Ten hours a day. Five days a week. (Plus a few bonus hours here or there.)

You better love your office chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time in it as a freelancer.

In this post, I’ll share a few suggestions for picking the perfect chair for freelancing.

Ergonomics is Key

“A good office chair is one that you barely notice.”

Uncomfortable Office Chair

Not ergonomic.

Having gone through several chairs in my five years of serious freelancing, I know that this statement is true. My first office chair (pictured right) is actually about 50 years old. A hand-me-down from my father’s childhood, you can probably imagine how this one worked out. Within days, I started experiencing stiff necks and shoulder pains. I toughed it out for a few weeks, but I quickly realized that a better option was required.

I went to a few local office stores and sat in dozens of chairs. Surprisingly, very few were what I would consider “ergonomically correct.” Most seemed overly fluffy and too focused on how the chair looked aesthetically (think overpriced leather).

After testing many different chairs, I realized that the following features seemed most important to me:

  • Headrest
  • Full back
  • Adjustable lumbar
  • Armrests that fit my frame
  • Adjustable height (I’m over six feet tall)
  • Rocker
  • Roller wheels

It wasn’t easy finding a chair that met all of these criteria.

Freelancer Office Chair

Matt’s ergonomic chair.

However, after a few hours of shopping, I settled in on a chair from Office Depot (pictured right). Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact specifications, other than what is printed on the bottom of the chair. It says: “Ergonomic Mesh Executive Chair with Headrest.” Keep in mind that I purchased this chair almost five years ago, and I can’t seem to find the exact model available online. See below for a few comparable options on Amazon.

I Like Mesh

Your gut might say to go with leather. I would recommend you consider a mesh pattern, as it is cool in the summer and room temperature in the winter. I own a leather couch, and it seems to follow an opposite pattern. Mesh is also very durable and relatively easy to clean. Every few weeks, I will dust the chair really well and also run the vacuum over it. Seems to clean up pretty nicely.

Stay On Budget

How much for a nice chair like mine? I think you can get something for under $200 if you shop around enough. Anything over $200 would need to make my coffee in the morning and also do some serious time travel to be worth the investment.

A Few Options to Get You Started

I did a little research on Amazon.com, and the following chairs seem to be very similar to the chair I use. Each model is under $200. I can’t speak for any of these models, but they all seem to get good reviews online. (Please note that all prices and ratings are stated as at the time of publishing this article.) Happy shopping!

H&L Office High Back Black Mesh Executive & Managerial Computer Desk Swivel Office Chair with Headrest

  • Price: $109
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars (74 reviews)

VIVA OFFICE High Back Mesh Chair, Ergonomic Office Chair, Desk Chair with Adjustable Arms and Seat-Viva00881

  • Price: $198
  • Rating on Amazon: 3.8 out of 5.0 stars (45 reviews)

“Walker” Ergonomic Executive Mesh Office Chair – Fully Adjustable Headrest, Armrests, Lumbar Support – Multi-Position Recline Control

  • Price: $189
  • Rating on Amazon: 3.7 out of 5.0 stars (7 reviews)

Shop for a New Chair

Written by Matt Keener

Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.

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