In a Nutshell:
A basic, stylish office chair, well-suited to shorter users. AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair is recommended for anyone from about 5’1” to 6’ tall. Anyone on a budget.
Value for the Money
Are you a shorter person who’s on a super tight budget and in need of a reasonably comfortable office chair offered for a song? If so, the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair is a solid contender.
Make no mistake. This is about as basic as an office chair can get. It’s designed with one purpose in mind: to give a shorter person a reasonably comfortable place to sit for brief spells. It’s not designed with lots of bells and whistles. It’s not designed with power users in mind.
It’s a vanilla, casual use chair. If that’s what you need, this one’s hard to beat. If you need anything other than that, this one will leave you distinctly underwhelmed.
If you’re unsure if this is the right model for you, keep reading, and we’ll tell you everything this chair can and can’t do. As long as you’re mindful of its limitations, this is actually an awesome little chair. It’s just limited in its scope by a very rigidly defined purpose. Read on, and let’s see what this little guy can do!
AmazonBasics Mid-back Office Chair Overview
Aesthetics & Design
The AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair is a conventionally designed office chair. It’s relatively small and unassuming. The designers took zero chances where aesthetics is concerned. It’s not the least bit flashy or showy.
That’s not a bad thing, by the way. We’ve seen tons of potentially great office chairs completely undone by designers who were too full of themselves and made a crazy or funky-looking chair that nobody wanted. This model is all about functionality. As such, it’s an unobtrusive piece of furniture that will fade into the background of just about any room you decide to put it in.
The designers made a single concession on the aesthetics front, offering this chair in your choice of three colors: Black, brown, or white bonded leather.
For a task chair, bonded leather isn’t a bad upholstery choice since chairs like this weren’t meant to be used for endless hours at a time anyway. That’s good because if you try to sit in a leather chair for extended periods, you’ll get incredibly hot and sweaty. If ever there was a perfect use case for bonded leather, this chair is it, and it does at least a little to give the chair a hint of elegance and class, which is a nice touch.
Before we go any further, though, let’s take a quick look at the core stats that define the model:
With a seat height of just 16” at its lowest setting, this chair is a great choice for a shorter user. Even better, it supports a surprising amount of user weight for its size. Its seat can extend all the way up to 21” off the floor, which makes it a good fit for anybody ranging in height from about 5’1” to 6’1” which enhances its versatility. For a chair as inexpensive as this one is, that’s pretty impressive.
Adjustability and Comfort
There’s not a whole lot to talk about in this section of our AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair review, but the chair has the basics well covered.
In terms of comfort, the chair relies on a moderate amount of conventional block foam, paired with a seat design that doesn’t quite qualify as a waterfall-edge design and well-implemented lumbar support, which is the model’s only ergonomic feature.
It’s comfortable enough to sit in for short to medium spans of time. Still, if you spend more than a few hours at a stretch in the chair, the modest padding and non-breathable upholstery are going to begin making you increasingly uncomfortable until you get up and do something else for a while before returning to the chair.
That’s fairly typical of task chairs, though, so we can’t call it a design flaw. This type of chair simply wasn’t designed for power users.
Where adjustability is concerned, the chair offers 360 degrees of swivel, a tilt-and-lock function, and a height adjustment lever. Again, just the basics here. If you’re looking for a chair with multiple adjustable features, this one isn’t for you. It’s a basic, inexpensive task chair.
Assembly is Required. No, Really.
Naturally, the AmazonBasics Classic Leather-Padded Mid-Back Office chair comes in a big box and is completely unassembled when it arrives at your door. Amazon has a good reputation for writing clear, illustrated instructions, and this chair is easy to put together. However, since the chair arms attach to both the seatback and the seat itself, you will have that three-piece wrestling match to attend to until you get the first fastener in on each side.
After that, it’s a breeze. Expect the total assembly time to take about twenty minutes. Fifteen if you have help.
Curiously, Amazon offers expert assembly for this little chair. We don’t recommend it. The charge for expert assembly is actually greater than the price of the chair! Save yourself some money and invite a friend over to help.
Pros and Cons of the AmazonBasics Classic Mid-Back Office Chair
Far and away, the best feature about this little chair is its price. The AmazonBasics Classic Mid-Back Office Chair offers very basic office chair functionality and is sufficiently padded for short to medium duration periods of sitting. This is definitely not a power user’s chair, and if you buy it with a mind to use it for 8+ hours a day, you’re going to wear the upholstery out quickly, and you won’t be comfortable.
Having said that, there’s really only one thing we’d like to see improved. The armrests are a bit of a disappointment. Not only are they stationary, but they’re also not ergonomically sculpted or terribly well padded.
We don’t necessarily need to see all of that improved, but if the company had just picked one – pad the armrests a bit more, making them adjustable, or ergonomically sculpt them, it would have turned a weakness in the design into a strength.
In a perfect world, we’d love to see ergonomic armrests here, which would give the chair a pair of ergonomic features to boast, but honestly, even a bit of additional padding would have been nice.
Other than that, anything we could think to recommend changing would increase the price of the chair and turn it into something it’s just not designed to be. It’s a great casual use chair for a shorter person. It also makes a nice, inexpensive backup chair.
In either of those capacities, it’s absolutely stellar. It’s just not great for much of anything outside of that band. Be mindful of that before you make a purchase, and you won’t be disappointed.
AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair Review – Conclusion
As long as you keep in mind what the AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office chair was designed for and use it accordingly, it’s a good, low-priced option that offers tremendous value for the money. It is, however, a narrowly focused chair. It’s optimized for shorter people who only need something for light to moderate daily use. If that sounds like you, this chair is recommended. If that’s not you, keep looking.
References & Resources:
- AmazonBasics Mid-Back Office Chair User Manual.
- AmazonBasics, Official Brand Website
- How the Right Office Chair Can Boost Employee Productivity, Uncaged Ergonomics.
- Chair Setup & Usage, healthy computing
- 11 Ergonomic Tips for Synchronizing Your Workstation and Office Chair, Red River Chiropractic Centre.