The Best Office Chair Doesn't Have to Cost an Arm and a Leg

Furnishing my home office on my tight budget was becoming a challenge; especially since it was really important to me to have the best office chair possible.

Fortunately for me, I discovered that there are manufacturers out there who actually offer quality chairs that I can afford. One of those manufacturers is the HON company, and their HON Mesh Back Work Chair looks to be just what I've been searching for.

Essential Features of the Best Office Chair

To be sure that I was able to get as many features of the best office chairs that I could, I did some research and found out that the highest-rated chairs had several things in common:

  • Adjustable seat depth

  • Adjustable back height

  • Adjustable Arm Rest Height

  • Pneumatic height adjustment

  • Adjustable tilt tension

The first thing I noticed was that the HON Mesh Back Work Chair was missing two of these features: the adjustable seat depth and the adjustable back height. Undaunted by this realization, I recognized that some features might have to be sacrificed when I was focusing on keeping my budget happy, so I decided to see how real people felt about the features that this chair does have.

Adjustable Seat Depth

OK, so you can't adjust the depth of the seat on this chair, but come to find out, there aren't really very many chairs out there that do have this feature. The point of adjusting the depth of the seat is to accommodate people with different leg lengths, but the truth is, most office chairs will accommodate the average person. If you're not the average person, you probably need to "try on" a chair to get a comfortable fit, anyway.

Adjustable Back Height

An adjustable back height seems to have something to do with ergonomic design, which means a chair fits your curves and contours so that you don't feel strained and fatigued by lack of support. Supposedly, by adjusting the back height of the chair, you can enhance your back support.

Ironically, back support was one of the features of the HON Mesh Back Work Chair that got the highest ratings from reviewers, even without the option of adjusting the back height.

As it turns out, the mesh fabric that the back of the chair is composed of has just the right amount of support and flexibility to conform to your natural contours without needing any engineering. It serves as a firm foundation, but without the rigid quality that encourages fidgeting, sore spots, and pressure sores. As an added bonus, it allows plenty of ventilation to keep you cool.

Adjustable Arm Rest Height

One quality that I think is non-negotiable in the best office chair is the ability to adjust the height of the arm rests. If the arm rests are too high, you're forced to hunch up your shoulders, which creates tension in your neck and upper back. If the arm rests are too low, you may have trouble working on a keyboard or performing other duties at your desk. Fortunately, this chair has arm rests that are not only adjustable, but they're comfortable in other ways, as well.

The arm rest adjustment covers a span of three inches, so most people should be able to achieve a level where they have the most comfort. Keeping a good alignment between your forearms, wrists, and fingers will lower the risk for repetitive stress injuries. For elbow comfort, the padding on the arm rests is soft and spongy so that your elbows don't feel sore from resting on a hard surface.

Pneumatic Height Adjustment

Even though you can't adjust the depth of the seat, you can adjust its height, and in my opinion, that's much more important when you're trying to find the best office chair. Your seat should be adjusted so that you can sit at a comfortable level with the top of your desk and still keep your feet flat on the floor.

The easiest way to adjust the height is with a pneumatic device, and this chair's device is smooth, effective, and efficient. I couldn't find any information on the weight capacity for the pneumatic cylinder, but there were no complaints about this feature on the HON Mesh Back Work Chair , so I assume it works satisfactorily for the average person, which is me.

Adjustable Tilt Tension

The adjustable tilt is the feature that allows you to maintain the posture that makes you feel most comfortable, and the HON Mesh Back Work Chair can adjust the tilt of the back and seat as one unit. Being able to adjust the tension of the tilt enables you to create just enough "give" in the back to support your weight without letting you topple over. The lighter you are, the looser you can adjust the tension, and vice versa.

Besides the tilt feature, it also has a 360 degree swivel feature. This is another important consideration in my own idea of the best office chair, since I have different work areas on every side of me and I like to be able to just twist around a little to switch from one task to another.

What Else Should You Be Aware Of?

  • Price — as I said, I'm looking for the best office chair on a budget, and ths brand, the basyx by HON HVL531 Mesh Back Work Chair fits the bill. If I were to get it straight from the manufacturer, it would only cost $279, which is actually very reasonable. Amazon, however, has the exact same chair for only $135.15 with free shipping. You can't get more budget friendly than that!
  • Assembly — according to most of the reviews, the assembly is easy, straightforward, and fast. There were a few customers that did mention some problems, though.
  • Customer satisfaction — the average customer review on Amazon was 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Warranty — it has a five-year limited warranty, with a lifetime warranty for the pneumatic cylinder, as long you're the original owner.
  • What Others Are Saying

    • "This chair looks great and is very easy to assemble."
    • "One of my friends saw my new chair the day after I put it together, and offered to buy it from me on the spot!"
    • "Looks and feels more expensive than it is."
    • "Comfortable and functional, what's not to like?"
    • "Unbelievably comfortable."
    • "This is now my favorite chair, I absolutely love it."
    • "Even though I was sold from the first sit, the chair surprisingly grew on me even more."

    Any Complaints?

    Well, you just can't please everybody, so of course there are some complaints. One customer mentioned that the chair creaks and groans, which distracted her from her work. I wonder if she tried oiling it? Another person mentioned that the seat fabric feels rough against the skin, so you may need to avoid wearing shorts or short skirts if you want to avoid this problem.

    There were also a few complaints about the fit of the chair. From what I could tell, some tall people didn't feel comfortable in the chair, but there were other comments that contradicted this opinion, so who really knows for sure?

    Where Can You Read More Reviews for the HON Mesh Back Work Chair?

    I always check the reviews on Amazon. Some people are actually recruited by this site to give reviews, and as far as I can tell, all the reviews, bad or good, are honest and sincere, with no hidden agendas.

    Where Can You Purchase the HON Mesh Back Work Chair?

    I went to the company's website and checked my area, and I found several office furniture stores that carry the chair. There are also a variety of places online that can supply the chair.

    Amazon had the best price, and will deliver it at no charge.

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