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Author Topic: Office/Task Chairs  (Read 2468 times)
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Turtle
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« on: September 11, 2013, 06:40:05 AM »

I searched and the topic didn't come up, so I'm starting this topic as a general resource for chairs, and to get some anecdotal experiences from others about various chairs and how they go about choosing them. As with anything these days, the problem isn't finding potential chairs and info on them, the problem is finding good information in the overwhelming mass of information.

I am in need of a new chair, and I need one for both long term use, and one that will hold up to my size and heavy weight. I am 6"1' (185.42) and weigh about 230lbs (104.32kg). I'm losing weight, but still want something that will hold up to heavy use. I work practically all day at my computer, then often game afterwards if I'm not out, so I spend way too much time sitting. I'm primarily typing, but also drawing/painting.

I'm looking to spend up to $800 on a new chair. The high budget is because I'm tired of chairs falling apart, and my last chair nearly causing me serious injury when it did so. However, the cheaper the better, I'm only interested in name brands if they actually live up to the hype.

Ideally, this chair would have adjustable arm rests. A head rest or space for the head is nice but not needed. I have broad shoulders, so something wide enough to keep pressure off my shoulder blades.

Also a solid base there the hydraulic cylinder doesn't fall through the hole that keeps it in place, as this has happened way too many times where the hydraulic cylinder starts dragging along the floor, this was happening even during college when I was fit, so I guess I had a lot of cheap chairs over the years.

With that in mind, I'm looking at the Herman Miller Aeron chairs, but honestly think I could get something much cheaper that will still last. On the other hand, I see places that specialize in servicing these chairs affordably.

Stuff like this carried at Staples:
http://www.staples.com/OFM-Hi-Back-24-HOUR-Ergonomic-Multi-Shift-Anti-Bacterial-Vinyl-Big/product_790061
http://www.staples.com/Staples-Mesh-Managers-Chair-with-Headrest-Black-and-Chrome/product_796648

Or even:
http://www.amazon.com/Ergohuman-Ergonomic-Chair-Headrest-Chrome/dp/B002LK1YNO

Which seems to be getting good reviews and has a headrest.  I could buy a replacement plan and still save a lot of money.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 09:56:52 AM by Turtle » Logged
Isgrimnur
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 07:18:41 AM »

I've gone through Staples for years. I just replaced mine with one rated for 400lbs, as I'm just over the 250 mark and needed something that would take the pounding I give mine. I'd have to get back to you on the specifics.

I highly recommend their 3-yr replacement plan, as every time I've had a cheaper one fail, I leveraged the gift card into moving up a notch in terms of replacement. I haven't paid full price for an office chair in over 5 years, and on at least my third in that time frame.
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 02:53:42 PM »

I've had an aeron, currently have a freedom chair. I think chairs are one of those things where you get what you pay for to a fair extent. However, if you've got an office furniture showroom in your area, I've had good luck getting high end chairs that were gently used or floor models at great prices.
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 03:17:12 PM »

I wish I could find another one of the office chairs I currently have, the Hampton by Swinton.  It's got a high back, faux leather and plastic armrests, and other than the leather starting to crack it has held up amazingly since I bought it back in 2005 for about 100 bucks.  I tried finding it on Google, and could only find replacement wheels. 

I figure if I ever get a replacement it won't be one with the mesh backing; I cannot see that being comfortable to sit on in the nude.

oh yeah, here you go:



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WarPig
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 07:12:51 PM »

Turtle,

I have the Staples Mesh Managers Chair in your second link there.  It's comfortable, though I have some issues with getting the settings right.  I'm about the same size as you, 6'2 and 240 and it just seems... a bit cheap for what you're paying.  Try for something more, if you can.  Just my .02 with several months in the chair.

EDIT: Also, because of the angle the chair rests at when I'm gaming/working, I rarely use the headrest unless I am not actively typing or controlling anything; usually YouTube video watching.  The headrest on that chair is great, but because of the way it "sits", it's more of a novelty.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 07:14:24 PM by WarPig » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 09:30:42 PM »

I use an Aeron at work and have for years.  I weigh more than you and had no problems with my Aeron at my previous job after 4 years of use.  I think they are rated for up to 300 pounds.  I bought my own Aeron for my current job because the supplied chairs were so uncomfortable, and while very expensive I feel like it was money well spent. 
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Turtle
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 10:58:27 PM »

So, I found a local place that sells used Aerons, and they have my size for just $450, about half retail. That, combined with many local places that will service these chairs for a reasonable cost is making me consider this route. They have a warehouse where I can try out and examine the chair before buying as well. I guess I'll have to see if the Aeron's particular kind of mesh seat and back are comfortable to me.
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 11:50:40 PM »

I use this one right now..
http://www.staples.com/Tempur-Pedic-TP4000-Ergonomic-Fabric-Mid-Back-Task-Chair-Black/product_324022
I'm 6' & about 270lbs and this has been the best chair for me so far. Had it about a year now.. Lot's of adjustments to get comfortable...
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Blackjack
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 03:19:09 PM »

My 1996 Staples desk chair, fine in its day, was literally disintegrating and getting uncomfortable and even downright gross (which I didn't notice until dismantling it to place in dumpsters yesterday), so my mom treated me to a new IKEA desk chair I picked out during a visit yesterday:

MARKUS desk chair ($199)
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90289172/#/00103102

Package Observations


*While the box is about 50 lbs and somewhat long, I had no trouble fitting it in the back seat of my old Toyota Corolla (also 1996, also in need of replacement soon  icon_smile)
*The box is just barely an L-shape. We thought this was strange when picking it up in the warehouse, but ultimately it makes it much easier for one person to carry the box as you have a "midpoint" to hang onto.

=============================
Assembly Observations


*While I've had some IKEA bookshelf assembly nightmares -- usually due to me doing something backwards and/or not quite comprehending the icon/drawing-based assembly instructions -- I found assembling MARKUS relatively smooth and easy, and no tools needed beyond the relatively large hex wrench included in the box. While they recommend not assembling it solo, I did it OK by myself.
*The wheels just pop in. As does the main "pole" into the 5-spoke wheels platform.
*Only key is to read the instruction drawings closely to make sure you know when to use the shorter or longer bolts.

==============================
MARKUS OBSERVATIONS

*

*I went with the slightly more expensive leather model (grey and dark grey cloth models are $20 cheaper at $179.99) as it simply felt sturdier to me in the store then the grey and dark grey cloth models. I think this will also be easier to clean than the cloth model -- unless I pour milk on it or something.  icon_razz My old Staples chair built up a lot of cat hair and food crumb gunk on the fabric and it was difficult to clean. Seems like with the faux leather you can just wipe with a damp cloth from time to time -- IKEA does sell a leather care kit too.

*Seat adjustment is limited to:
-adjustable "recline" position (flip left lever down; recline to desired position; flip left lever back up to "lock" position).
-adjustable height (flip right lever up; adjust height; drop right lever back down to "lock" height -- the default lowest position works best for me)
-adjustable (I think?) "weight adjustment." The, um, graphically-shaped  smirk dial-knob below the seat, front, seems to adjust seat reclining "tension" to suit different weights. I say "seems," as I can't totally understand the owner's manual on that one point. Since it shows a small lead weight and a big lead weight in the seat, I'm guessing that's what it means.  confused

*Ventilated back to keep you from getting sweaty shirt syndrome during marathon gaming sessions.  icon_smile I would point out that the leather seat may cause "sweaty fanny" syndrome -- you might still put a thin cushion or, well, something that ventilates or absorbs moisture there.  icon_razz

*Lumbar support built-in. While I love it, a pal on Steam said he removed the back-support because he found it uncomfortable. It's not mentioned in the manual afik, but I guess that's an option, I'm just not clear how one does that.

*If you're tall like me (6'4"), you'll dig the tall seatback and padded headrest. If you're shorter, I'm not sure you would benefit from it, though I wouldn't think it would be a bad thing per se.

Also, the first time I spun this chair, it knocked down the lamp behind me and jerked it out of a nearby outlet.  icon_redface So if you get a chair with a big honking, curved seatback like this, you need to examine the area behind your chair to make sure you won't knock things down when you recline or spin.  icon_smile

*The armrests are metal frames, fastened by two bolts each, and the armrests themselves are thickly padded and comfortable. This was crucial to me because the armrests on my 1996 Staples chair were rubber and literally were crumbling (!) the last several years. They also were fastened from under the chair by four screws each and I kept needing to tighten them over the years. Hopefully not the case with MARKUS.  icon_cool

*Wheels are billed as working well on all surfaces, and I can vouch they roll surprisingly well on a medium-pile carpeted surface.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 03:28:51 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2015, 04:45:31 PM »

I have that chair, except green cloth. I despise it. I still use my old, falling apart chair that it was was supposed to replace because I find it so uncomfortable. I have tried to get used to, but after an hour I just can't handle it anymore. The main reasons: the seat part is way too short, so it doesn't give full support to your thighs; the chair is too narrow (I am 175lbs, 6'); the armrests are padded with hard rubber which is very uncomfortable. I do really like the full size, mesh back. I am considering just giving mine to Good Will.

Congrats on the new chair though! icon_wink They seem to be quite popular, so it's probably just me.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 04:47:07 PM by Lee » Logged
Blackjack
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2015, 01:02:55 PM »

Quote from: Lee on June 20, 2015, 04:45:31 PM

I have that chair, except green cloth. I despise it. I still use my old, falling apart chair that it was was supposed to replace because I find it so uncomfortable. I have tried to get used to, but after an hour I just can't handle it anymore. The main reasons: the seat part is way too short, so it doesn't give full support to your thighs; the chair is too narrow (I am 175lbs, 6'); the armrests are padded with hard rubber which is very uncomfortable. I do really like the full size, mesh back. I am considering just giving mine to Good Will.

Congrats on the new chair though! icon_wink They seem to be quite popular, so it's probably just me.
Are you sure you have the same model chair? IKEA's two MARKUS cloth models are only available in grey and dark grey -- no green model's offered (though I see a blue one in a catalog picture):
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90289172/

Maybe you have the FLINTAN/NOMINELL? That has a ventilated back, comes in a turquoise (green color) and has hard rubber armrests:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S19122450/#/S69122481

On the Markus (leather version), I'm 6'4", about 220 and if anything the seat is too wide for me. Seat bottom I guess is a personal preference.  icon_smile

On the leather model, the armrests are thickly padded and covered with soft leather, not rubber. They're extremely comfortable. I think the cloth MARKUS models have "hard" armrests, so I wouldn't recommend those models in part because of that.

IKEA has a 90-day return policy:
http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/customer_service/return_policy/index.html

So even if disassembling could be a pain, I'd encourage you to return it for a refund if it hasn't been 90 days since purchase. If you bought it online and can't get to an IKEA store to return it, they offer a pickup service for returns (a delivery fee might be involved but it beats getting stuck with an uncomfortable chair or dumping it at Goodwill for nothing  icon_smile).
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 01:06:58 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2015, 03:11:17 PM »

It's a Markus, its just 3 years old (so cannot return it), they used to come in green and blue as well (I think red too). It looks exactly the same as what you have, except yours has actual padding on the armrests. As you said, the clothes ones do not.

I say it's too narrow because of the arm rests, I feel constrained and can't get my arms in a comfortable position because they are too close. You often see on narrower chairs where the arms flair out to give more space, these do not.

I was stupid to buy it because I didn't sit how I really sit when I was in the store. I loved the reclining back and that sold me.

Sorry to shit on your purchase, just my hate for that chair grows every time I sit in it, and I finally got the chance to finally tell the world about it. icon_confused

Next time I buy an office chair I am going all out and spending $600+. I spend too much time at my computers to be sitting in these cheap chairs I keep buying.
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Turtle
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2015, 09:49:24 PM »

Lately, I've been paying attention to one stop recommendation sites.

The Wirecutter currently recommends this: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-office-chair-is-the-steelcase-leap/

However, they also say to wait since their review is outdated. If I ever get a new chair, that's the one I'll probably go with even with its gigantic price tag.
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Lee
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2015, 11:28:57 PM »

I love the Wirecutter, I go there first when I am shopping for anything now. They have never steered me wrong. BUT they do recommend the Marcus, so I might have to rethink that. icon_smile
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