We’ve been selling conference chairs for over 13 years and understand that it’s an important task. For many businesses, this is one of a few rooms that a client will see. Because of this, we’re always trying to make a great impression with the conference area space. The truth is, the conference room needs to be more than just about aesthetics. It also needs to be functional and comfortable for visitors.
Today we will be covering the top 7 conference room chairs for 2019. In this list, we’ll cover all the most popular styles and brands to help narrow your selection. We will also include reasons why our picks might not be a good fit for your needs. Our goal is to help you make the most informed buying decision for your meeting space.
Full Disclaimer: We are an office furniture dealer and sell some of the products we review. To learn more about the products we sell, our review process and why you can trust us, please visit: Why we’re different. Who is BTOD.com and The Learning Center?
Best Conference Room Chairs 2019
- Humanscale Liberty – Best Designer Conference Chair
- Global Arturo – Best Leather Conference Chair
- Basyx VL680 – Best High Back Conference Chair
- OTG 11730 Luxhide – Best Modern Conference Chair
- BTOD 100MC – Best Mesh Conference Chair
- Office Star 84540 – Best Stacking Conference Chair
- Boss B8106 – Best Cheap Conference Chair
- 4 Things You Must Consider Before Buying Conference Chairs
- Bottom Line
1. Best Designer – Humanscale Liberty Chair
Liberty Chair Starting Price: $949.00 + Free Shipping
Our first pick, the best designer conference chair for 2019, is the Humanscale Liberty Chair. Another classic designed by the famous Niels Diffrient; his design inspiration was to create a minimal but functional mesh task chair.
The Liberty includes an intelligent counterbalance recline mechanism that automatically adjusts to the user’s weight. This removes the need for tension knobs and recline locks, simplifying the recline function of the chair, and creates a clean aesthetic underneath the seat.
A pivoting backrest, with a form-sensing mesh upholstered back, pairs to create one of the most comfortable backrests on our list. As you recline in the Liberty, the backrest will naturally pivot, providing additional lumbar support as you recline in the chair.
The Liberty’s armrests are tied to the backrest of the chair, allowing for consistent arm support through recline motions. The seat pad is depth adjustable to help fit a wider range of users. While the seat pad isn’t overly thick, it does offer good support for extended periods of sitting.
Might Not Be a Great Fit
If you have a tight budget, the Humanscale Liberty chair will not be a good option. With a starting price close to $1,000, it is the most expensive option in our list.
The Liberty comes with adjustments like seat height, seat depth and height adjustable arms, but it’s doesn’t include any other ergonomic adjustments. While this makes it a good candidate for conference seating, at $1,000 per chair, you may be looking for additional features.
2. Best Leather – Global Arturo Chair
Arturo Starting Starting Price: $639.99 + Free Shipping
If you’re looking for the prototypical high-back, leather conference chair, the Global Arturo chair is for you. The Arturo chair features a high-end top grain leather on all seating surfaces and a made to match mock leather combo everywhere else. The stitched seat and back design add to the luxurious look of the Arturo chair.
With a 30.5” tall backrest, the Arturo chair could have easily been a solid pick for the best high back conference chair as well. The thickly padded headrest provides comfortable support for long meetings in an executive boardroom.
The Arturo is all about comfort. The center tilt control includes an infinite lock function, allowing users to lock the chair into any reclined position they choose. When upright, the forward seat angle helps to reduce disc pressure should you need to perform forward leaning tasks. The waterfall front on the seat pad also helps to reduce pressure at the back of the knee.
Might Not Be a Great Fit
The Arturo is a big chair, with a seat width of 21” and back height of 30.5”, it could be too large for some spaces. Even though it’s a large chair, the seat height range is still appealing to the masses, with a range from 16” to 19” tall. Users from 5’ up to 6’6” should have no problem finding a comfortable seat height in this chair.
If you’re looking for your conference chairs to be 100% upholstered in top grain leather, the Arturo chair is not a good option. The Arturo chair has top grain leather on all areas you touch, while seated, with made to match faux leather everywhere else.
3. Best High-Back – Basyx Validate Chair
Validate Chair Starting Price: $437.99 + Free Shipping
The largest chair in our list, the Basyx Validate Chair, is built to hold up to anything that gets put in it. With a 450 lbs. capacity, there shouldn’t be an issue with visitors exceeding the weight limit on the Validate. Being the biggest, it’s not a surprise that it has the tallest back height as well. At 31 ⅝” tall, it’s a full inch taller than the Global Arturo chair.
The Validate chair was designed for big and tall users, with heavy duty construction throughout. Validate’s seat width matches the capacity. At 22 ⅝” wide it should have no problem fitting larger users.
The Basyx Validate comes with a SofThread leather, which is a recycled leather, that is infused with vinyl. This provides a nice, soft feel, for much less than a top grain leather. With its high back design comes an integrated headrest, providing support for long meetings.
Might Not Be a Great Fit
Because the Validate chair was made for big and tall users, it could be too large for small to medium users. With an overall width of 28”, it will take up more space at the conference table than any of our other picks. Keep this in mind when trying to maximize seat count at the table.
Upholstered in SofThread for added comfort and cost savings, this type of bonded leather won’t hold up as well as the Arturo’s top grain leather upholstery.
The Basyx Validate is a basic swivel tilt conference chair, with limited functionality. If you’re looking for infinite tilt lock, slider seat functionality or adjustment arms, you’ll want to look for another option.
4. Best Modern – OTG 11730 Luxhide Chair
Luxhide Chair Starting Price: $261.99 + Free Shipping
The OTG 11730 mid-back luxhide chair is our best modern conference room pick. The 11730 features black Luxhide upholstery on the seating surfaces and mock leather trim everywhere else.
The polished cast aluminum arms add modern flair but can be removed if you’re concerned with them hitting the conference table. The OTG 11730 also includes a concealed seat/back frame, with a polished aluminum base to match the arms.
With an overall width of only 23.5”, it should have no issues maximizing seating around a conference table. Even with a narrow overall chair width, the 11730 still has a 21” wide seat to fit a wide range of users.
Might Not Be a Great Fit
While the OTG Luxhide chair is small, the seat height range doesn’t quite match. With a range from 17.5” to 21.5”, it tends to be on the taller side of average. Users closer to 5’ may have issues getting their feet flat on the floor in this chair.
Like the Validate chair, the Luxhide comes with a bonded leather upholstery. The black luxhide is only on the areas of the chair you touch while seated. Elsewhere you’ll find made to match vinyl upholstery.
Because the armrests are made from a cast aluminum, they will not provide a soft area for your elbows and forearms. Hard armrests can bang into conference tables and damage the table over time. The 11730 does allow for the arms to be removed, should you decide to avoid this problem.
5. Best Mesh – BTOD 100MC Chair
100MC Chair Starting Price: $199.99 + Free Shipping
The BTOD 100MC chair is our best pick for mesh conference room seating. The 100MC chair is available in a black/black or white/black color combination.
With a four-position tilt lock function, the 100MC allows users to easily find a comfortable recline position. The breathable mesh backrest is paired with a height-adjustable lumbar support system to provide good lower support.
The 100MC comes standard with soft casters designed for hardwood and tiled surfaces. They can also be used on low pile commercial carpet.
With an overall width of 25”, the 100MC falls right in the middle for size when compared to other chairs in the list. The 20.9” wide seat provides plenty of seat width for a large range of users.
Might Not Be a Great Fit
While the 100MC fell in the middle for overall size, the seat height range was one of the tallest for the list. WIth a range from 18.6” to 23.4”, it is only a good option for those over 5’6” tall.
We’ve found that the seat pad on the 100MC is a bit on the firm side. While this is good for durability reasons, if you’re looking for a cushy seat pad, the 100MC isn’t a good option.
Even though the 100MC had T style arms, they were only height adjustable. If you are looking for a chair with arms that are width adjustable, you’ll want to look for a different option.
6. Best For Stacking – Office Star 84540 Chair
84540 Chair Starting Price: $175.99 + Free Shipping
Office Star 84540 is our top pick for stacking conference chairs. Space saving options for the conference room have become increasingly popular as office space costs rise. The Office Star 84540 chairs can be stacked up to four high. You’re also able to use the chair’s included casters to move the chairs while stacked.
The 84540 comes with a breathable ProGrid mesh backrest with built-in lumbar support. The black fabric padded seat provides comfort for multi-hour meetings.
At 25.5” wide, it falls in the middle for overall chair size. The titanium finish frame is sturdy and designed to support up to 250 lbs.
Might Not Be a Great Fit
Because of the 84540’s stackable design, seat height and arm height adjustments are available. The seat height is fixed at 18.5” and could be too tall for users under 5’6”.
The 84540 comes with a seat width of 18.5”, which is the narrowest option in our list. Combined with a standard 250 lbs. weight capacity, this is not a good fit for large individuals.
7. Best Cheap – Boss B8106 Chair
B8106 Chair Starting Price: $127.99 + Free Shipping
Our final pick, the Boss B8106, is the best cheap conference room chair for 2019. With a price tag of $127.99, you can outfit a table of eight for around $1,000.
With such a low price point, there isn’t a ton of features to talk about with the Boss B8106. It includes a black LeatherPlus upholstery, to provide a softer feel on the seat and backrest.
The B8106 includes a basic swivel tilt mechanism, with tilt tension adjustment for more or less force required to recline.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive conference chair, with decent to good quality, the B8106 is the best available at this price point. It is also the least expensive option in the list to feature a hybrid leather material for the seat and backrest surfaces.
Might Not Be a Great Fit For
If you want a top grain leather upholstery, the B8106 is not a good option. Featuring LeatherPlus, it is made from recycled leather and then infused with vinyl to create a bonded leather.
The B8106 comes with durable loop arms, but they are fixed in height. The seat height range is from 18-21.5” and is too tall for users under 5’6”.
4 Things You Must Consider Before Purchasing Conference Chairs
1. Material Type
What material you select for your new conference chairs is important. Aesthetics, durability and comfort all come to mind when making this decision. What order of importance those are to you and your organization will vary.
High-end conference rooms tend to pick leather upholsteries over fabric alternatives. Depending on your budget, this can drive the cost up quickly. Considering that most top grain leather products start at $500 and work their way up, a new conference room can set you back $1000’s pretty quickly.
Lower cost alternatives, such as LeatherPlus and EcoLeather, are made of recycled leather and infused with vinyl. These types of bonded leather will give the look and feel of leather, but don’t hold up as well over time.
Mesh and fabric upholstery can provide some cost savings to top grain leather, depending on the quality of the material. Many of these types of upholstery will hold up better than faux leather.
The downside to mesh and fabric is the cleanability factor. Mesh can be wiped down and vacuumed, but getting grime build up out of the mesh can be difficult. Fabric tends to stain easier and cannot be easily wiped down.
When searching for the perfect conference chairs, you must consider the required adjustments on those chairs. In conference settings, we see customers go with full-blown ergonomic chairs, to more basic swivel tilt mechanisms. There are advantages to each option and which is best for you will depend on your specific needs.
The most commonly used conference chairs are of the executive style. These chairs will oftentimes only be available with basic features like height adjustment. These types of chairs will come with non-adjustable loop types of arms as well.
Most basic mechanisms will be less expensive than high-end ergonomic mechanisms, which can help to keep the cost down some. Another advantage to basic mechanisms is users won’t be playing with the chairs during meetings. This can lead to a loss of focus on the task at hand.
Selecting chairs with a more advanced mechanism has its advantages. It allows for users to get a more custom fit and can be more comfortable. If the conference room is used by the same people, they could have a better understanding of how the chair functions. This would lead to the adjustments being used. One of the biggest issues with multi-function mechanisms is a lack of use from people without knowledge of how they work.
3. Arm Design
We briefly touched on arm design in the adjustment section. Having adjustable arms will change the overall design of your meeting chairs’ arms. The most commonly used arm design in a meeting room is the loop arm. Most of these loop arm designs feature fixed height and width. Alternatively, you can find T style arms and arms that are fixed to the back of the chair. Each design will have its own advantage.
The most basic arm, the loop arm, is a good option for the conference room. Eliminating the adjustment function, it will put the focus on the meeting and create a high-end design. A lot of loop arms will come with upholstered arm pads that provide additional padding. This can create a nice look and comfortable feel.
Because the arms are fixed, users will have to adapt to the chair, not the other way around. This might not be as comfortable. Loops arms also tend to be the most susceptible to banging into the conference table. This can break down the material on the arms or sometimes the conference table.
While not all T arms provide more adjustment, many will include things like height and width adjustment. These features allow users to create a more custom fit for their body. Depending on the height range, they could be adjustable enough to fit under the conference table. This will protect both the chair and table from damage.
Arms that are attached to the back of a conference chair come in a few different design options. Many loop arm designs will be connected to the seat and back. When an arm is connected to the backrest, it’s much easier to maintain proper arm support when in recline. Because they are tied to the back, they have to move in unison with the backrest, providing constant support of your arms while reclined.
When T arms are used, they are connected to the bottom of the seat and most won’t move at the same rate as the backrest. This creates a disconnected feel that isn’t as comfortable as arms connected to a backrest.
4. Chair Size
When you consider the size of your next chair, there are two main factors to keep in mind. The First is maximizing the space around your conference table. The second is to make sure your conference chairs fit the people that will be sitting in them.
When looking at maximizing the conference table space, most will consider two specific scenarios. First is the everyday use of the conference room and how many people can be expected. The second is the less frequent meetings, where additional seating is needed.
For everyday seating, make sure you give everyone enough space to easily get in and out of their space. The shape of the conference table will dictate how users fit around the ends of the table and if people will have to straddle parts of the table legs. An extra few inches between the chairs is a minimum requirement for everyday use.
The last thing to consider with the size of chairs is fitting everyone comfortably in them. Because it’s a conference room, there is likely to be a wide variety of people using the chairs. I’d recommend looking at seat widths that are 19”+ for most conference spaces.
With our four considerations in mind, selecting a good chair for your conference space should be a little easier. Because many conference rooms are about impressions left on customers and clients, you may end up picking a chair purely on aesthetics. That’s okay, so long as you at least keep in mind the things we consider to be the most important. Keeping these things in mind should provide you with a smart investment for your meeting space.