The best office chairs, just like the best gaming chairs, are important investments: you’ll spend much more time on them than you do on the sofa, and their comfort can have a significant effect on your health. The wrong office chair can lead to aches and pains and contribute to repetitive strain injuries.
The best office chairs, then, need to fulfil multiple requirements. They need to be comfortable, of course. But they also need to be adjustable so that you sit at the right height and with the right support in the right places. And while style isn’t the most important criteria here, if you’re working from home you’re going to want something that isn’t awful to look at when you’re not sitting on it.
You can spend a great deal of money on some of the best office chairs, but while some of the expensive options are definitely worth the price tag they’re also out of reach for many of us. That’s why the chairs topping our list are affordable options: both the Cherry Tree Executive Office Chair and the IKEA Markus deliver the goods without demanding too much money. Let’s see how they compare.
Cherry Tree Executive Office Chair vs IKEA Markus: design
The Cherry Tree looks a bit like one of the giant thrones from the crashed spaceship in Alien, but there’s much less risk of a space alien jumping on your face. It’s made of well padded PU Leather, and while that won’t wear as well as real leather it costs much less and doesn’t have any ethical implications. The version we’re looking at here is black, but you can also get the leather version in brown or cream. There are also velvety fabrics in blue, green or grey.
The Ikea Markus is much more minimal, with a mesh back, optional armrests and a comfortable padded cow leather seat. It’s particularly good for tall people but it looks much less bulky than the Cherry Tree. That doesn’t mean it isn’t as strong: we know from experience that the Markus is solidly made and lasts for years.
Cherry Tree Executive Office Chair vs IKEA Markus: features and comfort
These are both very comfortable chairs, even for long working sessions, and it’s easy to get an ergonomic sitting position for computer work or a more relaxed tilt for reading or phone calls. However, in the summer months we find PU leather chairs can get a bit hot and sweaty; if you hate that wet-shirt feeling you might prefer the IKEA chair with its mesh back when the temperature climbs.
The Cherry Tree is height adjustable from 112-122cm with a seat depth of 54cm, lumbar support and tilt lock. The IKEA is also height adjustable, but its range is 129-140cm and its seat depth is 47cm. There’s lumbar support and tilt lock but the optional armrests are not height adjustable.
Both of these chairs are on castors for easy movement. We like IKEA’s ones, which are pressure-sensitive: they put the brakes on the castors when you stand up and take them off when you sit down.
Cherry Tree Executive Office Chair vs IKEA Markus: price and verdict
The Cherry Tree Executive Office Chair is typically around £94 and the Ikea Markus is £179, so if you’re looking for a chair under £100 then the Cherry Tree is the one to go for. However, PU leather is not the most hard-wearing material and you will find over time that it starts to scuff and crack. The IKEA is almost twice the price but if you don’t have ethical objections to cow leather its seat pad should look presentable for much longer.
For us, the IKEA is the better buy. We’re not fans of PU leather chairs, especially in the summertime, and the Ikea Markus is better suited to taller people than the Cherry Tree thanks to its high back and higher seat height. The Cherry Tree is considerably cheaper, but we think the IKEA is the better longer term buy.