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Understanding Upholstery for Home Office Chairs

Discover the Different Types of Upholstery


The options facing us when deciding on chairs for our home office can be overwhelming considering the different materials that chairs are made from. When you go into any office furniture store or look through catalogues the choices are numerous with little explanation to the underlying differences.

Keep in mind that the style of chair and the number of features can take otherwise inexpensive upholstery to a higher price range and something that is a more expensive covering, such as leather may be less ex pensive in a more basic chair design. There are even chairs which combine the types of upholstery to make it even more confusing to us when we go to make a choice. There are advantages to combined upholstery chairs and once you have a better understanding of each type of upholstery then you can select the best chair for your home office.


Chairs made with fabric can be found right through the price spectrum from sub $100 chairs to those which are over $200. What sets apart these chairs is the quality of the fabric used and the number of possible adjustments the chair is capable of. A fabric chair in the sub $100 range with normally only be capable of adjusting the height and the back tension, they normally don't have arms and are commonly referred to as steno chairs. Those at the higher end of the scale will include complete adjustment capabilities, arms and the fabric is more durable. Some of the downsides to fabric chairs are that they can tear or snag more easily compared to leather and will hold odours more easily. On the plus side, fabric chairs don't feel as cold as leather do in cooler temperatures and hold the heat of the room. There is also a wider range of color choices for fabric chairs and even the style of the fabric varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.


Mesh chairs are quite often seen in student style chairs and look very modern and sleek. There are mesh/fabric combinations and mesh/leather combinations. They can also be found in a variety of colour combinations to appeal to a more youthful market.

When considering a mesh chair keep in mind that over time the mesh will relax and may not provide as stable back support as when the chair was new. The mesh can also catch on clothing or items and be torn. There are mesh backed chairs which are designed to maintain their support and resist tearing but they are found at the high end of the price spectrum.

Faux Leather

These chairs give the look and feel of leather without the higher price tag of genuine leather. Offered in a variety of styles these chairs can be an economical choice for a stylish and durable chair. Faux leather chairs are available across the price spectrum and the most basic style is the least expensive.

Faux leather is not as durable as leather and will wear over time, it can also split or tear more easily compared to a leather chair.


Vinyl is another man-made option for home office chairs. At one time vinyl office chairs were the low end of the price spectrum but now there are vinyl chairs at the higher price points. The advanced features and improvements in the materials that vinyl is made from can make it difficult to quickly tell the difference between a leather or vinyl chair. The major downside to vinyl is that it sweats and does not breathe as leather or fabrics do. This can make a vinyl chair very uncomfortable in warmer climates.

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