Do you want to adjust the height of your office chair but you can’t find the lever?
I’m glad to tell you that you’ve come to the right place to solve this problem!
There are three common reasons why your office chair might not have a lever to adjust the height.
The first one is that you might have an older executive chair that is adjusted using large screws instead of the more common pneumatic lift.
Your office chair might also be damaged and missing the height adjustment lever.
And the last reason is that your office chair might not have any adjustment functionality by design.
We are going to take a look in more detail at each of these problems and how you might solve them.
So keep reading!
Table of Contents
Older Non-Pneumatic Office Chair
The chairs you see in most business offices and home offices have pneumatic lifts that make it very easy to adjust the height.
But office chairs weren’t always made with pneumatic lifts.
Back in the day, they had to be manually adjusted.
If you cannot find the height adjustment lever on your office chair, there’s a big chance you have one of these older office chairs.
So how do you adjust the height on these older office chairs?
Let’s find out!
How to Adjust the Height of an Old Non-Pneumatic Office Chair
Adjusting the height of an old non-pneumatic chair isn’t as simple as pushing a lever.
These older office chairs have threaded posts, so you will need to turn the chair clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the height.
The first step is to determine the height you will need to adjust your office chair to.
Ideally, the height of your office chair should be equal to the distance between the floor and the middle of your knee joint.
So measure the distance from the floor to the middle of your knee joint while standing up.
Then measure the distance from the floor to the seat of your chair.
Take note of the difference.
Most of these older chairs have a small lock that prevents you from accidentally readjusting the height.
You might need to flip your chair over to locate this lock and unfasten it.
It is usually a small screw at the base of the chair that you will need to loosen with a screwdriver.
Once the lock has been loosened, you can flip the chair back to its normal position and begin adjusting the height.
Turn the chair clockwise to lower the seat and counterclockwise to raise it. Keep a foot at the base of the chair to prevent the base from turning with the seat.
One full turn of the seat raises or lowers it by approximately ¼ inch.
Use the measurements you took on step one to determine how many full turns you will need to get the right height.
Make sure to test it by sitting on the chair before reinserting the lock.
Once you have the perfect height, reinsert the lock and tighten it.
Try to reinsert the lock without flipping the chair over again to avoid messing up your height adjustment.
After you complete step four, you’re good to go!
Damaged/Missing Office Chair Lever
What if your office chair is a pneumatic chair…
…but for some reason the lever is damaged or completely missing!
The best thing you can do is to take your office chair to the nearest furniture repair shop and ask them to fix it for you.
But if you’re a bit a handyman yourself, there are some things you can do to solve this problem right at home.
Makeshift Adjustment Lever
Using a makeshift adjustment lever to raise and lower your office chair is actually quite easy, given that the rest of the pneumatic lift is working properly.
What you need to do is locate the very top of the cylinder on your pneumatic lift.
You might have to flip your chair over to get a better angle.
Once you find the tip of the cylinder, you will see a small protruding pin. When this pin is pushed down, it releases the piston at the bottom of the pneumatic lift.
If the piston is released, you can then raise or lower your office chair.
Secure your new makeshift lever in place using some duct tape so it doesn’t fall off and you’ll be good to go!
If you want a more permanent fix, you will need to replace the missing lever.
If you go on the internet and search for a replacement lever, chances are you won’t find what you need.
This is because office chair adjustment levers are not usually sold separately.
You will need to purchase a new office chair mechanism with a lever, like this one from ChairPartsOnline.
- The pivot point of this style of tilt mechanism is further forward than on conventional tilt mechanisms helping to...
- 7.87" x 5.95" mounting screw hole pattern (mounting hardware not included)
- Single lever for gas cylinder height activation / adjustment and tilt lock-out
Once your new mechanism arrives in the mail, the next step would be to replace your old one.
To learn how to properly take apart your office chair and replace the mechanism, refer to our How to Take Apart an Office Chair article.
When the repair is complete, your office chair will be back in the game! You’ll be able to raise and lower it with just a touch of the lever.
For more information on how to fix your office chair, you can refer to our How to Fix Office Chairs section on our website.
Non-Adjustable Office Chairs
What if the chair you have cannot be raised or lowered by design…
…but you really need to adjust the height to match your desk?
This is a call to stir up your creative juices!
We’re now going to share with you a few tricks you can follow to fix the height issue on your office chair.
If your office chair lacks height, one of the easiest ways to get some elevation is by using seat cushions.
You can use anything from a random throw pillow lying on your couch, to a fancy plush foam cushion with anti skid pads.
- SPOIL YOURSELF - Memory foam is the leading fill type for any comfortable cushion out there. Whether it's a pillow,...
- TIE-LESS SKID-PROOF BACKING - We understand the frustration caused by chair pads when they don't stay in place....
- PERFECT FIT FOR ANY CHAIR - Sit in comfort for years to come! Our chair pads are designed to fit all chairs. These...
What matters is that you get the ideal seat height with your seat cushion.
We recommend this seat cushion from ComfiLife.
- Assist in Back Pain & Sciatica Relief - Ergonomically designed, provides support and comfort while reducing...
- GREAT FOR OFFICE CHAIR, DRIVING AND TRAVELING: Provides instant comfort on any hard surface; office chair, desk...
- INSTANT BACK PAIN & SCIATICA RELIEF: Ergonomically designed, provides maximum support and comfort while reducing...
It has an orthopedic memory foam cushion that will add height to your seat and also help prevent tailbone pain.
Plus it’s got anti skid pads like the fancy plush foam pillow we mentioned!
To learn more about adding height to your office chair, you can read our article here: How to Make an Office Chair Higher.
You may also read our review on the 10 Best Seat Cushions for Office Chairs.
Desk Elevation Blocks
What if your problem is that you need to lower your office chair to match your desk?
To save you from having to cut up your office chair, you can purchase desk elevation blocks instead.
These blocks will raise the height of your desk so it will match the height of your office chair.
What we recommend are these anti-slip elevation blocks from Utopia Bedding.
- COMPLETE SET: Includes 8 furniture risers with 8 anti-slip foam pads for the top and 8 anti-slip rubber pads for...
- DURABLE & SOLID: Featuring a robust and solid construction, our furniture riser is designed to effortlessly support...
- MULTI-HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Elevate your furniture with ease using these bed risers, each capable of increasing the...
They are made from durable plastic and they can be stacked up for extra height.
Make sure to check the size and the height of these blocks before you make a purchase. You don’t want to end up with something that is too tall or too short.
So there you have it! From now on, whenever you encounter an office chair without a lever to raise or lower it, you’ll know how to solve the problem.
Just to recap, here’s a bullet list of the solutions we provided in this article:
- For older office chairs: Find and unfasted the lock screw and turn the seat clockwise to lower the seat and counterclockwise to raise it.
- For damaged/missing levers: Create a makeshift lever or order a replacement mechanism.
- For non-adjustable office chairs: Get a seat cushion to add height to your chair or desk elevation blocks for your desk.
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.