When you’re looking to buy a new ergonomic, gaming or heavy-duty chair for your home or office, one of the first things that comes to mind is the price and whether it fits within your budget. When you start looking at the available options, it quickly becomes clear that there are huge differences. The prices of office chairs in South Africa varies considerably, and you can expect to pay anywhere from R1000 for a cheap office chair, to well over R13000 for an imported ergonomic one. What is an ergonomic office chair?

Popular Office Chairs at the Best Price.....Guaranteed!

Whether it's for work or play, you should NEVER select an office chair based only on it’s price. To find out if an office chair will suit you, the following factors should always be taken into consideration:

1. The use or application of the office chair impacts it’s price

The type of work you do, or application plays a significant role in the price of an office chair. For example, chairs that are used in a 24/7 Control Room are quite different to those used in a laboratory or in a casino. Control room and casino chairs are extremely robust and designed for heavy-duty 24/7 usage, whereas office chairs are designed for 8 hour days. Like cars, clothes or shoes, chairs are designed for specific applications and there is no “one size fits all”. Where can I buy the best price office chairs in Johannesburg?

When it comes to office chairs, there is no, and never will be, a "one size fits all".

If you are spending most of your day away from your desk and a total of only 1-2 hours sitting at your workstation, then an office chair with basic functionality will do the job. Such a chair typically has limited features and adjustability. A cheap office chair should cost less than one that offers greater adjustability and more ergonomic features. However, be wary of the potential impact on your health and wellbeing as we discuss in cheap office chairs – what do they REALLY cost me?

On the other hand, if you spend the greater part of your day sitting down, then a 8-hour day chair would be the natural choice. These chairs have additional ergonomic features and adjustability to allow you to correctly setup the chair for your work environment. The added functionality of an ergonomic office chair will increase it’s price. Using a cheap office chair for this application, can be detrimental and impact your long-term health and wellbeing. The consequences of sitting on the wrong chair.

The bottom line #1:
The application of the chair impacts its design and construction, and therefore its price.

2. Warranty

ergocurve executive ergonomic office chair with headrest available in South Africa at a good price

If you are spending a lot of money on an office chair, you expect it to last. A chair like the ErgoCurve has a 10 year warranty so you can expect it to provide many years of service.

A cheap office chair on the other hand, may save you cash in the short-term, but could result in multiple chair replacements. Cheaper chairs often lack the features of a more expensive chair, and the potential health risks associated with such a chair should not be underestimated. The 5 consequences of sitting on the wrong chair.

The bottom line #2:
An office chair with a 10-year warranty should last longer than one with only a 1-year warranty. You can also expect it to carry a higher price-tag.

3. Weight Rating

An office chair that has a higher weight rating is normally manufactured from stronger and more costly components. For example, a heavy-duty chair that is used in a 24/7 control room and has a weight rating of 180kg, needs a special gas lifter, upgraded swivel mechanism, and added reinforcements. What makes a chair "heavy-duty"? These upgrades directly lead to a higher price. Buy heavy-duty office chairs in Cape Town.

Typical weight ratings for office chairs are:

    • Budget and entry-level chairs, 120kg
    • 8-Hour day chairs, 120-150kg
    • Heavy-duty chairs for Big & Tall people as well as 24/7 use, 150-180kg

The bottom line #3:
An ergonomic office chair with a higher weight rating is stronger and more durable, and usually has a higher price.

4. An office chair with a 5-Star Ergonomic Rating has a higher price

The Ergonomic Rating of an office chair is a scientific evaluation system that determines the value of it’s various ergonomic features. The final score is then expressed on a 1 to 5 scale. The higher the ergonomic rating, the greater the number of features and adjustability functions a chair has. Typically, office chairs with a higher rating have a higher price.

For example, a chair with a 1-Star rating is not adjustable and is only suitable for short period use….a dining room chair is a good example. Office chairs with a 5-Star rating have all the latest ergonomic features to enable you to adjust the chair to your exact requirements. These chairs are suitable for anyone who spends their entire day sitting at their workstation, including multiple shifts and 24/7 operators.

a makro range of modern office chairs and furniture at a good price in Johannesburg South Africa


The bottom line #4:
The ergonomic rating can influence the price of the office chair. The higher the rating, the higher the price.

5. Compliance with International Standards

Chairs that are designed in accordance with international quality authorities like BIFMA and SABS meet certain minimum standards regarding performance, comfort, safety, sustainability and durability. Such standards, in conjunction with quality system and process control standards like ISO 9001:2015, give you the confidence that the chair you are looking to buy, will “do the job!”

The bottom line #5:
Manufacturers’ that adhere to international standards offer superior products. This is typically reflected in a higher selling price.

an office chair that complies with BIFMA can have a higher price

Many of our products adhere to international standards. See the list of certifications.

6. The type of seat foam can increase the price of the chair

The type of seat foam used in office chairs has an impact on their price and comfort. There are 2 basic types of seat foam, viz. Moulded Foam and Block-Cut Foam. Orthopedic chairs must provide additional support which is why they have dual-density seat foam. Although moulded foam has numerous advantages, it is the more costly option.

The bottom line #6:
If you are looking for a quality office chair, then moulded foam is a definite “must-have” feature.

7. Swivel Mechanisms

Standard swivel and tilt mechanisms are commonly used in budget office chairs. These affordable mechanisms offer only basic functionality and will allow the chair backrest to tilt and lock in a single position. What is the difference between office chair mechanisms?

Chairs fitted with synchronous or free-float mechanisms allow for Dynamic Sitting. Not only are these chairs more comfortable, but they also provide greater adjustability and are mainly used on office chairs with a 4 or 5-Star Ergonomic Rating. At the upper-end of the scale, mechanisms that incorporate seat depth adjustment provide additional functionality and improve the seated comfort for taller people. 

The bottom line #7:
As a general rule, the greater the functionality of the mechanism fitted to the office chair, the higher it's price.

8. Materials used in an Office Chair will impact it's Price

Construction materials and components influence the price of an office chair not only in South Africa, but around the world. Here are the most important:

The bottom line #8:
High quality construction materials and manufacturing methods will result in better and more durable components. This will increase the price of the office chair, and improve it's longevity.

Price & Feature Comparison

Below is a comparison table showing 3 chairs that have a significant difference in their selling price. The Alya Ergonomic Chair incorporates all 8 of the above factors, which is why it is the most expensive option.

Feature High-end (Alya) Mid-Range (Mira) Low-end (Elara)
Approx price
10 years
10 years
5 years
Weight rating
5 Star
5 Star
3 Star
TÜV SÜD BIFMA Greenguard
Backrest & Lumbar Support
Independent backrest angle & adjustable lumbar support
Fully adjustable lumbar support
Seat depth adjustment
Base & castors
Aluminium, 65mm castors
Nylon, 60mm castors
Nylon, 60mm castors
Synchro, 15 locking positions
Synchro, 4 locking positions
Synchro, 1 locking position
Height adjustable
Height adjustable


The prices for ergonomic office chairs in South Africa varies greatly. Office chair prices in South Africa - a comparison of expensive office chairs: Alya vs Humanscale Liberty. Focus on the 8 critical elements and for the sake of your health, never compromise on comfort and quality. 

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