Today we are going to take a closer look at the most popular chair from the Ergohuman series; the high back mesh ME7ERG. This version of the chair is the all mesh model, which is the closest alternative to the Aeron chair. When the Ergohuman first launched, this was the model that I chose to sit on. At first it was amazing and honestly, I couldn’t see sitting in another chair. Over the course of a few months my stance on this model changed. Because it has been years since I last sat in this version, I decided to grab one from the showroom and give it a spin for the last three days. While the ME7ERG continues to hold the top spot for Ergohuman, it’s not the version I would recommend to our customers. Let’s take a closer look at the chair and I will show you why I made my recommendation.
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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 chair design has remained the same.
Overall: 26″W x 27.5″D x 40-46″H
Seat: 19.5″W x 15.5-17.75″D x 18.1-22.9″H
Back: 21.25″W x 21.5-23.5″H
Weight: 66 lbs.
Ergohuman Mesh Price
$624.00 + Free Shipping
Ergohuman ME7ERG Features
- Top Quality Mesh Upholstery
- Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
- Tilt Tension Control
- Adjustable Lumbar Support
- Arm Height Adjustment
- Arm Pivot Adjustment
- Back Angle Adjustment
- Synchro-Tilt Mechanism
- 3 Position Tilt Lock
- Back Height Adjustment
- Seat Depth Adjustment
- Adjustable Mesh Headrest
- Headrest is height and tilt adjustable
- Headrest is not removeable*
- Eco Friendly: 97% of the materials used on the Ergohuman Chair can be recycled
Delivery and Assembly
While the ME7ERG is a large chair, they have done a good job packing it down. All single chair orders are able to ship UPS Ground and will be brought to your door or suite. Assembly time takes approximately 10-20 minutes, depending on your skill level. All tools are included with the chair. This chair is heavy and it’s recommended that you have assistance attaching the chair to the base.
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). We will look deeper into the warranty later in the post.
My original impression of the ME7ERG is much different than my most recent experience. In 2006 I fell in love with the ME7ERG, thinking it would be the last chair I needed. The mesh suspended me and felt like I was floating. The lumbar support was like nothing I had previously experienced. Unfortunately, my most recent interaction with the chair wasn’t the same. While the mesh still provided a floating-like experience, the mesh didn’t provide as good of support as the LE9ERG I had just reviewed. It also has pressure points around the frame, specifically around the front edge of the seat pan.
What I like about this chair
The Ergohuman chair is widely known for having incredible lumbar support. The system they use creates a lumbar that pushes out further than the upper portion of the backrest. This means it’s the first thing you will feel when you sit in the chair. It is auto adjusting, so that the amount of pressure that is applied depends on your actual body weight.
Because the ME7ERG has an all mesh backrest, the way the mesh adapts to your body is different than a traditional padded chair. It spreads out across your lower back more than it’s all leather sibling, the LE9ERG. It doesn’t feel quite as intense on the lower back as the upholstered versions of the chair.
Neck Roll Headrest
The neck roll headrest is much different experience than the typical headrest that you would rest your head against. It is actually designed to fit within the crutch of your neck and head, providing better support than a headrest found in a vehicle.
The headrest is height adjustable, with approximately 2” of height adjustment. It will also pivot at an axis point found at the end of the frame stem. It has three positions, allowing it to adapt to your neck and head.
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 is a nuisance.
The mesh upholstery has the ability to provide a better breathability than a traditional office chair. Our office tends to be a little cool and I noticed right away that it was not as warm as my padded seat. It is a much different feel than the padded seat I had previously been sitting in. I could even feel a cool draft in the seat, which would be nice during the summer months.
The arm pads on the ME7ERG are soft, but still supportive enough for long hours of computing. When I am not typing on the keyboard, I find myself primarily using the mouse. When this happens I tend to lean on one elbow and rest that elbow on the arm pads. This seems to be common sitting posture for others in our office as well. The arm pads are comfortable to lean into like this and quickly regain their original shape when I switch sitting positions.
The arm pads are also multi-dimensional, with the ability to slide forward and backward. They have approximately 2” of forward and backward movement. They will also pivot inward and outward, with three positions total. The first is a neutral position, second is inward and the third is outward.
I especially like the ability to adjust the depth of the arm pads. If you have issues with getting close to your desk, this will give you additional flexibility. I noticed that working in the my corner desk setup, my right mouse area on the keyboard tray tends to get in the way. It is a position closer to my body than the main portion of the keyboard tray. The Ergohuman allows you to still position yourself square with the keyboard and provide support for your arms at the correct height.
With a price point starting over $600, it probably seems crazy to say this is something I like with the ME7ERG. To put it in perspective though, it should truly be compared to chairs like the Aeron and Leap chair (upholstered versions). Each of the those models in similar configurations will start at $900+. The Ergohuman ME7ERG will offer the same or more adjustments, with better lumbar than both chairs for 50 percent less. With this in mind you can see why this is an upside for the Ergohuman models.
Eurotech was recently featured in our 5 Best Office Chair Warranties Post. I can personally attest to their consistency over the years. As long as you are the original purchaser of the product and hold onto the proof of purchase they send out replacement parts. We have customers that have owned Ergohuman chairs since 2006 that have recently received free replacements. Over the decade or so that we’ve sold Ergohuman, I have seen arm pads, casters, cylinders and mechanisms replaced at no charge. While their warranty doesn’t cover labor like some of the high-end brands, it still gets your chair back to functioning properly. Even when the chair is over ten years old.
What can be improved?
Mesh Seat Lacks Support
The mesh upholstery used on the Ergohuman ME7ERG is a leggett and platt product. It is considered high-end and very similar to the material found on the Aeron chair. From a durability standpoint it does a good job maintaining it’s original form, only sagging slightly over time.
Unfortunately, I am not that impressed with how the mesh feels when you sit in it. After you put your fully body weight on the seat it doesn’t have as consistent of support as a padded, upholstered seat. Your weight tends to go to the middle of the seat and if you slouch in the chair it can start to flex into your tailbone.
The mesh may feel good at first, especially if you are new to the Ergohuman series. However, over time I found that I developed soreness in my tailbone. Originally it took me about three months for this to start being an issue. After that I found that the pain would come back almost instantly when seated in the ME7ERG. Switching to the padded leather seat was all I needed to get over the pain that originated from the mesh upholstery.
Seat and Lumbar Frame
The second problem that forms with the mesh upholstery is from how it’s attached to the frame of the chair. The mesh is attached to the seat and back frame, then pulled tight, adding foam for known touchpoints for your body around the frame. As you sit in the chair, the mesh will provide some give, so when you sink in the chair you actually sink below the frame. This creates pressure points around the front edge of the seat pan that will hit the back of your legs.
There is also a second area that I noticed which is between the upper backrest and lumbar system. Each of these areas have added foam padding to protect you from the hard plastic frame. I personally don’t believe that the foam padding does enough and this wasn’t very comfortable for me. The seat was especially bad, the backrest wasn’t as noticeable.
Buying tip: If this is a potential concern, simply switching to the leather padded seat would be recommended. The LEM4ERG is the combination of a mesh backrest with the leather padded seat. This gives the benefits of the mesh upholstery for breathability, while providing better support in the seat.
Armrests Not Width Adjustable
While the arm pads on the ME7ERG are comfortable, the armrests functionality could be improved. With all of the adjustments on the Ergohuman, it’s rather surprising that the arms are not width adjustable. Because of the design aspect, the arm is attached to the seat frame with the same polished aluminum. While this provides a very nice finished look, it will not allow for any adjustment. The chair will sit wider than average because of this and it’s definitely important to consider these dimensions if you are smaller than average.
Upper Backrest Angle
Over the years we have had returns or exchanges of the Ergohuman for two main reasons. The first was an issue with the mesh seat, the second was the Ergohuman’s inability to sit you in an upright 90 degree position. The design of the backrest is such that it will have a slightly angled upper portion, moving the upper back further away the higher it goes. Because the lumbar system pushes your lower back out, this only exaggerates the problem, creating an even bigger angle between your lower and upper back. If having a perfect upright posture with full support through your back is important the Ergohuman isn’t a good option.
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 to 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.
Clean-ability of the Mesh
Because of it’s multi-layered web design, the mesh upholstery tends to be a little difficult to keep clean. It likes to grab fibers from clothing, collect dust and attract other airborne particles. Over time you will notice that is starts to build up in the webbing. While wiping the chair with a rag can potentially clean the top later, it will oftentimes leave the dust stuff between layers. Sometimes using a rag can be counterproductive as it will leave fibers behind as you wipe down the chair. The best bet is to use a vacuum with a brush adapter. This will help get within all the layers of the mesh. It’s best to keep up with the cleaning process, otherwise the chair can potentially look pretty bad over time.
It’s hard for me to believe that over all this time the ME7ERG high back chair remains Ergohuman’s number one seller. Especially considering the recommendation of sitting in padded seats, from Ergonomics experts, has only increased over the years. My personal experience also sways my overall view of mesh seating in general. But, with that said I understand the breathability aspect on mesh chairs is a big draw for many customers. The Ergohuman ME7ERG utilizes a high quality mesh, so durability over time will not be an issue either. If you like the feeling of being suspended in air, the ME7ERG is probably a good fit. However, if you require better support I would recommend looking at the LEM4ERG, which provides the best of both worlds. No matter your needs, the Ergohuman series as a whole likely has a chair to keep you comfortable. The overall adjustability and strong warranty is why I will continue to recommend this chair to our customers.