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Alera ALEEL42BME10B Elusion Series Review

The Alera Elusion Series overall failed to impress us with its middling results
Alera ALEEL42BME10B Elusion Series
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Price:   $375 List | $157 at Amazon
Pros:  Acceptably comfortable
Cons:  Mediocre adjustability, harder to build
Manufacturer:   Alera
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Nov 29, 2018
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Comfort - 50% 6
  • Adjustability - 35% 5
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Ease of Assembly - 5% 5

Our Verdict

Putting up relatively mediocre results in each of our testing metrics, the Alera ALEEL42BME10B Elusion Series is relatively uninspiring compared to the other office chairs in the group. It only had a minimal amount of adjustability and our judges rated it far from the most comfortable chair of the group. It can be a bit of a hassle to assemble and didn't seem as well-built as the top-of-the-line products. On top of all that, it's list price seems disproportionately high, though it can almost always be found at quite a discount from that. However, even at the discounted price, it still seems a bit expensive relative to its performance.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $375 List
$157.40 at Amazon
$998 List
$883.69 at Amazon
$600 List$1,595 List$817 List
$788.40 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Acceptably comfortableExtremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy constructionSuper easy to assemble, very adjustableAppears quite durable, very adjustableAppears well-built, comfortable
Cons Mediocre adjustability, harder to buildPriceyCould be a lot more comfortable, design isn’t universalExceptionally expensive, harder to assembleCould have more adjustable features, pricey
Bottom Line The Alera struggled to distinguish itself from the pack with its overall lackluster showingOur favorite office chair that we have tested to date, the Leap is by far the best you can getThis chair definitely makes a style statement but we wish it were a bit more comfortableIt’s hard to justify spending an exorbitant amount for a chair that isn’t the absolute bestWhile the Think overall did well in our review, it didn’t quite make it onto our list of favorites
Rating Categories ALEEL42BME10B... Steelcase Leap Herman Miller Sayl Herman Miller Embody Steelcase Think
Comfort (50%)
6
8
6
7
7
Adjustability (35%)
5
9
9
8
7
Durability (10%)
6
9
8
9
9
Ease Of Assembly (5%)
5
10
10
5
10
Specs ALEEL42BME10B... Steelcase Leap Herman Miller Sayl Herman Miller Embody Steelcase Think
Seat pan adjustment No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjustable lumbar support Yes; The backrest moves up and down Yes Option available Yes; You can adjust the amount, but not the location Yes
Lumbar support Yes; A slight protrusion Yes Option available Yes Yes
Recline lever No No No No No
Tilt limiter Yes; Only locks in the upright position Yes; 5 stop points Yes; 3 stop points Yes; 4 stop points Yes; 4 stop points
Armrest width adjustment Yes; A knob underneath the chair that moves about an inch Option available Option available as a third-party upgrade Yes Option available
Swivel armrests No Option available Option available as a third-party upgrade No Option available
Armrest depth adjustment No Option available Option available as a third-party upgrade No Option available
Tension knob Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

This office chair finished in the lower portion of the group, right behind the Modway Ergonomic Mesh and ahead of the SPACE Seating 5700E. It's more comfortable and has more adjustability than the SPACE and about the same as the level of comfort as the Modway. However, the Modway is easier to build and has quite a bit more adjustability. The Alera is also the most expensive of this trio.

The Alera Elusion Series.
The Alera Elusion Series.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


In our quest to figure out which office chair is truly the best of them all, we looked at close to 50 different chairs, then picked out which ones displayed the most promise and bought them all to compare head-to-head. We scored each chair on how comfortable it is, how durable it appeared to be, the ease of assembly, and the level of adjustability, with the Alera's results highlighted below.

The Alera is fairly comfortable, but far from our favorite.
The Alera is fairly comfortable, but far from our favorite.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


The first — and most important — round of tests was our series of comfort evaluations, which is responsible for half of the Alera's overall score. We had a panel of different testers try out each chair for a while, then rate how comfortable the various aspects of each one are and figure out how long they could sit in it without undue discomfort. The Alera did slightly above average, meriting a 6 out of 10.

A handful of our panel felt they could easily sit in this chair for 8-10 hours a day without any cause for complaint, but there were a few testers that felt they would only want to sit in this chair for 4-6 hours a day at the maximum.

Not all of our testers were fine sitting in the Alera for a full...
Not all of our testers were fine sitting in the Alera for a full workday.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

When it came to judging the different parts of the chair, the seat cushion was almost universally rated on the more comfortable side, with only a single judge scoring it more on the mediocre side.

Most people liked the comfortable seat cushion on this chair.
Most people liked the comfortable seat cushion on this chair.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The response to the backrest was a bit more split, with half the testers rating it highly and the other half scoring it average or below. The Alera's favor fell even more when it came to its armrests, with a majority of our testers giving them uninspiring scores with regards to comfort.

You need to get out of the chair to reach some of the adjustments on...
You need to get out of the chair to reach some of the adjustments on the Alera.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Adjustability


Next, we compared how adjustable the backrest, seat, armrests, and reclining mechanism of each chair is. Additionally, we also rated each chair on how easy it is to configure it so you are seated in a proper ergonomic position. Altogether, these tests are responsible for just a bit over a third of the Alera's overall score. It did alright in this metric, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its middle-of-the-road results.

The backrest on this chair is reasonably high and can be moved up and down to adjust the location of the lumbar support. However, we weren't terribly impressed with it, as the small protrusion that was purportedly for lumbar support didn't seem to do all that much for many of our testers.

The lumbar support on the Alera is a bit uninspiring.
The lumbar support on the Alera is a bit uninspiring.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The armrests have about half the adjustability of the top models, only allowing you to move them in or out and set the height, not change the depth or angle.

Some of the various adjustments available on the Leap.
Some of the various adjustments available on the Leap.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

You can't do much to the seat beside set its height and the reclining tension knob doesn't have the largest response, with even the lowest setting being on the stiffer side. We did like that the Alera has tilt limiter to lock you upright. It's also fairly easy to get this chair set up pursuant to proper ergonomic seating guidelines.

The Alera isn't the most durable chair we have seen but still seemed...
The Alera isn't the most durable chair we have seen but still seemed fairly well-built.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Durability


Responsible for 10% of the final score for the Alera, our durability metric assessed how well constructed each office chair is. We based the score on our own experience with the chair's wear and tear during our testing process and by researching other user reviews of this chair and looking for commonly encountered problems or component failures. Additionally, we also awarded points based on the length of the warranty period of each chair. The Alera earned a 6 out of 10 for its slightly above average constructions and durability.

In our opinion, we felt that the backrest on this chair already started to stretch out after a few months of testing, so we could see it completely wearing out quite quickly. We found a handful of other user experiences online that backed this up, noting that the backrest on their chair had completely stretched out so that your back was resting against the plastic frame. We also found a group of user reviews complaining that the chair began to squeak after a while or that they broke off one of the adjustment levers.

The warranty on this chair is alright, covering a 5-year term, but it is limited in scope.

The Alera took a fair bit of time to put together.
The Alera took a fair bit of time to put together.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Assembly


For the final 5% of the score for the Alera, we looked at the amount of effort it was to get this chair unpacked from its shipping carton and assembled. We also took into account the quality and helpfulness of the supplied instructions and other documentation. The Alera Elusion Series earned a 5 out of 10 for its somewhat involved process when it came to building it.

This chair took us 35-45 minutes to assemble, as you do have to build most of it before you can sit down. The instructions aren't especially great and the photos could be a lot better, but you still can follow them without too much difficulty.

Value


This chair isn't a great value, with less expensive options significantly outperforming it.

Conclusion


The Alera screamed mediocrity in almost all of our tests and there are other chairs that we preferred much more in the same or lower price range, making us reticent to recommend it.

David Wise and Austin Palmer