What’s going on everyone my name is Myxo. In this review I’m going to give you my honest thoughts and opinions about the Hernan Miller Aeron office chair. I’ve used this Aeron at work for over 10 years, and I know this chair inside and out. For this review, I’m going to compare the Aeron with the Steel Case Leap Version 2 chair as they’re contemporaries in the ergonomic chair market.
The Herman Miller Aeron is an iconic chair. It’s hugely popular in corporate settings worldwide, and is the number 1 selling office chair in the world, but even with worldwide acclaim, it’s a very polarizing piece of office furniture. I personally love the Aeron, and think it’s one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve sat in. I would recommend it to anyone, but it does have some potential draw backs which might be deal breakers for potential buyers.
The Aeron is a robust chair made primarily of plastic resin. What sets the Aeron apart from most ergonomic chairs in its class is its mesh fabrication. While most chairs use a seat and back cushion to support the user, the Aeron provides support with its mesh netting which eliminates pressure points. It has an almost floating quality. I sit in my Aeron for 8 plus hours a day with little to no body fatigue.
While I’m not going to go though all the chair options in this video, it does feature all major adjustments you’d expect to find in a chair at this price point. Depending on your budget, you can add and remove features to your liking. The model I am using includes seat and arm height adjustment, tension adjustment, forward tilt and tilt limiter and lumbar support.
My absolute favorite feature of the Aeron is the forward tilt and tilt limiter feature. With the limiter off and the forward tilt on, this chair can act like a rocking chair. It’s extremely fluid and comfortable while providing exceptional back support. The tension knob controls how easy it is to lean back in the chair. With the tilt limiter on, the back locks into an upright position. This disengages any freedom of motion in the chair, which promotes a more productivity-oriented posture. While the Leap does have a tilt limiter feature, it doesn’t have the same rocking motion as the Aeron. You can lean back in the Leap and adjust the back tension; however, it’s a more linear motion which feels very clunky to me.
The arm adjustment of the Aeron is my least favorite feature of this chair. To raise and lower each arm to your desired height, you have to first unlock the arm by unlatching the locking mechanism on the back of the arm. When you find your desired height, you lock it back down into place. Both hands are required to adjust each arm, so you have to make each arm height adjustment independent of the other. It’s a cumbersome process. To contrast this with the Leap, you intuitively make arm height adjustments by sliding the arms up and down with the press of a button which is a one-handed operation. The arm rests also slide back and forth and side to side which allows the user to find their ideal arm position. The Aeron’s awkward angular arm rest adjustment gets the job done, but can definitely use some refinement.
One feature the Leap has which the Aeron does not is a seat length adjustment. Depending on your height, you can extend the seat basin further out for more leg support which makes the Leap a one size fits all chair. The Aeron on the other hand comes in three different sizes. Size A is the smallest size, B being the middle, and size C being the largest. The Aeron I’m filming with is a size C. It’s important to get the right size for your physique as this can greatly impact your comfort and posture in the chair. I’m 6 feet tall and 175lbs and both the size B and C are comfortable for me.
While ergonomic chairs were not designed for people to sit cross-legged, that doesn’t stop users from doing so. In the Steelcase Leap, you are able to sit cross-legged no problem. You can sit in pretty much any position in this chair comfortably. I can’t say the same thing for the Aeron. If you try to sit cross-legged in the Aeron, the curved plastic lip on the seat pan digs into your legs, causing a lot of discomfort. With that said, the plastic lip only bothers me when sitting in a position the chair was not designed for. Bottom line, if you’re a leg crosser, the Aeron is a no go. But when in a normal seated position with your legs down, you should never have an issue.
For me, the Herman Miller Aeron chair is unparalleled in comfort but I do acknowledge this chair isn’t for everyone. I would definitely recommend test driving any ergonomic chair before you commit to it. As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve used the Aeron in this video for over 10 years, and it looks and feels as good as new. While these chairs are an investment, your health is worth it, and the chair is going to last a very long time.
A few years ago, I made a video where I compared the Herman Miller Embody chair to the Steel Case Leap and in that video, I said the Aeron was my favorite chair. Since the time of making that video and this one, I’ve refined my opinion slightly. My final verdict is this - for me personally, the Aeron is my favorite chair for a corporate workplace environment. However - as far as my home office is concerned, I have to give a slight edge to the Herman Miller Embody. The reason being is that I do sometimes like to sit with my legs crossed on my chair when I’m at home. I am able to easily do this in the Embody, but the curved hard plastic lip on the Aeron does not allow for this. If I could sit cross legged on the Aeron, it would be my perfect chair. But for now, the Aeron will be my go-to chair in a professional setting while the Herman Miller Embody will be my go-to for home office use.