Purchasing a chair for home – Buying guide


Essentially, there are three main factors to consider when deciding on a chair:


  • Budget.  Chairs vary in price from around £30 to almost £2000 with most good chairs starting around the £250 mark and top of the range chairs costing between £800 and £1200.  If a chair costs more than this, it is usually due to the aesthetics/design, rather than ergonomics.  This is not to say that you cannot be comfortable in a chair that costs less than £250 but the cheaper chairs, though they may have some similar features to the more expensive ones, have inferior build quality which impacts their lifespan and the ease and range of adjustability.  Think of it like buying a mattress, if you spend £100, it might be comfortable for a little while, but the inferior materials and technology will ultimately lead to discomfort and poor sleep.  Our chairs range from the superb Orthopaedica range starting at £199 to the industry leading RH New Logic, starting at £999


  • Size.  It is important that a chair fits your body frame.  You can take some measurements, if you want to be exact.  The most important ones are A, D and E from the picture below.  These relate to the seat depth; the backrest height and the seat width respectively.  Make sure the seat depth is not too long for your thighs (A), that the back rest is tall enough to support your shoulders (D) and that the seat is wide enough for your hips (E). 

  • You can find dimensions for our chairs in the specification sections, but if you have the ability, simply sit in some chairs, as you would when purchasing a new mattress or sofa.  You can do this at our Seating Clinic.

  • Material.  Chairs are typically made of either mesh or foam, and there are pros and cons to both, these include:





  • Whether you prefer mesh or foam, bear in mind, the cost will reflect the quality of the foam or mesh used and, as stated above, this will impact the long-term comfort and support offered by the chair. 


Aside from these elements, it is a matter of reviewing the other features and functions that chairs may have and seeing which you prefer.  Here are some of those to consider.


  • Synchronised or Asynchronous/Independent tilt.  A chair can recline in two ways, where the back and seat tilt back together at a predefined ratio, usually enabling the back/seat angle to open as you recline further, or where the back tilts back and forth independently of the seat.  The latter enables you to set the angle of recline between the seat and the back rest as you see fit.

  • Lumbar pump.  This is an inflatable cushion, fitted into foam-backed chairs, that enables the depth of the cushioning to the lower spine to be adjusted.

  • Adjustable arms.  Arms should be height adjustable and ideally width and depth adjustable.  They should not obstruct you from getting as close to the desk as you wish.

  • Free tilt.  Many chairs have a dynamic tilt where instead of having the chair locked you can release the tilt and then adjust the tension or spring according to your body weight so that the chair tilts with you as you move.


Ideally, you should trial a chair before buying it.  You wouldn’t buy a mattress without trying it out first and, again, if you are in Ashford or the Kent area, please visit us at our Seating Clinic.  You will need to make an appointment, which you can do here.

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