Haworth Fern vs Zody Office Chair showdown – What makes the 200+ difference worth it?

Haworth Fern vs Zody chair review

These two Haworth office chairs have different back designs. And each one is more unique than the other. The Fern is a newer edition being published just last 2019 while Zody has been around for a couple of years already.

Today, we are going to compare these two uniquely designed Haworth office chairs. And let’s see which is more comfortable for more users and what makes the 200+ bucks difference worth it?

Fern vs Zody – Which is a more comfortable office chair? 

Haworth is a family-owned company that focuses on manufacturing office space solutions, furniture, seating, and storage. They have their headquarters in Michigan USA. The brand started as a woodworking shop in the 1980s and ventured into making office and home office space solutions in the 1980s

Unique back design and seat

As we have mentioned above, the back design is one of both chairs and is probably the strongest feature of both chairs. 

The Zody is known for a very unique back design, its asymmetrical lumbar support. We have not seen this elsewhere and we think the Zody is the first of its kind. Asymmetrical means that you can shift the lumbar support to either the right or the left. Moreover, it has an advanced back sport. 

And this office chair is also endorsed by the Physical Therapists Association. So those with pronounced back problems will certainly find relief in this office chair. And it’s also quite breathable as the entire backset is covered with mesh.

As for the seat, it’s made of a fabric teller. And the seat is quite large so there’s extra room for movement.

The Fern, on the other hand, features a back design that mimics the fern leaf. It has the backbone and the fronds. And this design follows the shape of the spine. Thus, it allows for more range of motion. And in terms of flexibility, this chair is rather flexible. And it is also breathable like the Zody, the back seat is covered with mesh material. 

Fern ergonomic office chair

Also, when coupled with the seat, it feels comfortable on the butt. The seat was able to distribute the weight evenly on the entire seat. And the cushion is sufficient, it’s not too thick nor too thin. So if you’ll combine this with the flexible back design, it’s ultra-comfortable. It hugs your butt in the right places and you can also adjust the seat depth. So it can be more comfortable even for those with longer legs. Your feet will stay on the floor even when reclined. And it will not pinch the back of your knees.

The Zody has patented lower back support and even has passive pelvic support. While this feature might not be felt by those without any back issues, you’ll feel the difference if you have ongoing back problems. 

But in terms of overall comfort, the Fern feels ultra-comfortable. Even if you do not purchase the add-on lumbar support, it feels nice and welcoming on the butt and the back. The flexibility of the chair is a big plus. It allows for a wider range of motion while seated.

So even if the Zody chair has what seems to be a more intricately and medically designed back support, we had to give it to the Fern chair. In terms of the comfort given by the backset and the seat itself, you can never go wrong with the Fern

However, if you have chronic back, hip, or butt pain, the Zody chair will be more comfortable. Otherwise, you really will not feel the difference or the benefit of having asymmetrical back support. And if you don’t have a back problem, you will find the Zody chair rather stiff.

Zody office chair
Zody office chair

Same features to consider

Both Haworth office chairs are highly ergonomic and adjustable. And these are some features that they share.

Armrests

Both chairs have 4D adjustable armrests. So anyone can find the perfect spot for comfort for work or even for play. These prevent strain on the forearms. But in terms of the shape and design, the armrest of the Fern makes it more comfortable than the Zody. 

The Fern’s armrests have a tapered design. The board is wider so it provides more support for the elbows. Also, the material is not too stiff. It’s firm but it has a decent amount of giving. So you’ll surely quill not feel any pressure or tingling sensation on your forearms. On the other hand, the Zody has armrests that are almost the same size from top to bottom. 

Forward tilt

The Zody and the Fern both have forward tilt. And though this type of tilt mechanism isn’t the more popular one compared to synchro-tilt, it might help to correct elbow height. So this means that you can sit a bit higher on the chairs. 

Price

What we didn’t like about the Zody chair

  1. There are too many plastic parts. Even the lumbar and lower pelvic support is made of plastic. Not only does it feel flimsy, but there is also a concern about the durability of these plastic parts. If you stretch too far out and you’re on the heavier side, there is a high risk that these plastic parts will snap off. We wished it was made of something more sturdy, maybe a more flexible metal could have made this feature better.
  2. Apart from the back support, other parts of the chair are not that durable. The chair has a stop button that prevents it from reclining too far back. The problem is, this stop feature is not that reliable. Even if it’s locked, the chair still reclines a bit even with a slight force. 
  3. The chair sits you in a very upright position. Yes, it does push you to assume a proper posture but it’s too aggressive for some that it feels tiring on the back. 
  4. Using the adjustment features involves a learning curve. We reckon that since the features are more medically inclined, that may be the reason why it’s not that easy to hover through. 
  5. The setup is troublesome. Even some users complained that they were not able to receive an instruction manual on how to set the desk up. Thus, they were forced to search for tutorials on Youtube.

How about the Fern?

  1. Like the Zody chair, there seem to be some problems with some of the parts of the chair. Over time, some of the adjustment levers become loose. It can become unhinged and you need to tighten it so that you will be able to enjoy the chair again.
  2. The chair offers multiple options, a lot in fact. We like how adjustable and ergonomic it is. But it offers too many multiple options, around 9. And for some users, this makes it difficult to find the sweet spot of comfort. 

Overall of the showdown

  1. The Fern is more comfortable for the back for the general population. On the other hand, Those who have chronic back issues will find the Zody more comfortable.
  2. The Fern chair is intuitive to use. Even the controls are placed in easy-to-access points. And it’s easy to install too. The Zody, on the other hand, takes a while to get used to. And the installation isn’t the best thing also. 
  3. Both chairs have some flimsy or weak plastic parts. 
  4. The seat adjustment range and the set width are almost the same.
  5. The Zody is the greener option. The manufacturer claims that almost 92 % of the chairs are made from recyclable materials. 

Conclusion

The Zody chair may be recommended by the PT Association and it has won several awards in the wellness arena, but in terms of overall comfort, we have to give it to the Fern. And this chair has a wide range of users.