Adjustable arms for an office chair a MUST for me. If a chair doesn’t have adjustable arms, I immediately dismiss it as a non-viable chair. One reason is that I don’t like using arms on my chair, but another reason is that having non-adjustable arms is horrible for correct ergonomics. If there is one thing I’ve learned from using the computer too much (10+ hours a day for years), it’s how to sit properly to reduce pain as much as possible.
If you have a chair without adjustable arms, you might find that you can’t set the desk at the right height, or you can’t scoot under the desk as much as you want which causes you to lean back and pitch your arms forward ruining the “ideal” ergonomic position.
In most cases, people have desks that are set to a certain height. Also, everyone has a different height and weight, so it’s important to have a chair that you can customize to your exact setup.
When you have a part of your chair like the arms, that can’t be changed; you start running into problems. As someone who is seeking a chair with adjustable arms, you probably already know the dilemma, so I won’t spend too much time on why you DO need adjustable arms.
The main reasons why you would want adjustable arms is that having adjustable arms lets you keep your arms in a neutral position. Or if you don’t like using arms like me (whether because you like to play Guitar or just don’t need them). For me, my arms get too stale on arm rests and start to cramp, and I like being able to move in and out from my desk without worrying about armrests.
The best height is directly in front of your desk, as seen in this picture. When you have adjustable arms, you can reach this ideal position, but if they are locked in a certain way, you could find that your armrests are too low, or high for your setup.
Best Chairs that Have Adjustable Arms
I will start this list in order of the cheapest chairs to the most expensive. The more expensive chairs will last longer and provide better experiences overall, whereas the cheaper chairs might not be as comfortable or last as long but still provide decent experiences with adjustable arms.
Best Adjustable Arms Gaming Chairs $95-500+
If you want a more “gaming” styled chair then you have a few options. You can either go big with DXRacer or small with a smaller brand name chair. These chairs are modeled a bit after racing car seats which look super cool and are suppose to be very durable.
Furmax Gaming Chair $95
This Furmax Gaming Chair is very sleek and stylish, and the best part is the arms which can be swiveled out of the way.
They aren’t adjustable so much as they can’t go up or down or side to side, but you can just move them out of the way–sort of like in a car. I like that this chair hasn’t made a blatant copy of DXRacer, but has taken some style cues to make its own thing.
The ability to swivel out the arms is ideal for people who want arms sometimes and then other times not. Few chairs have this feature, and the ones that do have adjustable armrests that can go up or down in place or side to side, cannot be completely moved out of the way easily.
If you want to see some similar chairs I’ve looked at, see this article on the best budget gaming chairs!
I wrote a HUGE guide on DXRacer chairs here for the best gaming chairs of 2017. Some of the DXRacer chairs have 4D arms (use the guide to see which ones do have 4D arm support) which means they can move any way you want.
However, while DXRacer provides some of the best racing gaming chairs in the market with firm cushions, excellent durability, and comfortable recline ability, and their armrests are adjustable–their arm rests are a bit sub-par compared to higher-end ergonomic chairs and feel a bit cheap.
Best Adjustable Arms Office Chairs $50-100
If you want an adjustable arms office chair, there are a few good options. These chairs have arms that can go up or down, but they can’t go side to side or perform other customized rotations like the chairs we will discuss later on (ergonomic chairs with adjustable arms). These are good options for someone who doesn’t want the “racing style” chair and prefers a good price and just basic adjustable arms.
This mid-back mesh chair from Amazon is a great first-time chair or cheap chair replacement that has decent back support, ergonomic design, and adjustable arms. It’s a simple chair, but most likely better than what you have!
Offex HL-0001 $117
If the last chair looks too basic for you, and you have a bigger budget, consider spending more for better back support, more adjustable levers, and the same sort of adjustable arms.
With this chair, you can get quite a customized experience close to some high-end ergonomic adjustments. It actually looks quite similar to the Herman Miller Chair.
Best Adjustable Arms Ergonomic Chairs
These chairs represent the creme of the crop. They have the most adjustable arms on the market, bar none.
Ergonomic chairs also have crazy good back support, tons of other adjustments to play with, 10-year warranties, and hefty price tags.
The Steelcase Leap is my favorite combination of adjustability and intuitive comfort. It uses fabric and a futuristic curved back shape to be comfortable but supportive for your back.
The arms are also excellent, and you’ll find that most Steelcase Chairs have very good adjustable arms that can go side to side, up or down, and be adjusted in mere seconds.
Check out our Steelcase Leap Review to see our full thoughts on the chair!
Steelcase Gesture $900+
While I didn’t like the Steelcase Gesture as much as the Steelcase Leap in my Steelcase Gesture review (it’s better for shorter users I think), I still think it does well on its promise to have the most adjustable arms on the market.
You can raise the arms up just by pulling to whatever height you want, put them down by just pressing a lever, and then rotate side to side, on the armrest, or move the entire arm itself. The Steelcase Gesture takes adjustable arms to the next level since the arms of the chair are almost like robot arms with their own levers and sockets. You have to watch the video I provided to see what I mean.
The only bad thing is I think that Steelcase focused all of their energy on the design of the chair and the arms, and since the chair can recline further than other chairs, and lacks adjustable back support, the back support never feels right like the Steelcase Leap.
If you haven’t heard of the Herman Miller Aeron by now, you must not know much about ergonomic chairs, but that’s OK!
This chair almost started the ergonomic chair revolution, and it has seen some real improvements.
The arms are completely adjustable, and the chair is different from some competitors since it is fully mesh which is good for hot weather but perhaps not as comfy.
Not all chairs have adjustable arms. Picking one that does is paramount for your ergonomic positioning which will improve posture during work or play, and reduce any pains that can accumulate over years using a computer at a desk.
My most recommended chair would be the Steelcase Leap for the best combination of adjustability, comfort, adjustable arms, and long-term durability.