Herman Miller Aeron Review (2020) | #1 Office Chair or NOT?

Some people believe that the Aeron is the best office chair, but is it? I found some weaknesses with this chair, although there’s a twist. You’ll figure it out reading this article but, if you don’t, I shared the secret in the Final section.

The Herman Miller company has been around for over a century, and it’s no secret that it retails quality products.

This product has received plenty of media coverage & reviews, but is it worth the price?

I’ve reviewed this chair because I, like you, hate spending unnecessary money on something just because it’s marketing.

I’ve analyzed all the pros and cons of this model, and I know it’s not perfect, so I offered you plenty of alternatives along the way.

Would I get the Aeron? I would, and I did for my home. It’s the best decision I ever made because it was an informed one. Read why below.

About Company

The Herman Miller Company is one of the most appreciated brands on the market. The HM reputation is based on designing and manufacturing top office furniture since 1905.

The company was founded at the beginning of the 20th century under the name of Michigan Star Furniture in the home furniture niche.

Soon afterward, a clerk hired by this company, called De Pree, bought Michigan Star with the help of HM, his father in law. That’s when De Pree changed the name of the company to pay tribute to his father in law.

The Company has seen some hard times since then, including the Great Depression. To resist the market, HM changed its niche from home furniture to office furniture, which was a more lucrative business.

Aeron Awards 2017

HM made its mark in the business because it values quality. The company understands that excellence starts from the sketch board, so it only employed the top designers who could make a vast array of ergonomic products. That way, HM could attract customers with different tastes and needs.

The result is that HM developed at a steady rate and bought several different furniture companies, so it could now become one of the largest office furniture brands throughout the world. Today, HM sells its products in almost a hundred countries and has factories in three of the five continents.

Their reputation and quality are recognized by professionals all over the world. Thanks to its hi-tech designs and admirable work ethic that focuses on poignant matters such as feminism, gender diversity, and healthcare, HM receives awards regularly.

Sometimes, HM receives prizes for its products. In 2017, the Industrial Design Council of Australia awarded the remastered Aeron the “Good Design Award” for its ergonomic features and innovative construction that emphasize user experience above anything else.

Herman Miller Aeron Chair Review:

Herman Miller Aeron

This brand is top on the market. Many happy customers attest to its durability and stellar features. However, it has cons. Review its features wisely, but I promise you won’t be disappointed if you choose this chair.

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Pros and Cons

PROS:

Top-Quality

It looks stylish and has a top design because its craftsmanship focuses on the users’ needs for durability, comfort, and spending long hours sitting down.

Made in the USA with Custom-Made Parts

It has made-in-the-USA label, meaning you can count on the quality materials and company transparency. The pieces aren’t the generic sort you buy from partner companies, so they fit together perfectly, guaranteeing the quality.

Comfortable Mesh

It is manufactured with a top-quality mesh that contours your body for optimum support during extended hours working. This 8Z Pellicle mesh is durable, flexible, and allows good air circulation.

12 Years Warranty

Its features an extended, 12-year guarantee, which proves you will get a quality, durable chair.

Ships fully assembled

The result is that you won’t have to lose precious time assembling the chair yourself, and there’s no risk of receiving a box with missing parts, which would delay using this chair even further.

350 Pounds Max Weight Capacity

It comes in three sizes, so you can choose one that feels comfortable for you, even if you’re in the tall and heavy category.

Wheels on AeronSmooth Recline

The recline option works smoothly. This mesh office chair leans back naturally while you’re working. This feature helps you keep back pain at bay. For an overview of fully reclining office chair models, click here.

Very Comfortable Armrests

The armrests are the easiest to adjust on the market, so they’re supportive regardless of your position or body shape. The soft arm pads and design increase their comfort level.

Optional Adjustable PostureFit SL

People who have chronic backaches can purchase this option if they need more support in their lumbar region. The Posture Fit makes sure there aren’t any gaps between the chair and your back, so your body weight is supported by the backrest.

Optional Forward Tilt Option

If your job has you typing for hours, you probably find yourself leaning over the keyboard. The forward Tilt has the backrest incline forward with you, so you have good back support even in this position.

Eco-friendly

It is made with a significant proportion of recycled and recyclable materials. The manufacturing process is done with renewable energy in a US greenhouse facility.

Rated for Constant Use

The 24/7 rating means the chair is comfortable and durable for long periods. The warranty is valid even if you’re sitting down 24/7.

CONS:

Some People Don’t Feel Comfortable on the Mesh Seat

Although it is manufactured with a top-quality 8Z Pellicle mesh, some people find it too firm because they prefer cushiony materials. In this case, you might want to take a look at its Celle.

Missing Ergonomic Adjustments

Although it’s in the high price range category, the Aeron does not have seat depth, back height, and arm width adjustments.

Metal FrameThese adjustments relate to body size, so the problem is non-existent if you purchase the right chair size for your needs.

This assessment is easy if you buy a chair for yourself, but it can be difficult if you need Aerons for all your employees.

Metal Frame

Some people have complained about feeling the metal frame through the backrest and the seat because the mesh upholstery is very thin. This usually happens with larger people and those who sit down for long periods.

Limited colors

The remastered type is available in limited colors from the white-black-grey palette, with no bright options.

Specifications Table

Chair Size Small (A) Medium (B) Large (C)
Height 38.5” 41” 43”
Seat Height 14.75-19” 16-20.5” 16”-20.5
Width 25.75” 27” 28.25”
Depth 16” 16.75” 18.5”
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 350 lbs 350 lbs
Seat Dimensions 15.75” W x 16.75” D 17” W x 16.75” D 18.25”W x 18.5”D
Backrest Dimensions 20.25”W x 21”H 21.5”W x 22”H 22.75”W x 23”H
Distance Between Armrests 16” W 17” W 18” W
Arms Lowest Height from Wheels 21.75” H 23” H 24.75” H
Arms Highest Height from Wheels 30.25” H 31.5” H 26.25” H
Base Dimensions 27”W 27”W 27”W
Weight 40 lbs 41 lbs 43 lbs
Shipping Box Dimensions 41″ x 28″ x 27″ 41″ x 28″ x 27″ 41″ x 28″ x 27″
Shipping Box Weight 45 lbs 46 lbs 48 lbs

 

If you’re interested in more specs, you can find them here.

Design

The top-quality chair with a good design that entails using top materials such as grade-A steel for the frame, patented 8Z Pellicle mesh for the upholstery, and aluminum for the parts. This chair is manufactured with custom-made components that ensure the chair’s ergonomic and durable construction.

Its design focuses on users’ needs, such as a correct posture, no backaches or joint stiffness, and a comfortable sit for long hours.

Seat

It is manufactured with 8Z Pellicle mesh, which is elastic, smooth, and supportive. This upholstery is firm and ergonomic so that it can open your hips and keep them aligned to your spine.

The result is that you will be able to maintain a correct posture, without pushing too much of your body weight into your lower back. The consequence is minimized risk for back pain.

However, some people prefer cushiony seats. While the seat’s side bolsters are contouring and ergonomic, you might feel them through the chair if you get a smaller size than you need. The same thing happens with the metal frame if you get a small size for your weight.

Design

Although the seat lacks depth adjustment, you can quickly solve this issue by getting a chair size that fits your height.

Backrest

The backrest is curved to mimic your spine’s natural contours, so your back will rest in a natural position. This design helps you maintain a correct posture and alleviate backaches.

The 8Z Pellicle mesh upholstery is flexible and breathable so that you can sit down in the Aeron for hours.

The seatback reclines slightly, which further takes the pressure off your spine. You can choose between:

  • The standard option for zonal back support if you don’t have backaches
  • The adjustable lumbar support with an extra lumbar cushion if you sit down for hours
  • The Posture Fit SL option with eight pressure zones if you have chronic backaches

Aeron ArmrestsArmrests

The armrests are attached to the seatback and allow natural movements so that you can keep a correct posture regardless of your position.

You can choose an Aeron with a few armrest options:

  • Stationary: they don’t move
  • Height-adjustable arms: you can only adjust their height
  • Fully adjustable: you can adjust the height, depth, and angle for extra support in different positions. Unfortunately, there’s no width adjustability option.

You can choose the upholstery too:

  • Standard PU foam armrests for increased comfort and breathability
  • Leather armrests for more style and softness

Material & Environmental Sustainability

It is manufactured with quality materials, such as:

  • The 8Z Pellicle mesh is very dense and flexible thanks to its mix of 44% polyester and 56% elastomer. These materials are supple, soft, and durable, considering that the mesh can last to 200,000 double rubs. On the downside, this mesh offers no cushioning.
  • The metal frame and base are sturdy and durable. The frame is made with recycled steel, while the frame uses recycled aluminum, which are both heavy and solid materials.
  • The nylon wheel casters are resistant and roll smoothly on various surfaces because you can choose carpet casters and hard-floor casters. The bonus is that they’re quite large at 2.5 inches in diameter.

It is an eco-friendly chair because its parent company, cares about the environment:

  • 91% recyclable
  • Made with 39% recyclable materials and 38% post-consumer content
  • Manufactured in a greenhouse facility with renewable energy
  • Packed in a corrugated cardboard material manufactured from recycled materials
  • BIFMA™ level 3 certified
  • CRADLE TO CRADLE™ certified
  • GREENGUARD GOLD certified
  • Silver GREENGUARD certified

Customization Options

This model features several ergonomic customization options, but other chairs in the same price range have more. I already told you about the missing armrests width, backrest height, and seat depth options that choosing the right chair size compensates.

Customization Options Aeron

Tip: If you want a more affordable chair with more customization options, you can check out HM Equa Chair.

I also liked the synchro-tilt option that lifts the seat when the backrest reclines to make sure your spine and hips are always aligned in a correct posture.

Here’s what the HM offers in its standard price package:

  • Arm adjustment to make sure you keep your elbows at 90ᵒ in a correct posture regardless of your office desk height
  • Seat adjustments to have your knees at 90ᵒ with the floor without blocking hamstring circulation. The chair height is 14.75-19 inches for size A and 16-20.5 inches for B and C.
  • Lumbar adjustment to minimize the pressure on your spine wherever you feel pain
  • Tilt adjustment that allows you to recline comfortably and have the chair support your body weight. Although it has tilt tension adjustment, the Aeron does not have a tilt lock that would secure it in a particular position.

Apart from these standard options, you can purchase additional features to customize your Aeron further, such as:

  • The headrest takes the pressure from your neck and upper body. This feature is useful when you recline as well as when you’re in an upright position because the headrest keeps your shoulders and neck relaxed. The result is no muscle stiffness, which also reduces the risk of tension migraines.
  • The Posture Fit lumbar adjustment ensures that the seatback takes all the pressure from your lower back, to reduce chronic back pain. This is an excellent alternative for people with compressed disc or spinal injuries who spend long periods sitting down.
  • The Forward Tilt option has the seatback incline with you when you lean over your keyboard. If you’re writing most of the time, you need a chair that supports your back, not one that has you crunching over in an incorrect position.
  • The regulable lumbar support keeps your lower back relaxed. This option targets people with no chronic back pain, but who still need to spend long hours sitting.
  • The height-adjustable armrests minimize wrist strain because your arms are in the correct position.
  • 3D regulable armrests move in-depth, and angle to conform to your natural movements. If you frequently change devices or positions, this option allows you to maintain a correct posture because the armrests support your arms better.

Pro tip: Watch some Youtube tutorials to make sure the Aeron is adjusted correctly.

The Aeron offers other customization options in terms of colors and materials. You can choose:

  • Leather armrest pads that look stylish and are very soft
  • Hard-floor casters that work on tile, wood, or cement floors. These casters are 2.5-inch in diameter and have a top braking system.
  • Mineral/ Satin aluminum color is a white-grey shade.
  • Mineral/ Polished aluminum color is a metallic grey.
  • Graphite/ Polished aluminum is a black seat and backrest with a metallic frame.

Sizes

The Aeron is retailed in three sizes, which I’ll discuss below.

The reason is simple: most chairs fit people between the fifth and the ninety-fifth percentile in terms of weight and height.

The Aeron fits 99% of people if you choose a size that fits your body shape. Although this is a guarantee that you will find the right Aeron for your needs, it also means that you may not share your Aeron with other people in your office or home. The downside is that one single size can’t offer a versatile fit for more people unless they all have similar body types.

Size A (Small)

  • Total Height: 38.5 inches
  • Seat Height: 14.75-19 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 300 pounds.
  • Seat: 15.75 x 16.75 inches
  • Backrest : 20.5 x 21 inches
  • Armrest Height: 21.75 – 30.25 inches
  • Chair Weight: 40 pounds

Size B (Medium)

  • Total height: 41 inches
  • Seat Height: 16 – 20.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
  • Seat: 17 x 16.75 inches
  • Backrest: 21.5 x 22 inches
  • Armrest Height: 23 x 31.5 inches
  • Chair Weight: 41 pounds

Sizes

Size C (Large)

  • Total height: 43 inches
  • Seat Height: 16 – 20.5 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
  • Seat: 18.25 x 18.5 inches
  • Backrest: 22.75 x 23 inches
  • Armrest Height: 24.75 x 26.25 inches
  • Chair Weight: 43 pounds

Steelcase Leap vs. Herman Miller Aeron

The Steelcase Leap and the Aeron are both ergonomic, comfortable office chairs in the same price range. Steelcase and chairs Herman Miller are two of the most trustworthy brands in the world of office furniture, so they pay extra attention to their customer’s needs.

Versus Leap

I’ll try to be as objective as possible, so I’ll analyze their features systematically.

Things that Aeron does better:

  • It uses custom-designed parts, which fit better than generic parts. A better-fit equals increased durability and comfort, plus no wiggling or squeaks in the long run.
  • The arm pads are more comfortable. I like the Aeron’s armrests’ pads because they’re very soft, so they don’t block your circulation in the arms. That feature helps people who spend long-time writing or using the mouse.
  • The optional Forward Tilt option keeps your back supported if you’re marathon writing. If you’re a content writer or data entry clerk, you need this feature to make sure your back is supported even when you’re leaning over the keyboard.
  • The standard model features stationary armrests that provide a modicum of support, while the standard Leap model has no arms.
  • Although both chairs home have a curved backrest that accommodates your spine’s natural position, the Aeron has two important optional features: the Posture Fit SL for people with chronic back pain and the lumbar cushion for people who sit down for hours.
  • The Aeron offers a regulable headrest option for people with chronic neck pain or stiffness.

Things that the Leap does better:

  • The Leap has an optional 4-way regulable armrests option, which offers armrest width adjustment that the Aeron lacks.
  • The Leap comes with a lifetime frame warranty, which is longer than the 12-year guarantee offered by the Aeron.
  • The Leap might be more comfortable because it features soft upholstery and some padding. Some people prefer padded seats when they sit down for longer, and the Leap has the right combination of firm support and padding.
  • The Leap has a seat with a front edge that bends forward. This feature is better than the typical waterfall seat edge because it takes the pressure from your hamstrings, even more, allowing for optimal blood circulation.
  • The standard Leap already features a two-way regulable lumbar cushion, unlike the Aeron that only has a curved backrest. You can adjust the Leap’s lumbar in terms of height and firmness.
  • The Leap features a seat depth adjustment between 15.75 to 18.75 inches to accommodate people of different heights.
  • The Leap supports people up to 400 pounds, while the Aeron’s size C goes up to 350 pounds max.
  • The Leap has a 5-point tilt-lock to secure the backrest into place after leaning into it. Although it’s not as big a range as an infinite tilt lock adjustment, it’s better than Aeron’s zero tilt lock.
  • If you choose the fabric upholstery, Leap offers as much as twenty-one color options, including bright ones.

Conclusion: The Leap aims to accommodate as many people as possible with its standard design, so it has more adjustment options, while the Aeron has three sizes to fit your specific frame as tightly as possible. If you prefer firm ergonomic support, type a lot, and don’t like armless chairs choose the Aeron. If you like padded seats, the Leap is a better bet.

Herman Miller Aeron Classic vs Remastered

The Aeron Remastered launched in 2017, and the Classic Aeron is not being manufactured anymore since 2018.

Versus Remastered

Here’s what the Remastered brings in addition to the Classic version:

  • It has a new Posture Fit SL technology with two adjustable pads for extra spine stability.
  • It’s more breathable because the new woven pellicle mesh for the Remastered version provides better airflow. That said, there’s not much noticeable difference in terms of the elasticity of this mesh, so both the Classic and the Remastered versions are equally supportive.
  • The Remastered has a better Forward Tilt optional feature because the seatback inclines further than in the Classic version. That means you get more back support when you’re writing.
  • The tilt tension is more natural to adjust with the Remastered version.
  • The Remastered has width regulable armrests but doesn’t feature angle adjustments.
  • The Remastered is two pounds lighter and looks sleeker than the Classic.
  • Although the standard graphite color remains under the same name, the Remastered version has a brighter shade.

If you like this brand, you might also be interested in reading Embody review before making up your mind.

Where to Buy / Price / Warranty & Return Policy

This model currently retails at around $850 on the official website, discounted from almost $1,000.

This is the standard version, with no additional customizations that you can buy, such as:

  • Mineral frame, polished aluminum base: $230.00
  • Mineral frame, satin aluminum base: $180.00
  • Graphite frame, polished aluminum base: $120.00
  • Tilt limiter and seat angle: $46.75
  • Fully regulable arms: $102
  • Height-adjustable arms: $46.75
  • Adjustable PostureFit SL: $80.75
  • Leather arm pads: $85.00
  • Adjustable lumbar support: $63.75
  • Casters for hard floors: $42.50

If that price seems too much for you, you can always consider a good chair dupe, such as Work Pro Quantum 9000.

The Aeron features a 30-day return policy and full refund in case it doesn’t fit or you changed your mind. However, you have to ship it back in the original box.

The 12-year warranty speaks volumes about its durability, especially as the chair is rated for 24/7 use. Make sure you respect the maximum allowed weight capacity to benefit from the guarantee, though.

This guarantee comes with non-stop customer support and free repairs.

You can buy this model from their website, where you can get various discounts and great shipping options depending on your location.

Even if you don’t get this model from this website, it’s still an excellent idea to visit it for some extra care and maintenance tips.

Amazon is another right choice because it’s a trustworthy website that ships fast. You can even get a used Aeron for a discounted price.

Final Thoughts: So, Are You Thinking of Buying This Model?

It is an excellent chair, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from this review. I like the Aeron because its design shows a keen interest in user experience.

It’s evident that the Aeron doesn’t cut any corners in its design and manufacturing, starting with the custom-made parts that fit perfectly together and ending with the missing adjustments. Yes, you read that right.

Even the absent adjustments, such as armrest width and seat depth, emphasize one of Aeron’s strengths: it comes in three sizes so you can choose one that fits your exact shape and size.

The standard Aeron version, which is also the cheapest, boasts various ergonomic features that work together to remove back pain, to keep your hips and spine aligned, and to make sure you’re always maintaining a correct posture. I’m referring to the flexible 8Z Pellicle mesh design that contours your seat and back, the comfortable padded armrests, and the curved seatback.

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Of course, the Aeron is such a right choice because it offers you additional options so you can customize it to your needs. If you have chronic back pain and sit down for hours, you can choose the PostureFit SL adjustment. If you’re writing all the time, go with the Optional Forward Tilt.

And if you’re changing devices and positions frequently, choose the fully regulable armrests.

This is a chair that’s impossible not to fit you. As such, it guarantees maximum support and enhanced productivity. Invest in your health and creativity, and get the Aeron now.