Headrest --- One of the 8 Major Parts of Office Chairs

Headrest, as an important part for the ergonomic office chairs, is to provide support for our heads. In the following, we will introduce its different classifications, materials, shapes and functions to you.

1. The classification of headrests

1.1 Which kind of office chair is with a headrest?

First of all, we must know that there are four types of office chairs: high back, mid back, low back, and no back. And they have different heights:

high back to head,

middle back to shoulders,

low back to back or even waist.

The no back ones are with no back support.

If the office chair is used at home, then we don’t need to choose a high-back office chair.

Here we talk about the chairs with a headrest, it refers to high-back chairs. The high-back chairs are generally used in workplaces. Especially for those who work at desks for a long time, the high-back chairs should be the first choice.

1.2 Types of headrest

In terms of the shape of the chair, there are basically two types of office chairs with headrests:

  • Conjoined – As shown in the picture, the conjoined one is that the headrest and the back of the chair are in the same frame.
  • Separated – The headrest is installed on the upper end of the independent back frame. And most of this kind of headrests can be removed independently.

Pillow-back integrated office chair


Pillow-back seperated office chair

2. The materials of the headrest

For headrests, the common materials are mesh, cloth, and leather.

2.1 Mesh

The mesh is highly breathable, practical and comfortable. 

When choosing, it is better to scratch the fabric with your hand. If there’s no burning sensation in your fingers, that means the mesh is not easy to generate static electricity. Besides, it will not damage the skin and is more resistant to dirt. Then, poke the mesh of the office chairs with your finger. If it rebound quickly, that indicates that the mesh will be elastic and durable. If it does not move, it means that the mesh is not elastic, but physical deformation and stretching. And it will wrinkle and loosen after a long time without rebound. If it leaves a fingerprint with just one poke, it’s even worse.

2.2 Cloth & Leather

Let’s talk about cloth and leather. Both of them are headrests with a sponge inside and a different covering material. I personally don’t recommend the cloth headrests, which are easy to get dirty, especially those with well-developed head sweat glands. Because the cloth covering absorbs sweat, then it is easy to stick to dust and breed bacteria. People with a lot of sweat can choose a leather, which is easy to clean and take care of.

office chair mesh headrest

Office chair mesh headrest

Office chair leather headrest

Office chair leather headrest

Office chair cloth headrest

3.The shape of the headrest

Many headrests basically have upper and lower arcs. The protruding part can support a person’s neck curve.

A better headrest, when viewed horizontally, there are also be arcs, with both ends protruding, and the middle recessed. This is to better fit the people’s necks. The neck of a person can be seen as a cylindrical. Especially when reclining and resting, the headrest can make the head lie flat and fully relax, so that the head will not sag left and right.

4. The function of headrest

4.1 UP & Down

First of all, it must be able to lift up and down. The heights of the torso of the upper limbs of the human body and the sitting posture of the individual are different. Therefore, no matter what height or posture, the headrest must be able to support the back of the head.

4.2 Frontward & Backward

Another very important but easily overlooked point is that the headrest must be able to adjust the front and back direction. When leaning back, it can be adjusted backwards, like a pillow cushioning the neck. When sitting up and working, it can be adjusted forward, like a palm stroking the back of the head.

4.3 Both Two Functions

Of course, for some chairs with a pillow and back, the entire backrest can be tilted and raised up and down. This is also equivalent to the headrest that can be adjusted back and forth and up and down. This kind of chair is generally more upscale.


Only when the shape and function of the headrest meet the ergonomics requirement, it can provide effective fit and support to the human body. Hope this guide can help everybody choose a comfortable chair and wish you all health and happiness!



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