The office chairs from Herman Miller are some of the most popular chairs used in offices. The Herman Miller “Aeron” is the most commonly purchased office chair in their collection and across the country.

Below is a comparison of the chair models “Aeron” and “Embody” including what size of the chair a customer should purchase based on height and weight requirements.

Aeron vs Embody

One of the things the designers of the chairs at Herman Miller set out to do was revolutionize the way that office chairs feel, operate, and look. Many of the standard desk chairs available are small, narrow, stiff and not adjustable.

Aeron and Embody take two different approaches to solve this problem.

The Aeron has done away with all forms of padding and fabric to eliminate the issues of overheating after sitting for a while in a desk chair and offering dynamic support across the whole back.

The Embody offers a headrest and adjustable support that conforms to the sitter. The back of the chair has independent supports winging out from a central spine, just like the ribs do from a human spine. This offers support for the user’s body as a whole, and the designers aimed to make a chair that can even help fix some of the damage done from sitting in inferior chairs for many years prior to switching to an Embody.

 

Chair Height Width Depth Weight
Herman Miller Aeron 38.5″ (size A)

41.0″ (size B)

43.0″ (size C)

(total height)

 

14.75-19″ (A)

16.0-20.5″ (B)

16.0-20.5″ (C)

(seat height)

25.75″ (size A)

27.00″ (size B)

28.25″ (size C)

16.0″ (size A)

16.5″ (size B)

18.5″ (size C)

41 pounds
Herman Miller Embody 42-45″

(total height)

 

16-20.5″

(seat height)

29.5″ 15-18″ 52 pounds

Herman Miller Aeron Review

Aeron is the most popular office chair sold in the US. The designers of the Herman Miller Aeron chairs recognize that people come in all shapes and sizes, and that having a single style of chair will not work with all the unique body types.

Below, you’ll find the complete sizing chart from Herman Miller website, it is set up with shaded zones to make it easier for you to determine which chair will provide you with optimal ergonomic support:

Image source: Herman Miller Official Website

The majority of workers who use an office chair on a regular basis during their everyday work will fit the size “B” chair. The “B” and “C” Aeron chair weight limit is 350 lbs and the “A” Aeron chair weight limit is 300 pounds, so height is definitely more significant of a factor to consider when choosing the size of the chair.

As shown in the table above, the Herman Miller Aeron chair dimensions are adjustable with regard to the seat height and vary depending on the size of the chair. Overall the Aeron chair is smaller than the Embody, with a seat width ranging from 25.75” to 28.25” compared to 29” with the Embody and the Embody is also taller by an average of two inches.

Colors

The Aeron is available in three different colors which from light to dark are Mineral, Carbon, and Graphite.

The Mineral is an almost white shade of gray which will fit in well in any modern office with an open and airy design.

The Carbon color is a neutral gray which will seamlessly integrate with any color palette, light or dark, and blend in with the overall theme as it stands out in ergonomic performance.

The Graphite color is the darkest tone, but still a gray. It would look best in offices with a more serious and professional theme, as the dark gray lends a gravitas to the design not present with the Mineral and Carbon colors.

The Aeron chair was recently updated to include new information from research and studies conducted over the last 20 years. You wouldn’t still be using the same computer you used in the mid-1990’s, so there is no reason that your desk chair should be from the 1990’s as well.

The Material

Pellicle is a unique material developed specifically for the original Aeron. An innovative, elastomeric suspension mesh eliminated pressure points which put stress on muscles and joints, restricting circulation and cause stiffness and discomfort. In the 1990’s this material stretched the boundaries of design and manufacturing, and the updated Aeron is no different.

The “8Z Pelliclepushes this revolutionary material even further. Across the seat and back, the Pellicle has varying tension to offer support in 8 latitudes, but always it is tightest at the edges of the frame for the back and the seat, more forgiving where the sitter makes contact with the chair.  All of this is designed to envelop the user with dynamic pressure, delivering increased comfort and ergonomic support.

Cool and Comfortable

The Herman Miller Aeron solved one of the biggest problems with sitting for extended periods of time: overheating and sweating, and having an opaque layer of fabric trapping that excess of heat and humidity against the skin and clothing. The Pellicle mesh allows for air circulation around the sitter, so body heat water vapor can permeate both the seat and backrest. This feature allows the Aeron to help the user of the chair maintain even and comfortable skin temperatures.

A more natural posture

The human body was not made to sit in a desk chair for eight hours every day. An active body is strongest when standing up, which opens the chest, draws the shoulders back, and tilts the pelvis slightly forward.  The PostureFit SL feature of the Aeron seeks to mimic some of these positions to provide long term comfort. Adjustable sacrum and lumbar support keep the spine in a natural position and keep the user from feeling restless.

The Aeron is a highly adjustable chair, but with that comes the necessity of making the required adjustments for it to be the ideal chair for the user. It also has no headrest, unlike the Embody, because of the higher height of the back.

Aeron Alternative

If you want an Aeron chair, but aren’t prepared to pay the Aeron price, the closest Aeron alternative at a quarter of the cost is the WorkPro 9000 Quantum. It offers a mesh seat and back with adjustable armrests and a waterfall-edged seat.

The drawbacks of the quantum are that it is only available in one size, the lumbar support is not adjustable, and has no forward tilt. Two features of the quantum that the Aeron lacks, however, are a head rest and adjustable seat depth to ensure the proper distance between the edge of the seat and the thighs.

Herman Miller Embody Review

The Embody chair by Herman Miller is specifically designed to reduce stress to the sitter while using it. It is a fully adjustable chair so that each individual can adjust the height and armrests to their size, but the flexible nature of the Embody’s spine and rib design supporting the back removes some of the user error of dialing in the adjustment.

The adjustment of the seat height on the Embody is limited to the range of the “B” size Aeron, which means that it will work for the majority of users but the very petite and the very large may not be able to use it as comfortably.

The Herman Miller Embody Headrest is a feature the Aeron chair does not have. Because of the support offered by the Embody, the headrest is available to seamlessly continue the curve of the spine and support the head and neck.

Color

Because the Embody uses a fabric on the seat and back, it allows for far more dynamic expression in 10 different colors than the cool gray of the Aeron chair, including bright, happy colors to make seeing it every day a joy.

Pixelated support

Though it is a structural decision instead of a material one, the pixelated support is as unique to the Embody as Pellicle is to the Aeron. The moment you sit down the pixelated support of the Embody gives you a sense of floating, perfectly balanced.

The chair employs a “dynamic matrix of pixels” according to Herman miller which means the Embody seat and back automatically conform to your body, dynamically adjusting with micro-movements. This reduces pressure points and encourages movement whereupon it distributes your weight evenly and aids in maintaining healthy circulation and focus.

Backfit

Embody’s back is designed to mimic the structure of a human body, with a central spine and flexible ribs that curve outward from it and support the user’s back. The Backfit adjustment allows is adjustable for positioning the backrest to follow the natural curve of the spine for a neutral, balanced posture.

Layers of intelligence

While the Embody does not have the breathable mesh seat of the Aeron, it has other features which add to the comfort and health benefits of the chair. The Herman Miller Embody seat is comprised of four different support layers.

Each is made of a different material, each is manufactured differently, but they come together and conform to the shape of the sitter with such precision they even adjust around the contents of pockets. These layers were designed for airflow, keeping you cool and comfortable as you sit.

The End-Positive Desk Chair

If sitting is so detrimental to the human body, and yet sitting us such a ubiquitous part of the modern work environment, can a chair be made to help repair some of the damage caused by long years of sitting? Can work chairs be truly health-positive, even therapeutic? Not merely at their best health-neutral?

Early on, the designers at Herman Miller discussed this hypothesis with experts. Researchers conducted experiments involving several different aspects of the state of sitting in a chair for extended periods: kinematics, preferred postures, pressure distribution, seated tasks, and metabolics. These guided the development of Embody and confirmed its benefits once constructed.

Dynamic support on a chair and back provides more comfort, liveliness, and health-positive benefits than static surface pressure that creates areas of blocked circulation. Work chairs can let us achieve postural equilibrium naturally, with any spinal curvatures, and the Embody is doing its part to help with the health benefits of a properly designed work chair.

Conclusion

The Aeron and the Embody are both highly functional ergonomic desk chairs which will increase comfort to the user, reduce pressure points and pain, align the spine and afford the sitter extended durations of work without distraction.

The Aeron is made with a mesh that allows for natural air circulation, but does not come with a headrest. It offers three different sizes so that the users can select the option to provide them with the best support possible. Available in three metallic gray tones, it fits with the decorations of modern office spaces.

The Embody is another fully adjustable offering from Herman Miller, supporting the user weightlessly as they work with a seat comprised of four layers, designed for air circulation and comfortable support, available in ten different colors to suit the taste of any consumer.

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