Sit Like a Boss: Best Office Chairs for Online English Teachers

Sit Pretty and Teach Happy: The Best Office Chairs for Teachers Who Work from Home

Ok, so, first of all…I once taught on an upturned bucket in a closet, so using one of the best office chairs for online English teachers is a real privilege. Presumably, if you want to find the best office chairs for your online English teaching career, then you are a long-time work-from-home teacher and know how important a comfortable chair can be to your daily comfort levels.

Best classrooms to teach English online
I actually really liked the VADDO desk from Ikea that I used for years because it was so light and easy to move around

I taught English online for years on simple chairs with cushions, too. It is only recently, that I really dedicated myself to this site as well as to my full-time teaching schedule, that a very comfortable office chair and computer desk began to seem like a crucial investment.

So, let’s identify some qualities of the best office chairs for online English teachers. Or the equivalent: what is the best office chair if you have to sit all day and move your hands (and sometimes legs) to create a dynamic video class?

What do you need in the perfect office chair for an online teacher?

You may think that teaching online is a pretty low impact activity, but after hours of sitting at a computer, the correct chair can really make or break you (or your back). A good chair will reduce the risk you might cause strain or even permanent injury to your body. Remember, incorrect alignment can cause very real health problems. Ultimately, it is imperative to choose an ergonomic chair if you are planning on teaching online full-time. Your spine and wrists will thank you.

  • Adjustable Height: This is a crucial aspect of a good office chair. You will need to do an elbow measure at the minimum. This means you adjust the height of your office chair until your elbows should be at a 90- degree angle.
  • Comfortable Backrest: You really need lower back support if you. are going to be teaching online all day long. Ideally, the chair should have a cushion that arches your lower back slightly. If not, you can add a cushion behind your back to help. You can always duck tape it to the chair: no one will know.
  • Armrests: Armrests are a must! A good armrest height should lift your arms at the shoulders just a little bit. You think you don’t need them, but you do. After a few hours of teaching, your arms will thank you. Be aware that sometimes students are “no shows”. This means the student stood you up. That is OK, though; it happens. Most companies will pay you (some half-pay and some full pay) if the student does not arrive. However, you must wait in your chair and be at-the-ready in case the student comes at any moment. This is when a place to rest your arms and hands comes in handy (see what I did there?)

Comfortable Office Chairs for your Online English Classroom

Adde Chair

Th Adde Chair is surprisingly comfortable and only ten dollars. I used it when I was teaching in the closet. It was great because it was so easy to move around. I also sat on it many years ago as a young woman straight out of graduate school who worked the front desk of an art gallery. This chair is versatile and much more comfortable than it looks. It definitely deserves to be listed as one of the best office chairs for online English teachers even though it is 12.50. Yes, you read that right: $12.50.

I eventually upgraded to the

Skalberg/ Sporren Swivel Chair

The SKÅLBERG / SPORREN Swivel chair is really comfortable and versatile and a solid investment for your online office area. It is only $39.99 but it does all the things a classic office chair must do: adjust your height, support your back, and move you around with ease.

I bought the white one because the blue wasn’t available, which is too bad because this blue version is adorable.

This SKÅLBERG / SPORREN Swivel chair chair is the cheapest way to get all the basics;

  • Adjustable Height: This chair adjusts for height, so you can lift it or lower it depending on your camera position. Remember, you don’t want to look “down” on the student. It makes kids feel frightened. Ideally, you want to be looking directly at them and put them at ease. A slightly adjustable chair can help you get that perfect height.
  • Rolling Wheels: It is really nice to have a chair that rolls so you can move it around if needed. This comes in handy when you need to demonstrate “to kick” and want to show how to kick a soccer ball. You can roll the chair away and really give yourself some space to be theatrical, which keeps learners engaged.
  • A Backrest: You want to be able to lean back and have your back supported. However, you also don’t want an unsightly backrest (like a gaming chair) that could visually distract from your face. You don’t want to look like you are reclining! Parents, in particular, want to see that you are very alert. It is best if they cannot see the chair back at all. This chair does a good job of having a rest that is big enough to support your lumbar area, but low enough that the student cannot see it.


Finally, you can really invest in yourself and splurge on the Alefjall chair.


First of all, it is beautiful and comes in three colors. Then, both the seat and back are tilt- and height-adjustable.

I once taught while sitting on the floor of a bathroom of an Airbnb in the Swiss Alps while my laptop was perched on the toilet. (It was the quietest place I could find and the ethernet cable box was in there too, strangely.) So, I know the vast difference between a make-do setup and a dedicated teaching space with the best esl desk and chair set possible. Invest in a good chair: your students deserve it.

That’s it and happy, comfortable teaching!

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Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL
Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL

Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.