Types of Seat Support Materials
If you have ever been in the market for an office chair, you know how many options there are. The variety is staggering. After all, isn’t an office chair… an office chair? The simple answer: no.
Most people spend a lot of time seated at desks in their office chairs. Therefore, furniture makers face a distinct challenge—how to make an office chair comfortable for 8 hours of use or more every day.
Many seat support materials are used to address this challenge. These materials are vastly different, offering different benefits and comfort levels at various prices.
Fabricated foam, otherwise known as cut foam or slab foam, is one of the most common seat support materials furniture makers use. It is often used in upholstered office chairs. Fabricated foam can vary in densities—the denser a piece of foam, the firmer and more durable it will be. However, too much firmness can be uncomfortable.
As a solution, many furniture makers will add layers of foam to the seat of the chair. The layers vary in density densities, with the lighter, less dense foam pieces toward the outside to create a cushioning feeling when a user sits. Office chairs that include only layers of fabricated foam are often a very economical choice for those looking for a new office chair.
Molded foam is aptly named, as its production process includes an actual mold. The process consists of liquid foam material poured into a mold and then baked to set. Molded foam seats offer more consistent support and can hold their shape longer than fabricated foam. These seats can also allow for a comfortable and visually appealing contour seat. Another distinct benefit of molded foam is that there is a possibility of a great range of firmness depending on how the foam is produced.
Memory foam features a distinctive chemical makeup that allows the seat to adjust to your body temperature. The seats, therefore, retain more heat than others and also mold their shape to the user as the user moves around. With such a design, memory foam seats keep the spine in a constant neutral position for desirable comfort. Memory foam seats are known for their superior comfort and “hugging” effect. These chair seats are also hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites.
With traditional office chairs that feature leather upholstery, a user can occasionally experience a chair with an uncomfortably warm seat or back. The lack of ventilation traps hot air. Mesh chairs solve this problem by offering a ventilation system. With mesh seat material, the temperature is regulated, allowing airflow to keep the user cool and comfortable. Leather and fabric chairs without ventilation systems can also retain unpleasant odors. Unpleasant orders are less likely to cling to the material with a mesh design.
Pocketed Coil System
Seats featuring pocketed coil systems offer superior comfort. The spring coils help to evenly distribute weight and are more durable than most foam options. The seats include a multilayer foam design and pocketed springs in the seat portion. The layers of foam also capture the benefits of each type of foam and ensure comfort when sitting. The top layer of foam is less dense, creating a nice cushioned feeling when the user first sits. The other foam layers are denser and will hold up better to constant usage.
Ultimately, choosing an office chair comes down to your preference and budget. All of these seat support materials feature a variety of benefits, and each has its own appeal.