I Spent A Month Looking For A WFH Office Chair. Here's What I Found

I'm sure many people have been working from home in Malaysia and beyond in the last year or so due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus. I'm one of those people and you probably share the same problem as me —  suffering from bad posture and backaches because there's no proper WFH setup or essentials such as ergonomic chairs, sit stand desk and accessories. 

I've been meaning to get a good chair for myself and I finally got to work last month and spent about four weeks of researching and visiting some office furniture showrooms in the Klang Valley before I decided on this: WILLY 2 HIGH BACK MESH CHAIR.

It's been a mix of fun and frustrating journey before I finally settled on getting this chair so I thought I would document and share it here. 

TL;DR:

  • I got the Willy 2 High Back Mesh Chair after weeks of researching.
  • Most businesses don't put their prices up front. You have to reach out to them to get a quote.
  • If you can, go and test out the chair you want before buying (height and weight considerations, plus other preferences).
  • If you're given a model name/code, try searching for it online. You might be able to get a cheaper option for the same chair.
  • Some popular office furniture showrooms are located in Sungai Buloh area and Puchong. 

What makes a good work chair (if you're on a budget)?

I started by doing some research on what I should look for in a good chair by reading recommendations from Lowyat Forum, Reddit, lists by some portals (but their choices are limited to those they can earn from affiliate listing), among others. There were some standout recommendations from the community - IKEA's Markus office chair which many people say is great but I had some reservations because I read that one of the biggest cons of the chair was that it lacked some adjustability. A friend (about the same height as me) who uses the same chair in her office doesn't recommend it either. At this point, I decided to set a list of criteria about the features I want in this chair that I was about to get:

My ideal work from home chair with the best value should be/have:

  • Mesh chair so I don't have to worry about chair peeling if it's made of leather (or PU leather most times)
  • Adjustable lumbar support
  • Adjustable arm rest 
  • With a high-density foam - for a more solid, firm seat
  • Within the budget range of RM400
Why I was looking for an office chair under RM400 was because I was using a gaming chair as a benchmark. 'Gaming chair' and 'ergonomic' kind of synonymous these days, and I know a few friends and colleagues who have gotten gaming chairs - specifically the TTRacing Duo Racing PC Gaming Chair model - which is still selling for only RM399. It has been dubbed as one of the most affordable and best budget gaming chair, and has gotten some really good reviews but of course you might not want to compare it against brands like Secretlab. 

Where to buy good ergonomic chair in Klang Valley?

With these criteria in mind, I deepen my search. Here comes one of the most frustrating process: A lot of these businesses do not put their prices upfront and you would have to send them a message over Messenger/Email/WhatsApp to get a quote. Granted, they probably do more B2B than B2C but still, it required extra effort on my end to just know the price. Based on the products that I had seen on their website or social media pages, I've reached out to more than a dozen of businesses including: Alterseat, Ambient Concept, Keno Design, Furniture Direct, OfficeEquipment2u (Sykt. Kichong Office Equipment Sdn. Bhd), SIF South Island Furniture Malaysia, Supreme Office Furniture System, WYSEN, Chesters Collection, Benithem, Gozzo Direction, Shelton Mart (Shelton Office), Asiastar Furniture Trading Sdn Bhd, TCT Office System Sdn Bhd, AM Office, iGreen Office Furniture, SAM SM FURNITURE, MYND Furniture... and a few others. I kid you not. Some were quick to respond, some passed me another contact, some didn't even reply. Also, I noticed there are a few popular ones with showrooms located in Sungai Buloh and Puchong. 

It was after this phase that I roughly know what was the price range I was looking at. For the features that I were looking for, I was looking to fork out at least RM380 to RM600 on average - depending on what kind of features I want and can give up.

With the year end, I had a break from work and so I thought I would be more productive in my hunt for the office chair I needed and so I decided to pay a visit to the APEX Office Furniture Exporter Sdn Bhd at their Jalan Ipoh showroom. There was construction going on in the area and it was difficult to find parking on a Friday morning. But at least the showroom was huge and there were at least one dozen of mesh office chairs available for viewing. So it was worth the trip.

After my visit to the APEX showroom, I decided it's a must-have to have a highback office chair as it's just more comfortable. At the showroom, I took some photos and made some mental notes of which models I can consider but wasn't that keen to proceed with an order yet as it was slightly out of what I had budgeted for and I wanted to explore my options. 

Prior to that trip to the APEX showroom, I had contacted one of the reps from Keno Design and he was very responsive. The PIC had sent me his name card with three addresses - the head office in Puchong, Showroom 1 in Puchong and Showroom 2 in Boulevard Business Park at Jalan Kuching saying that I could pay a visit. Following my visit to Apex in Jalan Ipoh, I searched Showroom 2 address and found that it was nearby. Since it was nearby, I thought of making a trip there as well. That proved to be a wrong decision. 

The place was absolutely dodgy. Difficult to find parking but there a basement parking. I had a bad feeling about it but I didn't wanna waste more time going around so I thought of just trying to basement parking. Once I past the entrance to the parking I immediately knew I made a major mistake - plenty of parking except the whole area was smelly, poorly lit and there were water leaks. It was eerie. Escalators were not working too but I braved through everything only to find out that Keno Design had closed down that showroom and they are only operating in Puchong. I was already disgruntled that all the effort was for nothing... and then of course, the autopay machine wasn't working and I had to go to the security guard to ask where I can (begrudgingly) pay for the parking ticket. 


Is it to anyone's surprise that the guard had no clue that the autopay machine wasn't working? But at least he tried to help me out. In the end, I went up and down alone, and finally found the other machine that was working. Finally left that horrifying place after scrambling around for about 25 minutes. Avoid Boulevard Business Park at all cost. I'm not sure how this place got 4 star overall rating out of 65 Google reviews, but I am not the only one who found the basement car park to be utterly creepy. Anyway, I digress. That whole experience and ordeal was a complete turn off and I decided to scratch Keno Design from my list.


I sort of decided on getting the APEX 'Dang' chair (or the cheaper model, 'Easy') because it felt like the quality was really good although the downsides were that it was slightly above my budget and that my feet were dangling a little even at the lowest height. I contacted the general WhatsApp contact and also the sales guy who gave his number to me when I visited the showroom, but the response was rather lacklustre. The latter did not even reply my message after I asked for more details - probably think I'm not a "serious customer". I found another number through the APEX FB page and the latest guy was very responsive and helpful. I was about to proceed but didn't in the end because when I had asked for the price, the prices that he quoted were about RM30 to RM50 more than what was quoted by the two APEX reps earlier and this rep had told me that the waiting time was about 20-30 working days since they were going through a peak period. 

Not too long after, I visited AM Office's branch in Sungai Besi (Dunia Perabot) because I wanted to check out their mesh office chairs especially the XG4553 Mesh Chair Highback Chair which I first saw on Shopee. The chair had gotten some good reviews on the platform. However, to my disappointment, there weren't many models available for viewing and when I tested the XG4553, it didn't felt great when compared to the APEX chairs. I still didn't completely write it off my list because it had the features I want within my budget, and the best of all - AM Office was offering free shipping for it. 

Before the new year, I also went to OfficeEquipment2u (Sykt. Kichong Office Equipment Sdn. Bhd) cause it's in Cheras and not too far away. The lady here was quite helpful and there weren't too many chairs either. During my visit, there weren't many options for mesh chair with adjustable arm rest but the stocks were new and the PIC was kind enough to offer to remove the wrappings and all to let me try them.


I asked for permission to take some pictures for my consideration. Later, I learned that it's available online and sold by others but at a higher price. This won't be too much of a surprise, but basically there are a lot of SMEs selling the same products but they're branded differently and priced differently, of course. 

Take for example, this chair model known as 'LT-NT38(HB)'. It's being sold by Meco Office System, Tetrix, Office Furniture Direct, and Easy DIY Marketing. All at different prices. 

Anyway, January's here. I was seriously contemplating getting any of the models I've tried from AM Office or APEX since I won't have much time to head over to showrooms any time soon. But like the saying goes, you snooze, you lose. Found out that the AM Office XG4553 Mesh Chair Highback Chair price has increased from RM385 to RM415 now (RM30 increase). Seems to be a trend as I discovered from a Lowyat thread that the Alterseat ARV-1810 used to be RM499 in November 2020 (perhaps a promo?) but it was selling at RM549 in December 2020 (RM50 increase). I was also close to getting the APEX Dang (without adjustable armrest) from Shopee/Lazada as there was this seller who was selling it for RM380. But the price was raised to RM430 after the new year. Knowing that you're forking out a bit more money in just a matter of days didn't feel that great. 

I probably have spent too much time on this, for something so small lol. But I must finish what I have started (sorry for dramatising but you know what I mean). I was determined to get a new chair by hook or by crook, especially now that there's increased uncertainty whether there will be movement control order (MCO) or not. Got to make my decision quick and stop overthinking.

So earlier this month, I reached out to Human Art Office System. They were quick to respond and they recommended the Willy 2 High Back Mesh Chair. I asked for an address for their showroom and made by way there over the weekend. I have to admit I was initially a little confused as the address they gave me led me to a shoplot with a signage that reads 'Asiastar Furniture Trading Sdn Bhd'. Anyway, they have quite a few models here (but I think the APEX showroom had more options on display overall) but I still ended up with the Willy 2 anyway, which was (and is at the time of writing) on promotion. It didn't have the adjustable lumbar support feature that I was looking for though, but that's not really a trade-off as during the test, I felt that it was sufficient for my usage. I was told the price for walk-in is actually higher, so here's a tip: do mention that you saw it from their website.

And that's it. I finally placed an order. It's supposed to be ready for collection within 1 week or so. So let's see. 

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