Yes, mesh office chairs are more often than not comfortable. The main reason why mesh is used on office chairs is that it keeps a constant flow of air circulating around your back. This fares much better than a fabric chair that can hold heat and warm you up while working in summer.
No one wants to work on a stifling hot day while sitting on a chair that will only get warmer the longer you sit on it. So, a mesh chair can keep you more comfortable on a hot day as you won’t feel the heat so much.
Mesh chairs can also be more comfortable as they alter their shape, to some extent, to the contours of your back. Fabric chairs are much more rigid and unmalleable, which can put your back in an unnatural position. The mesh supports your back while supporting its natural curvature.
With that being said, this is only true for high-quality mesh office chairs. Some come with lower quality mesh that can be joined too tightly and therefore can be very uncomfortable. This is due to the mesh digging into your back as you sit against it for prolonged periods of time.
Some office chairs also have a mesh seat rather than a cushioned fabric one. These chairs will certainly be less comfortable than ones that have a cushioned seat. However, many people who use them do not consider them ‘uncomfortable’.
A chair with both a mesh back and seat will keep you much cooler in the summer and therefore more comfortable. Once you get used to not sitting on a cushioned seat, you shouldn’t consider your mesh office chair to be uncomfortable.
Are mesh chairs bad?
Like with any office chair, mesh chairs can be less than optimal for working on when they’re lower quality. However, this does not mean that all mesh chairs are bad. Below are some common issues that could arise from using a mesh chair.
Firstly, the mesh could be too stiff or not stiff enough. Mesh that is too stiff could be uncomfortable on your back, and mesh that is not stiff enough can sag and leave your back with not enough support.
Mesh should be soft when being used on your chair, but some use mesh that is much too hard and therefore can be abrasive on both your skin and clothing. This can create holes in your clothes and might even leave your skin burning.
As mesh provides no cushioning, you might be able to feel the frame through the mesh. This can be very uncomfortable as you’ll have plastic or metal bars digging into your legs and back. The mesh should be taut enough to prevent you from touching the frame beneath, but as the mesh stretches over time you could find yourself getting closer and closer to the frame.
As we mentioned earlier, the main selling point for mesh office chairs is the fact that they’re cooler and always allow fresh air to flow around your body. This is great in the summer and in areas with hot climates, but what about cooler climates?
In the winter and areas where it doesn’t get as warm year-round, the fact that mesh chairs are always cooler can actually be a bad thing. Some people even end up throwing a blanket over the mesh in an attempt to stay warm while working.
However, as we said, these bad points don’t apply to all mesh office chairs and they won’t apply to everyone. Your personal preferences will determine whether these features are deal breakers for you or not. Some people like to feel cooler while working, and not every mesh chair will sag and lose its structure.
Are mesh or leather office chairs better?
Again, the type of office chair you use will depend on your personal preference. Mesh office chairs offer much better ventilation than leather office chairs, they are lightweight and easy to move around, and they cost less than leather alternatives.
However, mesh office chairs tend to be lacking in comfort, they’re easier to rip and break, and there are limited designs that you can choose from. This makes it difficult to fit them into your interior design.
Leather chairs look much more aesthetically pleasing and come in a variety of designs. They’re also more durable and comfortable than mesh alternatives. You can clean leather much easier than mesh which makes them more hygienic and look newer for longer.
On the other hand, leather office chairs are much more expensive than mesh chairs and can be scratched very easily resulting in them looking weathered and older quicker. It can be difficult to know whether a leather office chair is actually made from genuine leather or not, and if it is genuine, you might find that it becomes bleached and cracked over time.