There has always been a lot of debate around “how long should a good office chair last?” No matter which brand you choose for your chair and how costly it is, your chair’s life span actually decides its worth.
There are a lot of factors that directly impact the life of a chair. These include office chair material, its maintenance, and usage. However, the average life of an office chair of good quality is somewhere between eight to ten years. After that, you need to change it because it doesn’t look new and attractive.
But that cannot negate the notion of timeless furniture pieces. But for that, rigorous maintenance is needed which isn’t possible in the case of office chairs. Also, as these chairs are part of daily usage and that too for long hours, they cannot go long way similar to other furniture with less use.
In this connection, we’ve tried to find out which factors determine the life of office chairs and under what conditions you should think about replacing them.
Key Elements Determining the Longevity of an Office Chair
Excluding office chair brands because they depend on pricing and availability, we have listed the most common factors that dictate the overall life of an office chair.
Material of the chair
The material used in office furniture, especially office chairs, is the first thing that decides their life. Office chairs are made from a number of different materials and each material comes with a different life span. A chair made of cheap or inferior components will wear out quickly compared to one using high-quality materials.
The most common materials you’ll come across while hunting for an office chair include leather, mesh, fabric, wood, and plastic. Now it’s up to the users to decide the material themselves. But one should be aware of the fact that cheap chairs don’t use high-quality materials.
Among all the materials, leather is considered the most durable, which is why leather office chairs are expensive. If you’re looking for an executive office chair, you should consider buying a leather chair. On the other hand, fabric office chairs are considered high maintenance and mesh chairs feature breathability and ease of maintenance.
Similarly, office chairs made up of plastic don’t last long longer especially when cheap plastic is used. But because they are cheaper compared to all the other materials out there, they are used for a conference room setting. On the flip side, chairs that use aluminum in their construction tend to be durable. Wooden chairs and metal chairs also go a long way depending on the quality and purity of the material.
Maintenance and care
Proper maintenance of office chairs goes hand in hand with extending their life. Even if you get good quality office chairs, they will start wearing out if not maintained regularly. So, make sure you keep a check on your chair and do a deep cleaning once every month so that your same chair can be used for a long time.
Furniture polish is another important step in the proper maintenance and care of office chairs. It protects your chairs from environmental wear and tear along with regular damage. Chairs that are left in store rooms and aren’t checked for dirt and dust don’t look attractive at all and die out earlier.
A dirty and dusty environment is the greatest enemy of all office chairs, especially fabric chairs. Dust goes into the fabric and causes irreversible damage to the chair. Other than that, you need to be extra careful in exposing your chairs to sunlight and heat. They cause drastic deterioration to your trusty office chair and the damage will be irreversible.
Additionally, for smooth rolling, you must lubricate your office chairs regularly. This also adds to the life of office chair wheels and casters as they break after getting stiff due to less oiling.
Use of the chair
How you use your office equipment pretty much tells how long will it last. Regarding office chairs, their lifespan depends primarily on their area of use. For instance, an office chair used in an office setting has a different life span whereas the one used at home for work purposes has a different one.
A home office chair goes through more wear and tear because it is used for multiple purposes. Resultantly, home office chairs don’t last long. Apart from that, some office chairs are used for less than five hours a day while others are for more than fifteen hours. The average life of both types of chairs cannot be the same. Naturally, chairs used for less duration will live longer than the others.
The life of office chairs also depends on the sitting habits of the users. If the person using the chair unnecessarily swings on the chair, constantly adjusts the height, and uselessly rotates, the chair is not gonna last long. Careful use leads to the longevity of office chairs
When to Replace Your Office Chairs? Signs of Worn-Out Chairs
We all know how difficult it is to replace a chair you have been comfortable in for years. But sitting on a damaged chair isn’t also a good idea. Although a warranty definitely adds to the value of an office chair, no chair comes with a lifetime warranty. So, you have to replace your office chair sooner or later after a specific time.
Having said that, there is no fixed time when you should throw away your office chair. However, there are some signs that demand office chair replacement on an urgent basis. Let’s have a look at them.
Warranty is up
As we all know, a warranty implies quality. Different office chairs come with different warranty periods, which determine their life. So, if the retailer says that the chair has a five-year warranty it means the chair is gonna last for seven or eight years, and in the case of a ten or more years warranty, it should last over fifteen years.
So, once the warranty of your office chair is up and it is not working properly or has a flattened seat cushion issue, you should get it replaced by taking advantage of the warranty. This way, you’ll get your chair repaired or replaced without having to bear an extra cost.
Torn-out fabric, leather, or mesh
Office chairs having torn-out fabric, leather, or mesh also needs replacement. In the case of mesh chairs, if the mesh starts wearing off, there is no going back. You have to get the whole chair replaced. Even if you have a leather chair made out of high-quality leather, it cannot be fixed once the leather starts to wear out. This is the biggest disadvantage of leather chairs.
Similarly, if you have a fabric office chair and the fabric has gotten holes in it or other forms of damage, replacement is needed. You can always replace the upholstery to repair the damage, but in most cases, it costs you as heavily as getting a new chair.
Irreparable cracks and scratches
Sometimes, the main material of your chair is not damaged and looks new but other parts go through early wear and tear. For instance, your chair’s armrest or headrest gets damaged earlier because of unnecessary pressure. Now, some chairs come with fixed parts which means that if one part gets damaged, you have to replace the whole chair. So in that case, if your office chair’s parts have gotten cracks or scratches, the only option you are left with is to replace your chair altogether.
Damaged legs and chair base
There are times when the upper body of your chair is working fine but the legs and chair base tend to wear out. This is because of inappropriate chair usage or when they aren’t of good quality. Some chairs come with detachable bases which can easily be replaced. But most often, office chairs have fixed bases and you can’t really fix them if they age out.
Loss of adjustability
A good office chair needs to be ergonomic in nature, meaning that it should support your body and keep you comfortable for a long time. Such type of chairs comes with a lot of adjustability options including headrest adjustability, seat height adjustability, armrest adjustability, etc. When your trusty old office chair is unable to offer you any or all of these adjustabilities, and you cannot fix them as well, it’s a clear indication that your chair needs to be replaced.
Lastly, the life span of an office chair is one of the main concerns of a person searching for an office chair. We understand that no chair lasts forever, it depends on how you use and maintain it.
However, a good quality office chair should last between seven to fifteen years, with proper care and maintenance. Chairs that aren’t well-maintained wear out quickly and the user has to spend again on getting a new chair. Therefore, whenever you buy a chair for your office, make sure to take proper care of it.