It has been a few years since I’ve rounded up rolling desk chairs (or chairs with casters), and as you can probably guess I’m on the hunt for one, for my upcoming office renovation. Since I’ve been saving all the good chairs (they are TOUGH to find), I figured I’d share my top contenders with you. When it comes to my home office, while a static, regular desk chair probably looks best, I want to stick to a chair with wheels. It’s feels more functional for me and I like to roll around and move throughout the day… so casters are a must! Click through to see some favorites and hear my thoughts on office and desk chairs, as I try to choose the right one.
I’ll begin by saying, my vintage desk chair I restored is amazing. I still love the look, shape, and my upholstery job is holding up well, BUT (you knew that was coming)– it’s old and doesn’t function very well. Emmett has tried to repair it a few times for me, and it keeps breaking. We have to oil the wheels every other week and they’ve ruined my area rug with grease. I’ve had this chair for 3 years and as much as I love it- I think it’s time to part ways. For the amount of hours I sit at my desk, I’m ready to have something a little nicer.
In my previous home office, pictured above, I had a woven desk chair that I liked pretty well. It was a budget friendly chair (that has since been discontinued) and I was constantly having to tighten the wheels, but I liked it from an aesthetic and comfort point-of-view.
Before the woven chair, I splurged for this modern number… pictured above. It didn’t last very long, tore up my rug, and was the least comfortable chair I’ve ever owned. I think that’s when I decided wheels or casters work best for me.
Below, I landed on budget friendly rolling chairs for the makeover I did for the Humane Society and the employees gave them their stamp of approval for function, comfort, and cleanability. I’m just not convinced that shape or style works well with my office design plan. I think I want something more interesting.
Given desk chairs are expensive and I want to have this one for a very long time, I’m trying to make a good decision here. Emmett is pushing me to buy an ergonomic option, but I feel like I just can’t get on board with the form or design of most. Even the expensive Herman Miller desk chairs aren’t my favorite, in terms of aesthetic. Ready to see my top contenders? Consider this the beginning of me narrowing things down.
Click directly on the chairs to be redirected to the source- or use the numbered links below the collage to shop…
01: velvet desk chair // 02: leather desk chair // 03: court office chair // 04: black executive chair // 05: avery desk chair // 06: addy desk chair // 07: bendol desk chair // 08: helvetica office chair // 09: tyler desk chair // 10: captains chair // 11: charlotte desk chair // 12: manhattan task chair // 13: tan swivel chair // 14: tabby desk chair // 15: fairview desk chair // 16: channel tufted desk chair // 17: roan office chair // 18: finley office chair
What do you think? Do you have favorites? Mine include: #2, #3, #7, #10, and #14. My other option is to buy a regular chair and install casters on the legs. I’m just not certain how that would function or hold up over time, but from an aesthetic point-of-view, I think that could actually be a viable option.
I need to do some measuring, narrow it down, and decide which ones makes sense. I’m eager to start ordering all of the things. Now that the office is officially underway, it’s beginning to feel real and exciting. Time to start buying all the things I’ve been saving for (for this space) this past year.
Where do you stand when it comes to your desk chair (if you use one often)? Do you prefer something ergonomic? Are looks important to you, or is it more about comfort? Would you ever buy a vintage desk chair, like mine? Maybe I should just keep what I have and embrace it. Hmm… decisions!
MistyMarch 2, 2021 at 4:00 am
I’ve had this simple, comfortable, cognac beauty for years. It rolls nicely and I like that it doesn’t have arms. Somehow it recently got a scratch on the back, but with multiple kids using it daily, I’m surprised it made it a few years without a mark.
Of course, I bought it during one of their furniture sales.
I’ll be setting up a new space soon and love all your suggestions for workspace areas.
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 9:05 pm
I also prefer chairs without arms, Misty! Thank you so much for sharing another great chair to add to my list. I hope you had a great day! xo
SallyMarch 2, 2021 at 4:18 am
Definitely #1 or #17 for me aesthetically. Much depends on how jumpy-uppy the main user is, I think. This, for me, would determine the arm choice in the first instance – l much prefer the comfort of a proper armrest, but if you’re someone who is constantly up and down you might prefer a no-arm option? The ones with straight legs and a castor on each (#14
) always feel far less stable to me and tend to look a little cobbled together… Something like this also depends on the amount of time actually in use (duh!) – this is when the form over function or vice versa debate comes in. Your back will thank you for your compromises!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 9:05 pm
I agree with you, Sally! It’s interesting how the user comes into play. I hardly ever use the arms on my chair because they’re always resting on my desk or typing at the keyboard, so those aren’t a dealbreaker for me. I’m up and down a lot as well. I also like your point of stability- definitely something to consider! I think function might have to beat form in this instance, based on the amount of hours I sit here (unfortunately). Decisions, decisions! Hope you’re having a great week :)
PeggiMarch 2, 2021 at 5:00 am
Desk chairs! I find them to be problematic. The utility of casters cannot be denied, but the spidery legs are a real aesthetic black eye. I prefer the look of regular legs with casters like your vintage one (and #10 and 14). The quality of the casters themselves is paramount; using a chair every day that feels like pushing a grocery cart with a rogue, wonky wheel cannot be tolerated. Ugh. Your patience and diligence deserves a beautiful, functional chair befitting your lovely, sophisticated office design. A high bar, indeed. Hilariously, my favorites were exactly the same as yours! (I also liked #15 in the green leather, but I know you’re staying neutral.) I think #7 is the most beautiful, but maybe too perfect? Also, will the back detail compete with Xs on the builtins? #2 feels feminine and neutral with the added texture of leather. #7 might be my favorite for the hit of modern that a hip Parisian office warrants. Choices!! You’ve got some strong contenders. I can’t wait to see what you decide! 💜
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 9:02 pm
Me too, Peggi! Desk chairs feel like a lose / lose situation in terms of function and design. I either end up with an eye sore in my office or an aching back. What to do! I definitely prefer the regular leg style. I love that we had the same favorites for this one :) That never happens! #7 was definitely calling to me, but you’re right- I don’t want it to compete with the built-ins. I might pop it into the design plan and see how it plays. I think 7 is leading the race right now, but who knows. I wish I could sit it in! I can hear Emmett now… mocking me for spending too much money on an uncomfortable desk chair that “looks nice”. Haha! I hope your day was a good one! I’m off to have dinner and call it a night :) xo
MelissaMarch 2, 2021 at 6:51 am
Oh this is a tough one- form over function-wise. I can’t remember all the details of your design plan but few of these look like they deserve a spot in your beautiful office plan. If I had to pick I’d be curious about 2, 11 and 17. Excited to see the outcome!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:59 pm
Such a tricky balance, Melissa! My brain is mush from looking at chairs all day. Haha! I like all of your picks. I wish I could sit in some of these and see how they feel. Desk chairs are tough. I hope you had a wonderful Tuesday :) xo
Melanie ThielkeMarch 2, 2021 at 7:06 am
I’m with Peggy with the aesthetics of the chairs with all of the castors. All I see is an octopus. I only like 2 of them: 10 and 14. I have a rug under my desk and I found a sleek faux leather chair with runners that I was satisfied with at Ikea.
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:57 pm
Right? Where are the office chairs that are functional, roll, are ergonomic, and aesthetically pleasing? I like both 10 and 14, but am wondering if they’d be comfortable. I sit here sometimes 13+ hour days. Decisions, decisions. Thank you for weighing in!
LaurenMarch 2, 2021 at 8:05 am
Desk chairs are in and of themselves supremely problematic. Most are great at first, but after much use render themselves dysfunctional…I find that the backs just loosen too much overtime. One day you sit in them and they’re the perfect comfort, the next day you’re low riding down Hollywood Boulevard. Haha. I’m going to come out of the woodwork with a differing opinion to some of the favorites here in the comments. I knew #3 would be in your top contenders, but aesthetically it reminds me of a barber chair. #14 has something missing for me. As much as I want to love it, I’m feeling like it resembles a patio chair a bit too much. My personal favorites are #1, 5, 7, 8 and 17. Like Peggi I wonder if #7 is too good-and whether the back design would compete too much with the built-in details. 17 is supremely gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what you choose!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:55 pm
They really are. Maybe I’ve missed my calling for designing a beautiful AND ergonomic office chair. Why don’t those exist? I am cracking up at your low riding comment- I know what you mean. My old desk chair hydraulic broke and I was constantly sitting wayyy too close to the floor. OK- number 3 is out now… I can only see the barber chair. Thanks for pointing that out. Ha! I have no idea which chair to choose. Maybe I haven’t found “the one” yet. I’m never this indecisive when it comes to design. Argh. I hope you had a great Tuesday! We need a light update!!
LaurenMarch 3, 2021 at 8:20 am
Light update coming later today-it’s not installed yet because I don’t know how to put an anchor in the wall on my own…so I’ll be learning something new today, ha!
SarahMarch 3, 2021 at 9:08 am
Woohoo!! Cheers to learning new things and pretty light fixtures. Can’t wait to see!
Jennifer LauraMarch 2, 2021 at 8:32 am
I know desk chairs are supposed to have wheels I guess, but I can’t help but always want to just put a beautiful antique upholstered chair at all of my desks!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:52 pm
My thoughts exactly! I quickly learned that sitting at a desk hours on end, the chair is very important… important enough that it’s making this designer consider something not as beautiful. Haha! What to do!!
DeborahMarch 2, 2021 at 9:15 am
Last March, I switched to temporarily working from home full time until it’s safe to go back to the office (fingers crossed for late summer this year). What I soon discovered was that a chair that looked good and was fine for sitting in an hour or two at a time was not fine for sitting in all day long. There’s a reason why we have ergonomic chairs in the office. When it became clear we were going to be working from home for a long time (and in my husband’s case, most likely as long as he stays at his current job), it was time to get “real” office chairs. I knew that the Herman Miller Mirra chair I had at work had worked well for me for over a decade, and so that’s what we got. They might not be quite as pretty as the options you link above, but we feel much better at the end of the day after sitting in them all day every day.
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:50 pm
I definitely agree, Deborah. I always choose form over function, and have regretted it when it comes to office chairs. Emmett is trying to convince me that ergonomic is the only way to go, and I know my back would thank him for that. The Herman Miller chairs are the best of the best! I used to have one at the design firm I used to work for and loved how comfortable it was. I might have to suck it up and go that route for the sake of functionality. Thanks for being another voice of reason! Haha! I hope you had a great day.
DanielleMarch 2, 2021 at 10:05 am
Have you tried or considered replacing the castors on your vintage chair? Not quite the same, but we replaced cheap plastic wheels on a filing cabinet in our home with solid metal castors, and it rolls great! Of course that’s different than something you sit in, but maybe another option for you!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:48 pm
We have (unfortunately). The current casters are actually solid brass and are really nice, they just keep falling out of the frame of the chair (which is becoming wobbly). I could handle the wheels squeaking and wobbling, but I think it’s time I finally admit- it’s not the best option for sitting hours a day. Womp womp! I don’t think I can part with it though- maybe it will live elsewhere in our house. Haha! Thanks for the suggestion! xox
BrittanyMarch 2, 2021 at 1:18 pm
I love the desk chair you have now. It’s very cute and looks solid. I’m so glad you did the round-up because I do need a new office chair. The combo of my cheap dining chair and old butt will not work for much longer! I really like #12 and 16-they look comfy for the tush and back 👍. Thanks, Sarah!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:46 pm
Thanks, Brittany! I really love it too. I would keep it if it weren’t falling apart. The wheels fall off all the time and it’s one big squeak machine. Haha! I’m with you on having an old butt and a bad chair- I”m becoming quite over it. Lol! 12 and 16 definitely look comfortable- those are in the running for sure. Hope you had a wonderful day! xo
ColleenMarch 2, 2021 at 1:32 pm
Office chairs don’t really excite me from an aesthetic prospective, but I do like #2. I don’t know if you might consider the “Belgian Slope Slipcovered armchair” by RH. You can get it on casters, and there is a fabric selection which is kind of nice. Of course, it not a typical ergonomic office chair but I love that it’s fully slipcovered and the castors are hidden. I can’t speak to its comfort as I haven’t been able to get to a store to try it yet but I really do like the style. And I think aesthetically it might work well for your soon to be fabulous office space. It’s getting exciting!
Hope you are having an amazing day!
SarahMarch 2, 2021 at 8:44 pm
Hi Colleen! I’m with you… it’s not the beautiful or exciting piece of furniture. I don’t know why I always forget to check RH, but I LOVE the recommendation you sent over. That could work really beautifully and you don’t have to see any wheels. A win / win! One of my friends works at our local RH, so I’m going to see if they have it in the showroom for testing. My only concern is that it’s too soft- the shape is beautiful though. Thank you for sharing!! I hope you had a lovely Tuesday :) xo
BrittanyMarch 2, 2021 at 8:49 pm
My chair is by far the thing I miss most about working in the office. I actually asked if I could bring mine home, but they said no :( I guess we have too many employees (17k) to let people take chairs home! All that to say, ergonomic all the way!!
StephanieMarch 3, 2021 at 8:11 am
Once you get an ergonomic desk chair, you can’t go back. And your back and long term health will surely thank you. I never had an ergonomic desk chair at home, but after the pandemic forced us to work from home, sitting on my usual chair at home all day absolutely killed my back. Eventually, once work realized this wasn’t a short-lived thing, we were allowed to go into the office and bring our chairs home, and my back is so much better for it.
There’s really a gap in the market, though! Why can’t we have beautifully looking AND ergonomic desk chairs?!
SarahMarch 3, 2021 at 9:12 am
That’s so nice you were able to bring your work chair home! When I used to work at a design firm, they had really nice ergonomic chairs, and I’ll admit- my posture, back, and alignment felt so much better. Form vs. function is my everyday battle. haha! Where are all the beautiful AND ergonomic chairs?! Someone needs to design those.
TracyMarch 3, 2021 at 11:40 am
#14 point blank period. So beautiful! #5 runner up
SarahMarch 4, 2021 at 6:54 pm
Thanks Tracy! I liked that one, too!
Kristin RichardsonMarch 4, 2021 at 6:40 pm
All I can say, as someone who unexpectedly had to start working from home a year ago, is pick something with a very….VERY… comfortable seat cushion. I had an antique bankers style chair that was solid wood, which was fine for the weekend and occasional evening use. Uh, no go for 40 hours a week. Bought a used “office chair” and have been sitting on a bed pillow with a smaller accent one behind my back for 8 months now. So next up is refinish the antique and get a better seat cushion! And yes to casters, this is the way.
P$: ❤ #12
SarahMarch 4, 2021 at 6:57 pm
I know how it goes, Kristin! I’ve been working from home for 4-5 years now and I can’t believe I haven’t upgraded my vintage chair yet. Haha! It’s definitely time. I love your idea of refinishing the antique chair and upgrading the cushion. Casters is definitely the way to go, and I also love number 12. It looks comfy and practical :)
LisaMarch 5, 2021 at 12:09 am
I am a software engineer and have already had (thankfully mild) overuse injuries. Unfortunately an ergonomic desk chair is non-negotiable for me, but most of them are so ugly :( I need to try out the Herman Miller Sayl to see if it fits my body well, as it at least leans into an “real” design aesthetic.
SarahMarch 8, 2021 at 5:58 pm
So sorry to hear that, Lisa! I feel like I probably should buy an ergonomic chair at this point. My body isn’t as young as it once was. Haha! I will say- the Herman Miller chairs are VERY comfortable.
ErinMarch 6, 2021 at 8:27 am
Hi Sarah! I used to work at a place that had chairs extremely similar to #10. Bad news: we called them the “fart” chairs because of the distinctive noise they made when sitting down or shifting.
SarahMarch 8, 2021 at 5:55 pm
Hi Erin, HAHA!! Thank you for the heads up. Luckily, it would just be me working from home in my office- so hopefully no embarrassing fart moments around others. Lol!
KJMarch 7, 2021 at 1:41 pm
I have an ugly very comfortable ergonomic Steel Case chair. However, you might want to take a look at the chairs available on Anthropologie.
SarahMarch 8, 2021 at 5:53 pm
Thanks KJ! I’ll have to check them out :)