10 Must-Have Features for Your Next Office Chair

Buying Guides and Tips

By Union Chair

The modern workplace in 2024 requires office chairs that can support long work hours while promoting health and productivity. As remote work and hybrid arrangements become more prevalent, investing in an ergonomic office chair is essential whether you’re working from a traditional office, home office, or combination of the two.

After analyzing the latest office chair models and trends, we’ve identified 10 key features that address the needs of today’s professionals:

1. Adjustable Seat Height

An adjustable seat height ranging from 16 to 21 inches allows you to find the perfect position for your body type and desk setup. This ergonomic foundation enables you to keep your feet flat on the floor and knees at a 90-degree angle, preventing strain on your legs and lower back.

Chairs like the Steelcase Series 1 offer an incredible range of adjustability between 16 and 21 inches.

2. Seat Depth Adjustment

Seat depth adjustment caters to different leg lengths, ensuring a small gap between the back of your knees and the seat edge. This prevents circulation loss while providing lower body support during extended sitting.

Brands like Herman Miller pioneered adjustable seat depths spanning 15 to 18 inches.

3. Customizable Backrest Height

An adjustable backrest ranging from 5 to 10 inches enables personalized lumbar support, maintaining the spine’s natural curve. This alleviates back pain associated with slouching and static postures when working long hours.

The Steelcase Leap Chair features an industry-leading backrest adjustment between 5 to 10 inches.

4. Back Tilt with Tension Adjustment

Back tilt combined with tension adjustment allows you to recline freely while controlling the rate of recline. This encourages movement and varying postures, boosting circulation and comfort over 8 to 10-hour workdays.

Chairs like the Herman Miller Cosm provide effortless reclining with easy-to-reach tension dials.

5. Adjustable Armrests

Adjustable armrests enable proper arm and shoulder positioning while typing and mousing. This eliminates strain on the neck, shoulders, and upper back during extensive computer work.

The Steelcase Think Chair features adjustable armrests with an incredible 30-inch range of motion.

6. Quality Casters

High-quality casters made of robust materials like nylon and steel allow smooth mobility across various floor types without damage. This prevents injury from sudden stops or starts during repetitive repositioning.

The Herman Miller Embody Chair uses high-grade carpet casters for flawless maneuverability.

7. Supportive Headrest

An adjustable headrest supports the head and neck while reclining, maintaining the spine’s natural alignment. This prevents neck strain during breaks from upright work.

The Steelcase Gesture Chair features a multi-dimensional headrest with height, depth, and angle adjustability.

8. Breathable, Durable Upholstery

Premium upholstery like mesh or cushioning with air pockets allows airflow to keep you cool. It also retains shape after years of use, increasing the chair’s lifespan. This balances comfort with longevity.

Chairs like the Herman Miller Aeron utilize proprietary 8Z Pellicle mesh for unmatched ventilation.

9. 360-Degree Swivel

360-degree swivel mechanism provides effortless access to different areas of your workstation without straining your body. This functionality prevents injury from twisting or overextending while working.

Most modern office chairs like the Steelcase Series 1 come standard with smooth, 360-degree swiveling.

10. Sustainably Sourced Materials

Chairs made using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes have a smaller environmental impact. Renewable, recycled, and non-toxic materials align with green standards through certifications like BIFMA Level, Cradle to Cradle, and FSC Chain of Custody.

The Steelcase Think Chair contains up to 30% recycled content and is up to 95% recyclable.


Your office chair directly impacts productivity and wellbeing during modern work’s extended hours. While aesthetic appeal is nice, prioritizing ergonomic design through these 10 essential features helps prevent injury and discomfort.

Investing in a high-quality chair demonstrating these characteristics will empower you to perform at your best while thriving across evolving work dynamics.

What are the best materials for an eco-friendly office chair?

Eco-friendly office chairs are best made with recycled or sustainably sourced materials. Look for certifications like GREENGUARD to ensure low chemical emissions and a smaller environmental footprint.

How can smart technology in office chairs improve my work experience?

Smart technology in office chairs, like posture sensors and temperature regulation, can significantly enhance comfort, alert you to adjust your posture, and contribute to overall health and productivity.

Are there office chairs suitable for both home and traditional office settings?

Yes, there are versatile office chairs designed to adapt to various settings, offering consistent ergonomic support. These chairs often feature adjustable components and space-efficient designs suitable for both home and traditional offices.