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“Heh, this kid thinks an office chair at $100 is expensive!” writes Kaiser, one amongst the various office chair threads I perused. “Expect to spend $500 or more when getting a decent office chair, “he continues.
So, why are office chairs so expensive, and are they worth it?
Office chairs are expensive because of the materials, ergonomics, customization, design, brand, features, warranty, and research invested. A good price for a desk chair is around $50-$150. However, a really good office chair goes for as much as $500 or more.
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Why Are Office Chairs So Expensive?
Office chair brands are getting more competitive, and this trend slips into many aspects, raising furniture prices in the process.
Below are reasons for high office chair prices.
Reason 1: Materials
The most common material used for making office chair frames is steel due to its strength. If you want your office chair to last long enough, you need to ensure that it does not get damaged easily.
Steel is also easy to work on. You do not need any special tools to fix these chairs. All you need is a hammer and screwdriver. Though they may look like regular chairs, there are different types of designs available.
Have you seen how some cheap plastic chairs break after just a few months of usage? Then you know why quality materials are crucial.
When it comes to cushioning material, office chairs also vary. Low-end options may lack padding, have few stitches, and comprise cheap fibers.
In a market where every company wants to deliver quality to retain their customers, most manufacturers use high-end materials to ensure user comfort. Consequently, the price of chairs goes up.
Reason 2: Ergonomics
Manufacturers must consider several factors, for example, posture, comfort, and health. Plus, safety, productivity, and aesthetics, when designing office chairs.
As you choose between two similar-looking chairs, it’s instinctive to go for the one which offers better ergonomic support.
An excellent way to check whether the chair provides proper support is by looking at the lumbar area. If your lower body feels comfortable, you know that the chair supports your back correctly.
With intensive research on the effects of prolonged sitting, companies know how to craft better chairs.
Many ergonomic chairs are available to allow users to get a suitable position. Even so, you have to pay for these health-conscious units or opt for a cheap alternative that offers little support.
Reason 3: Customization
Many people prefer custom-made products over off-the-shelf ones. But why? Customized chairs tend to fit perfectly well within the space provided. Additionally, customization allows you to choose from various options depending upon their preferences.
The downside of customized office chairs is that they cost significantly higher compared to standard models. Another problem associated with them is that they require special tools to assemble.
Reason 4: Features
Office chairs come with a lot of specifications, and many manufacturers include these essential features:
- Adjustable backrests: Backrests help reduce neck pain by providing proper lumbar support. Many offices provide employees with ergonomic seats that feature adjustable backs.
- Armrests: Armrests prevent arm fatigue during prolonged periods of sitting. Some chairs include adjustable armrests making them suitable for use with desks of varying heights.
- Lifting mechanism: A lifting mechanism enables you to raise or lower the seat without using your hands.
- Tilt mechanisms: Tilting mechanisms enable users to tilt the seat forward or backward.
- Swivel mechanisms: Swiveling mechanisms allow users to rotate the seat left or right.
- Footrest: Footrests keep feet comfortable when seated. They also offer additional stability.
- Headrest: A headrest helps relieve pressure on the spine.
- Pedestal base: A pedestal base provides extra stability.
- Wheels: Wheels ensure mobility, facilitating movement around the workplace.
- Stabilizers: Stabilizers add strength to the frame.
The more features your office chair has, the more convenience it offers you, and the more durable the chair is. But since these features require time and expenses to nail right, they also hike the price of the chairs.
So, unless you are looking for a simple 3D printed, non-adjustable plastic chair, expect to spend more on these high-end features.
Reason 5: Warranty
Most manufacturers warranty their products against defects in manufacturing and assembly. When picking an office chair, consider what the warranty covers and what isn’t.
High-end models typically come with longer-lasting guarantees than cheaper options. Sometimes, cheap chairs may not include a warranty or have it for only a few chair elements.
Reason 6: Brand
There are numerous types of office chairs. Each brand has its unique features. While some brands focus mainly on durability, others emphasize style.
Sometimes, popular brands tend to charge slightly more than less-known ones because of their reputation.
How Much Is a Really Good Office Chair?
The cost of an office chair depends mainly upon what type of material it uses. Steel frames tend to be more expensive than plastic ones.
Some high-end office chairs have leather seats and backs. Leather tends to be pricier than other materials like vinyl.
In general, most office chairs range from $100-$1000, depending on size and style.
Some insanely priced office chairs like the Xten are expensive enough to buy several decent cars. But with anything from $500, you should be able to get a superb chair to last you ages.
A perfect office chair provides maximum support to your body without causing any discomfort. It should adjust according to your needs and preferences.
That said, an excellent desk chair is subjective. So, scrutinize the different aspects of various office chairs to determine what works best for you.
What Is a Good Price for a Desk Chair?
A good price for a desk chair is around $50-$150. If you are looking at buying one that costs less than this amount, you are likely to get a flimsy model. A cheap desk chair may break down quickly or become uncomfortable after using it for a while.
Although you can find some nice low-priced desk chairs in department stores such as Target or Walmart, they usually don’t last very long.
Are Expensive Office Chairs Worth It?
If you want to make a good impression or feel comfortable while working, investing in quality office chairs pays off.
Not just that, having a proper sitting arrangement helps prevent the back pain that arises from improper posture. Also, sitting uprightly allows blood flow to reach muscles faster, thus improving overall performance.
However, spending money isn’t everything. Many factors influence our decision-making process. For instance, we may not always have control over what type of office chair we get.
Some people prefer cheap alternatives because they don’t think they deserve better. This means that even if you spend big bucks on your new office chair, the chances are that others may not appreciate it.
Before deciding to go for a pricey office chair, take time to weigh things carefully.
Simply put, some expensive office chairs are worth it, given their enhanced features. Nonetheless, some chairs are too expensive due to factors like sentimental value, and you can still get the same deal or even better for a more affordable price.
So, besides price, what should you look at when getting an office chair?
Some manufacturers use steel, whereas others opt for aluminum. Both these metals provide superior strength but differ significantly in terms of durability.
Steel is a favorite amongst many professionals since its resistance to corrosion makes it ideal for outdoor environments. Aluminum, on the other hand, is lighter and easier to transport.
Most high-end office chairs feature durable materials, which include leather, mesh fabric, metal frames, and more. They tend to be heavy and sturdy enough to withstand daily wear and tear.
Comfort Level and Ergonomics
If you sit all day, ensure that the seat cushion fits well and doesn’t cause pressure points. Also, check whether the armrests are adjustable.
Ergonomic design ensures that the user gets maximum support without causing any discomfort. The right combination of lumbar support, headrest, footrests, and more, helps reduce stress on joints and improve circulation.
Most chairs have height adjustment options. Also, most models offer tilt adjustments. These two functions allow users to customize their work environment depending on their physique.
Frequently Asked Question
Do You Really Need an Expensive Office Chair?
You don’t really need an expensive office chair. But, it helps in proper sitting. However, if you can afford it and think it’s going to enhance your life’s quality, go for it.
Back to our crucial concern: Why are office chairs expensive? Most office chairs have quality comfort and aesthetic attributes with extensive research and sturdy materials used to craft them.
Before deciding to go for a pricey office chair, take time to weigh things out carefully, though. Ask yourself: Is my budget tight right now? Do I need a top-of-the-line office chair?
What about my current setup? Will I regret purchasing a particular item later down the line? These questions help determine whether or not you should invest in a premium office chair.
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