Office task chairs have changed a lot in the past few years. Depending on the model, manufacturer, adjustments and customization options, some chairs can be more significantly expensive than others.
Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we have 140 years of industry experience, so we know how stressful the buying process can be, especially when it comes to understanding the cost of an office chair.
In this article, we'll take a look at the factors that affect the final price of an office task chair, as well as a price range to help you select a chair that works for you and your employees.
What Factors Impact the Cost of an Office Task Chair?
The warranty is one of the most important features of any office task chair. Before you buy a chair, you should ask your office furniture provider about the warranty and what it covers – or, more specifically, what it doesn’t cover.
The final price of your office task chair will determine the limitations of the warranty, as well as the expected lifespan of the chair. The more expensive the chair, the better the warranty will be.
Cheaper office chairs are made of low-quality materials that are likely to break in a couple of years. Their warranties only last one to five years and they can exclude features like seat fabrics or mechanical adjustments.
Shorter warranties may only apply to smaller weight limits or limited weekday use. If something breaks, the manufacturer will probably send you the parts so you can fix it yourself.
High-end office task chairs are built to last, which means they have longer warranties. These warranties can last 10 to 12 years, cover all parts of the chair, and support larger weight limits.
Additionally, the dealer or manufacturer will handle any warranty claims or repairs themselves. At Egyptian, we provide the labor for all Steelcase chair warranties, including but limited to Series 1 and Series 2.
2. build quality
The last thing you need is an office task chair that lacks durability or breaks easily. Believe it or not, there's always a correlation between the price of a chair and its build quality.
Build quality refers to the craftsmanship of a chair and how well it stands up to everyday wear and tear. The overall quality can either increase or decrease the final cost of the chair.
BIFMA testing standards require roughly 20 tests for all types of office task seating. These tests help manufacturers design and produce office chairs that meet – if not exceed – industry standards.
The weight of the task chair should indicate its build quality. Two chairs may look exactly the same, but one chair can be made of sturdier materials and weigh a lot more.
Low-budget task chairs have simple bases and small, plastic casters that can only roll on low carpet. Seat pads can be thin and uncomfortable, while mesh backs can be coarse, hard on clothing and move too much.
Higher-end chairs have study aluminum bases and large casters that roll easily on different types of flooring. They also have flexible mesh backs and comfortable foam seats that conform to your body.
For example, Steelcase Gesture comes with additional options such as a polished aluminum base and glides, and the seat cushion has adaptive bolstering to comfortably conform to a wide range of user sizes.
3. Fit and Finish
The overall fit and finish of your office task chair are extremely important – you want a chair that fits together correctly, so it can support a variety of workers without breaking or falling apart.
As with any other feature, the final price will determine how well an office chair is put together, and whether you should be concerned about missing parts or an uneven fit. It will also determine the material and finish options.
Cheap office chairs can be shaky and have crooked, uneven parts that don’t fit together properly. They can also have low-grade fabrics and limited finish customization options.
On the other hand, high-budget office chairs are made of better materials. The parts fit together correctly, so there’s no need to worry about broken or wiggly parts. These chairs also have higher-end finishes and fabrics.
Some high-end chairs have fabrics with at least 100,000 double rubs. These chairs are typically used in commercial high-use areas, while less expensive task chairs have a double rub of 50,000 or more.
A double rub measures the abrasion resistance and durability of a fabric, and mimics everyday wear and tear. One back and forth motion counts as a double rub.
There are a plethora of adjustments to choose from when it comes to office task chairs. Whether you need a chair with adjustable arms or a height-adjustable lumbar, the options are almost overwhelming.
However, these ergonomic features come with an increase in price. The more adjustments you add to a chair, the more expensive the chair will be.
Cheaper office task chairs come with basic adjustments, such as a tilt recline, a seat height adjustment or back- and arm-height adjustments. These features may be standard, but they can also be difficult to adjust.
High-budget office chairs have smoother adjustment capabilities that're easier to move and adjust as needed. They have more customization options for adjustments, such as an adjustable seat depth or lumbar support.
For example, Steelcase Amia offers several standard adjustments, such as a seat depth, seat height height-adjustable lumbar support and a variable back lock.
Whether you’re buying a chair for yourself or an entire company, every person has a different body type and needs. Adjustments can also help you create a customized sitting experience for more than one user.
Regardless of the type of chair, there are four features that everyone can benefit from:
- Adjustable Seat Depth – The seat depth adjusts the seat forward or backward to minimize pressure on the user’s thighs.
- Adjustable Seat Height – The seat height adjusts within a specific range to accommodate users of different heights, ensure long-term comfort and improve blood circulation.
- Adjustable Lumbar Support – The lumbar support provides users with additional back and lumbar support as they change positions throughout the day.
- Adjustable Arms – Arms that adjust in height, width, and depth provide forearm support and keep your arms, shoulders and neck properly aligned.
One of the main selling points of any office chair is its customization options. Some manufacturers offer a variety of fabrics and finishes so you can have a truly custom sitting experience – but it all depends on the price tag.
Low-budget office task chairs come straight out of the catalog, which means they have few customization options to choose from, if any at all.
Expensive office chairs offer a variety of options for you to choose from, including custom fabrics, finishes, casters and mesh backs. They also have additional armrest options and other ergonomic adjustments.
Steelcase Think is available in six leather options and over 50 fabric colors, as well as three frame finishes. It also comes with an adjustable headrest and either an adjustable or fixed lumbar support.
6. SHIPPING AND ASSEMBLY
While you may not realize it, shipping and assembly costs can also impact the final price of an office task chair.
Typically, these costs are built into the final price of your chair. However, they may differ depending on certain factors, such as the manufacturer or the chair size.
A cheap office chair may help you save money, but you’ll spend a lot of time putting it together. Low-budget chairs arrive in pieces with little packaging, and they have the highest potential of damage in transit.
With more expensive chairs like Steelcase Leap, no assembly is required. They arrive fully assembled, with additional packaging and little to no damage. The only thing you have to do is take the chair out of the box.
How much do office chairs cost?
So, the question remains - on average, how much does an office chair cost?
When it comes to office task chairs, there is not a one price fits all. Office chairs can range in price from $100 to $1500, depending on the build quality, adjustments and other factors.
You should expect to spend around $350 to $800 on a high-quality ergonomic chair with a 10-year warranty, customization options and at least four other features.
If these numbers are out of your price range, Egyptian offers office task chairs beginning at the $150 mark, but you’ll sacrifice a lot of ergonomic features.
Want to learn more about office seating? Download our comprehensive guide below for an in-depth look at some of the best office task chairs available!