The Good / The Herman Miller Aeron is often cited as being the best ergonomic chair. The quality construction of the product can’t be denied, and for those looking for a mesh-type ergonomic chair that will last years and years, this is the chair to get.
The Bad / The Herman Miller Aeron’s lumbar support has always been the chair’s weak spot, and the old model is still being sold which makes it confusing for a consumer to pick the right chair. The mesh can be good for breathability, but for those looking for traditional comfort, the Herman Miller Aeron might feel too sterile and restricting.
The Verdict / The Herman Miller Aeron might have once been the best ergonomic office chair in the market, but now with tons of competitors like Steelcase, and some better offerings from Herman Miller itself like the Herman Miller Embody (which admittedly more expensive) I can’t recommend the Herman Miller Aeron as the best ergonomic office chair for everyone.
The Aeron is not a one size fits all solution in more way than one (requires three sizes, and a lot of people just don’t fit this chair comfortably). However, the chair’s build quality, warranty, and mesh design do deserve ample credit.
Introduction to Herman Miller Aeron Review
The iconic Herman Miller Aeron chair was one of the first modern ergonomic chairs that people started using in offices and home around the world. It gained attention as a Fortune 500 chair, and it also pioneered the mesh office chair design.
You will see a lot of copycats around Amazon and other places like Office Depot. But most of these chairs lack the build quality and ergonomic design of the Aeron. In this Herman Miller Aeron review, I’ll take a look at what the chair offers regarding features, price, and comfort.
The Herman Miller Aeron chair is an expensive chair when compared to $100 office chairs, but when compared to other high-end ergonomic chairs, it’s around the same price. Ergonomic chairs usually go for $900-1000 for the basic model, and the Herman Miller Aeron is $939.
A lot of people think ergonomic chairs are ridiculously expensive, but I would counter that like any high-end product–whether a gaming PC, fridge, washer machine, couch, or table–you get what you pay for.
Sometimes it’s better to invest in a product that is better quality that will last longer, than simply purchasing a cheap IKEA chair that will wear out in a few years giving you back pain the entire time.
Now, I’m not saying the Herman Miller Aeron is a perfect chair for the price, but it’s much better than most other office chairs out there. But why is that?
Comfort / Features
The Herman Miller Aeron chair is constructed with high-quality parts, and when you get the chair and lift it up, you’ll believe me. The chair, simply put, is HEAVY. A good number of the parts are solid metal like the sides of the seat frame, back, and the metal base is built to support heavy weights. If anything, the chair is worth the 10-year warranty in build quality alone, but is it comfortable? And how does it size?
However, there are three sizes of the chair from size A which is small, medium size B, and large size C. This is different from some other ergonomic chairs out there, and you’ll find that the various sizes of the Aeron have different back sizes and seat sizes to fit people better. It can be hard to find the right size, and if you pick the wrong size, you won’t be comfortable.
Other chairs like the Steelcase Leap have a few more adjustments that make it so you can customize the chair a bit better (adjustable seat depth for one), so make sure you get the right size.
Besides the quality construction and sizing, the Herman Miller Aeron has other adjustable features which are standard but still good to see. You have adjustable arms (not quite as adjustable as the Steelcase Leap), seat angle adjustments, and adjustable lumbar support. However, one thing I’ve always disliked about the Aeron chair (especially the original) is the lumbar support.
Other chairs like the Steelcase Leap have a more built-in lumbar design since the chair is more curved to help your spine, whereas the Aeron chairs rely on plastic parts on the back to be adjusted correctly.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to adjust, but the newest Aeron model uses what they call a “PostureFit SL” lumbar support, which is miles better than the old lumbar support, but still a bit too “bricky” for me.
The lumbar support just kind of hits my back weird, and gives me pain. This sort of thing is a bit subjective since a lot of people find the lumbar support is fine, but I’ve found that overall, people do tend to have problems with the backs of the Aeron chair a bit more than other chairs like the Leap which is a more generally favored design.
The first design of the Aeron chair just had what I call a “lumbar brick, ” and since the new lumbar support looks drastically different, you can see that I wasn’t alone in finding the previous design uncomfortable.The bad thing is that this “old Aeron chair” is still being sold everywhere, including Amazon, and a lot of people are buying this old model without knowing it’s a bit outdated regarding the latest ergonomic designs.
Other things like the seat’s mesh materials are also praised or hated. The good thing about mesh is that it’s very breathable, and lasts for a good while. For me, I’m more of a fan of fabric chairs with padding, since they are less stiff and let you sit different ways.
The Aeron requires only one seating position since anything else will feel painful and too tight (although it’s an ergonomic one). For this reason, I found that I got more stiff in the Aeron chair than some other chairs which offer more movement capabilities (Leap and Herman Miller Embody chairs). After using the chair for a few months, I was getting a fair amount of hip pain, and the stiff mesh material was very good at making my arse feel tired and stiff.
Herman Miller Aeron Review Conclusion
The Herman Miller Aeron is a worthy ergonomic office chair and it could be a good fit if you want a high end mesh chair that will last you 10+ years. While the lumbar support isn’t the best in the market, it can be OK if you manage to adjust it correctly and get the perfect chair size. However, if you want my recommendation for a chair with better back support and adjustability, check out the Steelcase Leap.