Herman Miller Embody Review
Pros: Durable, comfortable, very adjustable
Cons: Exceptionally expensive, harder to assemble
Manufacturer: Herman Miller
Compare to Similar Products
Herman Miller Embody
|Price||$1,595 List||$929 List|
$1,028 at Amazon
$499.11 at Amazon
$329.00 at Amazon
$158.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Durable, comfortable, very adjustable||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, harder to assemble||Pricey||Could be a lot more comfortable, design isn't universal||Looks aren't universally appealing||Durability 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 off||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 Embody||Steelcase Leap||Herman Miller Sayl||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Ease Of Assembly (5%)|
|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|
|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|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 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 Embody has average armrests when it comes to their level of comfort.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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