For the average Joe, a few hundred dollars is often enough when it comes to investing in a quality office chair. But, a closer look at the other side of the market shows a completely different story with chairs going for thousands of dollars.
There are different reasons why these chairs charge exorbitant prices. It could be that it’s a fruit of years of science-backed researched or maybe it uses only the best materials available.
With the coming of the new year, let’s take a fresh look at the world’s most extravagant office chairs.
1. Wegner Swivel Chair – $13,200
© image via 1B2G
Topping the list is a creation of the Danish master of design Hans J. Wegner, the Wegner Swivel Chair. Sporting a trendy but minimalistic look, this chair has an unusual combination of leather, chrome pipe, and wood. The buyer can personalize the chair by choosing from four types of wood in various finishes for the top rail and different colored fabric and leather for the seat.
Created with an eye for only the best materials, the solid wood is derived from trees that are at least 150 years old and then dried in a humidity-controlled environment for 2 years. This becomes the gracefully twisting back and armrest combo which provides ample mid to lower back support.
2. Vitra Grand Executive Highback Chair – $5,240
© image via Hive Modern
Snagging the second place is Antonio Citterio’s design for Vitra, the Grand Executive Highback Chair which combines elegance, functionality, and comfort. Key features include the luxurious leather upholstery, height-adjustable neck cushion, integrated armrests, and a FlowMotion mechanism that adapts to the user’s sitting position. It’s also composed of 32% recycled material and is up to 70% recyclable when properly disposed of.
3. Eames Executive Work Chair – $4,690
© image via Smart Furniture
The third place goes to what is dubbed as the Time-Life Chair, a Charles and Ray Eames design for the Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center, New York City in 1960. Starting at about $4,700, the Eames Executive Work Chair offers a high degree of material customization including different types of premium leather, colors, base and frame finishes, and casters or glides. This plushly-padded swivel chair comes with a tilt mechanism, padded armrests, and a classic design that never goes out of style.
4. Fritz Hansen Oxford Premium Chair – $3,950
© image via twentytwentyone
Originally designed for the St Catherine’s College in Oxford in 1965, Arne Jacobsen redesigned the Oxford Chair for Fritz Hansen in 2016. The resulting Oxford Premium Chair highlights an immaculately designed wide leather seat with underplayed stitching. Available in 11 beautiful hues, you can tailor this chair to fit your taste. The adjustable height version comes with a tilt mechanism while the fixed height version comes with a spring function.
5. Ekornes Stressless Magic Office Chair – $3,445
© image via Recliner Store
Magically wick your stress away with the Ekornes Stressless Magic Office Chair, one of the most comfortable chairs ever made. Sink deep into the plush cold-cured cushioning, generously proportioned Comfort-Zones, and contoured backrest and seat. Then, indulge in luxurious comfort with its user-adaptable mechanisms and angle-adjustable headrest.
It also offers an exceptionally wide array of customizations in the form of size, color, upholstery material, and wood finish.
6. Vitra HeadLine Management Chair – $3,245
© image via Smow
Starting off the bottom half of our list is another product from Vitra, the HeadLine Management Chair which can keep the head and spine balanced no matter if the user is sitting upright or leaning back. This luxury executive chair is made of finely perforated premium leather, keeping the user cool even during long periods of sitting.
Many of its components are adjustable, including the seat depth, tilt function, lumbar support, and padded armrests. This pricey chair also consists of up to 52% recycled material and has 91% recyclability when fully separated.
7. Eames Soft Pad Management Chair – $3,095
© image via Herman Miller
The Eames Soft Pad Management Chair is another work by husband-and-wife design team Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller. Fitted with a one-piece seat-back suspension taut and individually upholstered, two-inch-thick cushions, this chair is an inviting sitting pocket. The lightweight aluminum frame gives it a clean yet graceful silhouette. Other key features include a low back and tilt lock mechanism.
To give it a unique flavor, buyers can choose between different base and frame finishes, upholstery and color, and several heights and casters options.
8. Vitra Fauteuil Direction Pivotant – $2,900
© image via Milia Shop
Swiss furniture company Vitra is home to many expensive office chairs including the Fauteuil Direction Pivotant by Jean Prouvé. With its tubular steel frame, voluminous cushions, and wooden armrests, it has an old-fashioned but charming aesthetics. The upholstery, base, and armrests can all be configured to the user’s taste.
Still, its functionality is anything but outdated. Aside from being height-adjustable, this chair has a backward tilt mechanism that can be adapted to the user’s weight.
9. Arper Aston Direction Chair – $2,521
© image via Design Public
French designer Jean-Marie Massaud created the Aston Direction Chair in 2007 for Arper, making it the Italian company’s most expensive chair to date. Sporting a linear profile with aerodynamic lines, this chair screams strong and decisive. The polyurethane shell is covered with the user’s chosen upholstery. This is paired with a chrome or red spring for the tilt movement and rounded off with self-braking castors.
10. Pininfarina Aresline Xten – $2,260
© image via Offique
Made by Italian design firm Pininfarina, a company known for also designing Cadillacs and Ferraris, this chair looks sporty, light, and full of character. It uses top of the line materials including body-conforming Technogel cushions and a soft, breathable type of fabric that is often used by Olympic athletes. Ergonomics-wise, the Xten doesn’t lack either, sporting an independently-moving back and seat which follows the user’s movements.
11. Herman Miller Aeron – $1,395
© image via HermanMiller.com
Since its debut 20 years ago, the Aeron chair from Herman Miller has gone through many iterations. With every version, new technology is incorporated to create what is perhaps the most well known ergonomic chair around the world.
Costing just shy of $1,400 when fully decked out, owners of the Aeron can expect a chair with 8 tension zones that flex and bend to support your body in any position. The lumbar support is fully adjustable, and the seat can even tilt forward slightly to minimize pressure in your thighs as you lean forward. There are many alternatives to the Aeron that carry some of the features of the iconic chair, but none that can match it in overall comfort and ergonomics.