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First of all - I sought this chair after 30 years dealing with degenerative disc disease that led to a spinal fusion in 2013 and a lumbar fusion in the near future. I - like a couple of other reviewers - really wanted this to be the solution. For me, it isn't.
First of all the good: The leather is beautiful and appears to be of very good quality (after four months of daily use). I haven't seen any color degradation or other anomalies related to the leather. Overall, the seat offers adequate support although I wouldn't cal it the most comfortable chair I've ever used, which is a disappointment as it costs about ten times as much as any other chair I've purchased.
Now the not-so-good: My chair was insanely expensive. In this case, I shortsightedly equated price with quality/benefit. And I did my research - I had read mostly positive results from users who were much like me. I, like a few other reviewers, am starting to see fraying on the stitching. NOT GOOD after only four months. If I keep this chair, I can already foresee the need for replacement parts on the armrests.
This chair is considerably over-priced in my view. Outside of the leather, I can't see where the money is going. I've adjusted it and readjusted it and, for some reason, it still occasionally makes a disturbing sound like metal catching on metal somewhere in the mechanism. Not often, but it happens routinely.
I bought my chair with a wooden base - a mistake in retrospect. The wooden base, while it looks okay, is not what I would consider of high quality. The most disturbing thing about the base - at least in the case of my chair - is that the the legs (five individual pieces) are not affixed in any way to the base structure of the chair. They are wooden pieces with a slot cut out that simply slip over the metal base structure. Consequently, my foot often catches one of the wooden leg pieces and lifts it off the base - unacceptable for a chair in this price category.
The bottom line in my case is that this chair has done nothing for the discomfort I felt sitting in my old $400 chair. And this one was $4000. I wouldn't mind spending the money if it helped solve my problem but it hasn't. In the final analysis, in my opinion, this is a decent chair - nothing special - that is insanely overpriced. And to make matters worse, I was looking at the chair a few weeks before the new Relax the Back catalog came out, which often includes promotions on this brand. Upon telling the store manager that I was in no hurry and could easily wait to see if there was a promotion that applied, I was told that I would receive any applicable discounts in the next catalog if I made the purchase that day, which I decided to do since the turnaround time is considerable.
Sure enough, there was a promotion related to the wooden base that would have - in my case - saved me several hundred dollars. Upon picking the chair up once it arrived a month or so later, I was told that the catalog discount didn't apply to my purchase "because I made the purchase prior to the release of the catalog." Precisely the opposite of what I was told. Aggravation beyond belief.
So I regret this purchase and Relax the Back has lost a customer for good. I personally would sell the chair tomorrow if I wouldn't take such a loss on it. I could buy 8 chairs that would have the same net affect on my neck and back pain for what I spent on this one. Live and learn....
This has got to be the most uncomfortable chair I've ever owned. Really took a long time to buy it. But after having owned it for 2 years, the memory foam seat is horribly uncomfortable. Given my height, the adjustable seatback doesn't fit me right. Totally not worth the money. Really wanted to enjoy this chair.
I actually wouldn't have bought this if it wasn't for the experience I had at the local store and the way they customized all of the colors for me. I am in love with this chair. I have had chronic back pain since I was 12 years old and this is really a godsend for me.
I highly recommend the core flex seat upgrade. It really gets movement where I need it. Sometimes it will even pop my back just from moving my legs up and down.
I can't imagine a chair better than this unless it was custom made to fit my exact body shape. IT adjusts a lot though so it's probably not much worse than that.
The only feedback I have is I received no manual with it when they delivered it (I called them and they did email me one) and that's about it. I can't think of any other issues with it. You will get your money's worth with this chair.
I've been sitting in this chair essentially 40 hours a week for the past year, sometimes going 8 hours straight in it. I have to be honest, I've never sat in a chair I could stand to be seated in for 8 solid hours without discomfort being the reminder I need to get up and walk around. It's that comfortable of a chair.
If I could give the Quality 4.5 stars, I would, only because I'm disappointed in the stitching of the product. I should preface this by stating I owned an upholstery shop in the past, so I know I little about stitching. The Brisa simulated leather (free upgrade a year ago, still a free upgrade today) is soft yet far more durable than I imagined it would be. Brisa is a somewhat high end fabric frequently used on nicer office furniture and marine interior seating by luxury boat builders. I've personally never owned anything long term that used this fabric so I was skeptical, but a free upgrade sounded like a good reason to give it a chance and I'm glad I did.
I am disappointed with the stitching on the arm rests though. While double stitched for strength, the layout of the fabric and decision of where to put the stitching chosen puts the primary stitching (most pressure on this seam) at a terrible place as the threads are exposed on the corner of the cushion. As a result, one year later I can see things starting to fray where my elbows and forearms rub at it constantly throughout the day. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say in another 3-4 years the fabric on these arm rests will need replaced as the seam will eventually tear due to the location of the seam putting too much pressure on the fabric in this fashion. I strongly suspect that the chair will last 5 years before that day will come, but if the chair is still as comfortable after 5 years as I find it to be after 1, I wouldn't complain about having to redo the arms of the chair when they wear out, hopefully many years down the road. If someone were to come into my shop and ask me to recover these arms, I'd likely be able to do both for $200 if they wanted them redone in the original (and expensive) Brisa fabric which runs around $70 a yard.
The only other design flaw in my opinion is the fact that the arm rest pads are not fixed in one position regarding which way they point. Basically they can be moved to swing in towards your midsection while typing or away so when you stand up your hips don't drag going through the narrower opening that creates. The height adjustment can of course be fixed to many different heights, but the arms themselves twist side to side. It's nice to be able to angle them in for maximum support when typing, or point them straight ahead during a meeting where you are just resting your arms straight in front of you, but it seems like they're never where you want them to be when typing since when you move in the chair they typically move themselves randomly with you. I bet I adjust the direction these are pointed between 30-40 times a day and its second nature now so it's hardly annoying, but I would prefer having the option to lock them in one position for a length of time or at least adjust the tension so you could control how much pressure it takes for them to move in / out. Having taken them apart already to see what could be done, I can confirm they're not adjustable in any manner.
The foam in the chair is very high quality in addition to being extremely comfortable. This chair is in a home office, and honestly is the most comfortable seat in my home. Given that my 220 lbs. is seated in it 40-50 hours a week, I'm impressed with the foam not degrading at all over the first year of ownership.
As the owner of an upholstery shop, I'm rather critical of my furnishings and the materials / craftsmanship of what I purchase, but I would recommend this product. Even if the armrests eventually burst at the seams in another 2-3 years, any decent upholsterer with a conscious shouldn't charge more than $150 to recover both pieces with the original (expensive) fabric to get you another handful of years.
Patience is key when purchasing these chairs however, I was a little disappointed with the level of communication from the Pittsburgh location as it took well over 3 weeks for the two chairs we purchased to come in. While it was a painful wait, literally because of our worn out old chairs, it's been one of the best purchases I've made in my opinion.
Had this chair for a few months with mild use and some of the color on the chair has faded and some of the stitching has ripped.
It is still very comfortable to sit on but I can't help but be disappointed that the chair is falling apart after such a short time.
Long story short...have terrible back pain for many years. Sitting is the worst for me. I tried EVERY chair out there. Wanted a Herman Miller sooo bad till i sat in it...Horrible. Went to Relax The Back and as soon as my a$$ hit the seat I was in love. Ordered the high back, wide saddle w memory foam in black cloth. I have used this chair every day for about 4 years now. It is as good as the day I got it. It has literally saved my life as I could not work. Don't let the price scare you...if you have the money, you cant get a better chair. To this day I still try every chair I come across and none are even close.
I have the cloth version(my cat likes to climb) and have to say I couldn't be more happier. I have had it for 2 years now and it has made a huge improvement in my back after long marathon periods of sitting.
A high quality chair,a must to have for a bad back. The adjustments are far superior to any office chair I have ever owned. I highly advise using this chair to anyone with a bad back. I use this at home and just love to sit in it and relax.When using the computer it makes life easier.
SO FAR SO GOOD IT IS 2 WEEKS SINCE I RECEIVED THE CHAIR. I LOOKED AT MANY AND FOUND THAT LIFEFORM HAD ALL THE THE ITEMS AND QUALITY I WAS LOOKING FOR.
I purchased this chair with headrest in 2007 to relieve the stress / pain on my back and neck related to an earlier auto accident. The local Relax the Back store delivered it and set up the adjustments to best support my upper back and neck. This chair has continued to this day to support my back and relieve most of the pain I was experiencing.
The lift mechanism began to leak (chair would lower) and when I phoned in and spoke with Crystal she was very helpful and sent out a replacement lift at no charge.
Great chair and great service, it doesn't get any better.