Herman Miller Aeron vs. Cosm: Which One is Better?

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Two titans collide in the battle of the best office chairs from Herman Miller. The Aeron has stood the test of time and has become a perennial powerhouse throughout the years. The Cosm, on the other hand, offers a modern twist in the office ergonomics game. So, which one of these two chairs is better?

Herman Miller Aeron vs. Cosm: The biggest difference between the Aeron and Cosm lies in their adjustability. The Aeron is designed for manual adjustments - from the recline, back support tension, and armrests adjustments. The Cosm, however, adjusts to the user automatically. If the Aeron is a chair for one, the Cosm is a chair for many.

Obviously, there’s more to this comparison than just adjustability. The remastered Aeron has won many awards including the ‘Good Design Award’, while the Cosm turned many heads by having won the iF Gold Award in the Office and Industry category at the iF World Design Awards 2020. Let’s compare the two!

Quick Overview

Because these two chairs are made by a reputable brand in Herman Miller, there are bound to be many similarities. Both the Herman Miller Aeron and Cosm come with a whopping 12-year warranty. In addition to this, you may ask for a full refund in 30 days, if you’re not satisfied with either chair, no questions asked.

The Herman Miller Aeron chair is often considered the ‘elder statesman’ of ergonomic office chairs. Designed with a unique pellicle mesh that’s ultra-breathable, it’s the epitome of the ultimate work chair. The perfect balance between form and function is what pushes the Aeron chair up there with the best of them.

The Herman Miller Cosm chair is a self-adjusting mesh chair with a focus on both performance and beauty. By pushing the boundaries of innovation, Herman Miller created the Cosm with a revolutionary ‘passive ergonomics’ concept. This means that instead of having the user adjust the chair, the chair adjusts to the user.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that these two chairs are made with mesh. Both offer amazing breathability and unparalleled comfort. Nonetheless, there are glaring differences. These two chairs should be considered as investments, even though many ask why are they so expensive. To help you make the best choice, we will do the Herman Miller Aeron vs. Cosm comparison based on three user-friendly categories:

  • Size
  • Adjustability
  • Comfort

It’s important to note, however, that this Herman Miller Aeron vs. Cosm comparison is strictly based on our humble opinion. Most reviews are always going to be subjective by nature. With that said, we will try our utmost best to give you an unbiased review of these two outstanding ergonomic office chairs. Let’s get into it, shall we?

1. Size

Herman Miller Aeron

The remastered Herman Miller Aeron comes in three size options: size A, size B, and size C.

Size is where the Herman Miller Aeron excels at. The Aeron comes in three different sizes for the user. In fact, we have dedicated an entire size chart for the Aeron chair just to help our readers choose the best size! Basically, these three different size selection can support anyone up to 350 lbs. of weight. This is a testament to how well Herman Miller Aeron can cater to a wide range of users.

Herman Miller Cosm

The Herman Miller Cosm comes in three backrest height: low, middle, and high. It also has three different armrests options: fixed armrests, leaf armrests, and no armrests.

The Cosm, on the other hand, also comes with several size options. However, the choices are only for its backrest height. You can choose between low, middle, and high backrest. This means that the selection is geared only towards the user’s height, as all of the seat widths are the same. Cosm also offers three armrests options: no armrests, fixed armrests, and leaf armrests.

WINNER: The Herman Miller Aeron wins the first match in the size category. While the Cosm offers three different backrest heights, the Aeron also takes the weight of the user into account by offering three different sizes. Not only does the Aeron size A, size B, and size C offer different backrest height, but it offers different seat widths as well.

2. Adjustability

Herman Miller Aeron

With many turns and knobs, the Herman Miller Aeron offers a fully-adjustable sitting experience for the user. From the back support tension to the armrests adjustments, all the way to the tilt control, the Aeron chair’s got it all. Whether you’re big or small, the Aeron chair can fit your specific needs. Take a look at the Aeron adjustment guide video to get a better idea of what adjustments can be made with the chair:

Herman Miller Cosm

The Cosm, on the other hand, is specifically designed without any buttons. The goal of the chair is to adapt to your body instantly, without having to manually adjust the chair. To achieve this, Herman Miller created the Cosm with a highly flexible frame, allowing free upper body movement while you are seated. Herman Miller claims that your feet will never have to leave the ground, even when moving in the chair. Here’s what they have to say about this unique chair:

WINNER: Again, the Herman Miller Aeron chair claims another point in the adjustability category. The reason is clear, the Aeron offers all the bells and whistles, while the Cosm is the complete opposite. It’s made without any knobs, twists, and turns. Even though the Cosm chair promotes ease of use, it lacks manual adjustability.

3. Comfort

Herman Miller Aeron

The comfort level of the Herman Miller Aeron can never be overstated. Throughout our website, we’ve talked so much about the Aeron chair (even topping our list for the best ergonomic office chairs). The seat and backrest are so flexible that they support you no matter how you sit. Not to mention, the material is very breathable.

One feature that stands out to us is the PostureFit technology. This design aims to reduce fatigue by promoting the natural curvature of the spine. With its back support adjustment, you can either raise or lower where the support goes. It also allows you to set how much or how little the support is.

Herman Miller Cosm

The Herman Miller Cosm is the first ‘passive ergonomics’ chair that the world has ever known. Basically, the chair knows how far you need to tilt in order to stay ergonomic. When the chair catches your weight up to a certain point, it locks you in that fulcrum point. This can be done no matter what size you are.

Personally, it feels very comfortable for us. The chair feels ‘weightless’ when you’re sitting on it. While hard to describe, once you sit on it, you’ll definitely know what we’re talking about. That said, the chair aims to understand your body without any adjustments on your part. It’s like having a friend that knows you better every day.

WINNER: The result is a tie for the comfort category. Comfort is a very subjective topic. With that said, we can see how these two chairs can offer superior comfort to the different users. Think of each chair as chocolate and vanilla. Some will like the first, others prefer the latter. The Aeron is for those who like to tweak things while the Cosm is for those who set and forget.

Final Verdict

To sum everything up, these two Herman Miller chairs are truly some of the best in class in the world of office ergonomics. You can’t go wrong with either one. No wonder that both are included in the list of the best Herman Miller office chairs. Comparing Herman Miller Aeron vs. Cosm surely is no easy task. 

The Aeron is one of the classics, while the Cosm is the new kid on the block. Both have different upsides and it’s up to each user’s needs. If you’re looking for a highly adjustable chair that offers superior comfort and breathability, go for the Aeron. If you’re gunning for modern beauty with an innovative smart ergonomic design, go for the Cosm chair. 🙂