Branch Verve: One-minute review
The Branch Verve is all about giving users the best of both worlds. It’s both classy and playful, stylish and practical, aesthetic and ergonomic. What’s more, it’s comfortable enough for work and luxurious enough for play, making it a terrific option for work-from-home professionals whose work space and gaming setup are one and the same.
Many gamers abhor the idea of a gaming chair. And, while we have tested enough of them to know that there’s also a case to be made for the best of them, we also understand why many actually prefer using a plain office chair during their gaming sessions.
Sometimes, a chair made for gaming is a bit overkill – some, for example, do not really see the purpose of a neck support – and perhaps priced a little more than they are actually worth. Meanwhile, a good office chair delivers the same or better level of comfort without all the extra frills that give manufacturers the permission to up the price.
Well, this knockout, iF Design award-winning throne from Branch is one of the best office chairs out there, delivering high comfort and high performance while looking absolutely appealing.
And, it’s surprisingly much more affordable than many gaming AND office chairs we’ve tested – a classy choice if you’re ready to be a proper adult and upgrade from your usual, early-20s-and-broke-af furniture out of Ikea.
Branch Verve: Price and availability
- How much does it cost? $549 (about £495, AU$860)
- Where is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US
Dimensions: 27 x 27 x 37 to 41 inches (L x W x H)
Materials: 3D knit polyester fabric, high-density molded foam, powder-coated aluminum, glass-reinforced polyamide
Assembled weight: 40 lbs
Max capacity: 300 lbs
Adjustments: Tilt, tilt tension, lumber rest range, seat depth, armrest height
The Branch Verve will set you back $549 in the US, which is about £495 in the UK and about AU$860 in Australia. If you don’t live in North America, however, you’ll have to look for an alternative as the brand currently doesn’t offer shipping beyond the US and Canada.
Is paying a little over $500 expensive for an ergonomic chair? Well, it’s certainly not cheap, but it’s not extravagant either considering there are gaming and office chairs that do cost a lot more. The Mavix M9, which is still one of our favorite gaming chairs, will set you back an eye-watering $999 (£863, about AU$1,400). And, Humanscale expects you to fork out at least $1,634 / £1,036 for its entry-level office chair, Freedom.
Moreover, many of the offerings from top brands like Secretlab and Razer sit around this mid-range price point, with the Secretlab Titan costing $490 (£399, AU$699) at launch and the Razer Iskur Fabric asking you to pay $499 (£499, AU$729).
- Value: 4.5 / 5
Branch Verve: Assembly
- All tools provided
- Easy assembly, great packaging
The Branch Verve comes not just neatly packaged but also with all the tools you’ll need for assembly. So, there’s no need to dig out and dust off your tools beforehand. Of course, Branch also tosses in an instruction book in the box to guide you through setup, but if you’ve assembled an office chair before, you’ll rarely consult it.
The assembly is easy as well, and pretty straightforward, which is another reason why it’s a better choice than gaming chairs (theirs tend to be a little more involved). You do have to screw in the bridge, which secures the backrest, and the arms to the seat, but that’s pretty much it. Everything else you only need to insert or pop in.
The trickiest part of the setup here might just be aligning the chair to thread the cylinder through. This chair isn’t very heavy at all, but the combined weight of the backrest, seat, and arms does make this bit awkward. We recommend getting another person to help so you’re not spending 10 minutes trying to blindly insert the cylinder.
- Assembly: 5 / 5
Branch Verve: Design
- Beautiful modern form
- Excellent materials
- Three colorways
We always appreciate a top-quality chair that’s just as much about form as it is about function, but the Branch Verve takes that a step further, proving that you can combine style and ergonomics without slapping a bloated price tag on it.
The same can be said about some gaming chairs out there – again, both Razer and Secretlab have always been good at that as well – but that bucket seat design is a controversial one. And, if we’re being honest, with so many doing the same thing, it also feels a little lazy at this point.
Meanwhile, Branch has painstakingly designed the Verve down to the smallest detail. For example, you no longer have to choose between a fabric or a mesh finish because, once again, it’s giving you the best of both worlds.
The seat is made of high-density molded foam covered in a soft weave fabric to give your booty that plush experience. However, the backrest is made of this 3D-knit polyester mesh fabric that keeps things breezy and breathable while also offering that hammock-like experience, especially when you’re reclining.
There are six different types of adjustments here, including an impressively-designed padded lumbar rest that you can easily slide up or down the backrest’s inverted A-shaped, glass-reinforced polyamide frame. Unlike other lumbar support that pushes your back to arch unnaturally, this one offers the support it needs without forcing you to assume a weird position.
You can adjust the seat height from 16.5 to 20.5 inches, which should cover most users. Sadly, those over six-foot-five might find it too short at its highest, but the good news here is that it’s inclusive of petite users. Those under five feet will certainly find it the perfect height at its lowest.
We also love the armrests here. They aren’t the 4D armrests you’d normally see on gaming chairs and ergonomic office chairs, offering just height adjustments, but they do have a beautiful form and offer more than enough support by way of thin padding where your arms actually rest.
There’s no headrest, but not everyone needs or uses a headrest. It’s entirely possible for you to maintain a great posture – whether you’re gaming or working – without something supporting your neck. In fact, many gamers pull the headrest off of their gaming chairs, not seeing the need for them.
We adore our coral review unit, but if you’re more about neutral colors, the Branch Verve also comes in galaxy or black and mist or white.
- Design: 5 / 5
Branch Verve: Performance
- Easy, intuitive adjustability
- Supportive and luxurious
- Very breathable and spacious
We’ve never quite understood why so many office and gaming chairs make adjustments such a chore to do. Most of them force you to bend and reach down (and even extend your arms to unnatural angles) to do what should be effortless tasks such as reclining the backrest or adjusting the seat depth.
The Branch Verve, on the other hand, doesn’t just make adjustments easy but also intuitive to do. The levers for its chair tilt, seat depth, and seat height adjustments are within arm’s reach so you never even have to take your back off the backrest. Meanwhile, to adjust the lumbar rest, you simply need to reach both arms back and push up or down accordingly. And, the armrest height adjustments are a no-brainer.
The only real struggle here, if you can even call it that, is the tilt tension cycle dial. It’s still within arm’s reach, but you do have to put some muscle into turning it.
As we’ve said in the design, the combination of foam, fabric, and mesh here ensure that you don’t have to choose between breathability and plushness. It’s kind of ingenious really – of course, your bottom needs that comfy cloud-like seat, and of course, your back needs breathability and lumbar support more than anything. And, you don’t have to worry about any mesh marks on your legs after a full day’s work or hours of gaming.
We’ve never once experienced back fatigue or pain in this chair, and we sometimes put in 10 to 12 hours of work in a day. The fact that its armrests are slim, instead of unnecessarily thick, also makes it possible for us to slip the chair under our desk when we want to recline but still maintain that same distance from our monitor without ever needing to adjust the height of either the desk or the chair.
The only annoying thing about it is that the loose-weave fabric seat cover isn’t robust enough to withstand our cat’s scratches (aka his desperate attempts to demand attention). Anytime he digs his claws into it, you know he’s going to pull a thread of the fabric out. But, that’s more of an us problem.
- Performance: 5 / 5
Should I buy the Branch Verve?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Branch Verve: Report card
|Value||Its design, build, and ergonomics make it more than worth its mid-range price tag.||4.5 / 5|
|Assembly||It’s packaged neatly and incredibly easy to assemble.||5 / 5|
|Design||Not only does it look stunning, but its controls are intuitive and the design aspects are pretty ingenious.||5 / 5|
|Performance||The level of ergonomics and comfort it offers is on point. And, the adjustments are effortless.||5 / 5|
|Total||The Branch Verve is among the best chairs on the market and is great for both productivity and gaming.||4.87 / 5|
- First reviewed October 2022
How we test
We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained – regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it’s on our radar.