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Pendragon
Jun 18, 2003

HE'S WATCHING YOU

For $200-$300, your best bet is to look for a used Aeron, Steelcase Leap, or Humanscale chair on Craigslist. Buying a new chair for that money will either get you a high-end Office Depot chair (which is still crap), or a low-end Aeron/Steelcase/Humanscale chair (which is a lot better, but won't be very comfortable). Finding a chair on Craigslist may take a while though.

The way I look at it: you spend 8-9 hours a day for most of the year in your office chair, so spend the extra money to get something REALLY good. The investment will pay off in the chair's longevity, overall comfort, and in fewer medical problems down the line. If you do decide to invest more money, the sweet spot seems to be about $700-$900. Below that and the chairs aren't as comfy (although some of them may work for you), above that and you start getting into gimmicks that don't affect your comfort as much (only exception are some Humanscale chairs which retail for $1000+ but are comfy as hell).

Pendragon fucked around with this message at 14:06 on Jan 21, 2011

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Pendragon
Jun 18, 2003

HE'S WATCHING YOU

Electric Bugaloo posted:

I know the Aeron is like the gold standard of chairs, but I'm quite taken with the Herman Miller Embody (I think that spine-like structure on the back looks awesome). I've heard it billed in some places as superior to the Aeron- and it's also a bit more expensive.

Has anyone here had any experience with the Embody and/or have an opinion on it?

I sat in one briefly while looking for a new chair. It sounds nice on paper, and it's nice to sit in, but probably not worth an extra $500-$700 over an Aeron or Leap unless you don't mind spending the extra money.

I would look at the office chair continuum like this:

Embody, Humanscale Freedom
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Aeron, Leap
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Mirra
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High-end big-box chair
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Low-end big-box chair

In the end, your best bet is to find a local retailer for high-end office chairs and try them out. Maybe you would think it's worth the money.

Pendragon fucked around with this message at 14:37 on Jan 25, 2011

Pendragon
Jun 18, 2003

HE'S WATCHING YOU

Looks meh at best, mainly because you have so few ways to adjust the chair to your body. For that price, you're probably better off with a Mirra.

Pendragon
Jun 18, 2003

HE'S WATCHING YOU

baxate posted:

I've gotten kind of tired of office chairs since they can be moved, and I'd prefer something I can lean back in and not worry about rolling myself around. I also have a weird habit of turning to the side and typing sideways which gets uncomfortable after a while.

I can lean all the way back in the Leap I have at work, and the wheels never move an inch. Does your current chair tilt the seat bottom as well as the back when you lean back? If so, I wonder if that's your problem because it would shift your body mass. Most of the higher-end brands (Steelcase, Herman Miller) design their chairs (even their low-end ones) so that only the back of the chair tilts.

baxate posted:

So I think what I'd like to have is a nice firmly cushioned seat that I can lean back into but doesn't rock around like a recliner. And then I need something for my feet so they aren't just dangling down off the chair. And then I'd like to have my keyboard on set of rollers so I can roll it over my lap. That setup would be perfect.

I think most of these issues could be solved with any of the higher-end chairs. As for the keyboard, I think a good keyboard tray is required in any truly-ergonomic setup because you can then lower/raise your chair keep your knees at a proper angle while having your keyboard at the proper height. Unfortunately, they're also expensive if you want something decent. I personally use a Humanscale 5G that I managed to buy for about $60 or so when it normally runs $200+. It's worth every penny and then some.

If you want to get a tray, make sure the arm is easily adjustable without you having to bend over to twist knobs or pull levers. That way you can adjust the keyboard height and position without having to get out of your current position. Also make sure the arm holding the keyboard tray up doesn't have a bunch of metal or supports under the tray that could hit your knees if you were to swing around in your chair.

Wombot posted:

I move around. A lot. I move from sitting bolt upright, to leaning to one side, to reclining, to reeeaally reclining. Do the chairs like the Leap or Embody, that claim to move with you, really feel better than chairs that have reclining backs and tiltable seats?

I've heard that an uncomfortable chair causes you to move around more because you can't find a comfortable position. A better chair would probably solve most of your movement issues. The reclining action of a high-end chair has to be felt to be understood. When you recline, it pushes the seat forward, which helps keep your body in a more natural position, and makes it easier to recline since you don't have to adjust your body. It also keeps your arms at about the same place on the chair, so you can recline without moving further away from your keyboard (to a degree of course). The really high-end Humanscale chairs have a headrest that also pushes your head forward as you recline so that your head stays looking at your computer, which is REALLY nice.

Pendragon
Jun 18, 2003

HE'S WATCHING YOU

Ample posted:

Is the warranty really worth it though. I always see "open boxed" "like new" aerons on craigs list from $399 to $800. I'm in desperate need of a chair but the warranty literarily doubles the costs of it. The computer chair for the computer is going to end up costing more than the computer itself.

While a chair may cost more than a computer, it should last a lot longer than a computer as well. The warranty on an Aeron is 12 years. Leap's warranty ranges from 5 years on the fabric to 10 years for the pneumatic cylinder to a lifetime warranty on the structure components.

As for whether or not it's worth it, that's up to you. If you can find a good deal on a used one (like at least half off), it's probably worth it since you could buy two for the price of a new one. A new Aeron costs about $850 or so depending on the bells and whistles, so you can make up your own mind.

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Pendragon
Jun 18, 2003

HE'S WATCHING YOU

Ample posted:

I never thought to look at it from that perspective. With a 12 year warranty the investment seems worth it. We have a few Aeron chairs at work that I really like though I've never sat in a leap before. Do you like one more than the other?

Everyone has their own favorite chair. The best way to determine which is best for you is to try them out. I thought I would buy an Aeron when I first went shopping for a chair, but ended up leaving with a Leap. However, you will find just as many people that swear by Aerons, Mirras, Freedoms, or any other chair out there.

In general, you can be assured that any chair you get will be better than a big box store's chair. However, if you're going to spend $800+ on something, it's probably worth your time to find the best one for you.

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