Are you looking to purchase a Herman Miller Aeron office chair, but still unsure if you want to pay a fortune for them?
The Aerons are the new modern trend for office chairs. Herman Miller Aeron chairs often contain advanced features such as highly adjustable tilt control and lumbar, along with eight different tension zones.
Unfortunately, the cost of high-quality material and features lends this product to cost much more than other office chairs. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable office chair alternatives that offer similar comfort and ergonomics. There are plenty of reasons you’d want an alternative.
Maybe you’d like a chair with a mesh back or one with a high back with a headrest.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the best features of the Herman Miller Aeron chairs, our top picks for alternative options, and why you should consider an alternative.
What Makes the Herman Miller Aeron So Great?
Best-In-Class Build Quality
Herman Miller Aeron has one of the best-in-class quality chairs in the market. These chairs are masterfully manufactured in the U.S.
It’s constructed from high quality molded aluminum, steel, and plastic components. Once you see on the chair, you’ll feel that it’s quite sturdy and won’t have any poorly fit or loose components.
Everything moves and adjusts smoothly. Compared to other brands, Herman Miller won’t pull mass-produced components from the shelf to build their chairs.
One of the keys to ergonomics is adjustability. Aeron chairs can adjust instantly to your personalized needs to accommodate any person.
A properly adjusted seat height provides balanced support for your thighs, buttocks, and lower body. Additionally, it enables a good posture to relieve all the pressure points typically found behind your knees and improve overall blood circulation throughout your body.
The width and depth adjustments are needed to distribute your body weight evenly and provide additional back support.
Cool Mesh Design
The Aeron chairs manufacturers recognized that the classic foam padding had flaws that made sitting in a chair for long hours uncomfortable. Their designers created a new breathable membrane called a woven pellicle.
The woven pellicles material is used on the backrest as a unique mesh design. This mesh design provides the best seating experience by not allowing heat or pressure to build up. Furthermore, the mesh is designed with eight unique tension points to support various points of your back, while also relaxing it.
These tension points vary in tension, from forgiving to tightest at the edges when the body makes contact. This allows you to sit in an office chair for long periods without feeling restless. The tension points aim to create better posture by aligning the posture for each person’s unique body type.
Its pellicle material has more give on the shoulder blades and pushes more on the lower back, to help with the common tension spots that desk workers are prone to have.
Aeron designers purposely eliminated fabric and form to solve one of the biggest issues with traditional office chairs; the buildup of humidity and heat close to the body. The pellicle material and mesh design enable air, water vapor, and body heat to pass through the backrest, so users feel nice and cool while sitting.
Herman Miller puts their money where their mouth is by offering quite a jaw-dropping warranty. They stand behind the quality of their chairs by offering a 12-year warranty that includes both labor and parts. Their warranty covers everything which includes electrical components such as tilts, casters, pneumatic cylinders and all moving mechanisms.
The Best Herman Miller Aeron Alternatives
- Eurotech Seating Ergohuman – Best Value
- Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Chair – Best Budget Option
- Herman Miller Embody – Premium Pick
- Steelcase Leap v2 – Most Comfortable
- Steelcase Gesture – Most Versatile
- Herman Miller Mirra 2 – Best Adjustability
- Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair – Best Under $500
- SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid – Best Headrest
- Ticova Ergonomic Office Chair – Best Lumbar Support
Eurotech Seating Ergohuman – Best Value
Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
Eurotech has been known for building chairs with phenomenal lumbar support. Designers have added lumbar support that pushes the padding forward than the other portions of the backrest.
It’s mesh back design helps to evenly distribute the pressure points across your back making this chair an excellent option for those with back, joint or muscle pains.
Of course, with a mesh upholstery, you get enhanced breathability to keep you cool. After sitting for long hours, leather chairs can make your back feel sticky and sweaty. You get a nice cool draft coming through your back to keep you cool, especially during warmer temperatures.
Most office chairs don’t include padding on their armrests, making it uncomfortable to type or use your mouse for long periods.
These armrests have the ability to adjust up and down, forward and backward, and inward and outward. This means you can get your elbow and arm in the most comfortable position.
Furthermore, the Eurotech uses a single lever adjustment, so you can easily adjust your seat height, seat depth, and tilt the chair with one lever. Many office chairs have multiple levers, which can be confusing for users.
Eurotech also offers a five-year warranty on its components and a two-year warranty for it’s the upholstery. Overall, this is a mid-priced chair with lots of great adjustability and ergonomic features so you can sit in the perfect position.
- Manual is easy to follow, and assembly is quick
- Mesh is super comfortable and breathable
- Lumbar support sits perfectly on the lower back
- Adjustments can be locked for the desired seating position
- The armrests don’t lock in place
- Isn’t ann headrest for this model
Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Chair – Best Budget Option
Weight Capacity: 275 lbs
The Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Chair is a great multi-functional chair that can be great for getting work done or gaming.
This chair comes in three different colors, which are black, charcoal gray, and red. It includes an all-mesh chair with heavy-duty plastic as it’s framing.
The Hyken also has tilt tension, seat height adjustment, adjustable arms, adjustable lumbar, and adjustable headrest. The high seat back and adjustable lumbar support help alleviate back pain and promote good posture while sitting.
The adjustable headrest allows you to tilt your head back or keep it upright, providing you with firm neck and head support. There’s also a tilt lock feature which is a safety mechanism. When you’re rocking your chair, it forces you to tilt back first, before getting into the upright position.
This prevents you from snapping back your chair, which can be dangerous. Its armrests are made of a soft rubber material, making it comfortable for your arms and elbows, especially when sitting for a long time.
If you’re looking for the cheapest mesh back chair that includes all of your standard features such as adjustability and headrest, this one is a great option.
- Extremely affordable, while maintaining most features in an office chair
- Mesh fabric and faux leather material resists stain and are easy to clean
- Very breathable mesh material
- Excellent lumbar support to improve posture
- Adjustable armrests for the perfect seated position
- Headrest is placed a little low, especially for taller individuals
Herman Miller Embody – Premium Pick
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
The Herman Miller Embody is one of the best high-end chairs in the market.
Although it comes with a high price tag, these chairs are well-built, inclu,des advanced pixelated support, and made in the United States.
Unlike the Herman Miller Aeron which has three sizes of chairs, the Embody has one chair that is better suited for most individuals. It has a weight limit of 300 lbs along with seat height adjustments and a high backrests.
This means this chair can accommodate taller and wider individuals. Embody deviates from the typical mesh back;. Instead, it uses a multi-layer fabric that they call the pixelated support system. The pixels are made to be flexible, supportive, and breathable. Depending on your body movements and weight, it distributes support to different areas of your body.
Another unique aspect of the Embody chair is it’s the slimmer backrest. Most office chairs have wide backrests to support your entire back. The slimmer design is made to support your spinal curve and ensure your spine is properly aligned with the chair. This slimmer backrest enables users to stretch and move much easier.
At the top part of the chair, there is some wiggle room where you’re able to bend backwards. This provides better flexibility if you’re in an upright position. Overall, the Embody is a high-end option with unique ergonomic features and great adjustability.
- Very comfortable and soft armrests
- Adjustable leg support
- Rhythm fabric is very soft, smooth, and comfortable to sit on
- Ideal chair for individuals with joint or back problems
- Offers a 12 year warranty
- Elegant and modern design
- Chair can be difficult to assemble if you purchase the dissembled version
Steelcase Leap v2 – Most Comfortable
Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
The Steelcase Leap V2 is designed to provide maximum comfort offering multiple adjustabilities so that you can find the perfect angles, heights, and resistance levels when sitting. One of the unique aspects of this chair is that it moves with you to encourage healthy posture and provide lumbar support.
The manufacturers of Leap V2 realized that back support isn’t just a static function. As you move with the chair, the backrest and seat pad will move with you. The lower portion tends to stay in place to provide optimal lumbar support.
But the upper part of the chair flexes away giving your body room to arch your back. When it comes to lumbar support, most office chairs have quite a gimmicky option that doesn’t do much. The Leap chair includes two adjustability functions to ensure the lumbar when it comes to lumbar supportMostsupports your lower back.
Users can adjust the tension within the backrest to increase or decrease the support you get. You can also move the lumbar cushion up or down along the backrest.
Furthermore, it has an array of ergonomic adjustments, including seat height, seat depth, arm width, arm depth, arm height, arm pivot, lumbar adjustments, and five different tilt lock positions.
- Assembly was simple and easy
- Can recline with ease and relax on during breaks
- Very sturdy and durable
- Seat is adjustable to fit those who prefer a more narrow or roomy seat
- Chair offers excellent support to all pressure points
- Fabric feels a little scratchy
Steelcase Gesture – Most Versatile
Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
The Steelcase Gesture office chair is one of the most versatile chairs in the market since it is a one-size fits all option. Although the chair doesn’t offer thick padding, it does provide excellent support for sitting all day.
Since it features a high backrest, this is a great option for taller individuals. In the upright position, the chair can still flex backward a little, which gives users some wiggle room to move around in the chair.
One of the unique aspects of this chair is its amazing 4-D armrest adjustment range. The Gesture can adjust the armrests by height, depth, width, and pivot. With its 10.25” of width adjustment and 4.25” of height adjustment, this chair provides outstanding shoulder and arm support.
The Steelcase Gesture offers a seat slider function. Simply turn the knob to adjust the seat pan, depending on how long or short your legs are. The Steelcase Gesture is built with all of the features and quality material in mind to handle individuals of all sizes.
Since it has a high backrest, and holds a capacity of 400 lbs, it’s truly a one-size-fits all versatile office chair.
- An aesthetically appealing and futuristic look
- Adjustable arms allow for perfect arm position
- Comes fully assembled
- Chair rolls on tile and carpet floor
- Able to adjust level ovariouseat depth, and resistance of recline
- Well-built and quite sturdy to last a long time
- Non-adjustable lumbar support
Herman Miller Mirra 2 – Best Adjustability
Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
Compared to the Herman Miller Aeron, Mirra 2 offers better adjustability at a lower price point. It has one unique adjustability feature that you probably haven’t seen before.
The Mirra 2 can tilt the seat forward by about five degrees to help individuals who enjoy leaning slightly forward while working.
It also comes with an array of adjustment features such as depth, seat height, adjustable lumbar support, four-way adjustable arms, tilt tension, and tilt lock.
With the adjustable lumbar support, you’re able to control the amount of depth support separately on each side of your back. This means you can have one side supported more than the other. There’s also a natural contour on the backrest to help keep you in a healthy posture.
With the Mirra 2, you’re able to select the type of casters based on your office setup. You can choose between hard floor or carpet casters. There’s also an upgrade option where the casters have a vibration control and braking feature to smoothly roll across the room or stop your chair from moving.
- Very comfortable armrests
- Provides good back support and spinal alignment
- Includes adjustable depth, seat height, lumbar support, four-way adjustable arms, tilt tension, and tilt lock
- Ships fully assembled
- Offers a 12-year warranty
- Has a high-end look and feel to it
- Armrests can be quite wide
- Tri-Flex backrest can feel slightly hard for some individuals
Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair – Best Under $500
Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
The Duramont office chair proves that you can get a good quality chair without spending a fortune. With this chair, you get a high backrest, headrest, and lots of adjustability for optimal comfort.
Duramont offers various adjustments such as backrest tilt, seat height, armrests, headrest angle and the position for the lumbar support.
Whether you’re seated in an upright position working or taking a break and reclining, this chair can do it all. Just like the Aeron, you get a cool, breathable mesh back. This prevents sweating and allows cool air to circulate on your back.
The Duramont seat includes a thick, soft cushion to provide reliefs on your legs and buttocks. For those who suffer from lower back pain, you can turn the knob in the back of the chair to adjust the lumbar support.
This contour lumbar support helps to prevent slouching and promote healthy posture. With a weight capacity of 330 lbs and high backrest, it suits people of all sizes.
Overall, with the features that are given and the price point of this chair, it’s definitely on a shortlist of best value office chairs.
- The seat is firm, but not too rigid
- Mesh back provides airflow and breathability especially for summer months
- Armrests are adjustable to your ideal height
- Headrest and seat height are adjustable
- Rolling casters are very quiet and smooth,
- Very easy to assemble
- Back tilts a little too far back
SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid – Best Headrest
Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
The Space Seating AirGrid is an excellent chair for taller individuals who weigh under 250 lbs. We love the mixture use of PU leather combined with high mesh to provide optimal comfort to its users. The seat is made of a thicker padded PU leather to provide comfort and luxurious feel to the chair.
Additionally, the headrest also uses PU leather. The padding consists of conventional block foam is ideal for moderate or light use. The backrest uses a mesh material designed for breathability and flexibility.
Unlike other office chairs with uncomfortable headrests, the Space Seating Professional Airgrid uses a padded headrest with various adjustments such as the headrest’s angle and height.
Using a headrest is an important aspect that prevents you from scrunching your shoulders, hunching forward, and putting pressure on your back. Leaning forward too much, and looking down while sitting can cause neck pain.
The adjustments are very easy to do with their one-touch pneumatic lever. It offers a seat height adjustment, tilt and lock function, and 360-degree swivel.
- Extremely affordable and great chair for the price
- Offers lumbar support for lower back
- Has a thick padded leather seat for maximum comfort
- Includes a breathable mesh back for breathability
- Easy to adjust seat height with one tough pneumatic
- No lateral seat adjustments
Ticova Ergonomic Office Chair – Best Lumbar Support
Weight Capacity: 280 lbs
Typically with office chairs priced on the lower side, it’s hard to find comfortable seating options.
The Ticova chair is made with a sturdy and durable frame and offers excellent padding for comfort.
Designers used a three-inch high-density thick cushion for the seat, lumbar support cushion, and breathable mesh back for better comfort.
The lumbar support can be adjusted to ensure you’re getting the right amount of support along with positioning for your lower back. Its depth and position can adjust this lumbar support by moving it up and down.
Additionally, it provides a very comfortable foam headrest to support your neck and head.
There are amazing adjustments that can be made, including headrest height, angle, seat cushion height, armrest height, lumbar support depth, and height, rocking resilience, and tilting angle of up to 140 degrees.
Besides the breathability aspect of the mesh back, it is also quite elastic. This flexibility in the material helps ease the pain and fatigue in your back by aligning your spine perfectly. The armrests are also padded with PU leather padding to give a proper arm and shoulder support useful for long hours of working.
- Great instructions and easy to assemble
- Material is very durable
- Headrest has a U-shape design perfect to fit your head and neck
- Able to adjust lumbar support depth, height, armrest height, headrest height, rocking resilience, and tilt angle
- Offers 3 inches of padded foam seating and disperses the pressure on thighs and hips
- Lower back support isn’t padded
Why Should You Consider a Herman Miller Aeron Alternative?
The Herman Miller Aeron is Expensive
Herman Miller Aeron is an excellent quality chair that is well-built and uses its patented Pellicle 8Z material to relieve pressure points for comfortable seating.
However, their trendy design along with advanced features, comes with a higher price tag.
Typically, you’ll find the Aeron starts at $995 and can range up to $1,815.
Unfortunately, most people won’t be able to afford this. Most people expect to pay anywhere between $200 to $700 for basic models of office chairs.
As shown above, we’ve given an array of budget-friendly options. Whether you need a versatile chair, one with lots of adjustabilities, or extremely soft padded seating, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re not looking to fork over that much money, there are still excellent Aeron alternatives without sacrificing quality.
Mesh Style Chairs Aren’t for Everyone
Although mesh style chairs are common among office chairs, they aren’t for everyone. Mesh back seats provide great posture support, have a high backrest, and provide ventilation to keep you cool.
Unfortunately, some people feel that mesh chairs are not as comfortable as leatherbacks due to the lack of padding. Without the padding on a mesh back, it can be a little too firm while sitting. One of the key selling points for mesh backs is that it’s great to keep you cool.
However, many office work environments already have an AC unit on, or maybe you live in a cold-weather environment such as Minneapolis. In this case, the mesh style might make you feel colder than you would like!
Additionally, since the mesh backs provide little to no padding, unfortunately, you may come in contact with the chair frame while seated. With a padded fabric or leather chair, you get a nice thick cushion to rest on.
Aeron chairs use mesh on both the backside and seating layer. This means a person’s leg, back, buttocks, or shoulds could come into contact with the chair frame. This only makes the sitting for long hours uncomfortable and painful.
The Herman Miller Aeron is Not a One Size Fits All
Unfortunately, the Herman Miller Aeron has some limitations in regards to adjustability. Their chairs do not have seat depth adjustment, seat width, or back height adjustment. Instead, the Aeron chairs have three different sizes: size A, size B, and Size C for small, medium, and large.
Even if you get a particular size, having a seat width and depth adjustment would allow users to find their most comfortable seating position. Some people enjoy adjusting the depth to be further away from the back, and some like it closer.
In addition, the Aeron might not be a good fit if multiple people are going to be using the chair, whether it be family members, or in a shared office space. Having 3 distinct sizes is not as versatile, as opposed to having an ergonomic chair with more adjustment options that can be a “one size fits all”.
Adjusting the seat depth ensures that there won’t be too much room between the front of the seat and the back of a person’s knees. Furthermore, there isn’t any back height adjustment, which can be a problem for taller individuals.
Taller individuals may feel like they aren’t getting enough back or posture support if the back rest’s length isn’t high enough.
Lack of Color Options
Although the Herman Miller Aeron chairs have a very modern and sleek design, they, unfortunately, lack color options. When it comes to office decor, sometimes you may want to spice it up with other colors.
Aeron has four color options, which are neutral colors such as graphite and mineral. The chair does use a different color for their frame and base. However, expect only to be able to choose between shades of black or silver.
Recap of the Best Herman Miller Aeron Alternatives
|Herman Miller Alternative||Best For|
|Eurotech Seating Ergohuman||Best Value|
|Staples Hyken Technical Mesh Chair||Best Budget Option|
|Herman Miller Embody||Premium Pick|
|Steelcase Leap v2||Most Comfortable|
|Steelcase Gesture||Most Versatile|
|Herman Miller Mirra 2||Best Adjustability|
|Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair||Best Under $500|
|SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid||Best Headrest|
|Ticova Ergonomic Office Chair||Best Lumbar Support|
Although Herman Miller Aeron chairs have stylish modern looks, highly advanced features, and good adjustability, there are cheaper or better alternatives in the market. If you want a high-quality office chair, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Whether you want a budget-friendly option, a chair with extra cushion padding, one with headrests, or more adjustability, we believe our list of nine Herman Miller Aeron alternatives has something for everyone.