Herman Miller Aeron Review

Herman Miller Aeron Review

 

This has been our longest-running review yet, spanning almost 6 years. This is a Herman Miller Aeron review.
It didn’t start off as a review at first, it started with me furnishing my first home office. In late 2012 I realised that I’m not 21 anymore and need to start taking my well-being more seriously. The first manifestation of this was buying the best office chair that I could find. After about a week of researching the winner was clear, it was the Aeron. Now 6 years later it’s time to look back if this really was the best option.

Herman Miller Aeron in Mineral color
Herman Miller Aeron in Mineral color

History

Inventors Stumpf and Chadwick
Inventors Stumpf and Chadwick

Time for a quick history lesson. Back in 1994, Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick had thought of a new type of office chair that valued engineering over design. They put their focus on the science behind sitting and how to make it as comfortable and healthy as possible. This led the Aeron to be a result of all these individual pieces of research put together. And you can clearly see that it stands out, looking completely different than other office chairs. The beauty is that it’s not different just for the sake of being different, but for comfort.
Stumpf and Chadwick’s creation went up for sale in 1994 and was an immediate hit and status symbol in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. A few years later it was added to the New York Museum of Modern Art and in 2010 named as America’s best-selling chair.

Build, design and ergonomics

The biggest visual difference between the Herman Miller Aeron and your regular office chair is that the Aeron doesn’t have any padding and it doesn’t look very cushy or comfortable. But it is, and how!
One of the genius ideas for this chair was to basically build it from mesh that’s been pulled tight over the frame. Not only is it more comfortable and supports your body really well, but it also means you never get hot or sweaty (because you’re sitting on a mesh, not a pile of pillows). Because the weight is distributed more evenly while you’re sitting, this also helps with circulation, so if you have had any problems with your heart, then this is definitely another thing to consider.

The same genius mesh design makes some people worry about its durability. It doesn’t look like something that could easily last 10 years or more. Two main concerns that I’ve mostly heard were that it either gets saggy over time or tears. Neither of these two have proven to be true for my own 6 year old chair or on other owners chairs that I have spoken to. I should mention here that I also spoke to an office manager who bought 500 of these in 2008. According to her 500 out of 500 are still in use and look like new, even after taking a daily beating for almost 10 years.
This is confirmed by the fact that Herman Miller gives a 12(!) year warranty to all their Aeron chairs that they sell. Sounds to me they are pretty confident that it won’t fall apart.

In 2013 they also upgraded some parts that were previously plastic to be replaced with even more durable metal ones. This obviously only adds to the value (and the look) of the package.

Herman Miller Aeron in Mineral
Herman Miller Aeron in Mineral

Options

Size

The Aeron comes with a few different options. First is the size – there are three different categories (A, B and C). From my own experience option B is the right choice for 90-95% of people. A being mostly for teenagers and children and C for people with a pretty large frame or height of an average NBA star.

Colour

There are also three color options, called Graphite, Carbon and Mineral. Graphite is the darkest, a modern take on the original Aeron. Carbon offers a balanced neutral that works equally well in warm and cool environments. Mineral is the lightest, ideal for today’s more open office environments. You can see all the 3 colour below this chapter.

Lumbar Support

PostureFit SL is what the folks at Herman Miller call their lumbar support system. Don’t skimp on this, please! This is one of the defining features of the Aeron. Having tried a chair with and without PostureFit, I can tell you that the difference is huge.

Aeron in Mineral, Carbon and Graphite
Aeron in Mineral, Carbon and Graphite

Conclusion

Yes, the Herman Miller Aeron does deserve it’s status and yes it is the best chair I’ve ever tried.
While it may take some time to get used to the edgy design, it has now already become a modern classic and you should be proud to have one in your home office or at work.

Usually at Minimalismlab when we review products we also feature a runner-up or a good alternative. This time we don’t and the reason is simple – the Aeron is just so much ahead of the competition that it doesn’t make sense to make any other recommendations here. At around $1000 it’s far from cheap, but considering that it’ll probably serve you for at least 20 years, this doesn’t sound that crazy anymore, does it? This concludes our 6 year long Herman Miller Aeron review.

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