What to look for when buying an office chair

cat sitting on a office chair with a desk and laptop

The office chair, a seemingly humble piece of furniture, plays a crucial role in our daily work life. It provides comfort, support, and ergonomics, all of which are essential for a productive and healthy work environment. While it may seem simple, choosing the right office chair is not a decision to be taken lightly. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the key factors to consider when buying an office chair, ensuring you make an informed choice that enhances your work life. It is important to note that shopping for office chairs is difficult and this is because everyone has different preferences when it come to chair adjustabilty, backrests, armrests and so on. 

Why the Right Office Chair Matters

Before we delve into the specifics of choosing the perfect office chair, it's essential to understand why this decision is so vital. For most of us, office work involves spending long hours sitting at a desk, often in front of a computer or laptop, therefore the quality of the chair we sit in significantly impacts our well-being, productivity, and overall work experience. Here's why choosing the right office chair matters:

1. Comfort: Comfort is key. Sitting for extended periods in an uncomfortable chair can lead to fatigue, aches, and even long-term health issues like back pain and poor posture. Combining a great ergonomic chair and a standing desks is one of the best things you can do for your back. 

2. Ergonomics: An ergonomic chair is designed to support your body's natural posture, reducing strain on your spine, neck, and shoulders. This, in turn, enhances productivity and minimises the risk of injuries in the future. It won't seem sore now, but as you get older a bad office chair will catch up. 

3. Productivity: A comfortable, ergonomic chair can boost your focus and concentration, allowing you to work more efficiently.

4. Health: A poor-quality chair can lead to health problems over time, including musculoskeletal disorders, poor circulation, and other ailments. There are plenty of articles out there from doctors, physios and chiropractors. 

Now that you understand the importance of selecting the right office chair, let's explore the key factors to consider when making your choice.

Choosing the Perfect Office Chair

  1. Ergonomics: Ergonomics should be a top priority when choosing an office chair. Look for features like adjustable seat height, lumbar support, and armrests. A chair with good ergonomics adapts to your body, providing proper support to keep you comfortable during long work hours. Movement is key here. 

  2. Adjustability: An adjustable office chair allows you to tailor it to your specific needs. It should have adjustable height, armrests, and tilt tension. The more you can customise your chair, the better it will fit your body and work style, because everyone is different. So if you're chair isn't adjustable, it must be made just for you. 

  3. Lumbar Support: Proper lumbar support is crucial to maintain the natural curve of your spine. Look for a chair with adjustable lumbar support to ensure it fits the unique curve of your back.

  4. Seat Material: Consider the material of the seat. Breathable and comfortable fabric or mesh are good options. Leather chairs can be luxurious but might not be as breathable. This again depends on which city in New Zealand you're in as some cities are warmer than others. 

  5. Cushioning: The chair's cushioning should provide adequate support and comfort. It shouldn't be too soft or too firm but just right to keep you comfortable during long periods.

  6. Armrests: Adjustable armrests can reduce strain on your arms and shoulders. Make sure they're at the right height and width for your body.

  7. Swivel and Casters: A good office chair should easily swivel and have smooth-rolling casters for easy mobility and not catch on carpet (which many NZ homes and offices have). 

  8. Size and Fit: Consider the chair's size, ensuring it's suitable for your body and the available workspace. It should provide enough space for you to move comfortably. Weight should be taken into consideration too. 

  9. Style and Aesthetics: While functionality is crucial, the chair should also complement your office decor. There are various styles and colours to choose from, so pick one that matches your taste.

  10. Durability: Invest in a chair that is built to last. Quality construction and materials will ensure your chair remains in good condition for years.

  11. Price: Office chairs come in a range of prices. Set a budget that aligns with your needs and the features you require. A good-quality chair is an investment in your comfort and well-being. Look for one that have many features so that it is future proof (look for long term warranties too!).

  12. Warranty and Customer Support: Consider the warranty and customer support offered by the manufacturer. A good warranty is an indication of the manufacturer's confidence in their product.

Types of Office Chairs

There are various types of office chairs, each designed for different purposes:

  1. Task Chairs: Task chairs are versatile, designed for everyday use. They're generally ergonomic, making them suitable for office work.

  2. Executive Chairs: These chairs are typically larger and more luxurious. They offer comfort and style and are ideal for executives or home offices. These are often made with leather and expensive (but they aren't actually that ergonomic). 

  3. Conference Chairs: Conference chairs are designed for meeting rooms and are often less adjustable but sleek in design. Usually a standard black and silver chair. 

  4. Mesh Chairs: Mesh chairs are known for their breathability and comfort. They're an excellent choice if you tend to get warm during long working hours.

  5. Kneeling Chairs: Kneeling chairs promote an open hip angle and reduce lower back strain, though they might take some getting used to.


Choosing the right office chair is not just about aesthetics; it's about your comfort, well-being, and productivity. With a clear understanding of the factors to consider and the types of chairs available, you can make an informed choice that benefits your work life. Remember, an office chair isn't just a piece of furniture; it's an investment in your health and work performance.

By prioritising ergonomics, adjustability, and durability, you can find the perfect office chair that will enhance your workspace and ensure a more comfortable and productive workday. Feel free to come and test our specialist crafted deskbird ergonomic office chairs in our Auckland or Wellington showroom. We would love to show you the features and find you a perfect chair for your home or office. 


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