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The Steelcase Siento Chair

an independently commissioned review   |   see all reviews


Steelcase Siento Chair Review Independent Overall Rating: 4 of 10      [ how this works ]
4 out of 10 Stars

Price Range: Mid-Back ($1799.00) and Executive ($1999.00)

PROS:
The Siento comes from a very good company, and the warranty, environmental standards, and pedigree of the chair all get very high marks.

CONS:
Almost everything else about the chair is a con. It's average when it comes to comfort, and below average when it comes to performance, style, design, and overall impression. The chair has little to recommend it aside from it's parentage.

OVERALL RATING:
The Siento is a below average chair. This rating might be lower if not for the pedigree and environmental attractiveness the chair can boast. We cannot recommend purchasing a $2,000 dollar chair with no productivity advantage, no design prowess, no style, and limited comfort. It is not particularly impressive as an executive chair, and certainly not practical for regular office use.

 

PRODUCT REVIEW


FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Siento Chair, made by Steelcase, is advertised as an executive chair, made to look impressive and convey authority and confidence. The leather-wrapped seating, the fixed armrests, and the tall-back variations of the chair do a good job calling to mind other, more successful chairs of its ilk. However, the proof is not exactly in the pudding. While the Siento is well made and the materials are good, the chair itself does not perform to the level it's advertising and it's price tag would indicate. The recline feature of the chair, which is advertised as being adjustable as far as resistance or tension goes, is. However, the adjustment doesn't go far enough. You can't adjust it to be totally stiff, or even to limit the angle of recline; you can only set it to be more difficult to recline fully. Another touted aspect of the chair is comfort, which, to be fair, is only so-so. The chair is undeniably comfortable in a limited sense, but not nearly as comfortable as several other Steelcase products. That wouldn't be such a problem if the Siento didn't cost two or three times as much as those chairs. The look of the chair was clearly inspired by the standard leather, tall-back executive chairs of the past. But the Siento doesn't have the aesthetic sense to quite pull it off. The chair looks blocky, somewhat angular. The overall impression conveys knock-off rather than genuine article. Of course, these criticisms of the chair are highly correlated to advertising claims and cost; if the chair were modestly priced and modestly advertised, it would probably rate about a 5, average for an office chair. However, when reality intrudes on the analysis, the chair suffers.
THE 'X' FACTOR
The high-backed version of the Siento is a bit of an X factor. The version I used was short-backed, and lacked the headrest and slightly more impressive profile that the high-backed version possesses.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Siento is a below average chair, and the asking price is astronomical. We do not recommend this chair for use in an office setting.

 

PRODUCT RATINGS


COMFORT / ERGONOMICS: 5 of 10
5 out of 10 Stars
The Siento is average in terms of comfort. The leather wrapping of the chair is soft, but the foamy padding underneath is not as luxurious. The armrests are made from a sort of hardened foam that is also average in terms of comfort. The backing of the chair, which reclines whenever weight is put on it, can become a nuisance, and decreased this rating. The seat of the chair is also slightly too short; it doesn't extend from the joint of the back and seat far enough. The effect of that design flaw is that you have to sit "back" in the seat, and that dictates your posture. I never had to get up from the chair to stretch or ease strain on my muscles, and that gave it a boost. The seat has been designed to fall off at the edge, relieving stress and easing circulation; this was effective.
DESIGN: 4 of 10
4 out of 10 Stars
The adjustable recline tension in the Siento is probably it's most notable design feature, and it is a failure. The tension can indeed by adjusted, but it can't be adjusted well. That is to say, if you want no recline at all in this chair, your only option is to sit up and not put any weight on the backing; for no matter how far you twist the knob controlling the tension, it can't be made rigid enough to change the angle of recline. Another design feature is the seat edge, which has been rounded to "fall off" at the edge and relieve pressure on the backs of users' thighs. This design feature worked well, as I never felt a need to get up and down while using the chair, never felt the need to stretch or "wake up" my legs. The backing of the chair, when you buy the tall-back version, features a small pad for resting the head, and this is a handsome adjustment that improves the aesthetic of the chair. The short-backed version lacks this kind of feature.
STYLE: 4 of 10
4 out of 10 Stars
The style of the Siento recalls a knock-off of a much finer executive chair. There is very little imagination in the design, which is plain, blocky and angular at ever juncture. The leather of the chair is soft but dull, and the leather has no real character or sheen. The black hard-foam armrests and metallic arms are in dispute with the traditional leather of the seat itself, and that creates another aesthetic minus. All in all, it's a chair of little originality and no flair, and the style is nothing to speak of.
QUALITY / CRAFTSMANSHIP / PEDIGREE: 8 of 10
8 out of 10 Stars
Steelcase is a furniture giant, operating across the globe with an excellent reputation. They are responsible for Leap Chair, the award winning office chair, as well as the Think and Siento Chairs. Steelcase has plants across the globe, including in America, and they maintain high environmental standards and practices. Their furniture, storage solutions and design have won countless awards and fans.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: 9 of 10
9 out of 10 Stars
The Siento Chair gets it's highest marks for it's relationship with it's maker, rather than for any one feature of it's own. Here again, Steelcase improves the rating of this chair by being a very sound environmental company, and for making the chair over 90 percent recyclable. Siento is also SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certified for indoor air quality.
PERFORMANCE: 3 of 10
3 out of 10 Stars
The chair has no features which increase or aid in productivity, aside from the rounded edge of the chair (which prevents loss of circulation). The faulty recline system of the chair actually has the capacity to take away from production, due to it's intractability and low-level annoyance.
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