For years, the executive leather office chair has been depicted as the epitome of class, success, prestige, and wealth. Look at almost any TV show or movie that features an office figure that is looked up to and admired and take a look at what kind of chair they are sitting in. The vast majority of the time the chair they are sitting in is a leather office chair. Even just imagining a leather office chair, the first person that comes to my mind when I think who would be sitting in it would be some high powered executive. Although notoriously reputable and sought after, leather office chairs like any other kind of chair comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
One of the key advantages of owning a leather office chair over a chair with a fabric material is the ease of maintenance. Leather upholstery is generally easy to maintain and can be cleaned simply by wiping the chair with a clean damp cloth. Applying a special leather cleaner every six months or so also maintains the overall appearance of the leather chair. If carefully maintained, a good quality hide upholstered chair will develop its own patina to give your leather office chair a distinctive appearance as it matures and ages.
Along with being easy to maintain, leather office chairs also give off the aura of prestige and power. Not only do leather chairs give off an aura of power, but they also look very nice and are appropriate in any business setting, whether you are at work or at home. Some leather office chair manufacturers also provide a variety of custom colored upholstered choices so those that want a more unique chair can purchase that green leather office chair they have been dying to get. Although about 90% of leather office chairs produced typically come in the standard black color, with white and burgundy being close second and thirds as far as color popularity.
One problem some people seem to find with leather is the tendency for it to put a shine on your clothing, especially for those that wear expensive outfits or business suits to work. You may find that your clothes wear out more quickly than before if you were sitting in a fabric or mesh chair.
If you work in an office that does not have air conditioning or gets really hot in temperature, especially during the summer months, you may find that your leather office chair will cause you to sweat and perspire excessively. However, some top quality leathers do come with a breathable finish which will help reduce or even eliminate this problem.
A big disadvantage that is not necessarily the chairs fault, is that people get fooled into purchasing chairs that are advertised as cheap leather office chairs. People believe they are getting an unbelievable bargain price when in actuality really cheap chairs with leather upholstery will always be a compromise, frequently they are made from off cuts and scraps of very low quality leather that have been pieced together to cover the chair. This leather can be thin and brittle, meaning the chair will not last long and will begin to tear as time goes by.
As aforementioned, with any chair or in reality any product, there are pros and cons to purchasing a leather chair. Whether you can outweigh the positives for the negatives is ultimately your decision but most importantly as a rule of thumb, if a chair sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When it comes to purchasing an office chair most people have one key feature in mind that they expect their chair to come with, and that is easy maintenance. Of course, maintaining an office chair is not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you sit in the chair for long hours everyday for several years. There is always that occasional accidental spill that occurs when you are eating your favorite snack before lunch or the time you spilled your pepsi on your chair. When spills and stains take place on chairs that are made from a fabric material, they are generally more difficult to clean and maintain than chairs made from other kinds of materials. That being said, if you are looking for a chair that is designed for its durability, comfort and low maintenance, then leather office chairs are a must have item for your office.
An ergonomic leather office chair finished in a high quality hide will give you many years of good service no matter if you are using the chair as an executive leather office chair that you sit in for a few hours a day during meetings or a leather office desk chair that you sit in for the whole duration of your work day. Reputable suppliers will be more than happy to tell you about the origin, quality and grade hide used in the manufacture of their office seating products to help you assess the difference between high and low quality leathers. High quality leathers are usually upholstered in a single piece of hide to maintain the appearance and the finish. Frequently cheap chairs with leather upholstery are made from off cuts and scraps of very low quality leather that have been pieced together to cover the chair. Typically this leather can be thin and brittle in texture which will cause the chair to rip and tear over time.
Generally speaking leather upholstery is easy to maintain and simply needs a regular wipe down with a damp cloth combined with a little bit of soap and possibly an application of a specialist hide cleaner every six months or so. Leather cleaner is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at your local home appliance store such as a Home Depot or a Target. When you spill that drink you brought back from lunch on your chair, a damp rag will do the trick to get rid of the spill leaving virtually no remembrance. If leather is carefully maintained, a good quality hide upholstered chair will develop its own patina to give your leather office chair a distinctive appearance as it matures and ages.
Leather chairs in general are easier to maintain than fabric office chairs. Whether you have a black leather office chair or a brown leather office chair, maintenance will stay the same regardless of color or style. With leather fabric being easy to wipe down, spills and food remnants are easy to take care of and remove. High quality leather office chairs are also built to be durable, another distinguishing factor that will help your chair last longer. If you are looking for a chair that will need little maintenance and will still provide you with a touch of class and style, a leather office chair is the way to go.
What if you’re just starting our your business and need to outfit your office/guest/reception area, but need to do it on the cheap, without being cheap? We feel you. It’s never a bad thing to save a few bucks.
Luckily, we were able to dig up some nice guest/reception chair options in both leather and vinyl that can keep your place looking good, clean and for a good price. Here are some of the best options:
It’s nice because it’s nice. While that MAY sound redundant, it’s true. It has a clean contemporary look, as you can see, and it is relatively comfortable. Not the plush marshmallow, but still sits well. It is upholstered in LeatherPlus, and I’ll give you $100.00 if someone calls you out the fact that it isn’t solid leather. (It’s reconstituted leather, combined with vinyl. See the differences on our Caressoft FAQ).
The Boss B9540 Guest Chair is Old Reliable. Old because the design has been around for a while, and reliable because the design has held up nicely over years of use and implementing. It’s just a classic traditional style, and maintains all the charactiristcs of a timeless piece of furniture without the antique price. The rivets are a nice copper. What I like most about this chair is the fact that it makes the room its in seem just a little more important…I mean, you have to be important to rock the “old school” furniture right? Classic traditional look with this traditional office vinyl chair.
The Boss B7509 Leather Plus Guest/Reception Chair embodies the general look of a value oriented guest/reception chair. There are no frills or thrills here - just simple, straightforward comfort. It’s seat is thick and cushy, the frame is solid metal, and the chair is inexpensive. Combining that with it’s LeatherPlus upholstery and it’s price point, and really, this is good enough for any of your guests to sit in.
The bottom line is that your bottom line is important too. While these may not be leather office chairs, they feel like leather, and last like vinyl. When you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck in that new office or office remodel, these options are a very loud bang.
The Ray is a new leather conference room chair by Allseating. With a release date of September, we thought we’d take some time to offer a pre-emptive review of the Ray – given that it’s unique and stylish and should come in at a great price point.
The Ray offers a different look for use as a leather managerial chair, leather conference chair, or just a nice home office leather office chair. The arms are modern but retro, and fit with the design of the back nicely. They remind us a little bit of Legos with the indented area under the armrest.
The backrest is a mid-back, and should provide the user with ample back support for any application, except for executive seating, for which users it would not be good. What’s really nice about the Ray is the implementation of a new counter weight mechanism, which as the user leans back the seat slides forward slightly and promotes proper seating postures all the way around.
The seat and back are slightly on the firm side, leading to a comfortable, but not overly cushy seating feeling. Overall, the Ray looks to be a good chair. We tested the demo sample at NEOCON, and the production model looks to be the same – available in black or white leather, the Ray should provide leather office chair buyers a great alternative looking solution for their office space!
Three Sweet Features:
1. European Beech wood base and arms, capped with leather.
2. Zip-Ship means it ships in 10-14 business days…That’s fast for a custom built chair.
3. Thick seat and back. Very comfortable.
The Thorough Review:
Here it is, the grand daddy of executive leather office chairs. Just the name alone tells you a lot about the chair. But is it really comfortable? Does it live up to the expectations?
Yes, and yes. Let’s start with the style of this leather office chair. It looks comfortable, bug, plush and very executive. The wood arm and base are both high quality European Beech wood, stained with maple, dark cherry, or golden cherry. The arms are caped in leather with foam pad, so you can rest on them nicely.
The back of the chair itself, aside from being big and wide, features a foam protrusion in the middle. This has a dual purpose of providing pseudo-lumbar support and maintaining your back in an ideal S shape, even while you lean back or sink into the soft cushioned backrest. The middle protrusion also means you get a nice cushy place to rest your head and think about ideas for your business.
The seat is soft and thick, you sink into it and it eventually molds to you – which means comfort now and more comfort in the future. This chair is really comfortable – it’s a safe bet even the super soft Stay-Puft Marshallow man would be comfortable in this chair!
Oh, it’s plush. The foam is EXTRA thick, and you literally sink into the chair. Very nice.
The leather is top grain, top of the line leather. Very soft and non abrasive. It is all leather on all parts you touch, vinyl on the rest – a little money saving technique.
It looks imposingly comfortable. A very executive style that exudes class and comfort.
Overall Rating (Not an average):
A great chair for comfort, class. A wonderful seating solution to last years in your office.
Want to know more about how we rate chairs? Check out our Ratings Guide!