I Was Chairless One Day, Then I Wasn’t!
Sitting around is the best way to find your perfect desk chair. I spent a couple of days testing out chairs and learnt that my perfect chair wasn’t right for everyone.
I can’t remember what was hurting more, my back or my backside. I’d been in this job for a while at that point, and don’t get me wrong – I love the work and the people – but the chair they gave me was doing my head in. Day after day I’d plonk down onto the wretched thing and within minutes the pain had flared up. Sometimes I was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t even concentrate on my work. I’d get up and walk around as much as possible, but my computer-based work has me chained to the desk, so back to the chair I would grudgingly go.
It was time to do something before I exceeded my health fund’s physio cover. I opted against a burning ceremony to rid myself of the demon desk chair, and simply abandoned it in a storeroom. From that moment I was on a crusade to find my Goldilocks chair – one that was just right for me.
After a bit of online research, I narrowed it down to 6 candidates from Buro. Each met my weight requirement and should have been suitable for my full day at the computer. Next it was on to the test run. My colleagues were keen to help out and so I shared the chairs around and got their feedback. Here’s what we thought:
CANDIDATE 1 – METRO II CONNECTDean: It’s very light and the castors are smooth and make it easy to move around. I like the soft cushion. It’s a very comfy chair. Rating: 7/10
Me: As a basic office chair with no rocking or tilting mechanisms, this chair was okay but not for my full day at the desk. I got the heights of the chair and back into good positions, but without the extra adjustments I couldn’t get completely comfortable. I do love the softness of the seat cushion and the feel of the elasticised fabric. This is the chair I’d probably put in my home office, especially with its entry level price point. My Rating: 6/10
CANDIDATE 2 – METROSonja: I thought a chair was just a chair until I sat down on the Buro Metro… and now I never want to get up again. It’s so comfy and I particularly like how cushiony the seat is. I’m usually a bit of a sloucher, so the curve of the back is really helping to improve my posture without making me uncomfortable. Rating: 9/10
Me: I loved sitting in this chair. The broad mesh back had enough give for my back to rest comfortably and the rocking and tilting adjustments let me find the right angles to sit ergonomically. For me it lost points for the seat. I like a really soft seat and the knit style fabric covering made what was a super-soft cushion on the Metro II Connect, a much firmer cushion on the Metro. My Rating: 9/10
CANDIDATE 3 – ROMAHelen: I love the padding of the upholstered back and the height of the back is perfect for me. I could tilt the back into a comfortable position and all the adjustments were easy to make. The wheels glide smoothly across my chairmat and the chair makes no noise. Rating: 9/10
Me: This is a solid and comfortable desk chair. It has all the same adjustments as the Metro, but where it differed was where it missed the mark for me. I found the woven-style fabric a bit rough, not so much when I was sitting on it, but to touch. This fabric did make the seat cushion very firm, and this, along with the upholstered back, were the reason it wasn’t right for me. My Rating: 5/10
CANDIDATE 4 – METRO II 24/7Jennifer: It’s so soft I don’t want to get off it! Rating: 10/10
Me: This is what I imagine sitting on a cloud is like! With my partiality for softness, this chair is just right! The elasticised fabric is smooth and has lots of give, allowing the cushion to be delightfully spongy. The high mesh back provides me with the perfect amount of support, so my back is in the correct ergonomic position and really comfortable. Having the seat and back tilt adjustment, as well as seat and back height adjustment, allowed me to shape it to fit my body. My Rating: 10/10
CANDIDATE 5 – METRO II EXTRA HIGH BACKRebecca: I like the adjustable arms and lumbar support, and the softness of the seat cushion. I find the mesh back cool and comfortable. (NB. Rebecca kept this chair). Rating: 10/10
Me: Being able to adjust the lumbar is my favourite feature of this chair – it is so easy to slide into position and presses in snugly. The seat is the same dreamy softness of the Metro II 24/7 and Metro II Connect that I love, but the extra high back didn’t cut it for me. Having the frame far above my shoulders meant there isn’t as much support as I like. For my 165cm height, the seat depth adjustment was unnecessary, although I can imagine this and the extra high back are quite handy for taller people.
CANDIDATE 6 – PERSONA 24/7Andy: I like the full adjustability of this chair – I can even adjust the seat depth to fit my legs comfortably. I like that the coarse weave fabric isn’t slippery and that the seat is really firm. (NB. Andy kept this chair). Rating: 10/10
Me: It surprised me how much I like the upholstered back of this chair, not having liked it on the Roma. The firm pressure behind my shoulders was quite soothing. The additional lever let me add more movement to my seated position, kind of like sitting on an exercise ball without the worry of falling off. While the other adjustable chairs spring too far forward when the lever wasn’t locked, this one rested in a more natural horizontal position. Like the Roma however, this was just too firm for me to sit in for long periods of time. My Rating: 6/10
THE VERDICTThe Metro II 24/7 is the clear winner for me. With my preference for an extra soft seat cushion, high mesh back, and rocking and tilting adjustments, the Metro II 24/7 delivers the perfect package for me. Interestingly, my colleagues liked features that I didn’t on the other chairs. I discovered that there is no one desk chair that is perfect for everyone, but it is possible to find one that is perfect for me.
Notes: The base seemed to make no difference functionally whether it was chrome or plastic. Arms were available for all models, however I only tested them on 2 chairs them as I don’t use them.