In a Nutshell:

An exceptional, and exceptionally comfortable chair built with bigger, taller folks in mind. Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair is recommended for big and tall folks weighing up to four hundred pounds who need a chair for light to moderate daily use.

Value for the Money
Comfort
Brand Reliability*
Aesthetic Flexibility**

Overall Rating

4.5/5
* Brand Reliability is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect. ** While aesthetics is a matter of taste, Aesthetic Flexibility is a measure of how easily a given design would fit into a wide range of home or office décor schemes.

Benefits

  • Impressive comfort level
  • Sturdy and durable
  • 10-year warranty
  • Value for the money

Drawbacks

  • Fixed arms, not adjustable
  • Chair doesn’t recline
  • Only rocks slightly
  • Bonded leather upholstery
Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair
4.5

Recommended For: Big and tall folks weighing up to four hundred pounds who need a chair for light to moderate daily use.

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Are you a bigger, taller person?

Have you been struggling to find a high-quality office chair that you’ll fit into comfortably, that won’t break the bank, and that’s both comfortable and reliable?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you’re going to love this review of the Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair.

An image of Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Chair on top of a rugged carpet in a study room

Of course, Serta is best known for its mattresses, but in recent years, the company has made a significant foray into the office furniture market. It has utterly dominated the lower end of the price scale, bringing its comfort expertise to bear in the world of office furniture with devastating effects.

While it’s certainly possible to find cheaper office furniture, the main issue is that most companies selling for less are off-brands with spotty post-sales customer support. They can’t hold a candle to Serta, and if you’re willing to spend just a little more, you can come away with a significantly better chair.

The Serta Big and Tall Tranquility is for big and tall people, and the Serta My Fit is for petite folks. Both are mid-range office chairs produced by one of the finest companies in the business. The Serta Big and Tall Tranquility offers world-class post-sales support and an exceptional warranty.

In the sections below, we’ll review everything this model does well (and it does a lot well) and discuss a few of its shortcomings. This way, you’ll have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether or not this is the chair you’ve been looking for. If that sounds good to you, let’s jump right in and see what this model offers!

Key Features to Consider

It’s a big, comfy chair.

That’s probably the first thing that will come to mind when you see it fully assembled for the first time. In our view, though, Serta basically phoned it where the design is concerned. It’s conventional. The company didn’t take any chances here, offering a purely traditional design. Nothing about the Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair will make you stop and say, ‘Wow! That’s a great-looking chair.

It’s easy to see why the company made this decision. Elegant design takes time and resources, and most companies don’t try to push the boundaries with their designs. It’s easier to play it safe.

On balance, we think it’s a good move because it allows the chair to blend in well with most home or office décor schemes. Had Serta tried to develop an innovative design and failed in that effort, they’d have made an expensive mistake. While there’s nothing particularly compelling about the Tranquility’s aesthetic, it’s not a bad-looking chair by any stretch.

Chair Specifications

Before we dive into the particulars, here are a few basic stats to give you a sense of the model:

  • Chair Dimensions: 33” x 28.2” x 44.25” to 48.25”
  • Chair Weight: 57.6 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 400 pounds
  • Seat Depth: 19”
  • Seat to Floor Height: 18” to 22”
  • 10-year limited warranty!

There are a few things to talk about here.

First and foremost, as you can see from the overall dimensions, this is a serious piece of furniture. If you have a smallish room, it may even dominate the space.

A side image of Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Executive Chair in Brown

Second, the height adjustment range and maximum supported weight are both clearly geared toward bigger/taller users.

Third, check out that warranty! If you’re lucky, most office furniture in the low-to-mid-price range has a one-year warranty. You might find something with a two-year warranty if you’re very lucky. To get a ten-year (or better) warranty, you’ve typically got to spend several hundred more dollars, which makes the Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Executive Office Chair stand heads and shoulders above most of the chairs it competes with on price.

Available Colors

Another thing to note is that this chair is offered in three different colors: Brown, Gray, and Black. While you can certainly find models in far more colors, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that provides a comparable level of quality.

Comfortable Padding

Given Serta’s experience making comfortable mattresses, it should be no surprise that the Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair is also incredibly comfortable.

Most of Serta’s chairs are plush and well-padded, but the Tranquility takes comfort to a new level. The seat features five different layers of padding to maximize comfort

Here’s how it works:

An image showing different layer of padding on Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Executive Office Chair
  • The topmost layer of padding, which is the part you first come in contact with when you sit in the chair, is made of poly-fiber, roughly analogous to block foam padding but more flexible.
  • Beneath that is a layer of memory foam.
  • The memory foam rests on a dense foam supporting layer, which the company calls the “Macro Layer.”
  • Below that, you’ll find two different technologies: On the edge of the seat, where your legs rest, you’ll find a double-thick layer of the dense foam mentioned above (this being referred to as the “Micro Layer”), with the rest of the seat being supported by the company’s patented comfort coils, which are individual springs that provide highly customized support exactly where you need it.

You could even argue that a sixth layer further enhances the chair’s comfort because all our discussed elements rest inside a padded comfort cradle. Needless to say, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any other chair offered at any price with a more comprehensive comfort system.

Ergonomic Features

The Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Executive Chair doesn’t stop there; comfort is defined by more than just the padding of a given chair’s features. Here, we’re specifically talking about ergonomic features, and the Tranquility also has a lot to like on that front, including:

  • Exceptional lumbar support
  • A waterfall-style seat to help improve blood circulation in your legs, even if you sit for extended periods.
  • Well-implemented head and neck support
  • Ergonomically designed armrests
A side image of Serta Tranquility Executive Chair showing AIR Technology

Fixed Armrests

Of these, only the armrests are somewhat underwhelming. While they’re undoubtedly comfortable (and double-stitched, which is a nice touch), they’re also wholly immobile, so if the chair doesn’t fit you as it is, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Pivoting Air Lumbar Support

The standout ergonomic feature is the lumbar support, another patented Serta design called “Pivoting Air Lumbar Support.” This technology not only provides a more dynamic level of lumbar support than the passive belts or pads used by other office furniture manufacturers, but it also helps to increase breathability across the bulk of the seat back.

That’s huge because one of the significant downsides to getting a leather-upholstered chair is that leather isn’t breathable. When you sit for extended periods, you’re likely to sweat profusely. The Tranquility gets around that issue, making the Pivoting Air feature a superb addition to the model.

Comfortable

All that to say, where comfort is concerned, the Serta Tranquility delivers like few other chairs on the market today. If comfort is the main thing you’re looking for in a chair, there’s not much point in looking further. You’ve found the one you want.

Where adjustability is concerned, the Tranquility isn’t quite as impressive. The only adjustable feature is that the height can move up or down by four inches, which is pretty standard fare. Given the chair’s dimensions, the height range (18” to 22”) comes as no surprise and is yet another aspect of the design that underscores a good office chair for bigger, taller users.

The last thing to mention is that while the Tranquility rocks back and forth slightly, it doesn’t recline. You’ll need to continue your search if you’re looking for a big and tall reclining office chair. But honestly, for most users, this isn’t a must-have feature.

If you have hip discomfort and need a similar chair, you might want to check our roundup: Best Office Chair for Hip Pain.

Assembly Can Be…Challenging

Like the overwhelming majority of office furniture, the Serta Big and Tall Tranquility Executive Office Chair doesn’t come assembled. It will arrive at your doorstep in a big box, in several pieces.

You’ll want to move the box into the room where you intend to use the chair because once fully assembled, it won’t quite roll through a standard-width door frame.

An image showing un-assembled Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Chair in Black

While the instructions are clear, and the assembly process is relatively straightforward, remember that this is a big piece of furniture. So, if you’re putting it together by yourself, expect to struggle a bit as you attempt to wrestle the seat into a position where it connects to the seat back, then fight some more as you attach the arms.

You’ll almost certainly reach a point during the process where you wish you had at least one more hand, and you’d be well served by getting an assistant to help put it together.

Once it is together, the one persistent complaint people who have bought the chair have is that the arms need re-tightening regularly. The good news is that the arms aren’t the only thing keeping the seat and seat back together, so if you’d rather leave them off, you could do that, at least in theory.

The arms provide some additional structural integrity, and we wouldn’t recommend removing them, but some users have reported using the chair without difficulty.

Available Colors

A smaller image of Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Chair in Black
Black
A smaller image of Serta Tranquility Executive Chair in Brown
Brown
A smaller image of Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Executive Office Chair in Gray
Gray

Pros and Cons of the Serta Tranquility Executive Chair

We like almost everything about the Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Chair, and since we’ve been singing its praises for most of this review, we won’t repeat the glowing praise we’ve given it to this point. Instead, we’ll use this section to highlight the chair’s shortcomings.

A larger image of Serta Smart Layers Big and Tall Executive Chair in Black

In our view, the biggest design shortcoming is that the arms are entirely stationary. You cannot adjust the height or width so that the chair will fit you well. You’ll want to take careful measurements before committing to the purchase, and even better, try one out by visiting a showroom.

Second, be aware that this chair doesn’t recline, although it does rock slightly. If you’re looking for a big and tall model that reclines, this one will leave you wanting.

Third, although the chair is sturdy and durable, the upholstery is bonded leather, and the base is reinforced nylon. While it is reinforced sufficiently to support a fair amount of weight, it’s not as sturdy or durable as some of the chairs it competes with.

For instance, The Flash Furniture Hercu​​​​les 24/7 costs less and has a virtually indestructible solid steel base. Granted, you don’t get the same level of support, and it’s not quite as comfortable, but something must be said for rugged simplicity and durability.

On the other hand, given its impressive ten-year warranty, if you have a problem with the chair, getting replacement parts or post-sales support won’t be an issue. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want from your chair and how you plan to use it.

We don’t regard any of the above as deal breakers, but they are things to consider as you weigh your options.

Final Note: This chair’s value proposition is subjective and somewhat tricky. On the one hand, the fact that it is offered by such a great company and has an impressive ten-year warranty is huge. That, coupled with its off-the-chart comfort level, makes the chair a tremendous value for the money.

On the flip side of the equation, though, the company’s reliance on a nylon base and bonded leather upholstery serves to blunt the value the chair brings to the table. It still fares well and offers solid value for the money, but we’d have happily paid a bit more for a solid steel base and higher-quality leather.

Final Verdict: Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair

The Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair Serta Big and Tall Smart Layers Tranquility Executive Office Chair is a very good chair offered by a great company at a fair price, but it’s not perfect. Given its nylon base and bonded leather upholstery, we recommend this chair for big and tall users up to 400 pounds who plan on using it lightly to moderately daily.

In our view, there are better options if you’re looking for a chair designed to withstand the rigors of heavy daily use.

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References & Resources