Different tasks and different desks require different chairs. Thankfully, there's a wide variety of chairs to get the job done. The ideal chair provides ergonomic support, comfort, and function as it relates to your duties and desires, but what chair is the perfect fit?
The different types of office chairs can be broken down into a few categories:
24-Hour Chairs: Designed for long-term or shift-based use
Big and Tall Chairs: For larger-stature individuals
Computer Chairs: For use at standard desks and tables
Conference Room Chairs: For boardrooms and meeting spaces
Drafting Chairs and Stools: For standing or adjustable-height desks
Ergonomic Chairs: For enhanced comfort and adjustability
Executive Chairs: Designed with a little flair for a stately office
Kneel Chairs: To take advantage of a natural kneeling position
Petite Chairs: For smaller-stature individuals
Beam Seating: For collective seating solutions
Loveseats: For use in waiting or reception areas
Ottomans: For low seating or use as a footstool
Reception Area Chairs: For waiting rooms and reception areas
Sofas: For seating multiple people in waiting areas
Tablet Arm Chairs: For use with writing utensils or tablets
Armless Chairs: For waiting areas or breakrooms
Benches: For indoor or outdoor multiperson seating
Folding Chairs: For a temporary seating solution
Stacking Chairs: For temporary and easy-to-store seating
As their name indicates, 24-hour chairs (or 24/7 chairs) are ideal for constant use, as seen in working environments like call centers. They are specified by the manufacturer as being able to withstand prolonged use and are usually designed with extra durable frames, thickly padded seats and backs, and multiple ergonomic adjustments.
Big and Tall Chairs
Standard chair sizes are not one-size-fits-all. Big and tall chairs, rated for over 250 lbs., provide an extra roomy build for those needing more space. Big and tall chairs also include heavy-duty construction to ensure long-lasting use and safe support throughout the work day.
Computer chairs, also called task chairs, are designed specifically to be paired with computer desks. These chairs often feature ergonomic adjustments to ensure the customizable comfort of any user. They also have a 5-star base, typically with rolling casters to ensure smooth movement in an office setting.
Conference Room Chairs
Conference room chairs (or meeting room chairs) are designed to be slightly forward-leaning to keep users engaged in meetings and discussions. These seating options usually allow very minimal adjustments, as individuals tend not to be seated in them for long periods.
Drafting Chairs and Stools
Drafting chairs and stools are designed to be paired with drafting tables, standing height desks, and counter height meeting tables. Many of these stools feature a foot ring to support the user’s feet and a height adjustment to best fit the desired working surface.
Ergonomic chairs are complete with numerous adjustments, which allow them to fully support many unique individuals. Some of these important adjustments are seat depth, knee tilt, seat height, back height, and lumbar support.
Executive chairs are designed with aesthetics in mind. They look impressive, usually with high backs and ample cushion.
Kneel chairs position the user’s thighs at a 60- to 70-degree angle rather than the normal 90-degree angle of a standard office chair. Kneel chairs are designed to reduce lower back strain by dividing the weight between the seat and knee cushions.
As stated earlier, standard chairs simply do not work for everyone. Petite chairs, sometimes called small desk chairs, are designed specifically to address the ergonomic needs of smaller or shorter individuals.
One or multiple chairs attached to a horizontal metal bar beneath the seat are referred to as beam seating. These chairs may also be referred to collectively as “tandem seating,” and they’re often found in parks and waiting rooms.
Loveseats are small sofas or couches that typically seat only 2 people at a time. They’re common in waiting rooms.
Ottomans are multipurpose, functioning as a low seat or footstool without a back or arms. Storage ottomans feature a removable top that reveals a storage compartment within.
Reception Area Chairs
Reception area chairs (or waiting room seating) are single-person chairs that are typically stationary. These seating options can have a 4-leg base, sled base, or cantilever base. They are also called guest chairs or side chairs.
Sofas are long, upholstered seating designed for two or more people. Sofas are also known as couches in some regions.
Tablet Arm Chairs
A tablet arm chair is any variety of chair that has a writing surface attached to one or both of the arms. The tablet may be fixed or have a swiveling feature that allows it to be stored out of the way.
Armless chairs have backs but not arms. These are ideal for situations where the chair arms often bump into the desk or table.
Whether in a lobby or a park, benches offer durable seating and a unique look. Benches typically accommodate more than one individual.
Mostly used for banquets or events, folding chairs are great options for temporary, portable seating. These chairs are easy to set up, take down, and store for future occasions.
Stacking chairs bring space-saving design, as they easily stack together when not in use. These chairs are usually lightweight, making them an ideal portable option for weddings, fundraisers, and extra seating for office guests.