Whether you’re in the office or working from home, having a desk chair that keeps your focus on the task at hand is key. With most models today, swiveling wheels and deep reclining is nice, but promotes daydreaming far more than we’d like. That’s why the best desk chairs with no wheels are bringing style back to the office while keeping an eye on the goals for the day. Both big box brands and ergonomic office furniture offer a selection of desk chairs with no wheels, bells, and whistles so you can keep your eye on the ball. Now, the biggest decision is whether to go from one with a sled base of rails for flat surfaces, or stationary legs to keep you planted in one spot.
The keys to finding an ergonomic chair, according to Bret Hoffer, an Orange County–based chiropractor, are lumbar support, forward tilt, and hydraulic height variability. Hoffer also recommends adjustable armrests.
“Without the ability to rest the arms, the upper back, shoulder and neck areas will fatigue quickly,” Hoffer says. “Armrests are also beneficial to allowing proper positioning of the arms and wrist to avoid overuse which can lead to symptoms of carpal tunnel.”
Those opting for chairs without armrests should ensure there’s enough desk space to rest their arms without hunching forward or straining their arms.
The Best Desk Chairs With No Wheels: At a Glance
Athean Black Faux Leather Height-Adjustable Swivel Accent Task Chair
Symple Stuff Thea Mesh Task Chair
Made For: Literally Anyone With A Job
Close your eyes and picture an office chair. It probably looks something like this one. There’s a center-tilt, lumbar support, swivel, and a breathable mesh back. Is it rife with style points? Perhaps not, but work isn’t about style points. It’s about getting the job done well and this chair is ready to get you in the right spot for that. Both the seat and the arms can be adjusted in height.
West Elm Mid-Century Swivel Office Chair
Made For: Mid-Century-Modern Fans Working From Home
This desk chair is the kind that can be easily repurposed as a dining chair or a side chair, and the upholstered back and cushion add comfort for extended sitting. If you have enough space to rest your arms on the desk, you can pick an office chair without arms. Still, it would be nice if it came in more colors, though.
Made For: Sustainability-Minded Workers
The noho move isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for a unique, innovative, and strikingly good-looking product. The lattice design allows the chair to flex and move, like a desk chair, without compromising on aesthetics. It’s also made from recycled materials. The noho move looks like it could have come from the 60s, but it’s a fully contemporary design that merges aesthetics with function. It’s missing height adjustment and arms, but it can be a suitable option if your desk is spacious enough for your arms.
Okeysen Modern Office Desk Chair
Made For: Seat Depth Afficionados
This affordable chair is available in a range of fabric or faux leather finishes, and it features an adjustable height, rocking backrest and full swivel. While it lacks lumbar support, it has 18.5” of seat depth, so there should be enough room to add a lumbar pillow. The armrests add support, but they’re removable if they don’t fit.
Pottery Barn Burke Upholstered Swivel Desk Chair
Made For: Fabric Swatch Obsessives
Upholstery is at the core of this chair. Rather than opting for yet another wood or plastic model, try something with some color and texture. Pottery Barn’s desk chair swivels and has adjustable seat height. The chair lacks arms, but the curved design of the seat cradles and keeps the body comfortable. Pottery Barn offers an impressive level of fabric choice for this chair, so no two chairs need be alike.
HAY Result Armchair
Made For: Scandi-Design Enthusiasts
Authentic designs from famous designers don’t often come cheap, but HAY makes a modestly priced version. The chair is lightweight and has armrests. Though it’s technically an accent or dining chair, it’s a solid option for light desk work. Danish design studio HAY updated this design from legendary Dutch designers Friso Kramer and Wim Rietveld, creating a chair that would make perfect sense in the world’s hippest elementary school.
Athean Black Faux Leather Height-Adjustable Swivel Accent Task Chair
Made For: Modernists on a budget.
Value Proposition: This affordable faux leather chair is height adjustable, so it’s easier to find the correct seating position for you. It also has a swivel base, making it easier to get in and out of. It may not have the most high-end look, but it’s good for breakfast nooks and desks alike because of the adjustable height.
Fully Luna Standing Desk Stool
Made For: Anyone with a standing desk.
By promoting active sitting, Fully’s standing desk stool keeps you moving, helping you stay sharp (and awake). It’s designed with taller desks in mind, but the height is adjustable. Plus, the rubber rocker base will keep your floors safe. It’s not cheap for a stool, but it’s certainly more affordable than most desk chairs.
Interion Desk Stool
Made For: Pragmatists Looking For an Industrial Look
This chair doesn’t come from a home furnishing store but a commercial supplier, so it’s affordable and built to perform. Regarding ergonomics, it doesn’t have arms, but it has an adjustable height and four-way adjustable backrest. There’s something to be said for the purely utilitarian look of this chair. If your tastes skew industrial, this practical chair will fit in, and it delivers useful ergonomic features like an adjustable height and back.
IKEA LÅNGFJÄLL Conference chair
Made For: Swedes
By splitting the chair into separate components, IKEA makes it easy to customize. There are three backrest colors in two heights, and it’s available with or without arms. It comes with a four star base, or you choose the version with wheels.
Frequently Asked Questions About No-Wheel Desk Chairs
What is the most basic criteria for a good no-wheel desk chair?
At a bare minimum, a good desk chair with no wheels will be tall enough that the user doesn’t need to reach up to access the desk. For reference, the standard desk height is between 28” and 30.”
How much am I going to end up paying for a desk chair that isn’t…bad?
Affordable, basic desk chairs can be found for $100-$200, while better construction, more attractive design and more ergonomic features will push the price into the $200 to $400 range.
Doesn’t a lot of this come down to how you sit in the desk chair?
Yes. Regardless of the style of chair you choose, proper sitting position is paramount. “Starting from the ground up: The feet should be placed flat on the floor or the footrest in such a position that the knees/thighs are slightly lower than the hips/waist area,” says Hoffer. “Ears, shoulders and hips should be in a vertical line to each other. Shoulders should be situated in a normal position as if your arms were at your side.”
What about swivel chairs?
Without wheels, the ability to swivel comes in handy because the chairs will be easier to get in and out of. They tend to be pricier, but there’s a lot to be said for being able to turn. Ernst Blofeld was an interior design visionary.
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