Task Chair Vs. Office Chair

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: October 10, 2022

Disclosure: This site is reader-supported & contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more

Task Chair Vs Office Chair Featured Image

There are many differences between task chairs and office chairs. Task chairs are more adjustable, while office chairs offer basic adjustability. You might be presented with the two while searching for an office chair. Which one do you pick?

So, task chair vs. office chair?

The main difference between a task chair and an office chair is adjustability. A task chair is fitted with adjustable features, including seat height and depth, armrests, and lumbar support. It also the tilt and swivel functions. A standard office chair has a fixed design and provides basic adjustability.

This article looks into various aspects of two pieces of furniture, enabling you to make a buying decision that you’ll never regret objectively.

Task Chair Vs. Office Chair: What Makes Them Different?

The size, style, ergonomics,  functionality, and more make task and office chairs different.  A task chair is suitable for short periods of work or internet surfing. On the other hand, a standard office chair is ideal for an office job that requires you to sit for long hours. For maximum comfort and overall body health, an ergonomic office chair is best.

Task chairs and office chairs differ in the following areas:

  • Comfort and ergonomics
  • Style and design
  • Cost of the chair
  • Build up quality and durability
  • Availability
  • productivity

1. Comfort And Ergonomics

Finding a comfortable chair is crucial if your work demands sitting for extended hours. Ergonomically fit chairs’ design ensures your utmost comfort. Task chairs and office chairs differ in the level of comfort they provide.

Task Chairs

Tasks chairs have proper ergonomics, and hence, they provide the comfort you need while working. However, during prolonged sitting sessions, task chairs may not guarantee this comfort. These chairs have adjustable features such as lumbar support, armrests, height, and depth. Additionally, they’ve tilt and swivel functions.

The other thing is that the back of the task chairs can be a full height or mid-height one. Also, some task chairs may come with a separate neck or headrest. Between the two, the full heigh backrest design provides more comprehensive comfort.

Furthermore, a perfect task chair has a high weight capacity. Hence, your seat height won’t sink during your extended periods of sitting.

Office Chairs

Unlike task chairs, standard office chairs are only fitted with fundamental adjustment features such as swivel base, back tilt, and height function.

Moreover, office chairs have a high backrest design, and they can have lumbar support or not. These chairs have a fixed design. Even so, an ergonomic office chair has more adjustable features making it more comfortable.

2. Style And Design

The style and design of your chair are significant in enhancing a great working atmosphere. Therefore, it’s a matter of consideration when selecting an office chair. 

Task Chairs

There are three styles of task chairs, including fabric, mesh, and a combination of both. A task chair made up of a fabric seat and meshed back is best because it combines the benefits of both styles. That means that you get more comfort due to proper padding and breathability. Free air circulation allows you to stay cool even during summer.

Moreover, these chairs have wheels for easy movement around your workspace. Task chairs are low-styled to fit under your desk perfectly. Generally, task chairs are more lightweight.

Office Chairs

Office chairs come in various styles, where mesh and leather office chairs are the most common. The two differ, with the former offering breathability while the latter provides a luxurious feel. The design you choose depends on your need, how long you sit while working, and your budget.

The fixed design of office chairs makes them bulkier than their task counterparts. Even with the various styles of office chairs, the style you settle on should blend with your decor.

Additionally, both chairs rest on casters and have swivel bases. Their armrests can be fixed or adjustable. Hence, it’s good to check before buying because a fixed armrests chair won’t fit under your desk at your desired height. 

3. Cost Of The Chair

How much a chair cost is a matter of consideration to see if the price suits your budget. 

Task Chairs

A good task chair price ranges between around $150 and $200-$300. Nonetheless, you can still find a chair below or above that range, depending on the number of features present.

Office Chairs

You can get an office chair for $100 to $1500. The price of the specific chair depends on several factors, including adjustments, build quality, and more. A high-quality ergonomic office chair can cost between $350 to $800. Above this range are the luxurious chairs whose features they have may not be necessary. Some chairs can cost below $100, but such may compromise comfort.

While you can find a task chair and an office chair for the same price, the difference comes in each chair’s comfort. Test before buying! A good chair can serve you for a considerable period, so considering your budget and how long you’ll be sitting helps make the right choice. 

4. Build-Up Quality And Durability

A task or an office chair with quality build-up has higher longevity. Office furniture is an essential investment, and you want one that serves you for many years, if not a lifetime.

Task Chairs

Task chairs wear out more quickly than any office chair. They’re multipurpose and therefore used all day long. The more you use your chair, the shorter the period it serves you. Hence, a task chair is less durable than an office chair.

Additionally, these chairs are well-built but lack representation at the premium level.

Office Chairs

Office chairs are designed to be used in the office, and hence, their wearing-out rate is a bit lower than their task counterparts. Additionally, these chairs have different levels of build-up quality, from budget to luxurious office chairs. Therefore, you can always buy a good office chair that your budget can allow. 

5. Availability

The popularity of a chair can increase its demand, and as a result, the manufacturers make it more available to the users.

Task Chairs

Task chairs have a record of high popularity all over the world. You can use these chairs at home and in your office. Since they’re way cheaper than standard office chairs, their demand is very high. Consequently, they are readily available in office chair stores and outlets near you.

Office Chairs

The various types of office chairs have different levels of demand and popularity. For instance, the demand for ergonomic office chairs is scaling up because most people have become mindful of their health. Hence, these chairs have high availability to meet the rising demand. 

5. Productivity

A perfect chair should have basic ergonomic features to provide maximum comfort, enabling you to become more productive. 

Task Chairs 

Task chair users’ productivity is top-notch. These chairs have ergonomics features that you can use to adjust your chair to your desired sitting position. That way, you can sit comfortably for long hours while working, increasing your productivity.

Additionally, task chairs adapt to your needs. Hence, it saves time because you don’t have to adjust knobs or levers.

Offices Chairs

Office chairs’ productivity is much lower than task chairs. While you may think ergonomic office chairs have more productivity, these are more individualistic and are designed for additional comfort. Although they are more expensive, you rarely use some of the features that contribute to the high cost. And you’ve to adjust your chair before using it where more time is consumed.

So, if your aim is to increase your productivity through comfortable sitting, a task chair is your ideal choice.

Let’s get deeper into understanding task chairs and office chairs so that you make an objective decision on which one to go for.

What Exactly Is A Task Chair?

A task chair is an ergonomically upgraded desk chair suitable for various ‘tasks’ and body types. The chairs have the latest ergonomic technological designs allowing you to reap more benefits than a traditional office chair. They’re small in size, making them suitable if you’ve got a small workspace and use any space efficiently.

Task chairs provide ease of movement around your office and fit perfectly well under your desk. They’re highly versatile and promote an excellent sitting posture while working.

Furthermore, task chairs have a high level of customization and adjustability to accommodate all body types. The adjustable features include armrests and lumbar support, seat depth, and height. They allow you to fine-tune your chair to your body type and preferences. Since these chairs are ergonomically fit, you experience minimal or no health challenges.

What Should You Look For In An Ideal Task Chair?

You should look for the elements below in an ideal task chair. Ensure your chair complies with them before buying. A good task chair should be:

  • Adjustable and ergonomically fit
  • Comfortable
  • Small and easily mobile
  • Properly supportive
  • Minimal 

Let’s look at each of the above elements hereunder. Read on. 

1. Adjustable And Ergonomically Fit

Task chairs are highly versatile and are loaded with tons of adaptability mechanisms. The most profound adjustable features of a task chair include:

  • Reclining, tilting, and height-adjustable backrest
  • Height and width adjustable armrests
  • Height and depth adjustable seat
  • Adjustable lumbar supports
  • Swiveling bases

The above functionalities are basic. Some task chairs can go beyond them to provide more support. They ensure an ergonomic posture so you can sit comfortably while working.

2. Comfortable

An ideal task chair strikes a balance between comfort and support. It gives you a comfortable sitting experience all day long with the utmost relaxation. Most of these chairs are fitted with fabric warped or breathable mesh cushions and a waterfall-designed seat for maximum comfort.

These functionalities support your lower body and minimize pressure on your knees and lumbar region. The contact points of a task chair feature tapered edges and plush padding for proper accommodation. 

3. Small And Easily Mobile

Task chairs are small in size, measuring 2 to 2.5 feet in diameter. They’re equipped with easy-glide mechanisms that you can adjust by pulling a lever or pushing a button. That ensures easy maneuverability. Task chairs have caster wheels that move smoothly on hard floors. 

4. Properly Supportive

Task chairs have contoured backrests that uphold your lumbar region, providing back support and a perfect posture throughout your sitting. As a result, you experience less or no back pain or fatigue. Task chairs maintain support in all sitting positions.

5. Minimal

Task chairs have a minimalistic design but offer all the essential features you may need. Most of them have one or two colors that aren’t too bright and lack the stylishness of executive chairs.

Pros And Cons Of Task Chairs

Task chairs have their positive and negative aspects. In this section, we look at the two sides of these chairs.

Pros Of Task Chairs

Task chairs have functionalities that are beneficial to you in the following ways.

  • Enhancing good posture: Task chairs have a functional structure that provides an excellent posture as you work. Their ergonomic design eradicates pressure from your shoulders, back, and hips. As a result, you enjoy a comfortable sitting experience with minimal or no back pains.
  • Increased productivity: Task chairs provide a high level of adjustability and are, therefore, comfortable. Consequently, you can accomplish more work because you focus more on meeting deadlines and have no discomfort distractions.
  • Easy mobility: Swivel chairs enhance efficiency in working spaces. Task chairs allow you to move around your desk without necessarily getting out of your chair. That saves a lot of time.
  • Flexibility: Task chairs are highly versatile in design, giving your office a professional look.  This workspace presentation motivates you to perfect your work because you feel more ‘professional.’

Cons Of Task Chairs

After learning about the advantages of task chairs, it’s crucial to put the drawbacks on a weighing balance to see which side carries the day. The disadvantages include:

  • Style and color selection: Task chairs are limited in styles and design because they focus more on comfortability. Color selection is also limited to enhance a more professional feel and look.
  • Cost: Task chairs can be more expensive than standard office chairs due to their versatile and unique design and adjustment features.  

What Exactly Is An Office Chair?

An office chair is a piece of furniture designed for use at a desk and, as the name suggests, in an office. A standard office chair has fewer adjustment features than a task chair. This chair has only fundamental functionalities. However, there are premium office chairs that offer more adjustability.

Most office chairs are fitted with comfortable plush seats, supportive backrests, and ergonomically fit armrests. Some of them may also have wheels for easy mobility.

There is an endless list of office chairs. The major ones include:

  • 24 hours chairs: They’re designed for areas that require your constant sitting around the clock. Such sites include control rooms, 911 dispatchers, call centers, and the like. These chairs ought to be adjustable, reliable, and durable.
  • Ergonomic chairs: Has enhanced adjustability and comfort to best support your body providing the correct posture throughout your sitting. They keep lower back pain at bay during prolonged sitting.
  • Big and tall chairs: Designed for large-statured persons for use in workstations and at desks. They’ve more mobile and adjustable arms and are more budget-friendly. 
  • Executive chairs: It’s a type of premium office chair. These chairs have tall backs to provide maximum comfort and support your upper body. Moreover, the height and quality of executive chairs signify authority.   
  • Conference chairs: As the name implies, these chairs are designed and used in conference rooms setting a business meeting mood. They’re simple as they’ve limited adjustments and static arms.
  • Computer chairs: Designed to work at a desk for an extended period enhancing increased productivity.

What Should You Look For In An Ideal Office Chair?

You should look for the vitals below in an ideal office chair. They’re essential for a perfect sitting experience and your body’s overall health. A good office chair should have:

  • Adjustable backrest
  • Sufficient seat depth and width
  • Easy mobility
  • Breathable material and sufficient padding
  • Height Adjustability
  • Easy to operate adjustment controls
  • Adequate lumbar support
  • Armrests

The above qualities of an office chair are explained below. Keep reading.

1. Adjustable Backrest

A good office chair allows you to adjust its back to suit your task. It should be easy to move it forward and backward if it’s attached to the seat. Ensure its locking mechanism is in good condition to prevent sudden backward tilt of the backrest. A separate backrest should be height adjustable and allow you to position it to your preferred angle.

2. Sufficient Seat Depth And Width

Your office chair seat should have the depth and width that suits your body for maximum comfort. The taller you’re, the deeper your chair should be. The correct posture is where your back leans on the backrest and 2 to 4 inches between your knees’ back and your chair. Additionally, your chair’s seat should allow forward and backward adjustments. 

3. Easy Mobility

An office chair’s mobility is part of its usefulness. Therefore, an ideal office chair should ensure maximum efficiency by rotating in any direction of your workspace. The casters of your chair are responsible for such movements. Nonetheless, you need to ensure that you’ve the suitable casters for your flooring. If you already have unsuitable casters, buy an office chair mat. 

4. Breathable Material And Sufficient Padding

Breathable material is ideal for a comfortable office chair. It allows you to stay cool during prolonged sitting because there is free air circulation. Moreover, your chair should be well-padded and shouldn’t be too hard or too soft. A hard surface can cause pain when you sit for a long period, while an extra soft one may not offer the needed support. 

5. Height Adjustability

An ideal office chair should allow you to adjust it to your preferred height using a pneumatic adjustment lever. Your posture should maintain your thighs in a position where they’re horizontal to the floor for maximum comfort.

6. Easy To Operate Adjustment Controls

A perfect office chair should allow access to all adjustment controls while seated and without straining. These adjustments include moving higher or lower, tilting, or swiveling. They’re easier to do right when sitting!

7. Adequate Lumbar Support

An office chair should have a contoured backrest to provide support and comfort for your back. Hence, its back should take up the natural shape of your spine to provide good lumbar support. That reduces pressure and strain on your lower back discs. 

8. Armrests

Your office chair of choice should have armrests to minimize strain on your neck and shoulders. They should adjust to your preferred position without tampering with your working speed.

Pros And Cons Of Office Chairs 

There are specific benefits and drawbacks for each of the various types of office chairs. However, some general pros and cons are cut across all office chairs.

Pros Of Office Chairs

Below are the ways in which office chairs are beneficial to you as part of your office furniture.

  • Enhance an amazing working atmosphere: Office chairs create a beautiful and stylish working environment that boosts your mood. In big offices, well-arranged office chairs make a great view that attracts many visitors.
  • Provide comfort: All office chairs are designed to provide comfort at different levels. The support and comfort of each chair depend on the extra features the chair has. These chairs are ideal when working for prolonged hours at a desk.
  • Improve productivity: With a comfortable and relaxed sitting position, you’ll work better and faster. That is due to minimal or no distractions associated with an uncomfortable chair.
  • Provide good posture: An office chair gives you the correct posture. It allows height adjustments to your preferred height, and its back takes the natural curve of your spine.
  • Boost employee relationships: Office chairs create a great environment for employees to relate well with each other.
  • Enhances safety in the office: A good office chair reduces the expenses you get from injuries and damaged furniture. Be sure to keep all your chair’s parts in good shape and repair the broken ones to prevent harm.

Cons Of Office Chairs

There are a few downsides of office chairs, including the following.

  • Cost: Some office chairs can be very expensive due to the additional features in them. More expense may occur in the maintenance of chairs, such as ergonomic and executive office chairs which may not serve you for long without proper care.
  • Discomfort: If you aren’t able to adjust your office chair appropriately, you may have a bad sitting experience that can hurt your back.
  • Heavyweight: Office chairs are quite heavy, making it difficult to move them around or turn them during cleaning.

FAQ

Are Expensive Office Chairs Worth It?

Yes, expensive office chairs are worth it. These chairs have more distinct features than the standard chairs. Additionally, these chairs are high quality to provide the utmost support and comfort you need. Consequently, you enjoy a fantastic sitting experience, increased productivity, and overall good body health.

What Is The Standard Office Chair Height?

There’s no standard office chair height. Nonetheless, different office chairs have different height ranges. A typical office chair ranges between 16 and 21 inches if you measure from the seat to the floor.

How Long Should You Sit In A Task Chair?

You should sit in the task chair for about 30 minutes, after which you take a break. You can stand for a few seconds or walk around. As a result, you maintain proper blood flow and strengthen your body. That way, you can keep at bay all the adverse effects associated with lengthy sitting. Above all, ensure you have the correct seating position and your chairs’ height.

What Makes An Office Chair Ergonomic?

An office chair is made ergonomic by its adjustable seat height, lumbar support, and seat depth. Hence, you can easily adjust your chair’s height to position your legs at a right angle and the seat according to your preferences. The chair should provide proper lumbar support for your spine to prevent lower back pain.

Should Armrests Go Under Desk?

Yes, armrests should go under the desk when needed. Nevertheless,  they should be at the same level as your desk when working. You can measure the space under your desk to get precise estimations.

Task Chair Vs. Office Chair: Which Chair Is Right For You?

After going through our write-up, it’s decision time! Tasks chairs and standard office chairs are both excellent choices for your office work. However, it’s evident that different office chairs offer different levels of support and comfort.

If you’re working with a tight budget, a task chair is a good option. It’s less expensive than most office chairs and provides the comfort you need to increase productivity.

If you mind your health, then the cost won’t be an issue. Hence, you should go for an ergonomic office chair which costs more. The chair provides the utmost comfort during prolonged sitting, increases productivity, and ensures your body health is in good shape.