Buying the right office chair is the first step to ensuring comfort at work, and thus, increased productivity all day. It’s critically essential for your business; being comfortable improves productivity during the 8 hours you spend in the office every day. It’s cumbersome to sit for such an extended period, but the right office can make it bearable.
There are many choices when choosing your office chair. However, mesh office chairs are the most common office chairs used in the workplace. Unfortunately, there’s a wide range of mesh office chairs out there, making it hard to choose the right one. To make it easier, here are some factors that can help you choose the right mesh office chair that’s suitable for your needs.
1. Padded Seats vs. Open Mesh
Primarily, there are two types of seat designs you can choose from:
- Open mesh. Here, the whole seat is made from mesh, which stretches across the chair frame. However, the seat edges are padded with foam for a more comfortable sitting experience.
- Padded seats. Here, the seat is made from non-mesh fabric, including foam upholstered in leather, vinyl, or fabric. Only the backrest is built with mesh.
An open mesh seat offers a cool sitting experience, making it an ideal choice for office workers who sit for extended periods, or those who get hot and sweaty. However, the open mesh seat isn’t suitable for people living in cold regions or those who get chilly. In these cases, the warmth of a padded seat would be a fantastic option.
Another difference between the open mesh seat and padded seat is the general feeling of the seat. Even though an open mesh is firmer because of the lack of cushioning, it will also make you feel as if you’re floating or sitting on top of a cloud. On the other hand, a padded mesh seat feels just like a regular seat with the general coziness varying based on the foam thickness.
Unfortunately, the lack of cushioning in an open mesh seat can be a double-edged sword. Although it may feel cool, it might be uncomfortable because you’ll feel the seat frame. With a padded mesh seat, the foam acts as a buffer.
Pick an open mesh seat if:
- Want breathability
- Are looking for a floating sensation
Pick a padded mesh seat if you:
- Are looking for a warmer sitting experience
- Want the familiarity of a regular office chair
- Don’t want to feel as if you’re sitting on the seat frame.
Finally, it all comes down to preference, and the quality of the mesh which we will dive into next.
2. Mesh Quality
One of the most critical things you should consider when shopping for a mesh office chair is the mesh quality, especially if you’re planning to go with an open mesh seat. This is tricky because you want the mesh to be strong enough to last long, but still flexible for a comfortable sitting experience.
Choose mesh that’s tightly interwoven with extra fiber to make it elastic and gentle to the skin. This allows the mesh to spring back to its original shape and remain supportive when you’re pressing on it.
The low-quality mesh is often too soft or hard because of the lack of additional fibers and complicated woven patterns. This can create uneven flex points when you apply pressure on it, especially in the tailbone region. Also, low-quality mesh office chairs will compromise your sitting experience because the low-quality mesh is coarser and can even irritate your skin.
3. Seat Edge Padding
Another crucial factor to consider when looking for a mesh office chair is the padding around the edges of the mesh seat, especially the front edges.
Shop for mesh office chairs with a substantial amount of edge padding. The edge padding should comprise firm foam that’ll cushion your body from the hard edges of the seat frame.
4. Backrest Height
Mesh office chairs feature different backrests: low-, mid-, and high-back backrests. Choose backrest heights depending on your work.
A low-back mesh office chair is suitable for people who move regularly and lean forward to focus on their work. Low-back mesh office chairs are often referred to as task chairs, and they offer lumbar to mid-back support. Use an office chair with this type of backrest for a couple of hours at a time to prevent neck strain.
High Back vs. Mid Back Mesh Office Chairs
A mid-back chair features a backrest that’s 24 inches high from the seat. It supports your lower back and shoulders, leaving your neck and head with no support. Thus, a mid-back mesh office chair is suitable for irregular seating spells that don’t last for over four hours at a time. This is an ideal option for conference rooms and tight workstations.
High-back office chairs feature at least a 28-inch backrest. They support the entire back, and they also provide neck and head support. Choose high-back mesh office chairs, especially if you sit for extended periods of time, have existing neck pain, or do tons of creative thinking. The ErgoChair 2 from Autonomous is an excellent choice. The ErgoChair 2 features an adjustable headrest, which you lift or lower as a whole to cradle your neck and head in the right spots.
5. Weight Rating
Pick a mesh office chair with a weight rating that corresponds to your body weight. This makes sure the chair you’re buying can handle your weight while keeping you safe and making the chair last longer. For instance, if you weigh 250 pounds, an office chair with a maximum weight capacity of at least 300 pound is a perfect choice.
6. Sharp vs. Waterfall Edges
As mentioned above, the seat frame is more noticeable on open mesh seats. This applies pressure on your thighs, reducing blood circulation to your lower body. One of the best ways to solve this problem is by choosing a mesh chair with a waterfall edge.
Even with a padded mesh seat, a sloping seat edge significantly encourages blood flow to your lower extremities, preventing the numbing sensation in the lower legs often caused by sitting for extended periods in non-ergonomic office chairs.
Apart from ergonomics and quality, it’s essential that you pick a mesh office chair that’s best suited for your tasks and work environment. For instance, an open mesh chair is perfect if you sit for extended periods or if you get hot and sweaty. Also, a high-back mesh office chair is perfect for sitting for extended periods because it offers neck and head support. The six factors mentioned in this article will help you choose the right mesh office chair that’s suitable for your needs.
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