I have been using the same Staples special office task chair for the last 8 years, yes 8 years. It has served me very well but the cloth was starting to wear out heavily on the seat and it was time to get something new.
I considered many options as my analytical mind does and contemplated long and hard. The decision was influenced from many factors including:
- Cost – I am, let’s say..frugal and I didn’t want to spend too much. I learned from looking at the chairs that cost was so subjective and it was not easy to make good comparisons. There really were three general categories of chairs.
- $50-$200 – These were mainly sold at Staples and this is the category I picked last time. They seem mostly very consumer-oriented and sold simply based on cost. I had one of these at one of my jobs and it did not last.
- $200-$400 – This category was the hardest to really determine the value of the chair, most were names I had not heard of and was hard to distinguish between the low-end and these. The only real difference I could see was the price.
- $400-$1200 – This is the chair for someone really trying to find a long-lasting and good chair. This is where Herman-Miller, Steelcase, Humanscale and others fall into.
- Comfort – I tried out a lot of chairs and the low-end today felt very low-end. The others had so many adjustments it was hard not to find a comfort zone.
- Durability – I really wanted a chair which will last a long time and not be falling apart 6 months from now.
- Brand – Brand is often an important factor, beyond recognition, brand is a great way to pick a chair on reputation alone.
- Psychological Benefits – If I buy a great chair I will write better code and more interesting articles, right?
- Adjustability – This goes in line with comfort but is important to have adjustable everything, arms, back, height, etc.
I spent about 4 weeks on and off trying to determine the best path to go down. In the end, it came down to getting what you pay for, so I had to bump my budget up a bit.
I am not an office chair expert and frankly, I don’t want to be. My new chair is the Herman Miller Aeron purchased from Sit4less.com, they had great customer service and great prices, free shipping and a month to use the chair and decide if it’s right for me.