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Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh Review

A surprisingly comfortable office chair that can't compete with top tier products, but boasts an especially comfortable price
Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $175 List | $158.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustable
Cons:  Durability could be better
Manufacturer:   Modway
By Hayley Thomas, David Wise, and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jun 25, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 14
  • Comfort - 50% 6
  • Adjustability - 35% 6
  • Durability - 10% 5
  • Ease of Assembly - 5% 6

Our Verdict

Finishing in the middle to lower portion of the pack, the Modway Articulate Ergonomic Mesh can't really compare to the top-of-the-line models. However, it costs hundreds of dollars less than many of the premium models and fared well across the board in our tests, earning it the slot of our recommendation when you are shopping on a slimmer budget. Most of our judges found it to be fairly comfortable and somewhat adjustable. It's not necessarily our first or second choice if we had to pick a chair to sit in for eight to ten hours a day, but it's a great option that does not cause discomfort — and you will sit all the better knowing that your budget is still intact.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $175 List
$158.00 at Amazon
$929 List$699 List$329 List
$329 at Amazon
$330 List
$289.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Inexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustableExtremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy constructionWell built, comfortable, adjustable seatGreat value, durable, comfortableEasy to assembly, fairly inexpensive
Cons Durability could be betterPriceyNot as comfortable for smaller folks, subpar tilt resistanceLooks aren't universally appealingLimited adjustability, integrated headrest
Bottom Line A surprisingly comfortable office chair that can't compete with top tier products, but boasts an especially comfortable priceThe absolute best of the best, thanks to its incredible comfort, adjustability, and constructionWith its highly adjustable armrests and seat, this option offers comfort for taller folksPairs exceptional comfort and durability, at a price you just can't beatA decent option for short periods of sitting but there are better options when sitting for eight or more hours
Rating Categories Articulate Ergonomi... Steelcase Leap Steelcase Think DXRacer Racing Series Ergonomic Adjustable
Comfort (50%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Adjustability (35%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Ease Of Assembly (5%)
6.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Articulate Ergonomi... Steelcase Leap Steelcase Think DXRacer Racing Series Ergonomic Adjustable
Seat pan adjustment No Yes Yes No No
Adjustable lumbar support Yes; the backrest moves up and down Yes Yes Yes; a movable pad Yes
Lumbar support Yes Yes Yes Yes; a removable movable pad Yes
Recline lever Yes No No Yes Yes
Tilt limiter Yes; locks you into a position Yes; 5 stop points Yes; 4 stop points Yes; only locks in the upright position Yes; locks you into a position
Armrest width adjustment No Option available Option available Option available ~1" with screws underneath
Swivel armrests No Option available Option available Yes No
Armrest depth adjustment No Option available Option available Yes No
Tension knob Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


To pick out which office chairs are worth your purchase, we bought a fleet of promising products from a wide field, then tested them against each other in a series of side-by-side tests. We split this testing procedure into four weighted metrics, which include comfort, adjustability, durability, and ease of assembly.

For being such an inexpensive chair, we were pleasantly surprised...
For being such an inexpensive chair, we were pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the Modway is to sit in.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


Comfort is our most important rating metric — and what comes to mind first and foremost when you think of these products. We had a panel of judges spend at least a full day evaluating this chair, then aggregated their results. We took a closer look at the comfort of the backrest, seat, and armrests, as well as how long each person could sit in each chair to determine the final score. The Modway scores just below average compared to the other chairs in our test suite.


Starting off with the armrests, the Modway was received overall favorably by our panel of judges. The comfort of the armrests was well-received by all but one — at 6'2", our tallest tester found they were uncomfortable.

Most testers really liked the armrests on the Modway.
Most testers really liked the armrests on the Modway.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The backrest was equally well-received. While none of our judges thought it was overly uncomfortable, it didn't have anyone ranting or raving. It was almost an identical story with the judges' opinions of the seat — none despised it, but no one particularly loved it either. Most of our judges were happy sitting in this for an eight-hour workday but weren't exactly thrilled with the prospect of sitting in this chair every day for a full workweek. The seat has some curvature to it that does not work with all bodies, which caused our judges to squirm around quite a bit after a few hours.

However, the seat received mixed reactions.
However, the seat received mixed reactions.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Adjustability


Next up in our testing procedure, we took a look at the level of adjustability. We specifically compared and ranked how much customization each chair offered when it came to back support, the armrests, the seat, and reclining, as well as if you could easily adjust the chair to get into a proper ergonomic seating position at a desk. The Modway again scored average when compared to the other chairs in our test suite.


Our panel of judges was surprised by the level of adjustment that the backrest offers. Again, compared to the pricier options, it's not exceptional, but for such a budget-friendly chair, we were impressed. The Modway has decent lumbar support that you can move up and down. It also has a reclining lever that you can use to lock it at a certain angle. However, there isn't a headrest and it doesn't come up terribly high for most testers.

This chair has acceptable lumbar support.
This chair has acceptable lumbar support.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The armrest adjustability was much less popular, as you can only move them up or down with the Modway and the range is not particularly wide. The armrest spacing is on the wider side, which renders this chair less versatile as far as fit goes.

Most of our testers did find the armrest spacing to be a bit on the...
Most of our testers did find the armrest spacing to be a bit on the wide side.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Seat adjustments are also minimal. The over height is the only adjustment you can make and it just barely goes low enough for our shortest tester. Her toes just barely touched the ground, meaning she would most likely need a stool to sit in this chair properly.

The adjustment levers on the Modway are very clearly marked.
The adjustment levers on the Modway are very clearly marked.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Modway's saving grace is that the reclining tension knob is very easy to reach and adjust. The tension is very responsive, allowing you to make adjustments with only a moderate amount of effort.

There is a good range of reclining resistance available to you with...
There is a good range of reclining resistance available to you with the Modway.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Durability


For our third rating metric, we assessed and scored how durable each office chair appeared to be. The Modway delivered a below-average score for this metric.


In addition to rating how well the chair we bought held up to our months of testing, we also took some time to research common issues or reports of frequently damaged parts. We found a handful of people complaining that the fabric had stretched out and another group that noted that the adjustment levers broke or the chair was "falling apart".

The Modway seems about average when it comes to office chair...
The Modway seems about average when it comes to office chair durability.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

We didn't notice any damage on the chair we tested, but we only used it for a few months and it definitely didn't radiate the same sturdiness that the top performers in our test suite displayed. However, that is a bit of a tough standard to meet, as those chairs cost 10 times as much.

Ease of Assembly


The last metric we addressed was the ease of assembly. We paid attention to the quality of the assembly instructions as well as the time it took for us to unbox and built the chair. Like many budget-friendly items, this one scores below average.


It is no surprise that this chair doesn't come fully assembled. You are required to build the entire chair when it arrives. However, this process isn't too much work and can usually be completed in about half an hour following the directions. The directions are somewhat sparse, but the assembly procedure is fairly intuitive.

Value


While the Modway is far from the greatest office chair out there, it's a great option for the price, making it a great value for those shopping on a tight budget.

Conclusion


The Modway is fairly comfortable and offers a decent amount of adjustability. It's one of the least expensive chairs that we would consider sitting in for a full workday, though we definitely would recommend upgrading if you can afford to.

The Modway is one of the best value options out there when shopping...
The Modway is one of the best value options out there when shopping on a tight budget.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Hayley Thomas, David Wise, and Austin Palmer