Atlas Headrest vs. Engineered Now Comparison

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As you probably know, there is no official headrest for the Herman Miller Aeron chair, but there are a number of after-market headrests you can add to the chair.

The Atlas Headrest and the Engineered Now Headrest are arguably two of the best headrests for Herman Miller Aeron. Let’s compare the Atlas headrest vs. Engineered Now to find out which one is better between these two enthusiast grade headrests.

Atlas Headrest vs. Engineered Now Comparison:

Atlas Headrest (Fabric)

Engineered Now Headrest

  • Matches the color of the Aeron
  • Does not void Aeron warranty (approved)
  • Fabric/leather does not pull your hair
  • Very secure and sturdy
  • More time to install (4 screws to tighten)
  • Cannot be adjusted while sitting

  • Easy to install (one screw to tighten)
  • Allows you to adjust while sitting
  • Slight difference in color from the Aeron
  • Mesh material may pull your hair
  • May void your Aeron warranty (?)

To compare the Atlas headrest and the Engineered Now headrest, I’ve decided to compare both of them using four important user-friendly metrics. I will compare the appearance, the installation, the adjustments, and the overall comfort. Hopefully, you should be able to figure out which one is better by the end of this comparison.

1. Appearance

This feature will not only affect its aesthetics but also the comfort it provides and its ultimate versatility. That’s because the headrest’s appearance will depend on the material used by the manufacturer.

About the Atlas headrest

The Atlas headrest matches the color of the original Aeron chair. It's also very sleek.

The Atlas headrest claims that its headrest is recommended by Herman Miller for bid specs. It was designed by a former Herman Miller designer, Dennis Foley, and engineered by a former Herman Miller engineer, Robert Beck. At first, I thought that was unnecessary for a headrest, but the difference in quality is really apparent. 

The first thing I noticed with the Atlas headrest was that it’s made in the USA. The difference in quality is very noticeable, as all of the materials, from the plastics, the coloring, and the mesh, are pretty much identical to the original Aeron chair. So if you want a one-to-one match to your Aeron, the Atlas is your best bet.

Additionally, Atlas headrest claims that their products are the only ones that won’t void your Aeron chair’s warranty.  For me, it doesn't really make sense how a headrest can void a chair’s warranty, but it just goes to show how much effort they put in to create an amazing headrest that would fit the Aeron perfectly.

About the Engineered Now headrest

There is a slight color difference between the Engineered Now headrest and the Aeron chair.

According to Engineered Now, the founder founded the company after noticing neck and shoulder pain after sitting on the Herman Miller Aeron chair for several weeks. The reason is clear: no support for his head. He then made it his mission to “find the missing piece” to the already excellent Aeron chair.

The Engineered Now headrest has two models to choose from: the H3 and H4. The H3 is recommended for people below 6 feet tall and the H4 is about 20% bigger and taller.

The first thing I noticed with the Engineered Now headrest is that it does not use the same material (mesh/fabric) to the original Aeron chairs. Because of this, there is a slight difference in color between the headrest and the actual chair itself. That said, it’s hard to visually tell the difference at a glance.

Moreover, the Engineered Now headrest is much smaller compared to the Atlas headrest. It depends on your personal preference when it comes to size, but I personally like to have a bigger headrest since it can accommodate either my head or my neck. The smaller size does not fit my head as well as a bigger headrest.

Verdict: Atlas Headrest is more sleek.

From a pure appearance standpoint, I personally like the Atlas headrest more than the Engineered Now headrest because it’s more sleek and simple. Because it’s more minimalistic, it’s more aesthetically pleasing to go along with an expensive ergonomic chair like the Herman Miller Aeron.

2. Installation

In terms of installation, both headrests are pretty easy to install. Both chairs should take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes to install. However, the installation for the Engineered Now headrest is simpler because there is only one screw to tighten, while the Atlas headrest has 4 screws to install.

How to install the Engineered Now headrest

  1. Start by placing the headrest at the narrowest point of the top part of the Aeron chair (either from the left or the right).
  2. Gently slide the headrest to the center part of the chair.
  3. Make sure that the headrest is located in the middle part of the chair.
  4. Once the headrest is in the middle, use the Allen Key to tighten the bolt at the headrest’s base.

How to install the Atlas headrest

  1. Grab the bracket that is going to clamp on the back of the chair.
  2. Loop the clamp over the top, and hand-tighten the screw as far as you can until it stops.
  3. Grab an Allen Key and tighten the screw at the headrest’s base.
  4. Grab the headrest part. It is connected to the bracket with three screws. Connect the headrest to the bracket and hand-tighten the two screws (on the left and right) in place.
  5. Finally, grab the plastic plate that will cover the top, along with the third screw and hand-tighten the third screw in place.
  6. Use the Allen Key to tighten the three screws.
Verdict: Engineered Now is easier to install.

While both headrests are very simple to install, it’s clear that the Engineered Now headrest is much easier to install. It requires only one screw to install and takes no time at all. That being said, the Atlas Headrest provides better security, which we will discuss further below.

3. Adjustments

In terms of adjustments, both headrests have three adjustments, which include height, depth, and angle adjustments. In simpler terms, both headrests are able to:

  1. Raise or lower the headrest
  2. Slide the headrest forward and backward
  3. Pivot the headrest facing up or down

However, while both headrests have the same adjustments, I’ve found the Engineered Now headrest has more of a “free-flowing” design, which allows me to adjust it while sitting down. In my opinion, this is a huge plus since I need to adjust the Atlas headrest while standing up, or get someone to help me.

To adjust the Atlas headrest, you need to loosen and tighten knobs, which is a big hassle for me.

I did find that I could tighten the knobs ALMOST all the way and still allow it to move a little bit, which gives me the ability to fine-tune the headrest while I was sitting. But if you don’t tighten the knobs all the way, then there is a chance for the Atlas headrest to wobble or move slightly in different directions when you lean on it.

Verdict: Engineered Now is easier to adjust.

While both headrests have three similar adjustments, the Engineered Now headrest is easier to adjust since it does not rely on knobs to use. Unlike the Atlas headrest, you can fine-tune the Engineered Now headrest while sitting down, something that you may find very convenient.

4. Comfort

Your current headrest can affect your comfort level either negatively or positively. After all, it’s an ergonomic investment. Here are the differences between the two headrests:

Atlas headrest comfort

Leaning back, I feel like the Atlas headrest supports my head/neck very nicely. Since all of the adjustments are secured by knobs, there is no creaking or wobbling when I lean back into the headrest, which is very pleasant for me. As long as you find the right adjustments, the Atlas headrest is very comfortable.

As far as material selection goes, the Atlas headrest has three options to choose from: fabric/textile, mesh, and leather. I went for the fabric/textile option and loved it very much because it does not catch your hair. I would assume that the leather option does the same and is very easy to wipe clean.

Engineered Now headrest comfort

Just like the Atlas headrest, the Engineered Now headrest is also very comfortable. However, since the headrest does not use knobs to secure itself, it has the possibility to move around slightly when you lean into it. It would sometimes wobble and shift so it does not provide me with the best feeling of security.

Additionally, I feel like the mesh material pulls your hair when you want to get up from your seat. Mesh fabric has super tiny holes which are breathable, but can be abrasive and rough to the touch. And since the Engineered Now headrest only comes in mesh, it’s not the most pleasant feeling for me.

Verdict: Atlas headrest is more comfortable.

The Atlas headrest is more comfortable than the Engineered Now headrest. It’s got the right plush pillow and nice fabric material which does not pull your hair. I don’t think that mesh is the right material to be putting your bare skin or your scalp because it can be abrasive and uncomfortable. 

Final Verdict

FINAL WINNER: Atlas Headrest

While the Engineered Now headrest has easier installation and simpler adjustments, the Atlas headrest is much more comfortable because the fabric material does not pull your hair. Additionally, the overall appearance of the Atlas headrest blends in seamlessly with the original Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Atlas Headrest (Fabric)

Engineered Now Headrest

  • Matches the color of the Aeron
  • Does not void Aeron warranty (approved)
  • Fabric/leather does not pull your hair
  • Very secure and sturdy
  • More time to install (4 screws to tighten)
  • Cannot be adjusted while sitting

  • Easy to install (one screw to tighten)
  • Allows you to adjust while sitting
  • Slight difference in color from the Aeron
  • Mesh material may pull your hair
  • May void your Aeron warranty (?)

Frequently Asked Questions About Herman Miller Aeron Headrests:

1. Is the Aeron headrest worth it?


In my opinion, the Aeron headrest is worth it if you constantly recline while sitting. As long as your monitor, keyboard, and desk are properly aligned, having a headrest to go along with your Aeron chair is worth the price because it allows you to sit up straight while having your neck and shoulders perfectly relaxed.

That said, if you don’t recline often, you may not need an Aeron headrest since the Herman Miller Aeron is already comfortable as is. Sure, the Aeron is definitely one of the best Herman Miller chairs, but one of the biggest considerations of buying an Aeron headrest is the price.

Both the Atlas headrest and Engineered Now headrest are expensive since they cost more than $150.

Try to examine your work or business days. Are you feeling neck pain and shoulder discomfort after sitting for long hours on your Aeron? If so, then a headrest can help solve the issue.

2. Does Herman Miller make headrests?

Herman Miller does not make headrests for its chairs. To date, there are two excellent companies that make headrests for Herman Miller chairs: Atlas Headrest and Engineered Now. Both companies specialize in making top-of-the-line Herman Miller headrests, specifically for the classic Aeron chair.

3. Why does Herman Miller Aeron not have headrests?

As one of the best ergonomic office chairs, many wonder why Herman Miller Aeron does not have a headrest. To answer this question, I reached out to a sales agent of a premium retailer. Here’s why Herman Miller do not make headrests for the Aeron chair:

According to the sales representative, Herman Miller does not make headrests for the Aeron chair because headrests may not be “the most ergonomic” and don’t believe that headrests are good for you. Herman Miller does not recommend using a headrest with the Aeron chair.

4. Do I need a headrest for the Aeron chair?

Technically, you don’t need a headrest for the Aeron chair, as the chair is already comfortable and ergonomic as is. However, if you feel constant neck pain and shoulder discomfort while sitting on the chair, you may need a headrest to go along with the Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Just be sure to buy the best Herman Miller Aeron headrest available.