Top 5 best office chairs for tailbone pain

Oct 7th, 2019 (updated on Nov 17th, 2019) Tisho Iliev
Office chair
Office chair (photo by Steelcase)

Dear reader, since you are here, I guess you know what it's like to literally work your butt off. Having a tailbone pain could make working and living miserable. I had a bad experience with my tailbone and I think choosing the right office chair could make a significant difference to your well-being. What follows is my list with the best 5 office chairs for coccyx pain. Some of them are specialized to do just that - to relieve the pressure from your tailbone. So let's start!

5. Zenergy Ball Chair

Safco is a company founded in 1966 in New Hope, Minnesota, USA. The company is an office furniture manufacturer and offers ergonomic desks, chairs, tables and much more.

Safco Zenergy Ball Chair
Safco Zenergy Ball Chair (photo by Safco)

Zenergy Ball Chair is a strange-looking office chair by Safco. The chair has an inflatable 17.5" (44.4 cm) exercise ball with a mesh cover. Its purpose is to encourage sitting correctly. Your spine will love this. The design of the Zenergy Ball Chair will reduce your coccyx pain. This funny-looking chair has 4 sturdy legs with stationary glides.

Safco Zenergy Ball Chair
photo by Safco

Zenergy Ball Chair

  • Recommended for: coccyx pain relief
  • Seat: exercise ball with mesh cover or vinyl fabric
  • Height: with feet - 20" (50.8 cm), with legs and feet - 23" (58.4 cm). Keep in mind, the chair will be lower when occupied.
  • No strain on your coccyx - this chair will not put any strain on your tailbone area
  • Encourages a good posture - the chair encourages you to sit correctly without slouching
  • Stable - the sturdy legs with stationary glides will keep you stable and your floor protected from scratches
  • Looks stylish - it has a modern look
  • Not recommended for the whole day - this chair could be a good addition to your primary office chair. You can switch between them during the day.
  • Not recommended for bigger folks - the seat is not big enough to support bigger people
  • Overpriced - it's really expensive for what it is
  • Only 2 height options - it won't be suitable for everybody
5 / 10

4. Hara Chair

HaraTech is a German company founded by Manfred Haiberger. The company manufactures office chairs for more than 10 years. HaraTech wanted to invent an office chair which distributes the weight of a human body more effectively and they created a chair with double seat. Later, the company patented the dual seat base.

HaraTech technology
HaraTech technology (photo by HaraTech)

Hara Chair Nietzsche LB V7 is the latest iteration of the popular Nietzsche office chair by HaraTech. It has a patented double seat which reduces the pressure on your spine and tailbone area. Also, the office chair has a split backrest, leaving your spine with no direct contact to your chair at all.

Hara Chair
photo by Hara Chair Thailand / Facebook

Hara Chair Nietzsche LB V7

  • Recommended for: coccyx pain (coccydynia), (low) back pain
  • Seat: urethane foam covered with mesh fabric or artificial leather
  • Designed for coccyx relief - the patented dual seat base is specifically designed to reduce tailbone strain. Also, the seat adjusts itself to fit the perfect pelvic angle for you.
  • Cheap - considering the out-of-the-box design and its patent, it is not expensive
  • Back support - the chair offers a very good back support
  • Could be more adjustable - the lumbar support is not adjustable and the back support is slightly adjustable
  • Not the best quality - the quality of the chair is not the highest, but considering the price, it's fair
  • Not recommended for bigger folks - it mostly suits medium-sized people
6 / 10

3. Gaiam Ball Chair

Gaiam is a company founded in 1988 in Louisville, Colorado, USA. It produces yoga, fitness and wellness products. The name of the company, Gaiam (pronounced "GUY-um"), comes from "Gaia" (the name of the Ancient Greek Mother Earth goddess) and "I am". It means "I am the Earth".

Gaiam Ball Chair
Gaiam Ball Chair (photo by Gaiam)

Gaiam Classic Ball Chair is one of the most popular products by Gaiam. This ergonomic chair improves your posture and spinal alignment. It consists of a 20.4" (52 cm) balance ball, ball holder, back support bar, 4 caster wheels (the 2 from the back are lockable). Sitting on Gaiam Classic Ball Chair could significantly decrease your tailbone discomfort.

Gaiam Ball Chair
photo by Gaiam

Gaiam Ball Chair

  • Recommended for: tailbone pain relief, people with height 5' - 5' 11" (1.52 m - 1.80 m) and weight under 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Seat: balance ball
  • Seat height: 24" (60.9 cm) + additional 2" (5 cm) if you use leg extenders
  • Helps with coccyx pain - sitting on a balance ball does put a lot less pressure on your tailbone area
  • Stable - it has lockable caster wheels to sit in one place
  • Improves posture - the chair will make you sit correctly
  • Strengthens your muscles - it strengthens your core abdominal and leg muscles
  • Only 2 height options - it should be more adjustable
  • Metal bar or bolts could break - the metal bar from the front could break easily. The bolts holding the bar are weak, too. 2 years ago the manufacturer claimed the balance ball kit is improved.
  • Plastic back - the back of the chair is plastic and not very comfortable to use
7 / 10

2. Carmichael Throne

Carmichael Throne Company was founded in 2011 in Duluth, Georgia, USA. The founder, Danny Carmichael, used to be a drummer. He experienced a lot of tailbone pain while he was sitting on his drum throne. There wasn't any solution on the market that could help him and Danny Carmichael invented the Carmichael Drum Throne. It has a channel, splitting the seat in two, leaving your spine to float. Later, Dan patented the revolutionary split seat design and started manufacturing drum and office chairs.

Carmichael CT-B94 Apollo High-Back
Carmichael CT-B94 Apollo High-Back (photo by Carmichael Throne / Facebook)

The Carmichael CT-B94 Apollo High-Back is one of the most popular office chairs by the Carmichael Throne Company. It has the revolutionary "floating tailbone" feature in the form of a split seat design. Your coccyx won't have a direct contact with the seat of your chair and your tailbone pain will be reduced. Also, the CT-B94 will alleviate the pressure on your back, increasing your comfort even more.

Carmichael CT-B94 Apollo High-Back
photo by Carmichael Throne

Carmichael Throne CT-B94

  • Recommended for: tailbone pain (coccydynia)
  • Seat: firm high-quality foam
  • Sizes: regular - CT-B94 and big, for people above 5' 10" (1.77 m) - CT-580
  • Designed for coccyx pain - the patented design of the chair is made to reduce coccyx pressure
  • Made in USA - these high-quality chairs are made in the USA. Also, they are hand-stitched.
  • Helps with back pain - the gap in the seat reduces the spinal disc compression
  • Seat is firm - some people report the seat is a little firmer than expected
8 / 10

1. Steelcase Leap

Steelcase is a furniture corporation founded in 1912 in Michigan, USA. Today the company has more than 12,000 employees and had $3.4 billion in revenue for 2018. Steelcase is the biggest office furniture manufacturer on the planet.

Steelcase Leap
Steelcase Leap (photo by Steelcase)

Steelcase Leap is the most popular ergonomic office chair the company offers. Its specific design makes it the best office chair for tailbone pain on the market. Steelcase Leap will leave your coccyx hanging over the back of the seat. No pressure on your tailbone means you will finally concentrate on your work instead of your pain. There is a special Steelcase Leap Plus office chair for the bigger folks up to 500 lbs (226 kg).

Steelcase Leap
photo by Steelcase

Steelcase Leap

  • Recommended for: tailbone pain
  • Size: regular and plus
  • Seat: foam with medium softness and thickness, covered in fabric
  • Perfect for relieving coccyx pain - the shape of the chair reduces or eliminates the tailbone strain
  • LiveBack technology - the back of the chair changes to mimic the natural shape and movement of your spine
  • Highly adjustable - the chair has a flexible seat edge, gliding seat, adjustable back tension, height and lumbar support, and 4-way adjustable arms
  • High-quality - this sturdy office chair is built to last for years
  • The back is not soft - the back of the office chair has not enough padding and it feels a bit rough
  • Itchy fabric - if you touch the fabric with your skin, you could get an itchy feeling
  • Uncomfortable headrest - some users advise not to buy the chair with a headrest
  • Expensive - it's pricey
8 / 10

Which are the best types of office chairs for tailbone pain?

The best types of office chairs for coccyx pain are with short seat, a seat with a gap/channel or a coccyx cut-out. You could use kneeling chairs, too, but they should have a coccyx cut-out or should support sitting in a reverse position. Saddle chairs with a double saddle seat are another great option for making your buttocks happier. All of the chairs which support sitting backwards and have a tiltable seat and chest support are also a good candidate for relieving a sore tailbone. Finally, using an exercise ball or a ball chair from time to time could be a great addition to your traditional office chair and will make a noticeable difference in the comfort of your tailbone area.

Office chairs with a foam seat

Memory foam
Memory foam (photo by Johan / Wikipedia, CC BY)

When we are talking about office chair upholstery and tailbone pain, the best choice you could make is foam. Any other option will be less comfortable. There are three important factors related to foam - thickness, density and firmness.

The thicker the foam is, the more weight it will support. So if you are a bigger person, you should look for a thicker office chair seat.

Foam density refers to how heavy it is compared to its size. Foams with higher density have a higher resistance and durability.

If the foam is soft, you will have a more comfortable seat. If you are a larger person, you should pick a firmer foam with a better compression. This will give you the necessary comfort and it will last longer.

Office chairs with a short seat

Sitting on an ISO stackable chair
Sitting on an ISO stackable chair (photo by Office Tip)

Office chairs with shorter seats take the pressure off your coccyx. Such seats leave your coccyx hanging and with no direct contact.

The chair you see on the photos is one of my many chairs and it is known as the "ISO Stacking chair". You could easily find it in Europe. Unfortunately, the office chairs with the same design in the USA are knock-offs and bad replicas. Happily, there are hundreds of chairs with similar design. It is extremely cheap and it is the best "quick fix" for a tailbone pain I have found.

There are, of course, high-quality and highly-adjustable office chairs with such seats.

Office chairs with a channel or coccyx cut-out

Carmichael CT4547 and Therapod Coccyx Essential
Carmichael CT4547 and Therapod Coccyx Essential (images by Carmichael Throne and Backcare & Seating)

Office chairs with a channel/gap/double seat are a very popular solution when it comes to tailbone pain. These specialized chairs aim to eliminate the direct contact with your coccyx. The German HaraTech and the American Carmichael Throne Company manufacture such chairs.

Another feature for those of us with a sensitive butt is the coccyx cut-out. A lot of companies which offer regular office chairs with foam seats could modify them and add coccyx cut-out. Some of the companies could even provide you with an extra layer of foam. Having a coccyx cut-out could greatly reduce the pressure on your spine and tailbone making your working day a positive instead of a negative experience.

Kneeling chairs

Kneeling chairs are built to reduce lower back strain. The slightly tilted design of the seat keeps your spine in alignment while you work. The weight of your body is distributed between your buttocks and shins. Kneeling chairs leave your legs with zero range of motion and are not recommended for prolonged use.

If you have a tailbone pain, you could still use a kneeling chair, but you have to find one with a coccyx cut-out. Fortunately, there are companies like Putnams which manufacture such products.

Putnams kneeling chair
Putnams kneeling chair (images by Sittingwell and Putnams / YouTube)

One very unusual kneeling chair, the Thatsit Balans by Varier, supports sitting in a reverse position.

Varier Thatsit balans
Varier Thatsit balans (images by Varier)

Sitting backwards in this creative chair really alleviate the pressure on your coccyx. If you plan to use a kneeling chair, use it in conjunction with your regular office chair.

Varier Thatsit balans
image by Varier

Varier Thatsit balans

This unique kneeling chair by Varier is made from high-quality beech ply wood and wool fabric. It has an adjustable backrest and shins rests. Also, Thatsit offers sitting in a reverse position, which could make your tailbone feel a lot better during the working day. (image by Varier)

Saddle chairs

Salli MultiAdjuster and Ergonomic Coccyx Saddle Stool
Salli MultiAdjuster and Ergonomic Coccyx Saddle Stool (photos by Health by Design and SEERS Medical)

Saddle chair is a chair shaped like a saddle you put on a horse. Perhaps it is correct to call them saddle stools. Compared to the chairs, the stools do not have a back or an armrest.

Saddle chairs have a distinguished design - you sit 8"-12" (20 - 30 cm) higher than you would on a regular chair. This increases the angle between the hips and your knees from 90° to 135°. To use saddle chairs you would also need a higher desk.

These chairs improve and correct your posture over time. Saddle chairs significantly decrease back and neck pain. They keep your spine in a natural S-curve. Similar to sitting on a kneeling chair, the riding-like sitting requires you to stabilize yourself by using your core abdominal and leg muscles.

Saddle chairs are primarily used by dentists, surgeons and other medical professionals. Lately, more and more office workers are starting to use them on a regular basis. People with injured or bruised tailbone could use a saddle chair with a divided seat. Salli manufactures high-quality chairs with a split saddle seat.

Salli MultiAdjuster
photo by Health by Design

Salli MultiAdjuster

This chair has a patented double saddle seat design. The seat is made from a high-quality soft foam and it is covered by leather or artificial leather. Salli MultiAdjuster has a lot of adjustments including seat width adjustment. (photo by Health by Design)

Another option for the folks with a tailbone pain is to use a saddle chair with a coccyx cut-out by Seers Medical.

Office chairs with reverse position support

Office chairs that you could sit in backwards are pretty interesting. They could help with relieving your tailbone pain, too. Typically these chairs come with a tiltable backrest which is used as a chest support. Also, the chairs have a tiltable seat. This combination reduces the coccyx strain.

RH Alternative Support 4545 is an office chair which allows you to sit "back to front" alleviating the pressure on your tailbone area.

RH Alternative Support 4545
RH Alternative Support 4545 (photos by KOS and RHChairsUK / YouTube)

Another amazing office chair is the Hag Capisco by Flokk.

Hag Capisco
Hag Capisco (photos by Flokk and Wave Office)

It has a saddle seat and supports sitting forward, backwards and sideways. Hag Capisco truly is one out-of-the-box way to fight with coccyx pain.

Hag Capisco
image by Flokk

Hag Capisco

This chair is truly beautiful. It has a saddle seat and it supports backwards sitting. It has an adjustable seat height and depth, back height and back tilt. Hag Capisco can be used as a second office chair to help with tailbone pain. Unfortunately, it is not that comfy to be used the whole working day. (image by Flokk)

Exercise balls and ball chairs

Working on an exercise ball
Working on an exercise ball (photo by KindTribal Elements / Facebook)

Sitting on an exercise ball or ball chair has one amazing feature - it encourages you to sit correctly - it helps a lot to folks like me who tend to slouch. It does reduce the tailbone strain, too.

The idea behind the sitting on a stability ball is that your core abdominal and leg muscles will have to work to keep your body in balance. Otherwise you will fall, which is, by the way, one of the risks of this type of sitting. When you sit on a yoga ball, you exercise your muscles and even burn calories.

Please keep in mind that sitting on a balance ball for prolonged periods of time is not a good idea and it is not recommended. You should think of the exercise ball as an addition to your office chair, not as a substitute to it.

Which are the worst types of office chairs for coccyx pain?

Stone chairs
Stone chairs (photo by Indo Gemstone, CC BY)

The worst types of office chairs for tailbone pain are those with hard surface. They will gradually increase your pain and will eventually make it unbearable. You should avoid chairs that feel like sitting on a wooden stool.

Also, you should avoid sitting on chairs with a mesh seat. They are widespread, but there are a lot of issues with the mesh. The cheap office chairs use a hard mesh seat. It lasts long but it is like sitting on a chair made of stone. On a first sight everything seems okay with the high-end office chairs with soft mesh seats. But I wouldn't recommend them to people who have a tailbone discomfort. Why? The soft mesh seat does not distribute your weight evenly because it expands more than a regular foam or a hard mesh. This "hammock effect" causes the majority of the pressure to be placed on your coccyx.

A couple of examples with office chairs you should avoid if you have a coccyx issue are the Herman Miller Aeron and the Ergohuman Chair. These are extremely popular and I would rate them highly on ergonomics, but if you have a tailbone discomfort, you shouldn't use them.

Herman Miller Aeron & Ergohuman Chair
Herman Miller Aeron & Ergohuman Chair (photos by Herman Miller and Ergohuman)

This article was influenced by Jon Miles and his article "Comfortable chairs for cases of coccyx pain".

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Tisho Iliev
Tisho Iliev
Tisho Iliev
An IT specialist with 8+ years of experience in developing software solutions. I have been working in multiple US - based corporations. How the working environment impacts the employees has always been fascinating to me. The working conditions, underestimated by many employers, contribute to the health and productivity of the employees and always affect the outcome of a project in a positive or negative way.
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