What to Look for in an Office Chair [6 Things to Check Before You Buy]

If you have a home office that needs seating and you want to sit comfortably at a desk or have to furnish a workspace to comfortably write, read, or think, you will want an office chair. However, have you ever wondered what you need to look for in an office chair? With so many different types available, it may be challenging to settle on the right one for your needs. We did the research to make your search for an office chair a breeze!

When seeking an office chair, you should consider the following criteria before making a decision.

  1. Construction material
  2. Adjustable components
  3. Performance and Comfort 
  4. Weight Maximum
  5. Style and Design
  6. Budget 

If you know what to look for when selecting the best office chair for your home and lifestyle, you will feel more confident and satisfied with your new furniture. Delve into the world of office chairs and read on!

Gaming chair for your home office, What to Look for in an Office Chair [6 Things to Check Before You Buy]

Office Chairs: Balancing Function, Style, and Boosting Productivity

Compared to a wingback armchair for a cozy nook or bedroom, or an oversized chair for a living room, office chairs are a bit more practical than casual. However, you can scoop up an office chair that is budget-friendly, comfortable and allows you to focus on the task at hand. Whether you love playing video games, work remotely in your home office, or need a workspace at home, an office chair is a necessity. Let’s take an in-depth look at what an office chair should have and how it impacts your seating experience.

Construction Material

It is essential to consider the type of construction material used to form your office chair. Different types of material may offer desirable qualities like being easy to clean, resistant to scratching, increased breathability, and add to comfort level. The typical examples of materials used for office chairs include the following.

  • Woven or knitted fabric made from natural or synthetic fibers
  • Vinyl, which looks similar to leather and is easy to clean
  • Leather, which can be expensive, but makes for a classic and professional looking chair
  • Mesh, which is ideal for comfort and maximizing air circulation and breathability
  • Faux leather is an inexpensive option instead of genuine leather and may be resistant to flame and bacteria.

Overall, the construction material used will impact the cost, maintenance, and the comfort level of your chair. Choose wisely based on your budget and desired aesthetics.

Adjustable Components

Spending a lot of time in an office chair can cause a lot of stress on your back, neck, seat, and may lead to health problems. It is vital to select an office chair with an ergonomic design for the seat and back, as well as to have adjustable components. Look for armrests that can be moved into various positions or removed, a tilting back chair, a swiveling seat, and the ability to lock parts into place to maximize support and comfort for your posture.

Performance and Comfort 

A must-have quality for an office chair is that it has to be comfortable to sit in for a long time and allow one to sit down for hours with minimal discomfort. Chairs made with mesh may be cooler to sit in versus leather or vinyl. Office chairs with a padded seat, armrests, and a neck pillow helps support proper posture and reduce strain and stress while sitting. An office chair with an ergonomic design is ideal for a high-performance and comfortable office chair.

Weight Maximum

An inexpensive office chair made of plastic or vinyl might not offer the amount of support needed for larger or heavier body types. Go for longevity and an office chair with durable construction that can withstand up to 300 or 400lbs. For reliable seating.

Style and Design

An office chair may have a high back, neck pillow, footrest, come in a neutral color, or include armrests. Depending on your sense of style and the look and feel of your office space, choose your chair wisely based on function and aesthetics. An industrial office space deserves a chair in black vinyl, leather, or faux leather with metal accents. A windowless office space may look better with a uniquely colored office chair to add visual movement and make the area more comfortable. Make a statement with the design and style of your office chair.

Budget

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for an office chair, and even if you are on a tight budget when choosing office furniture, you can still find something attractive and quality.  Consider scooping up a more expensive, high-performing office chair during the fall season when students return to school, and there are plenty of sales. A cheap chair may work for a little while, but it can be expensive, replacing office chairs frequently.

Now that you have learned some details to consider before purchasing an office chair let’s look at a few more points of interest.

What Type of Office Chair is Best?

The best type of office chair has adjustable arms, rolling casters or wheels, a swiveling chair, and an ergonomic seat and back. If you plan on sitting in an office chair for extended periods, you should look for an office chair with a footrest and padded seat. An office chair should allow for plenty of air circulation to reduce sweating and heat buildup and allow for smooth movement around the office.

Whatever office chair you settle on should offer maximum comfort, support healthy posture, and reduce ill health effects from sitting. Look for office chairs made from mesh, leather, or vinyl for longevity and durability. Depending on the weight requirements, choose an adjustable high-back chair that can hold up to 300 lbs. comfortably without degrading in quality and performance. Remember also to take breaks as needed to reduce stress on your body and improve blood circulation and posture.

Check out this adjustable ergonomic office chair on Amazon.

Check out this stylish and space-saving adjustable office chair on Amazon.

Is it Better to Have an Office Chair With or Without Arms?

Deciding on an office chair with or without arms can present quite the dilemma. However, you should consider that both styles have their benefits and challenges. If you desire fewer obstructions and want to be able to move your upper body more freely, it may be better to have an armless office chair. The arms of a chair can make a seat feel more rigid, inflexible, and can put a distance between you and your desk. An armless office chair is useful for sitting and working in small bursts versus long hours.

If you don’t have a comfortable place to put your arms when working or sitting in an office chair, you may want to select a chair with arms. An office chair with fully adjustable and padded armrests provides welcome support when arms, wrists, and hands are at rest. Anyone who is sitting for a lengthy period in an office chair may want to choose an office chair with armrests to help them get in and out of their seat, support their posture and take additional pressure off of the body when changing position or being stationary.

Check out this versatile armless office chair on Amazon.

Check out this performance office chair with adjustable armrests on Amazon.

Are Gaming Chairs Good for Office?

Gaming chairs are perhaps one of the most expensive furniture investments someone may make, but it is well worth the cost. In addition to coming with a host of unique features and an ergonomic design that is lacking in the average office chair, a gaming chair creates an elevated seating experience in an office. If your office also doubles as your sanctuary or thinktank lair where you will spend plenty of hours, opt for a high-performance gaming chair.

Check out this stylish leather gaming chair on Amazon.

Check out this supportive faux leather gaming chair or Amazon.

Should I Get a Gaming Chair or Office Chair?

Gaming chairs provide the ultimate in seating comfort so gamers can focus on killing zombies, navigating puzzles, and keeping their head in the game without distraction. If you are looking for an executive-level experience from an office chair, go for a gaming chair instead of traditional office seating. Most gaming chairs come with lumbar support, a more extensive range of recline for the back, footrests, adjustable arms, and durable construction.

An office chair is a better option for someone who doesn’t require a lot of features, wants to save space, and is on a modest budget. Most traditional office chairs come with a fixed back or one that has a narrow range for adjustments, and non-adjustable armrests. Also, a gaming chair may come in a design or style that isn’t conservative or office-friendly, compared to an office chair with a clean, straightforward design.

Check out this heavy-duty gaming chair on Amazon.

Should Arms Rest on Desk While Typing?

If you want to reduce strain and stress on your arms, it is better to rest them as needed on the armrests of an office chair when typing. You want to avoid resting your arms on a desk while typing and hold your wrists in a natural position with your elbows open at a 90-degree angle. Practicing good habits that encourage healthy posture and allow you to sit and type on a keyboard comfortably should be paramount. Make sure your office chair is set at a height so the armrests can slide under the desk when not in use.

Avoid overextending your body and causing inflammation in your hands, wrists, back, and neck from sitting in an unnatural or uncomfortable position when typing. Only the heel of your palm should touch the desk or bottom of a keyboard, which reduces strain on the wrists. Choose a quality office chair that gives you plenty of support, take breaks as needed, and don’t rest your arms on the desk while typing. 

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