Herman Miller is one of the top office furniture companies in the United States. They make luxury, high-end office chairs designed to cradle the user in comfort and durability. Their office chairs can last over a decade, some even two decades, so you want to make sure you make the right decision when you pick one out.
This piece reviews both the Embody and the Aeron chair from Herman Miller. The Aeron chair is probably their best-selling product, but the Embody is growing in popularity. To figure out which chair is best for you, read our comparison of the two Herman Miller chairs below.
ComparisonBuy Embody Buy Aeron
If you’re looking at Herman Miller chairs, know that they are definitely on the higher-end price-wise. The Aeron starts at $1,095 but can cost as much as $1,995. An Embody starts at $1,495 and can cost up to $1,895. The higher prices are the chairs with add-ons and other customizable features that cost more.
So if you want a Herman Miller chair as affordable as possible, the baseline Aeron is the best option because it’ll save you nearly $500.
The Aeron only comes in the iconic Pellicle mesh. The Pellicle mesh redefined what an office chair should be. It comes in classic office chair colors: gray and black.
As far as the Embody, you can get the chair in gray, black, red, green, blue and five other colors. Some of the black and gray upholsteries are available with white accents if you want something more stylish.
The Embody comes in two different patterns, but they are hardly noticeable on the chair and will blend right into any office environment. The Embody is 100% polyester, so doesn’t utilize the mesh with a cult following.
The Aeron comes in three different sizes, more size options than most office chairs. The sizes range from A-C, with A being for petite users, B being for average-sized users, and finally, size C is for heavier people who often struggle to find office chairs that fit their bodies. Size A holds up to 300 pounds, while sizes B and C hold 350 pounds.
The Embody only comes in one size, which is more limiting. However, the chair is slightly larger and super adjustable, so it can fit more sizes of people in it comfortably. The Embody doesn’t offer different sizes, but because of its adjustability, many people feel it caters to a wide range of people.
The Embody has a much taller backrest that reaches up to your shoulders. The Aeron backrest only reaches about the middle of your back. The Embody’s upholstery doesn’t allow for as much customization as the Aeron does. The Embody uses “pixelated support” that supports your back using contact points, while the Aeron supports your entire back at once.
The Aeron chair uses the iconic Pellicle mesh that people seem to fall in love with immediately. The mesh allows for excellent breathability which is ideal if you work in a warm or stuffy office. The mesh allows for a decent amount of give and support without any excessive padding or cushions. The mesh cradles the user in a unique way that supports you while you feel close to floating.
The Embody doesn’t use mesh and is upholstered with polyester. Polyester is less comfortable than the amazing Pellicle mesh, but the Embody is still a cozy chair. The Embody uses a suspended plastic coil to support your body instead of standard foam padding. The coil is supposed to offer a floating feeling, but the Aeron is thought to be the more comfortable chair anyway.
The Aeron seat is upholstered in the Pellicle mesh making for a firm cradle made of soft material. If you want a chair that holds you and helps you sit in the right position, this chair’s seat is super comfortable while being supportive. The thick frame can be uncomfortable on your hips if you have a wide pelvis, but that’s why it’s so great that the chair comes in three different sizes.
The Embody has a much larger seat that can easily fit different-sized bodies. The frame is much thinner and can’t be felt at all when you sit in the seat. The seat is flexible and moves with you because it doesn’t have a rigid frame. The “pixels” are located underneath the seat fabric and are to support your entire body. But many complain that the pixel structure becomes uncomfortable after a while because you can feel them through the seat.
The Embody has a tall and narrow backrest that gives it a sleek look. The tall backrest supports your shoulders, but many complain it does the exact opposite. The backrest is curved inward, so people report that the curves feel like they are pushing your shoulders forward. This is not only uncomfortable but also bad for your posture.
The Aeron has a short but wider backrest so the mesh supports your entire back at once. The mesh offers a little bit of give and a whole lot of support so you can recline comfortably. The lumbar support is the star of the show on the Aeron. The lumbar comes in many different options and makes the chair incredibly comfortable to sit and recline.
Despite the Embody backrest having more and newer ergonomic technology, the Aeron reigns as the more comfortable chair.
Unlike most office chairs, the Aeron has a supple, cushioned armrest pad that feels like a cloud on your elbows. The padding is one of the comfiest materials available for an office chair armrest, so it kicks the Aeron’s comfort level up a few notches. The armrests also attach to the backrest, so when you recline the armrests go with you.
The Embody armrests attach to the seat, so they do not recline when you do. And although the armrests have pads with a soft material, they are much more rigid than the Aeron’s. The Embody armrests are average but when held up against the Aeron, they pale in comparison.
The Aeron wins this category because it is very adjustable. Some mechanisms allow you to customize the back support in three different ways: basic support, adjustable lumbar and adjustable PostureFit SL. You can also adjust the tilt mechanism to nearly any degree you want. It is perfect for people that like to lean back in their chair every once in a while. You can also choose how you want your armrests set up with the 3D pivot on them.
The Embody allows you to adjust your arms, seat height, seat depth, tilt tension, tilt limiter, and backrest. It has almost all the adjustability of the Aeron but without the customizable lumbar support.
Herman Miller chairs are a fan-favorite because there is no assembly required. Both chairs are shipped in extra-large boxes and come fully assembled, so all you need to do is remove all the packaging. No-assembly is part of the perks of luxury office furniture because if you have ever assembled or disassembled an office chair, you likely know what a headache it can be.
Both the Embody and the Aeron are amazing office chairs, but in our opinion, the Aeron takes first place in this race.
The Aeron has developed a large following of users that swear by it, and this review exemplifies why they love it so much. From the high-quality mesh to the adjustable armrests to the excellent lumbar support, the Aeron has so much to offer. It will make your workdays feel like a breeze.
That said, you really can’t go wrong with either. Depending on your preferences, as well as budget, you might prefer one over the other altogether.