One thing that we are consistently asked at BTOD is which office chairs provide the best value. While people recognize that brands like Steelcase and Herman Miller make some of the best chairs, many find them too expensive. We are often asked which chairs we recommend in the $300-$500 range. This is a popular range because you are investing enough to get some good quality options, but you don’t have to break the bank with a name brand chair.
We have put together this list to give you our picks for the best chairs under $500, the best chairs under $400 and the best chairs under $300. Hopefully this list can provide you with an option that meets your needs, at your price point.
If you are looking for an office chair that costs less than the chairs on this list, then check out our list of the Best Office Chairs Under $200. It features six different options for you to choose from.
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Best Office Chairs under $500 List
- OM Truly. – Best Ergonomic Chair under $500
- OM Affirm – Best Task Chair under $500
- BTOD Akir – Most Comfortable Chair under $500
- Eurotech Vera – Best Mesh Chair under $400
- Eurotech 4x4SL – Best Task Chair under $400
- BTOD LQ-2-BK-GG – Best Big and Tall Chair under $400
- Offices to Go 11692 – Best Mesh Back Chair under $300
- OFM 130AA3 – Best Task Chair under $300
- Offices to Go 11617 – Best Leather Chair under $300
- 4 Things to Consider When Shopping for Chairs under $500
- Bottom Line
1. Best Ergonomic Chair under $500 – OM Truly.
Truly Starting Price: $435.99 + Free Shipping
Our #1 pick for the best office chair under $500 is the Truly by OM Seating. The Truly is our #1 pick because it is the most well-built chair on this list while also being one of the most adjustable options available. The Truly has a starting price of $435.99, but you can upgrade to the best mechanism and the price will be $496.99, keeping you under that $500 mark.
Upgrading to the Executive Synchro mechanism will give you a nice synchro tilt recline with 5 different tilt lock positions. You also have independent back angle adjustment, lumbar depth adjustment and back height adjustment. Along with the seat height adjustment, you also get seat depth adjustment. You get almost all of the adjustments we look for in a chair.
The only thing missing is arm adjustments. If you want to keep the price under $500, then you will have arm height adjustment only. Or, you can upgrade to 2, 3 or 4-way adjustable arms if you’d like.
The one unique feature on the Truly is its poly backrest. It is breathable and flexible. The material is hard, but it bends and moves with you as you move in the chair. It helps you move instead of prohibiting movement like a lot of chair designs.
The Truly offers a lot of customization. You have different mechanism choices and arm options. You can change the color of the back, seat and frame. You can also choose from different types of casters and seat sizes. You really have a lot of control over almost every aspect of the chair, which is pretty rare for a chair under $500.
2. Best Task Chair under $500 – OM Affirm
Affirm Starting Price: $320.99 + Free Shipping
The next chair on our list is a more basic version of the Truly chair. The Affirm comes from the same manufacturer, OM Seating. The build quality is not quite the same as the Truly, but it does have some shared parts and it is one of the most well-built chairs on this list. The price on the Affirm can be as low as $320.99 and you can get it fully loaded with adjustments and still stay under $500.
For $499.99 you can get almost every adjustment you can think of. You can control the seat height and depth. You can have 4-way adjustable arms. It comes with a synchro tilt mechanism and 5 locking positions. You can also have independent back angle adjustment and back height adjustment.
The Affirm is also customizable, like the Truly. You have a good selection of colors to choose from and a variety of options you can add, depending on your specific needs. This gives you a lot of different ways to configure the chair while still keeping it affordable.
The Affirm features a thick padded seat and a mesh back. The seat has thick padding, but it is on the firm side. The mesh back gives the chair good breathability and the mesh is flexible enough to conform to the person sitting in the chair. The Affirm does not feature adjustable lumbar support but it does have a lumbar curve and the back height adjustment allows you to place the curve in the right place to give you proper support.
3. Most Comfortable Chair under $500 – BTOD Akir
Akir Starting Price: $404.99 + Free Shipping
Our 3rd ranked chair is the BTOD Akir. The Akir does not have the same level of build quality as the previous chairs but it makes up for it with comfort and adjustability. It also has a solid warranty for the price. You get lifetime coverage on all but the foam and upholstery, which is covered for 5 years.
The Akir currently has the highest seat comfort score we have given to an office chair. The seat is the main attraction on the Akir. It is large, thickly padded and does not have any hard edges. You can comfortably use the entire seat. The unique thing about the padding on the seat is that it is soft, and it does not bottom out. Most seats are soft but bottom out quickly or they are thick but firm to prevent bottoming out. The Akir has found the perfect middle ground.
The backrest on the Akir also has some nice features. It has a breathable mesh back with an adjustable lumbar support system. You can control the height of the lumbar pad. The lumbar has the same padding as the seat, so it is nice and soft on your back.
Along with the comfort of the seat and back, the Akir is also highly adjustable. The seat height, seat depth, 4-way arms, multiple locking positions and adjustable lumbar support, make the Akir one of the most adjustable chairs we have tested. If you want to take it a step further, you can add a 2-way adjustable headrest to give you even more support.
4. Best Mesh Chair under $400 – Eurotech Vera
Vera Price: $399.00 + Free Shipping
The 4th chair on our list is our first option that has a price below $400. The Eurotech Vera has become one of BTOD’s most popular options for customers that want an affordable chair that still offers really good back support with a good range of adjustments. The Vera is made in China and doesn’t have the highest quality build on this list, but Eurotech has a solid limited lifetime warranty with 5 years of coverage on the foam and upholstery.
The most attractive feature on the Vera is the backrest. The Vera currently holds the highest back comfort score out of any chair we have tested in our office. Our comfort testing consists of letting everyone in our office use the chair, so the Vera offers good back support for a wide range of people. The back has a perfectly shaped curve and the mesh is flexible enough to cradle your entire back. Even without an adjustable lumbar support system, the Vera still holds the highest back comfort score.
Along with the highest back comfort score, the Vera also placed in the top 5 for seat comfort. The seat doesn’t do anything fancy, but it will be comfortable for most people. The seat is spacious with no hard edges. The padding is thick and offers good support. The seat is not quite as soft as the Akir’s seat, but it is softer than chairs like the Truly and Affirm.
The Vera is a comfortable chair, but it also has good adjustability. You can adjust the height and depth of the seat. The Vera comes standard with 4-way arms. It also comes with a synchro-tilt mechanism that has tension control and 4 different locking positions.
5. Best Task Chair under $400 – Eurotech 4x4SL
4x4SL Price: $352.00 + Free Shipping
Rounding out our top 5 is the 4x4SL by Eurotech Seating. This is your prototypical workhorse task chair. It is loaded with adjustments. It features a really solid steel build and the chair is backed by Eurotech Seating’s limited lifetime warranty for people up to 275 lbs. This is a chair that is built to last. If you are looking for a solid computer task chair for under $400, then the 4x4SL is definitely an option to consider.
The 4x4SL comes standard with seat height and seat depth adjustments. The arms are height and width adjustable. The 4x4SL features a center tilt mechanism, which allows you to freely rock in the chair. It is unique because the seat has independent tilt and you can lock it at any angle that you want. This also includes a forward seat tilt function if you want to be in a fully upright position for tasking.
The backrest has ratchet height adjustment so that you can place it in the best position to give you the most back support. It also has independent angle adjustment so you can lock it at any angle that you’d like. Overall, the functionality of the 4x4SL makes it a nice option for people that need a solid computer chair.
6. Best Big and Tall Chair under $400 – BTOD LQ-2-BK-GG
LQ-2-BK-GG Price: $334.99 + Free Shipping
The 6th chair on our list is our pick for the best big and tall chair under $400. This is a popular choice for our customers that need a chair that is a bit larger than standard sized chairs while still being comfortable and adjustable. Often times you need to sacrifice comfort or adjustability to get a big and tall chair for under $400. Luckily, that is not the case with the LQ-2-BK-GG.
The LQ-2-BK-GG is rated for people weighing up to 350 lbs. The dimensions are larger than a standard chair. The seat height range is taller and the seat and arm width are wider. All of these factors make the LQ-2-BK-GG a nice option for big and tall people that weigh up to 350 lbs. An added bonus is that this chair is rated for 24/7 usage, which makes it a nice option for big and tall people that work in dispatch rooms or 24 hour call centers.
The LQ-2-BK-GG features a breathable mesh back design but one of the best features on the LQ-2-BK-GG is its seat comfort. The LQ-2-BK-GG features a padded suspension seat design. This makes you feel as though you are sitting on top of the seat instead of sinking into it. The padding gives you enough cushion to make the seat soft. Overall, it is one of the most comfortable seats we have had the chance to test.
You also get some nice adjustments on the LQ-2-BK-GG. The arms are 4-way adjustable and you get height adjustable lumbar support. It comes with a synchro-tilt mechanism and has a nice recline motion that can lock in three different positions.
7. Best Mesh Back Chair under $300 – Offices to Go 11692
11692 Price: $252.99 + Free Shipping
Our next chair is the first chair on our list that is available for less than $300. The 11692 by Offices to Go is a mesh back chair with a mock leather seat and trim. It features a basic center tilt mechanism with tension adjustment and single position tilt lock to allow you to lock the chair in an upright position.
Along with the center tilt rocking ability, the 11692 also comes with a seat slider. This is a function usually seen on higher priced chairs, so it’s a nice bonus to have. The arms feature height adjustment and soft arm pads.
The leather on the 11692 is not genuine but it still gives the chair a more upscale look and the vinyl used is actually more washable than real leather. The mesh is not the same level of quality as the other chairs on this list. It won’t have the soft, stretchy characteristics but it does still give the chair good breathability to keep you from getting warm while sitting.
This is not the type of office chair that we would recommend spending long hours (5 or more per day) in. But this can be a nice option for conference rooms, home offices or for people that do not need to sit for prolonged hours at a time.
8. Best Task Chair under $300 – OFM 130AA3
130AA3 Price: $230.99 + Free Shipping
The next chair on our list is another good option for those of you that need a computer task chair and want a t model under the $300 mark. The OFM 130AA3 is similar to the 4x4SL mentioned earlier in the list but it is a bit lower in quality, which comes with a more affordable price. The 130AA3 sells for $230.99 and comes with a decent warranty.
It has similar adjustability to the 4x4SL, minus the sliding seat for seat depth adjustment. It does come standard with seat height adjustment and independent seat angle adjustment, which includes forward seat tilt. You can also adjust the back angle and back height. The arms are height and width adjustable.
The mesh on the backrest of the 130AA3 is going lower end but it still functions as intended. It provides proper airflow and allows you to stay cool while working. The seat is thickly padded with 3” of foam and features a contoured shape.
The 130AA3 is available in 4 different color options. Most chairs at this price range are available in black only. Being able to get a mesh back chair in a color other than black makes it an attractive option for people that want an affordable mesh task chair in red, blue or grey.
9. Best Leather Chair under $300 – Offices to Go 11617
11617 Price: $207.99 + Free Shipping
The final chair on our list is our choice for the best leather chair under $300. This is a very basic leather chair, but it is priced affordably at $207.99. For $207.99, you still get a decent warranty and Offices to Go makes better quality chairs than most models you will find in this price range.
The 11617 does not have genuine leather. It has what Offices to Go calls Luxhide Leather. This is a synthetic product that consists of 15% real leather. Luxhide leather will look and feel like real leather but it gives you some washability characteristics that leather does not have.
The 11617 has a center tilt mechanism that allows you to control the tension of the recline. You can also lock it in the upright position. It also comes with pneumatic seat height adjustment, ensuring you are sitting at the proper ergonomic height.
The fixed loop arms are not adjustable, but they do have soft pads that help to make them more comfortable. This is not a chair that we would recommend for people that do a lot of computer tasking. I wouldn’t recommend it for people that need something for more than 3-4 hours at a time. This is great for a conference room setting, home office or a manager that is not at their desk all day long.
See The Best Office Chairs For 2019
After months of testing 20+ office computer chairs, the results are in!
Four Things to Consider With Chairs Under $500
1. Manage Expectations
It is important to understand that $500 is a mid-range price for an office chair. This may seem like a lot of money to some and it may not seem too bad for others. Regardless, you need to know that because you are buying a mid-range chair, there will be some areas of the chair that need to be sacrificed to keep the chair at a mid-range price point.
The sacrifice may be on the quality of the parts. Things like the casters, padding or upholstery may be lower quality. Maybe the chair lacks adjustments. It may come with a short warranty. Whatever it is, you need to be aware that some things will not be top of the line and you need to know which areas you are fine with sacrificing.
The difference in chair quality in this price range can be pretty drastic. This also applies to the warranty on the chairs. As an example, the warranty coverage periods for the chairs on this list range from 2 years all the way up to a lifetime.
You need to make sure that you know what the warranty is for the different chairs you are considering. A warranty can add a lot of value to a chair. One chair may cost $50 more than a similar model but if you get an extra 5 years on the warranty it may sway your decision on which model to choose.
3. Understand how office chairs move
There are a handful of different ways that an office chair can recline, or tilt and some chairs do not recline or tilt at all. In this price range you will see every kind of tilting and reclining mechanism. If reclining is important to you, then it is important to understand the different types and which ones will work for you.
The most basic tilt is called swivel tilt or center tilt. This means that the seat tilts from a point right underneath the seat. This is the most basic tilt function. It is the most difficult to recline and it will raise your knees as you rock back in the chair.
A knee tilt mechanism will allow you to rock back with the recline point being right behind your knees. This allows your butt to sink down when you rock the chair, which keeps your knees in place. This provides a more ergonomic position and knee tilt mechanisms are much easier to recline and rock in than center or swivel tilt.
The final type of tilt to cover is synchro-tilt. This is the most common type of mechanism used on ergonomic office chairs. A synchro-tilt mechanism will tilt the seat as the back is reclined but it will be at a smaller ratio than a knee tilt or swivel tilt mechanism. Instead of keeping the back and seat at the same angle through the recline, the back will move back at a 2:1 ratio as compared to the seat. This allows the back angle to open up, which allows you to stay in an ergonomic position through the entire recline.
4. Know your adjustments
Before you decide which chair you are leaning toward, you need to know which adjustments are important to you. Chairs in this price range can vary greatly in terms of adjustability. Some chairs may only have a couple adjustments. On the other hand, you can find chairs in this price range with all of the adjustments you could ever ask for. As long as you know what adjustments you absolutely need, it will be much easier to narrow down your search.
Trying to find the office chair that provides the best value for you can often be an exhaustive search. When searching for chairs that cost less than $500, you have thousands of different options to choose from. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that you have a ton of different manufacturers and styles to choose from. The bad thing is that this creates a situation where a lot of the options are going to be really poor options.
People are often looking for the sweet spot with chairs. They want to know how much they need to spend to get into the area of good quality chairs, without having to pay the premium price for name brand chairs. The $500 range will get you into this territory. There are plenty of options that offer solid builds, good warranties and whatever adjustments you may need.
As long as you know what you are looking for before you begin narrowing down your search, you should be in a good spot. Make sure to understand how each chair can recline and move. Identify which movement style and adjustments are important to you. Make sure you are familiar with the manufacturer and their warranty. Keeping these things in mind will help to ensure that you find the best chair you can for less than $500.