Review: My Herman Miller Aeron Chair
The First Chair That Really Worked For My Back
One perk of working at home: I finally bought a Herman Miller Aeron chair, writing it off as a business expense. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth it. (And it's not every day one adds a genuine Museum of Modern Art piece to your home office.)
Like so many of us, I spend most of my day working at a computer. Like more and more of us, I have arthritis and back problems, so I need good lumbar support and ergonomics, or I'll hurt. A lot.
I'd tried to make do with a couple different office chairs from STAPLES-like outlets, but they weren't enough, even with lumbar cushions or ergonomic supports. I still suffered neck and back pain.
I asked my doctor for a recommendation, since she has a bad back. She recommended hers: a Herman Miller Aeron Chair. I sat in it, liked it, but when I saw the price I put off buying one. This year, working at home, I found I had to give in and get a really good office chair. I looked up other brands, but in the end went with my doctor's orders. I'm glad I did.
There's several different sizes, colors, and accessories for the Aeron chair. I went with the "Highly Adjustable" basic version (through a third-party Amazon seller, Office Designs). The basic version lets you adjust the lumbar support's height, seat tilt and height, Arm rests not only adjust up and down but pivot in and out, so you can brace your elbows while using a keyboard, and there's also a springy forward tilt you can turn on or off. All controls are easy to adjust while seated.
It's an Eco-Friendly Chair
The Herman Miller is 94% recyclable and made of over 50% recycled materials, plus the company seems to have a real commitment to environmentally friendly manufacturing.
Read about Herman Miller's Eco-Friendly Furniture.
My Review of My Aeron Chair by Herman Miller
It's a Little Like Buying a BMW
While I was a little anxious about ordering through Amazon, I received my Aeron chair promptly in good condition. Assembly was easy even for someone with arthritic hands. The chair came with an Alan wrench to attach the back, and I haven't had to tighten any screws since putting it together.
The casters roll smoothly, and the chair is quiet when you rock or adjust it. Some customers have reported casters have trouble with carpet; I don't know, I've got a plastic mat under mine.
The most surprising thing about the chair is the tough yet springy webbing. There are no cushions: the chair is designed to fit you. The gentle curve on the front of the seat ensures you won't have your circulation cut off by the front lip of the chair cutting into thighs.
Get the Twelve-Year Warranty
An Aeron Chair is an investment, so make sure you buy it from an authorized dealer that offers Herman Miller's 12-year warranty. When you get the chair, copy down the serial number and phone number on the sticker underneath the chair just in case you ever need to call Herman Miller.
My Aeron Chair Review Continued
Yes, I Love This Chair
I really like the ease of the controls. They're not only accessible when sitting; they have visible, easy-to-understand icons that demonstrate what each adhistnebt is for. Sometimes I like having the chair tilt forward, with a bit of springy resistance so that it bounces; other times I don't want the forward tilt, but like to lean back and rock. You can have both, one, or neither option.
The default lumbar support is no frills but works fine. There's no knob for it, just reach back and lift it up or down. If you want more support, get up and turn it around with the fat side inward. I chose to stick with the basic lumbar support rather than the deluxe posturefit support after reading reviews that suggested it didn't really help. There's also a headrest you can buy separately, if you're a lot taller than I am.
I like the way the chair arms swing out and in, sticking at one of three positions like car doors. They are stiff so they're not going to move by accident.
When I first set up the chair, I used to fiddle with the controls sometimes, but now like a car seat I tend to leave it as is unless I feel like activating the "springy tilt" feature (a bit like a rocking chair on springs). My back pain is not completely gone: I have arthritis, and a chair however ergo-friendly can't cure it. But it's not worse after I've been sitting in the chair for 8 hours, and it is for every other chair I've tried.
Did You Know?
You can tell the size of an Aeron Chair by feeling under the Herman Miller logo on the top back of the chair.
One bump = size A
2 bumps = size B
3 bumps = size C