The best executive real leather office chairs combine the sophistication, style, and true comfort that can only be found with furniture that's made from genuine leather.
Even better, these chairs also include the ergonomic design elements and adjustability features we expect to find in a modern office chair.
If you want to spruce up your office setting with a genuine leather, professional looking executive style chair that's designed for the rigors of today's work habits, look no further than the 5 picks we've listed below.
Following these choices, you can read our buyer's guide for general guidelines on choosing an office chair of this caliber.
In a hurry?
Our top pick is the GM Ergolux genuine leather executive office chair.
This chair has full adjustability features, including 3D armrests, an independent lumbar support system, and adjustable headrest, plus a modern ergonomic shape.
Draped in soft and durable genuine leather, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Top 5 Best Executive Real Leather Office Chair
OUR TOP PICK
The GM Ergolux is our top pick among the best executive style office chairs that are made from genuine leather. Others may prefer a more traditional style, but we truly appreciate the modern design aesthetics and ergonomic engineering of this one.
First and foremost, the seat-pan and backrest are both covered in soft and durable genuine top grain leather. This is a high quality grade of leather, second only to full grain leather, that is smooth and stain resistant.
The Ergolux also has all the modern ergonomic design features and adjustability options you would expect on a deluxe leather office chair.
First, you can control seat depth by sliding forward and backward. You can also adjust the tilt angle using a simple button mechanism and control the tilt tension separately.
It uses Synchro-tilt technology, which means the backrest and seat recline at a 2:1 ratio, allowing the seat cushion to remain level to the floor as you tilt back.
The Ergolux has an integrated headrest that can be adjusted by height and angle. And the armrests, which are designed with a comfortable concave shape, are 3D adjustable. This mean then backwards/forwards (aka telescoping), adjust the angle, and change the height.
The final note on ergonomics with the Ergolux is the independent lumbar support system. This is a unique lumbar cushion panel that you can adjust to increase or decrease pressure on your lower back. Combined with the high-back design, this will promote better posture and full contact with the backrest while sitting for long periods of time.
Note that if you're looking for a true executive style office chair, with plush seating and traditionally larger features, this chair might not fit the bill. It's actually closer to a task chair than an executive chair.
But we think the added ergonomic features and top grain leather elevate it to executive status.
- Genuine calfskin leather covering, for a buttery softness
- Adjustable lumbar support system
- Adjustable armrests, headrest
- Ergonomically designed chair
- Takes a while to get used to, being very unlike much else on the market
- Lacks some padding you expect to be there
- Maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs may be too low for classic executive style office chairs
The Sterling has a look that combines traditional values and modern chic. It has notes of the classic boudoir chair with diamond cross-hatching up the Brazilian leather seat-back. However, it’s not a chair that’s just for looking at. As you’d expect from Modern Ergonomic, there’s science in the Sterling’s design.
The high and curved backrest delivers lumbar support, meaning you can sit for longer without any twinge of mid-or-lower back pain. Meanwhile, the Sterling has an in-built, cushioned headrest to maintain that ergonomic posture all the way up.
Its waterfall seat edge is likewise designed deliberately to take stress out of your legs and in particular your circulatory system. It’s a technique that helps stop the likes of pins and needles (as well as longer term circulation issues) in the legs when sitting for extended periods.
Overall, the people who might have the most particular issues with the Sterling are the ‘All leather or bust’ executives. While the back and seat are covered in sumptuous real leather, both the back and the armrests are covered in leatherette.
There’s not enough of a price drop to justify such a half-and-half approach, and the leatherette waters down the appeal of the cream leather for hardcore leather fans.
Compared to the likes of the Ergolux, the adjustability might be a let-down too – the armrests on the Sterling are fixed and can’t be changed. Given that the high back suits a taller executive, those who are shorter may feel some of the ergonomic design goes to waste, given the position of the armrests.
Overall, the Sterling is a strong, visually striking chair with more science than it initially lets on behind its distinctive diamond hatching. Its ergonomic elements help deliver a chair with a unique look and feel.
Whether there’s enough genuine leather there to satisfy you and make you feel you’re getting value for your leather-money remains a question to be answered on a case-by-case basis.
- Sturdy design with strong ergonomic features
- Genuine leather on seat and back
- Chrome 5-star base with full 360 swivel
- Well integrated lumbar support
- Headrest to maintain ergonomics all the way up the chair
- Leatherette on back and armrests may cheapen the feel
- Non-adjustable armrests
- A chair aimed at taller users, rather than being adjustable to all
The Draper, also from Modern Ergonomic, is a chair that does a lot of things very right.
As you’d expect from this company, the high back is designed with ergonomics in mind, and the high density foam padding delivers effective cushioning while allowing and encouraging correct posture.
If you're looking for a classic executive style chair, however, there are some unique design elements that might not work for you.
For example, the armrests, which are padded but not adjustable, are designed at a slightly downward angle and detached from the backrest. This provides a unique and modern aesthetic, especially when combined with the polished aluminum frame, but it falls short on ergonomic needs.
We like to see armrests that are adjustable so you can maintain correct height when typing.
Plus, the length from the back to the end of the armrest might be too long for some.
- Real leather on seat, back and armrests
- High back encourages good posture
- High density foam padding delivers effective cushioning
- Coherent, no-nonsense design
- Immovable armrests
- Polished aluminum can quickly attract fingerprints and dullness
Related: If you're searching for modern executive style leather office chairs, also check out our review of the X4 Leather Exec.
The Gates high back executive chair from Zuri Furniture has a look that feels almost instantly classic – like you’ve seen it everywhere for decades, and yet it’s fresh and inviting.
That’s certainly a keynote to the Gates. Unlike the Ergolux, this chair offers a more classic executive leather chair appearance, with thicker cushioning and wider features.
The Gates features a soft Brazilian leather on both the backrest and seat cushion. Yet, like many chairs in the genuine leather category, the material is actually supplemented with leatherette on the armrests.
As for adjustability, you can change the tilt angle with a range of 90 - 120 degrees. You can also adjust tilt tension and chair height. Unfortunately, the armrests are fixed on this one. This is common however on traditional executive chair designs.
The best aspect of the Gates, in our opinion, is the comfort factor. You will definitely appreciate leather cushions that are thickened at the headrest and on the contours of the backrest, along with the nice recline functionality. For many, this is the hallmark of a true executive style leather office chair: looks and comfort.
It also has a pronounced waterfall seat edge to give your legs a break during the day.
As for modern styling and ergonomics, the Gates falls a little short in our opinion. But it's more likely a matter of personal preference.
- Genuine Brazilian leather on seat and back
- Inviting, rather than intimidating, look
- S-shaped lumbar support to promote spinal alignment
- 30-degree recline
- Use of leatherette on back and arms
- Neither the headrest nor the armrests are adjustable
No nonsense, all comfort is the message you immediately get from the design of the Modern Forbes from Zuri Furniture.
Unlike some other chairs in our list, the back is wide, suggesting a suitability for a variety of body types. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, it has an impressive maximum weight capacity of 395 pounds. Like many of the best big and tall style office chairs, the Forbes is going to be the friend of the taller, broader, more physically imposing executive..
It has a down-to-earth charm that makes it fuss-free for those new to the world of real leather office chairs. It’s there not to dazzle or be overly flash, but to do a job and do it well for all comers.
As in the Gates, the Forbes has a synchro-tilt mechanism which allows the seat to recline in a controlled, rather than an erratic way. The backrest reclines more than the seat to keep your spine and your hips in alignment even when reclined.
An unpretentious chair that will suit people who want to get on with business, but who want to combine comfort with good ergonomics, the Forbes will also appeal to budget-watchers.
While still reflecting the genuine nature of its leather, the Forbes is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than most of those on our list.
- Real Brazilian leather
- Synchro-tilt recline with lock and adjustable tension
- Waterfall edge to minimize the effects of circulation issues
- Price – at least a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than some higher up out list
- Use of leatherette on the back cover of the seat
- Arguably too simple to maintain its appeal beyond the price point
Best Executive Real Leather Office Chair Buying Guide
Buying real leather executive office chairs is a business made oddly straightforward by their relative scarcity in a market of faux leather alternatives. But when you have a handful to choose from, there are things to decide.
How Leather Is My Office Chair?
Even among office chairs that bill themselves as genuine leather, be aware you’re probably getting at most the seat, back and armrests in genuine leather. Most have leatherette on the very back of the seat, where it’s unlikely to be seen by anyone. Balance up how leathery you want your chair. If it’s life or death for you, accept no leatherette substitutes. If you’re willing to compromise a little, you may get less leather, but you’re almost certain to get a better chair.
Read this guide to learn more about differences in office chair leather.
Don’t Ignore The Ergonomics
Part of holding out for a real leather executive office chair is the luxury value and the feel like nothing else on earth. But don’t chase that feeling at the expense of getting an uncomfortable or unhealthy chair. Always make sure the chair you choose is ergonomically sound first, and then swathed in real leather. Luxury without common sense is folly.
Choose The Chair That Suits You
Even on our list there are adventurous pieces of art, comforting hugs with ergonomic underpinnings, and heavy-duty no-nonsense chairs that do a simple job really well. Let your personality and instinct guide you, when all else is ergonomically equal, to the chair that speaks both to you and about your attitude to work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why go for real leather when there are cheaper, equally comfortable options on the market?
Why go for Cartier? Why go for Chanel? Why go for fillet mignon? Because these things are available, and because they give you a unique experience, connected to quality, to craftsmanship and to a higher level of luxury than we generally experience. Occasionally, luxuries like real leather lift the spirits and straighten the spine in ways that have nothing to do with ergonomic support.
With so much variety out there, what am I looking for in a real leather chair?
First of all, you’re looking for real leather in a sea of alternatives. Second, look for chairs with solid ergonomics in their underpinnings, so you can stand to sit in the chair for longer periods. And thirdly, you’re looking for a reflection of your personality in softened, sculpted premium cowhide.