The Herman Miller Aeron chair is one of the most famous ergonomic office chair solutions. However, the Humanscale Freedom Chair with a headrest is also a fairly popular option. I’ve seen it in a lot of modern offices and even in shows like Netflix’s “Iron Fist”.
Don’t believe me?
Check it out picture below:
Both the Herman Miller Aeron and Humanscale Chairs offer ergonomic solutions, but both of the chair’s have different takes. However, at the end of the day the most important thing is which chair is better?
Let’s break it down in three categories; price, comfort, and design.
In terms of price, the Aeron chair is a bit cheaper hitting closer to the $939 mark whereas the Humanscale Freedom is currently $999 on Amazon. The Aeron chair wins here, but remember that the Humanscale Freedom also has a headrest whereas the Aeron does not. You have to pay extra with the Aeron.
Both the Aeron and Humanscale Freedom can be fairly comfortable since each chair is designed to feel premium and comfortable. However, the two chairs take two different approaches to ergonomics, and depending on your preference, this could be a deal breaker.
The Aeron chair is more about picking the right size ( the chair comes in three sizes A, B, C) and customizing the chair’s adjustments to your fit. You can adjust the arms more and you can adjust the lumbar support. But even the Aeron isn’t as customizable as something like the Steelcase Leap which find a better middle ground between a “one size fits all solution” and adjustability. The Aeron requires you to get the right size, whereas the Leap lets you customize the one model to your liking. Now, what about the Humanscale Freedom?
The Humanscale Freedom is more just one size fits all kind of ergonomics. The chair doesn’t have hardly any adjustments at all, and the arms aren’t very adjustable. There isn’t any lumbar adjustment, but the chair just kind of adjusts to you as you move when you lean back. Some users find that this means you don’t get enough back tension to hold you up, and I can see problems developing for users who might be too tall or short for the chair’s “one size fits all” build. That said, the minimalist nature of the ergonomic design makes it lighter and less clunky in some ways.
I think the Aeron wins here. The lumbar support provides better adjustment, and the chair is simply more comfortable.
The Aeron has spawned many copies, so it must be doing something right. When it released, the mesh design and ergonomic shape of the back was very revolutionary. I’ve never thought it looks particuarly sleek, but the durability and comfort can be seen a mile away.
The Humanscale Freedom is particularly unique when it comes to design. The back is framed with steel bars giving the chair an industrial appearance to the ergonomic design. The cushioning is also very thing and minimalist, and the materials used in the chair are more sleek while the metal is more chrome based which gives the chair a shiny appearance.
The chair is also available in Graphite, and Titanium, or just polished aluminum which gives the chrome-like appearance (the Aeron also has the same aluminum options for customization). The Humanscale Freedom also comes in various colors whereas the Aeron really only comes in white mesh or black mesh besides the variation of metal appearance.
Winner? Humanscale Freedom.
I think the Aeron is a better chair. A lot of people seem to be increasingly disappointed with the latest versions and models of the Humanscale Freedom which seem to be reducing features. A lot of people have found the armrests aren’t comfortable, and that a lot of the components are plastic.
Aeron, for the most part, has remained untouched since it’s creation, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about the chair. However, it’s still one of the best chairs out today, alongside the Steelcase Leap.