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
- BTOD 100MC – Best Ergonomic Office Chair under $200
- OFM 1182AA – Best Task Chair under $200
- Boss B7501 – Best Leather Office Chairs under $200
- OFM Encore – Best Leather Office Chairs under $200
- Boss B8106 – Best Budget Office Chair under $150
- OTG 11650 – Best Cheap Office Chair under $150
- 5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Chairs under $200
- 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: $181.99 + 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 Chairs under $200 – Boss B7501
B7501 Starting Price: $177.99 + 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 Chairs under $200 – OFM Encore
Encore Starting Price: $188.99 + Free Shipping!
The OFM Encore is a nice leather office chair for less than $200. 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: $142.99 + 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.
See The Best Office Chairs For 2019
After months of testing 20+ office task chairs, the results are in!
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.
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.
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.