Independent Overall Rating: 8 of 10
Pros: Less clunky material, more comfort (especially armrests and backing), environmental sustainability, multiple adjustments, and an iconic look.
Cons: Those rising edges on the sides of the chair are the biggest drawback. For those who need neck and head support, the Aeron can’t provide it.
Overall Rating: I highly recommend this chair. It’s comfortable, I could customize it really easily, and it made my day easier. It looks good, it’s responsibly produced and can be responsibly retired. All of that combines to secure Aeron one of our highest ratings. Going back to my normal chair is definitely going to be somewhat of a struggle.
I was pretty excited the day I trekked over to Smart Furniture to pick up the Aeron Chair for review. For months I’d been sitting in a chair with rigid arms and backing and a metal bar across the front of the seat — needless to say, I was looking forward to a change. When Christie wheeled the Aeron Chair out to my car, I knew I was in for one. Thick, wide armrests. A lip that fell off at the edge of the chair, and a weird looking material, almost sheer, that made up the seat and back of the chair, and looked like it would provide some give and take. The chair was a little smaller than I’d imagined, and at the same time more substantial. I’d expected thin materials and an extremely light chair, but Aeron had heft. I lifted it into my trunk, already looking forward to shoving my old chair down the stairs.
The “X” Factor
The Aeron Chair is porous, allowing air to pass through the back and seat. That means no heat build up, which can cause sweating and discomfort. Again, major improvement over my old chair.
Having only used the chair for about a week, it’s hard to know how durable it is. But with a 12 year warranty from Herman Miller and all that excellent craftsmanship behind the design, you can be confident it’ll take what you dish out.
The Bottom Line
The Aeron is a modern classic for a reason. It’s comfortable, it’s cool looking, and it’s designed very very well. The slight drawbacks and flaws that exist are more than compensated for by all the great things the chair has to offer. For those on a budget, the Aeron Chair is still a great value compared to the new generation of similar-priced chairs riding the Aeron’s coattails.
COMFORT / ERGONOMICS: 7 of 10
The Aeron is a very comfy chair, with a few exceptions. I loved the material that stretches over the edges of the chair and makes up the back and seat — it was sheer, elastic, and cool. But I was a little bothered by the edges that rise up on the side of the seat. They made it a little hard to sit in any position but straight ahead. The adjustments were really great and easy to use, and I was able to customize my chair (high armrests, low seat, a lot of recline) in a few minutes. The Aeron doesn’t support your head and neck, but for me that isn’t a problem.
DESIGN: 9 of 10
The chair looks great. The version I used was black on black, color wise. I like how the back and seat are contoured to create a little pocket for the user, and the PostureFit on the back looks good too. Comfort is part of design, and this chair was a definite improvement over my regular one. I never had to get up and walk around to get comfortable, never lost circulation, and could maintain a single posture for longer. The adjustments, as I said before, were really helpful. And I love that the chair is low impact on the environment, and composed of a lot recycled material.
Style: 8 of 10
The Aeron Chair would rank even higher if this review was being written right as it came out. Since then, many chairs have copied the Aeron blueprint (no foam, contoured surfaces, the descending lip edge, the sheer seat and backing), and rightfully so. It’s a beautiful chair, and doesn’t sacrifice comfort for its now-classic silhouette.
QUALITY / CRAFTSMANSHIP / PEDIGREE: 9 of 10
Herman Miller is one of the most trusted names in the furniture industry. It was Herman Miller Ray and Charles Eames trusted to mass-produce and distribute their furniture. The designer of the Aeron has an impeccable record as well. Bill Stumpf made his mark in the furniture industry for three decades, and is largely responsible for bringing ergonomics to the fore of chair design. The Aeron Chair is put together very well, but at the same time can be assembled and disassembled pretty easily.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: 10 of 10
The Aeron Chair was created in an emissions-free environment by a deeply conscientious company. A majority of the chair itself is recyclable, and composed of mostly recycled materials. It can contribute to LEED credits for businesses, and it’s GREENGUARD certified for air quality.
PERFORMANCE: 7 of 10
The chair is comfortable, and so adjustable, that it makes sitting at your desk a lot easier. That alone can increase productivity, and for me it did. As I said before, I never had to get up to stretch my legs, and my circulation was never interrupted. The chair is on wheels, and that made movement quick and easy.