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Herman Miller Embody Vs. Steelcase Gesture

If you are an avid office ergonomic enthusiast, you may be familiar with two of the most popular brands, Herman Miller and Steelcase. In fact, these two brands have been key players in the global office furniture market for decades. Therefore, many like to compare two of the best office chairs from each brand, Embody and Gesture.

Herman Miller EMBODY

  • Flexible back and seat material
  • Wide seat base
  • One-Size-Fits-All design


  • Modern ergonomic design
  • Fully adjustable backrests and armrests
  • Various color and material options

Herman Miller Embody vs. Steelcase Gesture comparison: The biggest difference between the Herman Miller Embody and the Steelcase Gesture lies in the backrest. Instead of traditional foam padding used in the Gesture, the Embody uses rubbery canvas that’s supported by a plastic skeleton structure.

With that said, there’s more to the Herman Miller Embody vs. Steelcase Gesture comparison than meets the eye. In this post, we are going to compare the two chairs in order to help you find the best furniture for your office. But before we move on, let’s do a simple and quick overview of the two chairs.

Quick Overview

Before going into the comparison, let’s talk about the warranty of both chairs. The Herman Miller Embody is covered by a 12-year warranty that includes parts and labor. The labor-included warranty means that when warranty work is performed in the U.S. and Canada, Herman Miller foots the bill.

The Steelcase Gesture, on the other hand, comes with one of the best warranties in the business. The frame of the Gesture chair is covered for the lifetime of the original owner. However, the mechanisms, gas cylinders, arms, foam padding, and casters are covered for a period of 12 years.

The Herman Miller Embody has a distinct futuristic look due to its skeleton maze design. With a unique frame inspired by the human back, it boasts a high-quality mechanism and a unique pixelated support system throughout the seat and back. The quality is apparent as every part fits and functions smoothly.

As with most Steelcase chairs, the Gesture offers a modern look and is equipped with many plastic components. Most of the plastic components, however, were either used for flexibility or to cover metal components. In short, all of the components fit together properly and are well-finished.

Now that you’ve had the chance to know both chairs a bit better let’s discuss the comparison. While both chairs come at a considerably high price, it’s safe to conclude they are worthwhile investments. To help you choose one, we will compare the two chairs based on three important user-friendly categories:

  • Size
  • Adjustability
  • Comfort

The above three comparison criteria are arguably the most important things to consider when shopping for an ergonomic office chair. And while we know that comparisons tend to be subjective, we will do our best to provide an honest review of each chair. With the caveat out of the way, let’s get started.

1. Size

Herman Miller Embody

The Herman Miller Embody Chair

The Herman Miller Embody is available in one size only and is designed to fit many people. It has a high back design that makes it work for most people. The armrests are also adjustable for many people, from small and petite, to wide and tall. The Embody chair can support up to 300 lbs. of weight.

Steelcase Gesture

Like the Embody, the Steelcase Gesture is designed with many different types of posture in mind. The Gesture chair’s one-size-fits-all approach makes it easier to share in an environment with multiple users. The difference, however, is that it can accommodate people up to 400 lbs. of weight.

WINNER: The Steelcase Gesture chair takes an early lead with the size category. While both chairs come with a one-size-fits-most approach, the Gesture beats the Embody because of its superior weight limit. If you’re looking for an office chair that fits a wide range of users, the Gesture is an excellent choice.

2. Adjustability

Herman Miller Embody

While the backrest of the Herman Miller Embody allows the optimal angle for you to work comfortably, it is missing two important adjustable features. Unfortunately, there are no lumbar (lower back) adjustments and arm pad adjustments. If you prefer to have adjustable lumbar support, the Embody chair is not for you.

Steelcase Gesture

With almost every adjustment option available, Steelcase Gesture remains one of the most adjustable office chairs. There’s a reason why many find it hard to choose between the Leap and Gesture, as both chairs from Steelcase offer near-complete adjustments. The only thing missing is the back height adjustment.

WINNER: Once again, Steelcase Gesture claims another point from Herman Miller Embody, this time regarding adjustability. The reason is clear; the Gesture chair offers more adjustability than the Embody chair. While the Embody is an outstanding office chair, it lacks lumbar and arm pad adjustments.

3. Comfort

Herman Miller Embody

The seat of the Embody makes it unique out of all the best Herman Miller office chairs. It’s made up of four different layers of different material types. This multi-layered setup, made from a pixelated support system, is designed to give you a flexible yet supportive seat cushion that is also breathable as well.

With no hard frame edges, the seat is wide. Whether big or small, you will not feel constricted in this chair. Overall, we like the seat because it’s supportive, but it’s not heavily padded. This helps the seat stay cool yet feels soft and firm at the same time. There’s no chair that has a seat like the Herman Miller Embody.

Steelcase Gesture

The Gesture has a comfortable seat, back, and armrests, three of the most important factors of a comfortable chair. Because the backrest is tall, it provides excellent support for both your upper and lower back. If you often move in the chair, the backrest provides a unique and comforting flexing in the mid and upper portion.

When it comes to seat comfort, Steelcase is simply one of the best. We are amazed at their ability to create comfortable seats without thick padding. Even if you like a big and thick seat cushion, you’ll most likely enjoy sitting in the Steelcase Gesture office chair.

WINNER: This is a tightly contested battle, but Herman Miller Embody slightly edges the Steelcase Gesture in terms of comfort. In our opinion, the Embody provides a wider base which allows any user not to feel constricted when sitting, especially for long hours. However, both chairs are very comfortable.

Final Verdict

And there you have it, the complete comparison of the Herman Miller Embody vs. Steelcase Gesture. Our team had an amazing time researching and testing two of the most popular chairs in the market today. After all, both Herman Miller and Steelcase offer outstanding warranties and iconic craftsmanship.

With that in mind, you can’t simply go wrong with either chair. After all, there’s a reason why both chairs are included in our list of the best ergonomic office chairs. If you’re looking for a more adjustable office chair, go for the Gesture. If you’re looking for a wide chair with a futuristic look, go for the Embody.

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