How to Choose the Right Office Chair with Arms (2D, 3D and 4D Armrests Explained)

If you're thinking of buying an office chair with arms, this short buyer's guide will show you some of the different height adjustable armrest options available and the different types of functionality they offer:

Office Chair with Arms Armrest Types

Height adjustable arm rest

A standard height adjustable arm rest will normally offer around 100mm of vertical adjustment.The height of the arm rest should be adjusted until it supports the weight of your arm at a 90 degree angle without hunching the shoulder (which would suggest the arm rest is too high). Ideally the arm rest should be level with your desk height too, allowing your forearm to be fully supported whilst typing or using a mouse.


  • 100mm vertical adjustment

2D Arm rest (Ideal for typing)

A 2D armrest will offer 100mm of vertical height adjustment but can also rotate inwards or outwards which is especially useful if you spend a lot of time typing. When we examine the rested position of our arms on a keyboard, we can see that they take on a triangular stance, so being able to invert the armrests ensures the forearms are fully supported whilst typing. This reduces strain on your wrists and prevents the weight of your arms pulling you forward into a slouch which is bad for your back.

Best Arm Rests for Typing Inverted Office Chair Arms

2D Arm Adjustments:

  • 100mm vertical adjustment
  • 30 degree rotation (inwards or outwards)

3D Arm Rests 

The 3D height adjustable armrest adds an additional feature over the 2D variant by allowing the armrest depth to be adjusted backwards or forwards by around 50mm. If the height of the armrest is set up correctly, your arms should be bent at around 90 - 110 degrees depending on what feels comfortable to you. Adjust the depth of the armrest accordingly. The 3D armrest type can also be moved backwards if you need to move your office chair closer to your desk.

3D Arm Adjustments:

  • 100mm vertical adjustment
  • 30 degree rotation (inwards or outwards)
  • 50mm backwards and forwards

4D Arm Rests

The 4D armrest builds on the functionality of the 3D arm type by allowing around 25mm of horizontal (left to right) adjustment on each arm. This can be a particularly helpful feature if you have a larger build as you can free up an additional 50mm of space for your body and also ensure your arms are correctly positioned and well supported whilst in their rested position.

4D Arm Adjustments:

  • 100mm vertical adjustment
  • 30 degree rotation (inwards or outwards)
  • 50mm backwards and forwards
  • 25mm left to right


Choosing the right office chair with adjustable arms comes down personal preference and depends largely on the type of work you do. We hope this guide has been helpful but as always if you require any further advice, our friendly team are on hand to answer any questions you may have.

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