Choosing the Right Office Furniture: How Wide Should a Desk Chair Be?
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Choosing the Right Office Furniture: How Wide Should a Desk Chair Be?

|Dec 22, 2023
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In the 21st century, where most of us spend a large portion of our day at a desk, choosing a wide desk chair that offers comfort, support, and ergonomics becomes a crucial aspect. However, with so many different chair designs to choose from, it’s easy to be swayed by non-fundamental aspects like design and style. 

The dimensions of your chair should be at the forefront of your search criteria, ensuring that your chair is comfortable. Choosing the correct chair width can make a huge difference in your overall health. 

We took the time to test and review a few top-performing wide chairs to ensure that you can find a chair that best meets your needs. 

Before we get there, though, let’s begin by discussing the dimensions of a standard desk chair and comparing them to an extra-wide office chair. 

Standard Desk Chair vs. Wide Chair Width Measurements

The average width for a standard office chair is 17 to 20 inches. The width of each chair will vary from one brand and chair type to the next. These chairs are generally suitable for those who have a small to average body size. 

Wide chairs are essentially those that exceed 20 inches in width. They are typically designed for larger individuals and include other special features that offer support to the user.

Standard Desk Chair vs. Wide Chair Width Measurements

Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing the Width of Their Desk Chair

The truth is that choosing the right chair isn’t as easy as you might think. It takes more than just setting a budget and going for a chair that looks good and is affordable. Here are a few of the common mistakes people often make when deciding on the best office chair for long hours

1. Being Distracted by the Bells and Whistles

When looking for a new chair, you will likely be bombarded with features, benefits, and advertising pitches. “Get the perfect massage office chair to experience comfort like you have never seen before!” 

Such claims often hook buyers, and they forget about the fundamentals – the optimum size and dimensions of the chair. 

2. Not Planning Ahead

The best ergonomic chair will probably last you a long time, so if you go for a petite, stylish chair that just fits your bottom, the chances are you’ll regret it when you’re pregnant. Life happens, and our bodies change, so it’s important to ensure that you have selected a chair that offers the best support for your current and future self. 

3. Ignoring Armrests 

Armrests can affect the room you have, and choosing a chair with armrests that are too wide or too narrow can have an impact on the comfort and functionality of your chair. Overlooking the width of armrests is a common mistake that many buyers make. 

We recommend going with a desk chair that has adjustable armrests. This way, you can move them around to find the optimum position for your body type. 

4. Not Testing Your Chair Before You Buy It

Purchasing a chair with lumbar support and not trying it out is a mistake. People might order online without testing it out first, missing the opportunity to experience its comfort, support, and suitability for themselves. 

5. Buying Chairs That Are Suitable for Short Periods

Many focus on how the chair feels now and do not plan for periods when they will need to be seated for hours on end. This can result in discomfort and health consequences, such as back or neck pain.

Common Mistakes People Make When Choosing the Width of Their Desk Chair

Our Top Five Extra Wide Office Chair Picks

Now that you understand some of the mistakes people make when buying office chairs, it’s time to get into our review. 

We carefully selected, tried, and reviewed these chairs to ensure that we provided accurate recommendations. This means that you can browse and choose from our list of extra-wide office chair options with confidence.

Before we get to the review, though, let’s first talk a little about how we selected and tested these wide chairs with arms. 

How We Picked and Tested These Chairs

We understand that choosing a chair that is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, durable, and ergonomically designed is no easy task. This is why we took the time to test and review a few viable options for you. 

Here are some of the criteria we looked for when vetting and reviewing chairs: 

Ample Width

Since this review is designed to help you find the perfect wide desk chair, finding chairs with a width that is greater than 20 inches was a priority here. However, this was not the only criterion we looked at. 

Adjustability

We are all different, and our bodies undergo changes from time to time. Sometimes, we choose to change our position or gain weight. 

To ensure that your body still receives the support it needs, it’s important to have a wide chair with wheels that is able to accommodate these changes. We looked for adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and height.

How We Picked and Tested These Chairs

Lumbar Support

Remaining seated for long periods can cause serious strain on the lower back. Because the spin is curved, the right wide recliner chair will feature excellent lumbar support that helps to prevent back pain and keep your body in the optimum position as you complete your daily tasks.

Weight Capacity

This is another important consideration when selecting the perfect chair. It’s always better to choose the best office chair for a heavy person when deciding on a desk chair, as this gives you more flexibility. If you gain weight in a few months or years’ time, you will have the assurance that your chair has still got your back (pun intended). 

Durability

Speaking of months and years, durability is another essential desk chair quality that we looked for when selecting and reviewing chairs. Ideally, you want a product made using high-quality materials that are known for their longevity and ability to withstand the challenges of daily use. 

User Reviews

The best way to know whether a product offers consistently good results is to read what other users are saying about it. When compiling our reviews, we also looked at the customer reviews and ratings for these products. 

Affordability

A wide chair shouldn’t be the most expensive office chair. We looked for options that were affordable but did not lack other important features. 

Warranty

Lastly, we looked for wide chairs with arms that come with warranties. This ensures that you are covered in the event that there is a structural defect or issue with the chair. The longer the warranty period, the better.

Warranty

Now that you know what criteria we measured each chair against, let’s get into the chair reviews!

1. Autonomous Chair Ergo

First on our list is the Autonomous Chair Ergo. This stylish, ergonomic, and contemporary extra-wide office chair is a solid choice for those who require a little extra room in their chair. 

With a 29-inch width, in addition to a myriad of beneficial features, such as adjustable armrests, seat tilt, backrest, and headrest, you’ll have everything you need to be productive and well-supported throughout the workday.

You also get flexible lumbar support that is suitable for just about any seated position, which makes it the best office chair for tailbone pain

If you’re looking for something environmentally friendly, then the Autonomous Chair Ergo does not disappoint. It is created using 100 percent eco-friendly materials and has a woven mesh backrest for greater airflow. 

Plus, it’s so comfortable to sit on! 

Features 

  • 29-inch seat
  • Adjustable armrests, seat tilt, backrest, and headrest
  • Flexible lumbar support
  • Smooth recline that allows for five lockable positions
  • Made from earth-friendly materials
  • Weight capacity of 300 pounds
  • Comes with a two-year warranty 
Autonomous Chair Ergo

Autonomous Chair Ergo

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon2347 reviews

Pros
Cons
Incredible versatility and adjustabilitySeat may not be large enough for some
Durable
Available in several colors
Stylish and modern design
Wide seat with adjustable armrests to accommodate larger body sizes

2. Amazon Basics Padded Office Desk Chair with Armrests

The Amazon Basics padded office chair is another fantastic option for those looking for a wide chair. While it is available in three color options, has an adjustable seat tilt, and has a modern design, this chair has a seat width of 24 inches, which is lower than most of the options on this list. 

It also lacks much of the adjustability and versatility that the Autonomous Chair Ergo has but is a more affordable option. Nevertheless, it leaves much to be desired. 

We appreciated the extra padding that made this a comfortable chair to sit on, though, but we cannot seem to get past the smaller width and lack of adjustability. 

Features 

  • Available in three colors
  • Made from faux leather
  • Adjustable seat height and tilt
  • Stable base and good movability
  • 275-pound weight capacity
  • Seat width of 24 inches
Amazon Basics Padded Office Desk Chair with Armrests

Amazon Basics Padded Office Desk Chair with Armrests

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon29700 reviews

Pros
Cons
Modern designDoes not allow for much adjustability
Adjustable height and titleMay not be suitable for some body types
Good weight capacityFaux leather seating doesn’t allow for sufficient airflow
Affordable

3. Steelcase ZILO

The Steelcase ZILO is another option worth considering if you are looking for a chair that is wider. It has a 27-inch seat width and features a clean, simple, and modern design. One of the things that we liked about this chair is that it comes with an impressive 10-year warranty.

However, it lacks the adjustability that is crucial for ensuring sustainability. Nevertheless, given the higher width, it’s a worthy contender if you need a chair that will support you and accommodate your requirements. 

Features 

  • 27-inch width
  • Modern design
  • Stable base
  • Height adjustable
  • Available in high-back or mid-back options
Steelcase ZILO

Steelcase ZILO

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon13 reviews

Pros
Cons
Great looking chairMay not be suitable for certain body types
Comfortable to sit onLacks adjustability
Good airflow
Available in different colors
27-inch seat

4. Herman Miller Sayl Chairs

Herman Miller is renowned for its high-end chairs, and if you are looking for a wide chair with wheels, this manufacturer has a good option to consider. The Sayl chairs aren’t just ergonomic, but they are also unusual in terms of design. 

You can expect dynamic support for your back, a wide range of design options, a 27-inch width, and more; it’s a great option. It also has an adjustable armrest, making it suitable for those with different body types. 

However, it’s important to note that not everyone will find this wide recliner chair comfortable, and the high price point may make it unsuitable for some budgets. 

Features 

  • Harmonic tilt
  • 27-inch width
  • Durable design
  • Adjustable armrests
  • Fixed seat depth
  • Mesh backrest for greater support
Herman Miller Sayl Chairs

Herman Miller Sayl Chairs

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon140 reviews

Pros
Cons
Great lumbar support technologyExpensive
Good seat widthAdditional features cost more
Several design optionsMay not suit the design preferences of some
Made from high-quality materials
Durable

5. Humanscale Summa

Your wide recliner chair doesn’t have to be boring. The Humanscale Summa takes design and elegance to the next level. Although it’s not as adjustable as the Autonomous Chair Ergo, it offers a number of great features. 

Firstly, the modern design can elevate your desk setup, and the simplistic design will fit right in if you are going for a minimalistic look. 

It also has a good width of 28 inches, which makes it a suitable wide chair. However, it’s not the best budget office chair, as these models start at a whopping $5062! 

Features 

  • Sleek design
  • Height adjustable
  • Durable
  • 28-inch width
  • Weight-compensating recline
  • Ergonomic design
Humanscale Summa

Humanscale Summa

star-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-iconstar-icon130 reviews

Pros
Cons
Comfortable and well-designedThe most expensive chair on this list
Eco-friendly materialsLacks adjustability and versatility
Would look great in just about any setupNo headrest
Two back options
Completely customizable

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right wide desk chair is important to ensure that you are comfortable while working. However, with so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. After trying out five of the best-rated wide chairs out there, we have come to the conclusion that the Autonomous Chair Ergo offers the best value for money. 

If you have a larger frame, this wide chair with wheels is definitely a winning choice because it is fully adjustable and can help to meet your changing needs.

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