The IKEA Jarvfjallet can definitely be an improvement in many of the markets where customers commonly shop. I also appreciate the fact that the company stands behind its product with a 10-year warranty. However, there are still a few issues with the chair that we will explore in more detail.
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Links to IKEA Jarvfjallet
🎥 IKEA Jarvfjallet video
IKEA Jarvfjallet Video
My experience assembling the chair was the same as any IKEA product I’ve assembled: frustrating. The holes didn’t always line up perfectly. The tools did not always work correctly. I think the whole process would be easy if they just changed the order of the instructions and didn’t have to wait to put the arms until the end. However, this type of assembly is more or less what you can expect with IKEA and the compensation you get for products at affordable prices.
To keep the price down, some sacrifices had to be made. The all-plastic arms aren’t very good, and the mesh is clearly of lower quality than other mid-range and high-end chairs. However, with the help of a metal base and almost all-metal frame, the chair still feels solid. I was also impressed that the chair includes real leather, which is hard to find at this price and with the adjustments that come with the chair. In fact, this chair could be an update to the very popular Markus, which I’ve long considered one of the best options under $300.
Once I got the chair assembled, the first thing I noticed is how consistent the color is throughout the chair. Each piece is the exact same color and it gave me “color dip” vibes, reminiscent of some Herman Miller chairs. When I went to order the chair, they weren’t in black, so I ended up with a white chair, which I think looks even better.
When I first sat in the chair, I was a bit surprised because the seat let out a loud squeak. I’m not sure if this happens with all products, or if it’s particular to our chair. Air seems to collect in the seat cushion and is released when you sit down. Although, I found that the sound would also occur after I had sat for a while and shifted my weight. Ultimately, this is something that you would find quite annoying if you were using the chair for an extended period of time.
Aside from the squeaking issue, I liked the seat. It is quite large and does not have excessive contouring or hard edges. From a comfort standpoint, it’s a little firmer, but it kept me comfortable for as long as I wore it.
One feature that I really liked was the seat slide feature. It’s something the Markus lacks and really ensures that the saddle fits you well. The recline of the chair is smooth and I like that it comes with multiple locking positions. It is important to note that the chair does not include a tension adjustment. Personally the tension is a bit looser than I would prefer and it would be nice to have the option to adjust it. As for the seat back, it’s stiffer than I like and doesn’t offer great flex.
I really like the lumbar support of the chair. The adjustable support is a huge improvement over the Markus, which can feel like it’s poking you in the back. The pad is large and soft and provides the right amount of support without being a nuisance.
The tall and narrow back is an advantage for this chair. It provides great support to the entire back, shoulders and neck. The slim back also provides more freedom of movement that you won’t find in other chairs. The headrest is large and soft and felt very comfortable while using it.
It was satisfying to see this chair move away from the fixed armrest that comes with the Markus. Instead, you get height and depth adjustments. The only big mistake with the arms is that they don’t have any padding. They are built with hard plastic and I have never been a fan of this design.
One additional feature that I absolutely hate is the wheels. They are tiny, making them look out of proportion to the rest of the chair. They are also safety wheels. This means they won’t roll unless there is enough weight on the chair to loosen them. Basically, you have to sit on the chair to be able to move it. I thought this was very inconvenient and I don’t see the need for these types of wheels. I’d rather be able to move my chair than have it locked in place.
Although I hate these launchers, they are not enough to put me off recommending the Jarvfjallet. You may not care about the wheels and they can always be replaced with better ones. Overall, at $299, I think the chair is a good value. While I need to spend more time in the chair before I give my final verdict, it would have made my “best chairs under $300” list if we’d gotten it in time for qualifying.