Is the Herman Miller Aeron worth it?

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Herman Miller Aeron

When Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick designed the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, they combined a deep knowledge of human-centered design with never-before-seen technology to create a task chair unlike any other.

One of the best chairs in the market, The Herman Miller Aeron has quickly achieved a name for itself. The future-esque style, impeccable design, comfort, and material really makes the chair one of a kind.  And ofcourse, Herman Miller’s great reputation ensures that this chair will certainly raise some eyes at the workplace. But this doesn’t come for a cheap price, rather, Herman Miller’s Aeron Chair is one of the most expensive chairs in the market. Naturally, the question arises, is the chair worth it?

Yes, and no. Let’s dive deeper into the answer.

Review of the chair parts: 

Build Quality 

Almost 1200$ just for the base price. The chair ought to be built like a tank! And well, that assumption isn’t very far off. Herman Miller is famous for their durable and lasting designs, and they deliver yet again Aeron. This chair has one of the most durable and stout designs in the market. (if not the most)

Even under harsh use, the chair is expected to last more than 15 years. And if the chair is used correctly, its expected lifespan is more than a quarter of a century. To top it all off, the chair boasts an astonishing 12 year-coverage. Manufacturers don’t issue that kind of coverage unless they are really confident about their product, and for the manufacturers of Herman Miller Aeron, they have all reason to be confident. 

The Chair is made up of very high quality material, and every part just clicks perfectly. The perfect synergy not only makes this chair so smooth, but also gives it the future-esque attractive look

What is the chair made up of?

The remastering of Aeron in 2016 was done keeping environmentally conscious goals, and the manufacturers did succeed in that. The new Aeron is made up of 39% of recycled material and 91% of recyclable content. This not only ensures a very comforting build, but also ensures eco-friendliness. This could be your step towards a greener planet!

The chair is made up of Pellicle Fabric, which is cutting-edge mesh. Its fibre is developed and patented by Herman Miller themselves, and Pellicle means breathable membrane. So the material is really breathable and increases airflow. This is important because your back doesn’t stick with the chair, and there is space for airflow. The membranes ensure that you do not sweat so much and your temperature remains moderate. The innovative fabric makes it feel like the chair comes to life every time you sit, and it adjusts with you, adapting to your sitting style. The material is very strong, much stronger than any other mesh in the market. 

The fabric relays varying degrees of tension at different spots like shoulder, back and thighs. This releases tension at places where weight is more concentrated, and makes it much comfortable for you

 Seat

Aeron’s seat is one of the more controversial parts of the chair. The chair comes in 3 different sizes, all compatible for people of varying height and weight range. But the chair lacks a seat-depth adjustment option. This makes it harder and uncomfortable for many users, especially those who do not find comfort in the default depth. Furthermore, the lack of seat depth adjustment entails that many users won’t be able to use it simultaneously. There’s no seat slider.

The seat isn’t completely flat, with a plastic heightened edge. This has varying implications. We enjoyed being held firmly in our seat, but it also takes away the freedom to move around when seating and relax our bottom. 

The seat is made up of mesh material, which is flexible. But mesh can tend to be uncomfortable and too firm for many users. If you are looking for a padded experience, this chair is not for you. But the firmness will ensure that your posture’s right.

Backrest/ Lumbar Support

Ofcourse, the chair has one of the most comfortable Lumbar support in the market. There are two individual pads in place that flex independently and can be adjusted to fit the curve of the spine. The chair moves with you. The updated PostureFit SL helps our spine give the shape of a standing position. We tried to check the validity of this statement, and sure enough, there was significant improvement in our posture.

But there are some cons as well, the framing might be too pronounced for some users. Furthermore, the backrest doesn’t have height adjustability. So, if your height doesn’t match proportionally to the chair’s size, then the chair will get really uncomfortable. Too high lumbar support puts pressure on muscles, nevers and cuts circulation to them, leading to pain 

Armrests

The armrests in the version we tested came in 3 adjustment options, Height,depth and pivot adjustments. All of them can be used simultaneously to ensure your comfort. They have a wide range, and the pivot adjustability works in lieu of width adjustability. The padding of the arm is quite soft, ensuring comfort

Although, our tester opined that the armrest is a bit pulled back, and that it might be an issue for many users

Aeron is available in no arms, stationary arms and fully adjustable arms. We suggest the latter most.

Seat tilt and Recline Function

This chair really excels at engineering, and this is apparent when we look at it’s perfectly designed titl system and recline Function.

The seat has a forward tilt, allowing you to adjust the angle of the seat. This helps reduce pressure on the lower back, ensures proper posture, and increases blood flow to the legs and feet. This is especially great for users suffering from lower back pain

The recline function of the chair is a really smooth adjustment. In knee titl, the user’s feet remain on the floor and the back reclines. In synchro tilt, the pan of the chair reclines proportionally less to the back. The Recline function of Aeron is a mixture of both of these tilts. You can rock on the chair at one moment, and sit upright as well easily. The chair has multiple locking positions, making it comfortable for users who like to rock and recline. 

Base and Casters

The casters are customizable as well. They roll smoothly and silently. The casters are made up of hard plastic, although they give a very rubbery feeling. 

The base of the chair is extremely strong and durable, making it a comfortable use for heavier users as well. 

Warranty

The chair has a warranty of 12 years, one of the best in the chair market. This goes to show the manufacturers confidence in their product

And their post-sale support is top notch as well. We already mentioned this earlier, but the chair is expected to last more than 15 years, even 25 in some cases

Dimensions

Size A : Chair dimensions: 38.5″ H x 25.75″ W x 16″ D. Seat heights: 14.75”-19”.

Size B: 41″ H x 27″ W x 16.75″ D. Seat heights: 16”-20.5”.

Size C: Chair dimensions: 43″ H x 28.25″ W x 18.5″ D. Seat heights: 16”-20.5”.

Taken from Herman Miller’s Official Site

Now comes the question, Is the chair worth it?

For that we need to consider the chair’s strong points and weak points first, and then figure out whether it fares well with its high price. 

The chairs strong points definitely include it’s durable structure, its state-of-the-art material, it’s innovative lumbar support, well-padded armrests, great seat lift and recline function, and obviously the social signal that Aeron portrays. 

But there are some strong cons as well, the back is too pronounced and there’s no height adjustability for backrest. The seat pan isn’t completely flat, which may be uncomfortable for some users. The chair also lacks a headrest, which is a staple for long hour chairs nowadays. 

Let’s look at the chair from a purely value point of view.
As of the day we are reviewing, the chair costs 1,695.00$. For comparison, we are going to take a low-end chair and a mid-end chair as well.

The low-end chair costs about 100-150USD, is of pure quality, and isn’t very comfortable. The chair lasts about 2 years. The mid-end chairs cost about 350-450$, are of moderate quality, have good features and last about 4-5 years.

Our Aeron’s current price is almost 1700$, and even the low estimate of it’s lifespan is 12 years. Optimistically, it can be expected to work fine even upto 2 decades. 

So, if we divide up the cost even in conservative terms, the aeron costs about 140$ every year. If we look at it from an investment point of view, this chair has the best value in the market, and obviously is one of the best chairs of the market.

So, is the chair worth it?
For some, yes. 

For some, no.

Who will find value in this chair?

  1. Those looking for a good value chair and a long term investment
  2. Those suffering from lower back pain
  3. Those who like a form seat
  4. Those who would work for longer hours
  5. Those who do no mind the lack of headrest
  6. Those who will find the backrest satisfactory, will find it really comfortable. 

Who will NOT find value in the chair?

  1. Multiple users using the same chair
  2. Who are looking for a more padded and refined experience 
  3. Users intending to use it as executive chair rather than task chair

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