Knoll® Life™ Ergonomic Office Chair Review

Life Chair With Aluminum Base

Knoll Life Chair

The Knoll® Life™ chair was introduced in 2002 and was designed for Knoll® by New Zealand based specialist seating designers Formway.

As you might expect Knoll® didn't want to launch just another office seat, they wanted a quality seating product with distinct design features.

The overall aim was to produce a seat that was simple to use and had a minimalist modern look. Initial reactions were certainly positive as it won 3 awards in the first two years of launch.


Design And Industry Awards For Life™ Chair


  • Best of NeoCon Gold Award for Seating: Desk/Workstation Task Chairs, 2002
  • IIDEX for Office Seating and Sustainable Design, 2002
  • Good Design Award, Chicago Athenaeum, 2003

Knoll® Life™ Chair Features

The first thing that strikes you about the Life™ is its simplicity and minimalist ergonomic design. The back with its see through 3D knit fabric is reminiscent of the Aeron's® pellicle but with a softer, lighter and airy look.

As with a lot of high end chairs these days Knoll® are keen to stress that the chair is designed to move as you move as the chair cleverly adapts to your body movements. This is achieved by the core of the seat pad which is made up from a plastic shell that incorporates an open cellular construction designed to be flexible yet at the same time give good support.

Great care has been taken in making sure that support in the ischial region i.e. your sit bones at the base of your back are well supported. This is frequently a problem with a lot of office chairs particularly low end models. The front edge of the seat has a waterfall front and again this is designed to move with the user and relieve pressure on the underside of the thighs.

The chair is automatically self tensioning to your own body weight and shape, however Knoll® has incorporated a knob at the rear of the chair to allow the user to fine tune this. This is a good thing as there are a number of chairs on the market that claim to be self tensioning that don't actually work all that well, so full marks to Knoll® for recognizing the need for this feature.

The 5 star base has a broad and low profile and is intended to act as a footrest if you so choose. In its basic form the chair is supplied on a plastic 5 star base with either no arms or fixed arms, with a further two arm options. The first upgrade is to simple height adjustable arms. The most versatile option is high performance arms, as well as adjusting in height they also allow width adjustment and front to back arm depth adjustment.

The chair also comes with an option for an adjustable lumbar support. This is a little unusual in that the support is in two halves with one half being on the inside of the back and the other on the outside. The supports are held together by means of magnets and allow the user to slide the support up and down for adjustment.

Other extras are really just enhancements of standard features e.g. polished aluminum base, leather armpads and higher specification upholstery including leather.

Knoll® Life™ Technical Stuff

The Life™ has a wide range of adjustments that enable it to be adjusted to most users needs.

Seat height adjustment can be varied between 16 - 21.5 inches, whilst seat depth adjustment can be varied between 15 - 19 inches.

Both are controlled by a neat little lever on the right underside of the chair. Moving the lever up allows height adjustment of the seat, whilst moving it down controls seat depth.

Arm height can be adjusted between 7.5 - 11.5 inches and with high performance arms the width can be adjusted by 1.25 inches per side and between 3 - 10 inches front to back.

The lumbar support adjusts between 7.5 - 11.5 inches on the seat's back.

Casters are available for both carpeted and hard floors.

The chairs carry a 10 year warranty with the exception of the upholstery which has a 3 year cover, reduced warranty on upholstery is fairly normal on office seating.

Summary Of Key Features

The Knoll® Life™ is a well designed product that aims to keep adjustment as simple as possible for the user, whilst still allowing a wide range of settings to cater for the vast majority of users.

The patented high performance arms are a nice feature and because the arms are fitted to the seat this allows the user to recline without the need to move your arms from the armpad.

The novel seat pad design allows you greater flexibility in movement and comfort, particularly for support of the sit bones at the base of your back and relief of pressure on the thighs.

The Knoll® Life™ a quality product that will give many years of service.

Where To Buy Online

You may like to consider this site where you can find a great price online on the Life with a 30 day return policy and including free order shipping.


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