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The Best Office Chair for Designers (Top 5 Picks)

The Best Office Chair for Designers (Top 5 Picks)

As a graphic designer, you likely spend hours in front of a computer screen, working diligently to bring clients' visions to life. Having an ergonomic, comfortable office chair that provides proper support is crucial for maintaining productivity and avoiding pain or injury during those long sessions hunched over the keyboard. But with seemingly endless options on the market, how do you know which is the best office chair suited for the unique needs of a graphic design professional?

What to Look for in an Office Chair for Graphic Designers

Herman Miller Chair

When evaluating office chairs for extended sitting, there are several vital factors graphic designers should take into account:

Adjustability

Since people come in all shapes and sizes, you'll want a chair that can be easily adjusted to accommodate your proportions and sitting preferences. Important adjustments include:

  • Seat height – Lowers or raises the overall chair height and should have an extensive range to suit various users.
  • Seat depth – Slide the seat pan forward or back to support the thighs properly.
  • Armrests – Should adjust up and down, in and out, and pivot inwards or outwards.
  • Backrest angle – Allows tilting of the backrest to relax or sit upright.
  • Lumbar support -Provides lower back cushioning and conforming support. Adjustability allows tailoring the amount and position of lumbar support.

The more ways a chair can be customised to your body, the better the ergonomic fit.

Comfort

Even the most ergonomic chair still needs ample padding and breathable fabrics to keep you relaxed. Prioritise chairs with:

  • Cushioned seat – At least 2-3 inches of cushioning made from moulded foam or dense padding. Avoids uncomfortable pressure points during extended sitting.
  • Mesh backing – Breathable mesh keeps air flowing to your back so you don't get hot and sweaty.
  • Textured fabrics – Look for soft, durable cover materials that hold well even with heavy daily use.

Movement

Sitting completely still for hours on end can wreak havoc on your body. Chairs that encourage subtle movement throughout the day help graphic designers stay energised and avoid musculoskeletal disorders. Beneficial movements include:

  • Tilting – Unlocks the backrest so you can rock back slightly or fully recline to open up the hip angle and gently stretch the back.
  • Bouncing – The elasticity of the seat and back provide a subtle bounce effect when moving, keeping blood circulating. This is especially important for those long marathon sessions when you get “in the zone” and tend to sit motionless.
  • Swivelling – Rotates smoothly to reach items around your workspace without strain.
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The key is staying active WHILE sitting so you don't have to interrupt your workflow every time you need to stand, stretch or walk around.

Support

Proper support transforms an ordinary chair into an ergonomic back-saver for graphic designers. Targeted areas needing support include:

  • Lumbar – A built-in lumbar mechanism contours to the natural S-shape of your lower spine. Takes pressure off this sensitive area.
  • Headrest – Cradles your neck to prevent strain when working long hours. It is beneficial when concepting designs.
  • Armrests – Sturdy armrests at the proper height keep shoulders relaxed to avoid hunching and tension in the upper back/neck. Some even width-adjust inward for close-up tasks.

Supporting these zones alleviates postural stress that commonly afflicts graphic designers stuck in front of screens for long periods.

Top 5 Best Office Chairs for Graphic Designers

Now that you know what to look for in a graphic design chair, let's explore top-rated options showcasing these essential features.

1. Herman Miller Embody Chair

Regarding ergonomic chairs, Herman Miller sets the gold standard for cutting-edge comfort. Initially designed by Bill Stumpf and Jeff Weber to mimic healthy human movement, the Embody chair is like no ordinary task chair.

Herman Miller Embody Ergonomic Office Chair | Fully Adjustable Arms and Carpet Casters | Black Rhythm
  • RHYTHM fabric is tight, smooth soft to the touch, and prevents heat buildup
  • INNOVATIVE ERGONOMIC DESIGN – More than 20 physicians and PhDs in the fields of biomechanics, vision, physical therapy, and ergonomics contributed their expertise to help guide the development of this chair. As a result, Embody has set a new benchmark for pressure distribution, natural alignment, and support for healthy movement in ergonomic seating.
  • BACKFIT ADJUSTMENT – Embody’s back is designed like a human’s, with a central spine and flexible ribs. The Backfit adjustment allows you to position the backrest in line with your spine’s natural curve, so you achieve a neutral, balanced posture. Once the chair is tuned to fit you, the backrest adapts to your movement, adjusting automatically to your shifting positions. Whether you lean forward or recline, support remains constant.

Key Features:

  • Pixelated Support – The seat and back comprise hundreds of pixels that automatically conform to micro-movements to keep blood and oxygen flowing correctly.
  • Balanced Movement – Encourages subtle, health-positive shifts in posture so you stay comfy through marathon graphic design sessions.
  • Lower Backfirm and Backfit Adjustment – Dial in the right amount of lumbar support and tilt tension for your unique spine.
  • Fully Loaded Adjustments – Seat height, seat depth, arm width, height and pivot are all adjustable for bespoke customisation.
  • Rhythm Fabric – Innovative tri-panel construction regulates body heat and keeps you cool.

Herman Miller perfected the science of sitting with the Embody. Though pricey, it's a worthy investment for graphic artists who sit for a living.

Average Price: $1,495

2. Steelcase Gesture Chair

Another longtime leader in the ergonomics space, Steelcase conquered the art of armless chair design with the Gesture. Explicitly created with computer users in mind, it optimises support and comfort across various postures and motions.

Steelcase Gesture Office Chair with Head Rest – Ergonomic Work Chair with Wheels for Carpet – Comfortable Office Chair – Intuitive-to-Adjust Chairs for Desk – 360-Degree Arms – Licorice Fabric
  • Ergonomic Chair Design: The Gesture chair by Steelcase is expertly designed to redefine the relationship between you and your chair, adjusting to your unique body and work posture
  • Comfortable Desk Chair for Extended Use: The Gesture chair is designed for a variety of users and postures, ideal for those who prioritize a precise fit and sit for long periods of time
  • Premium Office Furniture Features: This chair includes wheels for carpet, 360-degree arms, a contoured back that fits your spine's natural shape, and intuitive adjustments all located on the right side within arms reach

Key Features:

  • 3D LiveBack Technology – The back moves fluidly like a spine to eliminate pressure while reclining.
  • Seat Glide System – The seat extends forward as you recline to cradle your thighs in any position.
  • Armless Design – Arms adjust 360 degrees to support mousing or keyboarding postures without impediments fluidly.
  • Heightened Customisation – All arm, seat, and back adjustments have an extensive range to fit nearly any body shape ergonomically.
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While pricey, like the Embody, the Gesture provides unparalleled dynamism tailored to graphic artists.

Average Price: $1,409

3. Herman Miller Sayl Chair

Herman Miller strikes again with the architecturally stunning Sayl chair. Beautifully blending form and function, it delivers the acclaimed HM innovation at a more affordable price.

Herman Miller Sayl Chair, Crepe Licorice
  • The construction of Sayl’s 3D Intelligent suspension back provides passive PostureFit sacral support, which allows your spine to maintain its natural S shape and empowers your body to maintain a healthful posture with less fatigue
  • Product dimensions – 26″ D x 24.5″ W x 37″ H | Seat depth (fixed) – 16.5” | Weight – 38 lbs. | Arm height (adjustable) – 6.7″-10.8” | Seat height (adjustable) – 15.5”-20” | Weight limit – 350 lbs.
  • Partial assembly required | Sayl’s unframed 3D Intelligent back lets you stretch and move, striking a healthy balance between support and freedom

Key Features:

  • PostureFit Sacral Support – Provides additional lumbar support and pelvic tilt to maintain healthy spinal alignment.
  • Unframed 3D Intelligent Back – The elastomer frameless back suspends the back fabric to provide tailored support – it flexes and stretches instead of forcing your spine to conform.
  • Standard Tilt w/Tension Adjustment – Tilts smoothly but provides adjustable tension to match your movement preferences.
  • Eco-Conscious Construction – Contains up to 50% recycled materials by weight. Far more sustainable than traditional chairs.

Sayl delivers the exceptional HM lumbar and posture support that graphic designers need at a more budget-conscious price.

Average Price: $580

4. Steelcase Leap Chair

The aptly named Leap chair pioneered the “LiveBack” concept for fluidly mimicking spine movement. A longtime favourite for design professionals, Leap keeps you supported through any shift in posture.

Steelcase Leap Office Chair – Seven Points of Adjustability – Ergonomic Back Support Chair – Lumbar Support – 4D Adjustable Arms – Black Frame – Buzz2 Black Fabric
  • Leap owns a reputation as our most classic chair, providing customizable support whatever your body shape or style of work
  • Leap is designed with our Natural Glide System, allowing the seat to glide back and forth as you recline – keeping your posture in check and you closer to your work surface
  • Featuring 3D LiveBack technology, Leap mimics the natural shape of your spine, allowing the chair to contour to your needs and provide the perfect amount of lumbar support regardless of your seating position
  • Leap includes a lower back firmness dial that allows you to customize your sitting experience with just the right amount of lumbar support
  • We are seating experts. Our high performance seating is crafted with 70+ years of research, innovation and unwavering standards. Every ergonomic chair we design helps you work better

Key Features:

  • LiveBack Technology – The back and seat dynamically change shape as you shift postures to eliminate uncomfortable pressure points. Truly moves WITH you.
  • Natural Glide System – You can recline while the seat subtly glides forward to keep your vision and arms in the same position. No need to strain to reach forward!
  • Lower Back Firmness Control – Adjusts the firmness and height of the lumbar to cradle exactly your lumbar curve.
  • Premium Upholstery – High-quality, durable fabrics come standard and rear nicely even after years of use.
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Leap set the standard for ergonomic “contoured cushions” and still leads in responsive, shape-changing support.

Average Price: $1,299

5. Branch Ergonomic Chair

As a relatively new player in the ergonomic chair game, Branch emphasises flexibility, movement and affordability. The result is a comfortable, dynamic chair meeting design professionals' core needs at a wallet-friendly price.

Branch Ergonomic Chair – A Versatile Desk Chair with Adjustable Lumbar Support, Breathable Mesh Backrest, and Smooth Wheels – Experience Optimal Comfort and Support – Black
  • BRANCH NOW ON AMAZON: Hi, we're Branch. We make it easy for people and teams to build a beautiful workspace where you can feel and work your best. Our products are built to last and designed to keep you comfortable and productive wherever you work.
  • ADJUSTABLE SEAT: Improve your ergonomic setup with our ergonomic office chair, easily adjust the seat height and depth to find the perfect position.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Get the best desk chair with wheels for your comfort and posture. Our innovative design ensures optimum ergonomics – an adjustable seat, backrest, and armrests for support while smooth-rolling wheels offer easy mobility.

Key Features:

  • 7 Points of Adjustability – Personalise the height, tilt tension, depth, lumbar support and more.
  • Breathable Mesh Back – Allows air to pass through and keep you cool during marathon design sessions.
  • Built-In Lumbar Support – A snug-fitting lumbar pad alleviates lower back pressure.
  • Generous Movement – Freely tilt, spin and swivel without obstruction.
  • Budget Buy – High-quality chairs cost hundreds less than the “big name” brands.

Branch makes ergonomics accessible for graphic artists needing core comforts without luxury add-ons.

Average Price: $369

While these five chairs represent prime picks for graphic designers, everyone has unique needs and preferences. The key is finding an option that balances critical ergonomic elements like movement, adjustability, and zonal support WITH the style, fabric, and dimensions that suit your workspace. Prioritising health and wellness now pays off tenfold in comfort, productivity and prevention of chronic issues down the road!

Frequently Asked Questions About Graphic Designer Chairs

Still, trying to decide which ergonomic chair best suits your graphic design needs? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions for additional guidance:

Are office chairs designed specifically for graphic designers necessary?

Not necessarily. Any reputable ergonomic chair offering ample adjustability, movement and zonal support should suffice. However, graphic designer-focused chairs tailor those core mechanics to the unique demands of creative computer work. The slight customisation makes a meaningful difference over generic office seating.

What chair features are most important for graphic artists?

Since graphical work requires intense focus AND nimbleness, chairs promoting subtle movement like tilting and bouncing energise designers. Designs explicitly supporting the torso, arms, and head prevent static postures that commonly strain graphic artists. Adjustability across all mechanisms caters to the fit and support levels to your exact specifications.

Is it worth investing in a premium ergonomic chair?

Absolutely! Like a quality mattress, you use an office chair for 8+ hours daily, making it pivotal for comfort and well-being. And since graphic design requires specialised support/movement, cheap chairs lacking those features can exacerbate pain or tightness. Considering how heavily you rely on an office chair, investing in your health via a top-rated model makes sound financial sense in the long term.

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Can I adjust an ergonomic chair independently, or need special assistance?

The beauty of modern ergonomic seating lies in the self-customisation. Nearly all mechanisms – from seat height, arm width and lumbar support to backrest tilt tension and much more – can be tweaked via simple levers or dials until your chair feels “just right”. Special assistance is generally not necessary for personalisation.

Will an ergonomic chair completely solve my back pain from graphic design work?

While exceptional ergonomic chairs ARE proven to decrease pain and discomfort significantly, some tightness or tension likely still occurs after long hours working in the same position. Take regular breaks, gently stretch and move around to give your body variety. No chair can eliminate all strain from relatively motionless computer work. But the suitable ergonomic model gets you surprisingly close to total pain-free comfort!

Choose What's Best for YOU

The “holy grail” graphic design chair looks slightly different for everyone. But prioritising tailored ergonomics for the unique physical demands of pixel-pushing sets any creative up for all-day comfort. Once you discover your perfect alignment via ample adjustments, targeted support zones and dynamic movement, you might forget you're even sitting in a chair! Treat your body kindly now; it will keep you happily concepting for years.

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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