The way most people talk, you’d think that “big and tall” is a general category for everything outside the standard, from men’s suits to office furniture. In fact, they are 2 very different things. When buying a chair for your home or office, it’s important to understand the difference.


Some customers need a chair with a higher weight capacity, while others require a deeper seat, a higher back, or more seating height range than usual.

You should follow some basic rules when adhering to the do's and don'ts of buying an office chair. The standard commercial chair is designed for a 250-pound person. If you’re above that, look for a chair with a weight capacity of 300, 350, 400, or 500+ pounds. These chairs are built with wheels, base, and gas life to accommodate a higher weight capacity to ensure they last. Many will also have a thicker wood seat and back pan—some as thick as 3/4 of an inch—to prevent cracks or breaks.


Most commercial chairs are also designed for people up to and around 6’1”. If you’re taller, you’ll want to look for a chair you can adjust. Features such as a seat sliding mechanism and a ratchet-back height adjustment will help mold the chair to better fit you on a day-to-day basis.

The seat sliding mechanism allows you to adjust the depth of the seat itself. When in the correct position, the edge of the seat should fall in line with your knee cap, which helps provide maximum circulation to your legs. When the seat depth is not correct, it may be resting on your hamstring, which can start to restrict blood flow through your legs. This can be the primary factor in workplace fatigue. 


For those with a larger torso, the ratchet back adjustment allows you to move the lumbar support to prop up your back so you can sit straight and comfortably.


If you don’t fit within the industry’s standards for the average customer, finding a comfortable chair on a budget can be daunting, but it’s worth the effort. You spend as much time in your office chair as you sleep in your bed, so it should be just as comfortable. 

People come in all sizes—we think office furniture should, too.



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