Do you need a new office chair for the new year? I do. My budget Office Max special has armrests that bump into my pullout keyboard tray. And the chair’s leather (okay, leatherette) upholstery is peeling off. Last July, graphic designer Jason Santa Maria asked his […]

Do you need a new office chair for the new year? I do. My budget Office Max special has armrests that bump into my pullout keyboard tray. And the chair’s leather (okay, leatherette) upholstery is peeling off.

Last July, graphic designer Jason Santa Maria asked his blog readers for office chair recommendations, before buying a Humanscale Freedom. That chair can run almost $800. Wow.

Sprezzatura chairJason’s readers recommended a variety of chairs including the Steelcase Leap, Herman Miller Mirra, and, of course, the Aeron.

I’m eying a red Sprezzatura chair from Levenger to replace my old chair. I’ll get it without arms, though, to avoid that clash of armrest against keyboard tray. I like that it’s streamlined, so it won’t dominate my small home office.

Are you happy with your office chair, or do you wish for something better? Share your office chair recommendations and experiences here.

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By Anne Zelenka

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  1. I bought the same Humanscale Freedom chair that Jason bought. What a mistake. I used to have an Aeron chair and I’m sorry I ever switched. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get rid of my Humanscale chair and buy another Aeron. I strongly prefer it.

  2. I bought a Steelcase Think earlier this month. One of the things that got me to try them – after spending about two days reading about high-end chairs on the web – is that they will let you test-sit the chair for a month before they charge your credit card. I didn’t go for the absolute high end, so I only (only?) spent about $700 on it.

    It is not the most comfortable chair I have ever used in terms of lulling me to sleep; indeed, being on the ectomorph end of the scale I often feel that the rather stiff spring to the chair back is trying to fling me right out and over my desk. But I’ve noticed something interesting: since switching, my nightly bout of back pain is gone. That’s enough to make me keep it; I’ll swap cushy comfort for pain-free nights any time.

    The arms on the Think retract when you butt up against the keyboard tray or desk, by the way.

  3. I’ve been sitting on the same Aeron for the last 7 years. Worth every penny.

  4. I at one time worked for a company that bought everyone there choice of either the Mirra or the Aeron. I ended up choosing the Mirra because it was a more flexible chair. I had that chair for about a year before I quit the company, and honestly, it was difficult to leave that chair, as I knew I would never be willing to pay that much money for a chair at my new company where I work from home.

    You will not be disappointed with the Mirra if you decide to buy it. Yes, the price is outrageous, but if you work from home it is worth spoiling yourself here.

    I strongly recommend the Mirra.

  5. Michael R. Bernstein Monday, December 31, 2007

    AlexG: Me too! In that time I’ve had to use the warranty twice to replace the lumbar support. Five more years to go before the warranty runs out…

  6. I have the Aeron for a couple of years and very happy to recommend it. However cannot test it to anything comparable!


  7. Aeron for me too – very comfy and a design classic :)

  8. Go with the Levenger Sprezzatura, but get the armrest. Order the lapdesk if you do a lot of work on the laptop. This is a good combination, very comfortable. Levenger quality, as you know, is hard to beat. Oh yea, get the lapdesk stand, very convenient.

  9. I was in an office that provided your typical $80 chairs from Staples or Ikea… Crap. My back and neck bothered me… a lot.

    Bought the Steelcase Leap, tuned all the adjustments on it, back problems completely gone.

    You’re going to sit in a chair to do work for > 40 hours a week, then it’s ridiculous to complain about the price of a chair. Do your back a favor. It deserves to be taken good care of.

    If you need some rational for spending $700-800 on a chair, think of it differently… it’s a one-time purchase, and it will last you many years… Let’s say 8 years… Is it worth spending $100 a year to keep your spine happy and healthy? I think so.

    Amongst other ergonomic choices that are no-brainers… make sure you have a good quality monitor. Spend the extra $100 or so to make sure that it’s sharp… My business partner had a CRT that was “fuzzy”. He complained about it, constantly tried to tune it to get a sharper image and he complained for months of eye-strain and headaches. He ignored my constant nagging that he spend $259 on a decent LCD display. Eventually, one day I just bought the damn thing without him knowing it. We replaced his monitor. He got more screen real estate with the new monitor. It was sharp. His eye strain and headaches disappeared.

    It’s amazing to me how sometimes cheap can completely override common sense.

  10. I’ve been eyeballing the Air Grid Space Chair by Office Star. Looks like it’s on sale today and tomorrow from Cosco ( link to sale ).
    Office Star Air Grid Series


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