Reviews You Can Rely On

Herman Miller Embody Review

This chair is one of the top performers but its exorbitantly expensive price tag is a bit of a turn off
Herman Miller Embody
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $1,595 List
Pros:  Durable, comfortable, very adjustable
Cons:  Exceptionally expensive, harder to assemble
Manufacturer:   Herman Miller
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jun 30, 2021
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • Comfort - 50% 7
  • Adjustability - 35% 8
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Ease of Assembly - 5% 5

Our Verdict

The Herman Miller Embody scores exceptionally well in our tests and is a premium office chair. It's incredibly comfortable and you can easily sit in it for a full day. It boasts an excellent set of adjustable features, which allows it the capability to be customizable for many. It's well-built, but it is far from the easiest to assemble. The biggest downside is its price tag, though if you sit at a desk on a regular basis and are in need of a comfortable, high-quality chair, it is easily worth the cost.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Herman Miller Embody
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $1,595 List$929 List
$1,028 at Amazon
$785 List
$499.11 at Amazon
$329 List
$329.00 at Amazon
$175 List
$158.00 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
75
86
75
72
59
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Durable, comfortable, very adjustableExtremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy constructionIncredibly easy to assemble, very adjustableGreat value, durable, comfortableInexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustable
Cons Exceptionally expensive, harder to assemblePriceyCould be a lot more comfortable, design isn't universalLooks aren't universally appealingDurability could be better
Bottom Line This chair is one of the top performers but its exorbitantly expensive price tag is a bit of a turn offThe absolute best of the best, thanks to its incredible comfort, adjustability, and constructionThis chair distinguished itself on its looks rather than its ratings, but still offers a high level of performancePairs exceptional comfort and durability, at a price you just can't beatA surprisingly comfortable office chair that can't compete with top tier products, but boasts an especially comfortable price
Rating Categories Herman Miller Embody Steelcase Leap Herman Miller Sayl DXRacer Racing Series Modway Articulate E...
Comfort (50%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Adjustability (35%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Ease Of Assembly (5%)
5.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Herman Miller Embody Steelcase Leap Herman Miller Sayl DXRacer Racing Series Modway Articulate E...
Seat pan adjustment Yes Yes Yes No No
Adjustable lumbar support Yes; you can adjust the amount, but not the location 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
Recline lever No No No Yes Yes
Tilt limiter Yes; 4 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 Yes Option available Option available as a third-party upgrade Option available No
Swivel armrests No Option available Option available as a third-party upgrade Yes No
Armrest depth adjustment No Option available Option available as a third-party upgrade Yes No
Tension knob Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The majority of our testers are big fans of the Embody.
The majority of our testers are big fans of the Embody.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


Our most significant metric out of the entire group, our comfort assessments, are responsible for the largest component of the final score. Our testers rate and score their overall impression of each chair after using them for 8-10 hours. We also had them evaluate how comfortable the backrest, armrests, and seats are. Each judge determined how long they could comfortably sit in each chair, with the final outcome being that the Embody receives high marks across the board.

The Embody by Herman Miller.
The Embody by Herman Miller.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The majority of testers agree that this chair offers supreme comfort. It has an exceptionally comfortable seat, though one of our judges disagreed, rating it poorly in every single one of our comfort tests. The same held true when it came to judging the comfort of the backrest, with all the judges, except for the lone dissenter, rating them as one of the top three most comfortable.

The armrests aren't universally lauded by our testers, but are still...
The armrests aren't universally lauded by our testers, but are still incredibly comfortable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Embody has average armrests when it comes to their level of comfort.

Almost everyone was more than happy to sit in the Embody for a full...
Almost everyone was more than happy to sit in the Embody for a full day.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

As for the final judgment for how many hours you can comfortably sit on the Embody, one judge called it quits after four hours. Every other judge in our tests was more than happy to sit on it for the entirety of the day, easily maintaining a high level of comfort for 9-10 hours.

Most components on the Embody are adjustable.
Most components on the Embody are adjustable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Adjustability


Our next rating metric focuses on the backrest, seat, and armrests of each chair — this time scoring each product on the range of motion available to you. We also looked at the reclining mechanism, and if you are able to easily configure the chair so you are sitting according to ergonomic guidelines. The Embody again did well. The backrest on this chair does have lumbar support, but we were quite disappointed that you can't adjust its height, only the amount of curvature. The backrest on this chair does come up quite high, and it has four different stop points that you can set as tilt limiters when reclining.

We did like the different tilt limiter settings you can engage on...
We did like the different tilt limiter settings you can engage on the Embody.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The armrests are quite adjustable, allowing you to move them up and down or closer or further to you, but you can't move them forward or backward or swivel them.

Unfortunately, you can't move the armrests on this chair forwards or...
Unfortunately, you can't move the armrests on this chair forwards or backwards or pivot them.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

However, the seat does offer a full range of adjustability, letting you move the seat pan forward or backward. It also has a generous range of motion when it comes to moving the chair up and down.

It's easy to reach all of the adjustments on the Embody.
It's easy to reach all of the adjustments on the Embody.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The reclining tension adjustment knob is responsive and very accessible, and we didn't find it to be a hassle at all to get this chair into a position that allows you to sit ergonomically.

The Embody is sturdily constructed.
The Embody is sturdily constructed.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Durability


For this metric, we evaluated how durable and sturdy the chair felt. We also included our own impressions of how it held up during our testing procedure and analyzed a variety of user reviews. Some reviews indicated that the chair arrived damaged, though there are few instances of this. The chair is quite sturdy and we experienced zero issues during our extensive testing process.

The Embody took a little bit of time to get together, but overall...
The Embody took a little bit of time to get together, but overall wasn't too much of a hassle.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Assembly


We judged each chair on how much of a hassle it was to unpack and build for the last portion of the score. The Embody arrives mostly assembled, but it still took us a good chunk of time to completely build it. We spent over 45 minutes and struggled to get the screws in, hampered by sloppy tolerances or deformed threads. We were very grateful for the Torx screw heads, as we are convinced that we would have stripped them if they were Phillips head. We expected the quality control for this pricey product to be a bit better. On top of that, the assembly directions were a bit lackluster and could have been clearer.

Value


The list price of the Embody is certainly high and it seems to increase with every passing year. However, if you're shopping for a premium chair that provides exceptional comfort and a high level of adjustability, and you sit at your desk and on a chair for a large portion of the day, this chair presents an excellent value.

Conclusion


The Herman Miller Embody is an exceptional office chair that doesn't disappoint — with the exception that probably comes from looking at your bank account after buying it.

David Wise and Austin Palmer