The Don’t Lean Back chair

‘Don’t lean back on your chair!’

How many times did your teachers and your parents yell that at you? Do you yell it at your kids?

It seemed like every teacher in the 80s and 90s knew of a kid that had ended up in a coma from leaning back too far on their chairs and falling (I suspect they didn’t all know one, but that’s what they used to tell us anyway!).

Now it’s got a whole lot harder to lean back with the Don’t Lean Back, or dlb, chair.

dlb chair, review, Don't Lean Back Chair

The chair is the brainchild of a former teacher, Tom Wates, who designed a version for the classroom which is actually really, really hard to lean back on! And now the Max II chair is available for the home, exclusively through Dwell.

It comes in four stylish colours – citrus orange, storm grey, kiwi green and royal blue. It’s perfect for the home office or even as a dining chair.

As it happens, I have a home office (well, a spare room where my computer sits!) and I’ve been working at a dining chair ever since I went freelance. It’s not ideal for spending long hours in front of the computer, so I was very keen to try something which had actually been designed for using at a desk.

I opted for a neutral grey and couldn’t resist putting the chair to the test. Could I lean back?


Remember how at school you could just press your back against the back of your chair and the legs would come up off the floor? Not with the dlb chair they don’t! You can just about lift the front legs up by putting your feet on the floor and pushing hard, but they’re a real struggle to keep up!

And did I mention how comfortable it is? It might just look like a plastic chair, but it was designed in consultation with experts on posture and you can tell! It is a very comfortable seat indeed. My mum and dad were both very impressed with the back support. My husband (who always dismisses items for review as ‘clutter’) thought it was very stylish and good value.

In fact, ‘my’ chair proved very popular with the whole family. My eldest pointed out that he had recently broken HIS chair and maybe the new chair should be for him. (Guess how he broke his chair – yes, he leaned back on it!)

But I still think my need is greater than his and I’ll be keeping the dlb chair. He can have my old dining chair!

The dlb Max II chair retails at £69 and is available from Dwell.

PicMonkey dlbchairCollage

We were sent a dlb Max II chair for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I think every child could do with one of these including my z who has just discovered that he can potentially do this. I literally sit there with one leg on his chair too! They look very stylish, must be a lovely addition to your office!

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    • What is it with kids and leaning back on chairs? It is a very stylish addition to my office – as long as I can stop my eldest nicking it!

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  2. hehehe! I remember the stories the teachers used to tell us at school and I have told my girls the same stories….What a fab chair! It looks great! x

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    • Thanks! It’s a very good chair. I think if every teacher really knew a kid who’d been put in a coma like that I reckon there would be an awful lot of those kids around! x

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  3. Oh that sounds fab! I remember doing the whole lean back thing and now Cheeky Chap has started to do it already (at home at least) and fallen a handful of times! I also work at my dining table and am actually looking at getting a more comfortable chair to do my studies and blogging from, this sounds perfect!

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    • I reckon it’s the perfect chair for blogging and working! Poor Cheeky Chap for falling off his chair! I always used to lean back on mine too – its seemed fun at the time!

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  4. Ha ha, my OH always moans about more junk and clutter turning up as well. Glad it’s not just mine who moans!

    Looks a really simple design, but interesting to see how it works.

    Post a Reply
    • My husband should think himself lucky! We have far less review stuff than most bloggers!
      I’m not sure how it works – suspect the legs are heavy. The chair is pretty lightweight though.

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  5. I am tempted! D is constantly fidgeting, a chair he couldn’t wobble backwards in would help keep me sane.

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    • Sounds like it would be good for you! It’s remarkably difficult to lean back on it!

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  6. What a brilliant idea. I’m constantly telling Jessica not to tip her chair back at the dinner table so something like this sounds perfect. Glad to hear that it is also very comfortable too 🙂

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    • Thanks! The comfort is actually more important than the leaning back for me, although my eldest is terrible for leaning back!

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  7. THAT is BRILLIANT!!! I so need these in my life. I think that as a teacher, leaning back on chairs is a real bug bear of mine and I get so cross with the kids here when they do it. i have also witnessed a child fall back and really hurt his head on a wall too which is a story I recount quite regularly. Schools need to buy these chairs.

    Post a Reply
    • Interesting to hear that you really have witnessed one of those accidents. Kids just don’t seem to be able to stop themselves leaning back on chairs! I know my eldest does it a lot at home.

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  8. I, too, work from home and have a very uncomfortable chair that I sit on, so am always interested to read about better options. Can you sit on the Dwell chair for several hours (while the children are at school – my preferred working hours!) and not end up hobbling to school at pick-up time with an aching back?

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    • I can only speak for myself in the position of someone who is lucky enough not to suffer from back pain, but it’s absolutely fine for me!. Better than the dining chair, that’s for sure!

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