The HOMPO Modern Designs Ergonomic Office Chair was kindly provided to me by GMEX Trading free of charge in exchange for a fair and unbiased review on Amazon.co.uk. No additional compensation was given in exchange for posting this article on my blog.
The HOMPO Modern Designs Ergonomic Office Chair is available in the UK from GMEX Trading on Amazon.co.uk at a cost of £82.95 with free P&P. (Prices correct at time of posting).
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PACKAGING & CONTENTS.
The HOMPO Modern Designs Ergonomic Office Chair is supplied in a very large and rather cardboard box. The markings on the box imply the gross weight of the package is 17kg which doesn’t sound like much, but given the size of the box it just feels heavier. Thankfully the box contains no staples to secure it, so feel free to drag it along the floor to your desired setup location.
One other small point regarding my package is that a small piece of metal wrapped in a cellular foam padding had punched through one of the sides of the box and was protruding out of the side. This turned out to be a metal retainer on the bottom edge of the backrest that is used to secure a gas piston that controls the backrest recliner. I am glad to say it had not suffered as a result of being unprotected from the box, although clearly some additional protection is required.
Inside the box the seat base, backrest and arms are all preassembled, and the gas piston that controls the backrest recliner is also attached to the underside of the seat base (further assembly of the recliner mechanism is required which I will go into in due course). The main chair is wrapped in a single layer of bubble wrap and a single thin layer of cardboard separate the chair from the remainder of the box contents.
Behind this layer of cardboard is a small box containing various nuts, bolts, bolt caps, an Allen key and the main chair gas piston. In a plastic bag there are five push fit wheels and lastly separately wrapped in a single layer of bubble wrap is the chair base and chair mounting plate.
Out of the box everything was complete, including a small instruction leaflet and almost everything was in perfect condition… almost. The chair mounting plate (which is a large lump of metal) was wrapped in a single layer of bubble wrap and this was located on top of the chair base which is plastic and again only protected by a single layer of bubble wrap.
During the chairs travels the metal mount has clearly been rubbing against the chair base. At first glance it just looked like some paint had got worn off, but upon closer inspection it was evident that the metal mounting plate had actually left some deep scratches on one of the base legs. I think it’s fair to say that the metal mounting plate clearly needs some additional padding to prevent this, although it is only cosmetic.
The following measurements were taken by eye using a Milwaukee 5m measuring tape.
Backrest width (measurements taken from the front) 53cm wide in the middle, 52.5cm at the top and bottom.
Backrest height (measurements taken from the front starting at the base of the seat) 64cm high at the sides and 66.4cm high in the centre.
The backrest is constructed in the form of four padded panels, from the base the first measures 13cm high, the second 13cm to 28cm the third 28cm to 43.5cm and the final 43.5cm to 66.4cm. (Measurements taken from the centre).
The top panel of the backrest measures 10cm deep, the second measures 9.3cm deep, the third measures 9cm, sadly it was not possible to get an accurate reading of the bottom panel (all measurements taken of the greatest point). The backrest has a tilt function described further on but is otherwise fixed place and its height cannot be adjusted.
The arms are fixed in place and do not move even when the backrest is tilted and they can not be removed. When the backrest is upright the arms protrude by 29cm, they measure 8.4cm wide in the centre and have a 3.3cm deep foam padding on the top surface.
The distance between the underside of the arms and the top surface of the seat pad varies between 12.5cm and 13.5cm. The arm is only secured on the back edge and the front edge is open with no upright support. When the gas lift pole is fully extended the top edge of the armrest stands 71.5cm high, when the gas lift is fully retracted they measure 64.5cm high.
The chair base.
With the wheels tucked pointing inwards the base measures 68cm wide at its greatest point.
With the gas pole fully extended the underside of the seat base measures 41cm high on the front and rear edges and 44.2cm high in the centre (measurements obviously taken from the floor). With the gas pole fully retracted the measurements are 34cm high from the front and back edges and 37.2cm from the centre. The adjustment offered is 7cm and the gas lift can be set anywhere between the mix and max.
The seat pad.
The seat pad measures 44cm front to back at the edges and 48cm in the centre. At the edges the seat measures 51.5cm wide and in the centre it measures 53cm wide. The seat is constructed from three padded panel sections, from the rear the first measures 11.2cm the second 11.2cm to 26.6cm and the last 26.6cm to 48cm.
The front, padded panel section measures 10cm deep, sadly due to the armrest design accurate measurement of the other panels is impossible without total disassembly. The seat pad is fixed in place and it is not possible to slide it forwards or backwards.
The tilt functions.
The chair has two different tilt functions. On the mounting plate under the seat base is a large black plastic dial, when this is released it allows the seat and backrest as one to tilt backwards when you lean backwards up to a maximum of 30 degrees. When fully tightened it will prevent the chair from tilting when you lean backwards, this function works perfectly fine but the dial is very stiff.
The second is the backrest tilt function. This is operated via a button that protrudes from the right hand front edge of the seat. Simply hold this button in as you lean back and release the button when it is at the desired angle. The backrest can recline by at most 30 degrees and when you wish to reset to the upright position simply lean forward and hold the button in.
Again, this function works perfectly well, although there is a little rubbing chaffing of the backrest on the seat when the backrest is moved which generates quite a bit of noise. I would also be very careful when using the reclining backrest if you also have the main tilt function unlocked as those of a larger, heavier stature may well find themselves having a you’ve been framed moment.
The assembly instructions are a basic but simple affair sufficient to get the job done. I’ve assembled and repaired countless office chairs in my life and I disregarded them leaving 4 washers still held in my hand when the job was done, so no matter how confident you are give the instructions a quick look over first. (The washers were supposed to go metal plate that mounts on the underside of the chair, and are notably missing from my images, don’t make the same mistake).
Assembly was very straight forward, however there is one section that proved frustrating and that was the gas piston that is pre assembled to the underside of the seat but has to be attached to a retainer on the base of the backrest. This is a job that really needs two pairs of hands, one to align the mounting holes and the other pair to secure the nut and bolt in place. Doing this on my own took longer than assembling the entire remainder of the chair.
On a final note, when the bolt is being threaded through be VERY careful with the Allen key. Due to the proximity of the bolt the backrest if care is not taken it would be very easy to constantly an repeatedly scrape the Allen key against the material on the backrest.
Firstly, we must address the issue regarding the chair material. The product listing states “the HOMPOexecutive office chair is upholstered in soft and durable Smooth leather” sadly I lack the knowledge and experience to confirm with certainty.
Sadly, I lack the knowledge and experience to make an informed statement regarding the chair material. There is, however a patch of material roughly cut around the backrest gas piston retainer and the exposed raw edge appears to be PU leather. While I am aware that some chairs have a leather facia and PU leather backing I can’t help but notice the material throughout the chair appears to be identical in pattern, design and finish.
This “leather” is very soft, smooth and has a matte finish which should you touch it with even slightly sweaty hands soon gets covered in paw prints.
The last chair that I owned in the same price bracket as this is the Argos fabric managers chair which I bought over 5 years ago for around £60 which is now selling for £90. Put that chair next to the HOMPO executive office chair and you will instantly see why I have given the HOMPO executive office chair a 5/5 rating despite its flaws or shortcomings as simply put its twice the chair.
Now all office chairs are wobbly, I’ve owned many chairs ranging from £50 to £350 and the gas lift mount on them all have a certain degree of wobble, this is to be expected and isn’t a point of concern. What should be noted however is the chairs centre of gravity.
I currently have two chairs in my possession, one that cost about £250 that has a centralised point of gravity (so any time you lean in any direction the chair tilts in that direction slightly) and that annoys me all of the time. The other is a £50 chair that has a centre of gravity towards the front so the chair always tilts backwards slightly, which I prefer.
The HOMPO executive office chair has a centre of gravity towards the back of the chair meaning it slightly tilts forwards (at least when sat in the recommend postural position). I’m not a big fan of this as I find I have to lean back to the point of slightly pushing into the backrest to try and counter it. I will also confess however that I do sit in a very strange position with my left knee on the chair and my right leg down, and when sat like this the chair is both comfortable, well balanced and sturdy with no notable movement.
I will confess I was unsure about the panelled padding on the seat base as I though it may not be as comfortable as flat padding would be, however it is. In hindsight, I somewhat suspect the ridges and raised sections of the padding quite likely keep your bottom from moving about as the material is that soft and smooth you might likely otherwise slip out of the seat. (Just to note when sitting on the chair it feels flat, not lumpy).
Certain features could be better such as tidying up the backrest tilting mechanism which looks like an aftermarket modification. The joins of the various material sections would look better with some sort of trim and the cut out section on the underside of the backrest for the gas piston retainer is a little rough.
That said the HOMPO executive office chair is very much a mid range office chair that with a little attention to detail would be worth £125-£150 but has a few rough edges and is available for nearly half the price. Those among you who like bargain hunting at “outlet” stores will likely know exactly what I mean.
UPDATE 18th May 2016
I have been using this chair now everyday for up to 8 hours a day for the last 65 days and my opinion of this chair has somewhat changed and I would like to advise on the following…
1. I have the chair setup next to a window with a wooden sill, when I get into our out of the chair, the chair gets turned 90 degrees and when it does it rubs on the sill. Within 4 weeks of owning the chair this rubbing had basically stripped the material where contact was being made.
I do plan on using a leather patch repair kit to solve this and to an extent, this is more my own fault than that of the chair, but I can’t help but note the chair that this one replaced (made from leather) stood up to exactly the same treatment without wear or damage for over 8 years.
2. Where the recliner button is on the base the mechanism is located within the seat base. Initially this was undetectable when sitting on the chair, but as the padding has started to flatten out the plastic cylinder holding the button is detectable on the side of your right leg when sitting down.
Not only this, but the PU leather above where this button mechanism is in the base has started to wear looking like a small scuff patch.
3. The padding on the left arm rest (which I use almost constantly) is now very flat and squashed. In fairness, it is still comfortable on the elbow, but its not an attractive look.
The hole caused by rubbing on the window sill I am not entirely going to hold against the chair, but the wear on the seat base above the button, the slightly discomfort from the button and the squashed armrest I most certainly am. If this had happened say 12 months after my initial review I would have just left the review alone, however, after 2 months of daily use it is somewhat less acceptable.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review, I hope it has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please post a comment below and I will do my best to answer them.
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