How to Choose a Home Office Chair for a Small Space

How to Choose a Home Office Chair for a Small Space

Find the best chair for your tiny home office with this easy guide.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Home Office IdeasSmall Space Setup

In a world with an increased understanding of ergonomics, design, and productivity, office chairs are no longer just pieces of furniture. They are an essential part of the home office.

After all, you spend most of your day sitting in a chair. Easily the most used piece of furniture in a home office, the humble office chair is often the hardest to choose. Especially for those who don’t have the luxury of a large workspace.

Take a look at some of these factors to find the best home office chair for a small space.

Keeping size in mind

While there’s a lot more to picking a home office chair than the size, it is still an important consideration. And all the more so in small offices.

Looking at the size helps you pick a chair that’s flexible in a small space. No matter how tiny your office space is, rest assured there is a chair that is just right for you.

Types of home office chairs for a tiny workspace

Chair types can be a good indicator of their size.

Some types of chairs tend to be on the larger side, while others lean towards sleek, smaller designs.

Here are some of the chair types that are best suited for small home offices.

1. Task, or Operator Chair

A task chair is an ergonomic chair with a lighter and smaller design than most office chairs.

These chairs are designed to promote good posture and to fit well in small office spaces without compromising on comfort.

Most task chairs are adjustable — with the ability to modify seat height, back support, and armrest heights. Some task chairs also offer an adjustable headrest.

A task chair, also known as an operator chair
The contoured backs of these chairs support the spine and reduce shoulder pain. Photo by Tina Witherspoon

2. Active Stool Chair

If you’re worried about sitting still for too long and prefer to work from a standing desk, an active stool could prove beneficial to your small home office setup.

These chairs take up little space and are meant for short periods seated at your desk.

An active stool is an alternative to balance ball chairs, which are commonly used to improve posture.

An active stool chair
The height-adjustable ergonomic stools have a wobbly base that keeps your core engaged while sitting. Video by IKEA

The base makes it easier to rotate and tilt freely while working. Due to this movement, the active chair is great for those who struggle to sit still while working.

Rocking and tilting on the chair work similar to fidgeting. It allows your mind to focus better at work.

3. Kneeling Chair

The kneeling chair is a good choice for those looking to break the habit of slouching while working.

These chairs are great for fixing your posture, even though they take a bit of getting used to.

The unique shape of the chair angles your body forward to straighten the spine. This in turn helps strengthen your back and core muscles, as well as prevent back pain.

A kneeling chair
The chair comes with a knee rest to better support your body, hence the name. You can rock back and forth; some chair models with flexible frames even allow wiggling side to side. Video by

The forward-leaning design of the chair makes it well suited for those who spend a lot of time writing or drawing at their desk. A kneeling chair is also suitable for those who switch between sitting and standing at work.

One thing to keep in mind.

Although these chairs might work a treat for 2-3 hour work bursts, they are not designed for extended hours and long term comfort.

Using a kneeling chair for more than three hours can cut off circulation to the legs. Plus, scientific studies showed mixed results.

4. Drafting Chair

A drafting chair is a small seating option for tall tables and standing desks.

These chairs were designed to provide support while working at a drafting table.

Drafting chairs are height adjustable, with low height seatbacks and elevated foot rings to support your feet while working.

A drafting chair. Photo by Laura Davidson
Drafting chairs are perfect for those who need to rest their feet while working at a tall standing desk. Photo by Laura Davidson

5. Foldable Ergonomic Chair

For those who work in tight spaces like bedrooms, and living rooms, a foldable office chair can make life a lot easier.

These chairs don’t come with the bells and whistles of a traditional office chair but are still a significant step up from other foldable chairs.

A foldable ergonomic chair has cushioned seating, wheels, and a curved seat back for lumbar support, and some even have armrests. The ergonomic design of these chairs makes it easier to sit and work for longer hours.

Foldable ergonomic chairs are the best option for tiny office spaces, combining comfort with flexibility.

Storing a small home office chair

In small spaces, being able to keep the chair away after use is a big benefit.

Foldable chairs can be stowed away after use, while backless chairs and stools roll completely under the desk to clear up floor space.

Another option to consider for easy storage are chairs without armrests.

An office chair with no armrests
These offer all the benefits of a regular office chair, while the lack of armrests makes them easy to move around in tight spaces and store under a desk. Photo by Lasse Jensen
Minimal Scandinavian Desk Setup in Denmark
“I’m like a digital Van Gogh, except worse and with both my ears intact”


Office chairs have varied back designs to choose from.

Solid back chairs have cushioned back support to keep you comfortable, while mesh chairs use a fabric mesh for support.

Mesh chairs are a popular option for home offices, as they provide strong back support with breathability
Mesh chairs are a popular option for home offices, as they provide strong back support with breathability. During long sitting periods, they allow air to flow through to your back. On the photo: IKEA’s Järvfjället swivel chair from Matúš’s Study Setup

Breathable material and design ensure proper ventilation, keeping your back from sticking to the chair.

In small spaces, solid back chairs can be hard to work with, making ventilation worse.

Chairs with soft fabric mesh backs are better suited to these offices. They allow air to flow through, and keep you comfortable while working through the day.

Pegboard Study Setup by Matúš in Bratislava, Slovakia
“My pegboard is like a puzzle mounted on the wall — that’s why I like it so much”


Living in a tiny apartment means using a space for multiple functions.

The office desk could be your dining table, and the bed your place to watch TV.

It also leaves you with less space for your belongings, all of which leads to more chances of spilling, knocking over, or dropping items.

Materials that are easy to clean make life easier in small homes, giving you one less thing to worry about.

If easy cleaning is a must, plastic and vinyl chairs are the best choices for you.

These can be simply wiped down with a damp cloth to get rid of most stains and dust.

Fabric seating upholstery requires a bit more effort to clean, while fabric mesh can be vacuumed in one go.

Leather chairs are some of the hardest to clean and maintain, making them unsuitable for small offices.

The replica of the Cesca chair, originally designed by Marcel Breuer in 1928
The replica of the Cesca chair, originally designed by Marcel Breuer in 1928. It’s made out of stainless steel, wood and cane. Not only this chair looks sleek and eye appealing, but also it is easier to clean compared to leather. Photo by Reddit user h-u-i. “I had an Aeron, I just couldn’t deal with the ugliness,” he admits


The colour of your office chair does more than meets the eye.

If your office looks cramped and dark, consider a lighter coloured chair for the space. Lighter colours help the office look brighter and more open by reflecting light, and all the more so when combined with a light coloured desk.

A chair from IKEA
David Wall’s IKEA chair

While colours like white may be hard to keep clean, most chair brands now offer a range of fun light neutrals and pale colours. These are perfectly light and easy to keep clean.

A pale brown or muted green chair will add a quirky quality to your home office and make the room look bright and airy.

Chair styles

Along with colours, another factor to pay attention to is the design of the chair itself.

Chairs with a bulky design can block light and appear much larger in a smaller space. In contrast, sleek, modern designs can make your home office look comfortable and large.

Executive office chairs are the worst offenders in this category.

Executive chairs are made for large offices. They take up a lot of space while looking equally massive.

An oversized gaming chair
Gaming chairs are also not the best choice for small home offices. While the combination of black & white with red accents appears to be aesthetically pleasing, this gaming chair overtakes the look of this setup and makes the space look tiny

Instead, look for chairs with mesh back or thin back designs.

These look considerably smaller and can help prevent your small office from looking too cramped.

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Home Office IdeasSmall Space Setup