BIFMA Revises Standard For Seating In Public Spaces

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved the revised safety and performance standard: ANSI/BIFMA X5.4-2020, Public and Lounge Seating.

The BIFMA Subcommittee for Seating Standards worked diligently for the past three years to revise this standard. The Subcommittee and industry stakeholders conducted reviews of the draft proposals to ensure the tests were sound and ensured safety for the user. In response to market need, the scope of the 2020 version has been expanded to include recliners, patient seating, stools, and restaurant / dining / cafeteria seating. The updated Public and Lounge Seating standard has also been harmonized with some of the tests from BIFMA’s general-purpose seating standard, ANSI/BIFMA X5.1-2017 Office Chairs. A complete summary of changes is listed in Appendix J.

Thanks to the hard work of the BIFMA Subcommittee and diverse industry stakeholders, this national consensus standard was finalized and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on May 14, 2020.

The X5.4-2020 standard defines the specific tests, laboratory equipment, conditions of test, and recommended minimum levels to be used in the testing and evaluation of the safety, durability, and structural adequacy of Public and Lounge Seating products.

Copies of the new standard are available from BIFMA immediately. This and other standards may be ordered online.


BIFMA is the not-for-profit trade association serving business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, the organization has been the industry leader in developing furniture safety, durability, and sustainability standards that insure product performance and inspire confidence. BIFMA educates the stakeholder community on the importance and proper use of these standards; provides industry statistics and forecasts to members and the public; and advocates for regulatory conditions that enhance value and foster innovation.