Loading... Please wait...

Humanscale Freedom Chair

  • Humanscale Freedom Chair front view
  • Humanscale Freedom Chair left angle
  • Humanscale Freedom Chair right angle
  • Humanscale Freedom Chair left angle red
  • Humanscale Freedom Chair side view
  • Humanscale Freedom Chair left angle maroon
35.00 LBS
Calculated at checkout

Product Description

The Freedom Chair is Humanscale’s flagship product. With over one million sold, the Freedom Chair is one of the world’s leading ergonomic task chairs and designed by Niels Diffrient, who is widely regarded as of one of the leading ergonomic designers in the world.

Instead of knobs and levers that you would normally find in a traditional office chair, the Humanscale Freedom Chair is driven by a unique counter-balance mechanism. When you lean back, the force required to recline the chair is determined by your body weight (counter-balance). Simply put, the Humanscale Freedom Chair knows a larger person will naturally apply more force than a smaller person - and adjusts the reclining tension accordingly.

The Humanscale Freedom Chair also comes with an intelligent headrest system. As you recline, the headrest starts to come forward so you maintain near constant eye level. And when you’re ready to sit in an upright position again, the headrest moves back and conveniently out of the way.

The height of both the backrest and headrest are adjustable by 5” vertically which makes the Freedom Chair and ideal fit for 95% of the population, for people ranging in height from 5’0” to 6’4”. The seat depth can also be adjusted (move the seat pan further/closer to the backrest) by 2.25”. The comfortable, contoured cushions are designed to maximize contact area with your body. This allows for maximum weight distribution and decreases concentrated loads over parts of your body.

The Humanscale Freedom Chair is available with or without armrests. The armrests are synchronous - which means, they move up and down together. This lets you adjust them more quickly than if you had to adjust them one at a time. And because they are synchronous, the armrests are always matching in height - unlike other chairs where you may unknowingly set one armrest slightly higher than the other.

The Freedom Chair from Humanscale provides ergonomic comfort so you can work productively for hours at a time. Intelligently designed, it does most of the thinking for you so you can focus on the task at hand.


Design Story

With the airplane you learn a lot about how to deal with the air, for a chair you have to learn a lot about how to deal with the body, and what the body needs, wants, indicates it needs. And that's the way, ultimately after some ups and downs, I ended up designing [Freedom].”

Niels Diffrient, Designer

Inspired to create a revolutionary office chair that adjusted automatically to whoever sat in it, Niels Diffrient designed the Freedom chair. Diffrient had always had a passion for aviation, growing up drawing and building model planes. In his 2002 TED talk, in which he shared the processes behind the design of Freedom, he explained how the disciplines connected.

Humanscale Freedom Chair - Options


  • Adjustable Headrest - Ergonomic headrest automatically adjusts to your reclining action.
  • No headrest (-$120.00) - Chair without the headrest; deducts $180.00 from price.

Seat Cushion

  • Standard Foam - Standard foam seat cushion.
  • Gel Seat Cushion (+$55.00) - Humanscale’s “Technogel” technology adds a layer of Technogel on top of a foam core. Provides more even distribution of your bodyweight across the seat and is more comfortable for sitting over longer periods of time. Only available with select fabrics: Vellum, Squiggle, Wave, Lotus and Bridget Stripe.


  • No Arms (-$100.00) - The Humanscale Freedom Chair without the armrests.
  • Standard Duron Arms - Duron arms have a foam core. Height adjustable armrests provide 6” of adjustability.
  • Standard Duron Arms with Matching Textile (+$60.00) - Standard duron arms are upholstered to match the fabric of the seat.
  • Standard Gel Arms (+$60.00) - Technogel arms provide a slightly softer feel than duron foam. Distributes the weight of your forearm over a larger area, minimizing pressure points.
  • Standard Gel Arms with Matching Textile (+$120.00) - Standard gel arms are upholstered to match the fabric of the seat.
  • Advanced Duron Arms (+$130.00) - In addition to 6” of height adjustability, advanced arms also pivot inward at the elbow for better forearm support while typing. These advanced arms are also 1.25” longer than standard, providing additional support.
  • Advanced Duron Arms with Matching Textile (+$190.00) - Advanced duron arms are upholstered to match the fabric of the seat.
  • Advanced Gel Arms (+$190.00) - Advanced technogel arms provide a slightly softer feel than duron foam. Distributes the weight of your forearm over a larger area, minimizing pressure points.
  • Advanced Gel Arms with Matching Textile (+$190.00) - Advanced gel arms are upholstered to match the fabric of the seat.

Frame Color

  • Graphite - Looks like a dark gray.
  • Titanium - Looks like a standard gray (a lighter gray than graphite).
  • Polished Aluminum with Graphite Trim (+$120.00) - Looks like silver with dark gray trim.
  • Polished Aluminum with Titanium Trim (+$120.00) - Looks like silver with standard gray trim.



  • Base Color Matches Frame Color - Standard five-star base matches your chosen frame color.
  • Polished Aluminum Base (+$120.00) - This option is only available if you chose a Graphite or Titanium frame (polished aluminum base automatically included with polished aluminum frames).

Seat Height

  • Standard Cylinder - Seat height ranges from 16.0 inches to 21.0 inches
  • Short Cylinder - Seat height ranges from 15.3 inches to 19.0 inches
  • Tall Cylinder (+$42.00) - Seat height ranges from 17.0 inches to 23.3 inches


  • Carpet Casters - These casters (the wheels on the bottom of your chair) are ideal for carpet use, but can also be used on hard floors.
  • Hard Floor Casters - Ideal for hard floors, but can also be used on carpet. These hard floor casters are slightly softer and have tighter rolling tension (vs. Carpet Casters) to help keep the chair from rolling around too much on hard floors

Fabric - Grade I: Humanscale Collection

Humanscale offers a great selection of fabrics to choose from. Ranging in texture and design, from warm colors to bright, a wide spectrum of fabrics are available in the Humanscale Collection.

Fabric - Grade II: Humanscale Premium (+$70.00 - +$160.00)

These premium Humanscale fabrics offer more variety in textures while maintaining a softer finish with luxurious feel.

Fabric - Grade III: Humanscale Leather (+$330.00 - +$1,280.00)

Only the finest of leathers would make its way onto a Freedom Chair. Humancale uses only premium 100% genuine leather treated with an advanced finishing process to add durability and resistance to stand up to the demands of the office.

Humanscale Freedom Chair Specifications

Backrest Height 18.0 inches
Backrest Height Adjustment Range 3.0 inches (bacrest goes higher/lower)
Backrest Width 21.0 inches
Backrest Recline 22.0 degrees
Extra Lumbar Support 1.0 inches (during recline only)
Adjustable Lumbar No
Headrest Height Adjustment Range 4.0 inches
Headrest Depth Adjustment Range Automatic during recline
Armrest Pivot Adjustment Range 35 degrees (inward)
Armrest Height Adjustment Range 6.0 inches
Armrest Width Adjustment Range N/A
Seat Depth 21.0 inches
Seat Depth Adjustment Range 2.3 inches (seat slides dynamically during recline)
Seat Width 21.0 inches
Seat Height (standard cylinder) 16.0 inches - 21.0 inches
Seat Height (short cylinder) 15.3 inches - 19.0 inches
Seat Height (tall cylinder) 17.0 inches - 22.3 inches
Seat Height (highest cylinder) 20.5 inches - 28.5 inches
Base Diameter 25.0 inches
Casters Carpet or hard floor options available
Shipping Time 2 - 3 weeks
Made in USA


Humanscale Freedom Chair - Features


Humanscale Freedom Chair - Features

  • Counter-balance reclining system automatically adjusts reclining tension according to your body weight. So whether you’re big or small, the reclining tension is just right for you.
  • Intelligent headrest moves forward to cradle your head as you recline, and moves out of the way as you sit upright.
  • Backrest and headrest provide up to 5” of vertical adjustment.
  • Seat depth (distance from back of seat to the backrest) has 2.25” adjustment range.
  • Contoured seat cushions increases contact area to reduce pressure points
  • Synchronous armrests (optional) adjust quickly and evenly.
  • 2.5” double-wheel casters


Video Review



Product Sheet             Instructions for Use      Parts and Repair Manual


Editor's Review

By Mark V.


I have had the Humanscale Freedom Chair for over a month now so I have had some time to sit in it throughout the workday and become familiar with its day-to-day performance.  And as a work chair that I spend several hours a day sitting in, it is definitely superior to any previous office chairs I have used.  The genius of the Humanscale Freedom chair is in its simplicity and its intuitively responsive design which allows the chair to actually recline and adjust with your body.  It is also pretty great to have a designer piece that looks as good as this chair does in my workspace.



When There are only two pieces to put together when you receive the Humanscale Freedom Chair: the backrest/headrest and seat which are all attached to a single curved frame; and the five-star base.  The cylinder at the bottom of the seat frame slides down into the receiving hole in the base, and the chair is assembled.  No nuts, bolts or screws, no tools needed.  It actually takes longer to open the box and remove the two pieces than to get the chair assembled.

Assembly: 5-stars-v3.jpg



As stated, the Humanscale Freedom Chair only has two pieces to put together for assembly, and the result is a very fluid and elegant looking chair that doesn’t have the pieced together look that you find in a lot of office chairs.  The frame has a contoured design that holds together the headrest, backrest and seat, each of which can be easily adjusted to fit your size and personal comfort.  The armrests extend from the frame around the side of the backrest so they hang freely at the side instead of being connected to the backrest which gives a more open design to the chair.  I ordered the frame in polished aluminum which comes with a matching five star base for an attractive silver finish. 

I chose the gel seat cushion option for an added layer of Humanscale’s “Technogel” which is designed to provide more even weight distribution since I tend to sit for long periods of time. The gel cushion provides some additional durability and firmness to the seat cushion, backrest, armrests and headrest that is great for extended use.  The fabric I chose is the Lotus Earthen Red.  The Lotus fabric has a smooth polyurethane finish with nylon backing, a water-repellant and durable fabric that has a great muted chic look in the Earthen Red color, in my opinion.  It is also easy to clean unlike some cloth fabric seats and is smooth to the touch, though some of the textured fabric options could be a good look.  You definitely have plenty of options with the fabric choices, so finding the right look to match your office and your style shouldn’t be a problem.

The design element that is most impressive in the Freedom is its recline tension.  Humanscale uses a counter-balance mechanism which allows the chair to be responsive to the size/weight of the person using the chair.  Having such an intuitive system built into the recline action means that you don’t have to make adjustments with any tension knobs to personalize the chair; when you recline the chair uses your body weight to determine the appropriate tension.  Of course, you will want to adjust the depth of the seat cushion as well as the height of the backrest and headrest to accommodate your size.  The seat cushion has a small lever under the front center of the seat to move forward or backwards to create more or less depth.  The backrest also has a small lever on the rear right side to adjust the back up or down.  The headrest has no lever; simply grab the headrest with both hands to bring it higher or lower. 

Speaking of the headrest, one of my favorite design features to the Humanscale Freedom chair is the movement of the headrest as you recline.  I have used chairs with headrests that seem to jut forward at the top of the backrest preventing you from tilting your head back.  So I can understand if some people think that headrests can be invasive or uncomfortable.  The headrest on the Freedom moves closer to your head as you recline and when you sit upright, the backrest moves back and out of the way.  Shifting its relative position to the backrest gives your head and neck support when you need it.  This is another great aspect of the dynamic recline tension.
The armrests are synchronous, meaning they move up and down together rather than independently.  There are no levers or buttons; you simply pull up on the armrests to adjust the height.  If you aren’t into armrests all the time, you can lower them effectively out of your way, though they will remain about an inch or two above the seat cushion.  I chose the advanced armrests so I can adjust the armrests closer in toward my body or farther out which I personally like because it allows me to get a comfortable position for my elbows to rest whenever I’m using my keyboard.  

The seat is also a bit wider than most chairs I have sat in. I’m an average-sized person – 5’8” and 175 lbs. The seat still feels fine for me, but I think it could comfortably accommodate wider people.

Design: 5-stars-v3.jpg



The cushions of the Freedom chair are contoured to match your body.  This is most noticeable to me on the backrest where the lumbar support lives up to the chair’s ergonomic billing.  Not only does the backrest provide superior support to your back by offering greater surface contact, but it also adjusts support as you recline.  When I am sitting more upright or slightly forward, the contoured backrest provides greater support in my lower back.  As I recline, I notice the upper back support kick in to balance my body’s center of gravity.  Having such a responsive feature creates an incredibly fluid and comfortable recline unlike any other chair I have used.

I mentioned the reactive headrest that moves into a supportive position as you recline.  This is a great feature because it allows you to maintain an even eye level as you recline without straining your neck.  A big part of ergonomic design is alleviating stress by changing body position regularly, and the way the headrest moves in to offer support whenever I recline my body is a huge benefit. It in essence turns the Freedom into a very comfortable recliner whenever your body needs it.  Having the headrest is worth it to me even though I rarely have contact with it while sitting more upright.

The height of the headrest and backrest can be adjusted to match your height, and the adjustments are very simple to make.  The backrest has a small lever on the rear right that you press and then you can move it up or down along the frame.  The headrest doesn’t even require a lever, just grab it and move it as you like.  The seat cushion itself can also be adjusted forward or back to set the depth of the chair.  This feature is what really makes the seat one-size-fits-all.  I am pretty average size, about 5’8”, but I have found that I occasionally change up the seat depth as a way to change my sitting posture.  I generally have the seat moved back which gives me a tighter fit on the chair and accentuates the lumbar support.  But if I feel the need to stretch out a bit more I just move the seat forward to make the chair larger and allow for an even greater recline angle.  Like I said, ergonomic design is about moving your body and the adjustability of the Freedom chair makes it easy to regularly adjust my position for a more comfortable work day.

I have used chairs with large molded armrests that made me feel trapped in the chair and limited my movement.  Maybe I’m a bit more particular about my armrests, but I’m really pleased with the armrests on my Freedom chair.  The synchronous adjustment means that the armrests are always even as they adjust together rather than independently.  If you spend a lot of time using your keyboard and mouse, avoiding strain over prolonged use starts with good armrests where I would define “good” as offering balanced support without getting in your way.  They also look good with the matching Lotus fabric.

Functionality: 5-stars-v3.jpg


What I like/What I don't Like

What I like:  the automatic recline resistance makes this one of the best reclining task chairs you can find.  Overall very comfortable and simple in its design.  The lumbar support and responsive headrest are also fantastic features.  Plus I really love the modern look of the chair.

What I don’t like:  hard to find much I didn’t like to be honest.  It might be a bit easier to access the backrest adjustment lever if it were a little higher and not so in line with the frame of the armrest.



The Humanscale Freedom chair is without a doubt the best office chair I’ve ever used.  It has a simple design free of knobs and levers so it has a clean and elegant appearance.  The contoured gel cushions offer comfortable surfaces with great back support.  The recline tension is an impressive feature that makes the Humanscale Freedom chair responsive to the individual and very comfortable and supportive.  I am also a huge fan of the responsive headrest.  On top of the comfort and functionality, the Freedom is a beautiful looking chair.  I very highly recommend the Humanscale Freedom chair, especially to anyone doing a good deal of seated computer work.


Back to Top ↑

Warranty Information

Product Warranty

• Fifteen year warranty on mechanisms
• Five year warranty on fabric/cushions/arm pads

Find Similar Products by Category

Write your own product review

Product Reviews

  1. Great chair and good looking too 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Jul 2013

    I ordered this chair after trying it out at a local store. I tried the gel seat cushion (because they didn't have the foam version when I went) and it was the most comfortable seat I have sat in in my life. I literally said "Wow!" as soon as I sat in it. It was only a $50 upgrade over foam anyway so that was an easy choice for me. The chair is well built and I was able to adjust it to fit my body (I am 5'10") and I use it about 40 hours a week. Although it's not cheap, it's super comfortable and how can you put a price on that? Plus, it looks super cool - a very nice, almost futuristic looking chair. I've only had it a month but I absolutely love it and just hope the chair works as good as it does now for many years.