(Note: This chair has been discontinued from the main Autonomous website. We recommend you checkout our most recent list of chairs to consider.)
If you’re on Reddit looking for a desk chair, you’ll see posts about the ErgoChair 2.
Some people loved it; others raged about customer service.
In fact posts about the chair and its online retailer Autonomous were becoming so frequent that some Reddit users banned discussions about it. That’s censorship!
We fully support Reddit users’ ability to moderate their feeds – especially if they keep their meme games as strong as r/wallstreetbets.
Anyways, what’s the ErgoChair 2 actually like?
Is customer service at Autonomous actually bad?
Are the ratings on their website real or moderated? (spoiler: almost certainly moderated)
So, we just bought the chair. After all, we needed a new desk chair anyways.
Here’s what we learned.
- Optional and comfortable headrest
- You have the breathability of a mesh back with the firm and durable support of a cushioned seat
- Mesh back supported right out-of-the-box by an independently adjustable and built-in lumbar pillow
- Six different sleek color options
- 14 different chair adjustment options – which is incredible!
- These 14 different adjustment options include the somewhat uncommon option of being able to tilt the angle of the seat forward. This allows you you execute one of the three main “home base” work positions to help keep your spine in an appropriate position without overusing your muscles
Bottom Line: The ErgoChair 2 has fantastic features that will compete with the best chairs you’ll find.
- Headrest: angle and height adjustable + easily removed
- Backrest: fully reclines and the angle can be separately adjusted and locked in an optimal position
- Backrest tension control: literally the easiest to adjust we’ve ever seen, you decide how much pressure it takes to make the chair recline
- Armrests: forward/back, side-to-side, and up-down
- Lumbar support: adjusts up/down
- Seat: the tilt is adjustable and be locked in place at a forwards angle, backwards angle, or flat. The seat pan also slides forward/backward so you choose how close you to sit to the back of the chair
- Chair Height: the whole chair adjusts up/down from 17.75 inches to 20 inches
Bottom Line: The ErgoChair 2 has more adjustment capabilities than almost any other chair
How It Feels
- Headrest feels great, but be careful not to allow it to push you into poor posture.
- We love the breathability of the mesh back but we do think you give up a little bit in uniform support. If this concerns you, we highly recommend the Alera Wrigley for more uniform support. (you can check out our review of that chair here)
- Lumbar support is solid but, if you’re taller than around 5’10, then you are gonna want either a supplemental lumbar support or a different chair. Why? Well, the lumbar support probably won’t adjust high enough for you.
- Armrests feels awesome and the 3-dimensional adjustability is key. Also the sheer width of the armrest really ensures that your shoulders can rest.
- We liked the seat cushion. The textured fabric feels like it breathes a bit better than some other seat cushions we’ve tried. Also FYI — we don’t like mesh seats much as cushion seats because mesh tends to stretch over time. This is true even with high quality mesh seats like those on Herman Miller chairs. It’s supportive, which is good for back health, but it has enough padding to put you at ease. Disclaimer about the cushion: if you are close to the weight limit (i.e. 325lbs), we really don’t know how you’ll feel about the cushion. None of us weigh that much. You might want to check out the OFM Task Chair if you’re in a heavier weight category. It’s very sturdy and even the upholstery is built to last.
- If you care about your back health, we don’t recommend reclining in your office chair for prolonged periods of time. But man it feels good from time to time! And the full recline on the ErgoChair 2 is super smooth + adjusting the tension of the recline is super easy. Good luck finding another chair where the tension control is easily accessible on the side like this. We love it and it feels great.
Bottom Line: This chair will get you comfortable. However, if you are taller than 5’10 then we recommend that you consider the Alera Wrigley because its backrest, lumbar support, and chair height all can be better adjusted for taller individuals.
We can pretty much guarantee you won’t find another chair with as many features or adjustment capabilities for less than $500.
Plus, the ErgoChair 2 nails the aesthetics with its sleek and modern look.
If you simply want the most optimal value for what you are paying, we do think the Alera Wrigley desk chair is the winner. But, if you’d like a headrest, more easily adjustable tension control, mesh backrest, and full recline option — then we challenge you to find an equivalent chair at this price point.
Bottom Line: At approximately $370, there are cheaper alternatives but this chair definitely punches above its price category in regards to features, adjustments, and aesthetics.
This product isn’t available directly from Amazon but it was still super easy to purchase. (update 8/12: Autonomous products are now available on Amazon) Their website was easy to navigate and use. End of story.
Bottom Line: You won’t have a problem ordering the chair.
Shipping was also great. We ordered the chair and received it to our front door in less than 72 hours. Wow.
Bottom Line: No Amazon, no problem…ease of ordering and speed of delivery were both amazing. (update 8/12: Autonomous products are now available on Amazon)
We’ve read pretty critical reviews of the product quality of the ErgoChair 2. However, we didn’t feel like most of that criticism was well-warranted. The fabric and surfaces of the chair all have a solid feel/look. The chair isn’t a luxury chair — but we also don’t think luxury chairs are worth it.
So, in short, we didn’t see any intrinsic issues with the quality and we actually liked the look/feel of the chair.
But, the chair that was sent to us with two defects (both were promptly solved, see our next comments under Customer Service):
- A small metal washer for one of the wheels was missing. This was a very minor issue that basically didn’t matter as long as you weren’t carrying the chair.
- The headrest support bar was broken.
However, we aren’t gonna knock Autonomous much for product quality just based on these two issues.
A customer service representative told us that in 8 months at the company she had never seen anyone have the issues we reported. She also said it’s rare for customers to report defects with the ErgoChair 2 — most defects are with the other models, like the Kinn. So, we think the two issues we encountered were anomalies.
We also think that the chair’s weight capacity speaks to its quality. At 350lbs, the weight capacity is about as high as you will find for chairs that aren’t explicitly in the Big & Tall category and it is the same as the very upscale – but we think overrated – Herman Miller Aeron.
Finally, the ErgoChair 2 does come with a solid 2 year warranty on all component parts, excluding normal wear and tear on the fabric. We would have loved to have seen that be 5 years; but 2 years is still solid.
Bottom Line: The ErgoChair 2’s quality is not luxury but solid + supported by its warranty and high manufacturer weight capacity.
Whenever a product has only a few or zero Amazon reviews, we have to always take the other online ratings with a grain of salt. Are the ratings outside of Amazon censored/filtered? Do they truly represent what people are rating the product?
We definitely think that you should take the ErgoChair 2 ratings on the Autonomous site with a grain of salt. We thought the chair was great. But there is no possible way that they’ve received zero 1-star reviews across thousands of ratings. No product in the world makes people that happy.
Also — the last 2-star rating was in July 2019 but the most recent 5-star rating was in November and the most recent reviews are from several months ago.
At the very least, they don’t post their ratings automatically or in real-time.
Bottom Line: There are many 5-star reviews written by real people –but some level of curation must be happening for the ratings on the Autonomous website.
We’ve seen a good number of complaints online about customer service at Autonomous. But we think they are either unfounded or outdated. Or perhaps the complaints are referring to their email or online chat responsiveness — our customer service rep did say that their inbox was very full, as this company has really blown up this past year.
Regardless, Autonomous resolved our issues promptly over the phone and sent replacement parts free of charge. Also – the agent we talked to said she was based in California and her perfect English backed that up.
So. what actually happened when we talked with customer service? As we noted above, we had two issues with the chair that was shipped to us. One was very minor – a wheel was missing a small metal washer – and we didn’t care too much about the other issue, a cracked headrest support bar, because we don’t plan to use the headrest.
But, we thought it would be good to test their customer service. So, we decided to try both a phone call and a webchat to see which would be faster. We were calling from US Eastern Time.
- 6:40 PM: was told that all agents are busy and that our position in queue was #37. Not great.
- 6:48: moved up to #32 in their queue.
- 7:04: stopped chatting because someone answered our phone call.
- 6:45 PM: called and was put on hold.
- NOTE: their phone hours are 8am to 5pm Pacific Time. We are located in Eastern Time — so we were calling during their hours of operation.
- Spoke with a rep at 7:04 and told her the issues we encountered.
- 7:06 PM: while still on the phone with us, an agent sent us an email and requested that we respond with photos.
- 7;08 PM: I submitted photos along with a brief response explaining the issue: “Please see the attached photos of the wheel caster which is missing a metal washer in the notched area to secure it to the base and the plastic bar at the top of the chair which is broken. “
- 7:14 PM: the agent submitted an order for replacement parts while still on the phone with us (free of charge).
- 6 days later → FedEx tracking number for the replacement parts was sent via email. Autonomous was delayed in processing mailing the parts; but they did select fast, 2-day shipping once they put the parts in the mail. We think it’s fair to assume that these were simply delays due to COVID and their explosive growth.
- 2 days later → received free replacement parts a total of 8 days after initial call.
Ultimately, we waited on hold over the phone for about 20 mins. That’s pretty normal for calling a large (and fast-growing) company about a damaged/defective product. So, not bad.
But, even better, our customer service rep resolved our problem easily, quickly, and free of charge as soon as we spoke to someone. And the slight delays in the shipping of the replacement parts were understandable given COVID and the delays they were facing due to their explosive growth.
Bottom Line: Our customer service experience was very good – but you should call rather than webchat.
In conclusion, here’s a summary of our experience buying the ErgoChair 2.
- Features: Great features that match any other chair on the market.
- Adjustments: good luck finding another chair with more adjustments.
- How It Feels: you’ll get comfortable — but, if you are above 5’10, it might be tougher and you should try the Alera Wrigley.
- Price: at around $370, this chair punches above its price in terms of features and quality. Good luck finding another chair that has all the same features but is priced lower.
- Ordering: Ordering is a piece of cake at the Autonomous website — you won’t have any issues.
- Shipping: we received the chair in less than 72 hours. No Amazon, no problem. (update 8/12: Autonomous products are now available on Amazon)
- Product Quality: we’ve read concerns online about this but we think the quality is solid. The two issues we faced were, we believe, aberrations. It’s not made from as high quality materials as luxury brands like the Herman Miller. But, on the flip side, this keeps the chair from being heavy as lead and the 350lb weight limit + 2 year warranty on all component parts speak for themselves.
- Online Ratings: almost certainly curated but, even still, there are a lot of 5-star reviews that we think are genuine.
- Customer Service: this was the #1 concern we saw online about purchasing something from Autonomous. Well, we feel happy to report that our customer service experience when we faced two issues with the chair we received was solid: they resolved things while we were on the phone and did so at no charge. But, one tip: try using their webchat instead of calling because they are a busy, growing company.
Click here to see our other Best Desk Chairs of 2021.