Working from home is now a thing, I didn’t need to tell you that. If you value your posture, your health, and overall your body, you probably should pay attention to your work chair since you’ll be on it for 6 – 8 hours per day. This article is my review of the Staples Hyken Mesh Task Chair with Adjustable Arms.
I’ve had this chair for roughly 6 months already and I definitely have lots of feedback about it, both good and bad. I’m still using it and will probably still use it in the foreseeable future. Anyways, let’s just get to the specifics of it all.
Delivery and out of the box
I actually picked up mine straight from Staples here and it was a quick and painless. It’s something one able-bodied person can carry. I suggest a cart or something. I like working smart over working hard 😉
While unpacking, the very first thing I noticed is that there were sooo many brands and logos on the box, on the packaging. As far as I knew the product name is Hyken and it’s made by Staples. Nope. The box it came with had a different company name and then the packaging of the chair itself and the instruction manual had “Flexfit” in it. It just looked so sketchy to me. The product is exactly as advertised but yea…
I’m guessing this product is technically made by another small company and that Staples white-labelled it (e.g.: Staples gets to buy the chair from small company and rebrand and then resell it as their own).
That may be the case because if you just start shopping online in amazon for “ergonomic office chairs“, you’ll notice that there are lots of office chairs that are identical to Staples Hyken. If you can do the research for me, maybe they truly are one and the same. If that’s the case, it’s worth checking out this ergonomic office chair in Amazon too.
Ease of Assembly
Not much to say here but it’s easy to assemble. No power tools required. One person is more than enough to assemble this. The only thing I’ll note is if/when you decide to install the arm rests.
So if you can imagine it for a sec, in order to install the arm rests, they’re just 2 “L” pieces that are screwed to the bottom of the base. So in order for you to do this the first time around when they’re separate, you’ll have to flip the seat/base upside down and prop it on a bench or something. I luckily had one at home so I had the base rest on it while the arm rests dangle on the side before/after I screw each. If you don’t have something like this (a raise surface taller than the arm rests, and thin enough that the arm rests can dangle on each side), I can see you having trouble doing it.
Maybe your dining chair can work, if it’s small enough. If you try the couch, sure you can dangle on one side, but what about the other?
Ah, one of the biggest factors. I don’t know if you’ve done your research already but if not, I’ll tell you. The price range you’re looking at when it comes to office chairs is between $300CAD to $2000CAD I would say. This is if you’re looking for a sturdy, long term, ergonomic office chair.
My previous office chair for the longest time (and I kid you not) was Ikea’s $10 – $25 plastic office chair. No arm rest, no back rest adjustability, all plastic lol. For $25, I got way more than its actual worth was. Like that thing has the most efficient P/E ratio for those investors out there lol.
There will of course be chairs available between the $0 – $300 price range but usually “ergonomics” is the first one out the window in this category; and that’s the most important factor for me on why I looked for a proper office chair.
Anyways going back, Hyken sits at the $300CAD price range actually. It’s definitely on the “affordable” end. While I’m the sort of person who prefers quality over quantity, and as someone who doesn’t mind paying the price so long as the value and quality are justified, I just wasn’t able to bring myself to shell out $2k for a chair.
I’ve tried several office chairs in different offices before and I’m sure they’re in the $1000+ range. They’re great and justified but it hits different when it’s your wallet. Imagine, instead of a high end office chair, I can buy a brand new macbook with that LOL; or TWO roundtrip tickets to Europe for that matter. You should know my blog already and what it’s about and you know where my priorities lie 😉 haha!
I want the $2000 chair. I just want a $0 price tag for it.
Going back, this is the most I would pay for. The more you consider the $500 range, you’ll notice that the value add they have for the next tier and next set of features make the $700 range justifiable. And it goes on and on and next thing you know you’ve convinced yourself that it’s 2k or bust lol.
They have the black, red, and another colour…I wanted the red first but when I tried it in the store, it looked more like a pale/dirty red. No thanks. I stuck with simple black.
The look I would say is definitely simple and also “visually” ergonomic. When you or someone else is looking at it from across the room, you know it’s an ergonomic, office chair. It’s not some gaming chair trying to pretend you’re in a car. and it’s definitely presentable during your zoom calls.
The mesh gives it this distinct look too and it doesn’t make it look bulky and/or heavy.
Speaking of the mesh, let’s continue on that.
The advantage of having a mesh is that it makes your seat very breathable. If you’re warm or sweating and you sit on this, it just gets slowly aired out. If you sat on a padded chair, especially if it’s leather, you’ll just see and feel that moisture there on the surface and it’ll feel icky.
The challenging part to this is that since it’s a layer of mesh (a strong one I might add), it’s flexible. The one comment I’ve heard from some youtube reviews before I purchased this is that for this one user, he feels like he sinks so much that he can feel the frames of the (base of the) chair.
To my experience, I can somewhat see that but very minimal honestly. Yes it’s going to flex because it’s a mesh. Is it holding my weight? Yes. I actually felt surprised and more confident with the mesh now after several months.
Do I feel the frame? Yes, but mostly because that’s the nature of the seat. Even just by looking at it for the first time, everyone can tell it will sink a bit to flex but that’s expected. I really just mean that “you’ll feel it and you know it’s there”.
Is it uncomfortable when you feel the frame? No. Will your lower extremities fall asleep? No.
I was scared that since it’s a thin mesh, it’d snap/tear easy. Nope. I’ll talk more about this in the Durability section below but in the past ~6 months, it’s still flexing the same way as day 1. It’s not like it gets weak over time and it gets overstretched. I’ll let you know after 3 years though lol.
The texture of the mesh is actually grippy. So you know when you sit on very comfortable office chairs in the office and then you slowly slide down your leather seats? Yea that won’t happen on this one at all lol. It’s grippy enough to stop that, but not recklessly grippy that it’ll ruin your pants or yank you from the back rest. It’s not uncomfortable too. It really just puts you in place.
This is where the price limits it all lol. For example, there is lumbar support but it only has 3-4 adjustment settings (you can only raise/lower it). There’s the head rest that is “adjustable” but if you’re expecting it to be raised or lowered, yea it doesn’t. Instead, it rotates. So if you want to imagine it, it’s a fixed and hack-y way to make your head “comfortable”. It tries to but I don’t think it’s doing a good job on this part lol. You can rotate and point the “cushion” to the bottom of your neck, mid/top, or bottom of your skull. This is one of the few subpar feedback I have on it.
I like the…I don’t know what you call it but it’s this knob you turn that controls how loose or tight the back rest pushes back? It has that and it’s on the tightest setting for me but I feel like the give is medium.
I like that you can recline your back rest. What’s a massive bonus points to this is the ergonomic effect of the base of the chair. On normal chairs (especially those gaming chairs), the back rest reclines but the base remains flat. What this does is it either slide you out of seat or sometimes it just reclines in a funky way that the lumbar support is now unnaturally pushing up your lower back. It’s weird.
With this one, as you lean back, the base also turns the other angle so that the chair is still “cupping” you and you won’t slide off of it.
The headrest becomes really comfortable when you max lean it. I have breaks where I would lean it to the max (and btw it doesn’t feel like you’re about to fall due to imbalance) and then put my legs on my desk and I can rest from there. I’ve fallen asleep many times in this position lol.
I would say it’s durable and it’s not going to break in 3 months or something. When I tried it in store, the sample chair they had outside was old and busted. You can see the mesh on the edges fraying and getting torn. I was concerned for sure. I can’t tell if it’s just been worn down over time and it’s been out there for a while or if that’s a sign of the cheapness of it all. After purchasing one, I’d say it’s the former.
It hasn’t worn down on me yet. Maybe it’s too early to tell. But the arm rest paddings are still in tact. I haven’t had to tighten screws or anything. It’s not bending/leaning on one side. My previous chair in the office had this. Since I would rest more on one side, I think I loosened the screws and actually bent the metal already. So when you plop down, you can fee it wiggle and buckle to that one side before the seat would actually stabilize.
I haven’t been extra careful with this. I just use it roughly.
Another point with the mesh is that, I would plop down on this chair a good amount time. You know when you had a tiring action before sitting and then you just unrestrictedly bring down all your weight and plop on the chair? Yea I do that a lot. I haven’t broken the chair and it doesn’t feel like I’m weakening the mesh.
Mind you that exactly just below the mesh, there are no other padding. So directly under my butthole is the actual trunk of the chair (the vertical pole separating the legs and the base of the chair). So if this breaks, I’m in for some hellish impalement. Those said, every time I would plop down, I have never felt/hit this at all. 0 times.
This section speaks almost the same as the comfort section but here I just wanted to explain a bit more on how the chair affects different parts of your body over prolonged periods of time.
Head and neck
The head customizability is definitely tricky for this one. It’s either I don’t know how to properly use the head rest or it’s just really limited. I think it’s the former. I’ve sat on actual racing seats (on actualy luxury cars, not those damn fucking gamer chairs. Ffs I swear to god whoever started that racing seats trend omg. I’m pretty sure it’s some nerd lol) and this Hyken chair isn’t close to that.
The fact that you can’t raise/lower it is difficult for me. I’ve extensively changed the angles of the head rest and experimented on each for quite some time and I’ve never found that “perfect” setting. At best it’s good for several weeks, and then my neck would hurt after a while.
What happens is that if you sit up really straight (and if you’re 176cm like me), your head rests higher than the head rest. Now rotating the headrest doesn’t make it taller. It just moves the pressure/contact point. So now I have this psychological thinking of: “hey I have a head rest. I should use it, especially when I’m start to slouch.” but what ends up happening is you’re just tilting your head back to ‘use’ the head rest. You’re not flattening your upper back/neck like how you would properly correct your posture.
Upper back is excellent with this one. There’s a lot of space and I would say that if your chair is in the upright position, the tilt is ergonomic and natural feeling. The mesh gives you that give too and keep yourself comfortable.
If I wanted to stretch, pump my chest out, pull my shoulders and neck back, this chair allows for this. This part of the chair really encourages you to sit properly.
The lower back support is satisfactory although if this is important to you, it can be better. At first use and by default, the mesh keeps it soft but you can tell/feel that the shape of the back rest encourages you to push your lower back straight/inwards and then upper back backwards, if you know what I mean. It has the right idea but simply because it’s a mesh, it’s definitely not giving you enough rigidity / resistance to maintain that posture.
It has lumbar support though! The thing is that it’s limited as well. It’s padded and it’s comfortable. You can raise/lower it but it has only 3- 4 clicks in it. Yes I think it’ll cover most of your needs if you’re max 6ft tall(?) so this is not a problem. I think your problem will be the fact that it ‘clicks’. It’s not something you screw/tighten. You just move it and it…clicks. So the challenge is that even if you luck out in one of the four positions, every now and then it may slide down.
It’s not that it’s loose or anything. I think this is happening to me because you know how people usually slide down their seat over long periods? And remember how I told you that the mesh is grippy and is preventing this? The result is that your mid/upper back would just push back instead to get yourself comfortable, thus eventually your mid back pushing the bar down.
Height adjustability for these are perfect. The office chair savvy people out there would prefer that the arm rest rotate inwards as well (this doesn’t) but for me it’s not a need. I just need height adjustability and it’s rigid enough and won’t collapse when I put weight on it. Staples Hyken does this excellently.
Adjustability for your legs is comfortable as well. It offers height adjustability enough that I can tell that even if your +/- my height, I’m sure you’ll get a height that’ll make it ergonomic for you (feet flat on the floor and 90° for your knees)
If you are short and you need seat height, you can do it with this chair as well because the legs serve as a good foot rest as well! They’re big and wide enough that you can comfortably rest on it; not like you need to tuck your feet back deep under the chair.
I think with what you’re paying for, it’s a good offer. Remember, the price tag is $300 so adjust your expectations accordingly. That’s where most people fail. If you’re looking at $300CAD product but you’re comparing against $2k products/features, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Apart from that, for $300 and it tries to cover as much ergonomic aspects as much as possible, I think the value’s there.
Like I said, I definitely want and would prefer the $2k chairs, but I don’t like the $2k price tag (even if I had $2k). So for now, my goal is to correct, maintain, and improve my posture with my seat, lessen body aches and pains from it, and I think Staples Hyken is doing just that. It ain’t perfect but yea, we’ll just go circles in the justification.