Writing takes a great deal of creative energy, and that’s part of what makes it so rewarding. What it shouldn’t take is a toll on your physical health.
There’s no denying it — sitting for long stretches at a time is terrible for your body. Unfortunately, it’s practically unavoidable for tasks like writing, where you need to be tenacious about getting those words onto paper.
The good news? The best chairs for writers can keep your body properly aligned and comfortable, supporting you as you sit for extended periods at the keyboard (though you should still get up and move on the hour).
During my tenure as a professional freelance writer, I’ve reviewed countless professional office chairs, ranging from trendy brands like Secretlab to tried-and-true ones like Steelcase. While most of today’s most popular brands boast a lineup of suitable chairs, each one is unique, and some are better than others. Which one is best for writers? Read on to find out!
Best Chairs for Writers
Starting with our top pick, let’s check out all seven of the best chairs for writers.
The best chair for writers overall
First on our list of best chairs for writers is the iconic Steelcase Leap. Released way back in 1999, the Steelcase Leap office chair has gone through countless iterations over the years. Yet to this day, the Leap retains the minimalist aesthetic and incredible glide system that bolstered its popularity and garnered widespread critical acclaim.
As Steelcase’s most popular model, you can bet your back that this chair is exceptionally comfortable and supportive. Case in point? The current model incorporates Steelcase’s appropriately-named LiveBack technology, which mimics your spine’s curvature and adapts to your every move with unbelievable precision. The current model is also equipped with an assortment of buttons and knobs that let you control every aspect of your sitting experience.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. But, it does come at a relatively hefty price. And although it offers excellent support, the Leap isn’t for those seeking a full-back or executive-style chair with headrest. The Leap ends below the neck, so don’t expect to kick back and relax like you could with taller models.
|Choose between a beautiful array of soft, muted colors||Mid-back design may not suit every user’s needs|
|Adjustable height, depth, lumbar tension, and armrests||Only offered with fabric upholstery (no leather option)|
|LiveBack technology supports and cradles your back like a cloud|
The best chair for writers on a budget
If your budget is tight (and you don’t want to say the same about your back), the BERLMAN is the most affordable, high-quality chair for writers.
This mid-back chair boasts all the essentials. For starters, it’s got a breathable mesh back with a curve design that traces your spine. Perfect for supporting your posture. It also features a high-density foam cushion that should keep you comfortable for a few hours of writing at a time. Add in the adjustable height and tilt functionality, and it’s almost unreal how much bang you get for your hard-earned buck.
That’s not to say that the BERLMAN is perfect. The armrests aren’t movable at all, so you’re stuck with them no matter how they fit your frame. It also lacks dedicated head and lumbar support — though you’d be surprised at how nice this chair can feel, even during those late-night writing sessions.
One thing I must mention is the steel frame. While steel is much heavier and more cumbersome than aluminum, its durability is unmatched. You can expect the BERLMAN to stand the test of time — perhaps even long enough for you to release that novella you’ve been working on!
So what are you waiting for? With a price tag under $100, this chair is an excellent launching point for the next phase of your hero’s journey.
|Extraordinary durable w/ steel frame||Lack of adaptability|
|Reasonably comfortable, with a price tag under $100||Armrests are immobile and made of a hard plastic, which can hurt the arms|
|Aesthetically pleasing design w/ lovely curves|
The best executive-style chair for writers
Secretlab is the premier manufacturer of video gaming chairs for professional players seeking comfortable and performance-enhancing seating. But it’s not just gamers who can benefit from the Secretlab Titan. With its multi-tilt mechanism, four-directional armrests, and adjustable lumbar tension knob, you can customize this stylish seat to suit your body like a world-class tuxedo.
The Titan comes in various finishes, including Softweave, Prime PU Leather, and genuine NAPA Leather. There are also dozens of colors to choose from, so it’s easy to find the perfect option for your writing studio.
This chair honestly reminds me of a Tesla — sleek, stylish, and loaded with the latest tech. It’s one of my favorite office chairs in the entire world, and one of the best chairs for writers overall. I highly recommend it!
|Five-year warranty and best-in-class support||Usually only available on the Secretlab website|
|Sturdy aluminum wheelbase and Class IV hydraulic system||Many of the finishes are geared towards gamers, not writers|
|Full-length backrest reclines up to 180° so you can take a catnap after work|
The best-selling chair for writers
The chair enthusiasts out there probably saw this one coming — as the best-selling ergonomic office chair for over two decades, the Herman Miller Aeron is a natural contender on the list of best chairs for writers.
But what makes the Aeron so special?
First of all, the Aeron features a wide mesh back that supports your upper, mid, and lower lumbar regions while providing excellent airflow and breathability. The Aeron also comes equipped with Herman Miller’s iconic Pellicle Suspension, a unique undercarriage support system that distributes your weight across the surface of the seat. When combined with the chair’s adjustable tilt and seat angle, you’ve got a chair that feels like a natural extension of your body.
The Herman Miller comes in various styles, with plenty of upgrade options. While it’s nice that you can customize the chair to your liking, the base model lacks features you’ll find in most other chairs in this price range. For instance, you have to pay extra for adjustable arms and more durable casters.
Is it one of the best chairs for writers? Ask the millions of folks who’ve sworn by Herman Miller for years, and you’ll have your answer.
|Made in the USA at a 100% eco-friendly facility||The most expensive model on our list|
|New HM chairs are backed by a whopping 12-year warranty||Standard upgrades cost extra — a bummer considering the high price of the base model|
|Exceptional support thanks to Herman Miller’s Pellicle Suspension System|
The best ergonomic chair for writers
Next on our list of best chairs for writers is the Maxnomic Ergoceptor, an integral model within Maxnomic’s office chair lineup. As my current writing chair of choice, I can personally attest to its comfort and utility while weaving words.
Much of the Ergoceptor’s effectiveness lies in its four-directional armrests. The Ergoceptor’s soft, polyurethane-covered armrests come with three separate mechanisms attached for precision positioning. The first mechanism lets you rotate the armrests, as well as move them up and down. The second mechanism lets you move the armrests side to side. And the third mechanism provides several inches of vertical mobility.
The Ergoceptor’s armrests also feature claw-like grips at the front, providing the perfect resting place from which to spring forward and attack those keys like a cheetah attacking its prey.
There is one caveat worth mentioning, however. The Ergoceptor’s cold-cure foam interior is firmer than most of the other options on this list. While its firmer support encourages proper posture, some users may prefer something a bit cushier. My take on it? The firmer support is a welcome change, and combined with the spine-shaped cushioned ovals adorning the executive-style backrest, Maxnomic hit the design out of the park.
Factor in the 5-star aluminum base, PU leather covering, and lumbar tension knob — and you’ve just discovered one of the best chairs for writers!
|Reclines up to 140° degrees||Some users may find the chair too firm|
|Four-directional adjustable armrests w/ soft coating||Quite big and bulky — better for larger writing spaces|
|Durable materials, including PU leather and aluminum alloy|
The best mid-back chair for writers
Ready to finish that piece you’ve been procrastinating on? Spark your creativity and let the words fly with the new-and-improved HON Ignition 2.0!
The Ignition 2.0 is an excellent chair for writers due to its breathable mesh back that embraces and hugs your spine as you type away at the ‘ol workstation. Additionally, the contoured seat cushion keeps you cradled in place, helping you maintain concentration on the task at hand — not on any lingering pain.
The Ignition 2.0 also features a lumbar tension system that lets you fine-tune the support provided to your lower back. While some users have indicated that this feature isn’t quite as robust as they’d hoped, most are pleasantly surprised by the Ignition’s overall comfort. Tack on the adjustable armrests, tilt tension knob, and other handy features, and it’s easy to see why this is one of the best chairs for writers!
|Comfortable and supportive mesh back||No headrest|
|Excellent recline-ability with locking mechanism||Some complaints about the quality of the lumbar support|
|Five-star base and casters glide across various surfaces with ease|
The best breathable chair for writers
OFM has been a pioneer in the furniture industry for decades now, ever since its founding in 1995. The company’s mission? To provide reasonably affordable office furniture that doesn’t sacrifice on comfort and support. I’m happy to report that the OFM ESS lives up to that promise, and then some.
The chair may look like a standard mesh-back office chair at first glance, but don’t let that fool you. The cooling mesh back features a unique design that mimics the spine’s curvature and helps alleviate pressure on the lumbar region. This, in turn, provides excellent support for your entire back, no matter your height or size (supports up to 250 pounds).
The air mesh back also offers unrivaled circulation, keeping you cool, calm, and collected as your creativity works in overdrive. Add in the swivel, tilt, and height adjustment mechanisms — as well as the Greenguard-certified adjustable armrests — and you’ve found an excellent seat that doesn’t break the bank.
The major downside to this chair is that the foam seat decompresses as you sit on it. While this is typical of most office chairs, the OFM ESS seems to really struggle with the issue. That said, this may be a simple QC mishap, as I’ve personally used many OFM chairs and can attest to their overall quality and reliability.
|Extremely breathable||No recline functionality and the chair’s tilt doesn’t extend very far back|
|Mesh back design and stitching are top-notch||Seat padding compresses over time, which can be a dealbreaker for serious writers|
|Lots of adjustment options, including adaptable swivel, tilt, height, and armrests|
Best Chairs for Writers 101
Here’s are the five main points to consider when choosing the best writing chair for your setup.
The most important element in a chair for writing is ergonomics.
You probably see that term thrown around quite often. But what does it actually mean? Lexico describes ergonomics as:
“Relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment.”
An ergonomic writing chair, then, is an effective and comfortable office chair designed for the modern workspace.
The best writing chairs should not only support your body and posture, but they should adapt to your situation and fit the work environment. That means sustaining your body and arms as you peck away at the keyboard for hours at a time.
Important ergonomic features to consider include:
- Adjustability — tilt, recline, height, and swivel
- Supportive backrests that mimic the spine’s natural curvature
- Comfortable (and adjustable) armrests, preferably four-directional
- Lumbar tension systems and/or padding
The main goal of a chair for writers? You should be so at ease that you forget the chair is even there! The focus should be on your writing, not your seat.
The best chairs for writers feature all different types of upholstery, ranging from simple mesh to genuine leather, and everything in between. There are pros and cons to each type of upholstery, and they all have their place in a writer’s studio. Just keep an eye on customer reviews to ensure the material’s overall quality and durability.
In terms of interior cushioning, office chairs universally incorporate standard or cold-cure foam in the seat and/or back (there’s no foam in the backing of mesh chairs, of course). Cold-cure foam tends to be more supportive than standard foam as it’s thicker and custom-molded to fit the shape of the chair.
As for the frame, top writing chairs are typically made of hard plastic and/or metal. While metal chairs are usually more durable and of higher quality than their plastic counterparts, this isn’t always the case — it depends on the manufacturing process and quality of the base material.
Writing chairs come in all different shapes and sizes. While you’ll find some writers who prefer chairs without wheels, the vast majority will appreciate the convenience they provide when paired with a modern workstation. As such, the most common writing chairs include stool chairs, mid-back chairs, and executive-style office chairs.
When you’re spending extended periods writing at your desktop, stool chairs with no back support just won’t cut it. Not to mention, stool chairs aren’t very comfortable, and they rarely feature any adjustment mechanisms.
Mid-back chairs are much more effective at supporting your body, offering your lower back and lumbar region some much-needed stability. They frequently feature height and tilt adjustment mechanisms and are much more durable overall.
But the real winner among the competition has to be the executive-style chair, which boasts a high backrest that supports your spine top to bottom. Executive chairs also tend to feature adjustable armrests and can be customized to meet your specific needs.
Oh, and my favorite part? Many executive chairs also include a headrest, which can be a welcome addition. While you’re unlikely to use a headrest while writing, they can be nice for those occasional Netflix breaks (yeah, I see you).
As for style? The best chairs for writers come in a range of colors, and most premium models feature at least two or three different variations.
While style isn’t the most crucial element on this list, your writing space is special. Think about it. It’s where you pour your heart and soul into creative work that’s personally fulfilling. You want your workspace to feel good and serve as a reflection of its importance.
It always comes down to price, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, the best writing chairs can cost a fair chunk of change. Even if you buy used, which can save a lot of money, you’ll still need to shell out a pretty penny.
The other bad news? Time is not on your side when it comes to choosing a chair for writing, as your health must come first. You need a chair that supports your body and helps you maintain good posture as soon as possible.
My suggestion is that you don’t skimp on a long-term chair. If you need something in a pinch, choose a low-cost model that can work until you’ve saved up enough for a better one. If you don’t foresee yourself having the money to spend on the very best writing chairs, I’ve included a few budget options on the list. These chairs offer a substantial amount of support, and the target price range is much more reasonable than, say, the Herman Miller Aeron.
But the old adage generally holds true — you get what you pay for.
That’s it for my guide to the best chairs for writers!
No matter which type of chair you end up choosing, I want to leave you with some critical advice from Dr. Rodney K. Lefler, courtesy of Spine Health.
“No matter what type of ergonomic chair or regular office chair is used, short breaks should be taken throughout the day to improve circulation. Getting up from the chair from time to time will encourage stronger posture, relieve strain on the eyes, and reduce fatigue.”
Last update on 2021-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API