When it comes to modern furniture, especially office pieces, one big name stands out: Herman Miller.
While they are among the most competitive companies out there, Herman Miller looks to be in a league of their own.
With this approach, they outdo themselves with quality craftsmanship and intelligent design again and again.
In this article, we’ll be taking a close look and comparison of two of their outstanding and award-winning chairs: the Embody, and the renowned Aeron.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, just know that these are on the expensive side, so it might be a surprise to those who are merely looking around for an inexpensive office chair.
However, the price point isn’t baseless. These ergonomic chairs are high-end pieces, designed, manufactured, and tested with intense care and research.
That being said, if you’re interested in investing in a long-lasting and durable ergonomic chair, read on!
Table of Contents
Breaking it down
Since these chairs are from the same company, and both have a common co-designer: Bill Stumpf, we can expect some similarities.
But what I’m excited about are the differences in the Embody from the Aeron.
To make a detailed comparison, we’ll juxtapose each chair by breaking down its distinct and similar features.
To fit the needs and wants of buyers, making products customizable to their needs is becoming more common. However, more customizability means additional fees.
Furthermore, customizability varies from one product to another. Let’s see how these 2 chairs differ in this department.
In comparison to the Aeron, the Embody has limited customizable parts.
First off, when picking out the frame you can choose from 4 color options:
- White and titanium
- Graphite and titanium
- Graphite and graphite
- White and graphite
Aside from the frame, you can also have fun with the color of the upholstery:
- Dark mineral
- Dark carbon
- Feather grey
- Blue grotto
While Aeron has more customizable parts, Embody takes the cake when it comes to fun color options.
Finally, the casters can be changed to fit your needs and preferences. You can choose from casters made for carpet, hardwood, or even transparent ones.
When it comes to overall customizability, Aeron does the most.
The first step to building this chair would be to pick out the size. There are three sizes, meant to cater to different heights and weights.
|Size||Weight limit||Recommended height|
|Small||90 to 150 pounds||4’10” to 5’9”|
|Medium||30 to 325 pounds||5’2” to 6’6”;|
|Large||180 – 350 pounds||5’3” to 6’6”|
There are also color options for the frame and upholstery so that it doesn’t clash with your office:
- Graphite and polished aluminum
- Mineral and satin aluminum
- Mineral and polished aluminum
- Graphite and graphite
Next is the backrest, where you have 3 types to choose from:
- Basic back support
- Adjustable lumbar support
- Adjustable Posturefit SL
Even the tilt can be customized or upgraded if you want the extra feature. You can either get the standard tilt or go all the way and pay extra for the tilt limiter and seat angle.
We can’t forget the armrests! The Aeron chair has three options: height adjustable only, fully adjustable arms, or stationary arms.
And you can even add extra for leather arm pads!
Lastly, the casters are customizable, too. Choose from the carpet casters or the quiet roll multi-surface casters.
When it comes to ergonomics, adjustability is necessary. We all come in different shapes and sizes.
Our postures, movements, and activities vary. So our chair needs to be able to keep up with us!
The name Embody is fitting for this chair because it does follow the shape of your spine. This chair was designed to be INTELLIGENT.
There are over 20 experts, from physicians to PhDs in biometrics who pitched into the overall development of this chair.
Because of these contributions, the Embody is one-of-a-kind in terms of healthy and ergonomic office chairs that helps with pressure distribution and natural alignment.
The Backfit adjustment is unique to the Embody as it was designed to be just like a human’s back.
With the backrest aligning with your spine’s natural curve, it can adapt automatically to whatever movements or positions.
You can even manually adjust it using the knob on the right side, behind the seat. To make the back flatter, rotate it forward.
For a more curved back, rotate it backward.
Just like almost every office chair in the market, the Embody’s seat height can be adjusted using the joystick inside tilt tension knob on the right side of the chair.
When working in an office, you can’t help but lean back to stretch out your spine. But it’s impossible to do this if you sit in a regular chair that has a stationary backrest.
But with the Embody, you can lean back as much as you want!
Simply increase or decrease the tilt tension using the knob right below the right side of the seat.
This additional tilt feature is fantastic because it allows you to lean back at certain angles. Simply flip the back horizontal tab on the left side, right behind the seat.
Recline and push the tab up to set the angle or the limit of the recline. To release, lean forward, and push the tab down completely.
Not all chairs have this feature, so I think it’s worth mentioning that you can shorten or lengthen the seat depth using the handles on either side of the front of the seat.
If you chose to have armrests, you can adjust the height and width to fit your needs.
To adjust the height, press the button under each arm pad and push or pull to the desired height.
The width is also adjustable, by simply pulling it in or pushing it out.
Now, with over a hundred awards, you can expect plenty from the Aeron office chair.
Adjustable height for lumbar support
This unique adjustable feature is one of the things that set the Aeron chair apart.
Unlike other chairs that can move the lumbar support in or out, with this chair, you can even move it to the right height appropriate for your spine.
This can be done using the adjustable strap located at the back of the chair.
Adjusting the lumbar support makes a huge difference, especially if you suffer from all sorts of back pain.
You can move the lumbar support inward or outward by using the knobs on the right or left side on the back of the chair.
Similar to the Embody, you can also modify the tilt tension to your liking. The long stem with the knob on the right can be rotated to increase or decrease the tension.
Again, this feature can also be found on the Embody. Recline to the position you want using the inner knob on the left side.
When it comes to differences, the forward tilt is unique to Aeron.
This function allows the user to tilt forward, and it’s especially handy when you want to focus on a task.
To engage this feature, simply use the outer knob on the left side.
Of course, this feature is a given and needs no other explanation. You can adjust the height to go up or down using the paddle lever on the right side of the seat.
Make sure your knees are at a 90-degree angle! To be sure you’re adjusting your seat correctly, follow this guide.
The adjustability of the arms will depend on the type of armrest you get.
As for the height of the arms, you need to lift the lever to unlock it. Pull the armrest up or down to the desired height, and then lower the lever to lock it at the desired height.
Next, hold the front of each arm pad and slide them back or forward to the depth you’re comfortable with.
For the angle, you only need to grab the front of the arm pad again and pivot it to the left or right.
As you may have noticed, there is no seat depth or back height adjustment. All of these are covered when you choose the size of the chair.
3. Customer service
This one might be redundant to tackle but since they’re coming from the same company, we can expect the same services.
But it’s worth noting these awesome benefits from ordering these chairs from Herman Miller.
First off, both chairs are delivered completely assembled. There’s no need for you to worry about the tools, how to set it up, or any missing parts!
Next, the Embody and the Aeron chair are both covered with a 12-year warranty, a 30-day hassle-free return policy, and free shipping.
However, be careful where you’re buying it because some sellers do not offer these policies.
Embody: 2/5 in customizability; 5/7 in adjustability; 4/4 in customer service
Aeron: 4/5 in customizability; 6/7 in adjustability; 4/4 in customer service
Pros and Cons
Read more: Steelcase Leap vs. Herman Miller Aeron
Overall, the winner is undoubtedly Aeron. However, this is completely from the perspective of listing down the features.
From the standpoint of a task chair that helps you with work, Aeron indeed has more to offer.
However, when it comes to versatility, the Embody can offer comfortability not just in the workplace. It’s also a fantastic chair for gaming, watching movies, or other activities.
Whichever office chair you pick, there are only a few differences and you can’t go wrong with either one!