John Lewis Anyday hinton office chair review: An affordable ergonomic seat for smaller spaces

·5-min read
Although it’s recommended that you don’t use it for more than four hours a day, it’s still a great option for occasional use   (iStock/The Independent)
Although it’s recommended that you don’t use it for more than four hours a day, it’s still a great option for occasional use (iStock/The Independent)

Earlier this year, John Lewis announced that it was launching its Anyday range, an own-brand stable of 2,400 products, including homewares, that would be on average 20 per cent lower in price than the current own-brand offering.

One of those products is the Anyday hinton chair (£139, Johnlewis.com), which we included in our round-up of the best ergonomic chairs, as it offered a good mix of ergonomics, design and price.

However, a closer look at the reviews left on the John Lewis website for the hinton reveals many users weren’t happy with the chair’s build quality and how robust it was.

That’s why we continued to use the chair as our primary office perch, so that we could find out for ourselves if months of usage would indeed reveal some flaws that weren’t evident on the chair’s first outings.

For this review, we also broadened our criteria for the hinton outside of our own desk – its very reasonable £139 price tag makes it an attractive purchase if you were looking to turn a corner of a child’s bedroom into a dedicated place for them to study, so we extended the trial out to the wider family too.

We kept an eye firmly on ergonomics, as cheaper chairs can be uncomfortable and lack the support and adaptability that is crucial in encouraging good posture and musculoskeletal health.

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How we tested

We tested the hinton with multiple users from primary, secondary and higher educational settings, to get their thoughts on how comfortable the chair was for them to sit in while they completed various school and revision tasks, which lasted from twenty minutes to well over an hour. In addition to this, we used the chair as the go-to seat for our own working day.

John Lewis Anyday hinton office chair

Buy now £139, Johnlewis.com

In use

The chair needs some pre-assembly and there were plenty of grumbles on the John Lewis website concerning the time it took to put the chair together, although you can find YouTube videos on the topic, which we found very helpful and made the whole process much slicker.

All of our family members found the chair comfortable to sit in, however the younger users were more enthusiastic, with the adults finding the seat depth a little too shallow and the height that the chair raised to not always sufficient for finding the most ergonomic seating position for larger frames.

In terms of the actual materials and the sitting experience, the upholstered foam that makes up the seat pad is comfortable for hour-long sessions at a desk, with the foam springing back nicely and not compressing too much. This gives us the impression that over time the chair’s seat would keep its volume and will remain even and comfortable to sit on.

Like many office chairs these days, the back rest is made from a mesh membrane that allows the back and spine to move, while providing good support. The backrest was also good at adapting to the many micro movements that happen when you’re performing a particular task, from leaning to the side on one of the armrests, reclining back, to altering your position to use a keyboard or mouse.

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Some chairs claim that they have lumbar support, but we have struggled to feel any benefits when sitting in them, whereas sitting down in the hinton you do feel a decent level of support in the lower back region. Plus, all the adjustments, from the seat height to the swivel mechanism, were suitably smooth.

The ability for the chair’s arms to flip up vertically negates one of the problems that comes with buying even the most expensive chair – that you can’t always be sure that the chair will be able to tuck away neatly under a desk. The flip-up arms in combination with the compact seat meant that we had no trouble pushing our chair into a number of desks once our work was done. This could be especially helpful, if the chair is going in a bedroom, to make the most of the space available.

The recommended hours of use for the chair per day is just four hours, which could explain a lot of the comments on the John Lewis website, as the hinton may not be able to stand up to the pressures of being in use for eight hours a day. However, the feedback from the occasional users was very positive.

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All three of our school age and higher education users found the chair comfortable and easy to adjust, and didn’t report any issues with the size of the seat or the support that was offered from the backrest. One user was a self-confessed fidgeter and another an undeniable seat squirmer, but both liked that the chair’s swivel mechanism and mesh backrest was able to absorb their movements and move with them so that the ergonomics of the chair weren’t undermined.

The verdict: John Lewis Anyday hinton chair

The John Lewis Anyday hinton chair comes with a two year guarantee, however in order for the guarantee to be honoured it has to be used for up to four hours a day. That means that this might not be the best option if you’re looking for a seat for dedicated remote working. That said, as an inexpensive but ergonomic study chair for a secondary or higher education aged student it is an excellent option that will please users in terms of both design and ergonomics.

Buy now £139.00, Johnlewis.com

Voucher codes

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We also took the Herman Miller mirra 2 butterfly office chair for a spin

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