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Mesh Office Chairs
Office Chairs Features (continued)
Office Chair Material.Cloth, mesh, and leather upholstery seem to be the most popular fabric choices for office chairs.
Mesh office chairs seem to be a popular choice in the budget price range. The Z-Line Designs Task Chair has both a seat and backrest made of breathable mesh and the Office Star Space 5500 comes with a mesh back and a padded mesh seat. The Staples Vocazo has a mesh back and a microsuede seat, while the Techni Mobili 0097M has a mesh back and a fabric seat. The cheapest office chair we found, the Flash Furniture Black Mesh Computer Chair LF-W-118A-BK-GG (starting at $55), has a mesh back and a padded mesh seat. The Alera Nico Mid-Back Chair is made from something a little different: Caresoft upholstery designed to look, feel, and wipe clean like real leather.
Office Chair Armrests.Armrests are an important ergonomic feature in cheap office chairs, because they help take the strain off your shoulders, neck, and arms. The Labor Department points out that you don't want armrests that are too high, low, wide, or close. The goal is to sit in a relaxed position with your shoulders back and down and your arms resting lightly on the armrests at your sides. The armrests should be slightly padded and lack any sharp edges for added comfort. If you are looking at an office chair with armrests that are not adjustable, try to spend plenty of time sitting in the chair with your arms on the armrests to make sure your shoulders and arms are in a comfortable position. If proper positioning is not possible, look for a different chair with armrests that are adjustable or fit your proportions better.
Of the cheap office chairs on our list, only one has the whole package when it comes to armrests. The Office Star Space 5500 mesh office chair comes with fully adjustable, padded armrests. We did find another budget office chair with padded, adjustable armrests: the Boss Open Back Mesh Task Chair (starting at $95). The Alera Nico Mid-Back Chair comes with padded armrests, but they aren't adjustable. The armrests on the Staples Vocazo and the Techni Mobili 0097M mesh office chair are not padded or adjustable, while the Z-Line Designs Task Chair has no armrests at all.
Office Chair Base.The base is what supports the chair and keeps it from tipping over. According to the Department of Labor, a chair base with less than five legs is a tipping hazard. All of the low-cost office chairs we reviewed have a five-leg base.
Office Chair Mobility.Many office workers swivel around to reach and file materials and wheel from one spot to another. Casters and swivel mechanisms make it possible to get into position easily. There are different casters for different floor surfaces; the most common are for carpet. We didn't find any in the budget price range designed specifically for hard surfaces. The swivel mechanism allows you to rotate your seat without moving the entire chair. A 360-degree swivel is very common in inexpensive office chairs. The manufacturer doesn't specify whether the Techni Mobili 0097M swivels all the way around, but otherwise all the chairs on our list can turn a full 360 degrees.
Don't Bother Cheap Office Chairs
Z-Line Designs Task Chair
This mesh chair has carpet caster wheels, lumbar support, and a 360-degree swivel but no armrests. Numerous user reviewers report that the pieces don't fit together properly, the back is always loose, and in some cases the back actually falls off. The seat height is adjustable, but the tilt is not. Read more »
Techni Mobili 0097M
Users say the back of the Techni Mobili 0097M snaps off with very little pressure, making it an injury waiting to happen. This mesh chair does have armrests, but they aren't padded or adjustable. The seat height and tilt are adjustable, and the chair has a five-leg base. Read more »
Boss Open Back Mesh Task Chair Review
Z-Line Designs Task Chair Review
Techni Mobili 0097M Review
Staples Vocazo Review
Alera Nico Mid-Back Chair Review
Office Star Space 5500 Review
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