Compare to Similar Products
Humanscale Diffrient Smart Office Chair
$1,220 at Amazon
$1,299 at Amazon
$788.00 at Amazon
|$905 List||$180 List|
$158.96 at Amazon
|Bottom Line||Given its premium price, we expected more from this chair's performance; however, it's decently comfortable and easy to assemble||Our favorite year after year, this is one of the highest performing chairs on the market||This chair boasts both comfort and high-quality features, though there is room for improvement in terms of providing additional adjustment options||This chair earns high style points and also offers great levels of adjustability and comfort||It's not fancy, but this is our favorite budget-friendly chair for the money|
|Rating Categories||Humanscale Diffrien...||Steelcase Leap||Steelcase Series 2||Herman Miller Sayl||Modway Articulate E...|
|Ease of Assembly (5%)|
|Specs||Humanscale Diffrien...||Steelcase Leap||Steelcase Series 2||Herman Miller Sayl||Modway Articulate E...|
|Seat Pan Adjustment?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Lumbar Support?||Yes; a slight protrusion||Yes||Yes||Option available||Yes|
|Adjustable Lumbar Support?||No||Yes||Option available||Option available||Yes; the backrest moves up and down|
|Tilt Limiter?||No||Yes; 5 stop points||Semi; Upright back lock, Full recline with weight activated tention + boost, Full recline with weight activated tention||Yes; 3 stop points||Yes; locks you into a position|
|Armrest Width Adjustment?||Option available||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||No|
|Swivel Armrests?||Option available||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||No|
|Armrest Depth Adjustment?||Option available||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Diffrient is a decently comfortable chair with excellent durability and ease of assembly. That said, it didn't stand out in any particular way and, for the price, we wish there was more adjustability.
Comfort is the highest-rated metric in our testing process. We selected a group of testers of various sizes and stature, and they put each chair to the test. To award points, we had each judge rate multiple parts of the chair with respect to comfort and then evaluate how long they could comfortably sit. The Diffrient did well, though reviews were mixed; half rated the chair highly and reported that they could sit in it for 10-12 hours. The other half detested the chair and experienced discomfort after sitting in it for 1-2 hours. Everyone was happy with the seat and armrests, but the difference of opinion became noticeable when evaluating the backrest.
We had the same panel of judges try out the full range of motion on the backrest, armrests, and seat and then rate their impressions. We also had them assess the customization available with the reclining mechanism. The Diffrient wasn't terrible, but this was its weakest metric.
This chair got off to a bad start when we scored its back design, as it barely has any lumbar support, and you can't adjust the backrest at all. The version of this chair we tested only allows you to raise and lower the armrests, but the newer versions are fully adjustable, letting you move them up or down, forward or back, and swivel them. On the other hand, the seat is very adaptable, allowing you to change both the height and the depth.
Unfortunately, the Diffrient doesn't have a way to manipulate the resistance for reclining, and we found the default setting far too low. It also doesn't have tilt limiters, so you can recline much further than you make prefer by only slightly leaning back.
Next, we compared the durability and sturdiness of each chair. We used both our own observations and research into other user reviews to make our assessments. The Humanscale Diffrient achieves an excellent score in this department. We do not have any issues to report, as our chair held up well in our tests, showing no noticeable signs of wear over many months of testing and beyond.
Ease of Assembly
For our last category of assessments, we judged each chair on the effort required to go from unboxing to sitting in it, as well as how easy the directions were to understand. The Diffrient is top-notch in this area. The process was straightforward — you just need to set the top on the base. We were ready to go in less than five minutes.
The Diffrient is far from a high-value option, pairing a middle-of-the-road performance with a premium price.
While the Humanscale Diffrient Smart Task is a solid chair, we would expect something in this price range to be a bit more impressive than we found this one to be.