The correct selection of an office chair size is essential for comfort and productivity. However, the variety of options and sizes can be overwhelming, so one must consider one’s height and body type when choosing a chair.
If you’re wondering, “what size office chair do I need?”, hold on. Individuals with a typical height range (5’3” to 6’4”) require an office chair with a seat height of 17.3 to 20.5 inches. It is advisable to consider the chair’s seat height to determine the correct chair size, which should provide optimal comfort. Most contemporary office chairs feature seat height adjustments to accommodate users of varying heights.
It is a common misconception that the seat height of ergonomic chairs can be adjusted to suit individual needs. However, this is not always the case, and picking a chair with the proper seat height is imperative. This article will explain how to choose a chair keeping in mind proper office chair dimensions that fits your size and body type.
What Size Office Chair Do I Need?
It is important to note that each individual has distinct physical characteristics. Thus, finding an appropriate desk chair that suits one’s body type is critical.
Picking the wrong chair size can lead to physical discomfort and even long-term health problems, making it essential to make an informed decision.
The following information will aid in determining the ideal size of an ergonomic chair for an individual.
What is the Standard Size of an Office Chair?
It is widely accepted that standard-sized desk chairs are suitable for most individuals. These commercial-grade ergonomic chairs are engineered to accommodate up to 113.4 kg and are generally ideal for individuals between 5′ 5″ and 6′ 0″ in height.
However, while standard-sized office chairs may be suitable for many, additional considerations must be taken into account when making a selection.
The height of the backrest and the available ergonomic adjustments should be evaluated to determine the suitability of a chair.
It is crucial to consider proper ergonomics for standard-sized office chairs and all types of desk chairs.
What is the Petite Size of an Office Chair?
Most petite office chairs are engineered to accommodate 5′ 4″ or shorter individuals who can still provide ample support, with a maximum weight capacity of 113.4 kg.
The design of these chairs includes shorter cylinders and smaller seat pans to ensure a comfortable seating experience for petite individuals.
It is common for a standard-size seat pan to cause discomfort at the back of the knee for petite individuals, whereas a cylinder that is too tall will leave their feet suspended without the aid of a footrest.
Small chairs are designed to be scaled down in all aspects, thereby providing petite individuals with the same degree of support and comfort as those using standard-size chairs.
What is the Largest Size of Office Chairs?
Large and tall office chairs are a specialized seating solution designed for individuals who are 6’ 0” or taller or weigh more than 113.4 kg. These chairs are constructed with a larger seat and back, providing the necessary support for taller individuals.
They also have a higher-reaching cylinder to accommodate longer legs, allowing users to sit comfortably with their feet resting firmly on the ground. Typically, these chairs have reinforced bases to ensure durability, which allows them to support more weight than standard-size office chairs.
This type of seating option is ideal for those who need a chair that can provide the necessary comfort and support for extended periods of use, which a leather office chair can very well provide.
Most Common Office Chairs Measurements
For giving you a fair idea about chair seat height and backrest height according to your height, we’ve compiled a table. You can choose your office chair measurements by looking at the height ranges available below.
Person’s Height (inches)
Chair Seat Height (inches)
Backrest Height (inches)
5'2" - 5'5"
16 - 18
15 - 20
5'6" - 5'11"
17 - 20
16 - 21
6'0" - 6'2"
18 - 21
17 - 22
19 - 22
18 - 23
However, keep one thing in mind that these are general guidelines and don’t apply to everyone. One has to try out a chair and see if it adjusts to one’s body before making a final decision.
How Do I Choose an Office Chair Size?
Ensuring a good fit is just as crucial for a good ergonomic office chair as for clothing—measuring twice (or more) is essential!
It is important to note that variations in the backrest design, including angle, slope, and shape, as well as the style and positioning of the armrests, can significantly impact the user’s comfort. Therefore, prior to making a final decision, one should carefully consider the following key elements:
It is essential to ensure adequate support for the lower back to prevent musculoskeletal issues arising from extended use. Two options for lumbar support systems are available: fixed and adjustable.
For fixed lumbar support, determining the proper dimensions can be achieved by measuring the distance (at an angle) from the seat to the desired location for the air cell.
Adjustable lumbar support is a highly recommended option, as it offers the ability to adjust settings for optimal comfort. Most modern office chairs come with built-in adjustable lumbar support that helps the users adjust their chairs’ back according to their comfort.
Backrest Height, Width, and Shape
A well-designed backrest should provide both support and comfort for the back. The ideal width of a backrest is between 12 and 19 inches, and it should have adjustable height and depth controls. Use a measuring tape and place it across the waist to measure the width.
To determine the appropriate height of the backrest, measure the distance from the top of the shoulders to the bottom of the hips where it meets the seat pan using a measuring tape.
The recommended height is approximately 12 to 16 inches above the seat pan, ensuring to measure the outer edge of the shoulder and not the slope.
For measuring the shape of the backrest, measure the width of your shoulders approximately half an inch away from the neck.
Armrest Height and Width
To measure the appropriate height for the armrests, begin by measuring from the top of the backrest to the underside of the elbow. The armrests should fully support the arms at an angle between 90 and 110 degrees to provide proper support and minimize shoulder and neck discomfort.
For accurate measurements, it is crucial to ensure that the shoulders and arms are relaxed. Test for comfort at various depths in the seat while maintaining this posture.
The armrest width refers to the distance between the two armrests. To determine the appropriate width, measure the distance between the tips of both elbows.
Seat Height, Depth, and Width
Seat height is defined as the distance between the seat and the floor. To determine the correct office chair seat height, measure the distance from the back of the knee to the bottom.
It is essential to ensure that both feet can comfortably rest flat on the floor and to consider typical footwear when taking this measurement.
Seat depth is the distance between the seat’s back and front edge. To determine the appropriate seat depth, measure the distance from the back of the buttock to the back of the knee.
When seated, there should be enough space to comfortably fit two fingers between the back of the knee and the seat edge. A seat depth that is too short can result in circulation problems if seated for extended periods.
Seat width is the distance between the right and left edges of the seat pan. To determine the ideal seat width, measure the widest point of your hips while sitting in a chair without armrests. This will provide a more precise measurement.
How Should You Measure Yourself For an Office Chair?
For measuring oneself to find the correct dimensions of an office chair, one can use height measurement calculators, which is the most hassle-free method. But if you want to do this process manually, a simple measuring tape does the job. All you need to do is to follow these simple steps:
- Sit on a chair and place your feet on the floor. Now take the measuring tape and start measuring the distance from the underside of your knee to the feet.
- Now measure the seat height of your office chair to see if it’s the same as that of your optimal seat height. For this, measure the distance between your chair’s seat top and the floor. Your optimal seat height should lie within the range of your chair’s seat height, otherwise, you’ll not be comfortable while sitting on the chair.
So consider, for example, if your chair’s seat height is between 15 and 19 inches and your optimal height lies within this range, say 18 inches, this chair is a perfect fit for you. Any chair that’s either higher or lower than your optimal height may not prove to be a good pick for you.
Most Common Office Chairs With Dimensions
Some of the most common office chairs are listed below along with their dimensions. This list contains various chairs that you can get for under $500 and some of them are high-quality leather office chairs. You can pick anyone that fits your body requirements.
Where to Buy
SIDIZ T50 Ergonomic Home Office Chair
28.9" x 28.9" x 45.8"
HON Ignition 2.0 Ergonomic Office Chair
28.5" x 27" x 44.5"
Steelcase Series 1 Work Office Chair
21" x 23.5" x 36.5"
Serta Big and Tall Executive Office Chair
30.5" x 27.25" x 47"
Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair
26" x 23.6" x 42"
GABRYLLY Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair
22" x 25.2" x 45.3"
TfficoTingo Ergonomic Office Chair
20" x 30" x 20"
OdinLake Ergonomic Office Chair
20.5" x 20" x 49"
OFIKA Home Office Chair
26.1" x 25.4" x 46.4"
Amazon Basics Classic Mid-Back Chair
21"x 21"x 48"
In conclusion, choosing the correct office chair size is critical to maintaining comfort and productivity at work. With various options available in the market, it is essential to consider your height and body type when selecting. Standard-sized chairs are suitable for individuals who are between 5’5″ and 6’0″ in height, petite chairs for those 5’4″ or shorter, and large and tall chairs for those 6’0″ or taller or weighing more than 250 pounds.
To determine the right chair size, measuring your lumbar support, backrest height, width, shape, armrest height and width, and seat height is crucial. With the right desk chair, one can experience optimal comfort and productivity at work.