It might cost you an arm and a leg but the Aeron lives up to its reputation
- Lack of padded seat won't be to everyone's taste
The Herman Miller Aeron office chair is, to put it plainly, an icon of modern design. First manufactured in 1994 and later remastered in 2016, it has made numerous pop culture appearances on film and in TV, from Casino Royale to House and The Simpsons. It even takes pride of place in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Icon or not, though, the crucial question here is whether or not it is comfortable and supportive to sit in for eight hours over the course of a working day. I tested the standard Aeron in medium (size B) to find out. (It’s also available in small (size A) and large (size C) for those with larger and smaller builds.)
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Herman Miller Aeron review: What do we like about it?
To a certain extent, the sign of a good ergonomic office chair lies in how many adjustable features it has. The Aeron has plenty, from the essential basics such as seat height and tilt to the more fancy “PostureFit SL” mechanism, which lets you adjust the tightness of the chair’s spinal support. I also really like the forward tilt feature, which is very handy if you spend a lot of time typing on a laptop.
Inevitably, there are a number of different knobs and levers on the Aeron but it doesn’t take too long to get your head around what does what and, after ten minutes of fiddling around with the chair, I found it very easy to use.
Features aside, the Aeron is, as you’d expect, very comfortable and supportive. The build quality was apparent from the moment I first sat down on it, and it feels satisfyingly sturdy. The mesh fabric that makes up the seat and backrest is breathable and you get a choice of soft vinyl or leather arm pads, with the latter costing an extra £95.
It’s also a rather sleek and stylish chair. And if you care for its MoMA status, it’ll make a nice statement piece for your office without at all looking obnoxious.
Herman Miller Aeron review: What could be improved?
Although the chair’s mesh seat is comfortable and buoyant, some will understandably prefer something more padded and cushioned.
If this is the case, then there are plenty of other options available to you, such as the aforementioned Herman Miller Sayl and the Humanscale Liberty. Both of these chairs are also more affordable than the Aeron.
On that note, it’s worth underlining just how expensive the Aeron is compared with most other office chairs. While there’s a good chance you’ll find it discounted in one of Wellworking’s online sales, the Aeron is still a chair that only a fraction of home workers are going to be able to afford.
Herman Miller Aeron review: Should I buy it?
That said, there’s no denying the Aeron is one of the best office chairs we’ve tested. It’s well-built, comfortable, supportive and has plenty of customisable features that allow you to find the most comfortable fit for your build and posture. Not to mention, as an icon of modern office furniture design, it looks very nice, too.
Of course, not everyone can spend that much on an office chair, and the good news is that perfectly good mid-range equivalent options do exist. If you’re in the market for something similar but don’t have the budget to splash out on the Aeron, check out our roundup of the best office chairs to buy.
|Herman Miller Aeron: Key features|
|Adjustable features (standard model)||Seat height, backrest tilt with tilt limiter, tilt tension, tilt tension, fully adjustable arms, PostureFit SL|