The most trickling question for those who are looking for ergonomic office chairs is the choice between mesh and cushion office chairs. While both chairs have their features as well as drawbacks, the ultimate choice depends upon the personal needs and preferences of an individual.
In this article, we are giving a comparative overview of both types of chairs in terms of ergonomics, breathability, price range and comfort so that the decision of choosing the right office chair becomes easy for you. So, let’s dive into the discussion: Mesh vs Cushion office chair; which is best for you?
Mesh vs Cushion Office Chair
The comparison between mesh and cushioned office chairs with respect to different factors has been given below:
Breathability or smooth flow of air is an extremely important factor to be considered when choosing an office chair. The importance of this factor becomes manifold if your office is located in a hot environment or lacks proper ventilation.
In this regard, mesh chairs perform better than cushion office chairs as they contain small holes that allow air to easily pass through them. These chairs feature metal or plastic mesh seats and backrests which improves airflow.
In addition, they also contain mesh armrests and some models even contain mesh headrest which provides extra support and breathability. Better air circulation helps in preventing the buildup of bacteria or odour on a mesh chair.
In this way, the mesh chair stays fresh and odourless for a long duration of time. It is also convenient for those who tend to over-sweat as it helps to keep them cool and dry.
In contrast, cushion materials such as foam and upholstery have no porous openings that allow air to pass through them as it does in a mesh seat. The dense padding of foam traps heats and moisture that causes discomfort and skin irritation over time, just like it happens in a leather office chair.
This makes fabric office chairs become extremely uncomfortable during hot days. Therefore, it is highly advisable to use a mesh chair on hot summer days when there is no air conditioning in your room.
Ease of Cleaning
In terms of ease of cleaning, both chairs perform almost the same.
A mesh office chair is resistant towards different kinds of stains as it is typically made from synthetic materials. But, the in-depth cleaning of a mesh chair is rather difficult due to its deep holes and complex upholstery.
On the other hand, cushion chairs are more prone to stains and marks as contaminants can easily accumulate in materials such as cloth, foam and fabric. However, these marks can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth.
In essence, mesh chairs are stain resistant but difficult to clean while cushion office chairs can easily get stained if anything spills on it but at the same time, they can be easily cleaned by rubbing a wet piece of cloth over their surface.
Comfort and Support
Different people have different standards for the level of comfort based on their personal likes, dislikes and the nature of their work. For some people, a soft seat surface is the criteria of comfort while others regard customization and ergonomics as the ultimate standard for providing comfort and support.
Mesh chairs don’t have thick cushioning which leads to discomfort and pain during long hours of sitting. The hard nature of mesh fabric can become a potential source of stiffness and irritation for people with sensitive skin or poor posture.
Lack of cushioning also makes it difficult to sit comfortably for extended time periods. In essence, the ultimate choice is up to you whether you want a cushioning chair that provides a higher level of comfort through its thick padding or a mesh chair that does not offer a soft seat but a range of adjustability options that can make it supportive for your body.
On the flip side, cushioned or upholstered chairs perform better than their mesh counterparts. These chairs provide immediate comfort and support to users through their thick cushioning.
They relieve pressure from areas such as the lower back, hips and tailbone and are the ideal choice for people who want a soft and comfortable seat surface.
However, heavily cushioned chairs often lack some of the ergonomic features such as adjustable seat height, depth, armrests, breathable material and lumbar support which make long hours of sitting quite uncomfortable and painful.
Adjustability options of an office chair can be a potent factor in the choice of an office chair. An adjustable chair helps to achieve a comfortable sitting posture, eliminating the risk of back, neck and shoulder pain. It also helps you improve blood circulation throughout the body and keeps you productive and focused during long hours of sitting.
A mesh ergonomic chair provides a range of adjustment options such as height, backrest and armrest adjustability options. This allows users to easily customise it according to their body dimensions and comfort level. In this way, it helps to maintain a good sitting posture which reduces strain and fatigue in different body parts throughout the day.
Cushion office chairs also provide adjustability options, but less as compared to mesh office chairs. They offer thick seat and backrest padding making it an ideal choice for people who want a supportive seat surface. In addition, they also offer an adjustable reclining mechanism, lumbar support and a tilt lock mechanism to hold the chair in an upright position.
The portability of the office chair is another important factor that must be kept under consideration when deciding on a chair. A portable chair can be easily moved from one place to another and can, therefore, be used in a variety of settings for a range of purposes.
Mesh chairs are lighter in weight in contrast to their cushioned counterparts as they are made of lightweight mesh material. Therefore, they can be easily moved around the home or office workspace.
In contrast, cushion chairs are heavier and are not ideal for portability in the home or office. Therefore, if your work requires you to frequently move from one place to another, you should go for a lightweight option which is a mesh chair.
For many people, space requirements play an important role in the decision of choosing a new piece of furniture.
Mesh chairs have a compact design and minimal cushioning, therefore, they take up less space in the office.
On the other hand, cushioned chairs tend to take up more space in the office due to their heavy cushioning on the seat and backrest and gigantic design. Therefore, for smaller offices or workspaces, mesh chairs are an ideal fit due to their streamlined design.
Designs and Colors
The design and colour of office chairs can have a direct impact on the productivity of users and the aesthetics of your workspace.
Mesh chairs have a minimalist design and are generally available in neutral colours such as black, grey and white, however, some models are also available in bright colours such as blue, red and orange.
Cushioned chairs, on the other hand, are available in a wide variety of patterns and colours ranging from neutral tones such as black, white and brown to vibrant colours and patterns such as floral, geometric and striped. The padding on the seat and backrest is also available in a variety of materials such as leather, vinyl and fabric, making it easy for you to choose one that suits your office environment. Therefore, you can easily customize a cushioned chair as per your taste.
Prices of mesh and cushioned chairs vary significantly depending upon the brand, quality of material used and other features such as adjustable headrests, lumbar support and reclining mechanism.
In general, mesh chairs are more budget-friendly as compared to cushioned office chairs due to their simple design and construction. You can easily find a decent mesh chair for under 500 bucks without having to compromise on quality and features.
Cushioned chairs tend to be more expensive as they have a complex design and expensive materials are used in their construction. Therefore, keep all other features and requirements under consideration to make a wise investment.
No one wants to replace his/her furniture, especially office chairs every now and then. All of us like to have an office chair that tends to last longer.
Mesh chairs typically tend to last longer as compared to cushioned chairs. These chairs retain proper body support over time as they are less prone to compression of material due to body weight.
However, mesh materials such as plastic or polyester may stretch over time and lose their comfort and support.
On the counter end, cushioned or fabric chairs are more susceptible to body weight compressing the material over time. In this way, they wear out faster and lose their shape and support. However, cushioned chairs that use high-quality materials such as leather or high-density foam can be more durable but their price range would also be very high.
To sum up the discussion, there is no one size fits all solution in the debate of mesh vs cushioned office chairs. Mesh chairs provide high levels of breathability and have highly adjustable features that help in maintaining a good posture. These chairs can be easily moved around the office space and are available at affordable prices but they don’t offer thick seat cushioning which leads to discomfort over time.
On the other hand, a fabric office chair has thick padding which provides high levels of comfort and support. Moreover, they are available in a variety of designs and color patterns making it easy to customize according to your office decor.
On the downside, they don’t offer many adjustability options and cannot be easily moved from one spot to another. They also take up more space and tend to be less durable and more expensive as compared to mesh office chairs. Therefore, make a list of features you want for your ergonomic office chair and make your purchase decision accordingly.