The Actual Price Range
The price range for high quality, worthwhile office chairs may surprise you. Below we’re going to list out the most commonly discussed chairs on popular forums.$65 - Amazon’s Top Selling Desk Chair
- $129 - Staples Hyken
- $680 - Herman Miller Mirra 2
- $780 - Herman Miller Basic Aeron
- $804 - Steelcase Think
- $1260 - Herman Miller Embody
- $2284 - Steelcase Leap Worklounge
Before getting into the ‘why’ of those prices, it’s worth noting that all higher end chairs have extensive warranties, and usually cover all parts against defect for 10-15 years or ‘limited lifetime warranty’ (which, for all intents and purposes, is around 15 years).
Why Is The Median Of That Price Range So High?
Looking at that list, and excluding the “Leap Worklounge” the average you could expect to pay for an office chair that’s actually worth the money you’ve spent on it is.. about $600.
The sticking point for most consumers is that they simply don’t know what they are getting for that money.
Ideally, the total cost of owning a good office chair for 10 years will be the same whether you buy a cheap new office chair every year for 10 years or one good office chair that lasts 10 years.
When a company makes a product that they know isn’t going to be replaced for years (desk chairs, kitchen knives, pots and pans) they need to price those items higher than a company
making lesser-quality products. Additionally, significant investments into R&D, as well as using higher quality ingredients, contribute to the higher cost.
Considerations Of Health And Wellness.
Another reason that the technology and research that goes into the production of high-end chairs is both vital and justified has to do with our squishy human bodies and how they interact with 8+ hours of seated work each day.
The ‘sitting is the new smoking’ movement has a lot to say about the dangers of our sedentary work and recreation habits, and there is a growing body of research indicating that sitting as much as we do increases risk of cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease. (see our recent related blog post) But, even with all of those considerations, we are not throwing out the traditional office chair just yet. Especially when there is significant investment put into developing ‘healthier’ more ergonomic chairs.
Knowing all that, and knowing that the companies striving to create solutions to those issues through better use of technologies in our furniture and workstations also know those things, helps shine a light onto why they choose to create a product that they would need to price higher than if they hadn’t.
So How Much Should I Spend On an Office Chair?If you are spending less than $200 you are not buying a good chair. Its really that simple. That doesn’t mean that you will be unhappy or uncomfortable, It just means that you are purchasing an inferior product. For an individual, or very small business, that may be fine, but for a larger corporate environment, that is not acceptable. Keep in mind that when there are 60 people sitting in cubicles or offices and they will all have the same chair, it must be able to accommodate all different body types and sitting habits. Your $99 staples chair may be working great for you, but it’s not going to accommodate both 280 Lb. Kevin in accounting or Angela, his 5’1” supervisor. Not only is it wise to invest in chairs that are durable, your chairs get constant use and support people sitting and working all day, and your investment in your office chairs should reflect that reality. Is there a Happy Medium?The good news is that the answer is, YES! There is a category of excellent quality, mid-priced chairs. The bad news for most people is that you may never know that these options exist. The large, high-end furniture companies have agreements with the manufacturers that they represent and often will not present alternatives to the very pricey seating selections. Our whole business model is predicated on researching, discovering, testing and then offering high-quality, value oriented products. Chair manufacturers such as AllSeating, 9to5, Eurotech and Compel, to name a few, offer a range of seating that encompasses the mid-market $250-$600 for a very good office chair. Bottom Line?
No pun intended. The fact is that buying good chairs for your office is one of the best things you can spend your furniture money on, BUT, you don't need to break the bank. Too many times than I like to recall, a customer was lured by the cheap price of a good looking task chair from a big box retailer or online giant, only to discover, what we all really know; you get what you pay for. Knowing that there are great options that exist in the mid-market range is important when it comes time to replace your chairs.
Would A Better Office Chair Suit Your Needs?I hope that you found this article educational or at least interesting. Have you found yourself junking lesser chairs? Do you have questions about how to identify a better chair for your office? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!