How Long Does Office Chair Last?

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: February 10, 2022

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How Long Does Office Chair Last

Over time, your office chair’s cushioning flattens (also shifts in cheap models) and becomes less comfy. The fabric may lose its sheen, and the frame turns rickety.

If this happens, you need to repair or replace the unit to avoid injury. Both alternatives are pricey; hence investing in a lasting chair saves money.

But, how long does office chair last?

An office chair lasts about a half to 15 years based on construction and care. Usually, office chairs wear out because of poor manufacturing, wrong usage, extended usage duration, and bad care. You should replace the office chair when worn out, to get ergonomic support, and when it causes poor posture.

Why Do Office Chairs Wear Out?

Three primary factors determine an office chair’s lifespan, including:

Substandard Components

The leading cause of shortened chair lifespan is inferior manufacturing materials. Cheap materials can reduce chair life expectancy to six months. Chairs that need changing frequently are bad for your money, wellness, productivity, as well as the environment.

Buying office chairs from a trustworthy source helps you avoid the ‘disposable chair’ problem. Excellent chair manufacturers use approved, environmentally safe materials evaluated for quality and rigidity.

A reputable chair manufacturer employs automotive-grade foam. They also take their fabric through extensive abrasion testing to ensure that it endures years of use.

A chair purchased from a reputed seller also comes with a warranty. Much like machines, your chairs require regular maintenance to keep them in good shape. If your chair fails or needs a component replaced, a warranty allows you to get it at no cost.

However, low-cost vendors cannot ensure product continuity. So rather than a pricey fix, you may want to buy a new one. This way, your office may get messy, with seats of all styles, sizes, and colors.

You may notice cheap office chairs have pieces that fail or come free over time, like fasteners or levers. Watching for such and ensuring you repair damages helps your desk chair survive longer.

Not up to the Job

Using the improper chair reduces its lifespan. You can buy fancy chairs worth +$10K, but if misused, they wear out far faster than usual.

To ensure you get the right chair for the job, conduct a requirements analysis. For instance, who’s the heaviest user-supported? How tall is your tallest employee/partner?

Usage Habits and Ownership

Finally, a chair’s lifespan depends on its user. A person who routinely swings on a chair wears it out faster than one who sits appropriately. Also, chairs in high-traffic places quickly wear out.

Staff who like their chair (and feel responsible for it) are likely to care for it. Furthermore, stylish and comfy chairs are significantly more likely to receive better maintenance and hence have a longer lifespan.

How Long Does Office Chair Last?

The life expectancy of a desk chair largely depends on the initial investment. Some manage only a couple of years while others — 5 to 6 years. Nonetheless, with proper care, certain chairs can survive decades.

Typically, an office chair serves 7-8 years if its warranty is five years and 12-15 for a +10-year warranty. These estimations stem from the quality that commands a given guarantee period.

A good office chair should endure at least 5-10 years, if not more. However, many things affect this figure, both positively and negatively. So, it’s worth examining all options when buying a chair.

When Should You Replace Office Furniture?

Ergonomic workplace furniture is no longer a vogue. These chairs relieve muscle tightness. If you have muscle aches, your workplace chair is likely to blame. A new seat can solve four things in your current chair.

You Overdid It

Even high-end workplace chairs aren’t indestructible. Office chairs need replacement about every 5-10 years. Doing this allows proper back support and cushions your other body parts too.

Additionally, sinking or leaning chairs indicate you need a replacement.

Your Body Speaks

People prefer to disregard backache or other indicators of discomfort and carry on as usual. Replacing workplace furniture is a straightforward approach to relieve daily aches. That means a better body, mind, and hence productivity.

Sitting Posture

Your chair helps you find a natural posture. It’s ok if you can maintain both feet down and your knees over your seat’s front. A backrest should support your middle and lower back. Otherwise, it’s time to shop.

It Isn’t a Book; Please Judge It

If the furniture looks worn, it is. If you see lumps or tears in a chair’s lining or fabric, you probably adjust your seating position to avoid them. Body contortion to avoid discomfort leads to future difficulties.

Further Reading

Top 10 Herman Miller Aeron Alternatives
10 Best Office Chairs for Small Spaces to Buy in 2022

FAQs

Do Office Chairs Need to Be Replaced?

As with anything that’s more disadvantageous than beneficial, office chairs need to be replaced over time.

In fact, you don’t need to see it look unattractive or wobbly. If your body doesn’t receive ergonomic support, replace your office chair to circumvent complications.

Do Mesh Chairs Last?

Given excellent construction, mesh chairs last 5-10 years. However, a flimsy acquisition may serve you as little as a year before needing replacement. Plus, your mesh chair care practices and the hours you spend in it daily impact its longevity.

Developing a mesh seat that delivers both support and comfort is challenging. With time, the webbing may lack flexibility and begin to sag resulting in an uncomfortable sitting.

Also, read: How to Clean Mesh Office Chair (Easy DIY Tips)

Should I Keep My Old Furniture?

While this won’t work for all pieces, you should keep your old furniture as there’s still more to get from it. Old furniture sometimes features sturdier construction than recent productions. Many producers opt for cheap ingredients with the rising need for cost-cutting.

Often, old furniture comes as a hand-down. Looking at your old chair and remembering your funny aunt is something you won’t get from a replacement.

Your old furniture gives your place an exotic, eccentric look, something inviting and attractive. You can even try DIY projects like reupholstery. 

Final Remarks

So, your answer to “how long does office chair last” depends on your choices.

Workplace dust and grime can destroy the upholstery of your office chair, making it lose comfort. Routine vacuuming can extend the life and cleanliness of your desk chair.

Routine vacuuming is also suitable for leather chairs, but wiping them down with leather cream or saddle soap keeps them looking newer. With regular care, leather is among the most resilient office chair materials.

The wheels absorb much of the chair’s pressure and collect hair and dust. Keeping the casters clean helps maintain them from cracking or becoming loose. Lubrication also extends the life of the desk chair. So, apply every six months to keep them operating well.