Herman Miller Sayl Review
Pros: Incredibly easy to assemble, very adjustable
Cons: Could be a lot more comfortable, design isn’t universal
Manufacturer: Herman Miller
Compare to Similar Products
Herman Miller Sayl
|Price||$785 List||$929 List|
$1,028 at Amazon
$788.40 at Amazon
$329.00 at Amazon
$158.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Incredibly easy to assemble, very adjustable||Extremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy construction||Well built, comfortable, adjustable seat||Great value, durable, comfortable||Inexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustable|
|Cons||Could be a lot more comfortable, design isn't universal||Pricey||Not as comfortable for smaller folks, subpar tilt resistance||Looks aren't universally appealing||Durability could be better|
|Bottom Line||This chair distinguished itself on its looks rather than its ratings, but still offers a high level of performance||The absolute best of the best, thanks to its incredible comfort, adjustability, and construction||With its highly adjustable armrests and seat, this option offers comfort for taller folks||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 Sayl||Steelcase Leap||Steelcase Think||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Ease Of Assembly (5%)|
|Specs||Herman Miller Sayl||Steelcase Leap||Steelcase Think||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Seat pan adjustment||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Adjustable lumbar support||Option available||Yes||Yes||Yes; a movable pad||Yes; the backrest moves up and down|
|Lumbar support||Option available||Yes||Yes||Yes; a removable movable pad||Yes|
|Tilt limiter||Yes; 3 stop points||Yes; 5 stop points||Yes; 4 stop points||Yes; only locks in the upright position||Yes; locks you into a position|
|Armrest width adjustment||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Option available||Option available||Option available||No|
|Swivel armrests||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Option available||Option available||Yes||No|
|Armrest depth adjustment||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Option available||Option available||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Comprising half of the overall score for each chair, comfort is king when it comes to these products. We had each tester try out the Sayl for a significant amount of time, then decide how long they were able to comfortably sit in it — whether it be for a full workday or only for a few hours.
We also aggregated each judge's opinion of the backrest, armrests, and seat cushion and took that into account when determining scores. The Sayl delivered an alright performance. All of our judges agreed that they were content sitting on this chair for at least five hours, with four of them having no problem sitting for a full 8-10 hour day. It doesn't boast the tallest backrest, which may have contributed to the taller testers only wanting to sit in it for half of the day.
The backrest is a rubberized mesh, which some of our judges loved and others weren't so enamored with. The armrests have a much more universal appeal, and the seat is also regarded as comfortable by most of our judges.
Following our suite of comfort assessments, we moved on to rating and scoring how adjustable the Sayl is. We primarily focused on how customizable the backrest, armrests, and seat pan are and the way it can recline. Finally, we combined all of this to see if we could easily get the chair into an ergonomic seating position at an average desk. Altogether, these assessments account for 35% of the total score and the Sayl delivers a stellar performance.
The backrest offers lumbar support, and we liked that you can move it up or down. The armrests on the version we tested are fully customizable; you can move them up and down, closer or further to you, and forward and back. You can also pivot them, although we aren't the biggest fans of the raise and lower mechanism. We have seen versions of this chair without the completely adjustable armrests, so make sure you double-check you are buying the one you prefer.
You can adjust the depth of the seat pan and move the chair height up and down. When it comes to reclining, the knob that adjusts the tension is fine, and there are tilt limiters to set different angles, which allow you to recline.
Overall, these various adjustments make it super easy to move the chair into a position that conforms to ergonomic guidelines.
Next, we evaluate how well constructed and durable the Sayl is. We based the score on our own assessments of each chair, reading through tons of other user experiences. The Sayl performs quite well. We didn't notice any major signs of damage after our testing process, though we could see the front padding of the armrests showing a bit more signs of wear than some of the other models. The height adjustment lever also feels a little flimsy. We saw a handful of user reviews that echoed this sentiment, noting that the front seat cushion padding and the armrest padding began to wear or break.
Ease of Assembly
For this metric, we evaluated how long it took to build each chair and the quality and clarity of the instructions. The Sayl did very well, earning a top score. It arrives almost completely built, and we had the chair ready to go in less than five minutes, as you only have to set the top on the base. The directions were also very clear, as there was really only a single step.
This chair isn't the best value, but it can be a decent bargain if you are shopping for a high-end, premium chair that also sits pretty.
Overall, the Sayl is a solid chair and holds its own against much more expensive options. It's got a unique look and is fairly comfortable but might not be the best option for everyone.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer