When I started getting a persistent backache a few months into working from home, I knew something had to change. For almost two years now I’d been using the same dining chair in my home office, which had been good enough — that is, until I found myself sitting in the chair for hours at a time, day after day.

It was time to invest in a proper office chair.

The problem was, it was not easy finding one that gave me the support and room I needed, looked good, and was in a reasonable price range. The aesthetics were especially important to me, since I had spent a lot of time perfecting the look of my home office, and I didn’t want a clunky chair ruining the look.

My home office, circa 2019.

Enter the Secretlab chair, said to be the gold standard in the gaming industry. I had heard a lot about this chair, given that it’s a local company, and my guy friends sang its praises. But did I really need one, and more importantly, was it suitable for a woman whose greatest gaming achievement is clocking over 40 hours in Stardew Valley?

I took myself and my reservations down to the Secretlab showroom in Bendemeer for a viewing. My advice, to all of you who are based in Singapore, is to do the same: that way, you can try out the chairs for size, and see what it really feels like.

Choosing the Titan

I ended up choosing the Titan in SoftWeave Black3. Initially, I had been leaning towards the Omega since the website said it was more suitable for those under 180cm. As I’m 161cm tall, I was worried that the Titan might be a bit too big.

The website recommends a chair for you based on your height and weight, but I’d advise visiting the showroom in person instead to get a feel of the actual chair.

However, I chose the Titan for a few reasons:

1. There’s a lot more room on the seat.

The Omega has curved wings on each side that hug you, which is great for those who prefer a snug fit akin to the bucket seat of racing cars, but those who move around a lot or like sitting cross-legged will appreciate the wider and flatter seat of the Titan. For those of us with wide hips, it’s a lot more comfortable too.

The sides of the Titan don’t have the same curved wings as the Omega.

2. It had built-in lumbar support.

I initially had concerns about the lumbar support not reaching the right place on my back due to my height, but it fit just right when I tried it. I personally prefer this over the lumbar cushion of the Omega, which tends to slip down as I move around a lot. You can also adjust the protrusion of the lumbar support on the Titan by means of twisting a knob on the side.

3. The height was no issue.

My initial concerns about the height were dismissed — and by that, I mean my feet can still reach the floor comfortably. Those who are more petite may need a footstool, but for most of us this won’t be an issue.

The Material

When it came to the material, SoftWeave — which is their signature fabric model — was my top pick. While I liked the sleek look of their PRIME 2.0 PU Leather, the SoftWeave was a better option for me because it was a lot more breathable.

The Titan SoftWeave in Cookies and Cream.

I don’t turn on the air-conditioning in my home office most of the time, and I wear shorts while working from home, so having to unpeel my thighs from a leather seat is a real issue for me. I also tend to get warm really easily, so the breathability of the SoftWeave kept me cool.

The SoftWeave Black looks more like tweed than full black.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that the SoftWeave Black3 looks a bit like tweed instead of plain black, thanks to the three shades of grey-black that are woven into the fabric. It’s also made of 350gsm short-yarn, lending it a softer look and making it more suitable for a room with a feminine aesthetic. The sides of the chair are in matte black velour. The overall look of the Softweave was inspired by streetwear, according to Sylvia Lim, senior global communications associate at Secretlab.

The PRIME PU 2.0 Leather version in Stealth.

Those who prefer the look and feel of leather can opt for their PRIME 2.0 PU Leather, an updated version that was released in 2020. It’s much more durable and resistant to abrasions than the industry standard, thanks to rigorous lab tests by their partner A*STAR, so it won’t show wear and tear easily. They also have a Peel Protection Guarantee and an extended five-year warranty where you can get a replacement if the material wears out before then.

There’s also Napa Leather, a premium material for those who are looking for both high durability and prestige.

Favourite Features

One of the underrated features of the Titan (and the Omega), in my opinion, is the PU-covered XL castors. These roll across the floor silently and easily, so style-conscious homeowners will be glad to know that they won’t leave marks on the floor or streaks on the carpet.

I also love that the Titan is designed in such a way that it’s large and roomy, but also hugs my back and gives me great support with its patent-pending Cold-Cure Foam. In fact, the Titan is a great option for pregnant or nursing mothers. “Quite a few of our customers shared that their pregnant partners have taken over their chair,” says Sylvia. The balance of comfort and firmness helps to support the lower back well, especially for those who are in the late stages of pregnancy.

Thanks to its ability to recline up to a whopping 165 degrees, it also makes a good place to catch a snooze if you can’t (or just don’t want to) leave your home office. It comes with an adjustable neck pillow with a layer of cooling gel, too.

Things to Note

The armrests on the Titan may be too far apart for those who like to rest their elbows while typing. However, they’re adjustable in four different ways — up and down, back and forth, left and right, and can be set at an angle. The width was no issue for me as I don’t rest my elbows while typing, but I do rest them comfortably on the Titan while having meetings. Their PU coating makes them soft and comfortable enough to do this for an extended period of time.

Verdict

The Titan in my home office.

It’s now been two months since I last got the Secretlab chair, and I’m proud to say that all my backache issues are now a distant memory. The Titan’s generous width lets me sit in my favourite cross-legged position while working, and the support hugs my body in such a way that I feel extremely secure and comfortable, yet unencumbered. Did I also mention that the flared curves of the chair make me look like I’m sitting on a throne during Zoom meetings?

My husband has already announced plans to steal my Titan when I return to the office full-time, but I’m not about to let him. This chair is going to be invaluable for many years into the future — whether as a nursing chair, a place to catch a quick nap in privacy, or even just, you know, to play Stardew Valley late into the night.

For more information, visit www.secretlab.sg.