Uh oh, it's the office chair question again!
April 17, 2007 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Uh oh, it's the office chair question again! But this time, i only have $200 to spend (since my dept is budgetarily limited). I'm obviously not looking for Aeron/Leap quality, but something that doesn't leave me in pain would be nicce.

Has anyone had any experience with the OfficeMax chairs like this one or Boss products like this one?

I'd like something high-backed and as ergonomic as possible, as I will be sitting in it for most of the day. (I'm 6'1 and mid-200lbs)
posted by softlord to Shopping (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I love the Verksam chair from Ikea. It is $250 though, but is extremely adjustable and comes in leather. I've had mine for a few years and I love it. Don't get the arms; they're not ergonomic anyway. In my experience, chairs like the ones you identified are definitely not as good.

You want a chair that's as adjustable as possible so that you can make it fit you correctly.

I recommend going to a bunch of stores, including Ikea and sitting in all of the chairs, adjusting them properly, and finding which ones you find most comfortable.

posted by reddot at 2:01 PM on April 17, 2007

Response by poster: Er, i should mention that ideally it would have arms.
posted by softlord at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2007

The IKEA "verksam" chair seems nice at first but it doesn't last long (the bottom of the seat used to be thick cardboard but I think they made it plastisc now), at which point it becomes really painful to sit on, so I'd avoid that.

The arms on most cheap office chairs are the narrow things that just poke you in the elbow, so don't expect too much from them.

See if you can find a place that sells second hand office furniture. If you spend $200 there you'll get a chair that was originally $600-$1000, and which will be ergonomic and with any luck, durable.
posted by fvw at 2:16 PM on April 17, 2007

If you are going to get an Office Max chair, check out the one they call the High Back EZ Executive Leather Chair. In-store I think the brand name is Seating Concepts. They're like $150 or so. I have one at my office and bought one for at home because it was so comfortable. The downside is that you'll want to take a nap in it during those long stretches in the afternoon.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:52 PM on April 17, 2007

I just bought this chair about 2 weeks ago which is similar to the one you listed. So far I love it, it's quite comfortable with good lumbar support and you can't beat leather for making you feel like a big shot executive. ;-) We'll see if it'll withstand the test of time.
posted by TungstenChef at 2:53 PM on April 17, 2007

The Space Chair is the best chair I've found for under $200 (I own one). It is more comfortable than the office supply store chairs I've had, and seems pretty well constructed.

Sit4Less does not have the most responsive customer service in the world, but their prices are very good.
posted by Caviar at 2:56 PM on April 17, 2007

If you're keen on an Aeron, have you thought about trying Craig's List for a not-too-used secondhand model? I found one for approx. $200 or so and it got me through my dissertation with carpal tunnels intact.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 2:57 PM on April 17, 2007

I'd try for a used (but not abused) aeron if possible. Here in new york they are fairly plentiful in the secondary market and tend to wear pretty well.
posted by frieze at 3:00 PM on April 17, 2007

I have a chair similar to the linked Boss chair. I intensely dislike it for the following reasons:
  • arms don't adjust up/down for myshoulder/desk height
  • arms don't adjust forward/backwards for keyboard tray depth, so they hit the front of my keyboard tray and prevent me from moving chair forward
  • arms are non-removable, so it is impossible to negate the above
  • chair back and chair bottom do not tilt independently, so tilting back takes your feet off the ground and puts the weight on your thighs
  • high back is useless since tilting is bad
  • leather surface is slippery, so I expend extra effort to prevent slouching
  • extremely large and difficult to move (I've moved three times with my chair)
Like I have in the past, you're mistaking "big and cushy"=ergonomic. Ergonomic should, at the very least, mean the chair is adjustable for your changing needs.
posted by meowzilla at 3:18 PM on April 17, 2007

Buy a used Leap chair off Craigslist. You can usually get them for $200-$250 depending on condition.

No matter how much they're asking, bargain them down (but wait until you're at their apartment). If they're selling it on Craig's, chances are they want to get rid of it with a quickness because they have a new one on the way.

Seriously. The Leap is worth it. It will change your life.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:19 PM on April 17, 2007

I have a Verksam which has served me well for five years but I now find it doesn't have enough lumbar support for me. It is well made and it eliminated my back pain completely when I bought it. I will probably get a Leap next, but I am currently spending a lot of time on a stability ball, which is also very comfortable once you get used to it.
posted by unSane at 6:10 PM on April 17, 2007

I second the used commercial office chair recommendation.

We've got a regular-looking office chair that's been really good for several years from a sale at my wife's office. It was a steal as they were re-doing a whole floor and sold everything & donated the proceeds to charity.

I just looked underneath it to see who made it and, lo and behold, it's a Herman Miller. Ironically, it's been the quality of this chair that's kept me from springing for an Aeron!
posted by altcountryman at 7:24 PM on April 17, 2007

We own 2 of the Staples Acadia chairs. Cheap and not particularly cushy, but completely adjustable.
posted by junkbox at 8:04 PM on April 17, 2007

We also own two of the Staples Acadia chairs and we're both happy with them. I think they're a good value (I paid $125). I use a Leap at work and the transition to the Acadia at home is not very noticeable (unlike the $20 IKEA chair I was using before).
posted by mingshan at 9:08 AM on April 18, 2007

My very good office chair, which I got free via Freecycle (definitely worth a try for you!), is an Ikea Joakim, which retails for $150. It has very easy, smooth adjustment up and down, it smoothly reclines back, and it has thick, comfy arms.
posted by allterrainbrain at 11:41 PM on April 18, 2007

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