20 Parts Of A Desk Chair You Need To Know

No office is complete without a desk chair, especially if you spend a lot of time at your desk. But, with sitting at a desk all day comes aches and pains.

A desk chair that provides comfort and support can ease the pain or prolong your ability to stay in the chair.

Because posture support and comfort have become so necessary in an office, desk chairs now have a unique look about them. They’re usually on wheels, have armrests, have cushioned seats and backs, and are typically adjustable.

Some desk chairs are fancier than others and have more levers and pieces, while others are minimalistic and only have what you need.

We’re going to go through all the parts of a desk chair so you can know what that knob does or explain why those specific wheels are used. If we’ve piqued your interest, keep reading to learn more.

20 Parts Of A Desk Chair You Need To Know

1. Headrest


The headrest is meant to support the neck while you lean back in the chair. Headrests are adjustable, so you can easily move them around to be comfortable.

There are two types of headrests: detached and attached. A separate headrest isn’t connected to the backrest. It will be connected to the chair with supporting arms.

The attached headrest will be part of the backrest and will look like it’s just part of a really tall backrest.

2. Backrest


The backrest might be the most important part of a desk chair for someone who suffers from back pain due to sitting for long periods.

If you’re prone to back pain and are tied to your chair for most of the day, you’ll probably want to invest in a high-quality chair that comes with plenty of lumbar support.

3. Cushion


Desk chairs have cushions, although not every cushion is “cushiony.”

Some cushions are simple and flat and don’t offer any bed-like qualities, which is usually the point since you’re at your desk to get work done.

Other chairs may have squishy, comfortable cushions that provide support and relief. The cushions usually cover the seat and most of the backrest.

Some models may only have a cushion on the seat and a mesh backing on the backrest.

4. Lumbar Support System

lumbar support system

A lumbar support system helps fill the curved area of your lower back to provide support and pain relief while you sit.

Not all lumbar support systems are created equally; you may find that some don’t make any difference at all while others will help you feel better.

Although it’s not always the case, the more expensive desk chairs usually have good support systems.

5. Arms


Many desk chairs have arms on them to support your elbows. There are a few different kinds you may see.

  • Loop: This type of arm forms a loop and is slightly triangular. They will either be attached to the seat or to both the seat and backrest. They’re not adjustable, which is frustrating if they’re not situated high enough for you.
  • Flip-up: Flip-up arms are attached to the backrest and can be pushed back, so they’re not at your side. This can be useful if you find the armrests uncomfortable or need to move them out of the way temporarily.
  • T: T-arms are attached to the seat and look like the letter T. Some models are adjustable while others are fixed.

6. Armrests


Armrests, or arm pads, are the cushioned portion of the arm. Some desk chair arms don’t come with cushioned armrests, some aren’t padded, and others are padded with a thick cushion.

Armrests provide ergonomic benefits and keep you comfortable, but they aren’t necessary.

7. Seat


The seat is the star of the show when it comes to desk chairs because that’s the part that will be used the most.

Functionality is key, but comfort should be prioritized to some degree since an uncomfortable chair can be miserable to sit in all day. Seats will come in a variety of styles, such as flat, curved, long, short, or tilted.

The seats that are curved, long, and are tilted downward on the edge are usually seen as more ergonomically supportive, while the short and flat seats are often used on budget chairs.

If you’re able to test out a chair before you purchase it, pay attention to how the chair feels so you can get an idea of how it will benefit you in the long run.

8. Chair Mechanisms

chair mechanisms

The chair mechanisms are the “bells and whistles” that will vary between chairs. Some chairs may have all of them or just one.

As you can imagine, the price of the chair usually plays a part in what’s included.

9. Seat Tilt Tension Control

seat tilt tension control

The seat tilt tension control is a knob that allows you to control how far back or forward a chair tilts. The knob should be located in the front of the bottom of the seat.

Having the option to change how your chair is tilted can allow you to find a comfortable way to sit that will help your posture.

10. Height Adjuster

height adjuster

The height adjuster allows you to raise the chair up and down as needed. This mechanism will be a lever usually on the right side of most chairs and operates by pulling it upward.

The movement depends on how much weight is in the chair. If you’re sitting, you’ll make the chair move down, but if you’re standing, you’ll make the chair move up.

11. Reclining Adjuster

reclining adjuster

Some desk chairs can recline all the way back and will have a separate lever to control that function. The lever will most likely be next to the height adjusting lever.

It’s usually the more expensive chairs that have a reclining adjuster since reclining isn’t a necessary function for desk chairs.

12. Chair Cylinder

chair cylinder

The chair cylinder is the part that holds up the seat, but it also allows the chair to swivel and move up and down. The cylinder has several moving parts that are crucial to function.

13. Pneumatic Cylinder

pneumatic cylinder

The pneumatic cylinder is toward the top of the cylinder is and responsible for allowing the chair to move up and down. This piece is also called a gas lift.

14. Spindle


The spindle is the middle piece of the cylinder and is what connects the pneumatic cylinder to the swivel.

15. Swivel


The swivel is the bottom piece of the cylinder and is what allows a chair to swivel back and forth.

16. Cylinder Cover

cylinder cover

The cylinder cover is what covers each of these pieces. It protects the pieces from getting dirty or damaged so the pieces can continue to function correctly. The cover is typically made out of the same material as the base of the chair.

17. Base


The base of the chair is where the wheels are and keeps a chair standing upright.

18. Foot Ring

foot ring

Some desk chairs have foot rings, which is a circular bar that goes around the cylinder.

The ring is meant to function as a footrest but also serves as an easy way to swivel the chair without having to put your feet on the floor or use your desk to spin around.

Foot rings are commonly found on tall chairs, but they aren’t exclusive to them.

19. Footrest


Some desk chairs come with footrests that fold out and extend. The footrest is stored under the seat and may be extended with a lever or by hand.

This type of desk chair is often marketed towards content creators who post videos or live stream themselves playing video games since that’s a more laid-back situation.

However, a footrest desk chair can be useful for anyone who needs a minute to relax at their desk.

20. Casters

Parts of a desk chair

Casters are the wheels of the chair, but they aren’t quite wheels. Wheels are inside of a frame, and the entire piece is a caster. It allows the chair to move around freely.

Casters come in different materials so you can avoid damaging your floors. Soft casters are for tile and wood, and hard casters are for carpets.

The soft ones are made of soft rubber or urethane, while the hard ones are made of plastic and rubber. Avoid using hard casters on hard floors because they may damage them.