Mid Back Chair Vs. High Back Chair [ A Detailed Study with Pros & Cons]

Do you also get confused while making decisions about what to buy between a mid-back chair and a high-back chair? Well, Don’t worry, we got you. This article will give you a profound insight into these two chairs thus, making it easier for you to choose accordingly.

Mid-back vs High back chairs

High-Back ChairMid-Back Chair
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Work situations might get hectic sometimes but having the right office chair before your desk would help you to relieve that stress to some extent. 

Mid-back and High back chairs come mainly in the type of office chairs to ensure maximum support to the back. These Ergonomic chairs are widely used for the aids they provide related to one’s back pain and other relevant health issues like muscle spasms, restricted blood flow, bloating disc, etc.

But a thinkable question is what chair would be the most suitable one between these two? 

So we have collected all the information regarding your doubts to give you a clear picture.

Let’s dive into the differences between the mid-back and high-back chairs.


The ancient known chairs are Egyptian in origin. Until the 16th century, the common people did not use chairs. Before that people used to sit on the rocks or wooden benches mainly known as ceremonial chairs dating back to 5000 years ago.

Mid Back Chair

A Mid-back chair is a chair with a broad backrest and height slightly lower or extending up to the shoulders or neck. It does not support your head as it comes without a headrest.

These chairs are mainly designed to support your lower and mid-back. Though it doesn’t come with an additional part that supports your head, it offers a proper backrest feature. 

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Fit Better In Small Workplaces

This type of chair could be used perfectly in a tighter workplace permitting you to move freely from one spot to another. 

Desk Workers can go with it smoothly when portability during office hours is needed. It could be easily moved back and forth around the workspace.

Varieties in Terms of Designs, Style, Colors

If you are too concerned with the style or appearances, no worries as it gives you multiple options choosing among various designs and styles.

Some of them are ergonomic, ribbed, and modern. A large number of choices in terms of color like teal, black, gray, blue, etc. will help you find your perfect match.

Great Lower Back Support.

The medium-level backrest offers great support to the curve of your spine. Since the headrest is not provided, a user in a conscious state would be able to keep his posture correct above the shoulders. Therefore, mitigating postural stress. 

A Good Adjustability

It offers fine adjustability for good lumbar and thoracic spinal support. The wide shoulder plate assists in supporting shoulder blades providing overall adjustment and comfort.

Back and Forth tilting features help in adjusting your back in the middle of work, avoiding cramps and swelling.

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NOTE: Though Mid Back Chairs provide the benefits of aiding the lower back, still it’s very important to keep moving and stretching your back in between long periods of work.


Missing Headrest

As it does not provide a headrest, your head remains unsupported. These chairs finish just below your shoulder, not giving full coverage. Thus, it might start pain in your neck.

Uncomfortable for Taller People

Often it gets uncomfortable for taller people if they sit a little longer. Since it doesn’t come with a headrest and does not have the backrest extended high enough. So, a little discomfort could be found there for heightened ones.

Uncomfortable for Longer Periods

If you sit for more than 5-6 hours it could be uneasy for you to continue sitting. You may start bearing pain after a few hours. They are mainly designed for a shorter period of time. Otherwise, it can lead to sore muscles, and muscle strain in the neck.


In the 1800s, Charles Darwin was the one who inspired the design of the office chairs by adding four wheels to his chair to move around so that he could study with more focus.

High Chairs Back

These chairs come with a high backrest including a neck or headrest. They fulfill the purpose of providing support on all sides of your back stretching up to your head while covering your shoulders. They are a great deal when it comes to health concerns regarding your neck and upper back.

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Presence of Headrest

With the availability of a headrest, it is comforting to lean your neck and head back to feel relaxed thus providing maximum support to your cervical spine (C1 – C7). It ensures to sit straight for long hours without bearing any pain. 

Source: spineuniverse.com

Durability in Long-term Sitting

The Neck, head, and shoulder of the body get better support. You can work or sit for a longer period of time and still feel no pain. 

Supports and Corrects the Posture of Entire Upper Body

The main aim is to provide total support to the back and head as you lean back.  It promotes a better posture by holding you’re entire back in an upright position. 

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Well Featured, Ensures Extended Comfort 

High back chairs are efficiently featured giving it a wider and higher back, a proper headrest with armrests and sometimes footrests too. Having well features enable you to take total support and feel comfortable even when you are going through a prolonged period of seating. 

According to the student wellness center of Saskatchewan University, an ergonomic chair helps in reducing any physical pain, migraines, or stress in the upper body.  People who suffer more from backache would find it extra comfortable.


High-back chairs focus more support on your upper torso and head with additional reclining and tilting features. It is adjustable in height, depth of the seat, and angle for maximum comfort. Thus, you can fix it according to your needs at a time

Less Fidgeting

The rate of fidgeting is described as the level of discomfort one’s body feels while defending the postural strain. High back chairs due to their efficient attributes give enough support reducing the soreness and swelling in the muscles as a result of long sitting terms thus, proving to be less fidgeting.


According to a recent report around 72kg of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere in the production of one ergonomic chair. However, BIFMA explains that changes are being made to reduce carbon footprint with the help of processes like Refurbishment, Reuse, Recycle, etc.


Uncomfortably for shorter people

The extended backrest could be a little uncomfortable for shorter people. Basically, the back is elongated in order to provide firm support in case you slouch or slump back. But for shorter people, it might offer hindrance as it won’t match their height resulting in destabilization.


Because of its various comfort-providing characteristics, it gets unaffordable sometimes.

 It is way too costly for some people as it comes with ergonomic features.

Too heightened

A higher backrest and its heaviness can sometimes lead to blockage of the view. It can bring you a little discomfort while trying to get accessibility to anyone in your surrounding.

Difficult in Movement 

Due to its big size and heavyweight, it gets arduous to move while sitting. For it to move one needs to apply extra efforts and force which may cause a distraction. 

Quick Overview

ParametersMid-back chairsHigh back chairs
PurposeTo sit on Relax your lower backTo sit on, Relax your back, shoulder, neck, head
MaterialsMesh, leatherMesh, fabric, leather
Space UtilizationMinimal areaRequires spacious area
HeightSlightly lower than shoulderExtending up to head.Tall
CostAffordable (starts from 60$)Expensive( Starts from130$ )
BackrestYes (Esp lower back)Yes (lower + upper back)
Design Available in different designsNot many options
TypesErgonomic chairsExecutive chairs
Ergonomic chairs
Gaming chairs
MovementFree movementRestricted movement
Weight Capacity (lbs)200lbs – 280lbs300lbs – 800lbs

Comparison Report between Mid Back & High Back Chairs

Physical Comfort

With its adjustable properties, it not only provides a good posture to the head, neck, shoulders, and arms but also gives you the liberation to adjust its height, angle, depth, etc. in accordance with your level of comfort.

Mid-back chairs on the other hand are good to go if you have issues with your lumbar region L1-L5. As they are a great relief to lower back aches and strained muscles.

Working for hours might lead to pain and strain. With High back chairs headrest and other functionalities, it’s less likely to get sore muscles and back pain. 

Summary: Looking at both the chairs, there’s no doubt that they both give comfort to a great level. But for a longer period of time, you better opt for High back chairs as they come with enriching features like a tall backrest, padded armrest, headrest, footrest, etc. providing a great sense of support and comfort. 

Source: spine-health.com


The main focus of both the chairs is to provide leaning support to the back.  On one hand, Mid-back chairs are specifically designed for the lower back, in contrast, High back chairs function to support the entire upper body (lower-upper back)  and especially the cervical spine.

The curve of the spine consisting of the lumbar region padded with spinal discs is held and supported correctly with the help of the backrest of these chairs.

Source: hopkinsmedicine.org

Summary: You should prefer a High back chair if you work for long hours without straning your back.

Space Utilization

Spatially specific is one of the most important factors in deciding chairs for your surroundings. For a crowded workstation, Mid-back chairs are perfect to opt for.

They are most suitable for tight spots, conference rooms, and sporadic settings. Because of their small and closed size, they take up a little space in comparatively 

High back chairs. On the contrary High back, chairs take up a larger space and are often placed in a spacious room. 

Summary- Space-wise selection will help you in your movement and flexibility. So opt for a high back if you have enough space to move around or else choose for a mid-back chair in case of small space.

Style, Colors, and Designs

In terms of design, the Mid-back chair comes in a multitude number of options. Examples are ergonomic, ribbed, and modern. You can explore different colors, feel and style as it has a number of choices.

On the contrary, High back chairs are limited to some number of fixed style and color, mainly gray and black though it looks elegant when placed in any spacious area. 

Summary: Choosing a high-back chair or a mid-back chair with black and grey are a good option. As so many color varients would not look good in the workstations.

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Both the chairs come in almost the same materials. Leather and mesh are mainly used in the composition of Mid-back chairs.

Summary: You can choose according to your comfortability and the room temperature you are sitting


Since the High back chairs are added with significant traits, it results in its exceed in price. Mid-back chairs however could be bought at reasonable prices. Though there is no one price that fits all.

Quality Mid Back Chairs can range in price from $70 – $200. The budget of a sturdy, good ergonomic high back chair can inflate from $350 – $800 or more coming with a 10-year warranty.

The price of both the chairs is determined according to their functions, build quality, adjustments, etc. Highly efficient attributes go for high money value. 

NOTE: Prices fluctuate for both the chairs according to the brands, materials used, designs, etc.

Time Spent on Chairs

Of course, it’s one of the most vital deciding factors in chair selection. If your work hour or sitting hour is only for a few hours like 4-5, a Mid-back chair would be a better selection to make.

On the contrary, if it is long-term work, what could be better than a High back chair with its super comforting aspects so that you don’t end up with spasms and cramps all over your body.

Summary Go for High back chairs if the work hour is long as you don’t want to get sore muscles and pain all over your neck and back.

Weight capacity

Weight limit is as important as height, size, and other aesthetic properties. You can’t decide without taking a hint of the weight limit it holds as the repercussions could be problematic. 

Mid Back Chairs are known to lift around 200 – 270 lbs meaning more than an average person’s weight. On the other hand, tall, heavy High back chairs can hold upto 300 – 800 lbs.

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According to research by Cornell University around 50% of people in industrial arenas suffer from back pain and other severe issues due to poor sitting.

Some Tips on Seating for Good Postures and Blood Flow

Whether it’s a mid-back chair or a high-back chair, sitting for extended periods of time can bring problems to your health.

Long sitting hours can restrict blood to flow freely causing stiffness and rigidness in some body parts.

Note: It’s vital to make movements within the short breaks between sitting periods.

Though the reclining features of these ergonomic chairs ensure you stretch your back by bending backward, it’s also important to know how to sit properly which would prevent blood clots.

  1. Try to sit in a neutral posture so that your back is straight. Let your lower back flush to the back of your office chair.
  2. Don’t bend your feet in a crossed position or any other stiffed position as it impacts the blood flow. Knee angles should be at 90 degrees to prevent swelling.
  3. Elbows bent at 90 degrees with wrists flat on the desk.
  4. Maintain your feet to be down and flat against the floor as it smoothens the blood flow.
  5. Even if you slouch back make sure the curve of your spine is placed correctly with the lumbar support of your chair reclined slightly at 100 or 110 degrees.

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 Final Thought

Every factor and information about chairs has been discussed above. Still, if you are facing problems with deciding which chair to go for you can follow one piece of advice. Write down all your needs and expectations from chairs and match them with the above-mentioned pros and cons. 

It will help you to get a clear picture of your needs and thus will help you to decide on your perfect chair.

NOTE: Whatever chair you choose to buy, make sure its features match your preferences. Make sure, factors such as height, backache issues, and time period don’t go unnoticed while you decide to get your perfect match.

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