Office Chair and Desk Buying Guide - Best Buy Canada

September 19, 2012

Office Chair and Desk Buying Guide

Whether you’re looking for a new computer desk or an ergonomic chair to sit in all day long, choosing the right set will be all about your personal taste and needs. Go for a matching combination or have fun mixing pieces – you’re in charge of what goes into your workstation.

Choosing the best furniture for your home office can seem like a daunting task, especially when top brands like Homedics, Sonax, South Shore, and Zuo carry so many great pieces. It may be tempting to get the coolest looking office chair and desk, but there are other important factors that you should also consider first. Read on to find out more.

Things to Consider

Your office chair and desk will be the foundations of your office, so it’s important to think carefully about what you need before you start shopping around.

Room Size

The size of your room will determine the size of your office furniture. If you have a smaller room, you can opt for a compact desk with more vertical space, such as shelves or a hutch. You might also consider a narrower chair that fits and moves around easily in your space. Of course, the bigger your room, the more options you’ll have for your desk and chair.

Material

Depending on your decorating preferences, the colour and material of your desk may affect what the rest of your home office furniture will look like. Desks made from wood can add warmth to a room while metal desks add a more modern touch. Likewise, a leather chair will have a vastly different effect on your décor than a mesh chair.

Ergonomics

Ergonomic furniture is designed to make it easier and more comfortable to perform certain tasks. Desks and chairs designed with ergonomic features will provide your body with proper support, which is vitally important if you’re usually sitting throughout the day. An ergonomic chair can help you maintain good posture while relieving strain on your back and improving the circulation in your body. You could also consider a desk with an adjustable height and/or keyboard tray if you work on your computer a lot.

Usage

What will you typically use your furniture for? If you’re going to be working on a laptop for long periods of time, you may need a small desk but an ergonomic chair. Or maybe you’re an artist or drafter that requires a lot of desk space, in which case, you’ll want a larger desk and a chair that will give you a lot of freedom to move around.

Storage

Finding a desk with the perfect amount of storage space is like finding the Holy Grail of office furniture. Drawers are great, but if you have a lot of stuff, you may need a desk with shelving as well. Some desks even have drawers large enough to store files in. You could also consider mounting a hutch above your desk or the wall space directly above it for even more storage options.

Types of Desks

Desks come in all shapes and sizes, but typically you’ll find that they fit into these categories:

Computer Desk

A computer desk is built to have tons of space and storage for your desktop computer and all its components. These desks will be able to fit your monitor, desktop tower, keyboard, mouse, and other accessories while still offering some space for non-computer related tasks like writing or filing. A great computer desk will also have ports and storage options for organizing your computer wires and hiding them away.

Writing Desk

Writing desks come in many different styles, but tend to have very minimal features. As the name implies, these desks are perfect for writing on since they come with large, unobstructed desktop space. Some desks may even offer a few storage options like drawers. A simple desk that’s great for smaller rooms, it’s also ideal for laptop users.

Corner Desk

If the size of your room makes even Lilliputians feel cramped, then a corner desk will be perfect for you. It takes up a spot in your home that typically goes unused and offers ample workspace and storage options.

L-Shaped Desk

L-shaped desks provide you with plenty of desk space and are great for rooms of all sizes since they can be placed in a corner, against a wall or in the middle of the room.

Office Chair Features to Consider

Your chair should fit both your needs and your work environment. If you typically clock in a lot of hours at your desk, then you need an office chair that is not only comfortable, but properly supports your body so you can reduce the risk of any injury caused by sitting for long periods of time. Further prevent any strain by also getting up from your chair every 30 minutes or so to stretch, walk around or simply do a quick task that doesn’t involve sitting down.

Here are some features to look for when deciding on the right chair for you:

Gas Lifts

This is the handle you’ll find on most chairs that raises your seat height up and down. Adjust your seat in relation to how high your desk is and how long your legs are. You’ll want to keep your legs at a 90-degree angle to ensure proper circulation throughout them.

Adjustable Armrests

If you spend a lot of time typing or writing at your desk, armrests can help relieve the tension in your shoulders and neck that is caused by these activities. Most armrests can be adjusted up and down, but there are some models that can also be moved side to side for optimal arm positioning.

Lumbar Support

Your lower back is known as the lumbar region of your body and sitting typically puts a lot of strain on this area. A good office chair will have a back that curves to support your lumbar region. Ergonomic chairs are known for providing solid lumbar support, but how much you need really depends on how you typically sit. If you’re prone to slouching, you’ll need more support in your lower back than if you tend to sit straighter.

Seat Curve

A seat with a front edge that curves towards the floor can relieve any pressure on the back of your thighs and knees that you might experience while sitting down for extended periods.

Headrest

Reduce the strain on your neck with a headrest that you can lean your head against.

Spring Tilts

Spring tilts allow you to change the angle of your seat, so you can transfer the weight of your body to different parts of the chair. For example, tilt it upwards and your upper body will rest more on the back of your chair.

Casters

Casters are the wheels found on the bottom of most office chairs. These make it extremely easy for you to move your chair around your desk, office or home. If you don’t spend a lot of time at your desk, you may prefer a stationary chair without casters.

Base

Chairs with casters typically have a five point chair base, which are the five arms that the wheels are attached to. This type of base provides the most stability, so you can turn, move, and sit in your chair without it tipping over.

Types of Office Chairs

Whether you decide to go for an elegant leather chair or a brightly coloured desk chair, here are some typical designs you’ll see as you shop:

Task Chair

Task chairs are the most common office chairs because of their versatility. At their most basic, they typically have a simple curved backrest, a five point base with casters, and an adjustable seat. You’ll also encounter task chairs with adjustable arm rests and seat tilts. Whether you’re writing a novel at your desk or simply paying the bills, a task chair is a great option for your home or office.

Ergonomic Chair

Ideal for tasks that require sitting down for extended lengths of time, ergonomic chairs can be adjusted in nearly every way in order to properly support your body, reduce strain and fatigue, improve posture, and increase circulation as you sit.

Mesh Chair

Mesh chairs are characterized by the mesh material the back rest is typically made of. The seats for these chairs can either be mesh as well or fabric. The holes in the material allow air to pass through, which can help decrease your body heat. This makes them ideal for hot climates or offices that typically don’t use air conditioning.

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Take the Next Step

It may seem like you’ll have to spend a lot to get the best home office furniture possible, but great quality doesn’t have to break the bank. With a wide selection of furniture from brands like Sonax, South Shore, Homedics, and Zuo, you’ll be able to find the right desk and office chair for your needs and budget at Best Buy.

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