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Sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours on end can wreak all sorts of havoc on your body. Over time, you may realize you’ve frequently got a sore neck or a twinge in your back that never seems to go away. For spine health, creating a comfortable and ergonomic work and study station is vital – and that starts with your seat.
If you’re tired of neck or back pain, the best chairs for studying can help. In this article, we look at the different types available and recommend some of our favorite comfy chairs for studying. Let’s get right to it!
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Featured Comfortable Chairs for Studying [Editor’s Picks]
There are plenty of study chairs to choose from, and some types overlap. For example, an ergonomic computer chair might also be a high- or mid-back chair type.
1. Ergonomic Computer Chairs
The best study chairs tend to make the best office chairs. These ergonomic computer chairs are specifically designed for comfort and support and have key components that you can adjust:
Lumbar support to help align the spine
Armrests for extra bracing and support
Some offer additional adjustment points, such as seat depth or “3D” armrests.
Ergonomic computer chairs are either high-back or mid-back, with the key difference being the height of the backrest.
2. High-back Chairs
High-back chairs have taller backrests, offering greater support for your neck, shoulders, and back. These chairs may also have adjustable or fixed headrests to help support your head. These are often some of the best student desk chairs for long study sessions, especially at home.
3. Mid-back Chairs
Mid-back chairs have shorter backrests (often shorter than a user’s shoulders) and don’t feature any headrests. These chairs are typically designed to offer lower-back and lumbar support – good options for mid-to-long study sessions.
4. Forward-Tilting Chairs
As the name might suggest, forward-tilting chairs allow you to adjust the seat’s angle, letting you tilt your seat forward or backward. They can help reduce pressure on the back and neck (especially if you’re frequently hunched over your laptop or a book) and may help improve your blood flow while seated.
Thanks to the forward tilting function, if you’re frequently looking down, these are great seats for short-to-long sessions.
5. Active Sitting Chairs
You typically engage at least some of your muscles when sitting actively. Active or dynamic sitting requires you to engage your core, back, or legs to help support yourself while seated, making these great for restless sitters. Some types of active sitting chairs even encourage movement while seated (which can burn more calories than static sitting).
6. Kneeling Chairs
Kneeling chairs have been gaining some notoriety recently, but they’ve been around for quite some time. This type of unique seat is designed with a seat that slopes 20º downward. You sit in the sloped seat while your knees are supported on the built-in knee cushions.
When you sit in a kneeling chair, your hips rest in an open-angled 110º position, relieving pressure on your spine. This position helps to align your back, neck, and shoulders while encouraging you to engage your core more.
The WorkPro Quantum 9000 is a fantastic mid-back, ergonomic option. This chair is pricey, but the build quality makes it easy to see why. Offering four adjustment options and a five-point base with casters, it allows free movement in a room. Our only gripe: While the Quantum 9000 offers lumbar support, it isn’t adjustable.
Integrated lumbar support, not the most common on a mid-back chair
Fully adjustable gel padded armrests
Flexible mesh back for those who prefer more flexibility
The GABRYLLY is certainly a contender for the best desk chair for college students, especially thanks to its ergonomic and sleek design. The armrests flip up to allow more space if necessary, and the adjustable headrest offers greater comfort and support. Overall, this is an excellent chair for those who enjoy breathable mesh seating.
Breathable mesh ensures optimal cooling airflow
Flip-up armrests to save space
Wide range of support – lumbar, neck, hands, head, hips
Material: Nylon and steel alloy frame, mesh seat, and back
Designed for people between 5’8 and 6’3, the SUNNOW is a superb chair for taller people. There are five adjustment options, including double lumbar supports to help reduce back strain further. The chair does look a bit bulky, but if you can get over the aesthetic, it makes for a great choice.
Double lumbar support (upper and lower back)
Many adjustment options
Supports height ranges from 5’8” to 6’3”
Allows you to ‘lock’ the chair and preferred settings
Material: Textile upholstered seats, aluminum base
If you don’t mind the gaming aesthetic, the Secretlab Titan Evo is a chair to consider. It offers a few adjustment options, but what stands out the most is its 4-way adjustable lumbar support. It also features a removable magnetic memory foam head pillow for head support.
This chair comes in three sizes to suit any user. Secretlab recommends a small size for users under 5’6”, a regular size for users between 5’7” and 6’2”, and an extra-large option for users between 5’11” and 6’9”.
Material: Metal frame, nylon mesh, and sponge foam
The AFO Ergonomic Office Chair is a great high-back option with an adjustable headrest and a retractable footrest for reclining. The mesh back helps to keep users cool during prolonged study sessions, and the padded armrests allow for more comfortable leaning and support.
Retractable footrest allows for a fuller recline
Suitable for tall people with height adjustable headrest
Rocking seat back function provides greater flexibility
Looking for a more classic look that also lends heaps of class to a workspace? The Ovios Krellack is a chair to consider. With its sleek and modern design – and suede upholstery – what it lacks in adjustability, it makes up for in style!
When it comes to our list, the Art Leon is one of the few chairs that doesn’t feature a typical 5-point chair base. While it looks like a typical modern chair, its seat offers a 360° swivel. If you’re looking for a certain aesthetic, this chair is one to consider. However, you may sacrifice a bit of comfort in the long run.
Sturdy, solid frame
Medium open back allows for wide back and arm support
The bottom of legs have plastic foot pads to protect floors
Material: Faux leather upholstery, nylon/plastic base
The Amazon Basics Padded Office Desk Chair is a mid-back seat that offers a no-frills sitting experience. It features a faux leather upholstered seat and a reclining functionality (without much else in terms of adjustments). The chair is durable, meets BIFMA standards, and many reviews say it’s comfy enough. However, you might need additional accessories if you find the lumbar support lacking.
Durable and sustainable according to BIFMA standards
The LEMBERI Fabric Padded Chair is a great mid-back option for people who prefer a wider seat and sitting with their legs crossed beneath them. The chair doesn’t feature caster wheels, so it won’t budge or move around. However, it offers the ability to recline if you need a break. The fabric upholstered seat also looks great and offers a clean aesthetic.
Base has non-slip natural rubber foot pads to prevent scratching and slipping
Wide enough to sit with crisscrossed legs
Soft padded seat
Lacks support options (neck, lumbar, arm)
Fabric upholstery not as breathable as mesh options
Material: Uses recycled materials for earth-friendliness, aluminum, faux leather, and proprietary 8Z Pellicle textile.
Herman Miller is one of the most popular ergonomic seating brands, with many naming the Aeron as their dream chair. Many top-level companies provide Herman Miller chairs for their employees, as they’re some of the best on the market.
The Aeron design has been around for a couple of decades. It features several adjustment options and comes in different sizes to suit users of any height. It’s also one of the only chairs to offer forward tilting, allowing greater comfort during certain activities.
Adjustable sacral/lumbar support integrated into the chair frame
Forward tilt allows for better focus
Herman Miller is known for being one of the best ergonomic chair brands
Material: Mesh seat with a plastic, aluminum, and steel frame
If you want forward tilting without the Aeron price tag, the SIDIZ T50 is a more affordable option. The T50 also features many adjustments, including seat depth to personalize your sitting experience further. Unlike the Herman Miller Aeron, this chair doesn’t have size options (so it might not be a good fit for shorter people).
Specialized forward tilting function with 5 tilt angles
Adjustments: Height, omni-direction lean and tilt up to 20 degrees
Dimensions: 13.75″ x 17″ x 23″
Maximum Weight: 250 Lbs
Base: Flat rectangular base
Material: Polypropylene frame and foam upholstered seat
The Vari Active Seat looks more like a barstool than chair for work or study. However, it’s certainly a top contender for the best chair for studying, especially for people requiring a more active sitting experience. This seat is height adjustable, letting you use it at a sitting or standing desk. It leans and tilts to 20 degrees, promoting movement and muscle engagement. There are also tilt guards to prevent any toppling accidents.
The Gaiam Classic is essentially a gym ball on a base. Gym balls have long been suggested for active sitting, as they encourage core muscle activation and promote movement while seated. The Gaiam’s base features lockable caster wheels for mobility (so you won’t need to carry or roll a ball around your study or office).
Much like the Gaiam Classic, the Enovi Starfish features a machine-washable fabric slipcover that provides a more modern aesthetic. It’s relatively affordable and looks great in a study or office (though it doesn’t have any wheels for portability).
Saddle stools may not immediately come to mind when you think about comfort, but saddle seating can actually promote movement and muscle engagement. They also help to get your spine into a neutral alignment, potentially strengthening your spine and reducing discomfort over time. Although getting used to saddle seats may take some time, they offer an excellent active sitting experience that can take pressure off your back.
The TASALON stool features a padded seat and a durable aluminum frame. The rollerblade casters allow quiet rolling while reducing snagging on carpets and rugs and eliminating scuffing on wood flooring.
Material: Plastic and metal frame, vinyl upholstered seat
The Kaleurrier Saddle Stool is a great option for those looking for an active sitting experience without compromising back support. Although saddle seats are more beneficial when used without a backrest, having the option is great – especially if you need to lean back occasionally.
This chair offers height adjustments and caster wheels. You can also purchase rollerblade casters separately if you want to switch the casters out.
Kneeling chairs aren’t the most popular option on our list, but they do offer some solid benefits. The Varier Variable Balans is one of the few well-reviewed kneeling chairs around. Featuring a rocking base, a tilted seat, and padded knee supports, it quickly encourages proper posture.
Although kneeling chairs also take some getting used to, they can help reduce pressure on your hips and back, allowing for more comfortable study sessions. We suggest alternating kneeling chairs with other more traditional seating options to relieve pressure on your knees. We also suggest learning the proper sitting position to ensure optimal benefits.
Small form is space efficient
Tilts pelvis forward, encouraging natural upright posture
Assortment of seats and base colors
Takes some getting used to
How to Choose the Best Chair for Studying Long Hours
Naturally, one of the first things to consider is whether your chair will be comfortable for long hours of use. That said, comfort is subjective: What suits someone else may not suit you.
That said, there are some factors you can consider to help you select a good chair for studying, such as:
An ergonomic chair allows you to build a more solid work/study setup. In turn, this can help reduce pain and strain on your back.
If you want the ability to alter your seating, choose a chair that offers adjustment options. Look at options that offer the desired adjustment types before making a purchase.
Chairs aren’t universal. When buying, always consider options suitable to your height. A chair that’s the wrong size for your frame will cause plenty of discomfort.
Some chairs are wider than others, so be sure your option allows you to sit comfortably. If you enjoy sitting with your legs crossed, look at chairs with wider seats.
Choose a chair type that best suits your needs. For example, if you’re restless and move around, think about an active sitting chair or ergonomic computer chair.
Some chair types are designed to provide more support than others. Choose a chair that offers the support you need to be comfortable during long sessions.
Selecting a more durable option will ensure that your chair will last you through the years, saving you money in the long run.
Although a great study chair is an investment that will (hopefully) last you years, try to set – and stay within – a budget in order to avoid financial strain.
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Absolutely. While many prefer studying in bed or on the couch, most people work at a table or study desk. When you’re sitting down, having a comfortable chair for studying is vital for long sessions. With a good chair, you’ll reduce your neck and back pain – giving you one less thing to worry about.
2. How Can I Sit and Study for Long Hours without Back Pain?
The key to avoiding back pain during long study sessions is ensuring an ergonomic setup that suits your specific needs. Choose a table that’s just the perfect height (consider using a desk with height adjustments), then select the right type of chair to provide the appropriate level of support and help maintain a neutral spine alignment. If you need help choosing, our recommended chairs include some of the best desk chairs for students.
The best chairs for studying can make long study sessions far more bearable. However, there is no “one size fits all,” and finding the perfect chair is a personal experience involving a fair bit of research, trial, and error). Once you have a great chair, you can add accessories (such as a stand for your grad school laptop)!