Office chairs come in a number of styles, but the basic body is usually the same, using sculpted foam to provide the bulk of the support and comfort. However, a variety of materials are used to upholster the seat, each with their own look, feel and purpose. Fabric is usually used on operator chairs for durability as hard wearing fabrics cope well with daily abuse. Fabric is also warm to the touch, which is ideal for colder environments or when the chair is unoccupied for long periods as body heat is not lost warming the chair up. Fabric is also breathable which makes these office chairs more comfortable over time and less susceptible to temperature changes. Another advantage of fabric chairs is the range of colours they can be found in, with more unusual choices that would not be available in other materials.


Mesh is another material used in office chairs. Although mesh chairs do not have any padding where the mesh is used, the nature of the material itself ensures that it is comfortable as it can be shaped to the body and also gives an added springiness. Mesh is super breathable and keeps whoever is using the chair cool and fresh, allowing air to circulate easily. Mesh chairs are also usually lighter than their padded counterparts, making moving them around all the easier.


Real leather is the upholstery of choice for high end executive chairs, at the more opulent end of the office chair range. Leather is harder to stain than fabric chairs and is also easier to clean, needing only to be wiped down with a damp cloth. Leather also has a distinctive look and feel, giving a heightened sense quality and luxuriousness. Faux leather looks and feels akin to real leather, and is almost as durable. It is again hard to stain and easy to clean. Faux leather possesses many of the desirable qualities of leather but does away with the downsides; as it is synthetic the surface does not have any markings or imperfections.