Picking out the right office chair may seem like just another bullet point on your to-do list, but once you start weighing different options it quickly becomes apparent that this choice is anything but simple. From task chairs to 24-hour chairs, the variety of options available can be overwhelming. Each comes at a unique price point with different sets of features, and it can be confusing to understand why some chairs cost upwards of $1,000 while others are as cheap as $75.
While it might be tempting to go with the first option you find online, keep in mind how much time you’ll be spending in your new chair. Those long days spent in the same position can lead to back pain, poor posture, low productivity, and even long term health issues. The right office chair can mitigate these risks while providing benefits such as increased comfort and improved focus. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your chair––and amidst a growing consensus that remote work is here to stay, it’s worth investing in a quality piece.
In this article, we’ll review three key criteria that you should consider before you set out to purchase an office chair: price, ergonomics, and design. By the end of this post, you’ll know what the right type of office chair is for you, how much you should pay for it, and what to look for to make sure you’re getting a worthy piece of furniture.
What to Look For
Arguably the most important factor to consider, and also one of the most varied. When budgeting for an office chair, you should consider how often you’ll be using it, and whether you have plans to upgrade later on or if you’re looking for your “forever chair.” In addition, consider delivery fees and the cost of setting up the chair– for some cheaper options like Ikea, you may be faced with high delivery costs, a long wait time (for delivery, but also any customer service questions), and confusing self-assembly. More premium options are likely to include free, quick shipping and long-term warranties that will save you money down the line.
If you are expecting not to use your chair too frequently or plan on buying a nicer one in a few years, you should budget between $75-$150 for this purchase. If you are looking for a higher-quality chair that comes with all the bells and whistles, consider both the big-name players and the smaller, premium brands selling directly to consumers. You can find beautiful office chairs from the large industry retailers for upwards of $1,500, or you can find the best value chairs from smaller brands that bundle affordable prices and premium quality into a single option. Our own collection of office chairs strike this exact balance and are priced between $239-$279.
Defined as “the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products, and systems so that they fit the people who use them.” In the context of office chairs, this refers to how a chair’s design keeps you working comfortably and productively.
It can be tempting to purchase a chair based solely on price and looks, without digging into the details on just how well the chair functions to keep your body in good form. While a minimalist wooden design with no armrests might look nice in an Instagram post, you’ll probably regret that purchase within a few minutes of struggling to sit comfortably.
You can learn more about ergonomics here, but some key buzzwords to look for are “points of adjustment”, “lumbar support”, and “tilt lock.” Features such as these will help you sit for long periods of time without pain or health issues stemming from poor posture.
It’s hard enough to find a comfortable chair that you can afford, let alone one that has a sleek and timeless look. Hitting on all three of these points can be difficult; it might even leave you wanting to give up on the search altogether.
But before throwing in the towel, it’s helpful to spend just a little time considering which aesthetic features are nice-to-haves vs which are essential to your selection. For instance, do you prefer mesh, leather, or an upholstered look? Wooden legs, or a more modern, metallic base? Consider color, as well--options like the buychairs.com MyChair offer three seat colors.
Lastly, always pay attention to the quality of materials––look for details like “double-layered mesh” and “high-density foam,” and whether the chair’s base is made of aluminum instead of plastic.
Types of Chairs to Consider
As the name implies, MyChair are known for their wellness-focused design that promotes good posture. In fact, over time most have become “optimized specifically for the prevention of disorders like cervical spondylosis, back pain, and poor posture and blood circulation.” These chairs were invented by William Stumpf in 1976 and are, in essence, the ultimate option for folks spending long hours and working days sitting in one place, or for those suffering from severe neck or back pain.
They typically come equipped with multiple points of adjustment to enable enough customization so that the chair can morph to meet the demands of your own body and sitting position. Features such as the height and depth of the seat and armrests, lumbar support, and tilt lock are some of the staple elements you can expect to see. Quality ergonomic chairs that even include nylon mesh backs and aluminum bases can be found starting at $239, though they can range upwards in price to $800+.
Finding the right office chair can often leave you feeling lost. But carefully considering your budget, needs, and preferred style according to the criteria above makes the choice between different styles of chairs clearer. Each type mentioned above is designed with a distinct purpose and user in mind, and understanding which option best suits your needs lets you spend less time wading through Google and more time enjoying your healthier, more productive, back pain-free life.
At buychairs.com, we offer beautiful and well-made chairs that will save you time and money. If you’re looking for more help to furnish your home office, you can browse our associated partner Flexispot's entire work from home collection here.