Today, I will be taking a closer look at the Ergohuman LE9ERG; one of our most popular products. The Ergohuman series launched over a decade ago and quickly rose the ranks of ergonomic chairs. The LE9ERG is the all leather version, which features a padded seat and backrest. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in all versions of the Ergohuman over the years, but the LE9ERG is my personal favorite and was my daily chair for almost seven years. About a year and half ago I decided to switch to our BTOD 100MC mesh chair. This was definitely a downgrade, but I needed to test our own product and see how it held up. We recently received a new LE9ERG at our office and I decided to jump back in. Let’s take a closer look at what I found.
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The Ergohuman series design came to life in 2005 by Neil Wu, the Chief Design and founder of Comfort Seating. The chair quickly became a popular alternative to the Aeron chair, with a one-size-fits-all approach not found on the Aeron. Over the last decade it has been sold successfully in 52 countries including the USA, UK, Japan and Australia. Over that time frame, small changes have been made to improve the chair; however, the overall chair design has remained the same.
Overall: 26″W x 27.5″D x 46-51″H
Seat: 19.5″W x 15.5-17.75″D x 19.3-24″H
Back: 21.5″W x 27.5-29.5″H
Weight: 66 lbs.
Ergohuman LE9ERG Price
$649.00 + Free Shipping
Top Grain Black Leather Upholstery
Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
Tilt Tension Control
Adjustable Lumbar Support
Arm Height Adjustment
Arm Pivot Adjustment
3 Position Tilt Lock
Back Height Adjustment
Seat Depth Adjustment
Adjustable Leather Headrest
Headrest is height and tilt adjustable
Eco Friendly: 97% of the materials used on the Ergohuman Chair can be recycled.
Delivery and Assembly
The Ergohuman LE9ERG is a large chair, but with smart packaging it is able to ship via common carrier (UPS Ground). Assembly is straightforward; because the chair is heavy we recommend assistance lifting the chair onto the base. Assembly time takes approximately 10-20 minutes, depending on your skill level. All tools needed are included with the chair.
Eurotech Ergohuman Warranty
The Ergohuman LE9ERG has a solid warranty, which includes five years on the foam/upholstery and lifetime on parts (casters, mechanism, armrests, etc). The warranty is backed by the US distributor Eurotech Seating (Raynor Marketing). More on this later in my post.
While my initial impressions of this chair are from many years ago, I can tell you how I felt after a year and half break from the chair. Having sat in the 100MC chair, the LE9ERG was a welcome change. The seat pad is soft, allowing you to sink in, but still providing a good amount of support. The lumbar support is always there, no matter how you sit in the chair. Everything wasn’t perfect though. With such a pronounced lumbar, I found myself having to really sit back in the chair to feel the upper backrest. Without leaning back in the chair, you can’t take advantage of the headrest either.
What I like about this chair
The lumbar support on the Ergohuman has a self-adjusting system for the amount of pressure applied and is dependent upon your body weight. It is hinged to the upper portion of the backrest and will pivot from that point. The entire back can be moved up or down, which will move the lumbar system vertically on your lower back. There is about 2.5” of height adjustment to customize the lumbar support. There are only four positions to choose from though, so you won’t be able to really fine tune its position.
The lumbar on the Ergohuman series is like nothing that i’ve ever experienced before. It is without question the most supportive available in the high-end ergonomic category. In fact, some may even find it to a little too aggressive on the LE9ERG. Because this version has a traditional padded design, the lumbar will stay focused in a smaller area than the all mesh version of the backrest. The additional padding will also make the lumbar stick out further than the mesh versions, hitting your back earlier. If you prefer to have the support spread out across a wider area of your lower back I’d recommend the LEM4ERG.
Something that I have always appreciated about the pronounced lumbar support is that it’s always hitting your lower back. If you are like me and tend to lean forward while typing you should almost always have a good amount of lower support. With other chairs that use the natural curve of the backrest or push a lumbar pillow through a mesh backrest, the lumbar isn’t significant enough to maintain contact. I really found myself appreciating this after switching back to the LE9ERG this week.
Neck Roll Headrest
The neck roll headrest on the LE9ERG is nice and provides good support when you sit back in the chair. It is designed to fit in the crutch of the neck and head, so it won’t be like the headrest you find in your car. I actually prefer this type of headrest because it will cradle your neck and head when you lean back in the chair. When you lean forward the headrest is not effective and for most not noticeable at all. If you haven’t had a similar headrest in the past, you likely don’t know what you’re missing. The headrest is the more popular option across all Ergohuman models and I would recommend it.
Buying tip: If you are under 5’2” or over 6’5”, I would go without the headrest. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough height adjustment to fit properly in the chairs with headrests. If you are 5’2” and under, you will find that it hits you in the back of the head, this will push your head and neck forward. If you are over 6’5” it hits in the top for your shoulders and will sort of hunch you over. Both will create uncomfortable working positions which could lead to unhealthy sitting postures.
Single Lever Adjustment
Because ergonomic chairs come standard with an assortment of adjustments, they will typically have just as many levers to operate them. This can be confusing for new users since they are oftentimes located under the seat and can be difficult to reach. The single lever system from the Ergohuman series was introduced within the last five years and is a great addition. It includes the functions for seat height, chair tilt and seat depth adjustments. These are the three most commonly used functions on the chair and each is easily within reach.
The Ergohuman series has soft, yet durable arm pads on all of their chairs. A common sitting posture i’ve found over the years is where you tend to lean to one side and rest on one elbow. If you sit like this you’ve likely noticed that cheaper chairs arm pads are too firm to do this comfortably. Over time they also tend to show a permanent indentation and will begin to crack. We have had good success with older versions of the Ergohuman in our offices and I sat in the same one for many years with no issues. If the arm pad starts to break down from normal use, Eurotech will cover them under warranty.
For what you get out of the chair, the LE9ERG has a great price point. I know some of you might think I’m a bit out of line for saying this, but that likely depends how much you’ve spent on your chairs in the past. You can’t really compare the LE9ERG to low or mid level chairs. Their real competition exists with the likes of the Aeron (mesh versions) or the Steelcase Leap chairs. For an equivalent version of those brands, you are easily in the $900+ range. With the Ergohuman you get a chair that fits a wide range of users, with all of the bells and whistles of high-end ergonomic chair, for the price of a mid-range chair.
We have done business with Eurotech Seating since BTOD.com first started. In fact, it was our second furniture line that we sold online. Over the span of 12 years we have had plenty of opportunities to see how they back up warranties and I have personally been very impressed. As long as you have a proof of purchase and you are the original purchaser they will send out replacement parts. No questions asked. They are so good that Ryan (BTOD’s VP) included them in his list of The 5 Best Office Chair Warranties. His research included nearly 200 brands of office seating. You would be hard pressed to find a better mid-market supplier of office seating that backs up their warranty like Eurotech.
What can be improved?
Backrest Can Be Stiff
The padded leather backrest on the LE9ERG can feel a bit stiff. The design of the frame also creates an inward curve on the upper portion of the back that might not fit all body types. You really don’t get the sink in feel that is found on some leather chairs. It’s important to note this feel is more characteristic of an ergonomic chair than a big cushy leather chair.
Leather Backrest Can Feel Warm
While I prefer the leather backrest on the LE9ERG over the mesh alternative, it can get warm at times throughout the year. There isn’t a lot of breathability with the design and if you tend to get warm in the leather chairs this will likely happen in the LE9ERG. The mesh backrest with leather seat combo found on the LEM4ERG is a better alternative for warm workspaces.
Armrests Not Width Adjustable
I know I mentioned I like the arm pads on the LE9ERG, but I do not like the way the actual armrests function. They are set fairly wide between the seat and for a chair with so many adjustments it’s surprising they are not width adjustable. The design aspect of the chair has clearly trumped functionality. The polished aluminum arm frames look nice, but the way the connect to the seat frame do not allow for any movement. This could definitely be an issue if you are smaller than average or just like the flexibility of width adjustable arms. While I wish it had them, it isn’t a deal breaker for me personally.
Upper Backrest Angle
The combination of the of the pronounced lumbar support and the slightly reclined backrest creates a less than perfect upright seated position. Unless you sit slightly back in the chair you will not have support throughout the upper portion of your back. This has been the cause of a handful of returns over the years. If you need a perfect 90 degree backrest to be comfortable, it’s likely that none of the Ergohuman chairs will be a good fit. I’ve found that the design of the LE9ERG is slightly better than the mesh versions. This is due to the added padding in backrest, which changes the shape of the backrest and moves it about 1.5” closer to your back.
Polished Aluminum Base
The polished aluminum base on the LE9ERG is a love/hate relationship for me. Personally I like the look of polished aluminum and Ergohuman does a good job with aesthetics with their base. Unfortunately, this type of material does not hold up well for chair bases. Structurally they are fine, but they tend show scratches a lot sooner than other black powder coated bases. Once the scratches start to show it defeats the purpose of the fancy polished aluminum base.
While I think the LE9ERG chair is good fit for a lot customers, it’s definitely not going to work for everyone. The slightly angled backrest will be an immediate deal breaker for those requiring full support throughout the backrest when seated upright. If you are under 5’2” or over 6”5” the headrest will not fit you body properly, creating an uncomfortable working position. With that said, this chair has been my favorite over the past decade. The amount of adjustments, reliable warranty support and favorable price point has made it a popular option for BTOD customers as well. If the stiffness of the backrest and more specific lumbar on the LE9ERG aren’t a good fit, the LEM4ERG with mesh backrest will likely be a better option. Overall, you can’t go wrong with this chair and that is why I believe it hasn’t lost an ounce of popularity since it first launched in 2005.