Office chairs are an essential part of working from home, and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You naturally want one that looks good, all the while cradling your delicate lumbar regions so that getting up from the chair means you don’t make a noise like your dad getting off the sofa. Ergonomic office chairs are distinct from gaming chairs, even though they speak the same language, by being lighter, less aggressively styled, and often a bit smaller too.
Sihoo’s Doro S300 is a new entry into the marketplace and brings sprung lumbar support along with an “anti-gravity mechanism” that allows the chair to smoothly move and stop at any angle without needing to be locked into place. It has the standard gas-lift adjustment too, so in theory, you should be able to get yourself into the kind of extremely comfortable position that’s conducive to doing lots of work. We used a specially trained test office worker to find out.
Sihoo Doro S300: Key specifications
|Adjustable waist support, four-spring shock absorption system, six-way adjustable armrests
|Total height (max):
|Seating height (max):
Sihoo Doro S300 review: Delivery and assembly
The Sihoo Doro S300 arrives in a large, heavy box but not in too many pieces, with all the screws you need plus a bonus pair of (very small) white gloves to help protect your fingers. Assembly is straightforward, even if you are of the belief that reading the instructions is a sign of weakness. The castors pop into the feet, which in turn bolt to a central hub. The gas cylinder slots in, then the whole thing can be inserted into the seat, which has a slot the backrest bolts into. The fiddliest bits are the armrests, which require two bolts and washers to be inserted from underneath. Happily, all the screws use the same-size hex heads, for which a driver is supplied, and there's a single spare for each of the screw sizes, plus washers.
If you’re in need of more guidance, there's a printed manual in the box, and videos linked to from the Sihoo website. A digital version of the manual threw up what looked like a Google Drive error when we tried to download it, but that should be quite easy to fix.
Sihoo Doro S300 review: Design and build
Once you’ve got the chair assembled, you can take in the sci-fi influences that seem to have gone into its design. It has an apparently complicated system of supports, springs, mesh panels and cables that comes together to support your lower back. Luckily, actually sitting down remains a simple matter of bending the knees, and as you do the chair accepts your backside lovingly, its spring-suspended lumbar panels cushioning the bit where your shirt meets your trousers. As they’re supported by springs, they also jiggle about in an amusing fashion whenever you get up, but there's no denying that the way they push into your lower spine is pleasant.
The armrests recline with the chair, and are capable of moving in a lot of axes so you can get them exactly right, though they are quite easy to move out of this position and could do with some sort of catch to prevent accidental movement. They’re coated with a grey material that’s out of keeping with the rest of the chair, which on our review model is covered in a white mesh made from TPEE plastic and, it is claimed, Italian velvet. Mesh chairs are great at keeping you cool while you work, and the Sihoo Doro S300 is no exception. Why the same material couldn’t coat the armrests is baffling.
Still, the aluminium frame is undeniably beautiful, with flowing lines and a strong, structural form. The way the frame splits to reveal the piston that adjusts the lumbar support gives it an industrial quality which the visibility of all the springs and adjustment cables only underlines.
Sihoo Doro S300 review: Comfort and adjustability
The adjustment controls on the Doro S300 are slightly different to those on a bog-standard office chair. Instead of an arm you pull upward to adjust the chair’s height, there are switches that connect via cables to the relevant areas, along with bits you twist to adjust the recline resistance and lumbar support angle.
One thing about the Sihoo Doro S300 that may divide opinion is the inability to lock the back into position. You can always recline, and with our test office worker somewhat at the taller and heavier end of the usual range, we found that it could do with an even higher resistance setting and a bit more height - the backrest is adjustable by 7.5cm, but that’s not much.
Still, if you’re sitting at a desk and want to move into a more comfortable position, the ability to do it with a shift of the hips instead of a blind scrabble at the controls under the chair, during which you pull the wrong lever and plunge toward the floor, does feel like a bit of a step forward in chair design, though it does take a bit of getting used to if you’ve been sitting in locked-off chairs for 20 years and may drive some users into the arms of a less advanced chair design. Likewise, the number of springs at work underneath the seat mean it’s comfortable to sit in for long periods, especially if you get the lumbar support tuned nicely for the shape of your back.
What the chair doesn’t have is a headrest like that on the Doro C300. This means that if you inevitably give in to childish glee and recline the chair back all the way, your head will end up hanging over the edge. There is a roll top to the backrest that could be used as a headrest by a shorter user, but no separate cushion.
It’s not a chair you can easily sleep in, like the SecretLab Titan with its magnetic pillow, but nonetheless remains a comfy proposition if all you want to do is sit, type, and occasionally spin round and scoot the chair all the way to the fridge.
Sihoo Doro S300 review: Price
At the time of writing, the S300 is available for preorder. The full retail price is a staggering €800 (£685 or $868), but there's a discount scheme in place and even prizes to be won if you show off your chair on social media.
For the same price you could get a serious gaming chair, like the SecretLab Titan Evo, two times over, while Sihoo itself has ergonomic office chairs for half the price. It’s still cheaper than Logitech’s Embody chair made in collaboration with Herman Miller though, and HM’s Sayle chair comes in at about the same price. It’s pretty clear from this which market segment Sihoo is targeting with the S300, and it’s one in which the exposed frame and floaty nature of the chair will matter as much as the comfort.
Should I buy the Sihoo Doro S300?
Office chairs are highly subjective, as all our spines and adipose tissue deposits are different, and it’s often important to be able to sit in one before you commit to it. Sihoo’s Doro S300 goes a long way to make its chair comfortable, adjustable and good looking, and this should attract potential sitters to it. Whether it’s the ideal perch for your office needs, however, is going to be entirely between you and what you sit on.