Mid Back vs. High Back Office Chair: Which One is Better?
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Mid Back vs. High Back Office Chair: Which One is Better?

|Feb 13, 2024
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It can be difficult to know which chair is best when you’re shopping in a sea of options, but one particular feature might be worth investigating if you’re trying to fight back pain: mid back vs. high back office chairs. You might not even know the difference between them, but there are some key features to both that are worth considering before you buy.

You probably know about the different office chairs in the market, each one suited for different people depending on their needs. Several factors differentiate office chairs, including design, ergonomics, feel, durability, and budget.

However, there’s another factor that differentiates office chairs, and it’s the type of the back (low back, mid-back, and high-back). Having the right ergonomic chair for back pain in your office can affect your comfort and productivity. In this article, we’ll look at mid-back and high back office chairs, and hopefully, you’ll be in a better position to choose the right type if you’re in the market for a new office chair. Both mid back and high back office chairs have their pros and cons; it all depends on your requirements.

As you explore the right office chair for yourself, you are sure to encounter the question of “mid-back vs. high back chair."  Well, go ahead to read the basic differences as you explore the best high back and mid-back chairs we recommend.

High-back chairs have two main additional features that mid-back chairs don't. Those are strong support for your upper back and a headrest.  Why? Well, that's what the best high-back office chair is supposed to provide.

Let’s now dive into the differences between mid-back and high back office chairs and see which one suits your needs best.

What Is a Mid-Back Office Chair?

A mid-back office chair is a chair that doesn’t have a headrest to support your head. Its height is slightly lower than your shoulders, however, these chairs offer proper lower and mid-back support.

Essentially, a mid-back office chair offers reasonable support to the mid and lower back. Although many office workers prefer a high back office chair, it’s not a superb choice, especially if you have limited workspace. If you need to perform many tasks and move back and forth, a mid-back office chair is your best bet.

Mid Back Office Chair

Why Choose a Mid-Back Office Chair?

A mid-back office chair features a reasonable backrest that is slightly lower than your shoulders. This design offers the needed support to your back and spine. Also, it protects your shoulder blades while enhancing the overall level of comfort.

This office chair is a fantastic choice, especially if you use your chair for short periods. Primarily, it offers maximum support and comfort for less than five hours of continuous use. Thus, it’s best suited for a conference or meeting room.

Why choose a Mid-back office chair

Here are some benefits of mid-back office chairs:

  • It’s a good fit for small workplaces, allowing you to move around freely from one desk to another.
  • Perfect for flexible workstations.
  • Available in different designs, including ergonomic, modern, and ribbed.
  • Available in both mesh and leather finish.

What Is a High-Back Office Chair?

A high-back office chair is a chair that has a taller backrest to support both your head and neck. In terms of appearance, high back office chairs are wider and higher than the mid-back office chairs. The built-in tall backrest ensures more support for your neck, shoulders, and back, so these chairs are more comfortable and practical. Also, these chairs feature a lot of adjustment options more than you can get with mid-back office chairs. If you’re a tall person; a high-back office chair is your best bet.

What is a High-back office chair

The Autonomous Chair Ergo from Autonomous is one of the best high-back office chairs in the market. Chronic neck pain is a serious problem among people who sit for extended periods. The Autonomous Chair Ergo’s headrest is both height and tilt adjustable, which encourages a comfortable sitting experience. You can easily adjust the Autonomous Chair Ergo’s headrest and you can lift or lower it as a whole to cradle your head and neck in the right spot. Besides lifting and lowering, the headrest tilts up and down to meet the natural curve of the back of your head and neck. Also, you can push it forward or backward, which reduces stress on your neck, easing neck pain, and increasing blood flow to your brain.

The Autonomous Chair Ergo is perfect for tall and heavy people because it can support a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds. As a bonus, this office chair comes with a two years warranty, and it’s available in many colors, including cool gray, black, red apple, black and white, baby blue, and evergreen.

Why Choose a High-Back Chair?

Typically, the primary difference between the mid-back and high back office chairs is appearance. A high back office chair is more noticeable because it has an additional part—the headrest, which makes it slightly taller.

A high-back chair offers more support to your neck, lower and upper back, and shoulders. When compared to other options, the high back office chairs offer more adjustment options. This type of office chair is best suited for people who sit for extended periods. The high back office chair with lumbar support is an excellent choice for those who suffer from back pain.

Why choose a high-back chair

Here are some benefits of high back office chairs:

  • The availability of a headrest allows you to sit comfortably for long hours.
  • Reduces chances of suffering from slouching.
  • Offers reasonable upper and lower back support.

>>Read more: Fabric High Back Office Chairs to Remove Your Pain

Why is it Essential to Know the Difference?

Cornell University highlights the benefits of ergonomically designed chairs that provide you maximum support. They thus support your upper torso in the best possible way. This position greatly impacts lowering the pressure on your spinal discs. Your spinal discs are stretched and strained as you bend forward to work. Getting the right high back ergonomic office chair will support your good health apart from various exercise routines that you keep up with. No more pain, no more health issues.

Hence, depending upon the work you do, the number of hours you spend at your desk, it is critical for you to choose between a high back and a mid-back chair.

Let us explore some more below and you can choose the ideal chair for yourself.

Mid Back vs. High Back Chair: Which is More Ergonomic?

You cannot answer this question without keeping your own height in the picture.  Additionally, you must consider the nature of your work, how many hours you tend to sit in your chair and more.  While most chairs are ergonomically designed, it is important for you to adapt to the OSHA recommended sitting postures too. Getting yourself the right chair is the first step.  Adapting the right sitting postures is the second step you need to adapt to every day.

Upper back chairs are preferred by tall people and those who work long hours. Mid-back chairs are fine for a floating population in an office when hot desking. Take your pick.

Mid Back Vs High Back Office Chairs: The Final Verdict

When choosing between the two options, it all boils down to your needs. For example, if you’re a tall person who sits for extended periods, then getting a tall high back office chair would be an excellent choice for you. Since you’re tall and you’re sitting in office chair for long hours, your head, neck, and shoulders need support from time to time, and the headrest on the high-back chairs will do a perfect job.

Even though you’re a person with an average height, a high back office chair will still be a superb choice. Because without proper head support, you’re likely to slump or slouch over your desk, and this can cause bad posture, and ultimately you may suffer from neck and back pain.

Office chairs

The only disadvantage of high-back office chairs is that they’re more expensive than mid-back office chairs. The high back office chairs are more expensive because of the extra material, features, and components that go into the manufacturing process.

Alternatively, a mid-back office chair would be perfect for you, especially if you have a flexible workplace, such as an office with multiple workstations, and if you only sit for short periods. Also, the mid-back office chair would be an ideal choice if you have an adjustable standing desk, and you have the option to alternate between sitting and standing.

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