Updated on April 19, 2016
Aeron Ergonomic Chair by Herman Miller Review
I’ve spent a great deal of time here on 9 to 5 ergonomics reviewing ergonomic input devices in order to come up with the best ergonomic mouse on the market. Today, though, I’m going to branch off and do something different. I’m going to review an ergonomic chair!
The Aeron Ergonomic Chair by Herman Miller is the gold standard when it comes to ergonomic chairs. I’ve had one for nearly 10 years now, and it still works just as well as the day that I bought it. These things are literally (ok, not “literally”) bulletproof. An icon of the early 2000’s tech boom and bust, I would be remiss to begin my foray into ergonomic chairs anywhere else.
So what makes these chairs so great? Well, in short, they just work. The Aeron supports your back and thighs like no other chair, and does so in such a way that feels natural and without aggravating pressure points. There are two features that really stand out on the Aeron and allow it to function so well.
First, the Aeron features “pellicle suspension” on the back support. I had to look up what that word meant after reading through the marketing brochure, but apparently it is “a thin skin, cuticle, membrane, or film.” In terms of the Aeron, it’s the cloth material that they string taut on the back frame, which provides fantastic support, particularly for the lumbar, but also allows your back to breathe.
Second, the front of the seat portion is rounded off and just seems to fit well, which allows for a solid base from which to maintain proper sitting posture, but also promotes circulation to the legs. Herman Miller calls this the waterfall design, and it is designed to keep pressure off of the back of your thighs.
The Aeron chair comes in 3 different sizes so that you can find the one that fits you best. A is the smallest, B is a mid-size chair and C is the largest. As a rough sizing guide, see the chart below.
Since the old days, Herman Miller has also added new features and functionality to the Aeron. The three most common premium features are the adjustable lumbar support, fully adjustable armrests and rear tilt limiter. As one might expect, the PostureFit lumbar support feature allows you really dial the the amount lower back support you want as well as move the lumbar support’s position up and down the back rest. Adjustable armrests can be a nice feature, although as I’ve mentioned previously, it is often best to leave the armrests off and mouse with your whole arm. I actually strongly recommend picking up an Aeron with a rear tilt limiter. Again, as one might expect, the rear tilt limiter allows you to dial in the maximum amount of rear tilt that you would prefer. I have a tendency to lean back in my chair, and having a rear tilt limiter can often help maintain an upright posture.
The biggest downside that I see to the Aeron is that it is expensive. A fully tricked out Aeron chair will run you somewhere around $900. However, older and used Aerons can be had on Craigslist and through furniture stores for less. The Aeron really hasn’t changed much since I bought mine over a decade ago, so for many folks this might be the best option.
Pros of the Aeron Ergonomic Chair by Herman Miller:
- Durability – The Aeron will last a lifetime. Even if something breaks, parts can be had fairly easily from a variety of sellers.
- Back Support – The porous back support suspension system was ahead of its time and is still the best back support system I have encountered.
- Rounded Seat Cushion – Just seems to fit me well.
- Variety of Sizes – Find the chair that fits you best.
Cons of the Aeron Ergonomic Chair by Herman Miller:
- Price – The Aeron is expensive.
The Aeron by Herman Miller is found in nearly every office building on the planet for a reason. These chairs just work really, really well. I literally can’t even think of a negative other than the high price. The price can be somewhat daunting, but with some creativity they can be had for a bargain. Or, if you want the real deal straight from the manufacturer, you can pick one up on Amazon for under $1000.
Final Verdict: Just buy one. It will last you a lifetime.