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Best studio chairs 2020: are you sitting comfortably in your home studio?

Best studio chairs 2020: are you sitting comfortably in your home studio?
(Image credit: Future)
Record for less

A great piece of advice, given to us by someone far wiser than we are, was to not be afraid of investing good money in anything that separates you from the ground. In the context of that conversation it meant shoes, car tyres and beds, but the same also rings true in a studio environment. And that’s why we’ve created this guide to the best studio chairs.

If you, like us, spend many hours every day located in your studio, then proper seating isn’t just nice to have, it’s essential. For your health, your posture and for your overall comfort, a proper studio chair is among the best investments you can make. Here we look at what makes a great chair for the studio and offer some recommendations for some of the best studio chairs you can buy today. Trust us, your back and behind will thank you for it.

With Black Friday on the horizon, it could be worth holding off on picking up a new studio chair until the Black Friday music deals start emerging. We'll be reporting on the best offers right through to Black Friday itself.

Which is the best studio chair?

The best studio chair is the one that provides the right balance of comfort, support and practicality. For us, the Ikea Jarvfjallet does exactly that, at a price we found more than reasonable. It features plenty of adjustable settings, from basic adjustments like height and incline, through to more macro changes like the height of the lumbar support and headrest, and the position of the seat itself. We’d opt for the version without the arm rests, purely so you don’t bash your guitar while playing, but overall the Ikea Jarvfjallet is a pretty compelling package at a very agreeable price.

Best studio chairs: buying advice

Best studio chairs

(Image credit: Future)

A quick online search will show you’re not short of options if you’re looking to buy a chair for your studio. Everything from classy-looking executive chairs you’d see in the offices of Forbes Top 100 companies, through to flashy looking chairs designed with gamers in mind. With that amount of choice, it helps to narrow things down slightly. What makes a good chair for a recording studio then?

Essentially, we’re looking for a mixture of comfort and practicality. Comfort is important because of the amount of time we are likely to spend in the chair. It does not, however, always mean buying the most plush, well-padded option you can find. You see, a lot of studio work is done sat bolt upright in front of a screen and, while the temptation to lounge backwards for long periods is high, it isn’t always good for your spine. So instead, comfort means a chair that offers a range of options to fine-tune the seat to the way you’ll use it. We’re talking lumbar support, headrests, armrests and multiple seating positions. Think of a good studio chair as a tool, rather than a piece of furniture.

For practicality, we need to think about how we use the chair. Yes, a lot of the time we are sat in a reasonably static position, but at other times we may be spinning around to plug and unplug cables, or prop up guitars on our legs, or any other type of action that requires a degree of freedom from the chair. Think too about your feet; we naturally tend to make many small movements without even realising. Do you favour having your feet flat on the ground, or raised up on a platform attached to the chair?

The best advice we can give is to think carefully about your preferred way of working. It’s easy to be suckered in by a well-padded, luxurious option but in the medium to longer term it could end up causing serious problems to your posture. And, if you’ve ever had that dull, recurring back pain caused through slumping at a desk, you’ll know it’s something worth avoiding. Let’s look at some of the best studio chairs around today.

The best studio chairs available today

Best studio chairs: Ikea Jarvfjallet chair

(Image credit: Ikea)

1. Ikea Jarvfjallet chair

Class meets comfort and practicality

Launch price: $199/£175 | Materials: Steel base, wood frame and fabric-covered foam seat

Endlessly tweakable
Superb lower back support
None

As purveyors of affordable, stylish furniture, we’re all familiar with Ikea. Yet with the Ikea Jarvfjallet office chair, we believe we’ve found the ideal studio chair for most people. Equipped with or without arms, this chair offers the perfect blend of comfort and practicality. With individual control over height, incline, lumbar support and headrest height, the Jarvfjallet can be made to fit any user.

The choices of fabrics and materials are well considered to balance price and longevity, and we believe it’s a great choice for the studio environment.

Best studio chairs: AmazonBasics Low-Back Desk Chair

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. AmazonBasics Low-Back Desk Chair

Inexpensive office chair doubles up as ideal studio tool

Launch price: $55/£50 | Materials: Steel frame, mesh back and mesh-covered foam seat

Cheap
Offers decent support
May not last a lifetime

For a shade over $50, the AmazonBasics Low-Back office chair ticks a lot of boxes. It’s height adjustable, and moves freely on castors so is ideal for portability in larger studios. 

We especially liked the mesh back, which aided breathability over padded foam, while the included one-year warranty gives additional peace of mind. The AmazonBasics range, which has grown hugely in popularity, has some great products and we’re happy to say the Low-Back office chair meets the needs of a small home studio perfectly.

Best studio chairs: Crown Seating Stealth Standard studio chair

(Image credit: Crown Seating)

3. Crown Seating Stealth Standard studio chair

High-end specialist chair for studio engineers

Launch price: $499/£449 | Materials: Steel frame, mesh back and mesh-covered foam seat

Sturdy as they come
Supports movement
Certainly not cheap

Working in a studio, you do a lot of leaning: leaning to the desk to fiddle with faders; leaning to your amps to fiddle with the EQ; leaning to the coffee machine to collect your tenth double espresso. It’d help to have a chair that leaned with you, offering support to your back and neck. The Crown Seating Stealth Standard may just be the perfect studio chair for those of us who love to lean. 

It is certainly not a cheap chair, let’s address that straight away, but as a solid, well-made tool that will support you – literally – for years to come, it’s certainly worth considering.

Best studio chairs: Hbada Office Task

(Image credit: Hbada)

4. Hbada Office Task

One of the best studio chair for value and space saving

Launch price: From $129/£119 | Materials: Steel base, mesh back and foam seat

Looks great
Versatile
May not rise high enough for everybody

If your studio is on the smaller side, you perhaps want a studio chair which doesn’t dominate the room in the same way some of the others on this list would. If that sounds familiar, the Hbada Office Task chair may be just the ticket.

It features foldable arms, so it can be tucked under a desk neatly, while the inclusion of a breathable mesh back is a great choice, and we found the Nylon wheels to be relatively quiet buzzing all over a wooden floor. All told, a great value chair for any home studio.

Best studio chairs: Office Star Deluxe Mesh Drafting Chair

(Image credit: Office Star)

5. Office Star Deluxe Mesh Drafting Chair

Elevated seating ideal for performer/producers

Launch price: $99/£99 | Materials: Nylon base, steel frame and foam-filled fabric seat

Adjustable footrest
Good price
No reclining

We mentioned above about the importance of having somewhere to put your feet. Often, when we’re sat in one place, the temptation is to tuck our feet under the chair, which isn’t always good news for our backs. The Office Star Deluxe Mesh drafting chair solves this by including an adjustable footrest, which serves the dual purpose of raising our leg high enough to rest a guitar on it. 

This is a taller chair than the others on the list, and as such won’t suit every studio arrangement, but for anyone with a raised or standing desk it is a great choice. 

Best studio chairs: Ikea Nilserik

(Image credit: Ikea)

6. Ikea Nilserik stool

Well-designed standing support chair from Ikea

Launch price: $159/£150 | Materials: Polypropylene plastic base, foam-filled fabric seat

Inexpensive
Great at what it does
Not suitable for every studio

If you’re one of the many who’ve made the investment in dedicated sit/stand desks, then you’ll know there exists a middle ground between sitting and standing. Sometimes, we don’t want to resign ourselves to the chair but would appreciate a little bit of support. The Ikea Nilserik offers exactly this, providing a comfortable, elevated position to rest on momentarily.

We liked the way the base, particularly, is concave, meaning it has a healthy amount of wobble to it. That may sound strange, but in practice you’ll be surprised how much you get used to having the ability to lean and adjust your posture. The Nilserik isn’t for everyone, but as a well-made halfway house between sitting and standing, we’re happy to recommend it.

Best studio chairs: Respawn Fortnite OMEGA-Xi Gaming Chair

(Image credit: Respawn)

7. Respawn Fortnite OMEGA-Xi Gaming Chair

Super-comfortable gaming chair with attitude

Launch price: $249/£249 | Materials: Steel base, wood frame, foam-filled vinyl covering

Luxurious
Extra leg support
You’ll either love the gaming aesthetic or not

Whatever you think of video gamers, one thing is for certain; they know how to set up a desk environment. This extends to chairs, where you can find some of the most padded, adjustable seating arrangements on the market. A quick look online will reveal there to be near-infinite options, but we were particularly drawn to the Respawn Omega-Xi. It is relatively restrained in the aesthetic department, but we loved the retractable leg rest, and separate cushions for lower back and head, which we found to be ideal for those long listening sessions. 

If comfort is your priority over posture, or if your studio doubles up as a gaming hub, then you could do a lot worse than consider the Respawn Omega-Xi.

Best studio chairs: Bonzy Home Reclining Office Chair

(Image credit: Bonzy)

8. Bonzy Home Reclining Office Chair

Professional recliner with plenty of support

Launch price: $199/£199 | Materials: Nylon base, with mesh back and foam-filled fabric seat

Extendable leg rest
Mesh back and headrest
Fabric seat could wear over time

If those garish gaming chairs don’t appeal, but you do like the idea of being able to recline back and listen to your latest mixes, then the Bonzy Home Reclining office chair could be the right choice for you. It features a sturdy Nylon base, with a full mesh back and headrest, both of which are adjustable. 

It’s the leg rest which appealed to us though. Particularly for the taller among us, having the ability to prop up your legs on occasion is a rare treat and we are not going to turn our noses up at that.