The best office chair for a short person has a low seat height (up to 16 inches), a narrow seat depth (with a minimum of 16 inches), close-width armrests (for reduced shoulder pain), and adjustable lumbar support. An office chair for short people also needs to have a height-adjustable headrest for ergonomic sitting.
Short people have to work double-time to find proper clothes that fit. Finding the right shoes is a nightmare. When shopping for an office chair, things aren’t easier either. Persons with an average height have no idea the lengths you need to go to feel comfortable. Since you sit at work all day, your desk for short people setup is your best friend or your enemy, depending on its fit.
Office chairs for short people need to be a bit lower than others. They need to allow a 90-degree knee angle. Taller chairs close this angle further and they essentially block circulation at the back of the feet. They aren’t too comfortable either.
An office chair for a short person needs to come with a narrower seat depth. Sitting too much towards the backrest in a long width office chair is also detrimental to proper working ergonomics.
An ergonomic chair for short persons also needs to have shorter armrests distance. The more your elbows flare out, the more stiffness you’ll feel in the upper back. Only a short person knows this issue. Regular height people are completely unaware of it.
Lumbar support sounds great in general. But for short people, this lumbar area is too high up the back. Chairs for short people need to come with height-adjustable lumbar support or with a lower S-curve backrest design.
The best office chair for short persons also comes with a short backrest. If there’s a headrest, it also needs to be height adjustable so that it doesn’t press the upper side of the back of your head.
Here’s a summary of how the best office chair for short persons is designed in specs
- 16 inches or less in seat depth
- 16 inches or less seat height
- 16 inches or less in armrests distance
- Optional headrest or short backrest
- Adjustable lumbar support
- 30 inches or less desk height
In reality, short people end upcycling or trying out various everyday items until they find something that fits. This is probably the case with your office chairs. You might have even rotated a few already in search of that ultimate ergonomic office chair for short people. If you’re 5 foot 6 inches and under, you can start with chairs that are 16 inches tall or which can be adjusted to 16”. If you’re 5’2”, you will start with a seat height of 15 inches. The bad news is most office chairs don’t go that low. The good news is the following 4 office chairs are positively reviewed by short people within these specifications.
1. Herman Miller Aeron Chair
Did you know there are 3 Aeron office chair sizes? This Michigan-made office chair is available in Small, Medium, and Large sizes. Its smallest sizes feature an incredible 14.7” inches to 19” seat height adjustability. There’s hardly a good office chair that goes as low. What does this mean to you as a short person? It means your feet can finally sit on the ground properly while working at the computer.
With a seat depth of 16 inches, the small version of the Aeron is worth getting. You will have to pay more for it, however. It’s the most expensive office chair on the list. For the money, you get to sit ergonomically, you get the most generous warranty you can imagine, and an 8-pellicle breathable material for the ultimate comfortable office chair that supports long hours of sitting.
- Backed by a 12-years warranty
- Designed with fully adjustable armrests
- Highly useful for short people in its Small (A) version
- Made in Michigan
- Quite expensive
2. Herman Miller Sayl
With seat height adjustability from 15.5” to 20”, the popular Sayl chair is a top choice for short people. It even comes with a 16-inch seat pan depth for better comfort regardless of your height. Certified by Cradle to Cradle, this office chair is a true inspiration by simplicity.
Its designer once stated he took inspiration from the Golden Gate bridge when planning it. This chair is known for its unframed backrest which is already a major plus if you’re short. When you use other chairs, you might be already accustomed to the frame of the backrest pushing against your body. This is not the case here as there’s no frame at all. Still, the elastomer backrest materials prove very durable as the chair lasts for years as already proven around the world.
- Made with a unique Y frame
- Low seat height settings for short users
- 12-years warranty policy
- Made with almost entirely recycled materials
- Adjustable seat depth option costs more
3. Steelcase Leap
Steelcase Leap office chair adjusts as low as 15.5”. Its seat depth of 15.7” helps short people as well. Its armrests are adjustable from 7 to 11” and the distance between these armrests can also be as short as 12”.
While it seems like a small office chair, it also features a hefty 400lbs weight capacity. Its backrest is another good reason to get it as a short person. It moves with your spine and it comes with different firmness levels. In the lower back, the backrest is firmer than at the upper back area. This office chair for short people with back pain seems great for short users in general. If you’re after a small office chair, Leap needs to be on your list.
- Backed by a BIMFA Level 3 certification
- Available in 12 colors
- The chair reclines with your back
- 96° to 120° recline angles
- Too flexible for those used to rigid chairs
The best office chair for a short person is the result of endless research. All of the options mentioned above are based on some of the most popular ergonomic principles. While you pay more for them, you are guaranteed to have a chair that can be used for around a decade, according to their long warranty plans. In the long-term, you save money and you sit better according to your height.