It seems silly to try to look for the best desk chairs under $50 as all the good ones seem to cost several hundred dollars, at least.
Some even go for a thousand dollars and that makes the search for the best desk chairs under $50 almost quixotic.
You get this gut feeling that even if you do find chairs in this price range, they’ll be no good.
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But that only seems true because you’ve been looking in the wrong places.
With this guide, you can then make sure that you can get the best office chairs under $50, or perhaps the best gaming chairs under $50.
Regardless of what you want to use the desk office chair, we can make sure that they’re affordable—and that they’re also good.
Differences between Office Chair and Gaming Chair
We’ve mentioned earlier that you can buy desk chairs under $50 and you can use them for the office or for gaming.
That doesn’t really mean that there are no real differences between office chairs and gaming chairs.
It’s true that you can make do with an office chair for gaming, but that doesn’t mean they’re your best chair option.
It’s also true that gaming chairs don’t necessarily work as office chairs.
So, what’s the difference?
Goal of Gaming Chairs
Basically, the main difference is that with gaming chairs, the goal is to provide a “cool” design with arresting colors.
Some design features that can make the chair look “exciting” include bucket seats that you normally find in racing cars.
The back rest of the gaming chair may also recline way back, so much so that you may end up playing while lying down.
Some may even have extra gaming accessories such as internal speakers and Bluetooth connectivity.
With office chairs on the other hand, the main focus is work productivity.
That means ergonomic chairs that are comfortable to sit on for hours.
These chairs may also prevent back pain that may lead to work absences and diminished work productivity.
Goal of Office Chairs
These office chairs don’t look “cool”.
Instead, the look is mainly subtle and professional.
Bright blue chairs with bucket seats don’t really fit in an office atmosphere at all.
It certainly isn’t likely to inspire any confidence in you if a client visits your office!
Factors to Consider
In any case, the best office chairs under $50 can offer certain advantages regardless of whether you use them for work or for play.
When you read reviews and check the specs, be particularly aware of the following factors:
We’re going to list this first, since the focus of the guide is about getting desk chairs under $50.
Obviously, a chair that costs more than $600 should be disregarded altogether.
We’re operating on a budget, and that should be emphasized.
Ergonomics is a byword in the chair design industry, meaning there’s a particular focus on designing chairs that molds to the human shape.
The problem, of course, is that humans come in all shapes and sizes.
This means you need a chair you can adjust to your comfort.
The more adjustments you can make, the more comfortable you feel (in general).
However, there are some cases when you feel like you have to make too many adjustments.
That can be annoying, especially when other people use your chair and change your settings!
In this day and age most people are getting heavier on average.
The CDC even says that ⅔ of all adults in the US are either overweight or obese.
That means you better make sure your desk chair can support your weight in the long run.
You should also check if you can fit between the armrests.
The simple rule here is that if you’re not comfortable, you’ll not perform well.
You may not work as efficiently, or you can get “killed” in your game rather quickly, so make sure to get comfortable chairs.
This may mean getting mesh chairs for coolness, especially if it’s rather warm in your office.
The best office chairs under $50 will have adequate padding as well.
A mesh chair with arms is also nice, especially if the arms are adjustable and padded.
However, do keep in mind that it’s harder to get in and out of chairs quickly when you have arm rests in the way.
Do the features work smoothly?
That means the chair should swivel nicely and tilt back comfortably.
The controls should be easy.
Everything should work as intended, so you can concentrate on your task.
The chair should also last a good long while.
It’s crucial when you read customer reviews that you take note of the complaints regarding malfunctions.
Everything should work as intended for a good long while.
If you’re getting on in years, you better factor this in, especially if you’re already prone to backaches.
Chairs with lumbar support can help prevent or at least alleviate the problem.
The main issue with these chairs, though, is that for some people the chairs can be rather uncomfortable at first.
That’s because these chairs may be training your body to sit in a healthier position.
These healthier positions are often uncomfortable in the beginning.
But then again, slouching may be comfy for you but they’re not good for your back and your posture in the long run.
These days, a chair without casters or wheels simply isn’t ideal anymore.
However, you do need to think about your floor, especially if they’re made of nice hardwood.
Find a chair with casters that won’t scratch or mark your floor.
However, if this is a concern for you then perhaps you should also consider the best glass chair mat to go with your chair.
Ease of Assembly
Like it or not, most chairs come disassembled to your doorstep.
Before you buy a chair, you may want to see if you’re able to assemble it when it arrives.
You can expect manufacturers to praise their own products, as they’re not exactly objective.
So, it’s a bit more reassuring if they also have official certification to verify their claims.
We do need to put this in, especially if you’re in an office setting.
Get something that looks professional if you’re using the chair for work.
But if you’re using the chair for gaming, go ahead and get something that also looks cool.
Just make sure they’re also comfortable.
Desk Chairs Under $50 – Our TOP 5!
So now that you have a better inkling of what to look for, let’s get right to the chase.
You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble (and money too) if you pick one from these best desk chairs under $50.
“The Quintessential $50 Desk Chair”
Our Rating: 4
This is one of the most popular desk chairs available, with thousands of satisfied customers giving it heaps of praises.
That’s not just due to the price, either.
Rated for 250 Pounds
This desk chair under $50 is rated for up to 250 pounds.
The base is certainly tough enough, as it can deal with a weight of up to 2,500 pounds.
This comes with a tilting backrest, but you can lock it down if you want.
The height of the chair can also be adjusted, as it can go from 17.7 to 21.7 inches.
Features of Comfort
This comes with a molded mesh backrest, along with ergonomic armrests.
The backrest has sides that are bent to hug the sides of your back.
This, we think, is the lumbar support they’re talking about.
It’s not really all that much, but it’s still comfy.
You also have padded seats, and the chair and the casters swivel at 360 degrees.
This has received BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) certification for safety.
Some Assembly Required
This comes with assembly instructions, along with an Allen wrench and spare screws.
Just follow the instructions (which can be rather complicated, to be honest), and you’ll be fine.
BestOffice says you can do this in 15 minutes, but that may not be true for everyone.
6 Available Colors
This comes in 6 available colors.
If you’re looking for an office chair under $50, the black or the gray fits right in.
Gamers may want to go with the blue, and there’s even a pink option.
“Fantastic for Its Price”
Our Rating: 4
This is another extremely popular desk chair that’s also within our price range, and it’s great for the office.
This office chair under $50 tilts and swivels, and it’s quite comfortable too.
It also comes with BIFMA certification.
Weight Capacity of 265
This can support a weight of up to 265 pounds.
This desk chair under $50 also offers a wide seat.
So if you’re a large person you should still be able to fit right in between the armrests.
However, if that’s an issue then you can always not put the armrests in during the assembly.
This comes with a mesh backrest, but it also has 2 plastic lumbar supports on the sides that cradle your back and waist.
The seat is padded as well, and the larger size is nice.
You can tilt back comfortably on this chair, and it swivels 360 degrees.
These casters don’t damage your hardwood floors, so don’t worry about marks or scratches.
Relatively Easy Assembly
Most people say that there wasn’t really a problem with the assembly.
But many also complain that the directions for assembly weren’t all that clear either.
“Ideal for the Conference Table”
Our Rating: 4.5
Wait, another desk chair under $50 from BestOffice?
We had to put this in, as it’s very popular, highly regarded by buyers, and is in the price range.
The main difference here is that there’s no armrest, which does offer its own set of pros and cons.
This is actually the previous version of the first BestOffice chair on this list.
Let’s address the main difference right away.
The new version of this office chair under $50 has these armrests, and it offers a nice change for many people.
It makes the chair more comfortable to use, especially when you’re tilting back and thinking (or just relaxing).
When you get off the chair, you can also push off the armrests to launch yourself.
It’s Better Without Armrests
However, some people might find the lack of armrests on this version to be the better option.
Without the armrests, you’re able to get in and out of the chair from the side.
It also won’t be uncomfortable if you’re a large person, as some people may not fit between the armrests.
Also, others complain that these armrests may feel uncomfortable pressing into their thighs.
Without the armrests, these chairs look great around a conference table, where people can get in and out of their seats easily.
Height Adjustment and Tilting
You can adjust the height of the chair from 17.7 to 21.7 inches.
Set it so that your feet lay flat on the floor when you sit down.
The backrest tilts back a little, but you can lock it down so it doesn’t.
This comes with a molded mesh backrest with molded sides that the sides of your back.
This is considered the lumbar support, which is still comfortable too.
The seats are amply padded, and the chair and the casters swivel at 360 degrees.
These casters also roll easily over short nap carpet.
Easy to Assemble
This office chair under $50 should be even easier to assemble than the first BestOffice chair on this list.
After all, that one has armrests and it’s supposed to take about 15 minutes to assemble.
Without the armrests, BestOffice says it should take you 10 to 15 minutes.
That may be rather over-optimistic, but at least your purchase comes with the tool and screws you need.
Functional Office Appearance
This desk chair under $50 looks very functional, which works in an office setting.
You also have 5 colors to choose from, with black the popular option for the office.
It does come in light blue and pink as well.
“Great Conference Room Chair”
Our Rating: 4.5
If you’re decidedly not overweight, you may feel a bit smug right now.
That may be especially true with this Smugdesk Office Chair.
It’s designed for just 200 pounds of weight, and the narrow seat emphasizes how this isn’t for larger, heavier users.
But it’s ergonomic and comfortable, and for its price it sure is great.
Range of Adjustments
The backrest here offers lumbar support, with its curved design that adjusts to your posture.
You can also adjust the height of the chair, as it can go from 17.12 to 21.85 inches.
Just keep in mind that the curved backrest is 14.76 inches across.
The seat is also just 17.32 inches across, which may not be large enough for some people.
The lack of armrests does help, since they won’t get in your way when you sit down and get up.
You’re also able to get into more casual positions.
The backrest only covers a portion of your back, so air passes through freely.
The backrest also comes with a mesh design so you’ll feel cooler.
Even the padding on the seat is made from breathable mesh cloth for ventilation and comfort.
The entire chair swivels 360 degrees, and so do the 5 caster wheels.
With 5 wheels, you have a more stable base (compared to 4 wheels) so that you’re less likely to tilt over.
Comes with Assembly Tools
The purchase comes with the needed tools and fittings, and it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
“No-Fuss Comfy Office Chair ”
Our Rating: 4.5
The versions of this chair that come with the armrests go past our price limit, but this armless version is within our budget.
This offers quite a few interesting features that you normally wouldn’t find in chairs in this price range.
Weight Capacity of 250 Pounds
This office chair under $50 can handle 250 pounds.
If you’re anywhere near that weight, you’ll probably find the lack of armrests a blessing rather than a curse.
This is one of those uncommon features that you don’t usually encounter in even the best office chairs under $50.
The front edge of the seat has a rounded edge, which is much more comfortable for your legs.
It won’t cut off circulation, which can happen in other chairs when you’ve been sitting for hours.
No Tilt Back
This doesn’t tilt back, but if you’re working or gaming then you normally won’t sit back too much anyway.
You can use the lever easily to adjust the height of the seat.
The backrest can also be adjusted for height and depth.
Molded Lumbar Support
The sides of the backrest are molded to fit your back better, giving you the lumbar support you need.
It gently encourages you to sit up properly.
Curiously, this design is also found in the seat, as the sides of the seat are slightly raised.
Both the backrest and the seat come with padding.
You’ll also find “Easy Care” fabric on these sections, so it should be easy enough to clean.
These casters roll very smoothly, and they don’t drag on the floor.
Assembly is Simple
It’s simple enough to do, though your purchase may or may not come with the Phillips screwdriver you need.
Desk Chairs under $50: Conclusion
As you can see, best office chairs under $50 aren’t all that bad.
In fact, with the price you paid they’re amazing bargains.
You get the desk chair under $50 your budget requires, and you can feel comfy and nice for work or serious play.
With these desk chairs under $50, you’re ready to rock!