Varier Actulum home office chair review

The Actulum's flexible, active sitting design, suitable for office or dining, promotes core strength and reduces pain.

Varier Actulum home office chair review
(Image: © Alastair Jennings)

TechRadar Verdict

The Varier Actulum offers superb comfort and ergonomic benefits through dynamic movement, making it ideal for enhancing posture and reducing back pain. Though it requires assembly and comes at a premium price, its high-quality materials and innovative design provide long-term value and support for both office and dining environments.


  • +

    Dynamic movement support

  • +

    High-quality finish

  • +

    Lightweight and easy to move


  • -

    Expensive price tag

  • -

    The initial hardness of pads

  • -

    Adjustment to a new sitting position

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Varier Actulum home office chair: 30-second review


Frame Material and Build Quality: Made from high-quality beech wood with a natural lacquer finish.
Dimensions: Height: 87cm, Width: 51cm, Depth: 56cm
Weight: 8.5kg.
Upholstery Options and Materials: Upholstery is available in various fabric options, including Fame, Revive, Breeze Fusion, and leather.
Maximum Payload: 110kg (approximately 17 stone)

The Varier Actulum is a stunning, seemingly simple piece of ergonomic furniture that effortlessly combines form and function and offers plenty of flexibility over its use. The chair's striking aesthetic, featuring a beautifully moulded ash frame and high-quality fabric seats, immediately sets it apart from conventional office and dining chairs. This Scandinavian-inspired design not only enhances the visual appeal of any space but also serves a crucial functional purpose.

We've tested out plenty of the best office chairs, but this one is certainly very different. Central to the Actulum's design is its active sitting position, which promotes subtle yet constant movement. Once you're sat in the chair, the pendulum motion enables you to tilt forward and backwards, responding naturally to your body's movements. Back in Action, who supplied the chair, highlights that this feature helps to build core muscles and reduces neck and back pain by encouraging an active posture. 

However, initially, users may find the rocking motion and the firmer pads needing to be more familiar, especially if they are used to softer, static office chairs. However, these design choices are intentional and aimed at providing long-term comfort and health benefits. After just a short time with the chair, you can start to feel the support and, most importantly, a reduction in stiffness and discomfort associated with prolonged sitting that we all do when working on computers.

The Actulum's versatility is another significant advantage. Designed for both office and dining use, it offers the flexibility to fit seamlessly into various environments. Whether you are working at a desk or enjoying a meal, the chair provides consistent support and comfort. The natural movement encouraged by the chair not only helps maintain focus but also reduces the physical strain of being seated for extended periods.

Constructed from high-quality beech plywood, treated through an iterative moulding process, and finished with ash veneer, the chair feels like it has been built to last. The use of water-based lacquers should ensure the chair's resilience to extended use.

Despite its premium price, the Varier Actulum is a worthwhile investment. The high-quality materials, innovative ergonomic design, and the array of customisable upholstery options justify the cost when ordering. The chair's ability to offer you better posture, reduce discomfort, and support overall health makes it a great choice.

Varier Actulum home office chair: Price & availability

Varier Actulum home office chair review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Varier Actulum costs £899 and can be purchased in the UK from the Back in Action official website by clicking here. For retailers outside the UK, see the official Varier official site by clicking here

  • Score: 4/5

Varier Actulum home office chair review: Design & build

Varier Actulum home office chair review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The chair reflects a contemporary Scandinavian aesthetic, characterised by clean lines and bold colours that seamlessly blend wood and fabric. The ash wooden frame, available in either natural or black finishes, is moulded to create ergonomic curves that enhance both the chair's functionality and its tactile appeal. Large, flush bolts contrast against the light ash wood of our review sample, adding to the visual appeal while highlighting the chair's high-quality construction. Our review unit featured a striking yellow fabric, offering a vibrant touch to its sophisticated design.

The chair's frame is constructed from high-quality beech plywood treated through an iterative moulding process. This involves combining several layers of plywood, which are then glued together to achieve the chair's sweeping shapes. The plywood is covered with an ash veneer, which is manually sanded and coated with water-based lacquers for a durable finish. This finish is available in either natural ash or black ash, depending on the desired aesthetic.

A notable design feature is the absence of traditional full armrests. Instead, the ash frame sweeps back slightly, aiding both standing and moving the chair and supporting free movement while seated. This design choice may initially seem unconventional, but the absence of armrests quickly becomes a non-issue, as it enhances the chair's ergonomic benefits.

The Actulum has extensive fabric options. Our review model came with the bright yellow Revive fabric, which is the standard material for these chairs and is available in a huge range of colours. Revive is 100% recycled polyester that is both hard-wearing and soft on the skin. Other fabric options are available, such as wool blends and eco-friendly polyester blends, which can be better suited for different environments and workspaces. These alternative materials are available in a variety of colours but usually come at an additional cost.

Despite its comparatively lightweight design, the Varier Actulum is exceptionally sturdy. The chair easily supports the weight of a 13-stone (approximately 83 kg) individual, with a maximum payload of 110 kg (about 17 stone). The high-quality fabrics used are durable, and you can choose and adapt these materials to better suit your specific needs when ordering the chair.

One interesting feature is the hard rubber damper placed between the backrest and frame, designed to absorb impact when you sit down. This small but significant detail enhances the overall comfort and durability of the chair, ensuring a smoother and more supportive sitting experience.

  • Design & build: 5/5

Varier Actulum home office chair: Features

With this chair, it's all about that pendulum movement, which allows the chair to tilt forward and backward, responding naturally to your body movements. This dynamic sitting position helps to promote continuous micro-movements, which are beneficial for building core muscles and reducing neck and back pain. Unlike traditional chairs, the Actulum encourages an active sitting or kneeling posture, which the manufacturer highlights can lead to significant health benefits over time.

One of the unique features of the Actulum's design is the Flexible Backrest, which is made possible by a slim, flexible joint between the backrest and the frame. This feature allows the backrest to adapt to various sitting positions, providing consistent support and comfort as your body shifts throughout the day. 

The price of chair is expensive, so it's reassuring that it has been constructed from High-Quality Materials with a frame made from top-quality beech plywood. This material undergoes an iterative moulding process involving heat and pressure, which ensures durability and flexibility. The plywood is then covered with an ash veneer, which is manually sanded and coated with water-based lacquers, providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish.

The chair is available in a variety of Upholstery Options, starting with the standard Revive fabric, a 100% recycled polyester that is both hard-wearing and soft on the skin. Our review sample arrived in a stunning bright yellow. Suppose you're looking for something different from the texture and finish of the fabric. In that case, you can select a variety of alternative materials when ordering, such as wool blends and eco-friendly polyester blends.

The Ergonomic Design supports a variety of sitting positions, which helps strengthen core muscles and promotes better posture. With a weight capacity of up to 110kg (approximately 17 stone), the Actulum is sturdy, robust, and elegant, accommodating a wide range of users. 

  • Features 5/5

Varier Actulum home office chair: Performance

Back in Action Desk Single Column

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Sitting on the Varier Actulum for the first time immediately highlights the difference between this chair and a standard office chair. The pendulum motion works with you, allowing the chair to move and tilt in response to your body. This dynamic interaction initially feels a bit disconcerting but is expected, given the chair's unique design. As you lean back, the chair tilts with you, and when you lean forward, it moves to support your new position. This takes a few moments to get used to, but it quickly becomes second nature.

As you continue using the chair, you'll notice the absence of rotation—unlike traditional office chairs. However, the armrests are set back, providing ample space to manoeuvre. The way you twist and move in the chair adapts naturally due to its design, allowing for fluid transitions between different sitting positions. 

During the first few days, you will need to adapt to the Actulum's unique sitting experience. However, once you become accustomed to the chair's dynamics, it will feel natural and far more comfortable than standard office chairs. 

Over a week, the initial awareness of the chair's distinct characteristics fades, and it becomes a seamless part of everyday working life. Unlike traditional office chairs that require constant adjustments for height, tilt, and armrests, the Actulum adapts to your body's natural movements. 

Most office chairs have plenty of adjustment; however, the chair needs more manual adjustments, since it's designed to support natural body movements without the need for mechanical alterations. You adjust your seating position through your body's motions, making the chair intuitively comfortable.

This absence of adjustable parts might seem limiting at first, but it contributes to the chair's ergonomic benefits by encouraging continuous movement and reducing the tendency to remain in a static position. After a week of working hard, the chair blended into the office environment. As somewhere to sit when working, it was exceptionally comfortable to the point of not really being noticed. The style and design also gave the studio a touch of contemporary style amongst the lighting and backdrops. Still, most noticeably, even without wheels, the design and weight made it easy to manoeuvre.

  • Performance: 5/5

Should you buy the Varier Actulum?

The Varier Actulum is ideal if you are a professional or work from a home office and want a chair that helps prioritise ergonomic health and active sitting. It's a perfect choice as a chair that promotes movement and reduces tension during long hours of sitting, and that was certainly apparent through testing this chair over a period of time. 

The chair's flexibility and high-quality build make it suitable for both office and dining use, and the choice of materials means that you can adapt it to use and personalise it to your style. If you value comfort, design, and posture support, this chair is an excellent choice.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1 Row 0 - Cell 2
ValueErgonomic investment, worth the cost.4
DesignSleek, modern, and flexible.5
FeaturesInnovative, supportive, versatile. 5
PerformanceComfortable, dynamic, and supportive.5
TotalExcellent ergonomic desk investment 5

Varier Actulum home office chair review

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

You want an ergonomic office chair
It would help if you had a chair suitable for prolonged use that promotes back and neck health through dynamic movement.

You want a high-quality, innovative design
You value a sleek, contemporary design with a variety of customisable options.

Don't buy it if...

You're working to a budget
You're looking for a budget-friendly option; the Varier Actulum comes at a premium price.

You prefer traditional seating
You're not comfortable with adjusting to a new, dynamic sitting style.

For more office essentials, we've tested and reviewed the best standing desks.