What's the best office chair?
March 12, 2007 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Office Chairs: What's the best reasonably expensive (up to $1000) office chair?

I have read every review I could find online and think that I have narrowed my choices to the Humanscale Liberty, Humanscale Freedom, and Steelcase Leap (I had an Aeron that I liked but didn't wow me). I am in an area lacking in office furniture stores that carry these chairs, so I will need to take something of a leap of faith in ordering one. Has anyone tried all of these chairs (or others)? Or, better yet, has anyone had experience using a variety of these (or others)?

Other than sitting at a desk and using a computer for most of the day, it would be difficult for me to describe how I sit, so general testimonials would probably be more helpful than tailored recommendations.
posted by lionelhutz5 to Work & Money (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
HUGE fan of Steelcase Leap. I've sat in them and in Aerons, and Leap wins easily for comfort in my book. Have never tried the Humanscale chairs.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:55 PM on March 12, 2007

I just posted this thread last week, regarding office chairs. Lots of people recommended Herman Miller. I went ahead and bought the HAG Capisco because it was smaller, cheaper, and you can sit in it backwards too.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:02 PM on March 12, 2007

Steelcase Leap. It's not particularly pretty, but it's comfortable and very well built. I'm sitting in one now.

Aeron chairs are good if you want to look 1999 trendy and want to overpay for an uncomfortable chair that will wear poorly after five years.
posted by Nelson at 2:05 PM on March 12, 2007

Love my Leap. Had one at work and liked it so much I bought one for home, too. Never sat in an Aeron, but Herman Miller's a legit company for ergonomics. One chair may not be great for everybody.
posted by callmejay at 2:11 PM on March 12, 2007

Whatever fits you, but I like the Aeron (and the little brother Mirra) and Leap both. I'd prefer the Leap if I had to choose, since it's more adjustable.
posted by kcm at 2:15 PM on March 12, 2007

My Aeron is really comfortable, despite Nelson's assertions. He's right though, they are not well made. Lot's of finicky plastic bits that seem to rejoice in breaking.
posted by substrate at 2:18 PM on March 12, 2007

I would just caution against the Mirra by Herman Miller. It's cheaper , but not worth it, the comfort isn't there for the price. Plus, it has a plastic back. Perfect for those hot days.
posted by Davidissimo at 2:24 PM on March 12, 2007

I used an Aeron at work for 18 months and loved it, though they do break with use. They're particularly good in warm weather. Seeing these comments, I now have to find a Leap to try.
posted by dws at 2:25 PM on March 12, 2007

A year ago I hunted for a good office chair for my home office, after getting worried about threatening RSI. After lots of research and trying out various chairs, I eventually bought a Steelcase Think chair. It's OK, but it hasn't really cured my bad postural habits, and I often end up slouching just as bad in it, getting just as uncomfortable as ever. I think my chair at work is actually more comfortable -- an old-fashioned looking Ahrend 220. Moral of the story: you can't really tell from trying them out in-store.
posted by snarfois at 3:21 PM on March 12, 2007

I have an Aeron at home, and a Freedom at work. I'm a big fan of both.

Aerons have that meshy fabric that can be cruel to pants, but is nice from an air circulation standpoint.

The Freedom isn't particularly adjustable, so it's hard to say that it will work for you, if you can't sit in one first. It's kind of an auto-magic either it works or you hate it situation.

I know people who swear by leaps, but I'm not a fan. Nothing personal against them, but they're heavy and a pain in the ass to get adjusted.
posted by PEAK OIL at 4:15 PM on March 12, 2007

Not to derail, but to expand the question a bit: Anybody have experience with the Steelcase Think?
posted by misterbrandt at 4:25 PM on March 12, 2007

Comment on Steelcase Think in previous thread.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:42 PM on March 12, 2007

Unlike Davidissimo, I have a Mirra and love it. I hate office chairs with fabric upholstery, so this limited my options. And the plastic back doesn't bother me on hot days (air conditioning to the rescue). It's much simpler than the Aeron, less knobs and bells and whistles. It's not quite as fantastic as the Aeron as far as comfort, but I think it's a good value.
posted by falconred at 4:55 PM on March 12, 2007

A vote for the Swopper. It's definitely not to everyone's seating tastes, (eww. that sounded wrong) but it's worth testing out if you're having any lower back issues. That, and it's fun to bounce around on while trying to locate one's muse.
posted by jamaro at 5:00 PM on March 12, 2007

I have a Nightingale CXO and quite like it. Mesh back like an Aeron, memory foam under your ass. A little cheaper than most better-known chairs.
posted by kindall at 5:48 PM on March 12, 2007

By the way, make sure you comparison shop online. I found my Leap for about 800$ I think (maybe here, I'm not positive.) I went to the only store in my area at the time that carried Steelcase and not only were they rude to me (most of their clients were offices with much larger orders) they wanted something like $1400 for it.
posted by callmejay at 6:05 PM on March 12, 2007

Aerons are incredible.

On a side note, where have I been? Since when is $1000 reasonably inexpensive?
posted by mintchip at 8:53 PM on March 12, 2007

The Steelcase Think chair has gotten extremely good reviews. Not only that, it's probably one of the more environmentally friendly office products out there.

*Disclamer, I work for a Steeelcase owned company.
posted by lannanh at 9:57 PM on March 12, 2007

Another vote for the leap or anything from steelcase really. As a big dude I tend to really abuse my chairs and steelcase can take all sorts of punishment. Boo to the HumanScale products, specifically the Freedom. I stocked a NOC with them a few years ago and had many broken arms and rear supports within months.
posted by datacenter refugee at 11:48 PM on March 12, 2007

I got the Steelcase Leap, been working great. Each person has their own liking of chairs though, so try before you buy. The varying level of lumbar support is really nice, and it makes me wish I had the same at work (before I got this chair, I was wishing I had the work chair at home).

Oh, and mintchip: he's looking for a reasonably expensive chair ;)
posted by Muu at 5:47 AM on March 13, 2007

Another vote for the Steelcase Leap, although I've never sat on an Aeron. I got my leap for $450 on eBay, but it goes for $800 or so new.
posted by knave at 9:50 AM on March 13, 2007

Just a point - the Aeron comes in three sizes, and most of them are the B size. Those "don't wow me" either, but the C is the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in.

Most of the other chairs I've sat in all have the same problem - the seat is not high enough off the ground for me. The Aeron size C does not have this problem.
posted by Caviar at 11:39 AM on March 13, 2007

misterbrandt: Anybody have experience with the Steelcase Think?

I mentioned my experiences with the Think here. Good chair, but not necessarily a panacea for bad posture.
posted by snarfois at 11:04 AM on March 16, 2007

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