Work chair comfortable for hours & hours
June 4, 2010 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Comfortable office chair under $1,000 that can be used for extended periods.

My 15+ year old Herman Miller chair, with which I've had a love-hate relationship, is starting to fall apart. I often spend 6-8 hours/day at my desk in my home office, and I use my computer's screen to watch movies too, so I want to get a replacement chair that can be comfortably settled into and reclined a bit (ie no HAG Capisco).

I hatedhatedhated the Aeron when I tried it (didn't recline well, found mesh seat uncomfortable and hard). I prefer a padded seat to a mesh one, although a supportive mesh back is fine.

I plan to try out various chairs that might be suitable but I want to get a head start, and I'm looking for a chair that I can recline in to a reasonable degree, which for some reason is not easy to find in an office chair. (I guess it makes people look lazy at work.)

After scouring the google I've put together a small list of 'task chairs' under $900 that seem to get good marks. If anyone can speak to the following chairs -- or recommend something better for a 6-foot man who weighs 185 lbs -- I'd appreciate it.

Steelcase Leap
Steelcase Think

Humanscale Freedom
Humanscale Liberty

HAG Futu
HAG Credo
posted by skywhite to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
i am in no way a six-foot tall man, so YMMV, but i absolutely love my steelcase think chair. you can perfectly calibrate it to your size/shape/comfort preferences (including how much resistance on the recline), and it is super-comfortable. i spend at least 10 hours a day sitting in it, and have so far experienced zero discomfort.
posted by countingaugust at 4:44 PM on June 4, 2010

I have a Think and I love it. I'm the same height and weight as you as well, so I can assure you it will work fine. I have the headrest / lumbar support for it as well and like that too.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:42 PM on June 4, 2010

I use a Steelcase Leap. It's good for me, but I'm a small female. Here's some info you might be able to use, though: I found a like-new Leap chair on Craigslist for $200, from a small accounting business that had unfortunately had to close its doors.
posted by amtho at 5:58 PM on June 4, 2010

This might be a wild goose chase but I had an awesome chair that I used at architecture school as my studio chair. It was an old lab chair that I bought from a that was going out of business. It was a padded, full-backed chair that had a huge range of adjustments -- lean it waay forward or way back, lumbar adjustment, arm adjustment, height adjustment with a range that worked for our stand-up desks as well as regular height. It was perfect for me as I went from hand-drafting to computer drafting to working on various projects into the wee hours of the night.

So, I wonder if you looked at medical or lab furniture if you might find a similar range of options. Might be worth looking at. I would often lean it back, tuck my feet up under me to read in that chair. I donated it to another grad student on my departure as it was a bit of a bear to lug around but it was an awesome (though slightly ugly) chair.
posted by amanda at 6:02 PM on June 4, 2010

So, here's an example though this chair is kind of insane especially with all that contouring but it has tilt so maybe doing more poking around in this arena will yield results.
posted by amanda at 6:05 PM on June 4, 2010

This is maybe getting closer. I did a search for lab+chair+tilt. I think you want more than a 3 or 8-degree tilt.

Post back if you find something -- now I'm curious!
posted by amanda at 6:08 PM on June 4, 2010

I have a Leap and love it but it doesn't recline (unless I'm unaware of a feature!) It's really only good for sitting fully upright or leaning casually on one of the (well-padded) arms, but it's very good for that. Male, 5'9" and way heavier than you.
posted by callmejay at 6:17 PM on June 4, 2010

I've been intrigued by this chair from afar as well. That's *real* reclining.
posted by callmejay at 6:20 PM on June 4, 2010

I've got a Leap - it does recline, but you have to fiddle with the settings to make it do so. That's actually an advantage as you can go all the way from no recline, to full recline, but the seat back stops where you want it to.

Mine is 5+ years old, gets constant use, and is still quite comfortable. And they make a version for taller folks too.
posted by thatone at 6:24 PM on June 4, 2010

posted by DaveP at 6:28 PM on June 4, 2010

I just tried out several of these chairs a few days ago with some coworkers. We tried the Leap, the Freedom, the Aeron, and a couple of others. FWIW, we all ended up liking the Leap (although two of them have an Aeron and a Freedom at home, respectively). It was really helpful to go to the chair stores and actually try out the chairs in question. One minute of sitting was enough to rule out something that everybody on the Internet seemed to like.

Global also makes some comfortable, adjustable chairs that are reasonably priced.
posted by blue grama at 6:57 PM on June 4, 2010

I bought a used Leap off of eBay and I'm happy with it, but in retrospect I wish I had just bought an adjustable height desk (which I'm saving up for now) so that I can work standing.
posted by sockpup at 7:36 PM on June 4, 2010

I'm 5'11" and have a standard-sized Leap chair. I love it with the intensity of a thousand suns. If someone stole my Leap, I'd pawn my remaining possessions to get another one. For reference, I tried the Think and Aeron before deciding on the Leap.

> I have a Leap and love it but it doesn't recline (unless I'm unaware of a feature!)

It sounds like your 'back stop' control is set in the most upright position. See the 1:47 mark in this video.
posted by foggy out there now at 7:53 PM on June 4, 2010

I'm about your size, don't like Aerons, and have had a version of this Eckadams chair with arms since about '96. I've put in well over 12 hours a day in it consistently and it's been great. Three-way adjustable, recline switch, replaceable parts...I think I paid about the price on that page, so prolly ~$400 with arms these days.
posted by rhizome at 11:22 PM on June 4, 2010

If your Aeron is falling apart, check to see if the seller or the manufacturer gives it a lifetime guarantee. They might just fix it for you.
posted by musofire at 7:57 PM on June 5, 2010

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