Where can I try out fancy office chairs in California's Bay Area (SF, Alameda, Solano, Contra Costa, Napa, Marin, or Sonoma Counties)?
October 28, 2009 4:57 PM   Subscribe

California - Bay Area: where can I try out crazy good office chairs? All the advice posts/asks say to test a chair out before buying and I want to try the Think, Leap, Freedom, Aeron, or your other suggestions before my office buys a new chair for me ... but where (from SF to Oakland to Sonoma to Napa) can I go to get test these chairs out?

My office offered to replace my current chair and I noticed several of my co-workers have the Freedom chair which is not cheap! ($1099 on Sitforless.com).

I want to try out a few chairs before asking my office to lay out any money, but I cannot think of the right place to go for a test run?

I work in the North Bay and live in the East Bay - Can you think of anywhere to try out several of these chairs (Think, Leap, Freedom, Aeron, or your other suggestions!) nearby?

As for "other suggestions" here are my preferences if it matters:
Comfortable for someone who's "big boned"
Adjustable head rest preferred
Deep seat preferred
Fabric > leather

Thanks everyone!
posted by unclezeb to Shopping (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: i was in a design within reach a few months ago and they had both the aeron and the steelcase freedom, plus a number of other chairs (not sure if your other listed ones are there, but they were all nice office chairs).
posted by sergeant sandwich at 5:04 PM on October 28, 2009

Best answer: Relax The Back has stores in your area. They have some nice ergonomi-quality chairs that you can test drive in the stores.
posted by nickjadlowe at 6:14 PM on October 28, 2009

Bring a book; you need to spend a while in the chair to know if if is any good.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:56 PM on October 28, 2009

sebastienbailard isn't kidding. I sat in a Freedom chair at DWR for 30 minutes and it seemed fine in the store, but I can't stand it at home. Plant your ass there for an hour or two, and try to do an activity like what you'd do at work (bring a laptop and external keyboard, maybe).
posted by jewzilla at 8:35 PM on October 28, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies everyone!

There's an error in my post for some reason - it says "<> leather" but should read "fabric > leather"

Any other store or chair recommendations?
posted by unclezeb at 8:47 AM on October 29, 2009

Response by poster: Went to DRW - only had a couple Aerons and Freedoms (and some Eames that don't exactly fit the bill).

Then I went to "The Back Shop and Sleep Center" on Ashby ave in Berkeley. No StealCase chairs, but they had loads of others including the Freedom. The chair the sales rep recommended was a "Soma" which has loads of options.

I cannot find too much information or reviews about Soma chairs online. Very customizable and loads of options, apparently used by several large companies as their standard chairs. I compared the price quoted against several online sites which also allow for the many options and found the price was similar.

However, there are several very negative reviews of The Back Shop.

Really wish I knew where to try a SteelCase chair, though I see a few Thinks and Leaps on craigslist now for $200-300 so that's something to consider I suppose.
posted by unclezeb at 8:53 AM on November 8, 2009

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