Best chairs for programmers?

(Greg Robson) #1

My current IKEA chair has seen about 7 years of use… the gas is going in cylinder so I need to keep lifting the lever to lift it back up… it’s time for an upgrade!

What chairs are people using? I have a few requirements:

  • Preferably fabric, I find it breathes better and is more survivable in the summer. (Mesh back is even better)
  • Arms - I don’t use them at home, and don’t really use them at work - so either no arms, or detatchable.
  • Not massive - some are really bulky - I like a slimmer look.
  • Ideally height, lumbar and back adjustments for a comfy fit.

Price… I think £250 would be suitable, would push a bit higher for the right chair - I hope to code for many years to come and protecting my back is a good insurance policy!

Obviously 2nd hand Herman Miller or Steelcase chairs are an option. Amazon turns up a lot of chairs - but all the reviews are very inconsistent.

Keen to know what everyone else sitting on while reading this!

(Andy Wootton) #2

I thought there was quite a long thread about this but I can’t find it. Maybe it was on Slack so was lost. I think Ikea were still thought to be good value.

As I was talking knackered backs with @Omar last night:
I use an office chair from B&Q that I think cost £99. It has an adjustable plastic lumbar support so I can get support at the right height, because I’m above average height.

I had an ergonomic assessment for a special chair after I had a prolapsed lumbar disc. The consultants recommendation was a high back, good lumbar support and arms that I could lean my ‘mouse arm’ on, to stop the weight of my extended arm putting stress on my back, without putting pressure on the carpal tunnel and causing other problems in my arm. I also saw a physio who also said high back and adjusting everything to be the right height that there are right-angles at knees, hips and elbows, with the keyboard slightly lower so the wrists drop slightly. She advised a rolled-up towel in the lower back, to keep a curve in my spine but I’ve just upgraded to a memory-foam cushion from Jysk It fits in a normal cushion cover but is shaped, or there is a strap that would go round a chair back.

For the full ergonomic set, screen at right angles to any window or directional lighting and top of screen level with forehead (maybe higher for huge screens?)

(Daniel Hollands) #3

Do you mean this one:

I ended up buying the Eliza Tinsley Mesh High Back, which seems to have kept me happy enough since (it’s better than the one I use at the foxsoft office).

The only issue I’ve had with it is the headrest broke off - maybe I have a heavy head? That’s not a massive issue for me, as (believe it or not) I don’t tend to use it very much anyway.

(Greg Robson) #4

I had a feeling I had seen something here before.

@LimeBlast - that looks interesting, I don’t need the headrest though. The previous thread mentioned Hacker News… I might re-investigate the Aeron chairs. I might make a (rather sedentary) visit to John Lewis to sit… and do little else!

I do remember sitting in a friend’s 2nd hand Aeron years ago. The build quality was outstanding - it lacked any “joint flex” that you get with cheaper chairs. It sort of felt like the chair equivalent of VW car.

Price point looks reasonable if I do my homework. Plus spares should be available should any parts wear out in a few years time…

Steelcase Think 3D also looks good as well… hmm…

(Greg Robson) #5

Some interesting chairs at a decent £200-£300 price point on Wayfair…

(Andy Wootton) #6

Yes, that’s it. I thought I’d checked that one and found no replies.

(Dave Adlakha-Russell) #7

Can’t beat a Humanscale Freedom Headrest IMO. I used an Aeron for a few years until I did myself a minor spine injury and needed something with a bit more support in the right areas. Aerons are fantastic chairs, but there’s a couple of issues that can let it down. For me, it was the lack of headrest (the aftermarket ones are naff); the seat being about 3 inches longer than it needed to be; and the sub-par lumbar support, even with the over-priced PostureFit kit. YMMV, of course.

I haven’t had a single issue with the Freedom, and the lumbar and shoulder support are excellent. They cost about the same as an Aeron brand new, but second hand they’re a bit cheaper. I bought mine for about £240 from Looks like they’re out of stock at the moment though.

(Greg Robson) #8

@Okaydave - the Humanscale Freedom does look nice… definitely a contender! Thanks for the mini-review. I’ve noticed that comes up a lot in the search results :slight_smile:

(Daveyon Mayne) #9

I got the Markus from IKEA

Feels very comfortable and goes way back for a deep thinker

(Greg Robson) #10

I had contemplated the Markus… (my current chair is not that different and was of similar price from IKEA).

I think I want more adjustable stuff on my next chair! Especially considering the hours I spend on it!

(Daveyon Mayne) #11

I see. I’m not sure if the height is adjustable or not. I’d have to look and see.