Office chairs are an important necessity to have in an office or meeting space. These items not only help to make sitting for long periods of time comfortable, but they usually come with many features as well, especially if they are a little pricey. Below you’ll discover more about office chairs and some important things to consider when shopping for one. You’ll also find some of the most expensive options available to invest in if you’re serious about finding a durable and versatile chair for your office.
What is an Office Chair?
While it might seem obvious as to what an office chair is, this item is actually very different compared to traditional chairs. Mainly used for an office, this chair is designed to help make moving around and working in an office a bit easier. Its height can usually be adjusted and it tends to be made with soft materials, such as foam, to help keep you comfortable when sitting in it. Most office chairs also use wheels on the bottom so you easily move around your office without using much effort.
The Anatomy of an Office Chair
Because office chairs are designed for purposes different from traditional chairs, they are constructed with unique parts.
The backrest is the tall structure that works to support your back when you sit in the chair. Many office chairs are designed with lumbar support in the backrest to help prevent you from slouching or having severe back pain later on. Office chair backrests are covered in various types of materials and can be constructed from things such as plastic, wood, or foam.
Most office chairs feature armrests on the side. Sometimes these features are adjustable so you can move them up or down according to your needs. Many armrests tend to be padded to help provide better comfort. Some will also have a special tilting ability to help keep your arms still when you’re writing or typing.
Seat Depth Adjuster
To help adjust the height of the seat, you can use the seat depth adjuster underneath the seat. This device can come in various styles depending on the type of chair you invest in. While most will use levers that pop out of the side of the chair, others will have small buttons you can press to adjust the height. To keep the chair in place at a certain height, you can release this lever or button which will then lock it in place.
On the bottom of the office chair is a base. This can be made from a large metal structure attached to wheels or one that has a solid wooden base. The chair base is an important function of the office chair as it supports the seat and backrest – two vital parts of the office chair.
Why are Certain Office Chairs Expensive?
It’s often wondered why certain office chairs are expensive while others aren’t. The reason for this is because of the features and construction of the chairs. Many pricey office chairs are made of durable fabric or leather which is usually handcrafted. These chairs also tend to have special lumbar support settings which can help to improve your posture when you sit in one and move around. Because of this, it makes their prices a little higher compared to similar models.
The Benefits of Using an Office Chair
Office chairs come with plenty of benefits. Below are some you’ll find with them.
It Can Reduce Back Pain
Many office chairs have the ability to help reduce and even prevent back pain. This is due not only to their comfortable design but the ability to help you improve your posture while sitting.
In addition to back pain, office chairs can help with encouraging circulation in your legs which can help to prevent them from feeling sore or tingly after a long day of work.
You’ll also discover that certain models feature a curved backrest. This is meant to help mimic the curvature of the spine to provide better back support when you sit in the chair. The curve will help to not only improve your posture, but prevent back strain after having sat in the chair for too long.
It Can Help You Look More Professional
Another great benefit of office chairs is that they can help to make an office look more professional. This is because an office chair can bring the design theme of the office space together more and even send a message to clients of what your office stands for. In other words, an office chair that matches your industry can help to show a unifying theme in your workspace.
They Come in Various Styles and Customization Options
You’ll also find that office chairs come in a variety of different styles. This means you’ll be able to find everything from elegant traditional models to compact trendy ones. So, no matter what your style or preference, you can be sure you’ll find one that matches it perfectly.
They are Durable
One of the main reasons many of these chairs are so expensive is that they are made with high-quality materials. This means they will last you for many years and can withstand a bit of wear and tear. Many are also designed with materials that won’t fade and become discolored after being left in sunny areas or sat on for a bit. Because of this, you can be sure that your investment in one will be well worth it.
What to Consider Before Investing in an Office Chair
Before you shop for an office chair to invest in, you’ll want to consider a few things. Below are some key aspects to keep in mind to ensure you find the right chair.
If There’s Adequate Lumbar Support
An important thing to consider when shopping for an office chair is if there’s adequate lumbar support. Lumbar support will help to prevent your spine from slouching which can not only create pressure in your back but hips and legs as well. Two main lumbar support areas to check out are your upper and lower back. A chair should ideally conform to the curvatures of your body to help better support these areas. Otherwise, you might find yourself with extreme back pain after sitting in a chair for too long.
The Materials it’s Made Of
While many of these expensive chairs are made with durable materials, some might not be. In fact, the price might be a reflection of the design rather than of its quality. Because of this, you’ll want to check the different materials it’s made of. Does the chair have a strong fabric or leather covering? Is the base made of heavy wood or rust-free aluminum? By considering things such as this, you can make sure you invest in a heavy-duty office chair.
The design of an office chair is just as important to check as its quality. You should consider the atmosphere of your office and look for a design that helps to display that theme well. For instance, if you’re situated in an industrial setting, check for a chair that uses industrial designs, such as metal and leather. On the other hand, if your office is more high-tech, you can consider using a chair that is eco-friendly and modern.
For some office chairs, you can customize the design yourself. This can range from choosing the material it’s made of, its colors, certain height features, and backrest/armrest options. While this can be very helpful for some, keep in mind that custom office chairs do tend to be a little pricey.
Another thing to consider is the price of an office chair. While these will be somewhat expensive if the chair doesn’t have features you need, the investment will have been for nothing. Instead, set a price range to help make sure you stay on budget and look carefully at the features each office chair has. This way, you’ll be sure to find one that works well for your needs without fear of breaking the bank.
The Importance of Lumbar Support
Lumbar support is a vital part of an office chair. When you sit in an office chair for long periods of time, it can encourage some problems. Not only can it cause you to feel sore and have problems with your circulation, but it can weaken your muscles and even sometimes cause drastic health issues like heart disease and diabetes. Because of this, lumbar support is an important component of office chairs.
This support is built into the backrest of the chair and causes this part of the chair to curve. This curvature helps to support your back while also providing comfort while you sit. It also works to keep your hips and pelvis in their natural position so as not to cause stress to them. Many office chairs implement both upper and lower back lumbar support features in their designs.
Types of Lumbar Support
You might be surprised to find that there are a few different types of lumbar support you can use.
Adjustable Lumbar Support
This type of lumbar support is exactly what its name implies – it’s adjustable. A chair with adjustable lumbar support will usually include a lever on the backrest so you can adjust it to your needs. If you plan to share your office chair, this type of support is ideal as each person can adjust the chair to their preferences.
Portable Lumbar Support
Portable lumbar support involves the office chair having a small pillow or similar piece that can be moved from chair to chair. You can place this portable piece on the bottom edge of the chair to help with supporting your back and hips. These can come either pre-filled, such as with a foam material, or one you can fill with air and adjust according to your daily needs.
Non-Adjustable Lumbar Support
This type of lumbar support is unable to be moved. Rather, the chair is one solid piece that has a naturally built curve in its backrest. While this type might provide you with more solid support, its built-in curve might not be right for some people and could cause discomfort.
The Priciest Office Chairs
The Xten is an incredibly expensive office chair designed by Italian luxury car designer company Pininfarina. The chair comes in color options such as black, red, and blue and features a unique Technogel cushion which works to conform around your body to help better support you when sitting in it. This cushion is also covered in Dynatec, a durable and stretchy fabric often used in the outfits for Olympic athletes. On the bottom of the chair is a metal base which features nylon wheels. The nylon material will help to make rolling around with it easier as well as prevent scratches if used on a hard surface.
Wegner Swivel Chair
The Wegner Swivel Chair was designed with a modern style but one that is comfortable to sit in. Constructed with a sturdy stainless steel frame, the top of the chair features a wooden rail. This rail goes around the edge of the chair and can be created with cherry, ash, or oak wood. The chair features a black cushion made with natural leather, although if used often this leather might end up collecting smudges. This chair is also meant to help improve your posture and be enjoyable to sit in making it a very ergonomic choice.
Aston Direction Chair
This sleek and ergonomic chair by Aston is made with a four-way swivel base allowing you to easily turn to different directions without problems. This polished aluminum base is able to rotate thanks to a spring built into the bottom of it which allows you to tilt and turn so you can move around and reach things when necessary. This chair features a tall back which comes in black, orange, and white color options. You can also have the type of material it’s made out of, such as leather, fabric, and faux leather, customized according to your preferences.
Ekornes Magic Chair
The Ekornes Magic Chair runs a few thousand dollars, but it’s considered to be one of the most comfortable chairs in the world. Made with a thick light grey leather seat and backrest, it features durable foam that works to conform around your body to help provide support and comfort. The backrest also has plenty of lumbar support to help ensure your back and hips don’t become tense from sitting in the chair for too long. This backrest also features an adjustable headrest on the top which can go up an extra four inches. On the bottom of this model is a metal base which features a sleek brown wood tint.
In addition to its sturdy design, it also comes with unique features. This chair has a GlideSystem built into it which helps to ensure that moving around with the chair is easy to do. It also has a BalanceAdapt feature which works to help you stay firm in the chair and not move around too much if you tilt it back.
Andrew Martin Carlotta Office Chair
The Andrew martin Carlotta Office Chair features an antique leather design which gives the chair a trendy faded look. The bottom of the chair features a cupped steel base which helps you to easily swivel the chair around. This leather chair is made with a comfortable padded filling although it doesn’t have armrests. On the back of the chair are thick leather straps to help keep the chair together while giving it a unique industrial look.
Herman Miller Embody Office Chair
The Herman Miller Embody Office Chair comes in a black or blue design and features many unique engineering techniques to help ensure everything works well and is comfortable when you sit in it. Its tall backrest helps to give even pressure distribution which is intended to stop back pain. It’s able to do this thanks to its adjustable feature which adheres to the natural curve of the spine. This backrest features four soft layers which also have a unique airflow mesh to help prevent sweating. The chair is also designed to have a floating effect which works to give your body even weight distribution which can help with circulation.
The sides of this chair feature padded armrests and it has five wheels attached to its base you can use to roll around on. Unlike some office chairs, these wheels work to move quietly so they don’t cause distractions or feel as if they are scratching the floor.
Steelcase Think Chair
The Steelcase Think Chair is designed to “think” when you sit in it. This will help the chair to fully adjust to your needs and provide adequate support. When using this chair you’ll find plenty of adjustable features, such as a weight sensor, seat lever, and height pivot. There’s also a comfort dial built into the bottom of it which allows you to change the reclining position and tension of the chair with four options.
This chair is made with eco-friendly materials which are coated in a translucent knit mesh giving the chair a unique 3D look. This mesh comes in over 14 different color options you can choose from, such as tangerine and coconut. There are also five wheels on the bottom of the chair which can help to make moving around on it easier.
Spectrum West Work Office Chair
The Spectrum West Work Office Chair is a very trendy and chic model. Made with a curving piece of polycast acrylic, this office chair is completely clear giving it a transparent look. This high-quality acrylic also makes the chair somewhat flexible so you can move around easily without it feeling like the chair is too hard or uncomfortable. In addition to its chic style, it also comes with many features, such as an adjustable height lever and swivel setting.
Steelcase Gesture Office Chair
The Steelcase Gesture Office Chair might come at a high price, but it’s made to last and has a variety of features. This chair is designed with a unique curve thanks to its 3D LiveBack feature which helps the chair to adhere to the nine different types of postures scientifically identified. The back and seat glide along with your body when you do certain movements, such as open a drawer or use a keyboard. The armrests also have a 360-degree feature which will make them tilt to help hold your arms steady when you reach for something. However, keep in mind this model doesn’t have a headrest.
Lisa has a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Arts. She is an experienced blogger who enjoys researching interesting facts, ideas, products, and other compelling concepts. In addition to writing, she likes photography and Photoshop.