Finding the right desk chair for you isn’t easy – although we have plenty of resources to help in that quest, including our comprehensive guide to the best office chairs, as well as some tips on avoiding the common mistakes often made when buying a chair, along with our answers to vital questions you may have about these chairs, too.
But once you’ve found it, you may still want to improve the office chair in question – or perhaps its weak points – with some chair accessories. Or indeed if you have an old chair which could definitely use enhancing in some way, some of these accessories might prove invaluable.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our roundup of essential office chair accessories, from chair mats to lumbar support cushions.
When sat in your office chair, your feet should be comfortably flat on the floor – if not, this is bad ergonomic news (and you may find that the edge of your seat is pressing into the back of your legs, potentially interfering with your circulation; which is worse news still).
You might find your chair otherwise comfortable, and perhaps not want to change it, so an alternative solution is a footrest. Obviously enough, this is a small platform for your feet to rest on, and a good model will be adjustable, so you can ensure that it’s at the right height for your feet to be perfectly flat. (Although as well as the height, also make sure that the platform itself is large enough to comfortably accommodate your needs if you have larger feet).
This can be a good solution for those whose chair and desk setup otherwise doesn’t allow for them to adjust things so they can have their feet flat on the ground as they should be.
2. Armrest pads
If your office chair has armrests, you might find them rather hard and unforgiving, and perhaps not particularly comfortable to use for long periods of time. To remedy this, you could give your lower arms something of a treat by purchasing some armrest pads which attach and sit on top of your existing armrests.
The padding is often made from memory foam, providing an additional dollop of extra comfort for your armrests. One point to be aware of here is the height of the pads – just make sure they aren’t so thick that they’ll leave your arms in a poor ergonomic position (although you may be able to adjust the height of your chair’s armrests to compensate, of course – but any good armrest pad won’t overdo the padding, generally speaking, anyway).
3. Lumbar support
Some office chairs have lumbar support built-in, but yours may not – so one shortcut to add this feature without going to the expense of buying a whole new chair is to purchase a standalone support. Lumbar supports often come in the form of a roll or a larger pillow, and can make a solid addition to your office chair, giving you some much needed extra support.
Note that they won’t likely prove as effective as an integrated support which the designer has included with an ergonomic office chair, but they can do the job – just make sure you purchase a well-reviewed one, and the vendor has a return policy. The latter is particularly important because if the support doesn’t suit you, and proves a thorn in your back, so to speak, you can always send it back.
4. Chair mat
Worried about your perhaps quite heavy office chair damaging or maybe leaving marks on, for example, a vinyl floor? There’s a simple solution to this, which is to buy a mat which sits on top of the floor, so it won’t be troubled by your chair’s casters. Clear PVC floor mats which don’t stand out like a sore thumb aren’t expensive, fortunately – and are certainly a lot cheaper than eventually having to replace your floor covering.
5. Chair cover
Want to protect your office chair from the likes of drink spillages, or if you work from home, perhaps your cat or dog? The simple way to do this is to buy a stretch cover for the chair, which fits over it and gives you a layer of protection. It’s also a solution if you’ve got a worn or rather battered looking office chair, because for a small cost, you can easily cover up all of your chair’s sins and make it look like new(ish).
If you decide that you do want a chair cover, bear in mind you’ll need to carefully consult any size guides to make sure the cover fits (although they’re typically designed to stretch to fit a range of sizes).
6. Heating pad
Dread those cold winter mornings when you head into your office before the heating has properly kicked in, feeling not unlike a polar explorer? A simple heating pad which sits on top of your seat and can be powered by a USB connection can make your office chair a more pleasant prospect for sitting in when it comes to colder mornings.
You can even get full seat covers, ones which go over the backrest as well as the seat pan to provide further warmth, although they could possibly interfere with the ergonomic or comfort aspects of your office chair.
7. Cup holder
Maybe this might not seem like an ‘essential’ accessory for your chair, but you’ll certainly appreciate its value if you’ve ever had the misfortune to knock over a drink on your desk, with that spillage subsequently ending up damaging an electronic device that was also resting on the same surface.
If your chair has armrests, one solution is to buy a clip-on cup holder which attaches to one of the armrests. The holder should prevent any danger of your drink being spilled, and even if the worst should happen somehow, at least it will only hit the floor, and not anything precious sitting on the desk (or indeed under it – which is where some folks keep their PC hidden out of the way).
One option in this department is Amazon’s choice when it comes to clip-on cup holders, which is this model from Dirza that’s affordably priced.