Two of the most popular ergonomic office chairs out there are the Herman Miller Aeron and the Steelcase Leap. Both chairs have been around almost since the late 90’s, and both companies have very strong foundations building furniture for a long time.
In fact, Steelcase has been building furniture since 1912, and Herman Miller since 1905. Since then, they’ve come a long way from designing tables or wastebaskets, and they now both design some of the best-known office chairs used in Fortune 500 companies, or by people who just understand the importance of improving ergonomic comfort in the workplace to increase productivity and reduce work-related injuries.
So while both chairs are highly acclaimed and very popular, which one is better? I’ve been fortunate enough to own both chairs and tested them longer than a year both, so I have a pretty good understanding of each chair.
Herman Miller Aeron vs Steelcase Leap
|Herman Miller Aeron||Steelcase Leap|
|Adjustable Seat Panel|
|Adjustable Arm Rating|
|Material||Mesh||Fabric or Mesh|
Right away, you’ll notice some advantages the Leap has in the table. Most notably, it’s a bit more customization and a “one fit suits all” kind of product. You can adjust the seat depth to match your leg length, whereas the Aeron instead requires you get the right size to fit your height/weight.
Secondly, the Aeron also is a bit more limited in recline ability and armrest adjustments. The Leap has arms that can swivel in almost any direction, and be adjusted quite quickly, whereas the Aeron just more or less swivels and goes up and down. Both armrests are good–however.
Both chairs share adjustable lumbar supports, but I think the Aeron’s lumbar is a bit more pushy and a bit too heavy handed, whereas the Leap’s lumbar support is more customizable since you can customize the back support’s “firmness” through a dial, whereas the Herman Miller uses Mesh construction that can’t be adjusted like the Leap’s unique lumbar system which uses a plastic pad, but also foam that sort of constructs to get firmer.
Material? Mesh vs Fabric?
One of the biggest differences between the chairs is the mesh construction. Some people prefer mesh since it’s more breathable and “springy” but there are also those that prefer the traditional comfort of fabric since it allows for more awkward seating whereas the Herman Miller isn’t comfortable to sit on a leg (not that the position is ergonomic). I myself found the mesh support of the Aeron comfortable at first, but after a time I found it a bit hard.
It can’t be denied that each chair is expensive, and they both retail around the same price. However, both chairs are extremely durable and resilient to aging and should hold up for YEARS. The reason is that the chairs use steel in a lot of parts, and the high-density foam in the Leap, as well as the powerful mesh in the Aeron, are made to last consistent wear from daily use.
So what is it?
The Aeron, or the Leap? I myself prefer the Leap, especially the Leap V2.
If you’re still wondering more about either, check out the full reviews.