Mesh vs. Leather Office Chair: [Detailed Analysis+Pros & Cons]

When it comes o purchasing an office chair, I’m sure you might be in a dilemma about whether to go for mesh, fabric, or leather. Are you confused about which is the best office chair material, one that is durable, strong, and will last for longer durations? 

The confusion is about to end because, based on essential factors, we compare and contrast the two best office chair materials -mesh and leather.

To summarize what people have to say about mesh and leather chairs, many people recommend choosing a leather office chair only if you work in a perfectly ventilated space and are willing to deal with maintenance, cost, and upkeep. In contrast, if you do not want to deal with maintenance and cost, the best option here will be to opt for mesh chairs.

However, let us not form a conclusion about the materials just yet. In this article, let us first go through the pros and cons and features both materials are willing to offer and compare them. By the end of the article, you will be able to make a well-informed decision according to your taste and preferences. 

Let us begin by understanding the basics of mesh and leather chairs, including their pros and cons. 

Mesh office chairs – Explained

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Mesh office chairs are designed using mesh fabric, just as the name implies. Like leather chairs, they come in several other materials, for example, metal and heavy-duty plastic. However, the mesh is not a sort of fabric itself. Mesh can refer to any material having many strands of interwoven fiber, creating a web-like appearance. 

It is a known fact that mesh office chairs are breathable. Therefore, they are made by weaving together the single fiber strands to create breathable designs. Then the fabric stretches out to fit into the backrest of the office chairs. 

Hence, you can observe and recognize a mesh chair once you see the backrest of that chair since most mesh chair backrests have mesh fabric. Like in every other thing, there exist exceptions. Here, we can observe an exception when mesh chairs have one or more synthetic fabrics in their design, such as polyethylene, nylon, or polypropylene. 

With so many options available, selecting a good mesh chair becomes difficult. Only research and reading about the materials can help you make an informed purchase. Comparing several chairs is easier when you know what aspects you need to consider. A few of these aspects include proportions, adjustability, and ergonomics.

Related Content How to Compare Mesh Office Chairs?

Concerning ergonomics, ergonomically fabricated mesh chairs imitate the natural curve of your spine, thereby preventing back injuries by minimizing pressure on the spine. The ergonomics of mesh chairs also contribute to good posture. Moreover, mesh chairs look fantastic.


Apart from the stylish appearance, the mesh office chair offers much more. Following are some merits mesh chairs come with: 


Ventilation, most importantly, becomes the deciding factor while buying yourself a mesh office chair. It is one of the highest merits of mesh over leather.

WHY? Because mesh chairs come with an open frame offering good ventilation. For people who spend most of their time sitting on office chairs, ventilation is a must since it relaxes and comforts your body while working. 

The construction of mesh office chairs provides you relaxation as it allows air to circulate between the chair seat, backrest, and the body. Whereas leather and other fabrics strictly restrict air circulation and accumulate heat over time. With mesh chairs, there is a lot of open space and airflow for your skin to breathe. 


Another merit of mesh chairs is being lightweight and comparatively easy to clean and maintain because of their stylish yet simplistic design. The lightweight nature of mesh allows portability and easy mobility. 


Another important factor when buying mesh chairs is that they are far less expensive than upholstery and leather chairs, and they also have an extremely classic, professional appearance. Mesh office chairs are the finest choice for any office. They are incredibly cost-effective and hence the perfect option for small firms to build up their offices.

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Besides having many advantages, mesh chairs also come with a few disadvantages. Such as


Generally, mesh office chairs provide support and are flexible to the body posture. The chairs are comfortable to use if you need to sit on the chairs for some time. 

However, they are not exactly comfortable to sit on while using for a longer duration. Since the seat is not plush, it does not allow you to sink into it, resulting in discomfort. The only comfort mesh chairs provide f the breathable nature of the mesh.


When it comes to chair durability, mesh chairs cannot beat leather or upholstery office chairs. The soft mesh fabric in the chairs is flexible and conforms to the body curves but is likely to sag over time. 

On the other hand, the hard mesh fabric can cause discomfort. The durability of a chair comes from the kind of mesh the chair has and the construction type. Mesh chairs are meant to provide airflow while also being durable and comfortable.

Now that we know almost everything about mesh chairs, let us go further and discuss leather office chairs.

Leather office chairs -Explained

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A leather office chair features a leather construction. Leather chairs do not entirely have leather. The natural fabric is used only in the seat, the backrest, and the armrests – if present. The frame and feet often come in durable materials, such as heavy-duty plastic or metal.

Leather office chairs provide consumers with plushness and exceptional comfort. The heavy cushioning of leather office chairs offers excellent support to essential areas such as the seat and lower backbones. 

Many include adjustable chairs and armrests to accommodate varied desk heights and body types. Because they have a classic appearance, are long-lasting, and require no upkeep, they become ideal options for any workspace.

Leather office chairs have become a popular choice for many companies and consumers. No matter what kind of office you work in, a high-quality leather office chair is a must.

Also Read: Leather vs Leatherette: Which One is Best for You?


It is said that a high-quality leather office chair is a must because it offers the following merits to the users.


Unlike mesh chairs, leather chairs are far more durable and long-lasting. Chairs with natural leather can last for around 20 years or more if they are well-maintained. In addition, the leather itself features long-lasting qualities and hence, is more popular than mesh or fabric office chairs. 

However, better-quality leather usually comes at a higher cost, making leather chairs expensive. For a more comfortable use and appearance, one should always choose leather chairs of good quality for the office. It is worth spending a little more on the best leather chairs in the long run.


If one is looking for great comfort in an office chair, leather becomes somewhat an ideal option. Why? Because sitting in a leather chair provides a great deal of comfort compared to other desk chairs. 

As part of their design, leather office chairs remain cool when used in air-conditioned rooms. During the colder months, leather office chairs would reflect the heat from the body and provide them with a warm, cozy feeling. The leather office chairs are incredibly comfortable for those who use them.

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Now, let us look at the disadvantages leather office chairs tend to offer. 


An essential factor coming into the picture while buying anything is cost. Speaking of leather office chairs, unlike mesh, they are comparatively expensive. In the long run, the investment is worth it because leather chairs last for a long time. 

In addition, no other furniture type can replicate the look and feel of a leather chair.  Despite the higher cost, the classic and luxurious feel of the leather chairs is worth the investment.

Susceptible to scratches 

Unlike other office chairs, leather chairs are not likely to withstand rough use. Leather is highly susceptible to scratches. While using a leather chair, ensure that you are careful and not use any sharp objects, as they can damage the chair.

Often bleaches or cracks out

Apart from scratches, leather chairs also bleach or crack out if subjected to excessive heat. Hence, it is crucial to keep leather office chairs away from heat and light, as these are the factors that can cause the leather to crack and bleach. 

A quick overview  

Comfort MinimalVery comfortable
Durability 5-10 years15-20 years
AppearanceMinimalistic Rich, classic, luxurious 
Breathability BreathableSweat Accumulation
WeightLightweight Heavy 
Care and maintenance Requires less care and upkeepRequires extra care and upkeep
CostInexpensive than leatherExpensive than mesh

5 Key differences between mesh and leather office chairs

We are thorough with both the materials and their merits and demerits. It is time to compare them and reach a conclusion for mesh and leather office chairs. We will compare both materials based on user 5 essential factors.  


In terms of breathability, without a doubt, go for mesh chairs over leather. It is because leather office chairs have thick padded plushness, resulting in sweat accumulation and no ventilation.

According to studies performed, one of the reasons for less productivity is employees working in hot office temperatures. Although, mesh chairs do not have a direct effect on office temperatures. However, it promotes ventilation and airflow, beating the hot temperatures.  

Verdict -Opt for mesh office chairs over leather if you sit on chairs for long durations to have good ventilation. 


After breathability, another factor to pay attention to while buying an office chair is comfort. Leather chairs beat mesh when it comes to comfortability. Mesh office chairs are a modern spin in the ergonomics world; they make your job less tiresome and allow airflow to the body throughout the day. 

The disadvantage with mesh is that you cannot sit back straight on it all day since it leads to discomfort. Now, this is where leather takes the upper hand since the upholstery padding promotes extra comfort as well as provides support to the body contours. 

Verdict -Always choose leather over mesh chairs if you sit working for too long on your chairs and its a must if you have any back alignment. Also, comfort becomes the priority when buying any office chair.  


Generally, a good-quality office chair lasts for around 5-10 years. Nonetheless, leather, here as well, takes the upper rank over mesh chairs for lasting an. If you maintain leather chairs, they stand the test of time. On the contrary, mesh chairs often start to decay within a year of purchase. Although, the durability of an office chair also depends upon your usage, care, and maintenance. 

Verdict –Leather chairs are more long-lasting than mesh. 

Bonus ReadHow Long Do Office Chairs Last? With Detailed Explanation

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Care and maintenance

While speaking about care and maintenance, mesh chairs are easy to maintain than leather. Leather chairs require extra care and upkeep. Cleaning mesh is far easier than leather, although do not scrub the mesh as it can stretch the mesh and damage it. 

On the contrary, leather is heavy and inflexible, unlike mesh. Most of the time, leather tends to fade out and develop scratches or bleaches. Therefore, even though leather chairs are durable, they demand extra care and maintenance. 

Verdict –Mesh office chairs are easy to clean and maintain than leather.

Price and Appearance 

Every firm has a pre-decided budget when buying supplies for offices or workspaces. Offices and workstations should Consider the physical demands of office workers and their work profiles. 

If the budget is considerate, mesh chairs having minimal design become an ideal option as they are more inexpensive than leather.

Leather chairs start in the $300-$400 range, but they will lack features like adjustability, quality construction, or warranty. However, Genuine Leather office chairs in the world can even cost you over $5,000 each. Wherein faux leather chairs are cheaper than genuine leathers. On the other hand, prices for mesh office chairs usually begin at $50 for mesh chairs and go all the way up to $1695.

When it comes to appearance, leather always stands out more than mesh. It is a perfect choice if you have a premium or classy taste. One of the benefits of having a leather chair is that it creates an aesthetically pleasing and amazing workspace that will impress any visitor.

Verdict -Mesh office chairs are comparatively inexpensive than leather. However, go for leather chairs to impress your clients with their rich appearance.


In the end, we can say that both office chair materials have their respective merits and demerits. Mesh chairs are a highly beneficial and cost-effective alternative for an office or workspace without spending much money. Leather office chairs are ideal investments for a conference room or other similar locations that need to appear rich in front of prospective clients and consumers.

Ultimately, it all depends upon your taste, usage, and priority. If your priority is comfort and appearance, leather chairs are for you. On the other hand, if your priority is cost and ventilation, go for mesh chairs. 

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