PUBLISHED ON 30 OCT 2017 BY MELANIE LAWRENCE
If you have already been looking for an office chair, then you know that there is a ton of options out there.
They are also priced differently - you can literally get a chair for less than $100 or you can spend a mini-fortune investing into something priced at over $1000.
Today I am going to show you what you can expect from an office chair under $200 and give you 4 best options to consider in 2017.
Let's get to it (click to navigate):
Modway Articulate (full review) is a very cute and good-looking chair that is priced at the lower range of the spectrum.
Is it the best office chair under 200 dollars?
Quite possibly - yes.
For the price Modway Articulate has an impressive amount of adjustment controls, which I find to be absolutely necessary for comfort while sitting.
Office Star (full review) is another chair in my review and I really like it for its style.
It's a bit more expensive than Articulate, but is still within the 200-dollar range.
The armrests can't be adjusted, but you still can flip them up and down.
This chair has a number of designs and it is Mesh Managers Chair that I mention here.
Alera Elusion (full review)...I love this chair!
It has been on the market for a long time and, in my humble opinion, may well be the best office chair under 200 dollars out there.
I think that, because unlike other chairs, Elusion comes in two different sizes, which are mid- and high-back, so it can really fit well a lot of people.
Modway Veer (full review) a drafting stool for people working on projects and hobbies and has a footrest and a 360 degree swivel.
It has a breathable form fitted mesh back with padded waterfall edge to keep your thigh and back posture perfect.
It has a user friendly tilt that keeps your back locked in place and a control knob that adjusts the seat to fit your body weight perfectly.
Many consumers will assume that they can't get much for their money what it comes to an ergonomic chair under $200.
This is understandable.
Some of the best models around provide a great range of motion on all sorts of features, but do so at a high price.
When a Herman Miller headrest alone costs nearly $200, you question the benefits of these cheaper chairs.
The good news for those on a budget is that many brands try their best to provide great adaptations at this price point.
There are three main components to look at here:
A strong, hydraulic seat height adjustment is essential with all office chairs, no matter their price.
If we can't raise it to sit comfortably at the desk, then there is no point in this.
Cheaper models might not be so easy to use, but they should offer a choice of height increments.
As for the seat back, many buyers will also expect a good tilt.
This can vary from brand to brand, depending on the cost.
Some of the cheapest will be quite minimal in the angle achieved.
Those that want a more flexible chair, say for napping during a long day, may have to look elsewhere.
Then there are the arms.
The general rule here is the higher the price, the greater the options and range of movement.
There are some top products with arms that move in a 360 degree motion for great comfort and adaptability.
Many are also removable.
However, at this price point you are most likely to find a more basic movement.
This means up and down and back and forth.
This talk of the arms rests leads nicely to expectations on comfort with these lower priced office chairs.
Frankly, those that pay triple that for big, cozy cushioned executive chairs wont expect much from the comfort here.
Depending on the model, some could be pleasantly surprised with what they find, while others are proved correct.
There are many cheaper options that do their best to provide just enough cushioning in the right places.
This means a well-padded seat, a waterfall edge to help with circulation issues in the legs and enough support around the back.
Some will have a fixed shape with padding all along the back.
Others will have an adjustable, perhaps even removable lumbar support pillow.
The problem here is that the worst models really can be quite bad.
Brands that offer the bare minimum, or simply don't understand ergonomics, end up with firm, or even lumpy chairs that are no good for a long day at the desk.
Again, this can vary quite a lot between designers and products.
Understandably, big executive chairs covered in soft, real leather are going to be out of the price range here.
Brands can't upholster this chair with such a costly material without cutting corners in other areas, like the padding or adjustable features.
There are different approaches here for consumers to keep in mind.
The first is the use of faux leather and other composite materials that mimic the real thing.
Some of these can look really good and fool some employees.
It might not be as soft or durable, but it looks the part and gives a façade of luxury.
The problem with this use of leather – real or faux – is that it can be an issue on hotter days.
Many brands get around this issue of clammy, hot bodies in constrictive office chairs with the use of a mesh back.
Mesh is a great solution for two reasons.
First of all, it is breathable enough to reduce these comfort issues.
Secondly, it is a cheaper option than a big padded leather back rest.
You will find that many of the budget office chairs have this mesh back for these reasons.
Those that have the right shape, a durable material and additional lumbar support should be great.
This all suggests that consumers also have limited options when it comes to the look of these chairs.
There is a common look with many low-priced office chairs.
Most start off with that typical black padded seat, chrome swiveling 5-point base and a mesh back rest of medium height.
Small differences come in the shape of the arms, the patterns on the mesh and any additional features available within budget.
This is the most common look, but it is not the only look.
There are some designers that swerve off the rails a little to create a budget version of a more contemporary look, or of an old-fashioned executive chair.
There are fun, bold shapes and designs around.
There are pros and cons to this approach.
The positive side here is that you get a chair that looks the part, with a familiar style, at a cheaper price.
This is the case with many racing-style office chairs with the bold colors, bucket seats and extreme cushioning.
However, these models wont share as many features as the "real" thing.
They may not be as well made either.
This leads to the final point here on the durability of these chairs.
There are some durability issues with those brands that concentrate more on style and gimmicks than on construction.
The placement of the padding will be questionable, but it might also wear through too quickly.
There are also concerns in some models with the use of bad mechanisms and poor quality parts.
This leads to risks of the chair breaking, which subsequently results in the issue of weight capacity.
The specified capacity of a chair may differ from the real-life experience of its user.
This isn't true for all low-end chairs, as some are tougher than they look.
Either way, whatever the type of chair, brand and materials used, it is important to double check all specifications and user reviews.
This is the only way to better understand the build quality, functionality and true worth of these office chairs.
As you could probably imagine, hunting for the best office chair with that 200 USD limit is quite hard - quality issues, limited warranty, lack of adjustability and overall comfort can all be an issue.
Having said this, it is not impossible to find a great thing for yourself.
Pay attention to previous reviews and, if possible, always try before you buy.
Melanie Lawrence for MyErgonomicChair.com
P.S. And if you found this article useful, please share it with those that might need it!
Melanie Lawrence is passionate about helping people overcome their musculoskeletal problems, pains and strains.
She writes exclusively for MyErgonomicChair.com on those subjects.
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