Is your office chair wearing out, and you’re wondering why? Let’s face it -everything will inevitably break down. As the old saying goes –Everything is temporary. Everything is bound to end.
Similarly, your best of the best office chairs are also likely to wear out over time. However, because the chairs wear out, do we stop using them? Certainly not. For this reason, we invest in a high-quality chair that will guarantee our safety, comfort, and a longer lifespan. The question that comes to mind then is -How long do office chairs last?
Because almost all of us spend up to 40 or more hours in the office every week, our office chairs go through a lot of wear and tear. So, understanding the life of an office chair can help avoid injuries or make sure that you are getting the most out of your investment.
In common with all types of office furniture, the different office chairs have pros and cons, including lifespan, meaning how long office chairs generally last. To be precise, it is what I will be focusing on in this article -the lifespan of office chairs, meaning how long office chairs last.
Let us cut the chase and get to the specifics. We will understand the lifespan of all office chair materials, the factors affecting the average lifespan of chairs, and things that will make your office chairs last long.
How long does office chair material last?
The first factor that constitutes long-lasting chairs is the office chair seat materials, and it also is responsible for your comfort. For instance, imagine a chair seat made out of closed leather. It will not be breathable and cause the body sweat to gather on your back if sitting for long periods.
You do not want to spend money on a new office chair every year. It is better to use a material that is stronger, resilient, and easier to repair for your office chair. Most of the time, materials used for making office chair seats are fabric, leather, and mesh.
Fabric office chair lifespan
The durability and ability to withstand everyday wear and tear of fabric make it a popular choice for operating devices like office chairs. Unlike leather, a fabric chair is warmer. It makes fabric chairs a better option for cold surroundings or even when chairs are left vacant for longer durations.
Also, the fabric is airy and breathable, making it extra comfortable and resilient to temperature changes. The best part about having fabric office chairs is that they exist in various colors, unlike other materials.
The factor contributing to the long-lasting and excellent rate of return for fabric office chairs is durability or robustness. Even though fabric chairs can withstand everyday usage, they can lose their shine over time and age faster than other materials.
Another drawback of upholstered fabric chairs is that they are likely to tear or sink in certain spots. Investing in fabric office chairs is a wise decision since they are durable and long-lasting. Although, if you are looking to keep that new look for a long time, you might need to consider looking elsewhere.
Leather office chair lifespan
If you are searching for the right office chair having a long life, you should probably look for leather office chairs. As with fabric, leather is a durable material that lasts a long time. Besides, leather office chairs will retain their shine and not age for many years.
An additional advantage of having a leather chair is that you can increase the lifespan of your chair by applying lubricants that keep the material smooth and flexible. A top-quality leather office chair lasts for more than ten years if well-maintained.
Note -Faux leather office chairs do not last long.
Mesh office chair lifespan
Mesh office chairs are not as durable as other chair materials. Hence, offer a shorter lifespan. Although their streamlined shape is fantastic for airflow and makes them light, the mesh will droop more rapidly than other fabrics.
However, if you go for a mesh office chair having more durability, you may have to forego comfort. A leather or fabric office chair typically has a longer lifespan and wears better. Choosing long-lasting office chairs is the best move since you do not want to replace them every other year.
Now, we roughly know how long can a chair material last. Let us go further and discuss how long will an office chair last.
How long do office chairs last?
Did You Know?
Office workers sit for about 10 hours a day on average, says National Post. Let us assume that a person works for 262 days every year. If we calculate, the person sits on his office chair/desk chair for nearly 2620 hours. It is a lot, isn’t it?
For this reason, we look for longevity in our chairs and buy long-lasting office chairs. Earlier, we used office chairs for years, but today their durability is doubtful.
And when it comes to long life, it is generally expected that office chairs from reputable brands will last for more than five years. However, cheap office chairs rarely last more than two years.
To understand how long office chairs last, a survey was conducted on Reddit wherein people answered this question. Based on that survey, we can sum up that you should replace your office chair once every five years or more.
However, a whitepaper published by Baylor University claims that office chairs, on average, should last for at least 7-8 years with 5 years of warranty and 12-15 years with 10 years or more. Additionally, the life expectancy varies based on the chair type, build quality, maintenance, and brand.
For instance, take a Herman Miller or Steelcase chair, and you would not need to replace your chair in 12 years or so since they offer 12 years warranty period. However, on the other hand, take a cheap office chair, and it will not even last for three years. It will soon start to squeak and tremble.
Hence, if you buy a cheap office chair to save money, you need to be ready to replace it within the next two years. Now, you might wonder what things exactly shorten the lifespan of the office chairs.
What affects the office chair lifespan?
Several different factors determine how long a chair will last and affect the office chair’s lifespan.
Some of them are:
The lifespan impact starts right from the chair construction or chair built. While looking for a chair that has a long lifespan, factors such as chair construction, quality, and material selection will make a great deal of difference.
When the quality of chair construction is concerned, an office chair that has been built with the highest level of quality control will last for a long time than mass-produced chairs with low-quality control. Such small construction patterns can heavily affect the lifespan of your office chairs. Wherein, product development of office chairs aid utmost priority to enhance the ergonomic features.
Speaking of the material used for chair construction, a rolling office chair built with cheap plastic will disintegrate and need replacement much faster than aluminum chairs. Wooden and metal chairs will have a long lifespan. However, they are rare and less common materials for office chairs. But, yes, good-quality plastic chairs can survive longer.
Another major factor affecting the long life of your chairs, just as much as the construction, is your chair usage.
Heavy-duty or low-duty
We already know this math. A person, on average, uses office chairs for more than 2500 hours every year. However, how does this affect the lifespan of your chair?
Imagine a person sitting on an office chair for four hours every day for five days of the week. On the other hand, imagine a second person sitting on the office chair every day for around eight hours and seven days a week. In this case, the chair of the first person will live longer than the second person, meaning the more the usage, the shorter the lifespan.
Ultimately, a chair having a low duty will last longer than the chair experiencing everyday heavy-duty wear and tear.
We all know surroundings or the environment matters for everything, including office chairs. If office chairs are well-kept in a clean office, they will last longer, whereas if the chairs sit for too long in an unclean or unhygienic environment, they will wear out faster.
There is the possibility of dirt and grime working their way into the fabric and seat cushion of the chair, making it much less enjoyable to use. Over time, dirt and grime can contaminate the mechanisms of a chair, including the gas spring, the wheels, and the adjustment levers, which will grow stiff and break over time.
In addition to the environment, the kind of person using the chair is also essential. Office employees in soft clothes are less likely than a construction supervisor to damage a chair. Because, unlike office employees, the supervisor wears dirty, rough jeans and carries a tool belt with sharp objects, and so on.
Several different factors affect the office chair and may require replacement. However, many people do not understand whether their office chairs need replacement.
Things you can do to make your office chair last long
Office chairs withstand everyday wear and tear, which directly affects the lifespan of your office chairs. To our fortune, we do have some things with which we can prolong the damage of the chair, hence, increasing their lifespan to last long.
Some of the things you can do to make your rolling office chair last long are:
Vacuum the office chair regularly
Chairs collect a lot of dirt, dust, and grime, which can eat away at the upholstery over time, reducing its cushion and comfort. Keeping your office chair clean and extending its lifespan is easy with a regular vacuum.
For leather chairs, use oils and creams.
If you clean your leather chair with a regular vacuum, then follow up with saddle soap, oil, or leather cream to keep it looking good for longer. With leather as one of the most durable chair materials, regular maintenance will ensure that your chair stands the test of time.
Maintain the chair wheels/casters
Chairs transfer most of the pressure onto the wheels/casters, and they are most likely to pick up hair and dust. To prevent the wheels from breaking or becoming loose, vacuum them or use compressed air to keep them clean. Lubrication also helps to prolong the lifespan of your office chair. Try lubricating your leather office chairs twice a year to facilitate their functioning for a longer duration.
Don’t keep chair parts loose.
Generally, office chair breaks down parts due to low-quality parts. Small chair parts such as levers and screws are most likely to get loose and fall off in such chairs. Therefore, you must always invest in a good chair to avoid such incidents. Even with high-quality chairs, check the chair fittings at least once a month. And if there are any loose ends, try to repair them as soon as possible as the loose parts can shorten the lifespan of your office chairs.
To sum up our discussion, we can say that ideally, good-quality office chairs should last for at least seven to eight years. Plus, if you want to increase the lifespan of your chairs, consider following the four points mentioned above.
If you think you need to replace your office chair, it is likely because you are not comfortable in your chair seat. If your office chair did not last as long as you had hoped, make sure your next chair includes excellent components, build quality, and a no-hassle guarantee, so you can address any problems that develop after purchase.