Finding the perfect chair can be an expensive experiment.
Over the past 10 years, I have tried many different styles of office and gaming chairs trying to find the ideal seating option for my office. I honestly lost count of all the different chairs that have graced my office. They all had great features about them but none of them seemed to be the perfect fit for me. I have a few different medical ailments including sciatica inflammation, arthritis in my knees, and sometimes a shoulder strain. All of these issues compound and are made worse when I sit in a chair for 8 hours a day that isn’t a good fit. For a couple of years now, I have toyed with the idea of moving to the Aeron Chair from Herman Miller. My hesitancy was solely based in the expense of the chair. The base model with no customization is $1,445.00 (at the time of publishing). Eventually I came around to the conclusion that since I spend most of my day at my desk, I needed to make sure I was not exacerbating my medical conditions and making them worse. I also came to the realization that I had probably already spent more than $2,000 trying to find the right chair over the past 10 years (one chair per year at $200 per chair for 10 years). So, I made the jump and placed the order for the Aeron Chair.
The Aeron Chair is specifically designed to be ergonomic. Herman Miller has sold more than 7 million of these chairs and it has “set the benchmark for ergonomic comfort” according to their website. The chair’s design provides support for a range of postures, activities, and body types. It features some outstanding design qualities including:
- Pellicle suspension material
- Patented PostureFit SL back support – makes it possible for users to have an ‘ideal sit’ that includes having the chest open, shoulders back, and the pelvis tilted slightly forward
- State-of-the-art adjustability – arms, seat height, depth, and recline
- Breathable fabric keeps you cool and comfortable.
- Three chair sizes mean the most comfort to the largest range of users.
- Adjustable PostureFit SL pads provide lumbar support and stabilize the base of the spine.
- Harmonic Tilt supports the way you naturally move, for a smooth and balanced recline.
- Fully adjustable arms (height, depth, and angle) allow for a custom fit.
- Now available in an all-black Onyx colorway, our darkest shade yet.
The Aeron Chair is also eco-friendly and features Indoor Advantage Gold certification. The chair is available in three sizes – A (small; weight capacity 300lbs), B (medium; weight capacity 350lbs), and C (large; weight capacity 350lbs). There are several options that a user has when ordering the chair, too. Those options include:
- Frame/Base (graphite/graphite, graphite/polished aluminum, mineral/satin aluminum, mineral/polished aluminum, black/polished aluminum, black/onyx ultra matte)
- Size (A, B, or C)
- Back Support (basic, adjustable lumbar support, adjustable Posturefit SL)
- Tilt (standar, tilt limiter and seat angle)
- Arms (height-adjustable, fully adjustable, stationary)
- Armpad (standard, leather)
- Caster (carpet, multi-surface with quiet roll)
Each option aside from the standard base features, does add to the bottom line of the chair’s cost. Based on the different combinations, the chair can have a top base price (before taxes) of $1,995.00. While this shouldn’t be the absolute deciding factor on a chair like this, the price does need to be included within the details of the chair. I do also want to mention that along with the expense of the chair, Herman Miller has a fantastic return policy. They will accept all returns within 30 days of purchase – even custom ordered merchandise.
After placing my order, I ended up having to wait several weeks for the chair to be delivered. This was because each Aeron Chair is custom-built when it’s ordered. I also ordered a rare color combination so that took even longer. Even though I had a delay in receiving the chair, I did receive good order updates from Herman Miller and their customer service was always kind and helpful when I contacted them for updates.
One of the massive appeals of the Aeron Chair – and any Herman Miller chair really – is that it arrives to you pre-assembled. Over the years, I’ve spent hours assembling gaming and office chairs so much that I could probably do it in my sleep. It was incredibly refreshing to just open the box and find the chair completely assembled. I just had to pull the plastic wrapping off of the back and wheels and it was good to go. It was seriously the best unboxing experience of any office or gaming chair to this point. I have a included gif below that shows you just how the chair arrived and was unboxed. It was a beautiful experience.
Since the chair arrived assembled, I was able to begin using it immediately. I was immediately taken when the beauty of the design of the chair. It can really fit into any type of office decor, but I think it looks particularly nice with my technology-heavy setup. The chair is comfortable and I noticed a difference right away in how I felt sitting in it versus other chairs. A lot of back, neck, and shoulder pain/stiffness I usually felt at the end of a day was not noticeable when using the Aeron Chair.
The only issue I had at first was with the front lip of the chair’s seat. The edge of the chair where my legs hang off was an issue for me because it was putting pressure on places in my legs that caused additional pain in my knees and connected muscle groups. I did some research and discovered that the Embody Chair (also by Herman Miller) might be a better ‘fit’ for my body since I have wider legs and hips. The Embody Chair has a slightly wider seat base and I thought that might benefit me. The frame of the seat and back are made from what feels like hard, molded plastic. I was concerned that maybe the base wasn’t wide enough for my long-term comfort and that the hard frame wouldn’t relax. Because of that, I started to second-guess my decision.
Since the chair arrived on June 24, 2021, the chair has loosened a bit and I am more comfortable in it. It forms better to my body than I expected and after nearly three months of using it, I am really glad I stuck with it. I would say that if you are planning on trying out the Aeron, make sure to give yourself enough time to truly break it in for yourself. It was very much like a pair of new shoes for me. At first, it was a little tight and I thought about giving up before it started giving me problems, but after using the chair consistently for a period of time, it started to loosen up in the right places. If you do have concerns about the seat base being wide enough, the Embody Chair might be a good secondary option for you.
All in all, the Aeron is a great chair. It’s been a godsend for me because I can actually complete a day of work and not feel like I’ve been hit by a truck at the end of it. I think most people would scoff at the idea of the Aeron Chair because of its expense, but how can you put a price on your personal comfort and health? For me, the decision to invest in this chair was made based on my personal health needs and in the end, I’m really glad that I moved forward with it. Herman Miller has been a great company to work with thus far and I can recommend the Aeron Chair to anyone – especially those who have fought with their desk chairs for years like I did.