When I first started in sales at The Century House almost 10 years ago, customers would often stroll into the store, pause, and then scan over our large Stressless Gallery. I would often get the question, “How many Stressless chairs are there to choose from?” My honest response was, “About 30 when you include all of the style and size options that are available.” Maybe I should have had a better answer, since my response was sometimes overwhelming to the person I was helping.
Since that time, Stressless has introduced a number of new styles and options to their collection. The total possible number of options has gone from about 30 chairs to more than 60 chair configurations. This can seem very overwhelming at first. Here is the good news – once you understand the options and how to evaluate what works for you and what doesn’t, you will be able to narrow down the selection to your two or three favorite chairs in very little time.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to selecting the right Stressless Chair for yourself. However, I hope the insight provided below helps you to wrap your mind around the key factors to consider when you go shopping. Hopefully, it makes that first visit to shop for Stressless Chairs a lot less stressfull.
Understanding the Size Options
Except for a few exceptions, each style of Stressless Chair is now available in small, medium and large. This degree of customization is unique and extremely important. Achieving the right fit is essential if you want a chair that will provide outstanding support and comfort. A common question we get looks like this, “I’m 5’8″. Which size chair do I need?” I wish it were that simple, but there is no size chart. While we can often make a good guess about which size chair will make the best fit for a particular person, there are many factors involved.
So, what are the factors? Body type, length of your torso and personal preferences are the biggest ones. After years of helping customers select Stressless Chairs and hearing feedback afterwards, I feel confident stating that the placement of lumbar support and neck/head support should be the most important factor when selecting a chair size. Since the depth of the seat and the height of the back change with each size (as does the width of the chair), the placement of support changes from one size chair to another.
When you are testing a chair, close your eyes and focus on how your back and neck feel. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel supported? Try sitting upright and in a reclined position. Think about what you will do in the chair, such as watching TV or reading, and try those activities in the chair if possible. Always try the size larger and/or smaller for the sake of comparison (even if you feel 100% confident you know your size).
Ask an experienced sales person for help too. After working with these chairs for a few years, I was able to point out differences in the fit and support to customers while they sat in the chairs, which helped during the selection process. Here’s a little tip – have someone look at you while you’re sitting in a Stressless Chair. Your eyes should be approximately at the same level as the top of the chair. So, the top of your head should be a few inches above the very top of the chair back.
So Many Chair Styles!
Yes, there are so many styles to choose from! Here’s what you need to know–each style has a unique mold that is used to shape the foam. So, as each style will actually feel different. The level of cushioning varies from one chair style to another as well. You may find drastic differences in comfort from one chair style to another. Make sure you take off your jacket, take a seat and compare at least a few different styles of Stressless chairs.
A feature that is available on some chairs (but not all) is the height adjustable headrest. For taller folks in particular, this feature can be necessary, as it allows you to increase the height of the chair back. Also, some chairs run shorter in the back while some run taller in the back. Some are wider and some are narrower. It is actually possible that a medium is the right fit for you in one chair style, while the large is the right fit in another.
So, keep in mind that looks are not the only consideration when selecting a chair style. Try to keep an open mind and remember that the covering, base style and wood stain are customizable on every Stressless chair style. So, if you don’t like how a particular style looks in the bright purple leather, don’t let it stop you from taking a seat and giving the chair some consideration.
Three Smart Base Options
Classic, Signature and LegComfort. These are the three most popular base options. Classic has been around for many years. The newer Signature and LegComfort introductions provide exciting new features that weren’t available in the past. Below is an explanation of what each base has to offer.
The Classic Base is a clean, Scandinavian look that has been around for decades. It is the least expensive option, but it doesn’t not allow any extra movement (such as rocking). However, it does swivel and the footrest pivots to provide angle adjustment.
The Signature Base option has super sleek polished aluminum accents that will pair beautifully with your selected wood finish. In addition to its good looks, it has a fancy mechanism that allows you to rock slightly and swivel effortlessly. The mechanism also allows for a slightly deeper recline. I personally find an extra level of relaxation because of the rocking movement and deeper recline.
You may notice that the arm height is a bit higher on chairs with the Signature base. For some, this adds some additional support and comfort. The arms are also slightly angled. The seat height is a bit higher as well.
If you don’t have room for a footstool in your space, the new LegComfort is a great option! This base has an integrated footrest that is controlled by discreet touch buttons on the side of the seat. The buttons control the footrest, while the backrest is still controlled by the push of your body weight. This all-in-one design can be a great option for some. One drawback is that you cannot adjust the length of the footrest. (When the footrest is separate, you can control the length by moving it closer or further away from the chair.)
Please note: The LegComfort base is only available on Medium and Large size chairs.
A note about seat height: Some find that the seat height of some of these chairs feels a little too low. If you have trouble standing up from a sitting position or your knees seem high in relation to your hips, then consider raising the height of the chair. The Classic base has an optional Elevator Ring that is designed to solve this problem and the Signature Base has an optional height extension available as well.
Additional Base Options
If the Classic, Signature and LegComfort bases aren’t quite what you’re looking for, there are a couple of additional options. The Stressless Office base allows you to bring the comfort of Stressless to your work space. A 5-star base offers a more simple, contemporary look. Styles with a 5-star base are also available as low back chairs. We especially like grouping these together to create cozy and casual areas for visiting with family and friends.
The Final Touches
Once you have spent an adequate amount of time trying different sizes, styles and base options, and you feel you have found “the one”, then it is time for the fun part! I’m referring to the part when you get to look at leathers, fabrics and wood stains. This is the next phase of the process and will be discussed later in a blog post focused on Stressless material options.
While you’re searching for the right Stressless Chair, take the time to try out different options. Bring a book or an iPad so you can really spend some time sitting. And if you feel overwhelmed, ask a friendly salesperson for help. You can get started by viewing all of the Stressless Chairs or learning more about Stressless Furniture. Contact us to chat more about these exceptional chairs.