Our Seating Specialist David Kirtley got hands-on with the HÅG Futu Mesh for a week.
Let's see how he got on in this next instalment of our ergonomic office chair reviews.
I won’t recommend a chair unless I have tried and tested it for at least a week. I've heard other professionals in our sector talk about chairs and recommend them to clients. When asked ‘what’s it like to use?’ they look back blankly as if you’ve asked them the square root of 21,577. To make sure I can answer this question with my own experience, I decided to conduct a HÅG Futu review by having one sent to my home (where I work), to try out.
The doorbell rings just as I finish my first coffee of the day. Excited (come on, I'm a Seating Specialist, this is what I do), I get up to receive my new chair.
Apparently, unboxing is a thing. Millions of people across the world watch complete strangers open packages on YouTube every day. Google tells me it would take a person seven years to watch all of the unboxing videos on YouTube.
As that's plenty to be getting on with, I decide not to make one of my own and (shock, horror), go ahead and open my box without a camera rolling. As I do so, I realise that HÅG has done this really clever thing. Once you take the chair out of the box, the box becomes a perfect work surface. No need to assemble it on the floor.
The seat sits on top of the chair (upside down) and the backrest slots in neatly into the seat. There’s one bolt that simply holds it in place. The arms slide in, and then you just drop in the gas stem and attach the five-star base. Flip the chair over, and you’re good to go. I flat pack the box and place it in the green bin.
I'm pleased with how easy the assembly was and I realise this is all part of HÅG's intention. They wanted to design an easy user experience even from the early assembly stage, so that it's a chair anyone can use without needing a technician to set it up for them.
Another coffee down and it's time to organise my first impressions of the chair.
Looks-wise, it's slim, and thankfully does away with the chunky profile some other ergonomic chairs have. I like the look of it and the standard armrests work with the angles of the chair. To keep it simple, I asked for a black one (yawn), but it comes in seven standard colours, with either a black or silver base.
Having seen them lined up, I actually like all of the colours. I think some colours work better on the black base compared to the silver – but that’s my preference. The yellow definitely doesn’t work with the black base (IMO) but looks great with the silver. In terms of my favourite – I think it has to be Posturite green! (My wife often ignores me when it comes to colours in the house, so I won't blame you if you do too.)
I settle down to work. My new HÅG Futu Mesh is dead easy to use. Similar to the more expensive SoFi chair, it doesn’t need to be set up perfectly to be comfortable. We’ve gone with the slightly taller gas stem as standard – we are all getting taller, and I find that the shorter gas stem doesn’t quite go high enough for me (I’m 6ft 2). The taller one goes low enough for shorter users, so its win-win.
The balance mechanism is EXACTLY the same as the SoFi, it’s just packaged in a different way. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like this feature on the HÅG chairs yet. It's officially called HÅG in Balance® technology and I'll post the video below for anyone interested in how it works.
The first step is to adjust the height of the chair so that you’re in a position of balance. You then pull the backrest in, which then slots nicely into the lumbar area of the back. There is an option of the additional lumbar support but I actually prefer it without. The lumbar support is cleverly designed, as there's a small scallop cut out of the plastic, so the contact points are against the back muscles and NOT the spine. It’s a subtle thing, but I think it makes a big difference. It’s not like these flaky plastic panels you see on other chairs – this makes a difference, and doesn’t just tick a box.
The standard armrests offer height and width, which I think is enough – I’d prefer them be padded – but that's probably my only criticism of the chair so far. There is a padded option, but only for leather topped armrests, and I think at the moment that this is an upgrade that doesn’t justify the cost. Flokk is working on a non-leather option I'm told.
Fast forward a week...
It's been a busy week travelling between my home office and some of our clients across the country. During the times I've needed to be at my desk, I've hardly noticed my chair. I know from experience that this is a good thing. When you notice your office chair, it's usually for all the wrong reasons - it's broken, uncomfortable, or even causing you pain and injury.
I think the point of the HÅG Futu Mesh is to blend into the background. It's subtle but functional. It may lack the glamour and pizzazz of its close cousin the HÅG SoFi, but it's also much cheaper at around £150-£200 (list price, depending on spec).
It takes seconds to adjust, and at home, I switch between sitting and standing anyway. It's comfortable, and I like the fact that the designers have softened the padding on the seat from the original Futu. One of HÅG’s mottoes is ‘moving, with thinking’ and I guess this does it perfectly. I know I move when I'm sitting, but this isn't a conscious thing – I just do it.
The final verdict...
For the money, and being cheaper than the SoFi, it’s a fantastic chair. If I had the option to stretch to the SoFi Mesh; I would. But if I've got a budget to stick to and want something a bit different, and with a 10-year warranty, then I wouldn't hesitate choosing the Futu. I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed if this was my permanent homeworking chair. I just need to ask my wife what colour we should go for...
Discover more from HÅG at Posturite
So, there you have it. It’s clear to see that the HÅG Futu is an undeniably comfortable office chair offering plenty of posture-related benefits. Discover plenty more office chair reviews right here on our blog, ran by our team of ergonomics experts.