Office Chair Lifespan: When Will it Need Replacing?

A fundamental piece of office equipment, office chairs ensure we go comfortable and pain-free during our tasking weeks at work. With many of us spending up to 40 hours or more in the office each week, our trusty seats go through a fair amount of wear and tear, and it can be important to understand the lifespan of office chairs to avoid any accidents or make sure you’re getting a good return on your investment. Like all types of office furniture, the many different types of office chairs all offer up different pros and cons, and this includes lifespan. On average, office chairs last between seven and eight years, in this article, we will look at the durability of each category of office chairs and give you some top tips on how to make yours last.

Lifespan of Office Chair Material

Lifespan of Fabric Office Chairs

The hardwearing nature of fabric office chairs ensures a long lifespan and a good return on investment. It copes well with daily wear and tear but can begin to look aged quicker than other materials. Upholstered fabric office chairs can get torn or the fabric seating can begin to look sunken in areas. Be sure to do your research on the type of fabric chair you’re buying because some wear out quicker than others. Fabric office chairs are pretty durable and make a smart investment, but if you’re looking to retain that new-look over a long period of time then you may decide to look elsewhere.

Lifespan of Leather Office Chairs

If you’re looking for a chair that lasts, leather office chairs are what you should be on the lookout for. Leather is a durable material that will last longer and retain its new-look for longer. It’s also very easy to extend the lifespan of a leather chair by treating it with oils that keep the material soft and malleable. If well looked after, a good quality leather office chair could last you over 10 years.

Lifespan of Mesh Office Chairs

Mesh chairs are less durable than their counterparts. Despite their sleek design being great for ventilation and making them lightweight, mesh will start sagging faster than other materials. If you opt for a mesh chair with better durability you may have to sacrifice on comfort. Generally, leather and fabric office chairs have a longer lifespan and wear better.

Important Signs That Your Office Chair Needs Replacing

If the chair is damaged

This is the most obvious sign that your office chair has come to the end of its lifespan. Certain damage is obvious, but there are other tell-tale signs you should look out for. Keep an eye out for loose wheels or broken components, if any of the chair mechanics are damaged it won’t be able to perform it’s intended ergonomic function. It’s important an office chair provides comfort and helps prevent the user from straining themselves during those long working days. If you think your office chair no longer does that it might be time to find a replacement.

If the chair has a flattened seat cushion

Through extensive use over time, you will find that your office chair’s seat cushion will flatten and become less comfortable. Once this begins to happen you should be on the lookout for a replacement because the seat cushion plays a vital role in preventing back pain. A compressed cushion is not just less comfortable, but also puts more strain on your lower back which may begin to cause pain and impact your ability to do your job. Take care of yourself and invest in a comfy new office chair, you won’t regret it.

If the office chair doesn’t fit 

Often if we are starting a new job or took an old office chair from a friend, we find ourselves sitting in a chair that isn’t best fitted to us. Everyone is different, and you may find that a chair just isn’t the right size or doesn’t have a feature you need to sit comfortably. If you spend a lot of time working in your chair, it’s best to buy one that’s suited to your individual needs. You’ll be thankful for this in the long run.

If the chair no longer feels right

You don’t always need an explanation, sometimes we can just fall out of love with our trusty office chair. If you no longer feel happy with your office chair, be it because of the way it looks or the fact it just doesn’t feel comfortable anymore, get on the market for a new one. Office chairs can be ergonomically perfect for some people, and a bad fit for others. As we spend up to 40 hours a week in our office chairs, it’s important you take the time to find one designed for you.

Tips for Making Your Office Chair Last

Regularly vacuum the chair

Office chairs collect a lot of grime and dust which can eat away at your chair’s upholstery causing it to lose cushion and comfort over time. A regular vacuum can help increase your office chair’s lifespan and keep it nice and clean.

Use oils and cream on leather

A regular vacuum is good for leather chairs too, but follow this with a wipe down and saddle soap or leather cream and your chair will stay looking new for longer. Leather is one of the most durable office chair materials, combining this with regular treatment and you have yourself a chair that will stand the test of time.

Take care of wheels and caster

The wheels of your chair take most of the pressure from your chair and are also prone to picking up hair or dust. Vacuuming or using a tin of compressed air to keep the wheels clean will help prevent them breaking or becoming loose. Lubrication also goes a long way to preserving the lifespan of your office chair. Spray every six months or so to help them continue working properly.

Fix loose parts

You may find office chairs in a lower price range can have parts break or come loose over time, such as screws or levers. Keeping a watchful eye on these, making sure parts are not lost and damages are fixed will help your office chair last. If you invest in a higher quality chair, this won’t be as much of an issue.  

This article should help you find a chair that will survive the wear and tear of the modern office. Looking after your office chairs will help you save on unnecessary costs and keep your employees happy. Furniture At Work has a huge range of office chairs, browse our website and find industry-leading products perfectly tailored for your work environment.