We Tried The Cheapest Home Office Chair At Wayfair. Here's How It Went.

2023-01-09 21:18:34 By : Ms. Emily Zhou

Deciding to buy a $43.99 home office chair at Wayfair is simple enough. Deciding what exactly an office chair is gets a bit muddier. Luckily, unpuzzling the difference between a task chair and an office chair is relatively simple. Google locates about 750,000,000 matches for "what's the difference between an office chair and a task chair?" It returns these results in a mere .76 seconds, though it will take a little longer to read 750 million web pages. We looked at a carefully selected representative subset of these pages (specifically, the first page of results), and each is unequivocal in its definitions and distinctions between office and task chairs. Naturally, each source's definition is entirely different from all the others.

Ultimately, we decided on this definition: "Does this thing look like you'd use it at a desk?" Any chair matching this criterion we deemed an office chair. We further determined that office and task chairs (and desk chairs and others) are indistinguishable from each other and that ChatGPT must not use chairs at all. Die Cast Box

We Tried The Cheapest Home Office Chair At Wayfair. Here

Thus, we bought the cheapest chair in the Office Chairs category that actually mentioned the word "office" in its name, the Canasia Adjustable Swivel Chair for Desk and Office with Tractor Seat by Inbox Zero. We temporarily tabled (or perhaps desked) questions about why this was outfitted with a tractor seat, how it interacts with the email management methodology, and what is being implied by the name "Canasia."

It's unusual when a product's best and worst reviews reach the same conclusions, but that is the case with the Canasia. Of course, everyone agrees on the fundamentals: this is an armless swivel chair with a small, low back; no padding; five double-wheel casters; and a seat height adjustable from 20.25 inches to 25.75 inches (total travel of 5.5 inches). The height adjustment is accomplished via a lever beneath the seat on the right. The base, seat pan, and back interconnect and are attached with five bolts, and all other parts are interference fit (press-fit): the seat post, pneumatic cylinder/cover, backrest, and casters. Inbox Zero also offers a similar drafting chair, the Canberk, that is taller and includes a foot ring for resting your feet.

When buying something strictly based on price, reviews are irrelevant, but they can be useful to determine if you've made a horrible mistake. The Canasia task chair gets 4.5 stars on 1465 Wayfair reviews, typical for Inbox Zero products. Of the chair's 68 one- and two-star reviews, 25 said it failed soon after purchase, and 17 described it as uncomfortable. Other criticisms claim the chair is too small and is of poor quality. Both positive and negative reviews seem to agree that the chair is small (or at least more suitable for small adults and children), that it's easy to assemble, and that it is most comfortable when used only briefly.

Before testing the 250-pound weight limit and the claims about durability problems, we devised a series of in-depth experiments called, collectively, "sitting on the chair." This was done by a heavyweight adult over about 12 total hours seated. The chair was used at various work-surface heights on vinyl tile, engineered hardwood, and a rug (the specifications indicate that the chair is only compatible with carpet).

Since many reviewers said the Canasia chair was most suitable for children, we also randomly selected three of the four available minors and asked them to sit on the chair for arbitrary lengths of time and to use it otherwise as they saw fit. The oldest of these, 13, also did the bulk of the assembly (which led to a screw falling out later, no fault of Inbox Zero). The kid tests mostly ran the length of a family meal, plus five minutes of freestyle use by all testers consisting of spinning around rapidly, rolling into obstacles haphazardly, and being swiftly pursued by adults.

Finally, we stacked weights, children, and at least one seriously displeased cat on the chair to push its 250-pound weight limit. Again, the function and integrity of the chair components were carefully observed for any signs of stress or failure. Since a few complaints observed that the press-fit back was easy to lift off the chair inadvertently, we tried to find situations where this was most likely to happen.

Perhaps the most obvious trait of the Canasia swivel chair is that it's far faster than you'd expect. "It's like a little sports car I could never have," observed Amanda, one of the Wayfair reviewers. One tester estimated the maximum speed as "70 million billion" — the unit of measure was unclear. Of course, this just means the chair tends to roll freely on hard surfaces, particularly when standing up or sitting down. Thankfully, no one experienced unexpected rolling while seated.

Nor did the back of the seat separate from the frame when lifted. The back is attached so firmly that it's hard to imagine how such a thing is possible. Applying a reasonable amount of force, there's no indication that the back can be removed, intentionally or otherwise. That this happened to others might indicate inconsistency in manufacture or incomplete assembly by those who experienced it.

The seat is not uncomfortable for brief periods, especially when one is positioned fully against the backrest. At first, its adjustable range seems to span a strange range of heights. A 6'1" man could not touch the floor, or even the chair's base, with the seat lifted to its full height. The lowest setting is about right for a standard-height desk, and the highest setting works for counter-height surfaces. We never saw any sign of trouble, regardless of how much weight we put on the Canasia, so any sizing issues have to do with physical dimensions, not weight.

We thought maybe the tractor seat was a means of stylizing an otherwise unremarkable chair. However, after using it, additional reasons have suggested themselves. Particularly, it's a means of creating comfort in an unpadded seat — not all that different from hard chairs designed with the waterfall seat shape. It's form-fitting for some users, and comfortable, but therein lies a few problems. Fully seated against the backrest is the only position that doesn't cause discomfort quickly. If you're habitually perching on the front of a chair for a quick task like checking email, you might have trouble with the Canasia. And regardless of sitting position, in our experience, pressure transforms into slight pain after four to six hours.

The seat height at full extension is also unexpected, though not exactly bothersome. (You don't, after all, have to extend it.) The only reason it's uncomfortable is the lack of a foot ring, which is present on the even taller Canberk. Of course, the lack of a foot ring also keeps the price down.

The Canasia comes in 17 colors (we chose silver), and not all finishes may be fragile. Still, we noticed significant scratching of the plastic seat and headrest after two days, including areas where physical damage is difficult to explain. Maybe this is the result of rough handling by children, but it's also valid to observe that a product design that only really works for children should be able to stand up to children.

Whatever definition eventually evolves from the chaos, at the moment, Wayfair seems to define a task chair as something like "an armless desk chair." By this definition, if the Canasia is the cheapest office chair, it's also the third cheapest task chair, a mere $4 more than the cheapest. The only comparably priced chair at Wayfair that looks better is the retro drafting chair by SUNYOU at $58.99, which has few reviews — all terrible. (In fact, the highest rating, three stars, came from a woman whose husband loves the chair, while she finds it flimsy.) The next chair that has anything like a stylish and cohesive design is the Chambord Task Chair, $68.99 on closeout.

We Tried The Cheapest Home Office Chair At Wayfair. Here

Aluminum Box You can't exactly discount a nice-looking $44 task chair just because it isn't easy to sit in for six hours or because children can scratch it. (What can't children scratch?) However, for light use by adults (and light use by children, though that's probably redundant in anything but a gaming chair), the Canasia is a good choice in a very inexpensive chair. This is especially true in a spot and a home that's aesthetically compatible with the tractor-meets-modern vibe.