Full WorkFit-T Standing Desk Converter Review >>

The WorkFit-T by Ergotron is another very popular alternative to the FlexiSpot M2. It features a Z lift base design that moves straight up and down.

The WorkFit-T is the better option for users that want a laptop on their keyboard tray but it does have a smaller work surface and keyboard tray than the FlexiSpot M2. Both products are very easy to operate.

The WorkFit-T will be the more stable product in almost all phases of testing.

Both products have a very similar adjustment range but the WorkFit-T has 20 different positions to choose from compared to the FlexiSpot M2’s 12 different positions. This means fewer people will have to settle for a height out of their preferred range.

The WorkFit-T also comes ready to go out of the box so you can avoid the assembly time required by the FlexiSpot M2.

FlexiSpot Comparison: Flexispot M2 vs. Ergotron WorkFit-T

Ergotron WorkFit-T vs. Flexispot M2 35″
Pros:

Ships Fully Assembled
20 Height Options
Keyboard Tray More Suitable for Laptops
More Stable

Cons:

Price
Smaller Task Space
Smaller Keyboard Tray
No 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

3. Fully Cooper Standing Desk Converter

  Fully Cooper Starting Price: $290.00 + Free Shipping
  Read The Cooper Standing Desk Converter Review >>

The Cooper by Fully is a recently released product that is a nice alternative to the FlexiSpot M2. It is one of the only products on this list that has a lower price point and it also comes fully assembled.

The Cooper uses a single x base with a straight up and down movement pattern. The Cooper features a very large monitor platform and keyboard tray, similar to the FlexiSpot.

The Cooper has a larger adjustment range with a higher maximum height. It also features infinite position lock instead of being limited to 12 different choices on the FlexiSpot.

The Cooper is a bit more difficult to adjust than the FlexiSpot M2 but it is going to be the more stable product. The Cooper is also one of the few standing desk converters to offer a bamboo finish option.

Fully Cooper Converter vs. FlexiSpot M2 35″
Pros:

Price
Ships Fully Assembled
Infinite Position Lock
Bamboo Option
More Stable
Larger Adjustment Range

Cons:

Adjustment Requires More Physical Effort
Shorter Warranty

 

4. Halter ED-258 – $239.99

  Halter ED-258 Starting Price: $239.99 + Free Shipping
  Read The Halter ED-258 Standing Desk Converter Review >>

The Halter ED-258 is going to be the lowest priced item to make my list. The ED-258 is another product that arrives fully assembled, saving you time.

The ED-258 features a double x base, like the FlexiSpot M2, but the build quality and technology used are much cruder. Even though the build quality is not quite as high, it is a more stable product than the FlexiSpot M2.

The ED-258 with not have as large of an adjustment range as the FlexiSpot M2, so it will also have a lower maximum height.  The ED-258 has a lot more height options within its range than the 12 positions FlexiSpot limits you to.

Both products are very easy to operate. The FlexiSpot will have a lot more task space but the ED-258 will have a better keyboard tray for using a laptop.

Halter ED-258 Converter vs. FlexiSpot M2 35″
Pros:

Price
Ships Fully Assembled
Dozens of Height Options
More Stable
Better Suited for Laptop Use on Keyboard Tray

Cons:

Lower Build Quality
Worse Aesthetics
Smaller Adjustment Range
Smaller Task Space
Shorter Warranty

5. Duke VESA – $499.99

  Duke VESA Starting Price: $239.99 + Free Shipping
  Read The Duke VESA Standing Desk Converter Review >>

The Duke VESA is another product by BTOD.com and this is a great alternative to customers that are looking for a higher quality item than the FlexiSpot M2 and products similar to it. The Duke VESA is a product that is made in the USA so it has a better quality build and a more aesthetically pleasing look than the FlexiSpot M2.

The Duke features a vertical gas lift column that moves straight up and down by pressing a single button.

This product requires more assembly than the FlexiSpot M2, but it will have higher-end features like dual ergonomics and built-in wire management. The Duke also has a lower profile to your desk and a higher maximum height. The Duke VESA will have a smaller task space and keyboard tray than the FlexiSpot M2.

The FlexiSpot also allows for larger monitors than the Duke VESA but the Duke VESA is going to be the more stable product than the FlexiSpot M2.

BTOD Duke Converter vs. FlexiSpot M2 35″
Pros:

Made in USA
Better Build and Aesthetics
Dual Ergonomics
Infinite Position Lock
Larger Adjustment Range
More Stable
Built-In Wire Management

Cons:

Price
Requires Assembly
Smaller Task Space
Smaller Keyboard Tray
Will Not Work with Large Monitors

 

Final Thoughts

The FlexiSpot M2 has staked its claim as one of the most well rounded and most popular standing desk converters available. But, it is not the best. No converter is the best. There are a lot of great alternatives available out there. Some will excel in some areas compared to the FlexiSpot M2 while others will excel in other areas.

I think the most important thing to do when shopping for a standing desk converter is to identify what factors and features are most important to you. From there it will be much easier to choose the right product for your needs.

I hope this list helps to point out some nice alternatives to the FlexiSpot M2 so that you make sure to buy the best standing desk converter for your situation.

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One of the biggest factors you should consider when shopping for a standing desk converter is whether or not it will be ergonomic for you. Being able to work in an ergonomic position is very important.  It can help reduce stress and strain that can be problematic while working for long hours on a keyboard and mouse. The factors to consider for proper ergonomic positioning on your standing desk are: monitor viewing angle, distance from monitor, keyboard height and neutral reach zone.

Need help? Get our Free Standing Desk Converter 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 Breakroom Blog?

5 Best Standing Desk Converters For Ergonomics
  1. Ergotron WorkFit-S
  2. HealthPostures TaskMate Go
  3. Humanscale QuickStand
  4. Uplift Adapt Platform
  5. BTOD Duke Vesa
  6. 7 Things You Must Consider For Proper Ergonomics
  7. Bottom Line
1. Ergotron WorkFit-S

Ergotron Price: $670.99 + Free Shipping
Read Full WorkFit-S Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Reason for Inclusion

The Ergotron WorkFit-S is going to top my list of best standing desk converters for ergonomics. The WorkFit-S has a three-tier design with a back-sloping support column. The three tiers are: a vesa mounted monitor, a work surface for tasking and a keyboard tray. All three tiers are connected to a vertical support column that slants away from you instead of straight up and down.

The two platforms can be adjusted separately from the monitor so the WorkFit-S has dual ergonomic functionality. This allows for proper spacing between your monitor and keyboard to produce the correct viewing angle. The monitor also tilts from front to back and can rotate 90 degrees which is even better for improving your viewing experience. The way that the column slants away from you was purposely done so that you are not too close to your monitor. The slanted column, coupled with the multiple platform design, ensures that you will be standing far enough away from the monitor to avoid eye strain.

The adjustment range is very large on the WorkFit-S and can extend even taller with the addition of a monitor mounting plate. One thing that really sets the WorkFit-S apart from the majority of desktop converters is that the keyboard tray is capable of going lower than your existing desk. This is great if you’re short or are used to having a keyboard tray below their desk.

Workfit-S Goes Below Your Desk

There is plenty of space on the keyboard tray for your keyboard and mouse. There is also a lot of extra space on the work surface that can be used for items and tasking. This helps to keep the majority of items within your neutral reach zone. The keyboard tray is also very versatile. It has nine different mounting positions that produce different distances and angles from your monitor. The keyboard tray also has the option to use it in a negative tilt position. This is great for achieving a neutral wrist position.

Workfit S Negative Tilt Function
After 10 months of testing 40+ standing desk converters the results are in!

Read The Best Standing Desk Converters For 2019 >>

2. HealthPostures TaskMate Go

TaskMate Go Price: $511.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full TaskMate Go Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Reason for Inclusion

The HealthPsotures TaskMate Go is next on my list. This is a product that features a similar three tier design with a slanted support column, like the WorkFit-S. The top tier is a vesa compliant monitor mount that can be adjusted in 2” increments. The second tier is a small work surface. The third tier is a keyboard tray.

The monitor and keyboard can be adjusted independently of each other, but the monitor is restricted to specific increments. This system is still far superior to the majority of standing desk converters. The monitor has tilt adjustment when the single monitor unit is chosen. The dual monitor set-up will also allow the monitors to pan and rotate. All of these factors, combined with the column design that tilts away from you, provides for a good viewing distance of 20”+.

The adjustment range is another factor that the TaskMate Go excels in. Even though the monitor must be adjusted in 2” increments, there is still a very wide range to choose from. The work surface goes as high as 20” off your desk and the keyboard tray is capable of going underneath your desk when in a seated position. This is another great unit for shorter users or if you like to have your keyboard below desk level.

Health Postures 6300 Shown Below Worksurface

I am not a fan of the worksurface and keyboard tray size provided on the standard version. It leaves very little room for objects that you will want in your neutral reach zone. I would highly recommend upgrading to the larger platforms for about $50. The extra space will make a very big difference in reducing the amount of awkward reaching that is caused by grabbing objects that aren’t on the TaskMate Go. One thing that I am a big fan of is the tilt option available on the keyboard tray. I have only seen a couple other standing desk converters that offer a negative keyboard tilt option, one of them being the WorkFit-S above. This is a great addition to achieve a true ergonomic typing position.

3. Humanscale QuickStand with Large Platform

QuickStand Price: $749.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full QuickStand Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Reason for Inclusion

It’s not much of a surprise that a product designed by Humanscale made a best of ergonomics list. The Humanscale QuickStand is available with a freestanding base or clamp mount. Both options feature a two-tier design with a support column that slants away from you. The first tier is a vesa compliant monitor mounting bracket. The second tier is your work surface. This space is used for your keyboard, mouse and any accessories.

The QuickStand does feature dual ergonomics. The monitor has 5” of independent height adjustment range while the work surface has about 18” of adjustment range. The QuickStand has a large adjustment range, but the keyboard platform cannot be lowered below desk level. The QuickStand has the lowest profile I have seen on a desktop converter, at .25” above your existing work surface.

Quickstand Features Low Profile Platform

This is another product that I feel does a poor job of providing good task space with the base model offered. I feel that upgrading to the bigger platform, for an additional $50, is a must on the QuickStand for an ergonomic experience. I say this for two reasons. The first reason is that the space offered on the standard platform is barely larger than your keyboard and mouse which means you will be reaching for objects out of your neutral reach zone quite often. The second reason is the monitor viewing distance. The column slating away from you helps to increase the distance to the monitor, but it is not enough when using the standard platform. The larger platform helps to remedy both of these problems.

Humanscale Quickstand Task Area 4. Uplift Adapt Platform

Uplift Adapt Price: $219.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full Uplift Adapt Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Reason for Inclusion

The Uplift Adapt clamp mount is a unique product on this list because it is the only product that doesn’t feature a mounted monitor with dual ergonomics. You place the monitor on top of the platform on the Adapt instead of mounting it to a vesa plate. The Adapt may not have dual ergonomics but it does have a very large adjustment range and good spacing between the two platforms; this provides an ergonomic position for a lot of people.

The Adapt clamp will go flat to your desk when in the lowest position. This is great since it will not alter your normal typing posture. The feature that earned the Adapt a spot on my list though, is that the clamp mount has an optional “long connector” that can be attached to the keyboard tray.  This allows the keyboard to be lowered below the normal desk height. If you are short or prefer to have your hands below their normal desk height, this is a very welcome feature.

Adapt Shown In Lowest Position With Platform

The usable space on the Adapt is going to be its biggest limiting factor. You cannot fit dual monitors on the main platform. There will not be much additional space to place objects that you frequently use either. The good thing about the platforms is that they both combine to be deep enough to put you at a proper viewing distance to limit eye strain.

Limited Task Area or Space For Additional Monitor

One thing to be aware of is that you can mount a monitor arm to the Uplift Adapt. I would not recommend dual monitors because you will be approaching the weight limit with the added weight of the arms but this can be very useful for people that only need one monitor. Attaching your monitor to an arm gives you dual ergonomic functionality and much more task space. Both of these will improve user experience.

5. BTOD Duke Vesa – $499.00

Duke VESA Price: $499.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full Duke VESA Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Reason for Inclusion

The Duke Vesa features a dual ergonomic design with a vertical gas lift column and steel freestanding base. The monitor is mounted to the unit and is adjustable independently of the work surface platform. The Duke has one of the lowest profile designs when in a seated position. The keyboard tray will not go below your work surface, but it will only increase the height of your existing desk by about a half an inch. All of these factors combine to provide a very wide adjustment range which means a large percentage of the population can use the Duke ergonomically.

Duke Low Profile Design

The usable task space available on the Duke is good. You will have plenty of room for you keyboard, mouse and several other accessories you need within your neutral reach zone. But, the Duke does have a drawback when it comes to the task space. The keyboard platform may not be deep enough to provide your optimal viewing distance. Depending on your keyboard positioning and your height, you will be somewhere between 17” and 20” from the screen. 20” is on the low end of recommended viewing distance. For this reason, I would recommend using a single monitor set-up with a 24” monitor or smaller for the best ergonomic experience. The monitor is tilt adjustable and you can rotate it, which helps to improve your viewing experience.

Duke Task Area 7 Things You Must Consider When Looking For Proper Ergonomics 1. Dual Ergonomics

When a standing desk converter features a keyboard tray and monitor that can be adjusted separately of each other, it is considered dual ergonomic. This is a very important feature. It allows you to create the proper amount of space between your keyboard and monitor so that you have proper typing height and the correct monitor viewing angle.

Many desktop converters will have this feature built-in. Many converters will not be dual ergonomic out of the box, but can be made dual ergonomic with the addition of a monitor arm. Other units cannot be dual ergonomic, even with the addition of accessories. I think this function is a must have if one of your biggest concerns is ergonomics.

2. Range of Adjustment

The adjustment range is very important when considering a standing desk converter. You want to make sure that the keyboard tray will go low enough for a seated position and high enough for a standing position. It is also important to make sure the monitor can go high enough when standing to achieve the correct viewing angle, as discussed above.

Making sure the keyboard tray goes low enough is especially important for users that prefer to have their keyboard lower than their normal work surface. This is typically achieved with a keyboard tray or keyboard drawer. Most standing desk converters will sit on top of your existing desk which will increase the height of it slightly. There are very few standing desk converters that allow the keyboard tray to go below the surface of the desk it is attached to. I’ve made sure to include a few on this list.

3. Worksurface Size

The usable space and depth of the work surface are two things to think about when considering the size of the work surface. A larger task space will allow for more objects to be placed within your neutral reach zone. This helps to limit the number of times you need to grab something that isn’t on your converter. The depth is also very important because this will determine how close your eyes are to your monitor. You want to be cautious of desktop converters that put you too close to the monitor as this can cause eye strain.

4. Monitor viewing angle

A poor viewing angle can produce discomfort in the neck and shoulders. A good guideline to follow is to have the top of your monitor at eye level. This will allow you to comfortably view your screen at a slightly downward angle.

5. Distance from monitor

Having a monitor that is too close can cause eye or neck strain. A good guideline to follow is to position your eyes somewhere between 20”-40” from your monitor. You also want to sit far enough away to be able to view your entire screen without having to turn your head to the side.

6. Keyboard height

The proper ergonomic keyboard position is at elbow height, when the shoulders are relaxed, and a downward sloping angle. The goal is to achieve a neutral wrist position so that they are not bent upward, which can cause strain over time.

7. Neutral reach zone

A big part of ergonomics in the office is limiting unnatural movements while working. This includes overreaching or turning awkwardly to get an object. The area within arm’s length on your work surface is called your neutral reach zone. The less amount of time spent reaching for objects out of your neutral reach zone, the better.

Bottom Line

With so many converter options available, it is important to understand what factors are most important to you. For many people, the most important factor is ergonomics. My feeling is, that if you are going to invest in a standing desk, it only makes sense that it would be ergonomic, otherwise it could become a hindrance instead of a benefit. Being able to recognize the characteristics that make a product ergonomic are very important. And just because a product lacks something like dual ergonomics or a large task space doesn’t mean that it won’t be ergonomic for you. Everyone is different. We all have different body shapes, movement patterns and working habits that dictate what we need to be ergonomic.

The bottom line is that there are a ton of different standing desk converters but the selection of truly ergonomic options is very limited. I hope that this list helps you to understand what to look for when trying to find a good ergonomic standing desk converter and what to avoid.

Shopping Advice: Ergonomics will usually come at a cost. This is why most of the products on my list are higher-end products with larger price tags. If your biggest concern is ergonomics, then you may want to consider a full standing desk instead of a standing desk converter. Products like the VertDesk v3 and Uplift 900Desk  better options for a similar price to many of the converters listed here today. A full standing desk will provide a much larger adjustment range, bigger weight capacity and more usable space than a standing desk converter.

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There are a ton of different standing desk converter options, but there are not many that are able to accommodate people that are tall. Most standing desk converters will be lacking in one way or another which makes them sub-par for tall people. In this review, I will talk about what to look for in a standing desk converter for tall people and what you will want to avoid. I have also put together a list of what I would consider to be the best overall options for tall people in an effort to help you narrow down your choices.

Note: For this review I will define anyone 6’0” and above as “tall”.

Need help? Get our Free Standing Desk Converter 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 Breakroom Blog?

5 Best Standing Desk Converters For Tall People
  1. Duke VESA
  2. Innovative Winston
  3. Humanscale QuickStand
  4. Fully Cooper
  5. HealthPostures TaskMate 6400
  6. 6 Things You Must Consider Before Buying a Converter
  7. Bottom Line
1. The Duke VESA

Duke VESA Price: $499.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full Duke VESA Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Duke VESA Summary

In my opinion, the Duke VESA is the best all around standing desk converter for tall people. The 17” keyboard height adjustment range will accommodate an ergonomic typing position for people up to 6’5”. The keyboard platform has a low-profile design in which your seated typing position will be increased by .5”. This is one of the few converters that keeps your typing position at almost the same height while you are seated, instead of increasing it by an inch or more like most converters. Increasing your typing height while seated won’t affect you as much if you are tall, but it is always nice to be able to stay in a familiar position instead of having to adjust to a new seated one.  There is infinite position lock on the keyboard tray, so you will not be forced to choose between a pre-set number of height options.

The Duke VESA is dual ergonomic with a separate monitor adjustment range of about 33”. The minimum monitor height is about 17” off your desk and the maximum monitor height is about 50” off your desk. This is a huge range allowing for tall people to comfortably view their monitor at standing height. The range also goes low enough to allow you to keep your familiar sitting position.

The Duke VESA is one of the most stable standing desk converters that I have tested to date. It does not have any glaring weaknesses which make it a well-rounded product in terms of stability. At the tallest heights, there is a bit of front to back rocking that contributes to some keyboard bounce, but it is much less pronounced than the majority of other standing desk converters.

Possible Downsides

There are two possible downsides to the Duke VESA that you should be aware of. The first is that the monitor height adjustment can be a bit tricky. You need to be able to reach around the monitor(s), loosen both screws and then manually adjust the monitor while holding its weight to keep it from falling. The good thing about this is the taller you are, the easier it is to adjust because of the extra arm length that allows you to comfortably reach around the monitor(s).

The second downside is the monitor viewing distance. The recommended ergonomic monitor viewing distance is about 20”-40”. My viewing distance is about 20” and I am 5’8”. I measured my co-worker, Kent’s viewing distance to be about 21.5” and he is 6’1”. This should put anyone over 6’0” safely in the recommended viewing distance zone, but it may be on the lower end. If you prefer to have a lot of distance between you and your monitors, then the Duke VESA may not be the best option for you.

2. Innovative Winston

Innovative Winston Price: $609.99 + Free Shipping
Read Full Duke VESA Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Innovative Winston Summary

The Winston by Innovative makes my list because of its massive adjustment ranges on both the keyboard tray and monitor. It is also dual ergonomic which improves the adjustment capabilities even further. The Winston has a maximum keyboard height of 18.5” off your desk and a maximum monitor height of 52” off your desk. This will allow for an ergonomic typing position and viewing angle if you are up to 6’7”. The Winston also features infinite position lock which means that you will be able to choose your preferred height, without being forced to choose between predetermined positions.

The Winston does increase the height of your keyboard by about 1.5” when in the seated position. This may not be as big of a problem for tall people, but it will certainly require you to alter your normal typing position. The monitor is capable of adjusting all the way down until it makes contact with the work surface so you will have no problem getting the monitor low enough to achieve the proper viewing angle when seated.

Possible Downsides

As with the previous two products on our list, I have a couple possible downsides to the Winston that may affect you. The first is that the monitor height adjustment is difficult to the point of being impractical for a lot of people. To adjust the monitor, you need to loosen four screws with an allen wrench, which will allow the monitor mounting bar to slide vertically. This process is difficult because you need to hold the combined weight of the mounting bar and monitor which is actually quite heavy. The movement has a lot of friction so it does not slide smoothly and easily. This adjustment process requires quite a bit of physical strength and will take several minutes.

My next concern is with the stability of the product when standing. At sitting height and mid-range height, the Winston is pretty decent. But, at tall heights there is quite a bit of movement. The steel base is very heavy and provides a nice anchor point, but the base is not perfectly flat, so there is a little bit of rocking that can be seen in almost all directions when at the tallest heights. There is also a bit of wiggle where the columns meet. Losing some stability at taller heights is normal for standing desk converters, but the overall stability of the Winston will be a bit lacking compared to the other items on  this list.

After 10 months of testing 40+ standing desk converters the results are in!

Read The Best Standing Desk Converters For 2019 >>

3. Humanscale QuickStand

Innovative Winston Price: $699.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full Humanscale QuickStand Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Innovative Winston Summary

The Humanscale QuickStand is another great product for tall people. The keyboard adjusts from .25” off your desk to just over 18” off your desk. This will accommodate people up to 6’6” in an ergonomic typing position. This is also the lowest profile design currently available, so your sitting keyboard position will remain almost the same as your normal desk height. The QuickStand also features infinite position lock so any position can be chosen within its given adjustment range.

The QuickStand is dual ergonomic with independent monitor height adjustment. The 5” adjustment range is more limited than the Duke VESA”, but still enough to allow for a very large monitor adjustment range, when paired with the overall height adjustment of the unit. You can adjust the monitor as low as 18.5” and as high as 41”. This is low enough to keep your same sitting and typing position while also being high enough to accommodate you if you’re in the mid 6-foot range.

Possible Downsides

There are two major downsides to look out for on the QuickStand. The first thing is the monitor viewing distance. As discussed with the Duke VESA, you want to make sure that there is between 20”-40” between the monitor and your eyes to ensure a proper ergonomic viewing distance. The standard keyboard platform has a very shallow depth of 11”. This puts me about 15” from the screen, which is simply too close to be comfortable. There is an option to upgrade to a larger platform for $50 which will increase the depth from 11” to 17”. This extra 6” makes a huge difference in improving your viewing experience so the large work surface is a must have on the QuickStand.

The next area to think about is that the QuickStand has very pronounced keyboard bounce while standing. The work surface lays flat on your desk when in the lowest height.  It is solid when in the seated position, but it will have quite a lot of bounce at standing height. The rest of the unit is very stable, but pronounced keyboard bounce when standing could be a deal breaker for you.

4. Fully Cooper

Fully Cooper Price: $290.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full Fully Cooper Standing Desk Converter Review >>

Fully Cooper Summary

The Fully Cooper is going to be the first product to make my list that can be purchased for under $300.00. The Cooper has a large adjustment range, allowing the keyboard platform to be as high as 18” off your desk. This will allow an ergonomic typing position if you are 6’6” tall. The Cooper also features infinite position lock so you will be able to choose any position within the given adjustment range.

The Cooper does have a thick bamboo keyboard tray so your normal typing height will be increased by about an inch. This won’t be as big of a problem as the Winston, but it will definitely change the way you would normally work while sitting.

The Cooper does not come standard with dual ergonomics. The monitor will remain at a fixed distance from the keyboard tray. The maximum monitor height was about 39” during my testing. This will provide a good viewing angle if you are in the low 6-foot range for height.

One of the biggest strengths of the Cooper is its stability, especially at its tallest heights. The Cooper is one of the most stable standing desk converters I have tested. It performs well at all heights and has no weaknesses in terms of stability.

Possible Downsides

The one major downside to the Fully Cooper is that the monitor is not independently adjustable and therefore has a limited height range. While the keyboard tray is capable of offering an ergonomic keyboard height for people up to 6’6”, the monitor platform only goes high enough for people in the low 6-foot range. This can be remedied by adding a monitor arm. Fully recommends their Jarvis monitor arm, which will tack on another $99, but it will give you an additional 13” of height adjustment range to work with. This will put the maximum monitor height more in line with the Duke VESA and Winston. The drawback to adding a monitor arm is that you will not be able to use dual monitors. The weight of a dual monitor arm plus the monitors will put you in jeopardy of going over the weight limit.  This will make the Cooper incredibly difficult to adjust.

5. HealthPostures TaskMate 6400

TaskMate 6400 Price: $299.00 + Free Shipping
Read Full TaskMate 6400 Standing Desk Converter Review >>

TaskMate 6400 Summary

The final product to make my list is the 6400 by HealthPostures. This is an inexpensive, crudely designed product, but it has a wide adjustment range and dual ergonomic functionality. The 6400 has the highest available keyboard tray height on this list, at 19.75”. This is high enough if you are as tall as 6’8” to be in an ergonomic typing position. Unfortunately, the design of the keyboard tray only allows it to go as low as 2” off your existing desk. This is the highest typing height when seated we have seen on this list and will greatly affect your normal typing posture.

The independent monitor height adjustment allows the monitor to go from 23” off your desk to about 41” off your desk. This will allow for an ergonomic viewing angle for people in the mid 6-foot range. It should be noted that the 6400 does not have infinite position lock. Each position will be about 1” apart, which could be a limiting factor when finding your optimal height.

Overall, the TaskMate 6400 is a stable product. The column is very solid. The keyboard platform does have a bit of side to side tilting and some keyboard bounce, but the 6400 received a good stability score when compared to other standing desk converters at standing height.

Possible Downsides

The TaskMate 6400 also has a couple potential downsides .. The first is the clunky adjustment system used. The back of the monitor bracket and keyboard tray each feature a metal mounting bar that is used to manually mount the two items. To change the height, you need to tilt the tray or monitor to release it from the metal mounting teeth and then manually move it to the new position. Adjusting the monitor is awkward because there is not a good spot to grab the bracket and there is the potential to pinch your fingers. Adjusting the keyboard tray is also a bit of a nuisance because you need to remove the objects from the tray or they will slide forward when you tilt the tray to adjust it.

The second potential downside goes back to the monitor viewing distance we have addressed previously. The distance from the monitor to the front of the keyboard tray is only 12.5”. I am about 15” away from the screen when using the 6400. If you’re taller you’ll be further than me, but most likely you’ll be less than 20” from the screen. I would recommend using a monitor that is 22” or less on the TaskMate 6400 to help mitigate the effects caused by standing too close to your monitor.

6 Things You Must Consider

There are many things to think about when shopping for a standing desk. Two of the most important things to consider, if you are tall, are monitor viewing angle and keyboard tray height. Both of these factors will be crucial in determining whether or not an ergonomic position can be achieved. It is very important to make sure the standing desk converter will fit you before moving forward with any other considerations. Once you’ve found a few choices that can accommodate a comfortable position, you can start to narrow them down for other reasons.

1. Monitor Viewing Angle

The first thing to consider is your monitor viewing angle. A proper ergonomic viewing position will have the top of your screen at eye level so that you can have a natural downward viewing angle. This type of viewing angle is the best for reducing stress and strain that can be caused in the neck and shoulders from tilting your head to view your screen. This viewing angle is also easy on the eyes because you don’t need to look up, which causes more strain to the eyes over time.

2. Keyboard Tray Height

The next thing to think about is the keyboard tray height. Proper ergonomic keyboard positioning will put your elbows at a 90° angle or slightly more. This will allow for the best position to reduce stress and strain to the elbows, wrists and forearms caused by long hours of tasking. BTOD.com has a very helpful standing desk calculator that will tell you the proper ergonomic keyboard position for your height.

There will be a few things to keep an eye out for if you are tall and shopping for a desktop converter. Dual ergonomics and a wide adjustment range will be musts for most people over 6’0” that wish to achieve an ergonomic typing posture. Stability will also be a big factor since most standing desk converters are quite a bit less stable when at their tallest height. You will also want to know whether the standing desk converter you are considering can accept accessories, like a monitor arm, if it doesn’t come with dual ergonomics out of the box.

3. Dual Ergonomics

Dual ergonomics gives you the ability to adjust the monitor and keyboard separately from each other. This is very helpful in creating the right distance between the keyboard and monitor so that you have the proper viewing angle. Models without dual ergonomics will keep the monitor at a fixed distance from the keyboard.  This creates a problem if you are tall and need more space between the two. Without the extra space, you will be looking downward at a more extreme angle than recommended.

4. Range of Adjustment

The range of adjustment is going to be one of the most important factors when considering a standing desk. This is even more true for tall people. It goes without saying that the higher the adjustment range, the taller you can be to use a product. If you play around with the standing desk calculator you will see that anyone over 6’0” will need their keyboard to be at 44” or above. Standard desk height is 29” or 30” which means that a standing desk converter has to go at least 15” above the existing desk to accommodate a proper position for people 6’0” and above.

5. Stability at Standing Height

Almost all standing desk converters become less stable the higher they are adjusted. Since tall people will be using their converter at or near the tallest allowable height, you want to make sure that you choose a stable enough product that doesn’t produce distracting or unsafe movement.

6. Can It Accept Accessories?

This is important for converters that don’t come standard with dual ergonomics. You want to be sure that you know whether or not you can add a monitor arm to your converter at a later date, should you decide you need the extra adjustment capabilities to achieve the proper typing posture.

Note: All testing and measurements below were taken while using a single 22” monitor. Monitor measurements were taken from the top of the monitor. A standard desk height of 30” was used when referencing height capabilities.

Bottom Line

Shopping for a standing desk converter when you are over 6’0” will be more challenging simply because the options are more limited. Just make sure that you are well aware of the adjustment ranges for both the keyboard tray and monitor arm so that you can ensure that they will be tall enough for you. Look for things like stability at standing height, dual ergonomic capabilities and the monitor viewing distance. This will help to eliminate any surprises. Hopefully this list will help to provide a foundation so that you know what to look for when shopping for your new standing desk converter.

Additional Standing Desk Converter Resources
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