Herman Miller does some really great ergonomic office and gaming chairs, some of the best in the business. But boy do they come with a hefty price tag! Costing at over $1000 just for one chair - who has that kind of money? And sometimes the parts cost over $100.
Even if you could afford a Herman Miller chair, it stands to reason that you should look into getting a more reasonably priced alternative before you part with your hard-earned cash.
In this article, we’re going to look into some Herman Miller chair alternatives. In particular, we’re going to look at alternatives to the Aeron, the Embody, and the Sayl.
First we’ll go into each of these 3 Herman Miller chairs, looking at what their stand out features are, before showing you the best alternative for each chair, so that you get a direct comparison.
At the end, we’ll round up with our conclusion, and by that juncture you should be sufficiently well informed to know what chair would be the best option for both your comfort and your budget.
Herman Miller Alternatives (Aeron, Embody, Sayl)
The Herman Miller Aeron has got a lot more going for it than your standard office chair.
You can choose from 3 different sizes for a start, something that few other brands of chair offer.
Then it’s got it’s 8Z Pellicle suspension seat and backrest, which provides you with eight zones of varying tension that envelop you as you sit.
And you can adjust the angle as you see fit. What this does is to accommodate the whole breadth of postures you decide to sit in, whether you’re eagerly sat forward, or taking a pause at a recline.
In keeping with this intention, the Aeron also sports adjustable armrests.
And whereas just about every standard chair can leave your bottom feeling sweaty, the seat of the Herman Miller Aeron is a mesh design that allows your body heat to pass through, ridding you of this problem & allowing you to feel comfortable for hours on end.
You can also pay separately to add a headrest to the chair.
So as you can see, any Herman Miller Aeron alternative has a lot to compete with.
Herman Miller Aeron Alternative
This ergonomic office chair from Sidiz offers some but not all of the stand out features seen in the Herman Miller Aeron, and is available at about a fifth of the price!
What’s really great about it is just how much you can customize it. Which is where it has so many similarities with the Aeron.
There’s an advanced tilting mechanism that offers 5 different tilting angles of the seat back, as well as an adjustable seat slope, and adjustable armrests. You can really personalize your seat and enjoy a variety of ergonomic seating positions.
Another thing we love about this chair is the S-shaped backrest, designed to prevent back pain and ensure that weight on your lumbar disk in your back is properly distributed.
Better yet you can also tighten or loosen the lumbar support until you get it exactly how you like it.
Like the Aeron, the SIDIZ T50 also features a mesh back for breathability, but unlike the Aeron, the SIDIZ T50 has a more plush, cushioned seat instead of the mesh.
In Herman Miller’s Embody, a new benchmark was set in terms of pressure distribution of movement in ergonomic seating, thanks to its matrix of pixels which enable both the seat and the back to your body’s micro-movements, working to distribute your weight evenly as you move in the seat.
The Embody’s back is much like that of yours, in that it follows your spine’s natural curve, and is able to adjust perfectly to your shifting positions, keeping you supported whether you’re leaning forward or reclining.
In fact, it supports you so well, you feel like you’re floating!
The seat is more cushioned than that of the Aeron, but it’s also designed to allow air flow and breathability.
OK, we’re going to level with you here. There doesn’t seem to be another office chair on the market today that’s quite like the Herman Miller Embody. But we did come across the Ticova which we think is about as close as you’re going to get and is available at about a fifth of the price.
Whilst it doesn’t have a matrix of pixels designed to support your every micro movement, it does instead have an adjustable elastic back rest designed to fit perfectly against your spine.
And you can adjust the chair’s lumbar support, including both it’s height and its depth.
But that’s not all. You can also adjust the tilting angle up to a nice 140 degrees, and set it rock back and forth.
There are also some features in this chair that are lacking in the Herman Miller Embody, such as a mesh headrest, concave PU padded armrests - and then there’s the seat itself.
The seat is composed of 3 inch (7.62 cm) thick high density foam, especially designed to provide a larger support area and also disperse pressure on your hips and thighs.
Of the three Herman Miller chairs we’re looking at here, this one is the most affordable, the first of these 3 to come in at under $1000. And it has a very iconic stand-out look, inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge.
What you’ll first notice about it is the breathable unframed seat-back, which really does keep your back cool - much more so than a regular mesh back.
And not only is it super breathable, but it also provides a perfect balance between support of your back and spine, but also freedom of movement, and you can lean back in the chair without ever having to fiddle around with any levers or what not.
There are two types available: adjustable and fixed. The adjustable one features adjustable lumbar support, a tilt limiter, adjustable seat depth, and adjustable armrests.
And as you may have guessed, the fixed version has fixed in place components where the other is adjustable.
We were also very impressed that the Sayl is 90% recyclable.
In our hunt to find the best alternative to the Herman Miller Sayl, we sought to find a chair that best emulates its iconic look, and what we found is the Bowery by Laura Davidson Furniture. And although the Sayl is relatively affordable for a Herman Miller, this alternative is available at a fraction of the price.
It features an elastomer seatback which is wide at the bottom, and tapers in. It has a net design which is what gives it comparable breathability with the Sayl. And whilst this seat-back does have a frame to it, this does not get in the way of its breathability.
Meanwhile, there’s also 4 different angles you can choose to tilt the back to, along with 5 different seat heights, and 6 different possible armrest settings.
Herman Miller Alternatives (Aeron, Embody, Sayl) Buying Guide
Before choosing your office or gaming chair, you must first establish what you want from it and how much you’re willing to pay. For example, you will need to establish whether you need a breathable seat, or simply a breathable backrest.
Herman Miller are not the only chair manufacturers to make the claim that their chairs are ergonomic, not by far. And whilst many Herman Miller chairs are built with movement in mind, do you really need to spend so much money on a chair?
We’ve now shown that there are alternatives out there available at, literally, a fraction of the price. They rarely have all the features you would expect from a Herman Miller, but they do often show some of the more important features, such as adjustable seat height, adjustable lumbar support, rocking function, and lockable levels of tilting.
That said there are some elements to chair design that the mid and low price range simply cannot compete with, such as Herman Miller Embody’s matrix of pixels designed to support your body however it moves.
One option might be to consider a Herman Miller chair that’s been reconditioned or renewed (e.g. by Amazon) so is available at a far more reasonable price than it otherwise would be. In fact Amazon has a renewed Herman Miller Aeron available at about half the price it would normally cost.