Mesh vs Fabric – What’s the Best Office Chair Material?.

It’s the battle of the office chairs! In the blue corner, weighing 20 kilograms and covered in artificial leather, the reigning heavyweight champion of the office, it’s the fabric-covered chair!  And in the red corner, weighing a touch over ten kilos and wrapped in the finest modern mesh – it’s the new contender, the mesh-covered chair!

When it comes time for these two office heavyweights to battle it out, who will reign supreme?

In this article, we’ll compare two of the most popular office chair types, mesh and fabric covered. We’ll list the pros and cons of each as well as some interesting features you may have not considered. After reading, you’ll know exactly which chair is the best choice for your office.

Comparing Mesh Chairs Against Fabric Chairs

When it comes to deciding which office chair is right for you, there are a couple of things that you need to take into consideration. Below we’ll discuss some of the factors that differ between chair types and how each is suited for a different purpose.


Generally speaking, mesh chairs will weigh less than their fabric counterparts. This amount is often negligible as most of a chair’s weight comes from the castors and seat mechanism.

For example, the mesh-covered Scroll Meeting Room Chair weighs 12kgs while the Eurotex PU upholstered Metro Meeting Chair comes in at 17kgs.  Of course, we can find examples of lightweight fabric chairs like the Evo as well as bulky mesh chairs like the Balance Executive Chair.


One of the biggest advantages mesh-covered chairs enjoy is increased breathability. By its very nature, mesh allows airflow in and through the material. As a result, it also reduces the likelihood of you showing off some unsightly perspiration patches. This results in a more comfortable user experience, especially in warmer temperatures.


After a few years of heavy use, even the highest quality office chairs will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Upholstering can split and fabric can stain or degrade. Mesh coverings on your favourite office chair can begin to fray. Fortunately, if you’re the owner of fabric or upholstered office chairs, repairs are generally easy and affordable. A specific section can be removed, reupholstered and readded without damaging the rest of the chair.  Cushioning can even be replaced at the same time.

The same can’t be said for mesh-covered chairs.  As the mesh is generally one piece of material and cut exactly to fit the frame, repairs aren’t really economical.


Price is another factor that can vary greatly depending on the individual item. As a general rule, the average mesh chair will be cheaper than its fabric equivalent, however, here are some notable exceptions. 

For instance, if you want one of the iconic mesh-covered Aeron chairs made famous by Herman Miller, it’s going to set you back around $2500. For the same price, you could buy at least 10 of the mesh-covered Optic Task Chairs from OLG.

While everyone loveIt’s the same with fabric-covered chairs. You can spend more than $400 on high-end upholstery like with the Mode Meeting Chair, or you can opt for a more budget-conscious option with the Evo.

Style & Aesthetics

While there’s no accounting for personal taste, mesh chairs are favoured by designers and interior decorators for their clean, minimalist look. On the other hand, fabric-covered chairs are considered timeless and are often utilized in executive offices, meeting rooms and boardrooms.

Something for Everyone

While there are many differences between mesh-covered and upholstered chairs, both products perform well in office environments. Your choice will essentially come down to aesthetic and personal choices.

We’re Only a Phone Call Away

If you’re trying to find the best type of chair for your office, please give us a call at 02 8188 2732 so we can discuss some options. Want to keep reading? Find out what’s new with OLG or head over to the OLG Learning Centre to explore a curated archive full of educational articles and industry content, all completely free to use.

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Still not convinced?

These are just some of the reasons OLG is the preferred office furniture supplier for so many Australian resellers. If you need help choosing the best furniture wholesaler for your business needs, feel free to drop us an email at info@olgoffice.com or give us a call on (02) 8188 2732.