Buying a new chair for your office, in the $500 budget range is what I like to think of as the office chair sweet spot.
I have included several office chairs in this post that are priced under $500. For those who don’t have time to read the whole post, I am briefly giving links to all the chairs with my opinion. You can view the product from here.
- The HON Ignition 2.0 is ranked first because the chair is really comfortable. Yes, it’s not that the rest of the chairs on this list aren’t comfortable, but overall it’s ahead of the rest. Also, its build quality is good.
- La-Z-Boy Delano This chair for big and tall persons is the most comfortable and best under a $500 budget.
- The NEUHAUS Ergo3D is for those who are between 5’5″ to 6 feet in height. Maximum 135-degree angle back tilt. Also, its headrest and lumbar support are very good.
- SIDIZ T50 -for those Height 5′ ft 5″ to 5’10” And under 190 pounds, it’s the perfect chair. I would highly recommend it over the HON Ignition 2.0 in this case. It has also a forward tilt feature.
- Serta AIR Health – This chair is best for those who have back-related problems or who want to correct their posture. It’s hard to find ergonomic chairs like this cheap. So for the price, this is a good enough chair.
- Steelcase Series 1 is the last chair on my list. Although this chair deserves first place. But considering the demand budget trend, I have kept it down. However, this chair is the best of all the chairs on this list. Its durability is very high. Usually best for shorter people.
Best Office Chair Under $500
#1: HON Ignition 2.0
You’ve probably seen this chair on almost every sub-$500 budget chair website and YouTube review. Everyone has reasons to recommend this chair.
This HON Ignition 2.0 chair is a very comfortable chair. Its seats are upholstered with fabric. Its seat foam is very cushy, and soft but firm. But since it is a low-budget chair, the seat foam is a little low quality.
So even though it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, I’d suggest looking at a better chair if you’re over 210 pounds. Not that it will be damaged by taking 300 pounds of weight, but its seat can go flat quickly. That’s why I asked you to take it if your weight is less than its capacity.
Also, remember this when buying any chair try to get a chair that can carry 15-25% more weight than your weight.
Then comes the seat height.
Of all the chairs on my list, the HON Ignition 2.0 and Steelcase Series 1 have the lowest seat height adjustment. So these two chairs can be used by very short people. Its minimum seat height is only 16″ inches. It will fit easily if you are 5 feet tall. Your feet will sit flat on the ground easily.
However, its seat depth can be adjusted from 17 – 19″ inches which are good for both short and tall people. But I think the Steelcase Series 1 chair would be the best choice for short people.
Now let’s see how it will be for tall people. Its maximum seat height can be extended up to 21″ inches. So if you are 6’3″ tall this chair will fit you. Also, its seat depth can be adjusted up to 19″ inches. However, the usable seat depth is 18″ inches. This should also be kept in mind.
HON Ignition 2.0’s seat fabric is upholstered but its back is mesh. Here’s a little about Mesh.
There are two types of mesh material one is AN 70 and the second is AC 60. AN 70-type mesh is a low-quality mesh and has very low density. On the other hand, AC 60 mesh is much denser and has higher tensile strength. So we have to take AC 60 type mesh which is used in the chair.
Now let’s talk about the mesh quality of HON Ignition 2.0. AC 60-type mesh is used in this chair. The mesh tread on this chair is very dense. Its 4-WAY STRETCH MESH back won’t sag easily. And a common advantage of mesh chairs is that you won’t sweat. So mesh chairs are very suitable for use in hot weather.
Almost all ergonomic chairs now have a synchro-tilt mechanism. No doubt the same mechanism has been used in this chair. There are two types of tilt Asynchro-tilt and synchro-tilt.
In Asynchro-tilt, the seat of the chair is tilted to the same angle as the back angle. So in many chairs, you will see that if you recline the back, the whole seat rises up. which reduces the comfort of the chair.
And in the case of synchro-tilt, the seat is tilted with the back angle, but the back and seat angle of the chair is tilted in the ratio of 2:1. If the back is reclined at an angle of 10 degrees, the seat of the chair will recline at an angle of 5 degrees. So without further ado, HON Ignition 2.0 has a synchro-tilt feature with tilt lock and tension control.
HON Ignition 2.0 uses good-quality nylon casters. But I don’t like nylon casters. Because it is a kind of plastic. So I dislike both the nylon five-star base and the caster wheel. Their durability and forgiveness are less. NOUHAUS Ergo3D is the best in particular, as it features top-notch Roller Blade caster wheels.
Then this chair is ranked first because this chair is really very comfortable. Yes, it’s not that the rest of the chairs on this list aren’t comfortable, but overall it’s ahead of the rest. Also, its build quality is good.
#2: La-Z-Boy Delano
The second chair on our list is the La-Z-Boy Delano. The look of this chair is on a different level, very sleek, elegant, and professional.
This chair is not for short people or average people. It is basically a perfect chair for tall people. If your height is below 6′ feet then this chair is not for you. It has a minimum seat height of 22″ inches which is the maximum seat height adjustment of any other chair.
You must understand why I said this is only a chair for tall people. It has a maximum seat height adjustment of 25″ inches. So even if you are tall like a tower it will still fit comfortably. And this is why this Big and Tall chair has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. But remember you should always take a chair with a capacity greater than your weight. This will increase the durability of the chair. So if you weigh 300 pounds or less, this chair is perfect for you.
Also, the back height of this chair is 27″ inches. Although 27″ inches of back height is sufficient it seems a little short compared to the maximum seat height. A minimum 30″ inch back height would be perfect. That’s what I think. And the seat size is about 21.5 inches wide and the seat depth is 21 inches. Which is enough for a big and tall person.
And this chair is different from the rest of the chairs on this list. This chair is not a mesh or fabric chair like the HON Ignition 2.0 or NOUHAUS Ergo3D. And no, the La-Z-Boy Delano chair is designed for average-sized persons.
The La-Z-Boy Delano is basically a bonded leather chair. Now don’t say I want genuine leather because I hate bonded leather. Don’t forget your budget is under $500 whereas a genuine leather chair will cost $700-1000.
Its five-star base, arms, and entire frame are made of wood. So this is a great-looking chair as well as quite heavy. So there is no concern about its stability.
And honestly, this chair is one of the most comfortable chairs on this list.
Yes, you can call me double-faced because I called the HON Ignition 2.0 the most comfortable chair on this list. But here I am saying that La-Z-Boy Delano is the most comfortable. Actually, this is a chair for big and tall people. So I cannot recommend this chair to average people who are more in number. So I didn’t give it first place.
However, the La-Z-Boy Delano is actually the most comfortable chair because of its 6″ thick memory foam seat. Memory foam is usually used to make expensive medical-grade seat cushions. Whereas the HON Ignition 2.0, which I ranked first for the most comfortable seat, is the seat of the chair. Only 4 inches thick. And only poor quality foam is used in it.
So the La-Z-Boy Delano is ahead in all aspects of comfort and ergonomics with its 6″ thick memory foam seat. Because as I said earlier it is a big and tall chair so it deserves these features.
But what I don’t like about the La-Z-Boy Delano is its recline feature.
It can only recline at an angle of 15 degrees. So this chair is not suitable for those who like high range recline. But the truth is that big and tall chairs usually don’t offer much range of reclining for durability.
Finally, for big and tall people, this chair is the most comfortable and best chair under a $500 budget.
#3: NOUHAUS Ergo3D
Now the 3rd best chair under $500 on our list is the NOUHAUS Ergo3D. But I was in dilemma between this chair and the SIDIZ T50 chair which one to give 3rd place. But the headrest and lumbar support features of NOUHAUS Ergo3D are better than SIDIZ T50 so I gave it first. Also, the seat of the SIDIZ T50 chair is made of almost the same fabric as the HON Ignition 2.0. So I thought it would be a good idea to put a full seat and back mesh chair here.
However, the NOUHAUS Ergo3D chair is made entirely of mesh.
Of course, its mesh quality is not the same as Herman Miller Aeron. Naturally, this is a cheap chair at just under $400. But compared to the price, of course, its mesh quality is very good. It uses AC 60-type mesh. So the mesh thread density of this chair is very high. It won’t sag easily.
I would suggest you not get this chair if you weigh more than 200 lbs. Although the weight capacity of this chair is 275 pounds. But since it is a low-budget chair, its mesh will sag quickly if it takes too much weight. As a result, in the long run, you will feel the metal frame under the seat when you sit on the seat. So if you weigh more than 200 pounds, avoid all kinds of less expensive mesh chairs. Get a good chair or get a leather chair. Otherwise, the chair might have to be changed every year.
And this NOUHAUS Ergo3D chair will not be perfect for tall people.
This is the perfect chair for people who are usually 5’4″ to 6′ feet in height. Because it uses a 5″ pneumatic gas lift, it is perfect for people who are usually 5’4″ to 6’4″ in height. The seat adjustment of this NOUHAUS Ergo3D chair is 18.5″ inches to 22.4 inches.
The manufacturer of the chair claims that it can be used by people between 5’4″ to 6’4″ in height. But I would say not to buy this chair if you are above 6 feet. Because its seat depth is very low only 16 inches. So it won’t fit your thigh.
But the NOUHAUS Ergo3D is far ahead of the rest of the chairs in one aspect.
I really like the recline feature of this chair. Because I prefer a longer recline. And NOUHAUS Ergo3D can be reclined at a maximum angle of 135 degrees. This is the best reclining chair on this list with 135 degrees back tilt. And its armrest is also 4D adjustable.
Another aspect of the NOUHAUS Ergo3D I really like. That is its five-star base and Roller Blade caster wheels.
Generally, to understand the stability and quality of a chair, its gas cylinder, five-star base, and caster wheels should be noticed. And in all these aspects NOUHAUS Ergo3D is well placed. Its chrome polished iron five-star base is heavy-duty enough.
It also comes with top-notch Roller Blade caster wheels. Whereas almost all chairs use nylon caster wheels. However, the Roller Blade caster wheels will increase the height of the chair slightly, so it will be a problem for those under 5’5″ inches.
It also uses a Class 4 heavy-duty gas lift for seat height adjustment. Class 4 gas cylinders typically have a 2.2 mm outer tube and a 1.2 mm inner tube are used. So this type of gas lift can carry heavy loads. But despite the iron base and class 4 heavy-duty gas lift you should avoid this chair if you weigh more than 200 lbs, because If it is heavy, its mesh will sag quickly.
However, it is recommended for those who are between 5’5″ to 6 feet in height and want a maximum back tilt of 135 degrees. Also, the headrest and lumbar support are very good.
#4: SIDIZ T50
SIDIZ T50 is mainly targeted at average and shorter folks. Generally, it is perfect for those who are less than 5-5″ inches to 5’10”.
It has a height-adjustable headrest. But I think this headrest is almost a useless thing. But that is true of almost all chair headrests. People’s body dimensions and heights are different. So a 2-3 inch adjustable headrest won’t make it perfect.
Its seat padding is not very good for me. SIDIZ T50 seat feels thinner than HON Ignition 2.0. If you sit a little hard, you can feel the metal under the seat. So people who weigh more than 190 pounds should not buy this chair. That is, it is definitely a good chair for lightweight and short people.
If you weigh more than 190 pounds and your height is 5’11” or more, avoid it. In this case, you can look at HON Ignition 2.0. No need to worry about the headrest. For taller people, the headrest of any chair is not perfect but creates more difficulties.
However, one feature of SIDIZ T50 that HON Ignition 2.0 or NOUHAUS Ergo3D does not have is the forward tilt feature.
The forward tilt feature is generally a very good feature for those who work on a PC or write on a desk. This forward tilt feature is only available in expensive high-end chairs. So this feature is definitely a plus point of SIDIZ T50. forward tilt means it tilts the seat of the chair forward. As a result, your body will lean forward while you type or write something. But your posture will be correct. So this SIDIZ T50 chair is very good for those who do a lot of work or write at the computer or desk.
My bottom line is, this is the perfect chair for anyone between 5′ 5″ and 5′ 10″ tall, and under 190 pounds. I would highly recommend it over the HON Ignition 2.0 in this case. Also, it has a forward tilt feature.
#5: Serta AIR Health and Wellness Executive
I have discussed a lot of mesh office chairs. Yes, we discussed the La-Z-Boy Delano leather chair but it was only suitable for big and tall people now we are going to review a leather chair which is pretty much the perfect chair for everyone.
Yes, I was talking about the Serta AIR Health and Wellness Executive Chair.
The seat height adjustment of this chair is from 19.5 inches to 23.25 inches. Its back height is 28.5″ inches. Which is long enough to be a high-back chair. So this chair will perfectly fit a person between 5 feet 5″ inches to 6 feet 4″ inches height.
Its seat depth and seat width are 19″ inches. So tall or average people won’t have much of a problem. The La-Z-Boy Delano chair is larger with a seat depth and width of 21.5 inches * 21″ depth. So it was a big chair.
On the other hand, the Serta AIR Health chair has an average seat depth and width and its maximum seat height is 24 inches, so this chair is perfect for those who are skinny but very tall. This doesn’t mean that it will not fit a short person. The minimum height of this chair is short enough for 5 feet 4 inches tall people.
And one of the main advantages of this chair is that it is very good for those who have back pain or any related problem. It has been specially designed to provide lumbar support for people. So if you want to improve your posture then this is the most perfect chair on this list.
But its arms and base are made of low-quality nylon. Also, its leather quality is not that good. So this chair should be handled with care.
In conclusion, I would say this chair is best for those who have back-related problems or who want to correct their posture. Yes, its quality is low but its price is very low. So it is very difficult to find such an ergonomic chair cheaply. So for the price, this is a good enough chair.
#6 – Steelcase Series 1
This is the last chair on my list. Although this chair deserves first place. But considering the demand budget trend, I have kept it down.
However, this chair is the best of all the chairs on this list. Its durability is very high. If you buy this chair, you can easily use it for a decade. Its adjustment range is more than any other chair. But its price is very close to 500 dollars. So many may not take this. Also, it is one of the basic chairs in the Steelcase series so many people don’t want to buy it. For this reason, I have given priority to other chairs.
But if you want a more durable, quality, and adjustable chair, the Steelcase Series 1. There’s no chair better than this on a budget under $500. At least compared to all the office chairs on this list.
Those whose height is less than 5 feet can easily get the Steelcase Series 1 chair.
Its minimum seat height is 15 inches and its adjustable seat depth is 15 inches to 18 inches. So there can be no better chair for short people.
But for those whose height is above 6 feet, this chair will seem too small. Because its maximum seat depth is very less only 18 inches. Its weight capacity is 300 lbs. But the seat width is 19.5 inches so it won’t be perfect for fat people. It means that carrying more weight does not mean that it is a big chair.
Its back meshes and the seat is fabric. The mesh quality of the Steelcase Series 1 is better than all the mesh chairs on this list. It uses top-class mesh. Also, the armrest is very soft and softly padded. So you will not get any fatigue.
However, I didn’t think its lumbar support is effective.
Overall I would say that this is generally the best chair for small people. And it is ahead of other mesh chairs in terms of quality and durability.