The Different Types of Office Chair

FACT: The origin of the word 'chair' was from the Latin word 'cathedra', meaning 'sit' and 'down'. Chairs go back hundreds of years but a more modern introduction came with the development of the office chair. Below you can find a useful list we've created including the main office chair types and a brief description of each one.


Stools have no back and encourage your back to have an upright posture which reduces the chances of back pains and injuries related to seating. Stools are ideal for people who are standing up and sitting down on a regular basis throughout the work day and for those with a higher than average desk height. The office stool has evolved drastically over the years and now there are a variety of stools available. From what started as basically a padded disk on wheels, stools with saddles and designed for kneeling have been developed to add further ergonomic solutions to seating ranges.


It is unknown who first invented the office stool as it was a logical progression for the stool with the increasing number of office jobs available. Stools are proven to improve blood circulation through the legs and lessen fatigue whilst sitting.

Office Stool


Chairs designed with the main material as fabric bring various advantages, including offering more warmth than other materials such as mesh. Fabric chairs also come in the widest range of colours which can be useful if you are trying to keep colours consistent throughout the office.


Employees in the US spend a minimum of 1,896 hours per year at work highlighting the importance of choosing the right material for your office chair.

Fabric Office Chair

Conference Chairs

Conference chairs offer a stylish, comfortable way to meet with your work colleagues. the conference room can become crucial to impressing your potential business clients or for your own in house meetings.


Charles Ormond Eames, Jr is well known in office chair history; he is the original designer for the shape and form of the modern day conference room/office chair.

conference chair

Visitor Seating

The term "visitor seating" doesn’t refer to the style of the chair, but the purpose of the seat itself. Visitor chairs are ideal for waiting rooms, extra seating in an office or any other area where guest seating may be required. They range from sofas to top of the range ergonomic chairs; the decision is down to you.


Judgements are made in approximately 4 seconds, with this being finalised in around 30 seconds. This means that your reception area and offices will decide the first impression that someone has of your business.

Visitor Seating

24 hour and Posture

These chairs are often heavy duty and are often used in 24 hour call centres where different employees have shifts over a 24 hour period. The term "24 hour" usually refers to being covered for 24 hour usage for the duration of the warranty, but are usually endorsed for comfort for up to 8 hours. It helps if 24 hour chairs are easily adjustable, as 3 different people could potentially use the chair over the period of a day and each user will need a different height, back position, arm position and reclining tension. 24 hour seating also needs to be particularly robust as they can be susceptible to 3 times the amount of wear than a typical office chair.


24 hours isn't defined by one person sitting on the chair all day, but to being heavy duty enough to accommodate the sitting of people for 24 hours, 7 days a week for the duration of the warranty.

24 hour office chair

Task and Operator

When designing task chairs, the aim is to find a happy medium between comfort and functionality so that anyone sitting on one at work is achieving good productivity whilst also being comfortable.


It is well known that Charles Darwin was the first on record to place wheels on the bottom of a chair, however, it wasn’t anything like office chairs which are currently the norm. Darwin decided to attach wheels to his arm chair allowing him to work faster.

task and operator chairs

Classic Designer

This range of chairs is one of the most aesthetically pleasing ranges we offer. The direction of the design is towards the look of the chairs whilst still offering a reasonable amount of comfort. Classic designer chairs are a beautiful range, often a combination of leather and chrome (a more modern development is for the leather to be replaced with mesh), emanating the classic stylish effect that the chairs aim for.


The original prototype of the Herman Miller designed chair initially featured the "contract” style base and continued to be featured despite the continuous development of other parts of the chair. It wasn’t until 1968 when they decided to swap the “contract” style base with the more attractive “universal” base.

classic designer chairs

Extra Large Chairs

People can come in many shapes and sizes so it is important that everyone within the working environment experiences the same level of comfort. If you are sitting on a chair which isn’t suited to your body shape/size then you could be doing yourself some serious damage.


The office chair initially became popular when Otto Von Bismarck, whilst Chancellor of the German Empire, distributed them through parliament during his time in office.

extra large office chairs

Mesh Office Chairs

Office chairs in a mesh material are very popular. They offer great breath-ability as well as some of the best posture support available. Mesh is also considered a more contemporary alternative to wood, plastic, fabric or leather.


Herman Miller employed a panel of more than 30 health experts to consult on the design of the first chair which could have health benefits for the sitter.

mesh office chairs

Leather Chairs

Leather is usually the preferred option when trying to make a good first impression due to many associating leather with professionalism, thus making it popular in reception areas. 24 hour posture chairs are also available in leather meaning you can combine the professional look with the durability, comfort and ergonomics these chairs can offer.


Often people associate leather with luxury items. Often people looking for a leather office chair are either after the pleasing aesthetics offered or the durability that leather naturally offers whilst remaining easy to clean.

leather office chairs

Executive Chairs

Executive chairs are designed to look professional and desirable. They can transform a work space, emanating a prestigious image that everyone wants to have related to their business. Whilst they may sacrifice some functions for aesthetics, there are executive seating options varying in comfort, look and price designed to suit everybody.


When executive chairs were first made available, they were only affordable to the rich and often business owners. Even though they are more affordable these days, the prestigious image associated with them has remained.

executive chairs

For info on the best way to sit during work you can visit our Ergonomic Tips for sitting correctly at work page.