Why Are Ergonomic Chairs So Expensive?

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Seeing the price tag for a high-end ergonomic chair may shock you. What did they put in there to make it THAT expensive? 

Ergonomic chairs can be one of the most important office essentials. They make a long workday far more bearable thanks to the support and comfort they provide. 

When considering both health impacts and durability, the cheapest option can cost you more than the expensive options in the long term.

By providing a greater level of support and adjustability, the heftier price tag of ergonomic chairs may be worth the investment for you.

To better understand what makes a chair ergonomic, check out our guide on chair ergonomics.

Let’s unpack some of the specific reasons ergonomic chairs are so expensive, so you know what your dollars are buying.

Ergonomic research “behind the scenes”

What bumps the price higher is the additional research costs associated with developing these chairs.

For higher-end models, there is often a team of specialist ergonomic engineers who invest considerable effort into the design of the chair.  

This ensures the end product is adjustable, comfortable and effective at supporting the needs of users. 

Research helps engineers uncover new ways to improve chair design for the best user experience. It can take a few years [1] and involve comprehensive testing across a variety of body types. 

So it’s not just the cost of individual parts you’re paying for, it’s the cost of all this “invisible” (and valuable) labor!

Customization options

One of the main factors that dictate the price of an ergonomic chair is the number of customizable options it comes up with

More customization options mean more parts the chair needs to have and that results in a pricier product. 

People love adjusting their chair so that it best supports their body type and preferences. For some, this can mean the difference between a grueling workday that never seems to end, and one that seems to glide by.

Adjusting the lumbar support, depth and height of the chair and height of the arm support are options that take time to get right. 

To better understand the full range of options available, check out this video:

Build Quality and Comfort

The process of engineering ergonomic chairs means using the best materials out there to make the product 100% reliable and comfortable. Another factor that dictates the price of ergonomic chairs is the price of the material used.

High-end ergonomic chairs are better in terms of:

  • welding work
  • the quality of fabrics
  • the quality of the mechanism
  • the number of customization options
  • incorporating materials

Expertly treated wood, aluminum, and high-end plastic are implemented into the design, which provides better airflow and seating experience. These materials won’t be worn out after a few months and ensure a more comfortable seating experience than cheaper alternatives.

Thanks to these higher build quality standards, some good ergonomic chairs can last 13 years. By comparison, cheaper options typically have a shelf life of 2-3 years or less.

At the top end of the scale, you’ve got premium brands like Herman Miller leading the way in the craftsmanship department.

If you want quality parts without breaking the bank, check out our selection of some good alternatives.


Buying an expensive product like an ergonomic chair is actually investing in your health. But, when  spending so much money, you want to understand the warranty you’re working with in case something  goes wrong.

High-end products are typically covered by a generous warranty because of the high-quality material used and greater expectations around durability. 

Lower-end office chairs usually come with less generous warranty terms or no warranty at all.

In the case of Herman Miller, for example, they are known for their extensive 12 year warranty [2] on seating and other components. 

In the end, buying a quality ergonomic chair is an investment in health that many people feel is worthwhile. 

Remember that there is no right size for everyone. You will need to find the ergonomic chair that is best suited for you and your body type. 

Although engineers work hard to provide all-in-one chairs, you as a user are responsible for picking the right chair and adjusting it to your needs. 

Good health has no price, so if working comfortably is important to you, you may want to consider  investing in an ergonomic chair.

Budget friendly ergonomic office chairs (under $500)

If you like the idea of investing in an ergonomic chair, but don’t want to break the bank, check out our selection of the best office chairs under $500


[1] https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/1003/1/012078/pdf

[2] https://www.hermanmiller.com/en_au/customer-service/warranty-and-service/