Yes, you read that right. A budget chair ($90 to $150) that’s not only comfortable but has a tilting back and the best part... easy to put together. Now let’s take that slowly because I’m not sure you got that last point... EASY to put together.
How so? No fights, no brawls, no wrestling with the back till you finally, by the grace of all that is holy, get those darned screws in the backrest. No new words, no significant others leaving for coffee shaking their heads. Easy as in no hassle, no issue.
We’ve all been there and done that if you’ve ever put together an office chair. Particularly a high-backed chair then you’ve more than likely expanded your vocabulary assembling the thing and can understand where I’m coming from. In fact, the “wrestle the backrest” problem has been significant in the past few chairs I’ve ordered. So much so that I hate to think about getting a new chair just because I don’t want to deal with it.
Seems I can’t find a chair that is comfortable and will last more than a year before the bottom and armrests are so hard, you’d swear concrete was softer. I’ve been through at least three chairs in the past three years that just didn't work out. They certainly weren’t worth the effort of wrestling the backrest onto them and the PTSD those incidents might trigger later in life.
So, as has become my ritual around this time of year, I was off to Amazon to see what they had to offer. It wasn't long before my eyes were glazed over with the numbness of shopping for something you really don't want… but have to buy. The experience was putting me in a haze somewhere just south of sleep.
I had to focus so I gave up one parameter that I used when purchasing previous chairs, folding armrests. Not a big deal to most people but if you are a musician and you play guitar, it is nice to be able to swing one of those armrests up and out of the way to accommodate the instrument since I always have a guitar within grabbing distance of my workstations.
Homall Gaming Chair (other colors available)
After losing the folding armrest requirement I also decided not to get a chair that had the back attached to the armrests directly. This led me to one of the sweetest little discoveries in a long time: the Homall Gaming Chair, a high back racing chair with a nice extra that I didn’t know budget chairs had… a tilt down back that is spring-loaded and will tilt from 90 to 180 degrees! In fact, the back can tilt down flat enough to make the chair want to tip over… so be forewarned.
When I made the purchase there were several color schemes available with lots of nice choices, but I went for the basic black and white at $129US. This was the cheapest among the selections. In fact, when this author went back to Amazon to fact-check the article the chair was on sale for $99 so I snagged another one.
First, the easy to assemble part. The armrests attach independently to the bottom of the seat instead of the bottom and side of the backrest. This chair is assembled differently due to the tilt-down back. There is a spring-loaded hinge and a regular hinge that is easily attached with screws and more importantly… under no torque. Everything aligns and fits without a fight.
Just don’t release the spring-loaded lever until all are attached. There are warnings about that so be careful when handling it. Once everything is tightened, it’s ready to go.
Another thing I noticed right away when unpacking the box was how thick the bottom of the seat was. Not necessarily plush but far better than previous chairs that had seats just this side of covered concrete. This seat bottom had a nice, firm feel with nice padding. It was noticeable for its heft too.
The chair also comes with two attachable pillows. One for the headrest area and one for lumbar support which I didn’t need so it’s not in use. The headrest pillow, while small, is comfortable when you want to lean back and rest for a bit.
The only real negative is the armrests which are small and hard plastic, but they get the job done and that alone is not a deal-breaker for me.
I have to say that I am very surprised and at this point very satisfied with the Homall adjustable, swivel chair. It’s the first chair in the budget price range that seems to live up to all its hype. Whether or not it’s still in great shape this time next year remains to be seen but for now… I’m one happy computer nerd that has finally found a seat that feels good and easy to assemble.
Below are links (not affiliated) from various online e-tailers.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.