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Furniture Blog

The Importance of BIFMA Certified Furniture

Standards make products and services better, safer, and easier to use. For instance, when you go out to eat, you expect that the restaurant has standards for their customer service, the cleanliness of their establishment, and the quality of their food.

Unfortunately, not all standards are required by law. This is true in many industries, including the office furniture industry.

What Are BIFMA Standards?

Standards within the office furniture industry are managed by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA). Their job is to ensure office furniture is commercial grade and can stand 8+ hours of use per day.

Unfortunately, these standards are voluntary, so big-box stores like Staples and Office Depot don’t have to abide by them. This may not matter so much with desks and shelves, but it does when it comes to office chairs. Ignoring these standards means these companies produce cheap office chairs that are only meant to be used for a few hours and leave their users in pain.


What BIFMA Standards Include

There are many things that BIFMA addresses when deciding whether to certify office furniture. These include:

  • Safety
  • Sustainability and social responsibility
  • Durability and strength
  • Recyclability and recycled content
  • Chemical content and emissions
  • Reliability
  • Overall quality
  • Flammability and electrical components
  • Material and energy efficiency
  • Environmentally conscious design
  • Waste and water management


What a BIFMA Test Entails

BIFMA tests are rigorous, so to give you an idea of what their testing process is like, here is an example of some tests

performed on office chairs:

  • Base stability
  • Seat drop
  • Back pull
  • Swivel cycling
  • Tilt mechanism testing
  • Arm and back durability
  • Caster durability, swivel, and rolling

Only after a chair passes all of these tests (and more) will it be BIFMA certified.


Benefits of BIFMA Certified Furniture

There are many benefits to selecting BIFMA certified products besides safety, such as:

  • The peace of mind you get knowing you have purchased a high-quality and carefully tested product
  • BIFMA certification ensure a durable and long-lasting product that will last many years
  • These products promote a healthy work environment, which can increase productivity and decrease work-related injuries.
  • Most BIFMA certified products carry a warranty of 5 years or longer


BIFMA Certified Products at Office Furniture Source

Many of the products sold at big box stores will say they “meet BIFMA requirements.” This is not the same as a BIFMA certification, so next time you purchase office furniture, you need to be absolutely certain the packaging states it is BIFMA certified.

If you’re looking to supply your office with new chairs that won’t leave your employees in pain, it’s important to go the extra mile and purchase furniture that has been BIFMA certified. At Office Furniture Source, we offer office chairs and furniture that are BIFMA certified to ensure your employees are comfortable and safe. To learn more about our products, contact us or visit our showroom from 8am - 5 pm Monday through Friday.

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