4 Types of Chairs You Should Know About

By Nicole Tinkham

Choosing the perfect chair for the office isn’t an easy decision. There are so many styles, features, and types that it can become overwhelming. The first thing you need to determine is what type of chair you need (task chair, executive chair, stool, guest seating, etc.). Think about what you need the chair for and who will be using it. Don’t forget about the specialty chairs (listed below) that may offer exactly what you need, for example chairs for the big and tall user or petite chairs.

1. Executive Chairs

You will notice that these chairs have a higher back than typical task chairs.

Is it for you? If you are using the chair for reading or meeting with other people, this is the perfect chair. You will often find these chairs in conference rooms as they are comfortable when sitting for shorter amounts of time. However, these are not good chairs for working at a computer for an extended period of time. For computer use, see task chairs below.

Pictured: Hon Ignition Series Executive Chair

2. Office Chairs

Office chairs (also called task or work chairs) are often used at the computer. Unlike executive chairs, these only go as high as your mid back, making them comfortable for longer periods of time.

Is it for you? If you need a comfortable chair you can sit in all day, this is the type you should be looking for. However, we will warn you that there are many different chairs within this broad category. We recommend focusing on your own personal needs over price and brand. Make a list of everything you don’t like about your current office chair or one that you’ve had in the past. This will give you a good idea of features to look for when purchasing a new one.

Pictured: Hon Nucleus Series Work Chair

3. Specialty Chairs 

Specialty chairs include stools, big & tall, 24/7, and petite chairs.

Is it for you? If you’re having a difficult time finding the perfect chair, consider a specialty chair. These are designed differently to meet a variety of needs such as big and tall, petite, and more. Here are some of your specialty options:

  • Stools: Stools are similar to regular task chairs but are higher off the ground. You will need a stool in situations where sitting at a higher level is necessary due to a higher table. Stools often do not have arms but do have a ring to place feet.
  • Big & Tall: These are designed for the big and tall person, being able to support more weight. They typically have a wider and deeper seat as well.
  • 24/7: These chairs are made to be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (hence the name). They are extra durable for intensive use and have features like high density foam cushions and back support for continuous comfort.
  • Petite: These are designed for the petite user but can be adjusted for anyone.

Pictured: Alera Ravino Big & Tall Series

4. Other Chairs

Other chairs available include guest, folding, and stacking chairs.

Is it for you? This section includes chairs for special occasions and guest chairs. If you have an event coming up, you may want to think about folding chairs. If you want to make a great first impression, look for stylish guest chairs. Stacking chairs are simple chairs that are able to stack. These chairs are perfect for occasional use because they are light-weight and save space when stored.

Pictured: Mayline Mercado Series Arch- Back Wood Guest Chair

Choosing a chair for the office can be very complex but this brief guide can help you at least get started. We’ll have posts in the future with more information on chairs and other furniture items but in the mean time if you have any questions, you can give us a call (941-747-2995) or come in and see Carole in the furniture department. Carole can answer any questions you may have and help you choose the perfect chair! Also, feel free to post any questions in the comment box below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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