“ Brand: Mino / Type: Chair „
My decision to buy an imitation leather chair came from the need to have furniture that would be relatively untouched by messy teenagers and hairy cats. A non-fabric upholstery would wipe and sweep clean very easily and be ideal for my room.
I had my eye on the Mino tub chair in Homebase for quite some time before I saw it reduced to £50 one day. There was a red and black version available, both reduced from £129 to £50 as ex-display models. As I can never resist a bargain I bought the black one immediately and loaded it into the car.
Although neat, small and curving, the Mino chair is not a pretty or luxurious piece of furniture. It has the functionality and lack of comfort of a waiting room chair - you cannot sit back in it, you cannot relax in it - you can only sit bolt upright, wishing for a little more padding around the curved backrest. The design is clever; a D-shaped footrest tucks away underneath a D-shaped hold underneath the chair seat so that it is completely undetectable unless you pull it out. However the chair is too small for comfort. The seat is 50cm deep and 50cm wide - not really enough space to relax.
The chair back is 34cm high - for me this is not comfortable as it comes halfway up my back and digs in just in the middle of my spine. The width of the chair is 63.5cm. This narrowness is both a plus and a minus, allowing it to tuck neatly away into small corners so that it can be pulled out as a spare chair when needed, but at the same time being rather too narrow for comfort. I have sat in many tub chairs that allow you to really sit back and sit comfortably - this seat does not allow this and I suspect it is because the back is both low and very vertical. Other more comfortable tub chairs have a curved back which slopes a little more. The underneath of the seat is covered with a rather unattractive hardboard, but this cannot normally be seen unless you are lying on the ground! The inside of the lower curve is fully covered in the black faux leather so the seat looks good even when the foot stall is pulled out.
The material covering my chair is black and rather cheap-looking. It has an embossed pattern in it which very vaguely resembles leather, but it is clearly not leather. One advantage is the feet - the chair sits on four round hard plastic feet which are very safe to use on laminate or wooden floors. Too many chair feet gouge or scratch laminate floors, but this chair has feet that are large enough not to sink into the wood, and rounded enough not to scratch.
The chair really falls down when it comes to padding. This is inadequate all over the chair from the seat to the back to the arm rests. The minimal padding makes this a hard and unforgiving seat.
I have now owned my chair for over a year. It was an ex display model, so came to me a little dusty and it had seen some use out there on the Homebase showroom floor. Marks on the black faux leather are very small problem - dust, scrapes and marks from coffee cups (if you put your cup down on the footstall) are a little difficult to remove and need a damp cloth plus a cleaning product.
Taking all of these things into consideration I have to say that durability gets 5 stars. Although the material of the chair looks a little bit weak and vulnerable, it has remained untouched over the years. There are no tears or marks and spills and stains can easily be wiped off with a wet cloth. I have even used cleaning products like Cif on it to get rid of sticky marks and it still looks as good as the day I bought it.
As a £50 purchase I can definitely recommend this chair. The footstool tucks underneath perfectly and can barely be seen. It wipes clean very nicely and sits nicely in the corner of my room.
For the full price of £129 I cannot recommend it, and I am therefore only giving it 3 stars. It is not that comfortable, being too tight on the dimensions and upholstery to provide a really relaxed sit. Even with my feet on the footstool I start to wriggle after about 10 minutes. It is just too small for comfort.
Looking at feedback on the Homebase website, the majority of purchasers give this chair 5 stars and are delighted. I think this is because at first the chair is very impressive and looks like a good buy - it is only with the passage of time that the disadvantages become more obvious.
For this sort of money I could get a much more luxurious and generous seat - perhaps without the footstool, but at the end of the day something that I liked, which was comfortable to sit on and which I would want to keep for a long time.
A nice little seat with a clever design that makes good use of space, this seat is probably more suitable for a waiting room or office.