Armrests could be cushier
Arms not adjustable
Finding the perfect office chair can be tough, especially if you’re budget-conscious—you want one that’s comfortable and well built at a price point that won’t break the bank. Plus, there’s the overall design aesthetic of your office to consider. AmazonBasics, Amazon’s private label, offers a potential answer to this dilemma with its Mid-Back Black Mesh Chair, a black, mesh-backed office chair that retails for less than $100.
We sent this chair home with one of our expert testers, who assembled it herself, experimented with its various adjustments, and sat in it for hours on end to see if it kept up its end of the bargain. Read on to find out the details.
Setup Process: Easy but an extra set of hands is helpful
This chair arrives with all the parts and tools needed for assembly. Our tester put it together with her husband and said that the process was easy enough but that an extra set of hands helped when she connected the back of the chair with its base. When all was said and done, assembly took just 15 to 20 minutes, although our reviewer also acknowledged that she and her husband “order a lot of Ikea furniture, so [are] used to assembling.” If you are not handy at all and don’t want to deal with setup, there is an option to purchase expert assembly.
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Design: Solid build but could be more adjustable
This chair is only available in black. It measures 25.2 inches deep by 24 inches wide by 35.6 to 40.3 inches high, and weighs 23.1 pounds. It has a cushioned mesh seat, nylon T-shaped armrests, five dual-wheel casters for convenient mobility, and a mesh-covered back for extra breathability. In terms of weight capacity, this chair supports up to 225 pounds. Our tester thought that, overall, the build quality of this chair was pretty great: “This chair is solid,” she said. “I was pleasantly surprised, especially for the price.”
Even though its armrests could have had more cushioning and its back may not be large enough for taller users, this chair was comfortable and a great overall value for the price.
This chair also swivels and is adjustable; pneumatic controls let you tilt back and forth or raise or lower your seat. (To tilt back, pull out on the control handle. To raise the seat, lean forward to remove some of your weight from the chair, and then pull up on the handle.) Our tester felt that both of these mechanisms worked really well: “This chair was perfect for my height of five feet two inches,” she explained. “The pneumatic lift allowed me to position the seat comfortably so that my feet were flat on the floor while still maintaining good eye level with my computer screen.”
Although our tester liked the overall build, she did note that “it would be great if Amazon offered this chair in a high-back configuration, which would be better-suited for taller users.” She also pointed out that, since the armrests aren’t adjustable, “you’re essentially taking a gamble that the chair’s preconfigured design will be suitable for your needs.”
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Comfort: Comfortable but armrests not cushioned enough
Our tester used this chair for over a week for several hours per day. Her overall experience was very positive, but it’s important to note that comfort is fairly subjective. “The seat cushion is very comfortable,” she said, “and the mesh back offers increased airflow. There’s also enough support but not the rigidness you sometimes find in the more expensive brands.”
However, she acknowledged that because this is a mid-back chair, it “may not be quite as comfortable” for a taller person. She also thought that its armrests were a little too hard: “Sitting in this chair for a few hours, you begin to notice the lack of cushioning when resting your arms,” she said. She also went on to explain, “The arms on this chair are not adjustable, so you are essentially taking a gamble that its preconfigured design will be suitable for your needs.” If you’re looking for more adjustable options, you can check out our roundup of best ergonomic office chairs.
It would be great if Amazon offered this chair in a high-back configuration, which would be better-suited for taller users.
This chair is priced on Amazon at approximately $70, which cements its status as a budget-friendly office chair—particularly when you consider you can pay upwards of $1,000 for state-of-the-art office chairs. Our tester agreed: “At the current listed price of $67.99, I feel the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Black Mesh Chair is a good bargain,” she declared.
AmazonBasics Mid-Back Black Mesh Chair vs. Furmax Mid-Back Swivel Lumbar Support Desk Chair
Chinese manufacturer Furmax also offers a budget-friendly alternative to AmazonBasics’ model for approximately $20 less: the Mid-Back Swivel Lumbar Support Desk Chair. The chairs both have mesh-covered backs, adjustable heights, and dual-wheel casters. Furmax’s model is available in black, too, but it’s also available in red, grey, and white, giving you more options depending on your office decor. AmazonBasics’ chair’s weight capacity is 225 pounds, while Furmax’s model supports up to 265 pounds.
Design-wise, these chairs differ, too. With sharper edges and sleek lines, Furmax’s chair has a modern look, while AmazonBasics’ option has rounded edges and looks a bit friendlier. Also, in terms of warranties, buyers of Furmax’s chair are protected by a 30-day free replacement or money back guarantee (for any quality problem) and a six-month guarantee of part replacement if any are damaged. AmazonBasics’ chair, on the other hand, has a one-year limited warranty.
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- Product Name Mid-Back Black Mesh Chair
- Product Brand AmazonBasics
- Price $64.99
- Weight 23.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 25.2 x 24 x 40.4 in.
- Color Black
- Maximum Weight Capacity 225 lbs.
- Warranty Yes, one-year limited warranty