Herman Miller Aeron vs. Embody: Debate Ends Here

Ah yes, the never-ending debate of which ergonomic office chair is the best. When diving into this topic, one brand surely comes to mind: Herman Miller. This legendary brand of ergonomic office furniture is at the heart of every conversation, making it difficult to choose between their very own masterpieces.

Herman Miller Aeron vs Embody comparison: The biggest difference between the Herman Miller Aeron and Embody is the materials used. The Aeron is made with pellicle mesh while the Embody uses rubbery canvas supported by a plastic skeleton structure. Both have their pros and cons.

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Herman Miller Aeron

  • Adjustable lower back support
  • Breathable mesh material
  • Three sizes available
  • Automatic winner, in stock

Herman Miller Embody

  • Flexible back and seat material
  • Wide seat base
  • One-size-fits-all design
  • No longer in stock in U.S.A

The Herman Miller Aeron and Embody are arguably two of the most prominent ergonomic office chairs today. Therefore, in this post, we are going to compare the two in the hopes of helping you find the best office chair for your workspace. Before we do, let’s do a quick overview before comparing the two.

Quick Overview

Before going into the comparison, let’s start with the similarities. Both the Herman Miller Aeron and Embody come with an industry-leading 12-year warranty. Not to mention, you have 30 days to return either chair model for a full refund, with Herman Miller covering the return shipping charges.

The Herman Miller Aeron chair perfectly balances support, comfort, design, and function. Part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Arts, it’s become the ergonomic benchmark and one of the most widely recognized work chairs in the world today. Many agree that it’s truly a work of art.

The Herman Miller Embody is a proven health-positive work chair. With a unique frame inspired by the human back, it provides unprecedented support and customization, designed for long-term sitting and intense focus. Its rubbery canvas integrated with a skeleton structure is truly a game-changer.

After getting a better sense of both amazing office chairs, let’s address the Herman Miller Aeron vs. Embody comparison. While many people ponder upon its hefty price, it’s safe to say that both are worth the investment. To help you make the best buying decision, we will compare the two chairs based on three important categories:

  • Size
  • Adjustability
  • Comfort

Herman Miller Aeron vs Embody: Key Comparison Points

At first glance, you can quickly notice differences in the design of these two ergonomic chairs. We understand that some comparisons can be subjective by nature, therefore, we will do our best to provide an unbiased review based on our humble opinion. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. Size

Herman Miller Aeron

The Herman Miller Aeron comes in three different size options. Size A, size B, and size C. Basically, this translates to small, medium, and large. Because of this, the Aeron caters to a wide range of users. Size A can support up to 300 lbs. While size B and C can support up to 350 lbs. of weight.

Herman Miller Embody

The Herman Miller Embody is available in one size only and is designed to fit a broader range of people compared to the Aeron chair. To make up for this, the Embody comes with multiple adjustment options, which we will cover next. The Embody chair can support up to 300 lbs. of weight.

WINNER: The Herman Miller Aeron chair takes an early lead in the size category. Because of its three-size options, the Aeron can offer a ‘personalized’ sitting experience. Whether big or small, the Aeron can provide you with the perfect size. On the other hand, the Embody is more of a one-size-fits-all chair.

2. Adjustability

Herman Miller Aeron

The Aeron chair is available in several mechanism options. The basic mechanism comes with the standard tilt tension function. You can also upgrade to a mechanism that gives you three lockable positions and a forward seat tilt option.

We noticed that it feels more natural to rock back and forth with the Aeron than the Embody because of its knee-tilt mechanism.

Herman Miller Embody

What the Embody lacks in size options, it makes up for it in adjustability. It has good seat height adjustment, arm width range, and it also has seat depth adjustment. These functions make the Embody a nice option for a wide range of people. It’s also more natural to move around in the Embody because the seat and back are flexible, allowing you to move freely. This is not possible in the Aeron with its more rigid frame.

WINNER: Finally, the Embody claims a point in the adjustability category. With more adjustable options, the Embody is perfect for a wider range of users, making it the perfect office chair for multiple people. The Aeron, on the other hand, maybe for you if you’re looking to create a personalized home office.

3. Comfort

Herman Miller Aeron

Comfort is where the Aeron chair excels at. Due to its patented pellicle mesh material, the Aeron chair may be the best in the business in terms of breathability. Not only is it soft to the touch, but it’s durable as well. In our opinion, the Herman Miller Aeron provides the best airflow for office chairs.

In addition to its material, the Aeron chair comes with exceptional PostureFit technology. This allows you to adjust the back support to your liking. The combination of excellent lumbar region support and breathable material makes the Herman Miller Aeron one of the best, if not the best, in terms of comfort.

Herman Miller Embody

The Embody chair also provides amazing comfort, albeit, it does so through a combination of different features. Right off the bat, you will notice the unique skeleton structure of the backrest. Not only is the pattern visually stunning, but it’s surprisingly flexible as well. The tall and narrow backrest is designed to support your entire back while also providing you with a wide range of movement.

Instead of the traditional foam padding, the Embody chair seat uses a suspended plastic coil to support your body. They are meant to provide a ‘floating’ feeling while you work, promoting healthy micro-movements while you sit, especially during long hours of sitting. The seat is wider than the Aeron.

WINNER: Once again, the Herman Miller Aeron tops the Embody in terms of comfort. Based on our opinion, the Aeron has an edge because of its cool breathability, especially if you need to work in warmer climates. Not to mention, the adjustable lumbar support is an exceptional feature to support your lower back.

Other Notable Comparison Points

Both the Aeron and Embody are considered Herman Miller’s masterpieces. As such, it may take more than the size, adjustability, and comfort for a buyer to choose between either office chair. Here are other comparison points on which you can base your buying decision:

Materials

The frames on both ergonomic chairs are made of a similar kind of aluminum. Despite this, they are so easy to tell apart based on design. The back of the Aeron is made of the iconic Pellicle 8Z mesh, a high-quality, rubbery fabric. It has eight tension zones for more balanced pressure distribution and tension control.

Similarly, the Embody comes with a one-of-a-kind design for its back known as Herman Miller’s pixelated support. This is a sequence of support plastics that react individually based on a user’s sitting position. Thus, it creates an almost incredibly comfortable chair that gives the feeling of weightlessness.

In terms of the fabric on the back of the Embody office chair, it’s less mesh and more fabric-like, which is unlike the Aeron. That’s why some users prefer Aeron’s pellicle for their ergonomic needs.

The mesh structure makes Aeron’s backrest more breathable. Nevertheless, Embody’s more customizable fabric is a point in its favor.

Colors

Based on what you’ve read so far about the Aeron and Embody, you can somehow conclude that both chairs support natural alignment and healthy movement. Well, you would be right! Let’s go over their more superficial benefits in this section—the colors!

With the Aeron, you get to choose from four different color combos for the frame:

  • Gray mineral frame with a polished aluminum base
  • Graphite frame with a polished aluminum base

  • Gray mineral frame with a satin aluminum base

  • Graphite frame with a graphite base

The Embody gives you as many as 42 colors for the upholstery. However, color combo options for the frame remain at four, as well. These are:

  • White titanium

  • Graphite titanium

  • All-black graphite

  • White graphite

You can get both these chairs as gaming chairs. Each has an X Logitech limited edition gaming chair version with a gorgeous back aesthetic and superior seat foam.

That said, it’s worth noting that both these chairs are at the higher end of the Herman Miller price range. As such, be ready to shell out some serious cash should you decide on either of these expensive chairs.

Back Height Adjustment

Back height adjustment is a feature absent from the Aeron. The absence of this trait probably remains its sole weakness in terms of ergonomic adjustments, as the chair is designed for low seating.

As previously mentioned, the Embody wins as far as Herman Miller adjustable chairs go. It is a taller chair with excellent ergonomic features, like the built-in neck support. Additionally, it has other notable features, like back height adjustment, that showcase its customizability.

This is what makes the Embody one of the best desk chairs for both tall and petite people. You can get it in one size, and its height adjustable traits ensure it works for everyone. Now, that’s an excellent chair!

Seat Depth Adjustment

Seat depth adjustment tells a similar story between the Aeron and Embody. The Embody offers great adjustable seat depth that tunes the chair into the user’s specific body types and femur lengths.

In comparison, the Aeron has none whatsoever. It even gets complaints about how the edge of the seat’s plastic can dig into the back of the user’s thighs.

Arm Adjustments

The high-end Aeron and Embody come with fully adjustable armrests you can move side to side, in and out, and up and down. That said, an entry-level Aeron provides only limited armrest adjustability, but you may request one with fully adjustable arms depending on the dealer. Consider armrest comfort when you decide between these desk chairs. 

Wheels

Yes, wheels also factor into whether or not chairs provide ergonomic seating, so you mustn’t overlook them.

Both the Aeron and Embody come with an ergonomic design courtesy of a standard and multi-surface set of casters that work superbly on all kinds of surfaces. From carpet to hardwood floors, these high-quality office chairs deliver excellent movements that can contribute to your work day’s efficiency and productivity. 

Final Verdict

We are huge fans of Herman Miller chairs because of the unrivaled quality and craftsmanship offered by the iconic furniture brand. While we enjoyed testing them, it’s certainly hard to compare Herman Miller Aeron vs. Embody as both are perennial powerhouses in the ergonomic office chairs industry. 

With that in mind, you simply can’t go wrong with choosing either one. After all, there’s a reason why both chairs are considered the best Herman Miller ergonomic chairs in recent years. If you’re looking for a more personalized office chair, go for the Aeron. If you’re looking to equip an office for many people, go for the Embody.

However, if we were to choose one between the two, we would go for the Aeron chair.

It is more than the fact that the Embody is no longer available in 2023. The Aeron is just the best choice. There’s a reason why it’s become such a legendary icon and is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. If you want the best, do yourself a favor and buy the Herman Miller Aeron chair. We’re sure it will become your favorite chair in no time! 🙂

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