Despite the fact that more and more businesses today choose to get used office furniture rather than buy new items, there is still a certain level of prejudice towards refurbished office chairs.

People are often concerned about the quality and, what is even more important, the safety of used office chairs.

In this article, we decided to describe thoroughly how office chairs are made and how refurbished office chairs are prepared to become a smart and valuable addition to your office setup.


Office chairs are being adjusted and refurbished throughout their whole history.

While most of us believe that office chairs the way that we know them today appeared in the mid-XX century, this piece of office furniture has a pretty rich history.

It is believed that Tomas Jefferson had invented the first swivelling mechanism when he was mending his beloved used office chair rather than buying a new one. If the legend is true, Jefferson was most probably drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, sitting on the very first swivelling chair in history.

Later on, another great mind, Charles Darwin, has added small wheels to his used office chair. It allowed him to become more mobile and move freely around his study.

Today swivelling mechanisms, as well as wheels, are the integral parts of any common office. However, those were technically the result of refurbishment made by people knows for their "thinking out of the box".


What are office chairs made of, and which parts are usually refurbished?

To understand whether it is safe and reasonable to buy and used second-hand office chairs, it is essential to know what they are made of and which parts are most vulnerable.


  • A steel Frame – every office chair starts with a steel frame. It is the foundation for the base and backrest. Due to the fact that steel is one of the most durable materials known to mankind, the frame of your second-hand office chair is as safe as the one of a new item.
  • The Upholstery – it is what mostly attracts or deter us in refurbished office chairsThe Upholstery is made by sewing the foam padding with the chair's primary material (leather, fabric, or mesh). It is exactly the part that suffers most wear and tear and can tell us a lot about the used chair's history and perspectives;
  • The Assembly – Assembly is a matter that combines installation of all mechanisms and accessories meant to make out office chairs aesthetical as well as safe and comfortable. It is essential to make sure that every wheel turns properly, all the screws are secured, and mechanisms work smoothly.

Now that you know which parts of a refurbished office chair require your close attention, let's go over some specific features you may want to consider buying second-hand office furniture.


Things to consider buying refurbished office chairs.

There are several facts that you may want to keep in mind once you decide to get a second-hand office chair:

  • Ergonomic office chairs are your best allies – research held by The University of Southern California shows that ergonomic office chairs can boost your productivity by up to 18%. They provide all the necessary support, and employees that feel comfortable at their workplace are most involved in the work process. However, quality ergonomic office chairs may be pretty costly. Buying them at the second-hand market would let you stay in budget without compromising on the quality;
  • An eco-friendly solution – while office chairs consist of materials that are pretty hard to recycle, buying a second-hand office chair is another example of sustainable business management. However, beware and think through the materials properly. For example, while wooden office chairs might be the most eco-friendly solution, they can hardly provide you with the necessary support or have modern adjustment mechanisms;
  • A simple visual test can tell you about the quality of a refurbished office chair – experts claim that dirt and neglect cause the most damage to any office chair. It is essential to disassemble the chairs' joints from time to time and clean them out, preventing wear and tear or mechanisms caused by dirt, dust, hair, etc. Take a close look at a used office chair, and once you notice dirt at some hard-to-reach places, it may mean that the chair was slightly cleaned rather than refurbished properly.


Final Thoughts

The world is evolving rapidly today so does our furniture. An office chair is an essential part of our workday as statistically, we may spend up to 17,000 hours sitting on it.

And while getting a refurbished office chair is undoubtfully a smart investment and modern eco-friendly solution, it is essential that you take the process seriously and take a close look at truly important parts to make sure that you are getting a comfortable and safe piece of office setup.