When it comes to office chairs, the Herman Miller Aeron tops in many categories and is undoubtedly one of the best if not the best office chairs. Having tried it myself and compared it to other chairs in the same category, I can attest that it’s worth all the hype and the price too.
The Herman Miller Aeron office chair is available in three sizes (A, B and C) meant for the small, medium and large user. While Size A has a weight capacity of 300 lbs., Sizes B and C have weight capacities of 350 lbs. each. It’s easy to adjust, comes fully assembled and with a 12-year warranty for your peace of mind. for your peace of mind.
The Herman Miller Aeron I reviewed was a Size B, had a graphite frame and base, adjustable PostureFit SL, seat angle and tilt limiter, fully adjustable arms, standard armpads and 2.5-inch carpet casters.
|Dimensions||Small (A)||Medium (B)||Large (C)|
|Total height||34.25 – 42”||36.75 – 43”||38 – 45.4”|
|Seat height||14.5 – 19.75”||16 – 21″||17 – 23″|
|Seat dimensions||15.75 x 16.75” (WxD)||17 x 16.75” (WxD)||18.25 x 18.5” (WxD)|
|Distance between armrests||16”||17”||18”|
|Armrests from floor||21.75 – 30.25”||31.5 – 23”||26.25 – 24.75”|
|Armrests’ slide||2.5” back or forth||2.5” back or forth||2.5” back or forth|
|Armrests’ angle of adjustment||15° outward, 17° inward||15° outward, 17° inward||15° outward, 17° inward|
|Backrest dimensions||20.25 x 21” (WxH)||21.5 x 22” (WxH)||22.75 x 23” (WxH)|
|Base dimensions||27” W||27” W||27” W|
|Weight capacity||300 lbs.||350 lbs.||350 lbs.|
|Best body height||4’10” to 5’4”||5’2” to 6’||5’10” to 6’6”|
|Chair weight||40 lbs.||41 lbs.||43 lbs.|
|Shipping weight||45 lbs.||46 lbs.||48 lbs.|
1. Scope of UsersScope of Users
Herman Miller makes the Aeron office chair in 3 different sizes meant to fit as many people as possible. This works great for users from the 1st to the 99th percentile being able to find a comfortable version of the Aeron.
What this means is that almost every person within the 350 lbs. limit can find an Aeron chair that will meet their needs. I wish Herman Miller made an even bigger Aeron for those above this weight limit.
2. Ease of Assembly and MaintenanceEase of Assembly and Maintenance
The Herman Miller Aeron comes fully assembled in a large box that has handles on the sides for ease of movement. The box stands on one end such that you simply cut up the tape, remove the plastic wrapping and roll out the chair. Just like that, you’ll have your chair ready to use.
I noted that the chair has less wrapping than comparative chairs such as the Steelcase Leap. The Aeron has less cardboard and foam materials although it still comes without any damage.
3. Comfort LevelsComfort Levels
The Aeron is one of the most comfortable office chairs I have tested so far. However, it has a few downsides which may not appeal to everyone. The main areas of concern are as follows:
The Aeron’s back support is made up of 8Z Pellicle mesh which makes it breathable and easy on the back. It’s soft to the touch and gives the impression that you’re floating on the chair. The back support widens on the upper side and curves with the natural shape of the body. It’s a tall back support that will cover the whole back for users of all sizes. All around the mesh is a ring of bolsters.
The Aeron comes with three types of back support as follows:
- Basic Back Support
The Basic Back Support doesn’t have a lumbar support on it although it retains the same dimensions for all chair sizes.
- Adjustable Lumbar Support
With the Adjustable Lumbar Support option, you get a lumbar support that’s adjustable in terms of the height. You can adjust the lumbar support with the knob located at the back of the back support for all Aeron chairs with lumbar support.
- Adjustable PostureFit SL
The Adjustable PostureFit SL option (the one I have) has a lumbar support that can be adjusted in many different ways including the height and to support specific areas of the back. This is the most comfortable variant of the chair in terms of the back support.
A majority of the users of this seat will find it sufficient. If you’re really large, the bolsters around the mesh might dig into your shoulder blades a little.
The seat on the Aeron office chair is made of the same 8Z Pellicle mesh found on the back support. Like the back, the seat has a ring of bolsters running around the edge of the mesh. Each chair size has its own size of the seat with the Medium one in my possession having a medium-sized seat pan.
When seating on it, it gives a floating feeling but is still quite firm and assuring.
If you’re quite large and wide, the bolsters might dig into the side of your thighs a little. The seat pan has been designed such that the flat and gentle edge comes into contact with the body. As such, you’ll still feel comfortable no matter your size.
The Aeron’s arms are connected to the back of the chair. This makes them comfortable whether you’re reclining backwards, leaning forwards or seated straight up. The armpads come in a standard cover (polyurethane) or leather. My chair came with the standard armpads and they’re very comfortable.
The Aeron has three types of armrests as follows:
- Stationary Arms
The stationary arms don’t have any adjustments at all. They also come either with the leather or standard armpads.
- Height-Adjustable Arms
The height-adjustable arms can be adjusted upwards and downwards only.
- Fully Adjustable Arms
The fully adjustable arms (like the ones on my chair) have a 3D (3-dimesnional) adjustability. This means you can adjust their height, pivoting inwards and outwards and the depth of the armpads as well. While there are chairs with 4D adjustability, the Aeron’s arms are still very comfortable and usable. No matter the finish you choose, the armrests have the same level of medium padding which is very comfortable.
4. Design and Build QualityDesign and Build Quality
The Herman Miller Aeron is one of the most beautiful chairs I’ve tested. The 8Z Pellicle mesh on the back and seat, the location of the armrests and the knobs makes it easy to use and very pleasing to the eye. It also has a high-quality build quality with the plastic parts and the mesh being highly durable. The whole chair is well thought out.
Cushioning and Upholstery
On the back support and the seat, the Aeron has 8Z Pellicle mesh which is very comfortable and breathable. At first, you might think it’s weak but it can support up to 350 pounds or more without losing it tension and sagging.
The frame of the chair is made of high-quality plastic which allows for a light yet strong and durable chair.
Back Design and Quality
The back is made of a ring of plastic with the two lower ends anchored on the seat of the chair. The rest of it is covered with 8Z Pellicle mesh. Behind it is the back support frame which connects to the ring of plastic and the base of the seat. This frame is also made of high-quality plastic.
Seat Design and Quality
The seat, just like the back support, is made of a ring of plastic with 8Z Pellicle mesh in the middle. It then connects to the knobs and adjustment mechanisms below. The front of the seat has a waterfall design which prevents any pressure on the inner thighs when the chair is in use.
Armrests Design and Quality
The armrests for the Herman Miller Aeron have a bean-like shape with wider front parts and narrow rear parts. They have medium-level padding which is very comfortable to use even for long hours.
Base Design and Quality
The base of all the variants of the Herrman Miller Aeron is a 5 Star type 2.5” wheel casters. This provides stability and assurance no matter how much you lean to any direction. While you can choose between carpet casters and multi-surface casters with Quiet Roll technology, the five arms are standard. The arms are made of high quality plastic which is very durable.
The Aeron boasts of a long list of adjustments the user can benefit from. It does not, however, have the highest number of adjustments as shall be seen below. Still, they’re enough for all users to get the best experience with this chair.
Back Support Adjustments
The back can be adjusted in the following ways:
- Lower Back Firmness
The Adjustable PostureFit SL option like the one I have can be adjusted such that the lower back is supported in a certain way. The lumbar adjustment knobs also do this.
- Lumbar Adjustment Adjustment
The lumbar adjustment knob, located on the lower back and which can be accessed from either side, allows you to adjust the lumbar support mostly upwards and downwards.
The lack of an upper back tension adjustment makes it score a few less points than the Steelcase Leap for example. This, however, is a rarely used setting and most people won’t miss it.
The seat can be adjusted in the following ways:
- Seat Height
The seat height is simply the height of the chair and can be adjusted with a knob on the right side of the seat. Like most other chairs, you simply pull the knob upwards then either let the chair rise up or sit on it to let it go down. You release the lever to lock the new height into place.
- Seat Pan Angle
The seat pan angle is the angle of the seat in relation to the floor. The Aeron offers a forward seat tilt adjustment which is quite useful for when you want to make use of a computer desk or other workstation. The tilt knob is located on the lower left while the tilt tension knob is on the lower right. You can thus set the level of tilt then lock it into one of the 3 positions.
The best bit about the tilting of the chair is that the whole chair tilts and not just the back. It means that the seat, back and arms all move back and forth with you.
The Aeron doesn’t have a seat depth adjustment like the one found on the Steelcase. This setting allows for the user to either move the seat pan forwards or backwards.
The armrests of the Aeron can be adjusted in the following ways:
You can move the armrests up and down.
They can be adjusted to face downwards or upwards at the front end.
The arms can be adjusted to face either inwards or outwards from the sitting position.
You can’t adjust the width of the arms of this chair as they’re only 3D-enabled. Still, they can be used in various positions making for a comfortable experience.
The chair’s height can be adjusted with the height adjustment knob on the eight side.
The Herman Miller Aeron office chair has various options as detailed below. The first option on each list is the cheapest and the cost rises with the subsequent options.
Chair Size Options
With the sizes, you have the following options:
- Size A – Small
The small size has a total height of 38.5” and weight capacity of 300 pounds.
- Size B – Medium
The medium size has a total height of 41” and weight capacity of 350 pounds.
- Size C – Large
The large size has a total height of 43” and weight capacity of 350 pounds.
Back Support Options
For the back support, you have these options:
- Basic Back Support
Simple back support without the lumbar support.
- Adjustable Lumbar Support
The lumbar support is present and height-adjustable.
- Adjustable Posturefit SL
The lumbar support is included and adjustable in several ways such as the height and the position.
The available tilt options are as follows:
- Standard Tilt
With this one, you can only adjust the amount of tilt the chair can attain.
- Tilt Limiter and Seat Angle
This option allows you to adjust the amount of tilt, lock the tilt positions and also adjust the front tilt of the seat.
The armrest options available include:
- Stationary Arms
The armrests on this option aren’t adjustable in any way.
- Height-Adjustable Arms
The armrests here can be adjusted upwards and downwards only.
- Fully Adjustable Arms
These arms can be adjusted by height, depth and pivoted inwards and outwards.
You have the following options for the armpads:
- Standard Armpads
The arm pads on this chair are covered in polyurethane material.
- Leather Armpads
The arm pads are covered in leather for this option.
Wheel Caster Options
The available wheel casters are as follows:
- Carpet Casters
These casters are for carpets with either a low or medium pile.
- Multi-Surface Caster with Quiet Roll
The second option is for hard floors such as tiles, wood, concrete and carpets that can allow the chair to roll away. The Quiet Roll technology is the addition of a soft thread on the nylon casters to reduce the noise when they roll on the floor. They also prevent the chair from rolling away.
Both options are 2.5” in diameter.
Upholstery and Cushioning Options
The cushioning for all chairs is standard and it’s the 8Z Pellicle mesh all through. The mesh is 56% elastomeric and 44% polyester which is soft to the touch and quite tough in my testing. This is found on the Herman Miller Aeron remastered chair which uses the modern mesh described here. The available colors for the mesh are:
- Mineral Color
- Carbon Color
- Graphite Color
Mineral is simply light gray while carbon is medium gray.
Headrest Options Options
The Aeron doesn’t come with a headrest although you can buy a Herman Miller Aeron headrest and add it to the chair.
The frames for the chair are in standard plastic and can be found in the following options:
- Graphite Color
- Mineral Color
These are similar to the colors on the upholstery.
While the base is available in standard plastic material, it’s available in the following finishes:
- Polished Aluminum Finish
The lightest of the color options and it comes with a shine to it.
- Satin Aluminum Finish
This finish has some shine to it but not as much as that of the polished aluminum one.
- Graphite Finish
The graphite finish is the blackest of the three colors although it’s not plain black but a darker version of gray.
7. Warranty and Return Policy
The Herman Miller Aeron has a 30-day return policy where you get back the full refund and the company covers the full costs of returning the chair to them.
The chair also comes with a 12-year warranty with all the parts covered by the warranty. The Size A chair is covered for up to 300 lbs. and the Sizes B and C covered for 350 lbs. of weight. The warranty covers the whole seat such that any damaged parts will be repaired free of charge by Herman Miller.
8. Environmental Impact
Herman Miller is an environmentally-conscious firm and has put the following into the making of these chairs:
- 91% of the chair is recyclable.
- 39% of the chair is made of recycled content.
- CRADLE TO CRADLE CERTIFIED.
- GREENGUARD GOLD certified.
- BIFMA level 3 certified.
- Silver GREENGUARD certified.
- IOS 14001/OHSAS 18001 certified.
- The manufacturing process is powered by 100% renewable electric energy.
These aspects point to a chair that doesn’t harm the environment and the users from the time it’s manufactured to the end of its useful life.
9. Pros and Cons
The good and the bad for this chair include the following aspects:
Herman Miller Aeron Pros
- It’s made in the USA hence a great vote of confidence in its quality.
- High number of adjustments such as the arms, recline, forward seat tilt and others.
- Great warranty and return policy.
- No assembling needed.
- Available in different sizes.
- Friendly to the environment.
Herman Miller Aeron Cons
- The mesh seat can be uncomfortable to some users.
- No seat depth adjustment.
- Limited number of colors.
- You can feel the frame on the seat or back if you’re a large user or like seating with your legs wide apart.
- The 3 sizes make it hard to buy the chairs in large numbers since you’ll need to be specific for each user which is cumbersome.
- You can’t adjust the height of the back.
- Only up to 350 lbs. weight capacity.
I highly recommend the Herman Miller Aeron. With up to 350 lbs. of weight capacity, a lot of adjustments and one of the best designs on the market, the Aeron has won over a lot of users like myself. The mesh finish, although not a darling for all users, is very comfortable if you get the right chair size. Luckily, you have 3 sizes to pick from.
Herman Miller Aeron used chairs can also be bought which will help save on the cost of the original chair as well. Herman Miller Aeron refurbished chairs are also available at a fraction of the cost of the original chair. You can even have this chair classified as a business expense hence saving on the taxes payable for the self-employed.