Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

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PhysicsTeacher
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Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by PhysicsTeacher » Sat May 30, 2020 6:31 pm

I've been using a folding chair at a card table for working from home since mid-March, and now that I'm getting word that I should expect to be mostly home through at least the fall semester, I think a cushioned seat and actual back support are worth spending a bit. Normally, I'd scour the thrift stores and then go try out chairs somewhere like Staples or IKEA if that didn't pan out, but right now I'd strongly prefer to have something shipped.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat May 30, 2020 6:37 pm

What specific sort of budget are we talking about here? The range for "on a budget" is pretty wide depending on individual circumstances.

z91
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by z91 » Sat May 30, 2020 6:42 pm

Do not buy a chair online without trying it out or be prepared to return it if it doesn't work for you.

I bought a highly rated one from a big box store online (2k+ 5 star reviews) and it simply didn't work for me. I sat in it and my back was in immediate pain.

I brought it back to the store the next day and refuse to buy another chair sight unseen.

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anon_investor
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by anon_investor » Sat May 30, 2020 6:42 pm

z91 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:42 pm
Do not buy a chair online without trying it out or be prepared to return it if it doesn't work for you.

I bought a highly rated one from a big box store online (2k+ 5 star reviews) and it simply didn't work for me. I sat in it and my back was in immediate pain.

I brought it back to the store the next day and refuse to buy another chair sight unseen.
+1. Try before you buy, otherwise buy from a place with a liberal return policy.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by sailaway » Sat May 30, 2020 6:49 pm

After much trial and error, DH has settled on one of our dining room chairs.

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PhysicsTeacher
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by PhysicsTeacher » Sat May 30, 2020 7:03 pm

I've been considering ordering from IKEA since they have a 365 day return window. I know buying online is a gamble, but right now there are family circumstances that prevent my going out to shop.
sailaway wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:49 pm
After much trial and error, DH has settled on one of our dining room chairs.
Alas, the terrible folding chairs are also what we're using for dining room chairs. We offloaded our old hand me down table and chairs before a cross country move last summer, and when we got here, our landlord had left a card table and the folding chairs in case we wanted to use them so finding replacements wasn't a priority.
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:37 pm
What specific sort of budget are we talking about here? The range for "on a budget" is pretty wide depending on individual circumstances.
I'd like to stay under $200, and closer to $100 if I can find something okay at that price point.

runner3081
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by runner3081 » Sat May 30, 2020 7:24 pm

Check Craigslist and sorts for used Herman Miller chairs.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by quantAndHold » Sat May 30, 2020 7:25 pm

I never tried it, but Wirecutter picked the HON Exposure as their budget pick. $275-300.

The $1-200 range is going to be a lot of garbage that is either not adjustable, not comfortable, or breaks down within a couple of months. If any are open near you, a used office supply store would be the way to go.
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by fogalog » Sat May 30, 2020 7:30 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 7:24 pm
Check Craigslist and sorts for used Herman Miller chairs.
+1

I bought a re-manufactured / open box Herman Miller Aeron chair in 2002. I think I paid about $400 when retail was about $800. It is still as good as new.

You should be able to find them used, excellent quality for $250-300 on craigslist (even in the Bay Area).

Good luck!

PS: I am not ignoring the "on a budget" part of your post - I just believe you should spend judiciously on your office chair since you will likely spend a lot of time in it and back pain is no joke.

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BB76
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by BB76 » Sat May 30, 2020 7:36 pm

I have used and highly recommend the Markus office chair from Ikea. It is a high back chair with several adjustments and usually sells for about $200, but you can sometimes find it on sale. I believe several ratings sites recommend it as well.
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by BruinBones » Sat May 30, 2020 7:54 pm

BB76 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 7:36 pm
I have used and highly recommend the Markus office chair from Ikea. It is a high back chair with several adjustments and usually sells for about $200, but you can sometimes find it on sale. I believe several ratings sites recommend it as well.
I was about to recommend “try before you buy,” because the comfort of a chair is so subjective and personal, but I decided to look this one up, and it appears to be similar to one I’ve used in the office for many years, and seems to meet your criteria. So if you can’t try first, I think this one might be the next best thing.

Saving$
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Saving$ » Sat May 30, 2020 7:58 pm

Costco Bayside office chair. Often on sale for $80 but about $120 regular price is still worth it. Usually on their website but they must be sold out..

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by unclescrooge » Sun May 31, 2020 1:32 am

PhysicsTeacher wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 7:03 pm
I've been considering ordering from IKEA since they have a 365 day return window. I know buying online is a gamble, but right now there are family circumstances that prevent my going out to shop.
sailaway wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:49 pm
After much trial and error, DH has settled on one of our dining room chairs.
Alas, the terrible folding chairs are also what we're using for dining room chairs. We offloaded our old hand me down table and chairs before a cross country move last summer, and when we got here, our landlord had left a card table and the folding chairs in case we wanted to use them so finding replacements wasn't a priority.
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:37 pm
What specific sort of budget are we talking about here? The range for "on a budget" is pretty wide depending on individual circumstances.
I'd like to stay under $200, and closer to $100 if I can find something okay at that price point.
I've had incredibly bad experiences ordering from Ikea online. Good luck returning anything.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun May 31, 2020 2:42 am

Goodwill and other thrift stores
Used office furniture stores.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun May 31, 2020 4:41 am

I recommend an Aeron chair.

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Tubes
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Tubes » Sun May 31, 2020 7:27 am

z91 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 6:42 pm
Do not buy a chair online without trying it out or be prepared to return it if it doesn't work for you.

I bought a highly rated one from a big box store online (2k+ 5 star reviews) and it simply didn't work for me. I sat in it and my back was in immediate pain.

I brought it back to the store the next day and refuse to buy another chair sight unseen.
I know this has been +1 already, but let me add to the chorus. +1, +1

I had the exact same experience, except I bought from an on-line only retailer. Return would have been possible and a hassle, so instead I donated it. In my case, I ended up going to a Staples or Office Depot (can't remember which, I visited both) and sat in about 20 chairs. It took that many to find The One. 4 years later I still have it, sitting on it hours per day. And, it was very reasonably priced.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by StevieG72 » Sun May 31, 2020 7:37 am

I picked up a Markus chair from Ikea which is a leap above my normal budget for a chair. ( approx $199 )
Great comfortable chair! Worth the money spent.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

runner3081
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by runner3081 » Sun May 31, 2020 7:44 am


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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Sandtrap » Sun May 31, 2020 8:29 am

If you have a widely adjustable "stand up desk", your chairs can vary from a large bean bag to a comfy office chair.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by cashboy » Sun May 31, 2020 10:55 am

amazon has many chairs and a good return policy.

if ordering online one thing to keep in mind is your weight and size, since many chairs have low weight capacities and the width of the seat cushion can put you up against the arms.

also, check for BIFMA certification.

https://www.bifma.org/page/standardsoverview
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Toons » Sun May 31, 2020 11:07 am

I am not saying Sams Club
but something like this
Don't cut corners
You want to be comfortable :mrgreen:
https://www.samsclub.com/p/srj-chairser ... roduct_1_2
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by rob » Sun May 31, 2020 11:13 am

StevieG72 wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 7:37 am
I picked up a Markus chair from Ikea which is a leap above my normal budget for a chair. ( approx $199 )
Great comfortable chair! Worth the money spent.
It starts out comfortable BUT the black plastic rubs off after some time and you get random falls when sitting down and the shock just fils and goes right to bottom (it's just random and works 95% of the time). This is one of those pay me now or pay me later things....
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by RudyS » Sun May 31, 2020 4:26 pm

I bought this from Staples after trying other models. It was on sale for about $50 less a few months ago. Pretty comfortable for me.
https://www.staples.com/beautyrest-plat ... 7cQAvD_BwE

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by notinuse » Sun May 31, 2020 4:47 pm

I bought the Alera Elusion chair from Walmart about four years ago. It's actually built reasonably well, and is comfortable for me. Walmart returns are easy, and Amazon also sells it if you prefer. About $150 right now.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Alera-Elusio ... k/19218322

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by sleepysurf » Sun May 31, 2020 5:02 pm

I posted (in another thread) about recently purchasing a Steelcase Criterion chair, which I've fallen in love with. It's exceedingly comfortable, with myriad adjustments. In true Boglehead fashion, I bought a refurbished one online from Crandall Office Furniture. Saved a bunch of $$, and it looks and feels brand new. They also offer free returns within 30 days.
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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by tvubpwcisla » Sun May 31, 2020 5:19 pm

Stay invested my friends.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by peke9898 » Sun May 31, 2020 5:30 pm

I bought Knoll Generation last week for $80 from Facebook Marketplace. I found a local small business owner who buys used office furniture when a company closes and resales it. I was able to try out few chairs outside in his parking lot by keeping social distance.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 7:24 pm
Check Craigslist and sorts for used Herman Miller chairs.
This. I've bought 2 this way over the past 3-4 years. You may have to increase your budget, unless you get lucky.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by PhysicsTeacher » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:45 pm

I'm really tempted to post links to the chairs currently available on Craigslist and Facebook in my area. It isn't pretty, and let's just say there's not much hope of Herman Miller, Steelcase, or Knoll turning up soon. I'm sure the selection is much better in, say, the Bay Area.

I appreciate everyone who has offered suggestions, even those far beyond my budget. You've given me some great ideas for chairs to consider in a few years when I am out of graduate school. Even though my fellowship stipend is pretty generous (not that big a pay cut from what I earned teaching in a tiny, high poverty, rural school district), I don't feel comfortable spending $400 on a single piece of furniture right now.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:08 pm

My home office chair is a cheaper, more generic version of my work office chair. It's works well for me, but I am on the smaller side of the body frame spectrum. My home office chair is a Realspace MFTC 200 and my work chair is Eurotech Apollo MFT9450. What I like about both chairs is that you can adjust the seat angle and back angle, in addition to the standard seat height and arm rest height adjustments. They also allow you to adjust the back height, so you can get the lumbar support in just the right spot, and the arm rest width, although that does require flipping the Realspace upside down and manually adjusting screws.

The Eurotech is out of your price range on Amazon and I've rarely seen it go on sale, although putting it in your Amazon watch list and checking the price periodically may lead to an unexpected deal. The list price of the Realspace chair at Office Depot is slightly above your budget. However, if you're willing to watch Office Depot ads for a while, you can find the Realspace on a very good deal from time to time. I got mine for under $200 on a good sale.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Wild Indigo » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:28 pm

A local office furniture store that sells refurbished/used office chairs is hard to beat. The used inventory included several models of chairs currently in use by my employer so i knew the quality was good.

For reference, I am in OKC and was able to purchase a chair for $120. The staff was knowledgeable and was able to direct us to 2-3 chairs out of their large inventory that fit our requirements (adjustable arms, lumbar support, recline).

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Elena » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:30 pm

I will not be answering your question, but rather recommending you a very expensive chair. I spend many hours sitting on it, and changing my posture. I have not once regretted the expenditure; myself being short, I have the short cylinder and also a wheeled foot stool that attaches to the HAG, which the dog sometimes uses as petting platform). It makes one switch positions, and looks like it was bought yesterday; I have had it for about seven years and will probably keep for a very long time.

https://www.officechairsusa.com/shop-by-brand/hag/

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by MoneyClip » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:05 pm

I just bought one of these a couple weeks ago. I have had a lot of office chairs over the years but my favorite has always been the Herman Nelson and I have to say so far this is on par with one of them.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lorell-ErgoM ... k/19291869

https://www.lorellfurniture.com/product/LLR60324?s1=sm

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by lazydavid » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:38 pm

sleepysurf wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 5:02 pm
I posted (in another thread) about recently purchasing a Steelcase Criterion chair, which I've fallen in love with. It's exceedingly comfortable, with myriad adjustments. In true Boglehead fashion, I bought a refurbished one online from Crandall Office Furniture. Saved a bunch of $$, and it looks and feels brand new. They also offer free returns within 30 days.
Wholeheartedly endorse Crandall. I got a remanufactured Steelcase Leap V2 from them back in March, for about half the price of new (with the same warranty!), and service was amazing.

This falls into my longstanding belief that one should never skimp on anything that goes between oneself and the ground. This includes chairs, mattresses, tires, shoes, ladders, etc.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:35 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:38 pm
sleepysurf wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 5:02 pm
This falls into my longstanding belief that one should never skimp on anything that goes between oneself and the ground. This includes chairs, mattresses, tires, shoes, ladders, etc.
Agreed.

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Re: Suggestions for a comfortable desk chair on a budget

Post by BroIceCream » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:15 pm

Have you talked with your employer? I am aware of some employers that are allowing employees to check-out a chair or office items to use temporarily at home. You may need to sign a checkout/release form to remove it from the premises.
It may be worth the conversation.

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