There are several types of office chairs available in the market. However, for years now, two main chair genres have dominated the office chair market and those are leather and mesh chairs. Judging by the sales record, currently, both these chairs are giving a hard time to each other. So, people are pretty confused when it comes to deciding which type of chair to buy.
Don’t worry because this article will clear out all your doubts about the ‘chair’ issue. First, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both the chair types which will lead us into the final faceoff between leather chairs and mesh chairs. Keep reading to find out!
Mesh Chair Overview
Mesh office chairs have a more laid-back and breathable look that focuses more on ergonomics. The awareness about various health issues arising from long periods of sitting is increasing by the day. And so, the popularity of mesh chairs has risen a lot. These are said to mark a revolutionary change in the world of office furnishings. Also, mesh office chairs are the best alternative to leather and other regular office chairs. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of mesh chairs in detail so that we make an informed decision in the end.
The mesh fabric used in a mesh office chair facilitates ventilation that is very comfortable in the hot humid summer months. An office worker spends the majority of their day sitting in a chair and a mesh chair allows air to reach your back and body, thus, enabling your skin to breathe. So, it’s really beneficial to the regular office workers.
Mesh office chairs have a minimalistic design and are very lightweight. Hence, it is very easy to lift such chairs and move them around.
Having a mesh office chair in the workspace is quite ideal because it does not require much maintenance. Moreover, it is quite easy to clean the spills and stains from mesh chairs.
Mesh office chairs are much cheaper than leather chairs and offer a professional look as well. Hence, these are best suited for any office space.
Mesh chairs are easily available everywhere and that is why these are easy to get for office spaces. These can be found in any furniture or office supply shop and these come in several variations and combinations as well.
Mesh office chairs can support your natural body contour and are quite flexible. But, you can’t really sink into a plush seat with these chairs since they don’t come with upholstery. These sure are flexible and easy to move but you may miss the comfort provided by soft and plush padding.
The soft meshes can start sagging faster than you realize. On the other hand, the firm meshes won’t be comfortable to sit on at all. Leather chairs are better in this regard.
How long does a mesh chair last?
Mesh office chairs generally last for 5 to 10 years if they are of high quality. But, if you get cheap ones then they’ll last for 1 to 2 years.
The visual appeal of mesh chairs is quite limited and these are available in black and grey colors only which can be quite mundane to some.
Leather Chair Overview
Leather office chairs were ruling the chair market from a time much before the advent of wire mesh or mesh office chairs. These chairs have an old-school charm and a high cosmetic appeal along with comfort and reliability. Not only do they look good visually but are also very supportive when you want to work for long durations at a stretch.
These come with thick padding that offers comfortable support to your body, especially your lower spine. Hence, sitting on these office chairs won’t necessarily hurt your body or cause much strain. Also, these are quite long-lasting and low-maintenance furniture pieces. Such qualities make it worthy of an investment. Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons of leather chairs:
Generally, companies invest in executive leather chairs to create a good feel and image in the office workspace. A leather office chair offers much more class and elegance. This can’t be achieved by other types of chairs.
Chairs that are made of real leather turn out to be far more long-lasting, provided you care for them properly. Good quality leather chairs are sure quite expensive but definitely a good investment that you can use for years.
Leather chairs also don’t need much maintenance and are easy to clean. Even in the case of liquid spillage, you don’t need to worry because the liquid won’t soak into the leather. It can be easily wiped off. Besides, office workers usually have a habit of dropping food on their chairs while eating. In the case of leather chairs, these can be easily wiped off or vacuumed from the seat.
It goes without saying that leather office chairs are extremely comfortable and easy to relax on. Users who sit on the leather chair usually feel very comfortable due to all the plush padding and comfortable leather surface. Other than that, leather usually stays cool and so helps you in easy dissipation of body heat.
Even if a sweaty person sits on a leather chair, it can later be cleaned by wiping off with a wet cloth and mild soap water. Hygiene is an important point to consider, especially in shared premises like a workspace. And leather chairs make it easier to keep the office space clean and hygienic without you spending much effort.
Leather chairs are quite luxurious and costlier than other types of office chairs. However, these do look elegant, are comfortable, and last very long. So, you can say that investing in leather chairs is actually worth it.
You cannot use leather chairs roughly like other office chairs because these are very prone to scratches. So, don’t ever use any sharp accessories while sitting on a leather chair.
3.Bleaches out and gets cracks
Don’t expose your chair to too much heat or light because these can reduce the life of your chair. These factors lead to bleaching out of your chair’s leather and also give it cracks that can grow wider over time.
4.Hard to identify real leather
These days, it has become way too difficult to distinguish fake leather from the real one. Leather office chairs are a costly affair and so, you can’t take any risks with the quality of leather.
Comparisons of Mesh vs Leather Chairs
Modern-day executive leather chairs come with thick padding in their seats and lumbar area. These are known for providing ergonomic support to your lower back which allows you to stay seated for long hours of work.
Certain brands also have leather chairs that contain memory foam to mold to your back shape and posture. However, leather is not a very breathable material, especially during the hot summer months. It can become sweaty and become quite unhygienic to sit in for long hours at a stretch.
Mesh chairs were designed to serve as an ergonomic replacement for regular leather chairs. In fact, the wire mesh chairs had to face plenty of controversies when these were first introduced. People thought that these chairs wouldn’t be comfortable. However, mesh chairs are designed to give you the utmost comfort level. They have curved backrests to support your spine and maintain a neutral body posture.
Also, the backrests and seats are adjustable that massively relieves pressure. Moreover, the porous surface of the mesh allows air to ventilate through and reach your skin during the hot summer months. This allows you to stay in a sitting position for long hours.
Mesh chairs can cause general discomfort when you sit on them for long durations. But, the ventilation feature of mesh chairs gets rid of these issues.
2.Durability / Longevity
Leather chairs are built to last and that is one of their pros. If the leather is made of tough hide, then it will be able to withstand regular wear and tear easily. This way it can stay pristine even after years of use if you take proper care of the chair. Also, leather is not vulnerable to staining or rotting due to sweat accumulation. The wipeable surface makes it easier to clean and low maintenance.
Mesh chairs have a skeletal framework and so can start getting battered when used regularly over long durations. The fabric can lose its elasticity and the plastic could get scratches when the chair might bump into walls and office desks. The parts might also start breaking gradually as it bears human weight. Hence, a mesh office chair might need more repair than a leather chair.
Leather chairs are indeed quite pricey but they also last for years to come. However, don’t expect that your posh leather chair is immune to wear and tear. Leather chairs often get scratch marks and these can widen with time especially in all the regions where the chair comes in contact with your body like the armrests or back.
Other than that, sunlight is also harmful to leather chairs since it can bleach the leather and ruin its cosmetic appeal. Also, leather’s elasticity is very limited which suggests that once it starts sagging it doesn’t come back to regain. This causes the chair to lose its ergonomic properties thus, promoting health issues in users.
When it comes to cleanliness, leather chairs require it more frequently than mesh chairs. You need to spray and wipe down a leather chair at least once or twice a week with soap. This is need to clean it and get rid of any odor that might linger on it.
Mesh chairs have a lightweight and integrated frame and so, are much easier to maintain as compared to a leather chair. The surface of a mesh chair can be cleaned easily just by wiping with warm soapy water and then, you can dry it with a cloth or a hairdryer because keeping it wet will make it rusty.
However, mesh fabric is a bit troublesome to clean because dirt crumbs and other tiny things tend to get embedded in the layered mesh fabric. Simply wiping would only clean the surface and not reach the inner dirt. This requires different cleaning techniques. Still, these chairs are lightweight and can be flipped over to clean the base and wheels.
Needless to say, the cost of leather items has skyrocketed over the years. And so, when you get a high-end chair made of genuine leather, it is bound to cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000 at least. However, if you pick a functional chair with basic features and PU-based leather covering, then your bill will amount to something around $100.
On the other hand, mesh chairs come at a very budget-friendly price. But, the high-end mesh chairs made of great material and engineered ergonomically are quite pricey. However, standard mesh office chairs such as the WorkPro one can be bought for less than $300. And on the lower end of the budget spectrum, you’ll get mesh chairs that work fine only for your normal work usage. Don’t expect them to last too long and provide the same level of comfort and support forever.
Your chair buying decision should be based on several factors like comfort offered, durability, cost, etc. Mesh chairs are surely an economical option and the very best for setting up office space within a strict budget. These are lightweight, offer ventilation, and easy to transport. However, executive leather chairs are amazing to adorn your conference room with. Also, these are low maintenance and stay cleaner.
Both of these chair types are very stylish, comfortable, and lasts long enough. The final decision depends on your preferences and needs. If you want a chair that offers high mobility and has a low budget, then a mesh office chair is better for you. But, if budget is not a concern for you and you wish to impress your clientele in the conference room then leather office chairs would be great.