Looking For A Cheap Office Chair? The Skootch Factor

People often want to know which is the best cheap office chair to buy. And if you spend more than an hour a day in your chair the answer is always the same. There is no best cheap office chair. Period. Hang in there though as there is an affordable workaround. First though let's examine why cheap chairs are such a lousy option.

Why cheap office chairs are a bad idea
Unfortunately office furniture and supplies outlets have done a pretty good job of giving entirely the wrong impression about office chairs. More often than not they are full of sub $100 chairs, which on the face of it look great and are even comfortable when you try them for a couple of minutes. Not surprisingly people come to believe that a $100 will buy you a good desk chair.

It won't, here's why. For a start they lack some vital functions making it impossible to gain proper comfort. And if that isn't bad enough here's the main reason. It's one that you can't see.

The actual workings and structure of an office chair are hidden in its upholstery or under the seat itself. This allows budget chair manufacturers to hide low quality components from the unsuspecting buyer. And after a few months bits start to work loose and the once springy padding goes as flat as a tape worm and it feels like sitting on concrete. Quite often people tough it out for a couple of years and then go out and repeat the process by buying another low quality chair. Surely it's better to buy a good quality chair?

But I can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on an ergonomic office chair
In truth to get a good quality office seat which is going to last you for a number of years you need to lay out at least $350 or more. Of course it's perfectly understandable particularly in these challenging times that many people don't have the funds to invest this sort of money. So, unfortunately due to lack of funds they tend to repeat the cheap chair syndrome all over again ending up in the same frustrating position all too quickly.

A much better idea is to save for a decent replacement each month. You may need to tough it out in discomfort for a little while longer, however in the long run you'll be glad you saved up for the right answer.

With that said there is an affordable solution that will make the wait a lot more comfortable.

Introducing the BackJoy cradle


BackJoy Orthotic Cradle

The BackJoy is a carefully designed sitting cradle shaped a bit like those metal pan seats you used to see on 1940s farm tractors. However that's where the similarity ends. Made from flexible urethane foam its cleverly contoured shape forces you to sit properly on your sitz bones as nature intended.

It's very simple to use. You sit on top of it and use the handle at the front to pull it in snug. Finally you ‘skootch' into position by lifting your weight slightly and slide your buttocks to the rear of the seat. What you will find is that it cradles your pelvis and properly aligns your sitting posture so that your spine is correctly aligned. When you are using the BackJoy you can feel it moving to support you as you move in your chair. It removes the problem of your weight being concentrated on your sacrum and coccyx which causes your back to round and slump.

It works well with any seat and is good for hard seats. So if you have a worn out office chair with flattened foams a BackJoy is going make a big difference to your sitting comfort. And as it only costs $40 it makes so much more sense than buying another crappy chair.

Let's recap on what we've covered here:

  • Cheap office chairs for a $100 or less lack the features to provide lasting comfort
  • Cheap chairs conceal low quality components which quickly wear out
  • To get a proper office chair you need to spend upwards of $350
  • It far better to save for a quality replacement chair instead of buying another bad chair
  • A BackJoy cradle is an affordable solution when you're stuck with an uncomfortable chair

Here's where you can find out more about the BackJoy and read what users are saying about it. And if you do decide to replace your chair here's a summary of some quality office chairs worth investigating further.


Why Do People Buy Cheap Office Chairs? Don’t Be Caught Out By The Illusion Of Quality.

Back in the early 1980s when I first got involved in the office chair market I thought that office chairs were all much the same. I did a deal with a manufacturer to market its chairs and ordered one of its top range models for myself. It was big and brash, kind of like an armchair on wheels and in a bright red fabric.

Two weeks later I went to visit the supplier’s factory to see the product being made and I was shocked. You see, I saw my chair being made and it wasn’t pretty. It largely consisted of a framework of cheap plywood which was held together with staples. Then soft spongy foam was stuck to the plywood and the whole mess was covered in fabric to hide its crude construction.

It was then I realized I needed to get serious and look a lot deeper into the whole issue of quality. There was no way I could supply junky chairs like this to my clients.

Why are cheap chairs so commonplace and why do people buy them?
No matter where you look these days low cost office chairs are never far away. Consequently it’s easy to think that this what an office chair should cost.

I also think it has a lot to do with what’s under the hood. By that I mean it’s easy to be fooled by the looks of the chair. All those fancy trims and bits of chrome are little more than a distraction.

And if you stripped them away underneath it all you would find a lot of really cheap components that are so easy to conceal. Things like the foam which feels great at first but soon goes as flat as pancake after a couple of months. Or the low quality fixings holding the chair back onto to its central support, which frequently pull out.

Much like that big brash office chair I bought when I saw what was really in it, I realized you get what you pay for.

How much should you budget for an office chair?
To find a chair which has the right functions and is properly built and designed to last for many years you really need to be making an investment of at least $300 or more. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but with this kind of budget will get you the 5 essential features an office chair needs. Cheaper chairs often have limited functionality and may only have 1 year or even no warranty.

Why do you need to spend this kind of money?
Something you will notice with chairs at this pricing level and above is that they have good warranty periods. Usually at least 5 years, sometimes twice as long. This is the manufacture’s vote of confidence in its product, after all its not going to offer such a guarantee if it doesn't believe its chair will last for at least this period.

The foams in these chairs won’t flatten even with prolonged use because they been properly designed and made from quality materials which keep springing back into shape no matter how often and how long you sit on them.

Bits don’t work loose or drop off, because they are well engineered and tested to withstand the hammer of prolonged use. These things cost money and their advantages will quickly become apparent in use.

What other benefits will you get when you buy a quality office chair?
As a good deal of thought will have gone into the chair’s design you gain other subtle benefits. Things like the seat and pad being properly shaped to give good support. Consequently they offer great comfort as the bits that matter align with the parts of your body most needing support.

The additional adjustments you are able to make means it’s really easy to set up your seat so it’s precisely tailored to suit your own body. You won't find yourself shuffling from cheek to cheek as you try to get comfortable.

So let’s end with a quick summary of the points we've covered.
All that glisters is not gold, that cheap chair may look great but what’s under the hood?
Beware of being brainwashed by bargain chair offerings
Set a realistic budget at least $300 or more
Quality chairs come with proper warranty and components
You get great comfort and support from top quality chairs

Yes, we all like a bargain. However you need to be realistic and realize that any cheap chair will quickly show its limitations as soon as you sit in it for any length of time. Here’s a summary of some excellent ergonomic office chairs designed to support you properly and give many years of great service.

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