Office chairs vs. task chairs: is there really a difference?
We break down the key differences between office chairs and task chairs to help you invest in the right chair for your workspace.
Whether you're looking for a new chair for your home office or need to sit down in a study space, buying the right chair is critical to your comfort and productivity. There are many things to consider when buying a good chair, from style and size to ergonomics and function.
If you suffer from back pain, shoulder pain or hip pain, then you should pay attention to the ergonomics of the chair, all the way down to the armrests. Every body is unique and the way you set up your office space will have a major impact on your posture and how your body feels.
It is also important to consider your space before simply choosing the chair you like best. If a chair has all the top ergonomics, but it's so big you can barely fit it through the door, then it's out of style. It's about finding the right balance between comfort and design, which means your chair will serve you well for years to come.
The budget you have to spend will also have a say in the type of chair you buy and what you will use it for. You may be wondering what the real difference is between an office chair and a task chair. They are very similar, and the names "office chair" and "task chair" are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences between the two that may be the deciding factor in your decision to invest. To make things easier, we've broken down the details to help you compare the two and determine what's right for you. Check out our verdict below.
Office chairs vs. task chairs: ergonomics and comfort
One of the biggest differences you'll find between office chairs and task chairs is ergonomics. Task chairs are often designed with comfort and ergonomics in mind, so if you are a back pain sufferer, then you may find that a task chair is more friendly to your body.
Standard office chairs will offer basic adjustable features such as height functions, recline and swivel bases, but otherwise they tend to be fixed designs. Task chairs will have seat height and depth adjustments, adjustable armrests and adjustable lumbar support, as well as swivel and tilt features.
Task chairs usually come with a high backrest, but do not always have lumbar support. Task chairs are available with mid-height backrests or full-height backrests, and sometimes with separate head and neck rests. Which one you choose depends on your preferred sitting position and what you personally find most comfortable, but, obviously, a full-height back task chair will provide the most comprehensive support.
Office chairs and task chairs: design and style
The term office chair is very broad and can come in a variety of styles, but the most common are leather office chairs and mesh office chairs. These two materials are very different, with one providing a plush feel and the other providing breathability. If you are wondering which one is better for you, then you can check out our article on mesh vs. leather office chairs.
Task chairs also come in two different styles: fabric and mesh, or a mix of both. Having a task chair with a fabric seat but a mesh backrest definitely adds an advantage to a task chair over a standard office chair because you have the best of both worlds. The fabric will provide a soft seating position, while the mesh back allows air to circulate, keeping you at the optimum temperature all year round.
Because of their fixed design, office chairs tend to be heavier and bulkier than task chairs, but task chairs are more flexible and their upholstery makes them lighter in design. The style you seek will ultimately depend on your office decor and whether you are more interested in style than comfort.
Both chairs come with casters with swivel bases, but be sure to check whether the armrests are fixed or adjustable, as this could mean your chair won't tuck neatly under your desk when you're at your preferred height, which will ultimately worsen your desk posture.
Office chairs vs. task chairs: price
The price of office chairs varies greatly, with some of the most basic chairs starting at around £50 and some of the more luxurious leather and mesh office chairs costing hundreds. A good office chair starts at around £150 on average and can cost up to £200 to £300.
You can buy office chairs and office chairs for the same price, and while they both look good from a style perspective, you may easily be able to tell the difference in comfort, so be sure to use your budget wisely.
A good office chair or office chair can last for many years, so think about your budget and frequency of use before choosing the cheapest design.
Office chairs vs. task chairs: the verdict
When it comes down to it, if you sit at a desk all day every day, it is clear that an office chair will benefit you more due to its ergonomic design features. Task chairs can be tailored to your body type height and promote good posture, and they look beautiful too. However, if you are a fan of leather chairs, while they are comfortable to use occasionally, you may find yourself compromising on comfort in the long run.
Since many of us will now be working from home for the foreseeable future, investing in a chair that promotes good posture and provides maximum comfort should be a top priority. If you're still bored with style, you can also look at gaming chairs, which have a lot to offer in terms of ergonomics and design.
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