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How To Pick The Perfect Armrest For Your Chair

10 January 2022

Not a lot of people really consider their armrests as something that needs really thinking about. After all, they are just something that exists as part of your general office furniture, stitched onto your chair, and come pre-built, right?

Well, alongside needing to pick the correct height for your desk and the perfect back support from your chair, it is also vitally important to consider the height of your armrest as well.

To make it a bit easier to understand, here’s everything you need to know about picking the perfect armrest for your chair.

Why Do You Need To Carefully Pick Your Armrest?

While looking after your body in general while at work is of critical importance, it can seem a little confusing that you need to be picking your armrests, as well as all the other parts of your desk apparatus.

So why does it matter?

The issue of poorly aligned and sized armrests is that it causes your arms to work a lot harder than they need to.

Properly sized and positioned at the correct height, your arms should form a perfect 180-degree angle from the elbow to your fingers at your keyboard.

The armrest should merely support your elbow, resulting in a smooth, even plane to the keyboard.

When positioned badly, either too short or too high, your wrists and even your shoulders joints take on extra wear and tear that can actually lead to irreparable, long-term health damage!

The other thing you need to consider is ensuring that your armrest is sufficiently cushioned. Some armrests are made of cheap, plastic material that is not only rigid and uncomfortable but actually scratches your skin if you rest your bare elbows on it!

It should be comfortably cushioned, designed to help reduce the strain on your elbows from holding up your arms all day long! There are even those really comfy memory foam cushioned rest available these days, so focus on making sure that it's right for your comfort level.   

So, how do you choose the right armrests for you?

Match The Height Of Your Armrest To The Height Of Your Desk!

The first thing to be aware of when picking your armrests, you need to be careful to make sure that the height of your armrest matches the height of your desk when properly sized.

This is usually pretty easy to achieve, as most armrests have customizable heights when you buy the more expensive chairs, but a lot of them have a completely fixed height.

This means that, no matter how tall you are or how high up your desk is from the ground, your armrest is just going to stay the same level, potentially resulting in some really awful elbow pain after a few weeks of use.

You can either spring for the more expensive chairs, or you can try and measure your desk height and make sure that your armrests are at the same height as the top of the desk.

Pick The Perfect “Type” Of Armrest For Your Needs

Most people might be forgiven for thinking that all armrests are fundamentally the same, but there is actually a huge array of different sorts that offer their own benefits.

When looking for office chairs, or even replacement armrests (yes, you can actually replace them on many models), consider these different types of armrests and try to imagine which one you'd prefer most to be using while at work.

Fixed Armrests

This is a bit of a catch-all term for any armrest that doesn’t have any kind of movable or adjustable component. They are definitely simpler and cheaper, but that lack of customizability usually leads to some severe back pain if you aren’t careful.

Loop Armrest

A loop arm is one of the more common types of the armrest and can be fixed or adjustable. Their primary purpose is to offer extra support for users that are leaning back in their chairs.

This tends to be more useful when the loop is focused more towards the back of the rest, but forward-facing loops can be beneficial for those that find themselves leaning forwards on their chair a lot.


This type is definitely a bit of a strange-looking armrest, but it is actually the simplest when it comes to arm support and adjustability. Hopefully cushioned, these T-shaped armrests provide a simple flat plane to rest your elbow on and also allow for your forearm to comfortably rest on the armrest, which can be really useful and supportive if you work with your keyboard at the very edge of your desk.

Which Armrest Is Right For You?

Ultimately, the actual choice of armrest for you is going to depend on your preferences.

Though a cushioned, T-shaped, and adjustable armrest might be the most universally helpful and supportive armrest that there is available, some people might prefer those rigid, immoveable round-shaped ones instead.

Get whichever one is right for you, but just make sure that it doesn’t cause immeasurably quantities of back pain!