Choosing Meeting Chairs – 5

This is the final post in the series on choosing meeting chairs and it’s time to look at the different types of meeting chair and where best to use them.

The available choice of meeting chairs is huge, so let's begin by breaking them down into 4 main categories.

  • Wood framed chairs
  • Metal framed chairs
  • Swivel chairs
  • Sofas, settees and lounge chairs

Next, let's consider each of our categories and where they might best be used.

Wood Framed Chairs

This type of meeting seat generally comes in either four legged, cantilever or sled based frames. In terms of use they are all pretty suitable for normal meeting use and if you prefer a wood finish it will largely be a case of looks and style that will influence your choice.

If space is at a premium you may need to go for chairs that nest and stack and it’s likely that four legged chairs will offer the widest choice for this. However, it is possible to get nesting and stacking chairs in the other frame style, but they tend to be bulkier and stacking height can be pretty limited.

Companies like HON offer a huge choice of wood framed visitor chairs.

Main advantage of wood chairs are comfort and appearance.

Metal Framed Chairs

Metal framed meeting chairs come in much the same frame styles as wooden chairs, but also include folding chairs, which are a lot less common in wood.

The main advantage of metal framed chairs is their durability, they can handle knocks and bumps better and won't lose chunks out of them or scratch as easily as wood.

They also tend to offer better stacking capability and it’s not unusual to be able to stack 10 chairs high and folding chairs offer the ability to save a lot of space too.

Main advantages of metal chairs are durability and practicality.

Swivel Chairs

Although swivel chairs are more commonly thought of as desk chairs, they make great meeting chairs. For meetings that last a long time they make a great choice as they let the user move easily. If you sit through long meetings on fixed chairs, you'll know how you can end up feeling as stiff as a board after a few hours.

Some swivels come fitted with a return mechanism that returns the chair to face the meeting table when you get out of it. These are popular for board rooms and important meeting rooms as they keep things looking neat and tidy.

Main advantages of swivel meeting chairs are comfort, appearance and practicality.

Sofas, Settees and Lounge Seats

This sort of seating is ideal for informal meeting areas and is very popular for reception lobby areas and waiting areas.

There are many differing styles in this type of seating and there are two important considerations to bear in mind when selecting these sorts of seats.

First, try and avoid the sort of seat with deep upholstery as people tend to sink into them and it can be awkward and embarrassing if they struggle getting out of them. Second, watch out for sofas and seats that are very deep, for the same reason.

They're fine for tall users, but people of below average height can find themselves perched on the edge of the seat and feel ill at ease.

Main advantages of sofas, settees and lounge seats are informality and appearance.

That concludes this 5 part post on meeting chair selection.


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