Best Office Chair Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022
When it comes to finding the best office chair for your needs, it can be tough to know where to start. With so many different brands and models on the market, how can you be sure you’re making the right choice? Thankfully, Consumer Reports is here to help. In their latest report, they compare and rate some of the most popular office chairs on the market. So, if you’re in the market for a new chair, read on for their top picks.
What is an office chair?
Office chairs are furniture designed to allow people to sit comfortably at a desk while working. Designed for use in an office, they can come with many features that make the task of sitting easier. These include adjustable seats which are often upholstered, high backs, ergonomic padding, built-in lumbar support, and lockable wheels. Chairs for home offices tend to have fewer of these items as they are typically used less often than those found in commercial buildings such as libraries and city halls.
Most Common Types of office chair:
Executive Office Chair: Executive office chairs are the epitome of comfort and luxury as they tend to come with many exciting, high-end features such as waterfall seats and reclining backs. Most executive chairs also come with a headrest; however, this isn’t always the case so be sure to check before you buy.
Task Office Chairs: Task office chairs are designed for use in meeting rooms, conference areas, training/classrooms, or any area where multiple people will be seated simultaneously. They often have comfortable back support with lumbar functionality which is great for those who suffer from lower back pain. Many task chairs also come with arm rests which can be removed if necessary.
Conference room meeting chair: Conference room meeting chairs are designed to be comfortable, yet durable and hard-wearing. They come with features such as breathable upholstery and dual caster wheels which makes them easy to move around on carpet, wood flooring or even outside surfaces.
Mesh Office Chairs: Mesh office chairs are ideal for year-round use as they’ve been made from highly breathable materials such as the mesh frame and breathable fabric seat. This means that your back will always remain sweat-free during use which is excellent if you’re someone who sweats a lot while sitting down.
Factors to Consider before buying office chair:
What to consider when buying office chair?
When looking for the best office chair for your needs it’s important that you know what to look out for before you buy. Here we look at some of the most important factors to consider before you make your purchase.
Material: Office chairs can be made from a wide variety of materials; however, the most common choices are plastic, wood, and mesh. Most home office chairs tend to come with mesh backs as they’re both breathable and comfortable. Mesh chairs also help keep you cool throughout the hot summer months which is great if you live in a warmer climate or don’t like using the air con. Plastic office chairs on the other hand, are usually much cheaper than other options but may not offer as many features such as adjustable arms and lumbar support. Wooden office chairs can be very durable and attractive so it’s worth considering them if you want something that will last.
Adjustable arms: Arm rests are an incredibly important feature to consider when buying an office chair as they’ll allow you to find the perfect level of comfort while sitting for long periods of time. Arm rests also help protect your forearms from injury by preventing them from rubbing against the sharp edges of a desk, which can lead to discomfort over time. Many adjustable office chairs have the option of removing the arm rests entirely if needed, however this isn’t always the case so be sure to double check before purchasing one.
Lumbar support: Lower back pain is something many people experience at some point in their lives and it’s often due to sitting in poorly designed chairs for extended periods of time with no lumbar or lower back support. Fortunately, many office chairs come with an adjustable lumbar section on the back which helps counteract this by forcing you to sit in the correct posture even when unsupervised. Arm rests can also help prevent lower back pain as they stop you from leaning forward while typing or using a mouse, so it’s worth taking them into consideration if your desk is lower than usual.
Size: Before buying any type of office chair, it’s important that you check its specifications first and make sure that the dimensions are suitable for anyone who will be sitting on it. For example, mesh chairs tend to be lighter than wooden chairs but may not be able to hold as much weight due to their overall design. Many people make the mistake of assuming that all office chairs are the same size when in fact many of them vary by a few inches here and there.
Office chairs that come pre-assembled can be bought directly from the store, however those which need to be put together at home usually require some sort of assembly process which can take several hours depending on how much work is needed. If you’re not interested in reading through complicated manuals to figure out how your new office chair works, make sure that it comes already assembled or ask if it’s easy to assemble before buying one. If an office chair does need putting together, make sure that any tools required for assembly will be available at home before ordering it online. Maintenance: Office chairs to get dirty over time since most of them are made from fabric or plastic which can absorb oils and sweat. This means it’s important to check whether your office chair is machine washable before purchasing one, so you don’t have to manually clean it with a wet cloth every few months. Most home office chairs are relatively easy to clean by wiping down the surface with a damp cloth, however some models come with covers that need removing before cleaning.
Price: Like anything else, buying an office chair will usually be cheaper if you’re willing to spend several hundred dollars on one rather than paying just $50 for something made from inferior materials. However, even though cheap chairs may seem like a bargain at first, they tend not to last if their more expensive counterparts due to the overall build quality. Even if you don’t plan on spending hundreds of dollars, make sure that whatever you buy is durable enough to last you several years before replacing it with a new model.
There are a wide range of office chairs to consider if you’re looking for something outside of the ordinary. For example, some people prefer using kneeling chairs as an alternative to normal office chairs as they tend to be very comfortable and supportive even during long periods of sitting. Kneeling chairs differ from traditional models as the seat is angled forward which allows your legs to rest at a 90-degree angle, like how you’d normally sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. If you have never tried a kneeling chair before, it’s important that you test one out in person before buying one online so that you can make sure it’s right for your needs.
When shopping for office chairs, comfort is usually the most important factor to consider as it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to work effectively if your chair isn’t comfortable enough. As mentioned above, there are many different types of office chairs available so even if you don’t like one type such as mesh chairs, you might prefer something such as wooden chairs instead. There are also some key features which can affect how comfortable an office chair is such as headrests and lumbar support which provide extra padding and force you into a healthier posture while seated.
Some office chairs will claim to be ergonomic, and, in most cases, this simply means they’ll provide extra padding, however if you suffer from back pain for example, it may be wise to look for a specific model which is designed specifically to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury. Fortunately, there are many models which come with feedback from previous buyers such as height adjustment options and headrests so it’s usually not too difficult finding one that meets your needs.
Most office chairs can easily adjust between different heights, but some cheaper models appear to lack this functionality which can make them useless for people who are either very tall or very short. If possible, try sitting in an office chair before buying it so you know whether it’s too high or low for you, otherwise at least make sure it has a recline function so that you can adjust the angle of the back support if needed.
A good rule of thumb when measuring your height is to place a book on your head and mark where it reaches on the wall if possible. This should give you a rough idea whether your office chair will be tall enough for your needs or not. If in doubt, aim for an office chair which has adjustable heights between 19-29 inches from the ground at maximum.
The best way to measure the height of an existing office chair is by using a simple tape measurer which you can use to determine how far it rises above your current seat without potentially damaging it in any way. However, most office chairs have a removable cushion which can be taken off to access the base if you prefer not to make any marks.
Weight: The maximum weight capacity is a very important consideration as some office chairs simply won’t be able to support a certain amount of weight without breaking or becoming too unstable to use safely. If you’re considering buying an ergonomic chair from one of the most reputable brands such as Steelcase, odds are that they will have tested it extensively and provided figures for how much weight it can bear safely. In some cases, this may be up to 300 pounds, however in some cheaper models the figure may only be 200 pounds so if you weigh about 240 pounds you should avoid these types of office chairs for safety reasons.
While you may be tempted to buy the cheapest office chair available, odds are that this won’t be a wise decision as cheaper models tend to lack features such as adjustable heights and reclining controls which can make using them less comfortable. There are some exceptions however including models from China which can look good but lack durability due to their poor build quality.
Bear in mind that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to test an office chair yourself before buying so it’s important to carefully read reviews of previous buyers who have experience with the product. If possible, try asking friends or family members if they’ve used any products like yours recently as this will give you an idea of what kind of quality is on offer at different price ranges.
Ergonomics: Good ergonomics basically means that your office chair will be able to support your body weight for prolonged periods of time without causing any discomfort. This includes armrests, lumbar support and headrests which can all help maintain good posture over an extended period. Ideally look for an office chair with adjustable padding as this makes it easier to find the right fit for your own height/size so you don’t have to suffer from long-term back pain or shoulder strain due to bad posture.
Mobility: You may find that it’s more practical to have your office chair on wheels, especially if you’re planning on moving it around a lot. If so, some models will be able to fold up which is very handy when storing or transporting them. Other models have locking brakes which prevent the chair from moving while you use them, but this can make it harder to move them in some situations.
Warranty: The length of time for which an office chair has been covered under warranty can be an important factor because quite often they get damaged by their owners due to carelessness or misuse. If possible, try finding out how long each product has been covered before buying online as this will allow you to distinguish good value products and ones with very short warranty coverage.
Material: There are many different materials used to make the best office chairs including mesh fabric, leather, and wood. Most of these materials will be designed for durability which is why they’re chosen over cheaper alternatives that may not offer enough support or longevity. If you’re on a tight budget, then it’s best to look for an ergonomic chair with mesh fabric because it’s often breathable and typically lasts longer than synthetic leather while being less costly than real leather (which can also get dirty easily).
Swivel/Tilt mechanism: One of the main benefits to choosing an office chair with a swivel/tilt mechanism is that you won’t have to get up and walk around as often which can be harmful to your back. However, if you do need to move it’s important not to tilt the chair too far forward or backward (especially if it doesn’t lock) because this can make it unsafe for daily use.
Lockable casters: If you plan on using your office chair at home, then it’s important to look for one with lockable casters so they don’t roll when you try to use them. If locking is difficult or impossible then the caster will stay in place which may not be safe if you want a rolling office chair because it could fall down a step or get stuck under a desk leg.
Adjustable backrest: Most of the best office chairs will be able to adjust their backrest in order to help you adjust it higher or lower depending on your height. The ideal height for an ergonomic office chair is one where your knees are bent at 90° which makes it easier to work with a keyboard and mouse over extended periods of time.
Durability: Because your office chair will be used regularly it’s important to check that it’s made of durable materials that are capable of lasting for many years without wearing down. For example, mesh fabric chairs tend to last much longer than office chairs with synthetic leather padding because the latter often gets dirty and requires more cleaning which can damage the material over time.
The Pros and Cons of Office chair:
Most models are very budget-friendly which makes them accessible to most buyers.
Some models even have massage features which can be very helpful for your back.
Most office chairs provide good lumbar support that will protect against back pain while sitting for extended periods of time.
Office chairs with wheels may not be suitable for some people who want a stationary chair without casters.
Mesh fabric is often preferred over synthetic leather because it’s cooler and allows you to stay refreshed during long work sessions.
What is the best office chair for sitting long hours?
Most ergonomic office chairs have adjustable backs that allow you to recline and adjust the height of the chair to find a level where your back feels comfortable. Sitting up in an ergonomic office chair generally helps prevent pains in the lower back because it keeps your spine straight so when using one it’s important to try them out for a few minutes before deciding whether it’s suitable for you.
What is the difference between mesh fabric and leather?
Office chairs with leather padding are typically less breathable which means they can get uncomfortable after sitting in them for long periods of time, especially if you’re going to be wearing clothes that don’t breathe well. Mesh fabric is usually preferred by people who need a chair that will keep them cool for long hours while sitting at their desk. Mesh fabric is breathable so it allows air to flow through the padding which makes it much more comfortable than chairs with leather padding because your skin can breathe.
Can an office chair cure bad posture?
An office chair can help stop you from slouching over your desk while working by forcing you to sit up straight which is healthier for your back. However, it’s important not to just get used to sitting in this position because the long-term effects will be harmful for your spine and joints. Instead, try finding an ergonomic office chair that also has lumbar support to prevent slouching while ensuring that you don’t sit too upright which could cause other problems.
Can I replace the office chair’s armrests?
The best office chairs come with adjustable armrests to help you adjust them for optimal comfort. If your current office chair doesn’t have any then it’s possible to purchase them separately if they’re compatible with its design, but it’s important to be aware of where they are supposed to go before ordering. Try measuring the width of your desk frame or finding out how wide the original ones are so that you don’t accidently buy too wide or narrow replacements.
Is it normal for an office chair to squeak when I move?
Squeaking sounds can be made by plastic rubbing against another piece of plastic which is often due to wear-and-tear over time. However, it can also happen if you try moving your office chair on a rug or carpet which causes the casters to get stuck and apply pressure in the wrong direction. This problem should go away after rolling it over a hard surface such as wood flooring so that the wheels can work properly again.
Is an office chair comfortable at first but not after long periods of use?
Chances are that your new office chair won’t feel comfortable even when you first sit down because most chairs need time to adjust to different body sizes and shapes. The best way is to gradually spend more time sitting in your new chair until you’ve grown used to it by adjusting all its features including height and armrests so that they suit your preferences exactly.
Is it possible to clean an office chair?
The best way to clean your office chair is to wipe down the fabric with a damp cloth and mild detergent but be careful not to soak it or let any moisture get trapped under the seam. Also try avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasives which could damage the material or leave stains that are hard to remove. Instead, try using rubbing alcohol on tough dirt spots because it will evaporate quickly without causing damage like water might.
Should I buy an ergonomic office chair for my home?
If you’re spending many hours sitting in front of your computer then yes because ergonomic chairs can help, make working more comfortable by providing lumbar support against your lower back while improving posture thanks to their contours. This could prevent any pain or discomfort from becoming a chronic problem over time.
Where can I find replacement office chair casters?
If you need to replace the wheels of your office chair, then it’s best to go directly to its manufacturer because they will know which sizes and types are compatible. If that doesn’t work out then try online retailers as well as local furniture stores because their websites may list compatible models or have a section where you can search for specific parts.
How long does an average office chair last?
If you take good care of your office chair, then it could last up to 10 years which is twice if what most manufacturers claim. This length of time will depend on the quality, materials and warranty so try choosing a reputable brand with a strong guarantee if you want yours to last for a longer period.
How does an office chair relieve back pain?
An ergonomic office chair can help reduce back pain by ensuring that your posture remains straight while sitting in front of your computer for many hours. The best kind have lumbar support built into their contours which will push against your lower back just like a regular mattress would do during sleep at night.
What is the most comfortable office chair for long hours?
The most comfortable desk chair for long hours is one with a pneumatic height adjustment feature because it can be adjusted quickly without you needing to strain your arms or back. It should also be equipped with adjustable armrests that are flush against the desk’s surface so that they don’t cause discomfort when you rest your forearms on them for hours at a time.
Choosing office chairs for sale can be very difficult as there are thousands of different products available online. By knowing what each chair looks like and how they work, it’s possible to find one that suits your needs perfectly even without physically testing it first. There are so many different types of chairs available now which makes finding the right one even more difficult, however understanding what kind of features come with each type usually helps narrow down your search significantly. Even if an office chair seems interesting, test it out in person if possible because everyone’s bodies are different, and some might not like certain aspects that other people love. If it turns out to be the right choice, then you can be sure that your employees will thank you for buying them a comfortable chair which they would otherwise be unable to afford on their own.