The ultimate guide to buying office chair

More to explorer

The most essential part of our workspace is our chair. We spend a lot of time on our chairs, and directly and indirectly, a lot of things depend on the type of chairs we are sitting in, and in what position we are sitting in. Every chair is built differently, with different specifications and adjustment options, and so it’s imperative for you to know which chair suits you best. But it’s really hard choosing a chair that’s perfect for us, from the millions of options out there. What are the things we need to consider? How many types of chairs are out there? What do they specialize in? What’s the right posture? We know it can be overwhelming, and that is why we are going to answer all your chair-related questions in this guide to buying office chair.

Things to Consider-

Material and Padding:

It’s crucial knowing about different forms of material and how much padded the chair is. The specifications and specializations of a chair largely depend on the materials it’s made up of, and padding dictates how firm or soft the body is.  Firstly, let us take a look at different types of materials.

Polyurethane

guide to buying office chair

In other words, Faux leather is a material that mimics the texture, look and qualities of real leather at a fraction of the price. These chairs are easy to look after, and can be cleaned with simple cleaning materials. Dirt and dust do not coagulate easily. Chairs made of polyurethane can break down easily if not take care of properly.

Leather – 

guide to buying office chair

Of Course varieties cannot replace the original, and the original leather has a distinctive feel to it that remains unmatched. These chairs are significantly more luxurious and comfortable, and they are a true sign of dominance. Leather polish can help retain it’s luxurious feel. A leather chair is 4-5 times more durable than a normal chair, and since the color is absorbed into the material, it doesn’t fade easily. A leather chair has great value, even though cost might be a bit high

Bonded Leather –

guide to buying office chair

Bonded leather chairs’ surface is mostly made up of polyurethane, and scrap leather is ground up and blasted on the back of the poly. Bonded leather is cheaper than real leather, and has a smooth, consistent feel to it. Bonded leather fades away easily, and is not as durable as real leather. It can be hard to clean

Mesh:

guide to buying office chair

Mesh is one of the most used materials in chairs nowadays. It has a grid like pattern, which increases it’s airflow, consequently increasing breathability and keeping your temperature in check. You won’t sweat easily sitting on a mesh chair, and it’s best for warmer humid climates. Furthermore, Mesh Chairs often have better lumbar and overall spinal support compared to other chairs. Mesh is rigid and durable, although some users tend to find soft meshes to be saggy and hard one’s to be uncomfortable

Fabric:

guide to buying office chair

Commercial grade fabric features a durable wave designed to withstand long hours of sitting. Fabric chairs give a comfortable and cozy feeling, and it comes cheaper than other alternatives. Light stains are easier to clean, but they fade under the sunlight quickly. Also, they absorb strong smells and are harder to disinfect.

Bases

The strength of a chair to a large extent depends on the type of base it’s on, and if you want a sturdy chair good for people of any shape or weight, you must know the difference between various types of bases. 

Nylon:

guide to buying office chair

Nylon bases are quite common. It’s quite strong and durable for the price it comes in. Since Nylon is easily formable, it comes in various shapes and sizes. They are good abrasion and fatigue resistant. 

Metal:

guide to buying office chair

Metal bases are usually very durable, and they come at a premium. Metal bases allow for attractive coating and plating, and they add a more refined flavor to your chair. These bases can withstand much more weight, up to 400 lbs. and upwards

 

Steel:

guide to buying office chair

Steel bases are the strongest. Designed to withstand heavy weight, they are perfect for long hours and for rough use. Most big and tall chairs use a steel base, owing to their stronger tensile strength and durability. Steel bases give a more refined look as well, and they cost more than Nylon bases

Tilting

Reclining : Chairs with reclining action allow you to tilt back and forth. Good chairs have this mechanism, which reduces pressure from your muscles and lower back. This mechanism allows you to relax, and reduces strain on your back. Chairs usually have two type of tilts. One pivots from the centre point under the seat, making your feet come off as you recline. In another one, your foot lift is not as much, allowing you to keep your feet and support on the ground.

Tilt Limiter: A lever that locks your chair and prevents it from reclining. This can help you in balancing. 

Armrest Options

The two main options of armrests available are

T-Arm: As the name suggests, T-arm is shaped like a T and is attached under the seat of the chair. The post of a T-arm shaped armrest is perpendicular to the base, and usually height adjustability comes with such type of armrests, i.e, you can move it upper or lower

guide to buying office chair

Loop Arm: A loop-armest is much like a T-Armrest, only difference being it forms a complete circle. These armrests are more comfortable, and they usually have more spacing for padding. You can rest your arm as you recline, giving you more support

guide to buying office chair

What to consider when it comes to armrests?

Height Adjustability: One of the most important things to consider for armrests is whether they come with height adjustability. This allows the armrest to be compatible with users of different heights. Various users prefer various ways of keeping their forearms, and if you are someone who constantly has to tweak their workspace and change positions to reduce fatigue, you should consider raising or lowering armrests, for which height adjustability is essential

Width Adjustable: There are armrests whose distance from the center of the chair can be customized, moving it closer or further. This makes this armrest suitable for people of different weights and body sizes, and you can customize as you want , according to your mood.

Rotating Armrests: Some armrests have the option to slide forward/backward, and inward/outward as well. The arm pads may rotate in and out , according to the user’s choice. 

Seat Dimensions

Height : Good chairs come with height adjustability. Height adjustability allows a chair to be compatible with people of all weight, height and size range. Ideally, a seat height of 16-21 inches usually works for most people. This height implies that the user’s feet is flat on the floor, with proper posture

Seat width and depth : The standard for good chairs is 17-20 inches of width, this usually is enough for most people of various weight ranges. Depth less than 16 inches are ideal for shorter people, keeping their feet on the floor and support stable. The forward as well as the backward tilt is adjustable in good chairs.

Mobility

Carpet Casters:

These wheels are made of plastic, and as the name suggests, is mostly used for carpets. These are not suitable for wood or tile floors.

Hard Floor Casters:

guide to buying office chair

These wheels have a coating of rubber on the outside. The frictionless surface doesn’t scratch wood or tile, so it is ideal for them

Braking Casters:

guide to buying office chair

These wheels have an automatic locking mechanism, locking in place when you are away from your chair. They remain smooth and do not lock when you sit on it.

Lumbar Support

Sitting in an office chair for prolonged hours can increase lower back pain, because the disks situated in our lumbar region have to go through 3 times more stress compared to when standing. That is why it is imperative to choose a chair with good lumbar support. The lower portion of our spine curves inward towards our belly. A lumbar back support fills the gap between spine and seat, supporting that inward curve. That is why, our spine has more support and can release stress more easily. 

With lumbar support, it becomes hard for our lower back to maintain the proper posture in itself. And overtime, this causes great damage. 

Good chairs often come with a adjustable back support, so the user can modify it, raising it or lowering it as they want.The seatback can be positioned according to the user’s lumbar region

Curved cushions for lumbar rolls can be used as back support as well, although we recommend getting a chair with adjustable fixed lumbar support

Miscellaneous

 Headrest: Oftentimes chairs come with a headrest option as well. You can rest your head if you want, and this helps reduce strain from your shoulders. Go for a chair whose headrest is adjustable, and can be taken off if need be. 

Guide to buying office chair

Waterfall seat crust: Basically, the seat-end forms a semi-circular waterfall like pattern. This helps reduce strain from your thighs, and is more relaxing compared to chairs with flat surfaces

Guide to buying office chair

Pneumatic Cylinder:

With the push of a button, you can raise your chair up and down due to this gas filled apparatus. This reduces the effort it takes to raise your chair

Guide to buying office chair

Environment

Ofcourse, you need to consider the environment of your workspace before buying a chair. You need to buy something that matches the aesthetics of the place. And we generally recommend sombre colours. Avoid flashy and brazen colours, but that does not mean choosing something utterly devoid of life. Choose a chair that signals professionalism, and respect. A lot depends just on the chair we sit on, and so we need to be careful in deciding. 

Guarantee

Buy chairs from manufacturers who offer proper guarantee and warranty on the chair. A good manufacturer should have money-back offer as well, in case you don’t like the chair

2 thoughts on “The ultimate guide to buying office chair”

  1. Pingback: A guide to the right office chair for back pain - ssblogs.org

  2. Pingback: All the Types of Chair for Office and Their Uses - ssblogs.org

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.