Choosing An Office Chair

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For those of you who follow this blog you know that I work from home. I have an actual office set up in what would normally be considered a bedroom. For many years now I have used the same office chair. It has no arm rests. I like that because it is space efficient and helps me get closer to my desk. It is like any normal office chair in that it has hydraulics for adjusting the height. The last few months the hydraulics have been failing. It either gives way when I first sit down, or it gives way while I am sitting in it. Very not cool…

So I have been investing time looking at office chairs online for a replacement. There are so many options to consider it’s almost overwhelming. Really…

  • Adjustments for seat height
  • Tilt for seat
  • Back rest height
  • Back rest tilt
  • Arm rests or no arm rests
  • Weight capacity
  • Upholstery material
  • Base material
  • Color
  • Lumbar support or not
  • Price

The list just gets staggering to think about much less address. Because of this I have put this decision off for far too long. However, I can no longer handle the unexpected lowering of my chair when I am working. I pulled the trigger and ordered an office chair Sunday. Big mistake…

I was very suspicious when the box arrived via UPS and there was metal protruding from it. I unpacked it and my suspicions were confirmed. It is damaged and has to go back. Lesson learned. Do not order an office chair online and expect it to arrive safely.

Plan B is to invest time physically visiting shops to find a chair that way. I had hoped to save time when I ordered online. Now I see that my time would have been better spent by visiting the good old bricks-and-mortar shops. Big sigh…

Have you made a purchase like this recently? What process did you go through in making your decision?

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Comments (20)

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  1. Gina says:

    I used to work with a physical therapist and learned how important this concept really is. Great tips.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I am going to learn whether I want to or not. 🙂

  2. findingourwaynow says:

    This is too funny. My old office chair finally pooped out and I found myself looking for a new one. I actually went to an office furniture stores/stores and found one that I really liked. What a difference a good chair can make. When you think about it, we spend ALLOT of time in these dang chairs so having a good one is important.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I have never given much thought to office chairs until mine decided to give me grief.

  3. Susan Oakes says:

    Your article brought 2 things to mind Cheryl. One is the lack of simplicity with too many options. The other is for something like an office chair I like to sit on it so I would always go to a retail outlet. My chair is great and mine is without arms so like you I can get closer to the desk.

    Good luck with the chair hunt.

    • Geek Girl says:

      You got that right. Too many options and I can't decide. My husband would never buy a chair without sitting in it either. Now it looks like I have no choice. Maybe the whole 'sitting in the chair' experience will make the decision easier.

  4. Larry Crane says:

    My chair pooped out too. It was a wooden Windsor style with a cushion. I thought a lot about a nice soft office chair with rollers. But, I needed to keep working. So, I set the old Windsor aside, and grabbed another one from around the dining room table downstairs. I will get a nice soft chair eventually.

    • Geek Girl says:

      LOL You sound like me. Keep putting it off. 🙂

  5. Check out some of the vintage stores near you – there may be an affordable, comfy option! That's where I found my office chair – paid a little under $200.00 and it's quite comfy. Make sure you get all the support you need!!!

    • Geek Girl says:

      Yes. I am thinking log term now and support will be an important factor. Great tip on the vintage shops!

  6. The Management says:

    I have to agree with your husband. If you're going to invest big $$ in a good chair, you have to give it a test drive…or test sit.

    Your story reminds me of a former co-worker who convinced management to buy him a high-end therapeutic chair because the standard issue seats were causing back discomfort.

    Good luck with your search!

    • Geek Girl says:

      Yeah, I am going down the road of sitting in them before I buy them. What can I say? I guess you and my husband are both right. 🙂

  7. JeriWB says:

    I definitely agree that you need to try out furniture before buying it, and mostly because I've ordered a couple of things and have been disappointed. I bought my last office chair at Staples. I find I really like ones with mesh backing.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I have to decided to try a number of them by sitting them. Mesh backing is on the list to try. 🙂

  8. patweber says:

    It's been 12 years since I purchased my office chair. It's quite high end. I went to a local high end furniture store who specialized in home office furniture. Sadly, they are no longer in business. My chair is as SOLID as is was when I bought it 12 years ago. I did have to replace, about 4 years ago, the pneumatic riser which went bad. I would do the same thing today: visit high end office furniture shops, and purchase locally for support.

    • Geek Girl says:

      It's kind of like that comfortable pair of old blue jeans… except in this case you can repair and keep it going. 🙂 Love it!

  9. Dan Meyers says:

    There's nothing worse than a chair that expectantly sinks on you! I also work from home and wanted a great chair. At first I was going for a Herman Miller chair, but I couldn't bring myself to spend the money! Instead, I ordered this chair from Amazon: Lorell Executive High-Back Chair,Mesh Fabric,28-1/2"x28-1/2"x45,BK – it's been awesome for the two years I've had it!

  10. Geek Girl says:

    I went shopping and sat in a lot of chairs. Was I ever surprised at how different they were. Anyway, I finally settled on one. It is nice enough that my husband is jealous. LOL Now I have that smell of new leather. 🙂

  11. namirusso says:

    Coats and shoes. Never buy those on line – period. You HAVE to try on when comfort matters most. Otherwise, I'd suggest ordering the same exact model you've been using, if you have to order on line. Can you tell I've been through the mill?

    • Geek Girl says:

      Good advice! I did go out sit in a lot of chairs and was shocked at how different they were. I found one that works and now I have that new leather smell in my office. 🙂