New Year, New Office Chair?

26 Comments

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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26 Comments

James

Listen – the top ergonomic office chairs are aeron chair (of course), leap chair & freedom chair. The new kid on the block is the embody chair, also from the makers of the aeron. If you’re going to buy a top of the line ergonomic office chair & have the budget = ) – then pick from the top three listed. I was lucky enough to order 7 aeron chairs for my employees – a well-deserved upgrade from the $80 crappy staples chairs we sat on for 3 years! Believe me, buying an ergonomic office chair is well worth the price. If you’re curious how all of these chairs rank – you can check out ergonomic desk chair guide where you can find reviews to aeron, leap, freedom, embody, think, chadwick, etc etc etc! Yes, there are tons of ergonomic chairs out there, most we’ve never even heard of! Good luck.

Jim M

After doing some research and testing various chairs I went with the Freedom Chair. The best deal I found was at The Human Solution. See this Freedom Chair link. I called them and they gave me $150 off their website price.

Joe N.

I don’t think the Aeron chair is over rated at all! I bought mine at Herman Miller Seating. They had a great customer service staff and talked me through the entire buying process. I went with the fully loaded version, but the basic chair isn’t too expensive at $679. Happy hunting!

james

Aeron chair DEFINITELY! I know they can be kind of expensive, but if you go to preownedaerons.com you can find a really nice chair for really cheap. Great service too.

Dan

Here’s one which you all might consider The Verte chair from RFM.
This is a chair where the back adjusts to conform to the spine. The rep brought it by some weeks ago and I found it one of the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in (and I’ve been through ’em all). My floor sample is supposed to get here today (yay! We’ll see if it ever makes it to the floor!). Expensive, but if you have back problems, worth it!

Also try the CXO chair … VERY comfortable and adjustable. Priced about the same as the HM and HS chairs.

It’s not the glamour name of Herman Miller or Humanscale (although I do like the Freedom), but if you really want something great and willing to spend the money on it….

Sorry, not trying to do blatent plugs, but these really are alternatives to Herman Miller et al.

designerchairbargains

I find my office chair to be adequate. However a few years ago on a visit to an art store, I sat in an Aeron chair and fell in love. I have asked my boss to buy me this chair when I needed a chair for my desk. He took one look at the price and laughed in my face and said, “yeah right, dream on!”. Yeah, the Aeron is my dream chair…one day I will get one.

Office Chair UK

I often hear people say that chairs like the Aeron and Freedom Chair are highly over-rated. I strongly disagree – I say that they are just very successfully marketed. I run a business in the UK that sells some of the less well known ergonomic chairs like Global’s OBUSForme, Tract’s Corrigo and Office Chairman’s Physio 24/7. These chairs are arguably just as good as the Aeron and Freedom Chair, and heck they cost just as much. But the primary reason they are less well known is because they are not marketed as heavily. Still, the few people who stumble across these chairs from companies like ours reap the ergonomic benefits.

felix

I suggest talking to the people at http://www.officedesigns.com I bought a Aeron and then a Mirra from them and they have the most knowledgable people peroid! I researched for 6 months before I spent that kind of money and am very happy with both chairs after I took their advice. Got $50 off to boot!

Jacqueline

@Owen M – that looks like a great chair too (and they are from my home state of Michigan, which pleases me for some reason).

Jacqueline

I’ve been thinking about investing a good chair (right now I have the choice between your basic Staples special or the couch) – like MarkS said, your health should be a priority.

That said, both the Humanscale and the Aeron chairs seem to be equally highly regarded (they both made it to 3Luxe’s top three, for instance, although the Humanscale is more popular with voters – http://www.3luxe.com/category/Home_Office/Office_Chairs).

Personally, I prefer the design of the Aeron – but this is one arena where I am willing to sacrifice a few style points for comfort.

MarkS

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.

Davey Moyers

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.

Michael R. Bernstein

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…

Dave Mozealous

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.

Alex G

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

Mike Gunderloy

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.

Dale Cruse

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.

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