Whether working remotely or in the office, you’re likely to spend most of your day sitting in an office chair. In fact, we bet you’re sitting in one right now.
Chair quality and design features make a substantial difference in your comfort throughout the day, affecting productivity.
There are two scenarios:
- Your desk chair is comfortable and supportive, making you less likely to be distracted by your physical set-up as you work.
- Your chair does not support your body, is incorrectly assembled, or cannot be adjusted. You will likely spend most of the day finding a comfortable position to work in, feeling frustrated and distracted.
Whilst they can be costly, high-quality office chairs are an investment for any business. Read on to uncover the costs and features of our top recommended office chairs.
Typical Office Chair Price.
Office chairs range in price from $50 to $2000 (yes, you read that right). Low-cost chairs have fewer features and less support, while higher-priced ergonomic chairs come with all the bells and whistles and are genuinely ergonomic.
When it comes to price, there are a few contributing factors:
- Ergonomic features.
- Design and aesthetics.
(Related: Top 5 Benefits Of Ergonomic Office Chairs).
Features That Affect The Price.
Engineers at the top furniture manufacturers spend significant time studying the needs of today’s office workers. This knowledge dramatically affects the price of high-end options.
When weighing up chair options, consider the following:
- The build quality and how long the chair will last you.
- Materials (like leather, vinyl, or mesh).
- Shipping costs.
- Assembly (You’ll pay more for a pre-assembled chair versus one you assemble yourself).
Which Material Of Office Chair Should I Choose?
Many modern office chairs come across as functional art pieces thanks to outstanding craftsmanship and stylistic design choices.
The latest high-tech textiles also improve the durability of new office chairs.
When it comes to material, consider the following:
- Textiles: Some chairs have memory foam or body-contouring seats atop strong aluminium foundations. Higher durability often means higher cost.
- Seams: A poorly structured chair will have crooked components or elements that don’t secure properly.
- Attachment points: Analyse how the wheels, base, and other attachments are screwed in and if they’re stable.
- Wheels and armrests: Minor components, such as wheel quality, will affect the durability and longevity of the chair just as much as textiles.
Many chairs now offer environmentally conscious, natural materials like bamboo for sustainability and comfort. These options are more expensive due to their added recyclable processes and sustainable packaging choices.
(Related: What Are The Most Comfortable Office Chairs?)
1. Genuine Leather Office Chairs.
Most leather office chairs have price tags over $1000, and it’s easy to understand why.
If you’d prefer leather, keep in mind the following:
- Leather computer chairs tend to have fewer features because of the high price tag.
- You can expect your genuine leather chair to last for many years, often longer than chairs made from other materials.
- Leather has a substantial environmental impact. Consider opting for a faux-leather option to achieve the same look and feel.
Read here to explore our recommendations for leather chairs.
2. Mesh Office Chairs.
A standard option in co-working and office spaces is mesh chairs. The famous Herman Miller Aeron regularly sells out due to its popularity, comfort, and style.
Mesh chairs offer:
- Affordable price tags.
- Modern aesthetic.
The downside is they can be less supportive and, at times, quite stiff. We recommend choosing stretchy mesh that contours to the body and won’t cause aches and pains.
Many chairs have mesh backs, which are more supportive than mesh seats. Manufacturers also commonly combine mesh with vinyl or leather.
The average price for mesh chairs ranges from $120 to $1,800.
3. Vinyl or Polyurethane Leather Desk Chairs.
As mentioned above, manufacturers often cover office chairs with vinyl to resemble leather.
These chairs offer an affordable option for a leather look and feel.
However, keep in mind:
- Whilst genuine leather can last for decades, vinyl or faux leather chairs will begin flaking.
- Factors like perfume, spilt food or drink, and sweat can damage the vinyl.
The average price for vinyl chairs ranges from $200 to $800.
Vinyl home office chair options are often marketed as “antimicrobial”, including a protective layer applied to the chair’s surface. An additional benefit to these for large offices is that they are easy to clean.
What Adjustability Features Should Ergonomic Chairs Have?
Office chair prices are greatly affected by levels of adjustability and ergonomic design.
It can be tempting to skimp on some features for the price, but keep in mind that when you’re spending up to 50 hours a week in your chair, these adjustability features can protect you from injury and discomfort.
For us, the non-negotiable features of ergonomic office chairs are:
The ability to adjust the height of the chair is crucial.
By adjusting the chair to suit you, you:
- Improve the angle at which you view the computer screen.
- Support your legs and feet to be in the correct position on the floor.
- Allow your arms a comfortable resting place on the desk.
Many chairs have levers that let you raise or lower the chair. When you find the ideal height, you should be able to lock your chair into place.
2. Armrest Height.
The height of the armrest will also assist with comfort and productivity. Adjustable armrests lift and lower, and some have padding that pivots in and out.
You may only want to sit upright for parts of the day and stand the rest. Experts recommend alternating between both for the best health outcomes.
A headrest is an under-rated feature.
A typical ergonomic office chair has adjustable headrests that pivot, raise, and lower for neck support. When spending long hours in a chair, the ability to rest your head and take pressure off the neck and shoulders is a must.
4. Seat Depth.
Chairs at a higher price point often have adjustable seats that allow you to move the base to support your spine’s natural curvature.
You should be seated with your bottom and lower spine in the very back of the chair for the best alignment.
We recommend looking for a chair with tilting features, too, which will enable you to lean back and relax or stretch periodically.
5. Lumbar Support.
A typical ergonomic chair (even those with lower prices) offers lumbar and back support to protect the low back.
Alternatively, you can invest in a lumbar support cushion. These come in various styles, shapes, and materials and range from as little as $45 to $200.
Should I Choose An Executive Office Chair?
You don’t have to be an executive or a senior leader to sit in executive office chairs. An executive office chair is one that often has a high backrest that supports the head, neck, and shoulders. They may also have a contoured seat that supports the lower back and encourages good posture.
Many executive chairs feature adjustable armrests, allowing the user to adjust the height and width of the armrests to fit their body.
For that reason, they provide great ergonomic support and make the perfect desk chair, regardless of whether you’re fitting out your home office or head office.
How Long Should Office Chair Warranty Be?
Most office chairs, costly ones, will be sold with a warranty.
The best and most expensive offer lifetime warranties. It’s common for many office chairs to include a 30-day guarantee. However, some offer 1-2 year warranty periods.
Warranties provide a variety of benefits. These include:
- The replacement of parts that are damaged or misused.
- The replacement of the entire chair in the event it breaks or deteriorates.
You may have to complete a claim online to process your warranty or visit the same store you purchased the chair.
Shipping And Assembly.
Unless you shop in-store, you’ll pay to ship your office chair to your home or the new office.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Damages: Ensure the chosen brand covers replacement for any breakages that occur in transit
- Assembly: Most pre-assembled chairs are expensive ($500+) due to the extra space they take up in trucks to ship. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring an Airtasker to set up your chair.
- Weight: Some shipping carriers calculate shipping costs on weight, which can drive prices up for chairs with heavy aluminium or sturdy features and bases.
Regarding bulk orders (say, when setting up a new office space), shipping costs can be negotiated with the seller so that you do not pay individual shipping on every chair, and they are all delivered in bulk.
Choosing The Right Office Furniture.
There is a range of supportive office chair options for you to explore, and most of them look great in any office. Prices can vary drastically depending on if you choose a basic option, all the way to the designer end of the spectrum.
When purchasing your office chair, keep in mind the chair’s offerings:
- Materials used.