So you are in the market for a new chair? But with an endless array of chairs to choose from, knowing which one to buy can be overwhelming.
Chairs may all look the same to some people, but different types serve different purposes. Specific chairs accommodate specific needs, and some are better for certain groups of people than others.
Among the types of office chairs you’ve heard of, you’re probably most familiar with executive and ergonomic chairs. After all, they are more commonly used in homes and workplaces than others.
Deciding which one to buy can be a challenge, especially because both chairs have distinct characteristics that make one stand out from the other. Today, however, we will help you choose by providing you with a comprehensive guide.
In this article, we will be comparing executive vs. ergonomic chairs. We will review both types, look at their pros and cons, and analyze their major differences so that you can figure out which one will work better for you.
Table of Contents
What is an Executive Chair?
An executive chair, also called a boss chair, is often a high-back office chair usually reserved for higher-ups or people in a superior position in a company. Out of all the different types of office chairs, an executive chair is perhaps the most lavish.
Executive chairs are designed not only to suit the imposing aura of an executive but also to provide maximum comfort. They are typically made of either wood or steel, upholstered in top-quality fabric or leather, and padded with high-density foam.
What is an Ergonomic Chair?
The word ‘ergonomic’ means designed for comfort and efficiency in the working environment. Hence, an ergonomic chair is built to best support the human body while sitting.
Typically, an office chair is considered ergonomic if it has adjustment options for seat height and seat pan depth and when it offers lumbar support. However, nowadays, many ergonomic chairs available in the market offer more than just these features.
Are executive chairs ergonomic?
While executive chairs generally lack various adjustments and components available in an ergonomic chair, some executive chairs can be ergonomic.
Today, there are many ergonomic executive chairs available in the market. They include multi-adjustable features such as lumbar support, back height, and angle.
Some also come with flip-up armrests, pneumatic seat height adjustments, and thickened head and backrest. The high backrest feature allows the chair to fit the curve of the human spine to provide strong support and help you release pressure from your back.
Below are some affordable ergonomic executive chairs:
What is the difference between an office chair and an executive chair?
An office chair is an umbrella term for a variety of chairs used in offices or workspaces. They come in different styles, shapes, and sizes and cater to different people with different needs.
An executive chair is a fancy type of office chair. It usually comes with a tall, elegant back, as well as overstuffed seats, much like an office throne.
While a high backrest is pretty common for an executive chair, it is not always the case for regular office chairs. Some of them come with low or mid backrests.
Executive vs. Ergonomic Chair: Side-by-Side Comparison
Nowadays, there is very little difference between executive and ergonomic chairs. Executive chairs have come a long way from just being grand and opulent.
Today, many executive chairs have modifications and additional features that are often present in ergonomic chairs. However, there still are several distinctions between the two.
Below is a summary of the main differences between an executive and an ergonomic chair:
|Executive Chair||Ergonomic Chair|
|Price||Generally more expensive||Generally costs less than executive chairs but can also be quite pricey depending on brand and quality|
|Comfort||Most comfortable office chair type||Usually less comfortable than executive chairs|
|Features||Usually only has two to three adjustable features||Typically has at least five adjustments|
|Benefits||Stylish-looking, comfortable, and built to last||Corrects sitting posture, reduces pain and discomfort, improves blood circulation, and increases productivity|
|Uses||Commonly used by executives or people in power||More widely used in workplaces by employees|
While the cost of most office chairs is often dictated by their respective brands, executive chairs are generally more expensive than other types of chairs because of the high-quality materials used to make them and the more luxurious designs. Despite the hefty price tag, though, they are worth the investment as they will last quite a while, and some of them often come with warranties that extend up to 10 years.
Ergonomic chairs can be pretty pricey, too, especially the ones that come with a ton of adjustments and features. The best examples are ergonomic chairs from well-known brands such as Herman Miller and Steelcase.
The main purpose of an ergonomic chair is to best compliment safe and easy human interaction. It is built to help people work efficiently by improving posture and preventing neck, back, and shoulder pain when sitting.
While ergonomic chairs are designed to make our tasks easier, executive chairs are built to provide maximum comfort. Apart from signifying authority, executive chairs offer high back and premium quality, providing extra space and back support.
Ergonomic chairs typically have at least five available adjustments, which include a combination of the following:
- Adjustable armrests (height and width)
- Adjustable headrest (height and tilt) to support the back of the head as well as the neck
- Adjustable seat height to allow you to place your feet on the floor
- Adjustable tilt tension
- Backrest lumbar support that preventing slumping by aligning with the natural curvature of your spine
- Backrest recline function to support your body weight and reduce strain on your muscles
- Tilt lock feature
- Set of wheels/casters for mobility
Executive chairs, on the other hand, usually only have two to three of these functions.
Both executive and ergonomic chairs help encourage proper sitting posture, decrease risks of body pains and discomfort, and lower the chances of developing more serious health problems. They share similar benefits, with a few exceptions.
An ergonomic chair is better at improving blood circulation because it encourages an optimal seated position while tasking. It also offers increased productivity because of its multi-adjustment features.
Executive chairs, on the other hand, are much more comfortable and stylish-looking. They are highly durable and often come with extended warranties.
While executive chairs are often reserved for people from the top management, ergonomic chairs are more commonly used by normal employees, independent contractors like consultants, and freelancers, as well as students.
Higher-ups such as VPs and directors usually spend more time joining meetings and attending teleconferences than hunching over their computers, so executive chairs suit their daily activities best. When they answer calls, they usually lean back on their chairs to relax, and that is precisely why executive chairs have thickly padded backrests.
Meanwhile, regular office employees spend their days with eyes fixed on their monitors and arms on their keyboards. Ergonomic chairs enable them to maintain a proper sitting posture while working and discourage slouching.
This doesn’t mean, though, that you’re not entitled to an executive chair if you’re not an executive. If you have a home office, and you prefer an executive chair over an ergonomic one, then you should go for it.
Tall people will generally benefit more from an executive than an ergonomic chair in terms of full-back support. However, if your job requires you to do some heavy taskings and a lot of sitting, then you are probably better off with a high-back ergonomic chair.
There is a myriad of office chairs available in the market. Choosing one depends on a variety of factors, such as your work setting, budget, and preferences.
While many types of chairs, such as executive and ergonomic chairs, have many similarities and offer a good amount of comfort, they do have plenty of differences. What sets one apart from the other is the features and characteristics each of them possesses.
Apart from design, the two may appear the same when it comes to functionalities, but they serve different needs and suit different people. So before deciding which one to buy, make sure you know exactly what you will use them for.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.