Tips for Buying an Office Chair if You're a Larger Person

Office chairs, like many other pieces of furniture, are not typically designed for a larger person such as a taller than average individual or one who is heavily overweight. Standard office chairs, if used by a bigger person, tend to wear out more quickly because they're not designed to handle the additional weight load. For your health, it's important to make sure you get the proper chair to meet your needs and reduce the chance of leg or back problems. Here are some tips to help you choose an office chair if you're a larger person.

Material Choice

Any chair with plastic parts is not a good option for the larger person. Plastic parts tend not to be able to hold extra weight and break easier. An office seat with metal construction is the ideal choice. Be prepared to pay more because these chairs are better made and heavier. But your investment will be worth it because these types of chairs tend to last longer. If you can't get solid metal frame construction at least make sure the base and wheel attachments are metal to help more evenly distribute weight.

Seat Padding

A larger person requires better padding that can handle extra body weight without losing its shape. Don't simply look for a chair with additional padding. Additional lower quality padding will still compress quickly. Make sure quality padding, like high density polyurethane foam, is used. Polyurethane foam, unlike cheaper foam rubber, will follow your body's contours and provide good support for years. It's especially important to make sure there's sufficient back padding to provide good back support and reduce the chance of back pain.

The Armrests

Not all office chairs have armrests, but if you prefer to have them, you need to make sure they're wider to accommodate bigger arms. It's also important to check to make sure there's enough space between the armrests for you to fit your body comfortably without the arms digging into your sides or your posterior.


Someone who is taller needs to be able to easily adjust the height of the chair to accommodate leg length. Look for seats that allow you to adjust the height of the armrests as well. Make sure the adjustable positions can be securely locked-in position. Choose a chair that has a higher than average back. Most of the better quality chairs will let you know their weight capacity.

The Cost

Chairs designed for bigger people require more and better quality parts which is more expensive to make. The cost is passed onto the consumer so don't expect to get a home office chair for under $200. Expect to pay $400 or more for a quality chair. You can save money on office chairs by shopping around or taking advantage of online sales at places that design furniture for bigger people.