Armrests vs. No Armrests: Finding the Perfect Office Chair

When it comes to choosing the perfect office chair, the debate between armrests and no armrests is one that has been ongoing for years.

Many factors come into play when making this decision, including personal preference, comfort, and health implications.

This article will delve into the reasons, benefits, cons, and tips for choosing the right office chair, armed with the knowledge of which option is best for you.

Armrests: Pros and Cons

Benefits of Armrests:

  1. Enhanced Comfort: Armrests provide a place to rest your arms, preventing them from dangling awkwardly by your sides. This additional support can reduce muscle fatigue, allowing you to maintain focus and productivity throughout the day.
  2. Improved Posture: With proper armrest adjustment, you can ensure that your arms are parallel to the floor, promoting good posture and reducing the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and upper back pain.
  3. Ergonomic Design: Many office chairs with armrests are designed to be adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect height and angle for your needs. This customization helps prevent strain on your shoulders, neck, and upper back.

Cons of Armrests:

  1. Limited Movement: Chairs with armrests can restrict your range of motion, especially when you need to perform tasks that require frequent lateral movement. This limitation can lead to discomfort and a feeling of confinement.
  2. Incompatibility with Desks: In some cases, armrests can prevent the chair from fitting under the desk, resulting in an uncomfortable distance between you and your workstation.
  3. Additional Expense: Office chairs with armrests generally come at a higher price point, which can be a concern for those on a budget.

No Armrests: Pros and Cons

Benefits of No Armrests:

  1. Increased Flexibility: Chairs without armrests provide more freedom to move around and change positions, allowing you to find the most comfortable posture for a variety of tasks.
  2. Space-Saving Design: Chairs without armrests are often more compact, making them ideal for smaller workspaces or for those who need to move their chair frequently.
  3. Lower Cost: Office chairs without armrests are typically less expensive, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious shoppers.

Cons of No Armrests:

  1. Reduced Support: Lacking armrests means there is no support for your arms, which can lead to muscle fatigue and discomfort over time.
  2. Increased Risk of Poor Posture: Without armrests, it can be challenging to maintain proper posture, potentially leading to the development of musculoskeletal disorders.

Which One Should I Choose?

The choice between an office chair with or without armrests depends on your individual needs, preferences, and work environment. To determine which one you should choose, consider the following factors:

  1. Work habits: If your work requires a lot of movement or frequent position changes, a chair without armrests might be more suitable. However, if you spend most of your day sitting and typing, a chair with armrests could provide better support and comfort.
  2. Workspace: If you have a small workspace or need to move your chair frequently, a chair without armrests might be a more practical choice due to its compact design. On the other hand, if space is not an issue, a chair with armrests might offer more ergonomic benefits.
  3. Health concerns: If you have existing musculoskeletal issues or are concerned about developing them, an office chair with adjustable armrests may be a better choice for promoting proper posture and reducing strain on your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
  4. Budget: If you are on a tight budget, a chair without armrests might be a more cost-effective option. However, investing in a high-quality chair with armrests may save you money in the long run by providing better support and durability.

Tips for Choosing the Right Office Chair

  1. Assess Your Needs: Consider the type of work you do, how long you spend sitting, and any existing health concerns. This information will help guide your decision.
  2. Test Before You Buy: Whenever possible, try out chairs in person to ensure they provide the right level of comfort and support for your needs.
  3. Adjustability Matters: Look for chairs with adjustable features, such as seat height, backrest angle, and armrest height. This will allow you to customize the chair to your body and preferences.
  4. Prioritize Quality: Invest in a chair that is well-built and made with durable materials. A high-quality chair will provide better support and last longer, saving you money in the long run.

Learn More About How To Choose The Best Office Chair For Your Needs


Ultimately, the decision between office chairs with or without armrests comes down to personal preference, comfort, and individual needs.

By considering the pros and cons of each option and following the tips provided, you can make an informed choice that will enhance your overall work experience and promote better health and well-being

Cristian Lungu

Cristian Lungu

I'm Cristian Lungu, the founder of OfficeGearLab and a dedicated office equipment reviewer. I guide readers towards making knowledgeable choices. Additionally, I love embarking on journeys with my family and camp around the country.

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