Sihoo Doro S300 Office Chair Review: The Aeron Killer?

Possibly the best $1,000 office chair on sale in Australia today.

4.8
(31)

(31 votes, average: 4.8 out of 5)


Last updated: 29th May 2024

sihoo s300 office chair review

Last updated: 29th May 2024

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Confession time. I’ve reviewed so many office chairs that I no longer get excited about them. A couple of years ago, I’d get giddy when a new box arrived at my doorstep.

These days, ergonomic office chairs blend into an ocean of bland, plasticky sameness. To me at least, they look more similar than different, and above the $800 price point, tend to have nearly identical features.

Does this make me jaded? Or more objective?

You decide, but when the (awkwardly named) Sihoo Doro S300 arrived, I was fully expecting a YABEC (Yet Another Boring Ergonomic Chair), wrapped in a thick layer of polished marketing platitudes, toting its “revolutionary” features.

The closer I looked, the more I realised how wrong I was.

ProsCons
Premium Build. High-end materials and rock-solid build quality.Chrome Detailing. You’ll either love it or hate it.
Exceptional Ergonomic Support. Excellent armrests and seat pan. The backrest has a superb recline motion.Integrated Headrest. Dealbreaker for people who want a real headrest.
Comfort. A huge range of adjustments means you will find an ideal sitting position.A Bit Small For Taller Users. People above 6″4 may want a deeper and taller seat pan.

Reasons To Buy The Sihoo Doro S300.

While not perfect or cheap (see my criticisms below), the Sihoo Doro S300 punches well above its weight in terms of comfort and ergonomics.

1. Striking Design & Superb Build Quality.

Above: The chrome exoskeleton is striking but may not be to everyone’s taste.

The S300 is an attractive beast. A curvaceous backrest and an Aeron-inspired seat (more about that shortly) combine with minimalist controls to create an elegant, somewhat industrial, space-age look.

It’s also much prettier in the flesh than in the company’s stock photos.

I’m not a big fan of the chrome-plated backrest spine and base (pure black would have been better), but this is a subjective opinion that I’m sure many will disagree with.

Regardless, the Doro S300 exudes a premium aesthetic. I love design details like the exposed piston that controls lumbar pressure and the visible springs under the seat.

Build quality doesn’t disappoint, either.

Nothing rattles.

Nothing feels cheap to the touch.

Everything that clicks into place does so with a satisfying, expensive sound.

The Sihoo Doro S300 is built to last and withstand a lot of abuse.

By the way, the velvet-infused mesh is the best I’ve ever sat on.

I dislike rubbery, cheap office chair mesh that looks like an Officeworks special and leaves sweaty imprints on bare skin.

Above: The footrest is surprisingly useful when reclining. Note the armrests’ ability to tilt up.

Elastic and soft, Doro S300’s mesh does none of those things – and even surpasses the excellent fabric-infused mesh of my long-time favourite mid-range office chair, the Ergotune Supreme.

(A direct comparison with the Supreme isn’t entirely fair, as the Sihoo is considerably more expensive).

But a comparison with a more upmarket product – the venerable Herman Miller Aeron – is much more appropriate.

I’ll even go out on a limb and say that Sihoo’s designers used the Aeron as a key source of inspiration.

2. Excellent Seat Pan And Armrests.

Above: Thin side edges hold you in place while the generous waterfall front ensures your legs don’t go numb.

The Aeron’s influence is particularly evident in the S300’s seat pan and armrest design.

Both chairs have similar bucket seats with hard frames and waterfall edges.

But while the Aeron’s frame is often criticised for cutting off leg circulation, the Sihoo’s is unlikely to do so due to its thinner profile and more curvy shape.

Expert Tip.

That said, ergonomic rebels who like to sit cross-legged may struggle to be comfortable, as the bucket’s sides will press into their thighs.

The depth of the seat pan is adjustable, and with the pan fully forward, there’s no gap between it and the backrest.

Above: No gap between the backrest and the seat pan for you to fall through.

In fact, there is so much overlap between the two that I wonder why designers didn’t allow the seat to move further forward.

The S300 will offer plenty of under-thigh support to short to medium-sized folks, but users above 6″4 may wish for more seat pan depth.

Important!

The frame is deliberately designed to stay rigid and inflexible. This is a deliberate design choice that – again – echoes that of the Aeron. While chairs like the Steelcase Leap flex and mould to your body, rigid-framed chairs like the S300 hold you in an ergonomic position.

What’s the difference? As a rough rule of thumb, one is a chair you sit on, while the other is a chair you sit in.

As someone who has used rigid and flexible chairs, I have traditionally liked the latter, but in recent years, I have developed a mild preference for the former.

Maybe I’m getting older? Either way, it’s a very subjective issue, and not one that’s easy to convey using words on a page.

If you’re unsure, visit a shop that will let you compare an Aeron and a Leap side-by-side.

Let’s move on to Doro S300’s best feature – the armrests.

Above: Pads look great and offer plenty of padding

Second only to the Steelcase Gesture, they articulate in all directions and surprise with a novel ability to tilt up, pivot in and pivot out.

The pivoting function is great for using hand-held devices as it allows you to form a little table for your forearms.

Moreover, movement in every direction feels natural and doesn’t require pressing any buttons.

The armpads also look like they were lifted straight from an Aeron, although they look more modern. Soft yet durable, they’re outstanding.

Pressing your elbow into them won’t irritate the skin, and the 6D adjustment surprises with its ability to tilt up in addition to all the usual directions.

The pivoting function seemed excessive (read: over-engineered) at first, but I soon realised how handy it is for using mobile devices.

Above: You can pivot both arms to create a mini-table for your forearms and doom-scroll to your heart’s content.

3. Superb Lumbar Support.

Above: Lovers of gentle, progressive lumbar support will love the Sihoo Doro S300.

The dual pad design avoids putting pressure directly on the spine and instead spreads the pressure throughout the meaty parts of the lumbar area.

You get the feeling of being supported rather than being stabbed in the back.

Even at its firmest setting, it doesn’t poke or prod you.

No height adjustment means you can’t target a specific area of your back, but that’s not the intended function of this lumbar system.

4. Recline Function.

I’ve seen other reviewers complain that the S300 doesn’t lock in a reclined position.

They’re missing the point.

Cheap chairs with poor-quality tilting mechanisms do indeed have locking functions, but the S300’s “Anti-Gravity Mechanism” is simply a weight-sensitive recline that mimics the function of high-end chairs like the Humascale Freedom and the Herman Miller Cosm.

Important!

The big idea is to encourage movement, and for the chair to stop at any angle without needing to be locked into place.

The friction knob controls the amount of friction that the chair will exert back at you, and this allows people of different weights to always feel “weightless”.

Does it work?

Yes, mostly.

I’m quite heavy (98kg) and wish I could dial in slightly more friction, as the chair has a slight proclivity to recline more than I want. Lighter people won’t find this to be an issue.

In my opinion, this system is far superior.

Rather than fishing under the chair for controls a few times per day, I leave the recline fully open and friction knob on maximum setting, letting my body weight dial in the precise amount of tilt I need.

By the way, this type of recline also works best in boardrooms and meeting rooms.

If you’ve ever endured the pain of waiting 5 minutes at the start of each meeting while everyone fidgets and adjusts their damn chair, you’ll know exactly why.

Sihoo Doro S300’s recline feel itself is outstanding.

Again, it’s very similar to the Aeron’s, with armrests that travel back and a seat pan that rocks back.

Your feet stay firmly on the ground but your arms stay supported. Magic.

5. Huge Range Of Adjustments.

Above: All controls are neatly organised on one side of the chair, adding to the minimalist, clean look.

I’ve already alluded to some of these above, but let me provide more detail.

The S300 will adjust to just about any body type. You get:

  • Seat depth and height
  • Seat back height.
  • Recline with a 3-position tilt limiter and tension adjustment.
  • 6D armrests.
  • Lumbar tension.

Unfortunately, the tallest people will want more height, and die-hard fans of adjustable headrests will also find the S300s to be a sticking point (see “cons” below).

Important!

An adjustable headrest is great for gamers and people who nap in office chairs. I do neither of those things and find adjustable headrests ugly, so S300’s integrated one is perfect.

Reasons To Avoid The Sihoo Doro S300.

Let’s dig at the S300 a bit more, shall we?

My first gripe is personal. I’m almost 2 meters tall and wish the Sihoo did more to accommodate taller people.

The S300’s maximum seat pan height of 53cm is roughly on par with industry standards and will cover 95% of users.

The Ergotune Supreme, meanwhile, offers an option to increase the height to 57cm via a gas piston upgrade at checkout.

That is an excellent feature that I wish more chair manufacturers offered.

Speaking of the seat pan, its depth adjustment mechanism requires you to unlock the lever, then throw your hips forward to push the pan into required position.

It’s not a classy look, especially if Sally from the marketing department is watching, and a simple knob that moves the seat pan would have been better.

The integrated headrest isn’t a real headrest, and will disappoint gamers and people who nap in their chairs. The curvy top edge of the backrest is sculpted into a very attractive shape but is not compatible with 3rd party headrests.

Last but not least, the S300 doesn’t feature forward tilt adjustment. This isn’t a deal-breaker at all, but would have been a nice surprise.

How The Sihoo Doro S300 Stacks Up.

The Sihoo Doro S300 is the Lexus of ergonomic office chairs. It’s refined, polite, comfortable and loaded with features. Regardless, many people may be tempted by a Mercedes (I mean, a Steelcase or a Herman Miller) just because of the badge.

Adjustments5/5
Comfort5/5
Aesthetics4.5/5
Build Quality & Warranty4.5/5
Cost5/5
OVERALL4.8/5

My Verdict On The Sihoo Doro S300 Chair.

What would happen if the Herman Miller Aeron, the Humanscale Freedom and the Steelcase Gesture had a love child?

It would be the Sihoo Doro S300.

It would inherit its armrests from the Gesture, its seat pan from the Aeron and the recline mechanism from the Freedom.

But far from being a Frankenstein of loosely assembled body parts, the Doro S300 surprises with outstanding build quality, striking design and excellent ergonomic features.

I didn’t expect to like this chair as much as I did.

But whether you buy it for your office depends on how you view its price and status signalling powers.

Is it a 30% more expensive version of a mid-range direct-to-consumer chair like the Ergotune Supreme?

Or is it a luxury chair that retails for 30% of the Herman Miller Aeron?

For people who care about quality more than they do about badge snobbery, the second answer is the correct one.

Steven

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>