Finding a cheap computer chair that provides good back support isn't easy. It can be tempting to simply buy the cheapest model you can find - and if you hunt around on eBay, you'll find some real bargains.
But buying cheap may cost you in the long run, when you think about the potential pain of a back injury, not to mention the medical bills that may come with it. Ideally you want to find an inexpensive office chair that provides a good level of back support and a fairly ergonomic design. We've gone ahead and done the research for you to help you make the right decision more easily.
Read on to find out exactly what you should be looking for when shopping for a cheap computer chair, the best places to buy one, and some popular models from various brands.
To start with, you might only care about one factor: price. But of course, you need to know a little bit about computer chairs in order to know whether you're getting value for money. Some chairs are priced low because they're made of inferior materials, or have a poor design - others are priced low because someone just wants to clear space in their garage. By knowing what to look for, you'll avoid buying a 'cheap dud' and end up with a true bargain - a quality chair at a low price.
The materials a chair is made out of are important. There are two things to look for here: durability, and comfort. What is the chair padded with, and how much padding does it have? Are the materials that went into producing it plant-based, animal-based (eg leather) or mineral-based (metals, etc.)?
Is the material on the seating likely to be itchy or sticky when you sweat? There are all points to consider. Comfort is an important factor, but comfort doesn't just mean having plenty of cushioning and a nice material - it also means ergonomic design. Has the chair been designed with a human body in mind, or you going to be twisting your spine out of shape every time you sit on it? Preferably, you want a chair that is going to move with your body weight, contour to your shape at least a little bit, and keep your spine in a natural arch (rather than forcing you to slump forward).
Even when you're shopping for cheap office chairs, you can still make a conscious buying decision and only buy a cheap computer chair which fits with your moral standards. Try to avoid buying a chair that is only priced low because it was produced by cheap labor.
As already mentioned above, eBay or other similar auctions sites are good places to get quality office chairs at a discount. But you don't have to rely on buying from an anonymous stranger - many big name brands sell discount chairs through their own websites. There are usually chairs with slight defects or models that aren't being produced anymore which are being sold at clearance prices. If you're going to shop on eBay, check out $1 reserve listings to try to snag the best bargains.
If you're a true bargain hunter, yard sales are another option to try. You may find a good quality chair with a very low price tag if the owner is simply eager to clear some space and isn't too worried about making a big profit on the sale. If you plan to check out yard sales, make sure you get up nice and early - second-hand store owners often raid all the local yard sales early in the morning and grab all the best bargains for themselves.
Now you have the essentials of how and where to buy a cheap computer chair in your back pocket - let's take a look at some popular choices.
Flash Furniture is one brand known for making cheap computer chairs. Flash Furniture make chairs that are kind of a low-end version of the Aeron chair from Herman Miller. These chairs have a mesh backing and a V-shaped backrest design to give extra support to the lower back. Of course these chairs aren't nearly as good for your back as a real Aeron, but in some cases they only cost about 10% as much as a brand new Herman Miller chair.
If you look on eBay you'll find many very inexpensive office chairs, most of which are imported from China. Typically these chairs don't have armrests and have fairly basic padding with a vinyl covering. These chairs can work well for a cheap temporary solution, but you want to upgrade to something more ergonomic once you have the budget to do so. Once again, sitting on a cheap chair for too long can cost you a lot in the long run.
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