In a Nutshell:
The Duorest Alpha is a well-designed chair with tons of adjustable features and plenty of color options, but the two-piece seatback design may not be for everyone. Recommended for anyone weighing up to 300 pounds who wants a good office chair for moderate to heavy daily use.
Value for the Money
Is your current office chair getting a little long in the tooth? Or maybe you don’t currently have an office chair at all, but you’re suddenly in the market for one.
Whichever the case, if you’ve spent any time at all on your quest for the “right” chair for you, then you already know that the sheer number of choices at your fingertips is simply staggering. In fact, there are so many options that it can lead to analysis paralysis if you’re not careful.
No worries, in the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything this model has to offer, and by the time you reach the end of our Duorest Alpha review, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if this is the chair you’ve been searching for, or if the quest must continue.
Before we get to that, though, let’s take a moment to introduce you to the Duorest brand in case you’ve never heard of them.
They’re not one of the big names in the world of office furniture, but they have been in the business for nearly 40 years, and they have a reputation for both quality and for excellent post-sales service and support.
And while we agree that 35+ years of experience is a solid base and something to be proud of, it’s worth mentioning that even with that, they are relative newcomers to the market.
Some of the companies currently selling office furniture have been in the business for over a century. That’s not a knock against Duorest or their products, but it is worth at least mentioning.
One of the things, though, that sets Duorest apart is that the design teams they have working for them have really done a lot to try and reinvent the office chair. Let’s face it, chair technology moves fairly slowly compared to other industries, but you’ll find Duorest right at the forefront of what change there is, and that’s pretty cool.
Duorest Alpha Office Chair Overview
The first thing to talk about here is the fact that there are actually two different variants of this chair to be aware of—the Duorest Alpha 60 and the Duorest Alpha 80.
They are essentially the same chair with the same overall dimensions and adjustable features, with the key difference being the fact that the 80 features a hard shell backing for the seatback, which gives it a bit more definition and structural integrity.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can order yours (the model 60 or 80) with or without the headrest.
Chairs with the headrest are differentiated by the letter H in their name, which is why you’ll sometimes see “Duorest Alpha 80H” or “Duorest Alpha 60 H.”
Finally, be aware that in a few places, you might see this chair listed as the Duorest Alpha A80H.
As far as we’ve been able to learn, the A actually stands for “Alpha,” making this chair unusual in that the acronym is actually repeated (so it would be like saying the Duorest Alpha Alpha, or The Automatic Teller Machine Machine).
In any case, if you see different letter/model number configurations and they’ve left you scratching your head in confusion, that’s what they mean!
As to the chair itself, the big thing to talk about is the design of the seatback. Almost every office chair on the market today sports a single-piece seatback. Here, you’ll find the conventional seatback but split down the middle, so it’s in two pieces.
While this looks a bit unusual and may be offputting to some, it’s an actually superb design and a great example of what we were talking about earlier when we mentioned Duorest’s tendency to be at the forefront of change in the industry.
The two-piece seatback design is better ergonomically, and it makes it easier for the design team to create a chair that moves with you as you’re sitting in the chair and shifting your weight. That’s key because it means that the chair is always there to support you ergonomically, no matter how you might move and shift around over the course of a given day.
In fact, that is at the heart of this model’s design, making this an exceptionally strong component of our Duorest Alpha review.
The only potential problem with that is this: some people just want an office chair that will blend in—something that will fade into the background of whatever room they put it in.
This chair doesn’t do that, mostly owing to the unusual design of the seatback, so if you’re looking for something designed along more conventional lines, this probably isn’t the chair for you.
Assuming you’re okay with the overall look, however, you’ll find a delightful number of color and customization options available—some of these, we hinted at before. You can choose to get yours with or without the hard shell backing, with or without the headrest, and you can order the base in three different colors (white, black, or polished aluminum).
In addition to that, you can order the upholstery in a variety of colors too, depending on the type of upholstery you choose.
If you opt for textile upholstery, you can select either blue, brown, green, red, grey, or black.
Whatever color option you select, the seat is padded with a moderate amount of polyurethane fill.
There’s enough present to provide for a comfortable seating experience for moderate daily use, but if you consider yourself a power user (more than say, 6 hours a day), you’ll probably want to invest in some additional padding—perhaps a memory foam seat pad, for example.
If you decide that the mesh seat is a better fit for you, you can select either black, blue, brown, or green.
If you’re not sure which is “better,” ultimately, that comes down to how much time you spend in the chair.
A mesh seat’s big strength is that it’s incredibly breathable. That’s handy if you’re only using the chair for shorter stints, but the more time you spend in the chair, the more important padding becomes. At a certain point—and this varies from one person to the next—padding trumps breathability.
The key question, then, is—how big of a block of time are you planning to spend in the chair?
If the answer is four hours or less, the mesh seat is likely the better choice. If the answer is 4-6 hours, then you’re probably going to prefer the padded seat, and if you plan on spending more time than that in the chair, then the odds are good that you’ll buy additional padding anyway. But even if you don’t, the padded seat will provide more comfort than not.
All of that is well and good, but looks and color choices will only get us so far. To really get to know this chair, we have to dig into the numbers that define the model and see what it has to offer. With that in mind, here’s a quick overview:
There’s a lot to like where these numbers are concerned. First, we love that the seat depth is adjustable. You don’t find that on most of the office chairs on the market today, though it is becoming more common on chairs offered at this price point and is an excellent addition here.
Second, the seat width is a good, logical pairing with the supported weight limit, which, at 300 pounds, is right in line with the informal standard that furniture manufacturing companies have gravitated to.
Third, the seat height range is good, straddling the line between big and tall territory and seat heights that are a better fit for shorter folk. Basically, from top to bottom, these are great numbers, and having said that, we’ll leave this section to take a deeper look!
The Duorest Alpha Is A Wonderfully Adjustable Chair
This is another incredibly strong component of our Duorest Alpha review. In the previous section, we already talked about the adjustable seat depth and the height adjustment range, so there’s no need to do so again here, and besides that, there are plenty of adjustable features to highlight here!
Let’s start with the seatback. The seatback itself is moderately height adjustable, though it’s important to remember that it does exist in two sections, so you’ll need to adjust both, but you can do that, moving it up by as much as 1.7”.
The range is a bit underwhelming, but the fact that the seatback can be adjusted at all is huge and something you almost never see in the office chair world.
Also note that you can adjust the width of the seatback, which is something you can’t do in office chairs that feature a single piece. By having two separate sections though, you can slide them further apart giving you a bit more seatback room if you need it.
In addition to that, the headrest can be height adjustable, with a range of 2.8”, and it can also pivot, allowing you to set the angle to as much as 64 degrees if you wish.
If that wasn’t enough, the chair itself also tilts and reclines to a maximum of 20.5 degrees.
This feature and the tilt tension control are accessed via a lever located under the seat. There are four different tilt levels to choose from, giving you a surprising amount of flexibility.
On top of that, the armrests are insanely adjustable. You can adjust them for height within a 2.4” range. You can move them backward or forward (also a 2.4” range), and you can adjust their angle, pointing them inward or outward by up to 15 degrees in either direction.
The Duorest Alpha Has One Incredible Extra
We regard this as yet another incredibly strong component of our Duorest Alpha review because, let’s face it, when you think of office chairs, ”extras” usually aren’t at the forefront of your mind.
Here, we regard the Ergonomic Duorest System itself, which we mentioned at the start, as being the “something extra special” that this model brings to the table.
No matter how you shift and move in the chair, it moves with you to help keep your posture ergonomically correct, and of course, that’s on top of the fact that the chair gives you a surprising number of color options, two different seat design options, and a whole raft of customization and personalization adjustments.
The long and the short of it is that if you decide you want one of these, you can get it your way—the color you want, the kind of seat you want, with or without the headrest.
And when it arrives at your door, you’ll be able to tweak the adjustment settings so that when you sit down in the chair, it fits you like a glove, and that’s awesome.
Some Assembly Is Required
File this away under “Things That Should Shock Exactly No One.” As is the case with almost every office chair on the market today, if you decide you want one of these, it’s going to arrive at your door in a big box and in several pieces.
You’ll have to play the whole “Unbox and Sort The Pieces” game before you can start putting the thing together.
Actually putting it together, though, is pretty simple and straightforward. It will probably only take you fifteen minutes or so from unboxing to sitting down for the first time, which is a good thing.
Pros and Cons of Duorest Alpha Office Chair
No matter how you slice it, this is a very good office chair.
Having said that, there are a couple of potential drawbacks and limitations to be mindful of. First, there’s the weight limit. If you weigh more than 300 pounds, then no matter how much you like the design, it’s just not going to work for you.
Second, there’s the design itself. We like the two-piece seatback design. It gives the chair an interesting look, it’s a good ergonomic design, and it’s an almost guaranteed conversation starter. Not everybody is going to agree with that assessment, though, and if you don’t, it’s easy to find a different chair that gives you the same level of adjustability without “looking weird.”
Finally, there’s the cost.
This is a pretty pricey piece of office furniture. It’s not the most expensive on the market—not by a long shot—but if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of cheaper options out there.
Those are the “Big Three” potential gotchas. In every other respect, this chair is awesome.
Duorest Alpha Review Conclusion
We really like this chair, but we don’t quite love it. Assuming the aesthetic isn’t a big deal for you, we absolutely recommend it. It’s a great chair with lots of customization and personalization options available, and what’s not to like about that?
Other Options To Consider
If, having reached the end of this review, you’re not completely sold on the Durorest Alpha and you’re curious to see what other options may be available, here are a couple of others that are well worth considering:
Offered by the South Korean office furniture juggernaut, the T50 is an insanely good chair and nearly as adjustable as the one we just talked about. The catch, though, is that this one is only offered in mesh, so if you’re looking for a fabric-clad chair, this one won’t work for you. Otherwise, it’s a great alternative.
Once you sit in a Herc, every other office chair is going to feel like a toy. This chair is a monster. It’s not only physically huge, but it’s also the final word in rugged durability.
It’s a basic chair, so it doesn’t offer nearly as much in terms of customization and adjustability, but it supports an incredible amount of user weight and is delightfully comfortable.
(Author’s note: As I write this review, I am sitting in a Flash Furniture Hercules I’ve had for nearly five years. The fabric is getting a little tattered, but the chair itself is just fine. I think if I threw it into an active volcano, I’d find it on my front porch the next morning, smoking but ready to get back to work—these things are tough!)
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
- Duorest Alpha Office Chair, Official Brand Website.
- Duorest Alpha Office Chair User Manual.
- Proper Sitting for a Healthy Back, University of Michigan Health.
- An Empirical Study of Preferred Settings for Lumbar Support on Adjustable Office Chairs, Taylor and Francis Online.
- Does Using a Chair Backrest or Reducing Seated Hip Flexion Influence Trunk Muscle Activity and Discomfort?, SAGE Journals.