Finding an affordable office chair isn’t hard to do, but finding a durable office chair without spending a fortune certainly can be. It can be so frustrating to find the perfect office chair.
You can get almost every feature if you have an unlimited budget, but even then, no chair is perfect. On the other end, spending too little often gets you an uncomfortable office chair that won’t last a few years.
This is where Branch steps in by focusing on these two problems. Branch claims to sell office chairs designed to be ergonomic and durable at an affordable price. This Branch Ergonomic chair review examines whether or not they were successful with this undertaking.
Read more from our Branch Ergonomic chair review below, or skip ahead to see the results by using the table of contents below.
What You Need to Know
Who They Are
Branch Furniture was founded in 2018 as a solution to the high costs and slow shipping times typically found in office furniture. They are different from other furniture companies because they cut out the middleman to sell directly to offices. And, since everything changed in 2020, they started focusing on selling to individuals for their home offices.
Because they sell directly, they are able to keep costs low, which benefits the buyer, who then sees lower prices. They are able to sell high-quality office furniture at an affordable price because of the savings earned by doing things themselves.
For larger corporate office orders, they do offer white glove installation and space planning to help you design the space in the most practical way. They even have a Branch Flex service, where Branch will pick up and refurbish their furniture once you’re done with it, giving you a credit toward your next purchase if it’s in good condition. Even if it’s not, they will still take it away for free.
The Branch Flex service and white-glove installation aren’t benefits you would see if you were just buying an office chair for your home, but they do have free shipping on all orders and a very responsive customer service team if you had an issue or question about your order.
What You Get
Branch Furniture sells several different ergonomic chairs besides the Branch Ergonomic, including the Daily, the chair, and the Elevate chairs. They also sell desks and desk accessories, including standing desks for those who like to stand while they work. Branch designed all of their office chairs, desks, and accessories to be modular, so they all fit well together.
The Branch ergonomic chair comes in black, grey, or a beautiful light blue. The black comes with either a white frame or a black frame, and the grey and blue come with only a white frame.
It’s worth noting that the white frames will cost you more than $300, but the black-on-black option falls just under $300, making that the cheapest Branch ergonomic chair option. Once assembled, the weight of the chair is 35 pounds, so the build quality is durable but not too heavy.
Who It’s For
The recommended customer for the Branch ergonomic chair is between the heights of 5’2 and 6’2 and weighs less than 300 pounds, which is the maximum weight capacity of this chair.
If you want to be comfortable after long hours at work, and you like firm lumbar support, the Branch ergonomic chair is made for you. The Branch task chair also has a firm lumbar pad but isn’t as adjustable.
Although you can’t take advantage of the white glove installation if you’re just buying for your home office, self-assembly of this office chair is still relatively easy, with 5 basic steps.
- You first assemble the wheels to the base of the chair, and they should just pop right in.
- Then you assemble the backrest and tilt mechanisms with the included Allen key.
- Slide the chair frame into the cylinder to connect the backrest to the base.
- Next, you attach the armrests to the cushion and bolt them together.
- Finally, you attach the cushion and armrests to the rest of the office chair, and you’re done.
The 3D armrests are fully adjustable in height, width, and depth. Although they don’t move out of the way completely, they do provide plenty of room for sitting without feeling squeezed in.
The adjustable armrests can adjust from 25 inches to 29 inches apart, which is two inches more than the similar but more expensive Steelcase Series 1.
There is an adjustable mesh headrest that is optional for an additional $49. The headrest is height adjustable and installs easily with an Allen key.
It’s nice to have this option, but it will push the price closer to the $400 range if you opt for the white frame chair. The SIDIZ T50 costs a bit more, but the headrest adjusts forward and back, as well as in height.
The seat height adjusts from 17 inches at its lowest point to 21 inches at the highest point.
You can adjust the seat depth forward from 18 inches deep to 21 inches deep, which really allows you to find the most comfortable and ergonomic position.
The 3-inch high-density foam upholstered seat pan is 20 inches wide, so you have plenty of room to move around since the armrests sit further out.
A similar chair featured on the best under $300 list, is the Clatina ergonomic chair, which also has adjustable depth, but the seat pan is slightly more narrow at only 18 inches.
The Branch Ergonomic chair, like the task, features firm adjustable lumbar support built into the backrest. You can adjust this up or down, depending on where you want it to sit on your back.
This is great if you plan to be sitting for long hours and like a lot of support for your lower back, but if you like softer support, you will want to check out their Elevate and Daily chairs.
There are 4 lockable tilt positions up to 21 degrees that you can adjust to control how far back you want to sit. A tilt tension knob controls the amount of pressure needed to tilt back.
The Branch ergonomic chair holds up to 300 pounds, making it very durable for all-day use. It has the highest weight capacity of the four office chairs they sell.
The backrest is made of a double-layered nylon mesh material, and it spans as wide as the 20-inch seat. The backrest is nearly the same at 21 inches high, which is 3 inches shorter than the Clatina backrest.
The Branch Ergonomic chair offers a 7-year warranty on parts and components. This is great peace of mind, but it’s less than the Elevate chair’s limited lifetime warranty. This won’t cover normal wear and tear but will cover defects or mechanical malfunctions.
Any type of damage caused by improper installation, use outside of normal office environments, or by exceeding their stated weight capacity, is not covered under warranty.
Excellent Customer Service
If you do want to return an item, you have 30 days from the time of delivery. You will have to return it in its original packaging and pay the cost of shipping.
Branch will reach out to you with a complimentary ergonomic consultation first, to ensure you’re sitting properly to maximize the benefits of the chair. Since it takes time to adjust to a new chair, they want to make sure you’re utilizing it correctly.
The headrest is an additional cost, and it’s only height adjustable. It attaches to the backrest, but you can’t control how far back or forward it rests on your neck.
Firm Lumbar Padding
The firm lumbar pad can be too painful for some people. There is no way around this unless you remove it entirely from the backrest or cover it up with something, which defeats its purpose.
The Task and Elevate chairs have a less firm lumbar pad in the backrest, but the Elevate only holds 275 pounds. The Daily chair is the lightest support, but it holds even less at 225 pounds.
The armrests are a bit wobbly, making them feel like more of an afterthought than an integrated part of the chair.
How It Can Improve
We would like to see more durable armrests. If they’re going to adjust in three ways, they need to be able to last and hold up to a lot of heavy use.
It would also be nice to see a bit more padding on them so they’re comfortable for all-day use.
More Lumbar Adjustments
Although they have different chairs which accommodate how much lumbar support you need, they don’t all have the same functions or weight limits. It would be nice to see the option of a firmer or softer lumbar support on one chair.
It would also be helpful to adjust the lumbar in and out, as well as up and down, to take some of that pressure off your back. Softer padding for the built-in lumbar could help because you can really feel it through that mesh material.
Overall, this is a well-made chair at an affordable price. You should buy the Branch Ergonomic Chair if you’re between the heights of 5’2 and 6’2, under 300 pounds, and like firm support for your lumbar. This Branch office chair will look great in your home, especially since you can choose your color option.
It is more expensive than the similar Clatina ergonomic chair, but it holds more weight and comes with an even better warranty.
If you don’t like firm support, the Elevate chair still has plenty of ergonomic adjustable features but with medium support. If you’re between the heights of 5’6 and 6’4, Elevate could work for you.
If budget is a concern, there are some other office chairs for under $300 here.
Is Branch Furniture made in the USA?
Branch Furniture has manufacturing partners in both the United States and China. They also have a showroom in New York City, where you can try out their office chairs in person. It is currently by appointment only.
Does Branch sell any other products?
Yes, Branch does sell other office furniture, including desks, filing cabinets, monitor arms, and desk accessories. Branch products are all modular, so all of their office furniture and accessories work seamlessly together.
Which Branch chair is best?
If you like firm lumbar support, the Ergonomic chair has the adjustable seat depth that the Task chair does not. For even softer lumbar padding, the Elevate chair is good for tall people, and the Daily chair is good for shorter people.
How Does the Branch Ergonomic Chair Stack up to the Competition?
Now that we did an in-depth Branch Ergonomic chair review, let’s see how it does against some other office chairs around the same price.
Clatina Ergonomic Office Chair
The Clatina Ergonomic Office Chair has a similar style to the Branch Ergonomic chair and a lot of the same adjustable features. The armrests, however, do not adjust in width or depth, only in height with a slight pivot inward or outward.
Where it differs is the 275 weight capacity compared to Branch’s 300 pounds. You can also choose between fabric or mesh, in case you want more breathability. The mesh will actually drop the price down a bit.
In addition to the lumbar moving up and down, the entire backrest moves up and down 3 inches, which is not true of the Branch Ergonomic chair. But like the Branch Ergonomic chair, it also has a firm lumbar pad, which many find uncomfortable.
Head-to-Head Winner: Branch Ergonomic chair
Steelcase Series 1 Office Chair
The Steelcase Series 1 is a budget-friendly version of the Steelcase Leap, which makes it a worthy contender to the Branch Ergonomic chair. It does cost a bit more, but it also has a 400-pound weight limit, 100 more than the Branch Ergonomic chair.
Like the Branch Ergonomic chair, you can adjust the depth of the seat, but it’s more shallow. Where the Branch adjusts from 18-21, the Series 1 adjusts from 15.5 to 17.5, which is more shallow than the Branch chair at even its furthest point.
Everything else is quite similar, including the armrests (although they’re not well padded), the fabric upholstery, and the height adjustments. Of course, Steelcase uses their LiveBack technology, which means the mesh backing adjusts to your movements.
They also offer a 12-year limited warranty, which is 5 years more than the Branch Ergonomic chair.
Head-to-Head Winner: Branch Ergonomic Chair
Both are great office chairs, but the Branch Ergonomic chair just edges out the Steelcase Series 1 office chair because of the price. Both have excellent customer service, warranties, and adjustable features. But if you want to keep the cost low without sacrificing quality, the Branch Ergonomic chair is the way to go.
You can see the Steelcase Series 1 and other office chairs that make great Herman Miller alternatives here.
What Is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the idea of maximizing productivity within the workplace by reducing the discomfort caused by sitting for long hours. Many office chairs today incorporate ergonomics into the designs of their chairs to help promote good posture.
In order to apply this principle to your home office, you should do the following things while sitting in your office chair.
Back and Shoulders
Sit in an ergonomic office chair that supports the natural curve of your spine to help you maintain a good sitting posture. Your back should be firmly pressed against the backrest, with a pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back.
Keep your shoulders back and in a relaxed position while sitting upright. Make sure you give yourself room to stretch or lean back.
Arms and Wrists
Your arms should be close to your body and parallel to the floor. Your elbows should not be bent further than 120 degrees.
Keep your wrists straight while typing. If you have a keyboard, it should be just below your elbows to make sure your wrists stay parallel to the ground.
Legs and Feet
Keep your hips all the way back in your chair with your knees level with the floor. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground. You can use a footrest, box, or another heavy object to prop them up if your chair is too high.
If you’re on the phone a lot for work, use a headset or put it on speakerphone so you don’t have to crane your neck and shoulder to hold the phone to your ear while you work.
Your monitor should be directly in front of you and level with your eyes. If it’s at an angle or too high or low, it will cause strain on your neck.
If you use a laptop, you might consider getting a separate keyboard so you can keep your monitor at eye level and your wrists straight.
You should keep commonly used objects nearby, so you don’t have to strain to reach them.
Take breaks often. Sitting in a chair for countless hours keeps you stiff and cuts off proper blood flow. You should take a 10-minute break from sitting every hour, even if it’s only to stand up and stretch.
If you don’t have a standing desk, you can still work from a countertop for a few minutes every hour, just to get the blood circulating.