Herman Miller Aeron Review
Pros: Comfortable, durable, easy to assemble
Cons: Exceptionally expensive, no seat depth adjustment
Manufacturer: Herman Miller
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Herman Miller Aeron
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|Pros||Comfortable, durable, easy to assemble||Extremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy construction||Incredibly easy to assemble, very adjustable||Great value, durable, comfortable||Inexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustable|
|Cons||Exceptionally expensive, no seat depth adjustment||Pricey||Could be a lot more comfortable, design isn't universal||Looks aren't universally appealing||Durability could be better|
|Bottom Line||This office chair is one of the nicer mesh-backed chairs we have tested so far but comes at a premium price||The absolute best of the best, thanks to its incredible comfort, adjustability, and construction||This chair distinguished itself on its looks rather than its ratings, but still offers a high level of performance||Pairs exceptional comfort and durability, at a price you just can't beat||A surprisingly comfortable office chair that can't compete with top tier products, but boasts an especially comfortable price|
|Rating Categories||Herman Miller Aeron||Steelcase Leap||Herman Miller Sayl||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Ease Of Assembly (5%)|
|Specs||Herman Miller Aeron||Steelcase Leap||Herman Miller Sayl||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Seat pan adjustment||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Adjustable lumbar support||Yes||Yes||Option available||Yes; a movable pad||Yes; the backrest moves up and down|
|Lumbar support||Yes||Yes||Option available||Yes; a removable movable pad||Yes|
|Tilt limiter||Yes; 3 stop points||Yes; 5 stop points||Yes; 3 stop points||Yes; only locks in the upright position||Yes; locks you into a position|
|Armrest width adjustment||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Option available||No|
|Swivel armrests||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Yes||No|
|Armrest depth adjustment||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The most significant of our testing metrics, comfort, accounts for a good portion of each chair's final scores. To rate and score this highly subjective metric, we had a diverse panel of judges try out each chair for at least a full workday and gave them a questionnaire to fill out. In particular, we had them rate and score how comfortable each chair's seat, armrests, and backrest are and decide how long they would be content to sit in each one.
The Aeron scores fairly well by the majority of our judges, especially when it comes to the armrests. They are heavily padded, which gives them a leg up, but they can be difficult to make parallel to one another, as the level mechanism on the back requires both hands to operate. The backrest isn't the most comfortable we have seen to date and is a bit lower than many of the others, so taller testers in particular had some negative things to say about the Aeron.
The seat is also quite comfortable, with every single one of our testers rating it average or above. The vast majority of them even rated the seat of the Aeron close to the top of the entire group. Overall, the majority of our judges found it comfortable enough to sit in for at least a full workday, though there would be a few more complaints that the overall most comfortable chairs received.
Next, we ranked and scored the various adjustments each of these office chairs has to adjust to a wide range of different body types and sitting positions. This metric is responsible for less than comfort but still a significant amount of the Aeron's final score. It lacks some of the adjustability that the premium models have, but still scores well. In this metric, we compared how much you adjust the chair back, armrest, seat, and reclining resistance and use all of these adjustments to sit in the recommended ergonomic position. We again had a large panel of judges try out each chair for this last test, all of the varying heights and preferred sitting styles.
The Aeron lets you adjust the backrest and lumbar support a lot. It has "PostureFit SL Lumbar Support", which consists of two pads that should conform to your body and support your lower back. You can't adjust the height of these pads --this is usually not an issue since they are quite tall — but you can adjust the level of support and firmness.
This office chair has three different reclining limiters that you can set — straight up, halfway reclined, and all the way back. The reclining resistance knob is easy to reach underneath the front of the chair and makes it easy to set your desired resistance. However, the backrest doesn't go particularly, stopping just slightly lower than the other mid-backrest chairs.
The armrests can move up and down and forward and back, and swivel but can't move narrower or wider. The seat has adequate padding, but the seat pan depth can't be adjusted. However, even our shortest judge (5'3") could put her feet flat on the ground in this chair. Altogether, it's fairly easy to get this chair configured for an ergonomic position at most desks, though the armrests are a little on the thick side and can get jammed up depending on your desk.
Our next group of tests focused on the Aeron's construction and warranty, which accounts for a much smaller amount of the total score than comfort and adjustability. To score durability, we researched commonly identified issues and paid attention to how well each chair held up to our in-house testing use. The Aeron scored exceptionally well in this metric, earning one of the top spots in the entire fleet.
We combed through as many user experiences as we could find of the Aeron and didn't find any complaints. The most common issues we found were people complaining about the fit of the chair based on their personal preferences. It's solidly built, and it didn't show any signs of wear and tear after our testing.
Ease of Assembly
We rated and compared the amount of effort it took to assemble each of these chairs for our fourth and final metric. This does not account for a large portion of the overall score, but we still deem this metric an important one. The Aeron is one of the easiest chairs to put together, earning it a top score. The Aeron arrives assembled and only took us 10 minutes to go from the box to sitting in it.
The Aeron boasts a decent overall score, but also comes at a high price.
Overall, the Aeron is a good chair that won't disappoint. It offers plenty of ventilation on your back, as well as a high level of comfort. The fit isn't as universally acclaimed as other models, but its price tag puts it out of most people's budgets.
— Hayley Thomas, Austin Palmer, and David Wise