Office Chairs

Find the right desk chair for your office

You've probably never put much thought into the style of your office desk chairs or the materials used to make them. However, if you're looking to furnish a home office, it definitely pays to do your homework on chairs.

Material Matters

When it comes to office chairs, durability is one of the most important considerations you need to make. A desk chair gets a lot of use during its lifetime, and if you want it to last, you'll need to purchase a sturdy product made from strong yet comfortable materials.

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Wooden office chairs (sometimes called "banker's chairs") are certainly durable, and they're also attractive in a traditional way. However, wood is not as forgiving or comfortable as softer materials. Leather office chairs are plush and comfy, but probably not a good choice for households with small children or pets – leather furniture rips easily and is notoriously difficult (and expensive) to repair.

Mesh chairs have become more popular in the past few years, mostly because of their supreme comfort. The mesh backing and seat conforms perfectly to your body while offering "breathability." Leather, by contrast, can get hot and sticky.

While you can pick up decent-looking office chairs at your local office supply store for $80 or so, these inexpensive products probably won't last more than a year. There's a reason that quality office chairs can cost upwards of $300.

Style and Substance

There are different styles of office chairs, each of which is designed to meet specific needs. "Kneeling chairs" don't have backs; the user rests his or her shins on a cushioned section in front of the chair for support. Many people find these office chairs quite comfortable and easier on their backs than traditional styles, because they allow your body to relax in its natural posture and balance.

Ergonomic office chairs are built to prevent muscle injury while sitting. Their specially positioned armrests and lumbar supports can relieve the eye, neck and shoulder strains caused by typing at desks for extended periods. Be careful to have the chair set up especially for you, though – an ergonomic chair can't provide its benefits if it's not molded to the user.

Executive office chairs are usually softer than others, with wheels and the ability to swivel. For the ultimate in luxury, try reclining office chairs. Usually made of leather or other high-end fabrics, these chairs have high backs that fold down; usually, they also have footrests that pop up when the chair is reclined.