Office chairs are designed to improve and support one’s posture for long hours spent in front of a desk at work. Polyurethane (PU) leather is a rather popular choice when people shop for a new office chair. Due to its nature of being faux leather, PU leather chairs come in a variety of eye-catching colours and styles, which are not often found in authentic leather products, therefore appealing to a wide audience as customers get to choose from a variety of eye-catching designs that bring out certain aspects of their personality.
Its thick padding also gives people the impression that it provides great support for long hours spent in front of a desk. However, there are nine negative aspects of the material that people don’t often realise before making their purchase.
1. Poor breathability
As PU is impermeable, it is unbreathable and a smell will be left behind if you sit for too long in an environment that’s hot, humid and not properly ventilated. Heat gets trapped in the impermeable PU chair and your sweat will be left behind after hours of work. It is important to clean your chair regularly in order to get rid of any traces of perspiration, which could lead to stains and odours.
2. Your body temperature will rise
After you sit in a PU leather chair for too long, you will find yourself feeling warmer than usual. Your body heat is trapped in the chair with no means of escaping, which is why you will feel hot after sitting in a PU leather chair for too long. It is far more advisable to use chairs made of fabric or premium mesh, which is more breathable and allows for heat to escape more quickly. You’ll feel significantly more comfortable in a chair that’s cooling. Besides, the odour that your perspiration leaves behind will air out on its own! How’s that for convenience?
3. Poor durability
PU leather punctures, scratches and tears more easily than authentic leather. It also loses its elasticity more quickly. For households with pets, PU leather chairs might not be the best choice. You also have to be wary of sharp objects potentially brushing against the surface of the chair and leaving unsightly scratches. Even so, no matter how well you upkeep the maintenance of your chair, PU leather wears easily with time, especially when placed in direct sunlight, which causes the top layer of PU to stiffen and pull taut to the point of cracking and thus, flaking off.
4. Over-exposure to heat
As we have mentioned previously, PU leather will wear out faster when placed in direct sunlight. Being extremely sensitive to heat, PU leather may not be the best material for home offices in Sunny Singapore unless your curtains are perpetually pulled shut and your workspace is air-conditioned. Even heat from hair dryers could wear out the top coating of PU leather when in close proximity. That is another factor worth considering before making a purchase, given that not all of us have air-conditioned home workspaces.
5. Sensitivity to moisture
Despite being waterproof, the slightest moisture can damage the top coating of PU leather, which is what protects your chair from stains. It is important to dry yourself off properly before taking a seat in your PU leather chair if you wish to keep your chair in tip top condition.
6. Is it 100% vegan?
People often have the misconception that PU leather is more environmentally friendly than authentic leather because there is no animal hide involved in the manufacturing process. Contrary to that popular belief, some PU leather products are not 100% vegan as the leftovers of genuine leather are glued to PU leather through a process called bonding. Although PU leather seems more ethical than using real leather, it is not all that sustainable or environmentally friendly as it seems.
7. Maintenance is key
Although it is often said that PU leather chairs require little maintenance, it is still important to clean the surface occasionally with a slightly damp cloth to remove traces of perspiration, body oil and spillage residue. If not done properly, this would lead to the wear and tear of your leather and so that there will be no odours left behind. You’ll also have to invest in leather conditioners and special cleaning solvents to keep your PU leather chair protected and conditioned.
8. Difficult stains
Another bad aspect of PU leather chairs is that non-soluble stains caused by oils, lotions and other substances will leave a mark if not cleaned immediately. Although PU leather is impermeable, it is important to clean any stains as soon as possible with solvents that won’t damage your PU leather chair’s coating in the process of cleaning, as the coating is what keeps the seat waterproof and protects it from stains.
9. Not lightweight
PU leather chairs can be a hassle to lift and carry around when reorganising your workspace, being covered with thick padding. Premium mesh chairs are not only lightweight but airy and comfortable for your back.
Now that we have covered some of the many problems regarding office chairs, why not take a look at our FAEZ5ERG and FAEZ8ERG office chairs? Made with lightweight Premium German Air-Scape Mesh with Polyurethane Nylon ergonomic office chairs, treat yourself to a comfortable work from home experience, which your back will thank you for in the long run. Our office chairs come fully assembled with free delivery. Have an ease of mind when you choose Ergomeister Office Chairs.