The Soutien OC10 office chair could be a decent addition to your office space, but if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, you'll want to consider other options.
- Adjustable 3D Lumbar Support
- Ergonomic Design
- 4D Adjustable Armrest
- Samhongsa Class 4 Gas Lift
- Breathable Mesh Backrest
- Silent 360 Degree Casters
- Height-Adjustable Headrest
- 12 Month Warranty
- Brand: Flexispot
- Material: Mesh
- Height Adjustable: Yes
- Adjustable Arms: Yes
- Recline: Yes
- Maximum Load Weight: 299.2lbs / 135.71kg
- Good For Shorter People
- Casters Roll Smoothly
- Seat Cushion Comfortable for Extended Use
- Reclines Between 90-135 Degrees
- Lumbar Support Is Difficult to Figure Out
- Armrests Don't Stay Put
- Quality Control Issues
- Pet Hair Magnet
On the Flexispot website, there are 114 four and five-star reviews for its Soutine OC10 ergonomic office chair. Almost all of these reviews speak to the comfort of the Soutine. I’ve spent a little time with this chair, and I can tell you, it is pretty comfortable—to a point. But is it $259 worth of comfortable?
Why Should You Trust My Opinion on Office Chairs?
Like many people, I have a bad back (and knees, and a bum shoulder). But, before becoming a writer for MUO, I spent 18 years in the automotive industry. Eighteen years of kneeling, reaching, lifting, bending, twisting, and generally contorting your body in different ways takes its toll. As a spry teenager, these movements don’t bother you very much. Once you turn 40, though, all bets are off.
That’s terrible news for someone who now makes their living as a writer. These days, I spend most of my time in front of a computer, and my backside doesn’t easily forgive me for it. That's why my work hours must be spent in a chair that won’t leave me in pain.
I’m also short—5-foot-4 on a good day—which means many chairs aren’t designed with me in mind. In hindsight, maybe I should have taken a job at a chocolate factory.
I’ve got old-guy aches and pains despite still being young, so chairs are important to me. That's why, when Flexispot offered to send over their latest ergonomic office chair, I jumped at the chance.
How Is the Soutien Office Chair Different?
Good ergonomic chairs should have adjustable seat height, adjustable width and depth, lumbar support, a backrest, decently padded seat material, armrests, and the ability to swivel. The Soutien has all of these features. This fact is critical if you are planning on comparing the Soutien with other options.
For the lumbar portion, Flexispot built what it calls a 3D, “bionic-engineered” support into the OC10. Essentially, this is a fancy way of saying that the chair has another layer of lumbar support in addition to the backrest. I was curious about that bionic-engineered term, however. Did NASA scientists design it, or was it merely another buzzword?
To quell my curiosity, I reached out to Flexispot customer service to obtain additional documentation on this designation; however, the only information I received implied that the terminology may be more marketing than actual engineering.
This 3D lumbar support system offers three different height adjustments, and customizability is one of the key selling points of this chair. The Soutien also has a 4D armrest. 4D doesn’t mean that the armrest will transport you into the 4th dimension. It means that height, width, and depth can be adjusted, in addition to a three-position armrest angle.
The Soutien comes in two exciting flavors—black and gray—and has a weight capacity of 299.2 lbs (135.71 kg). It also offers 90 to 135 degrees of tilt, controlled via tension knob, an adjustable seat depth, and a one-piece-molded foam seat.
The chair also includes "360-degree silent casters." This feature keeps you from disturbing your coworkers and might even help you sneak up on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your lunchbox.
This Soutien's height adjusts between is 45.7 and 48.4 inches, the maximum width is 27.2 inches from armrest to armrest, and the backrest is 20.5 inches wide at its widest point. The chair uses a five-caster base, and the Soutien's seat height adjusts between 16.9 and 19.7 inches from the floor.
Armrests are height adjustable from 23.6 inches up to 26.4 inches. The seat cushion adjusts forward and backward between 16.1 inches from the lumbar support all the way ahead to 29.1 inches. At the deepest point, the chair measures 23.8 inches from the headrest to the cushion’s frontmost position.
The Soutien also uses “German K&R temperature sensitive fiber fleece mesh” for additional ventilation. I tried to determine what was so great about German fiber fleece mesh over other mesh nationalities but could not find any information on what made this fabric the best choice for this chair. Nor could I find a Martindale or Wyzenbeek rating on it.
What’s in the box?
Inside the Soutien chair package, you’ll find the chair backing, with lumbar support installed, the base, the support strut, the arms, the headrest, a hardware kit, and the casters. You’ll also find a screwdriver and the T-handle Allen wrench needed to fit the mounting hardware. The majority of the components, save for the control box, are made of high-density plastic.
The assembly difficulty rating of this chair was about a three out of ten. It wasn’t hard to do and didn’t take much time. I had the chair together in about 15 minutes. The best part of this assembly was that I didn’t need to break out my toolbox to get everything together.
By including these tools, I think it’s safe to assume that the manufacturer wants the assembly to be easy for most people. Two people would be ideal for getting the chair portion situated on the base, but a single person can do it if required. In my case, I got it together without any help.
The instruction manual for the Soutien also states that you should tighten the chair’s bolts every two months. Most people aren’t going to do this. If you’re one of those people, I would recommend throwing a little Loctite on the bolts.
Who Is the Soutien Office Chair For?
The Soutien is meant primarily for office environments and for commercial workers. Given its price point, you may find it in some home office environments, but the target market seems to be more business-oriented.
A corporation might likely scoff less at the $259 price tag than the average work-from-home freelancer. That said, this chair is handsome enough to add to your at-home computer setup if you have the coin.
A Week With the Soutien Chair
Last week, I replaced my ordinary office chair with the Soutien and got to work. Over the next seven days, I spent countless hours in this chair. I work a lot, and during testing, I occupied the Soutien for 6-8 hours, with regular breaks. I also adjusted the chair to the correct height using the Mayo Clinic’s Office Ergonomic How-to Guide.
This guide suggests a 90-degree elbow position and a knee and hip position that are just shy of 90 degrees. This adjustment led me to probably my favorite feature of the Flexispot OC10—the low seat height. I mentioned earlier that I am a short guy, which means at even the lowest point of most chairs, my feet aren’t flat on the floor.
To combat this, I usually use a padded memory-foam footrest that I picked up on Amazon for about $35. With the Flexispot Soutien, however, I was able to lower the seat so that my feet could sit flat. I was pretty giddy about this development.
I could also adjust the neck rest’s height to fit the natural curve in my neck. As a result, when I am using my computer, I can lean back, and my head and neck are fully supported.
I find this position comfortable, and I’d be lying if I told you that I hadn't nodded off a few times while in this position. It’s good that short naps have been shown to increase performance and alertness during the workday.
Overall, I found the Soutien chair pretty comfortable, though I have some reservations about this chair’s long-term use in my home office.
What We Love About the Soutien OC10 Office Chair
I love the height of this chair. I think that it is great for shorter people. If you’re looking for an office chair that will suit your short stature, then you will like the Soutien.
I also appreciate the lumbar support with a single caveat—I found the lumbar pad’s adjustment unruly. This pad articulates vertically along the chair’s back and uses a detent system to secure the height. The pad descends by lifting it, clearing the detents, and allows the pad to lower. But, these detents are challenging to dial in.
The pad kept skipping the topmost detent on the initial adjustment and would instead move into the “descend” position. I found the best way to adjust the pad was to sit in the chair and gently lift the pad through the detents. By doing so, I found that I could finally take advantage of all three positions.
The padded cushion is just the proper density for my comfort. I like a chair on the medium to medium-hard side, and this is about where the padding lies. If you’re looking for a more memory-foam style seat, then this is not the chair for you.
I also have a love/hate relationship with the adjustable armrests. As a short person, it’s always hard to get into the correct ergonomic posture. Usually, my arms or legs are too short, and I have to find a way to accept my discomfort. With the armrests, I can adjust them so that they fit my arms at the correct angle.
So, why the love/hate? Well, this has to do with the adjustment of the armrests—more on that in a moment.
Finally, I like that you can adjust the tension in the back of the chair. If you want to relax a bit, just lower the tension. Additionally, if you wish to disable the tilt function altogether, it can be accomplished by twisting the knob on the underside of the chair’s left portion. This is great for video meetings when your camera is on, and you should be paying attention.
What’s Not to Love?
For all the armrests offer in accommodation, they lack a lot in overall practicality. The adjustable width function amounts to a plasticky sliding that doesn’t stay put. This means if you decrease the width of the armrest, a little leaning will revert the armrest to its original position. This isn’t the end of the world.
What’s more annoying, however, is the fact that on my demo model, the right armrest is a whole 1/4 inch lower than the left armrest at every position. At first, I thought this might be an error I made when putting the Soutien together. So I removed both of the armrests and reinstalled them, paying careful attention to positioning and torque. Regardless of my efforts, the armrests still showed this 1/4 inch variance.
I have to assume that Flexispot oversaw every aspect of quality control because this is a demo model. To me, that means that this chair is a representation of the best quality across the entire line. While 1/4 inch isn’t a huge difference, it is a noticeable difference. The armrests are also too firm for my tastes. Though this is subjective, and many people might appreciate a firmer armrest.
Overall, these issues make the armrests feel cheap. The strange detent for the lumbar pad adds to this feeling. The only non-cheap-feeling adjustable component of the chair is the headrest.
In general, the moveable parts of this ergonomic chair gave me a bit of pause. Given the number of positive reviews on the Flexispot website, I expected a bit more quality.
Should You Buy the Soutien OC10 Office Chair?
If you’re looking for a mid-tier mesh office chair that will provide some ergonomic benefit, then the Soutien fulfills its purpose, though it does so without much fanfare. While it wouldn’t be my first choice, it might get an honorable mention.
I like the height, and I think the chair is best for short people like myself. But the quality control issues and the cheap armrests make this chair feel a bit over-priced. In fact, you can find similarly featured ergonomic chairs on Amazon for around $200.
However, if the Soutien's aesthetic aspects appeal to you, then the price might not be hard to swallow. If you fall in love at first sight with this office chair, then you’ll want to try it out for yourself.
Flexispot offers a free 30-day return policy if you purchase directly from its website to help with this. If you’re interested in going this route, I would suggest saving the packaging as a restocking fee will apply if the chair is not in “like new” condition.
Overall, the Soutien OC10 office chair could be a decent addition to your office space, but if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, then you’ll want to consider other options.
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