If you’ve ever searched for a budget mesh chair on Amazon, chances are you’ve come across the Sihoo M18. With close to 3,000 mostly positive votes at the time of writing, the Sihoo chair looks like a smart buy. But what secrets does it hide that you should be aware of?
In this review I get my hands dirty to see just how the Sihoo M18 performs in real life.
Assembly of the SIHOO M18 was fairly standard save for one hiccup.
One nice touch was the inclusion of white gloves. I did find that these gloves help make the assembly process easier, such as save my hands from grease that was on some of the parts.
One issue I did encounter was trying to get the armrests to be even in height. Symmetry could only be achieved by positioning the two armrests in totally different areas of the guide holes, and this caused some unwanted frustration off the bat.
Specs & Dimensions
Here are the key specs of the Sihoo M18 mesh chair at a glance for your convenience.
Note: These numbers may differ from those stated on the manufacturer’s site but these are my measurements directly.
|Seat Width and Depth||20″ W x 20″ D|
|Seat Cushion Thickness||2.3″|
|Seat Height Range||18″ to 21.5″ from floor to top of cushion|
|Backrest Tilt||Up to 125 degrees|
|Backrest Recline||Can lock into place in three stages (up to 125 degrees)|
|Tilt Tension Control||Yes|
|Lumbar Support (Adjustable)||2-way adjustability (up/down & in/out)|
|Armrests (Adjustable)||Height only|
|Headrest (Adjustable)||45 degree tilt angle and 3” height adjustability|
|Weight of Chair||35 lbs|
|Our Suggested User Max. Weight||230 lbs|
|Our Suggested User Height Range||5’3″ to 5’10”|
Sihoo Chair Build Quality
At around $200 (at last check), the SIHOO M18 falls within the range of what we’d consider a budget office chair. As such though, the materials I’ve found are a mixed bag.
The metal base is robust and elegant, but the casters are slightly irregular in roundness. This imperfection kind of foreshadows my overall experience with the Sihoo chair. Ironically, in my case, the casters actually helped prevent the chair from unwanted drifting on my uneven hardwood floor. Talk about silver lining right?
The upholstery on the Sihoo office chair can best be described as highly breathable but coarse.
On the upside, the largely mesh covering does an excellent job of keeping one cool, especially the back area. If you live in a hotter climate or tend to sweat a lot, this material is your friend.
Having said that, there is a general feeling of roughness with the upholstery, especially in the backrest as I shuffle around. This sensation to some degree comes with the territory for any mesh based chair, though can also be attributed to the cheaper material on the Sihoo. Assuming you aren’t sitting on this chair shirtless though, the roughness of the mesh back is excusable,
Another area of the Sihoo that reminds you this is still a budget chair is the abundance of plastic parts. The chair only weighs 35 lbs after all. The adjustability controls and silver looking cosmetic pieces are all plastic for example.
Sihoo Chair Comfort
In an office chair, comfort is king, and the Sihoo M18 actually pleasantly surprised me in this department, at least with the seat.
When I first sat down, the seat on the Sihoo felt stiff and unforgiving. But soon I discovered it just needed some time to break in. And once that happened, supreme comfort followed.
Once settled in, the cushion on the Sihoo offers a great balance between softness and support. It moulids to my body like a custom pair of gloves. I also love the W-shaped indentation that helps relieve pressure under my thighs and guides my buttock on how best to sit.
During the last 2 weeks, I’ve sat on the Shioo chair for 6-8 hours on nd, and my bottom still felt supported, well-ventilated and comfortable..
In terms of dimensions, the Sihoo seat measures 20″ W by 20″ D. This will be adequate for all but very large people. I have thicker thighs and still find the size of the Sihoo seat more than accommodating. The 20″ depth also offered good clearance between the end of my thighs and seat’s edge thanks to the waterfall edge design.
Adjustability and Ergonomics
Lets move on to the Sihoo’s various ergonomic features.
The headrest has a 45 degree tilt angle as well as 3” height adjustability, which I do find very comfortable to relieve tension from my neck. However, it shifts out of place a little too easily when I rest my head on it.
The armrests on the Sihoo are only height adjustable. It does offer a good range however – I have no issues with clearance to put the armrests under my standard height desk or setting them high enough to be level with the desk.
Backrest Tilt and Recline
The tilting mechanism on the Sihoo looks fairly good on paper, though unfortunately suffers from a quality issue that permeates many facets of the chair.
When it works, the backrest tilting is actually quite good. You can rock the backrest up to 125 degrees, or lock it into 3 positions in between to fix the backrest recline angle.
The problem is, the backrest tends to lock up I find. With the unit I bought at least, once I try to lock the backrest at the maximum 125 degrees, it would often then get stuck, requiring a lot of effort to unlock it. I find the trick is to lean fully back so the tilt gets pushed slightly past the 125 degree so you can remove the lock. This shifting of my weight was a little difficult to achieve considering my feet were not fully touching the ground when I was tilted back.
Seat Height Range
The height adjustability of the chair targets a more narrow range of people. At its lowest setting it was just right for me, at 5’4″, but wouldn’t be suitable for anyone shorter. At its highest setting, I was able to touch the floor with my tip toes and use the chair with a 5″ high footstool. These numbers suggest that the maximum user profile for this chair is someone that measures 5’9″, give or take an inch or two.
I recently reviewed the Sidiz T50, which has a much better range. Using the same method of testing, I could discern that the Sidiz T50 chair should be able to accommodate people from 5’ to 6’ in height.
The Lumbar Support
And finally, we have the lumbar support on the Sihoo, which despite the cheap plastic material does a decent job of supporting the lower back. It can be adjusted both for height and depth, and resists shifting.
My sister and I are the same height but differ in that I have longer legs and she has a longer torso. Using the up/down adjustment on the lumbar support, both of us could find that sweet spot.
The Sihoo M18 is a decent office chair ergonomically that’s sadly weighed down by inconsistent build quality.
The good news is, this is an overall comfortable office chair, and the issues are more of a nuisance than deal breakers. The comfortable seat and adaptive lumbar support in particular are worth praising. The finnicky tilt mechanism and rather loose headrest? Not so much.
- Surprisingly comfortable seat cushion over long periods
- Good lumbar support adjustability
- Headrest relieves neck tension
- Breathable mesh back
- No unwanted rolling on hard floors
- High-backed chair for a cheaper price than other comparable chairs
- Not suitable for very short or tall people
- Lackluster build quality
- Temperamental tilt adjustment mechanism
- Unwanted shifting of headrest
- Lack of 3D armrest adjustability