The best ergonomic chairs are going to cost you, so you better be prepared. It is extremely hard to accept the fact that any old computer chair you get at Staples, Costco, Office Max or wherever is just not going to cut it if you sit on it every day for hours on end. Companies that manufacture cheap chairs are catching on that people want a comfortable chair but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, so what’s happening is they create chairs that appear to be comfortable and ergonomic but the truth is it is just as cheaply made as the others.
This creates many disappointed consumers because they see the nice looking chair for $100 or $200 and they buy it, and then anywhere from 2 to 6 months later they hate it and they’re no more comfortable than they were before they bought it. Usually what happens with cheap chairs is the pneumatic cylinder begins to weaken and the chair sinks down when you sit in it. That’s the first sign that you need a different chair.
Please don’t be fooled. Just because a chair looks like it’s ergonomic does not mean it’s actually ergonomic and well-made. Ergonomic chairs are not cheap so don’t expect to get a real one for under $200. What makes a good ergonomic chair that’s worth spending a small fortune on? Good question, there are a few things to keep in mind when you finally decide to make a purchase.
First, you have to decide what your budget is. If you’ve never been chair shopping here’s a general guideline: decent ergonomic chairs will cost you $200 to $400; good chairs will cost you $400 to $600; and excellent chairs can be found for anywhere between $600 and $1400+. There are decent manufacturers that make good chairs in each of those price ranges.
Next, you have to come to terms with the type of chair you are going to get for the price. It basically follows the same rule as everything else in this world – you get what you pay for. Ergonomic chairs on the lower end of the price scale have good solid features, but only moderate research and testing was put into the design. The fact is really good chairs require a lot of research, testing and designing by highly qualified individuals, which is why they cost so much. You will still get a good chair that will last you a couple of years if you stay within the $200-$400 range; it makes a good starter chair. During this period you will get accustomed to the luxuries a good chair provides but after time you may not be fully satisfied with your comfort level if you use the computer heavily every day, and you may find yourself yearning for more.
It’s usually a good idea to refrain from buying a $1000 chair your first time around because you won’t fully appreciate its design and all of its features until you’ve experienced a $400 chair. It’s like jumping from a Honda to a Maserati – get the BMW first.
Quick examples of good quality chairs in each price range include:
- VIA Seating – very good chairs in the $200-$500 range
- Balt Inc – decent chairs in the $200-$400 range
- Safco – decent chairs in the $200-$500 range
- ErgoHuman – good chairs in the $500-$700 range
- Steelcase – good chairs in the $500-$700 range
- Herman Miller – excellent chairs above $700
- Humanscale – excellent chairs above $700
- Neutral Posture – great models between ~$600-$1000