Seat Pan --- One of the 8 Major Parts of Office Chairs

The seat pan is one of the chair parts, which has the most contact with the human body. We are going to introduce it from its material, classification and functions:

1. Material

Mesh, cloth, and leather are the three common materials for the seat pan covers.

It is recommended to use mesh or cowhide. Because the cloth is easy to get dirty and breed bacteria. While the synthetic leather is not breathable. The mesh is breathable and comfortable and the cowhide is soft and relatively breathable. Therefore, the mesh and cowhide are recommended.

The cloth and leather seats are with a sponge cushion inside. Sponge cushions are more applicable than mesh cushions, but mesh cushions are more fashionable.

For more details about the cushions, you can read “One Contest Between Office Chairs: Mesh Cushion VS Sponge Cushion“.


Plastic seat pan


Curved wooden seat pan


Hollow seat pan

2. Classification

According to the structure of the seat, there are hollow type, plastic type and curved wood type.

The hollow one has only a frame supporting the mesh, with an ethereal shape. It’s comfortable and breathable but expensive.

The seat pan of the plastic type uses engineering plastics. And it generally corresponding to the high-end, with relatively many functions. 

While the curved wood one is curved wood (plywood). The plastic type is the same as the curved wood type. The top of the seat pan is foam covered with cloth or leather. Some have a silk cotton interlayer between the foam and covers. Seat pans of such can quickly rebound, reduce friction and prolong service life.

While the low-end chairs or most leather chairs have a curved wooden board. The large manufacturers generally have few problems in the environmental protection and craftsmanship. But the small manufacturers have more problems like peculiar smell, stubble, excessive harmful substances, etc. Most of the low-priced chairs on the market are made of curved wood. And we can know from the bottom of the seat. The curved wooden board is exposed or covered with a layer of cloth. There is a distinguishing technique. If a circle of nails is punched around the bottom of the seat pan, as shown in the picture, its inside basically is a curved wooden board.


3. Function

Front and rear adjustment

Knowing “ The Different Types of Tilt Mechanisms” , we can understand more about the other important part to realize this function.

The front and rear adjustment enables the seat depth to be adjusted. For example, if the seat depth increases, when a person sits in, it will increase the contact surface of the hips, thighs and the seat of the chair. Then, it further disperse the pressure, reduce the feeling of oppression, and promote blood flow.

As shown in the figure, there are seat pans of back-to-back type and forward seat type. It depends on which kind of tilt mechanism ( How to Distinguish the 5 Types of Office Chair Tilt Mechanisms )is used.


Angle tilt function 

A shown in the figure, it is convenient for you to change your sitting posture and adjust the area of force on the hips and thighs. This is very meaningful in actual use.

The difference in the length of the human calf is relatively large. Sometimes it is difficult to meet the needs only by adjusting the height with a gas cylinder. What’s more, the postures of the legs when sitting and standing are very different, like curling up, standing, and straightening, even the legs of girls are twisted, and the men’s legs are tilted. With this feature, there are more choices and more comfort. The petite body does not need to consider this function. Because the front of the seat almost has a natural slope, and adding another slope can easily slip.



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