Office & Task Chairs Buying Guide

When shopping for a new task chair, you'll want to consider many different features and decide which are the most important to you. Here are some things to think about:

Soft Plastic - If you are looking for an affordable task chair for computer labs or student use, a soft plastic seat and back might be the best choice. Soft plastic is easy to wipe clean and won't rip like upholstery can. A padded or upholstered chair is probably a better choice for all-day use.

Fabric Upholstered - A padded, fabric-upholstered chair not only looks good, it's one of the most comfortable places to sit during long days in the office. Most manufacturers offer a good selection of fabric colors, so you can match office décor. Upholstered task chairs typically come with numerous adjustable features; read about them in the "Ergonomic Features" section below.

Mesh - Mesh fabric is one of the trendiest task chair materials. You'll find some task chairs with a back made entirely of mesh. The mesh allows for air flow to your back, a welcome addition during long lectures or time at your desk. While it looks unsubstantial, the mesh is actually quite durable and provides good support. Mesh upholstery is also available on some task chairs. This fabric material has tiny perforations and provides good breathability without sacrificing aesthetics.

Back Height
Some task chairs are available with a mid or high back. Both styles have ergonomic features, but the high back offers the best overall support. Mid-back task chairs are usually slightly less expensive.

Ergonomic Features
Tilt Lock - Tilt lock allows the user to recline the chair from front to back and then lock it into a set angle.

Tension Adjustment - This feature lets the user rock back and forth without heavy pushing.

Adjustable Seat Height - This feature is especially important when task chairs are shared by many users.

Adjustable Seat Back - Adjustable seat back ensures that the user receives lumbar support where he or she needs it most.

Adjustable Seat Depth - A seat that does not fit properly can affect blood flow to the legs. An adjustable seat depth allows users to move the seat forward or back, creating a comfortable place to sit.

Adjustable Arms - Arms that adjust in width, depth and/or height accommodate users of all shapes and sizes.

Waterfall Arms - A waterfall seat refers to the slope at the front edge of the seat. This design allows for better blood flow to legs, as opposed to a flat front edge that can pinch blood vessels behind the knees.

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