Mesh vs Cushion Chairs

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Updated December 7, 2022

If you are shopping around for a new seat, you are likely comparing mesh vs cushion chairs. Some of the best office chairs, after all, feature one of these two types of materials. Keep reading to learn all about the differences between the two chair types.


  • A mesh chair tends to be more breathable, and therefore cooler, than a cushioned chair made from Memory Foam or another type of office chair.
  • Cushioned chairs may be more immediately comfortable no matter the body weight, but could lack certain ergonomic adjustment options.
  • Both chairs face specific difficulties when it comes to the cleaning process.

Differences Between Mesh Chairs and Cushion Chairs

The primary difference between these two types of chairs is that mesh chairs feature mesh surrounding the exterior, with no cushioning to speak of, while cushioned chairs boast large and comfortable cushions to support the posterior and the back. Other differences will be subtle, such as when you are comparing mesh office chairs vs fabric office chairs or mesh vs leather office chairs. Also, don’t forget that there are other upholstered chairs you can check out, like the best wooden office chairs.

For a look at comparisons between brands, check out our article on Ikea Markus vs Flintan. Now, here are some contrasts between mesh office chairs and cushion office chairs.

Insider Tip

You may need to cycle through several external cushions to find the right one for your body.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Cushioned chairs will be more immediately comfortable, so will likely be best for short use sessions. However, heavily cushioned seats tend to lack some of the ergonomic adjustment features found with mesh chairs, as mesh chairs are often ergonomic office chairs. If you are sitting in a chair for eight hours or more every single day, you should always go for an ergonomic chair like some of the best computer chairs for long hours, no matter if you are comparing a mat vs wheels for a hardwood floor office chair or not. In short, you’ll want to learn how to choose the best office chair with back support.


Mesh is purpose-built to allow for superior breathability during use. This comes in extremely handy during hot days with no air conditioning, as the added breathability will ensure you stay cool as you sit on the chair. Cushioned chairs have no room for the kinds of porous openings that allow for breathability. In other words, if you typically sit in a humid or hot room, go for the mesh chair. Your sweat-free back will thank you. And if you want the best of both worlds, you can read our Amazon Basics mid-back mesh chair review or our Flash Furniture mid-back black mesh ergonomic drafting chair review, both of which have a mesh back and cushioned seat. Or, if you like the choice of many colors, check out the BestOffice ergonomic mesh chair.


This is essentially a draw. Cushion chairs can stain easily if you aren’t careful, but as long as you follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, you should be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. Mesh chairs, on the other, resist stains of all kinds, as they are usually made from synthetic materials of some kind. However, they can be difficult to deep-clean, thanks to the numerous minuscule holes running throughout. Both types of chairs are not too difficult to keep clean, as long as you perform due diligence. Another material that is easy to clean is leather, as most can be wiped clean. You can read our Modway Prim ribbed armless mid-back swivel conference office chair review for a leather chair option.


Leather vs mesh office chairs, which is best for your back?

A mesh chair should offer more adjustment options than leather office chairs, even an executive chair. Also, leather tends to increase body heat.

What colors do mesh office chairs come in?

You can buy a mesh chair in just about any color imaginable and the same cannot be said for leather office chairs and other types of office chairs.

What about other types of office chairs?

There are many types of office chairs out there, including leather office chairs, memory foam chairs, and more.

STAT: Mesh chairs are very easy for maintenance and are very lightweight. (source)

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