Best Ergonomic Chair for Big and Tall – I am working at a desk for 8 to 12 hours each day. Many of my friends sit for as many as 14 hours a day.
If you are big & tall or slim and if you’re reading this, you’re in the same boat and understand all the pain associated with sitting long hours in your office or home.
Aaccording to research, sitting down for longer stretches than 30 minutes decreases your life expectancy.
For me, and for many people, it’s not realistic to set an alarm clock that rings every half hour for breaks that could, in theory, prolong our lives.
These breaks make you lose your train of thought and decrease your productivity.
Looking for the best big and tall office chair? You’re in the right place. Spending endless hours in an office chair can be unpleasant and uncomfortable if the chair you’re in doesn’t fit you well. If you’re a tall or bigger person (or both), you probably know what we’re talking about.
Quality and comfortable office chair can make your workday easier and prevent some health problems in the future. So, if you’re a person who is big and tall, what should you do if you find regular office chairs too small and inconvenient?
But if you want to prolong your life and, in the process, get rid of the backaches and joint pain caused by working at a desk, you need to buy a good, reliable chair.
Big & tall people need different chairs than standard models because your frame is bigger. So you need a model that’s ergonomic and supportive for your body shape.
Luckily, I’ve comprised a list of the best big and tall office chairs of this year.
1.SPACE Seating AirGrid
Technically, the Steelcase Leap Plus should probably be the “Best Overall” pick. However, its ~$1,500 price range will put it out of the reach of the vast majority of users and so we decided to go with a more feasible option.
Space Seating is known for making solid chairs at affordable prices and the Space Seating Professional (a chair that I owned for 3-years before switching to a Secretlab Titan gaming chair) was our top pick for the best office chair under $200. So, it’s no surprise that the Space Seating Big and Tall AirGrid comes so well-regarded.
The chair has a maximum capacity of up to 400 lbs. and comes with a fabric-covered seat, as well as a breathable mesh back. There is also an adjustable lumbar support on the back of the chair as well, so this is a solid option for anyone who needs the extra support for their back. If you’re looking for an executive-style chair, though, the Space Seating AirGrid is not that. It’s a mid-back traditional office style chair.
For the price, the Space Seating AirGrid comes in at a bit under $300, so it is definitely not a cheap option. However, its size, design, and overall reception from its users make it the best big and tall office chair around. If you need a heavy-duty office chair and you have a decent budget, then this would be the first option you should consider.
Pros & Cons
- Eco Leather seat with mesh siding for breathability and comfort
- One touch Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
- 2-to-1 Synchro Tilt Control with Adjustable Tilt Tension,Dimensions:25.2 D x 26.5 W x 42 H inches
- Height Adjustable Angled Arms with Soft PU Pads
- Heavy Duty Angled Nylon Base with Oversized Dual Wheel Carpet Casters
- Seat Height: 18.75” - 23”
2.Steelcase Leap Plus
I can’t vouch for the Steelcase Leap Plus, personally, but I can vouch for the standard Steelcase Leap. It’s an incredible chair. And, based on my experience owning a Steelcase Leap, I’m assuming that the Steelcase Leap Plus is probably the ideal option for big and tall users. The only problem, though, is that at just under $1,500, the Leap Plus will not be an economically feasible option for most users. Still, though, if you are a larger user that sits at your desk all day long and you need a chair that will keep you well-supported, and you don’t mind paying a premium, the Leap Plus is probably your best bet.
It comes with an insane 500-pound weight capacity, making it the studiest and most heavy-duty office chair on this list. The Leap Plus comes with Steelcase’s Live Back technology, which will make the back of the chair move and adjust to match your spine as you move around in the chair. So, in terms of back support, the Leap Plus’s high-end ergonomic design will have you more than covered.
The arms on the Steelcase also sport a unique design. The arms can move in multiple directions including up and down, forward and back, in and out, and at an angle. Most office chairs offer two-directional adjustment (or none at all), so having multiple options for adjusting the armrests on the Leap Plus will allow you to find the perfect resting spot for your arms.
Ultimately, while the price tag of the Leap Plus will drive most users away from it, if you have an unlimited budget, or you’re just willing to pay top dollar for a long-term sitting solution, then the Leap Plus will probably offer you the best overall sitting experience.
Pros & Cons
- Patented LiveBack technology
- Amazing ergonomic comfort
- Refined, iconic design
- Natural Glide System
- Leap Plus offers the same benefits, aesthetic appeal, and functionality of Leap with support for users up to 500 lbs.
3.Serta AIR Health
If you don’t have the enormous budget required in order to get the Leap Plus, or you don’t have ~$300 to spend to get the Space Seating AirGrid, the Serta Big & Tall Executive chair is worth considering. It doesn’t have as big of a weight capacity (can hold users up to 350 lbs.), but it should be sturdy enough to hold most larger users and it comes in at about $250.
This Serta chair also sports the more common high-back executive look that has become common for office chairs. And, the Serta Executive comes with an adjustable lumbar mechanism and deep ergonomic cushioning to provide you with a supportive but comfortable sitting experience. It also comes with the tilt and lock feature that is popular on modern gaming chairs and it is covered in bonded leather.
The chair comes in eight different color schemes, so if you have a preference for a specific color, this chair likely has something that will suit your needs.
Ultimately, if you need a heavy-duty executive-style high back office chair and you don’t have an insanely large budget, then Serta’s Big & Tall Executive chair is definitely worth considering.
Pros & Cons
- PROFESSIONAL AND COMFORTABLE: Ergonomic desk chair with layered body pillows and padded armrests. Min/Max Seat Height : 19.5" to 23.25"
- AIR LUMBAR TECHNOLOGY: Lumbar cushions pivot when you move to provide back support and help improve posture
- EXECUTIVE STYLE: Bonded leather with contrast stitching.Material of Frame:Wood
- ALL DAY COMFORT: Seat-side cable-actuated levers offer convenient height and tilt adjustments
- SMOOTH ROLLING: Multi-surface, dual-wheel designer casters make it easy to move around
4.Amazon Basics Executive
The AmazonBasics Big & Tall Executive chair is our pick for the best budget-friendly heavy-duty office chair on the market. At just under ~$190, this chair from AmazonBasics can hold users that weigh up to 350 lbs.
As for the style and design of this chair, it features the common high-back executive style look. The chair only comes in a brown or black leather, but it does have an adjustable lumbar mechanism built into it for ideal back support.
Other than that, though, the offering is pretty simple. It doesn’t have adjustable arms and the seat can only be adjusted up and down. However, again, the biggest selling point of this chair is its price and its weight capacity. So, if you’re looking for an affordable office chair that has a fairly large weight capacity, then the AmazonBasics Big & Tall Executive chair is the option for you.
Pros & Cons
- Comfortable executive office chair upholstered in brown bonded leather with satin gold-finished accents
- Padded seat and armrests offer all day comfort and support, making it ideal for an office or conference room
- Modern air-pressurized office chair with height adjustment, swivel, tilt-tension knob and smooth rolling casters for easy mobility
- BIFMA Certified
- Dimensions: 29.1 x 26.0 x 41.3-45.1 inches (LxWxH); assembly instructions included; supports up to 275 pounds
As an alternative option to the Serta Executive, the La Z Boy Delano is another high-back executive style heavy-duty office chair. The Delano has a maximum weight capacity of up to 400 lbs., which ties it with our top pick, the Space Seating AirGrid, in terms of capacity.
However, while the Delano will offer a similar sitting experience to the Serta Executive, it does come in at nearly $100 more (at just under $350 total). The Delano does offer a thicker seat base and a higher weight capacity than the Serta Executive, though. And, like the Serta and AmazonBasics’ chairs, the Delano is covered in bonded leather.
The Delano comes in six different color schemes total, so there are quite a few options to choose between if you have a specific color in mind.
Overall, if you’re willing to pay a little more to get a higher capacity high-back executive style chair, then the La Z Boy Delano might be a better option to consider when compared to Serta’s Executive chair.
Pros & Cons
- PREMIUM CUSHIONING: Ergonomic office chair with memory foam cushioning that contours to your body
- STYLISH AND VERSATILE: A tasteful complement to any office, home, or entertainment space
- BIG AND TALL DESIGN: 45- to 48-inch height range and 21-3/4-inch seat width. Sturdy components surpass rigorous BIFMA testing standards and supports up to 350 pounds.
- WARM AND INVITING: Chestnut brown bonded leather upholstery with rich mahogany-stained wood
- ALL DAY COMFORT: Fully adjustable height, recline, and tilt settings
- NOTE : To ensure proper assembly, please follow all steps provided in the installation manual (provided in pdf below)
The HON Wave is another heavy-duty executive style chair that comes in at just under $300. Unlike the other high-back executive style chairs on this list, though, the Wave looks more like a standard mid-back office chair and it also comes in a mesh material rather than a bonded leather.
The Wave also comes with a 450-pound weight capacity, too, so it’s a bit more heavy-duty than all but two of the chairs on this list. The Wave only comes in black, but it does feature 2D adjustable armrests (they can be adjusted up & down, and back & forth.) It also features an adjustable lumbar support and an adjustable recline feature.
In the end, if you prefer a high-back chair, but you want a mesh covering instead of a leather covering, then the Wave would be an option worth looking further into. Or, if you need a fairly affordable big and tall chair that has a weight capacity of over 400-pounds, the HON Wave might be the option for you.
Pros & Cons
- Made of Metal, Mesh & Leather | Easy assembly required
- Chair dimensions – 25.63" D x 30.25" W x 42.88" H | Seat dimensions – 19” D x 22” W | Arm adjustment – 21” W x 3”-9” H | Back width – 23” | Weight capacity – 450 lbs. | Unit weight – 59 lbs. | Lumbar support fixed
- Give your neck and back a break; these adjustable-height and width arms move up and down, and toward and away from the body to adapt to your body
- Let this comfortable office chair take care of your body while you work with an easy, adjustable recline, customizable lower back support and pneumatic height adjustment
- Pull up to your computer desk, swivel around to collaborate with your teammate, or wheel over to the snack area for a quick break with this five-star resin base and 5 durable wheels
Do You Need A Big & Tall Office Chair?
While there aren’t a ton of options for bigger and taller office chairs on the market as there are for smaller-to-medium-sized users, there still are enough heavy-duty chairs out there to give you a variety of options. Above, we have listed our picks for the top big and tall office chairs currently available. So, if you are in the market for a bigger chair, one of the options listed above should get the job done for you.
6 Things You Must Consider Before Buying a Big & Tall Chair
1. Seat Width and Depth
The first thing you must consider when looking for a new large office chair is the seat width and depth. If you’re unsure the width you need to be comfortable, measure your current chair. If that isn’t as wide or narrow as you’d like, estimate what width you require to be comfortable.
While seat width is fixed, seat depth can be extended on chairs with depth adjustment functions. They provide adjustment both directions, creating a better fit for shorter and longer legs than a fixed seat. While this feature isn’t as common on heavy capacity chairs, higher-end models will offer it.
When looking at the different models of chairs available, there are certain design aspects that can impact the seat width. If the chair has side bolsters, this can restrict the width of the seat. You’ll find these on gaming chairs. If there is a hard-plastic frame exposed, this can sometimes be uncomfortable to sit on.
2. Seat Height
Getting your legs in the proper position will require proper seat height. The standard size office chair will offer a range between 16” to 20”. If you’re over 6’4” tall, 20” high for the seat is already too short for proper ergonomics.
All body types are different, some users carry more height in their torso and others in their legs. What height you require will depend on how your body is proportioned. The recommended way to sit is with your feet flat on the floor and your upper and lower leg at a 90-degree angle.
To find this height, we recommend positioning yourself on an existing chair and verifying the measurement to get your legs positioned this way.
3. Back Height
The average back height of an office chair is between 19-22” tall. If you’re under 6’2”, backrest height doesn’t often become an issue. If you’re over 6’2”, some backrests will be creating discomfort from their design.
It’s important to consider the design and shape of the backrest. If the upper frame of a backrest is made of hard plastics, it can dig into your shoulder blades. This will lead to extreme discomfort if you’re tall.
Chairs that include headrests can also pose an issue for tall people. If the headrest isn’t tall enough, they can hit you in the shoulders. Some will create a minor annoyance, while others will push you forward. Both are bad when considering proper ergonomics in a chair. Selecting a chair with a headrest should only be done if the chair is designed for a tall user.
4. Weight Capacity
Standard office chairs are typically rated for 250 up to 275 lbs. While you may be under the rating for the chair, it might not be a good option for you. If you’re looking for a solid investment, that will last a long time, I would suggest picking a chair at least 10% over your current weight. Selecting a chair that is close to your weight brings the potential for issues down the road.
Something additional to consider with weight capacity: just because a chair is rated for 400 lbs., doesn’t mean that it will fit someone that weight comfortably in the chair. A good example of this is the Steelcase Leap and Gesture chairs. Both are rated at 400 lbs. but are standard size office chairs. If you’re 300 to 400 lbs., there is a good chance you won’t be comfortable in their products. This is where consideration of chair dimensions is so important.
5. Ergonomic Adjustments
One of the common things we’ve found with big and tall office chairs, especially low-cost products, is they tend to be fairly basic. Because of the capacity required, manufacturers like to limit the movement in the components to avoid chairs breaking. That doesn’t mean that big and tall chairs can’t come with good ergonomic adjustments.
If you’re looking for well-built big and tall chair with all of the common ergonomic adjustments, you will need to start your search over the $700 mark. This can be expensive for some budgets but looking below this price is likely to leave you with a broken chair sooner than later.
Looking at the chairs in our list, the least expensive true “ergonomic” option starts at $700. Well-built chairs below that price will only feature a few adjustments or won’t offer capacities over 350 lbs.
One of the most important things to look at when protecting your investment is a solid warranty. Because of the high capacities, manufacturers warranties will vary significantly here. Some products in the big and tall category will be offered with warranties as short as 30 days.
Our best pick for warranty comes with a 15-year warranty that is rated for 24/7 usage. It’s important to look at the fine print of the chair you’re considering. Manufacturers will often provide warranties for 40-hour weeks and limited coverage of certain components.
If you’re looking for a good warranty, you should plan on spending more than $500 for your next chair. Almost all the products under that price point will offer warranties that are two years or less. In understanding the value associated with a solid warranty, it might be worth the extra money to get a better chair with a longer warranty.
Picking the best office chair will likely come down to your needs. With so many different body types and preferences, there isn’t a clear cut best, big office chair for everyone.
The most important thing to consider is size first. Ensuring the seat and back fit you comfortably is a great place to start. If the chair is the correct size, you’ll want to ensure it has a good capacity. Picking something right at your current weight could pose an issue in the future.
If this is a long-term investment, you’ll want to consider a good warranty. Cheap chairs will often break down sooner and have shorter warranties. Paying a little more up front can pay big dividends down the road.
More than just chairs that are designed for taller people or chairs with extra width, a true big and tall office combines all these elements, plus more, into a single package.
To start with, the chair needs to have a higher weight capacity than the average task chair.
Many companies and websites promote big and tall chairs with weight capacities of around 350 lbs, and even less in some cases.
However, we think any chair in this category should offer at least 400 lbs of weight capacity.
That’s not only because it’s the minimum set by the ANSI/BIFMA X.5 11 standard. It also indicates that a chair is going to be well-made, durable, sturdy, and tested at higher load capacities. You’ll appreciate these qualities in any chair.
And many customers, regardless of their actual weight, look for high weight capacity as an assurance of overall build quality.
We think that makes sense. That’s why every chair on this list meets this minimum 400 lb weight threshold.
Obviously, any chair in this category needs to have bigger dimensions than the average office chair. But what does this mean?
Ideally, you want to have a minimum seat and backrest width of 20” and minimum seat depth of 19”. However, a preferable seat width is at least 22”, as stated in the ANSI/BIFMA guidelines. But some users will need less width and a maybe higher backrest or deeper seat.
To see how an average big and tall chair compares to a popular ergonomic task chair, let’s take a look at the following table:
|Clatina Big and Tall Executive Model||Funria Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair|
|Seat Width: 24.5”||Seat Width: 20.9”|
|Seat Cushion Height (thickness): 5.1”||Seat Cushion Height (thickness): 3”|
|Backrest Width: 22”||Backrest Width: 21”|
|Total Chair Height: 41.4” – 43.9”||Total Chair Height: 39” – 43”|
|Weight Capacity: 400 lbs||Weight Capacity: 300 lbs|
Although the Funria has generous dimensions for a standard size task chair, you can see how the Clatina still adds an inch or two to height and width dimensions, plus a significant boost in weight capacity.
Frame and Base
To adequately support a higher weight capacity, a big and tall chair should sit on a five-star base made from heavy-duty metal or reinforced resin. And we also look for details like smooth dual wheel casters and 360-swivel for plenty of stability and mobility.
Of course, the base will also house the pneumatic gas cylinder that allows you to adjust the height. With an extra large chair, this piece is especially important.
It needs to be effortless, reliable and safe.
While we feel confident that most chairs these days come with lift mechanisms that meet rigorous safety standards (see SGS), the reliability and functionality of the cylinders can be a concern for customers. Make sure you read reviews carefully to spot any red flags about pneumatic lift mechanisms on a high capacity chair. And always test this right away once you assemble a new chair.
Cushioning and Materials
The frame and base is important for stability and mobility, but a large capacity office chair also needs to be comfortable. In addition to ergonomic design (covered below), the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to comfort are the materials and cushioning.
For many customers in this category, breathable materials are a must. Luckily, you can find dozens of chairs in this category with mesh backrests and seating, or a combination of breathable fabrics and textiles.
If you tend to get hot and uncomfortable during the workday, make sure your chair is upholstered in a material that allows for lots of airflow. Looking at the list above, you’ll see that the SPACE Air Grid is a great pick for this reason.
The cushioning should be firm and supportive. You don’t want a seat that’s too soft, as this will pack down over time and become much less comfortable the more you sit in the chair.
Instead, look for high-density foam cushioning that maintains its shape and support. Some chairs, like the Starspace above, even come with an inner spring system to bolster the cushioning.
In addition to high-density foam cushioning, you should also look at how tall or thick the seat cushion is. Usually, an ergonomic chair should come with a cushion that’s at least 2.5 inches thick.
But you may require more than that, especially if you work for longer (i.e. 8+ hour) days. So, many large occupant chairs, like the Clatina and Starspace, give you around 5″ of seat thickness.
The seat thickness is important. But even more crucial for your overall health and comfort is the design of the seat. The first thing we look for is the front edge of the seat. Specifically, we find that the best big and tall office chairs have a passive front edge (aka waterfall seat design) that slopes downward.
This reduces the pressure on the back of your thighs when sitting. It also helps with circulation in your legs and opens up the sitting angle to reduce pressure or pain in your hip joint.
If the chair doesn’t have a passive front edge, look for a seat pan tilt adjustment, or a flexible seat design (like the Leap Plus), so you can angle the seat downward and get similar relief.
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We get it. You don’t want to cram yourself into a flimsy office chair with limited cushioning and support. If you’re on the XL side of things, you need a high-quality big and tall office chair that’s designed with larger users in mind.
For big and tall users, shopping for anything requires a little more effort, whether it’s clothes, shoes, and even furniture such as office chairs. The standard office chair typically is geared towards people below 300 pounds and 6 feet tall (182cm). Everything from the dimensions of the seat and backrest, the hydraulic piston, to the cushioning are designed to operate comfortably and safely within those parameters, and isn’t something you want to skirt.
If you belong in the heavier or taller category then, picking the right office chair isn’t just a matter of comfort, but safety and longevity of your investment. In this buyer’s guide I review the very best office chairs in 2019 for the big fellas, all of which can support a minimum of 350 pounds, come with extra wide seat and backrest, and thick cushioning that won’t deflate easily over time.
This means a chair with sufficient width, weight capacity, and height, plus the right mix of materials, support, comfort and durability.