aeris introduced a new chair design in 2006 with their Muvman. It quickly became a popular product and it set a new standard for what a standing chair should look like. Because of its popularity and numerous industry awards, a lot of competitors arose with similar designs. One of those competitors is the VARIchair® by Varidesk. It features an almost identical design but instead of using high quality components from Europe, Varidesk chose to provide a more economical product with parts being sourced from China. There are advantages and disadvantages to both products. By the end of this comparison, you should have enough information to decide whether the Muvman or VARIchair® is the right product for you.
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Specs / Features
|Manufacturer||Varidesk, LLC||aeris GmBH|
|Country or Origin||China||Germany|
|Seating Surface Dimensions||13.5”W x 11”D||13″W x 12.6″D|
|Seat Height Range||23”-32.75”||20”-33” or 23”-36”|
|Base Dimensions||15.75”W x 15.75”D||15” Diameter|
|Weight Capacity||220 lbs.||265 lbs.|
|Product Weight||26 lbs.||13 lbs.|
|Warranty Period||1 Year||5 Years|
|Base and Seat Pan Material||Plastic||Glass reinforced polymid|
|Seat Upholstery Material||Vinyl||Microfiber|
|Base Finish Options||Black||Black or Grey|
|Seat Color Options||Black||Black, Blue, Green, Grey or Red|
|Return Period||30 days||30 days|
|Return Shipping Charges||Paid by Varidesk*||Paid by Customer|
|Original Packaging Required||No*||Yes|
*These policies are only available for purchases made directly from Varidesk’s website.
Delivery & Assembly
Both products arrived fully assembled in small boxes. The Muvman box weighed about half as much as the VARIchair® box but I had no problem moving either of them by myself. Both products were very well packaged and showed no signs of damage from shipping.
|Order Processing Time||Within 24 Hours||2-3 Days|
|Shipping Time||1-5 Business Days||1-5 Business Days|
|Shipping Method||UPS/FedEx Ground||UPS/FedEx Ground|
|Assembly Time||Ready out of box||Ready out of box|
The biggest differences between the VARIchair® and the Muvman are the quality of the components used. aeris chose to use high-end parts throughout while Varidesk opted for lower quality parts. The base and seat pan on the Muvman are made from fiberglass reinforced polymid, while the base and seat pan on the VARIchair® are made from plastic. The Muvman’s cylinder is made by the German company Stabilus GmbH, while the VARIchair®’s cylinder is made from a Chinese that lacks the reputation Stabilus has established. The final major difference in build quality is going to be the seat upholstery. The Muvman features a high-end microfiber upholstery that is soft to the touch. The VARIchair® offers a coarse vinyl upholstery that feels almost like rubber.
Mobility is going to be an area that both chairs excel in. They both feature the same simplistic design so there is not much chair to have to carry. They both also have built-in handles that make them easy to pick up instead of having to awkwardly lift the chair from underneath the seat or by the cylinder. Their footprint is also very small so it is easy to store them away in tight spaces. They can also be easily transported to new locations in small vehicles if needed. While they are both really mobile, the Muvman is about half the weight of the VARIchair® which makes it noticeably easier to carry.
The seats on the VARIchair® and Muvman look similar but they are actually quite different. The two things that they do have in common is that they are both small and each of them features a convex shape. One big difference is that the Muvman’s seat pan is wrapped with the microfiber upholstery while the VARIchair®’s padded and upholstered part of the seat sits on top of the seat pan. This difference does a couple things. The first is that you cannot feel the edges of the seat pan on the VARIchair® like you can with the Muvman. The second is that the curve in the front of the seat on the VARIchair® is much more pronounced than the Muvman. I felt that this made it harder to sit in a perched position on the VARIchair®.
The other main differences have to do with the level of padding and type of upholstery used. The VARIchair® has thicker padding but is much firmer than the Muvman’s padding. The Muvman has a softer feel but there is not enough padding to prevent you from bottoming out on the foam. The upholstery is also much different. The microfiber on the Muvman is nicer quality than the vinyl on the VARIchair®. It looks nicer and feels soft to the touch. The VARIchair®’s vinyl does not feel as nice as microfiber but it feels really durable and is easier to clean than the microfiber.
Range of Motion
Since both chairs have the same design concept, they each have the same type of motion. There is a joint in the base of the chairs that allows the cylinders to swivel in all directions. There is not going to be a difference in the type of motion that the chairs can do but the range that you can swivel is different. The tension in the joint on the Muvman is looser than the tension in the VARIchair® which is why it has a better range of motion. Not only is the range larger but it takes less work to move the seat because of the looser tension.
Seat Height Adjustment
The only adjustment on both chairs is seat height adjustment. The VARIchair® features a single lever found underneath the seat. Pressing and holding the lever will unlock the gas cylinder which will allow you to move the seat up or down. The gas cylinder will naturally move the seat up when there is no weight on it. Sitting on the seat, with the handle held, will make it easy to move the height down. The Muvman’s seat height adjustment functions the same way as the VARIchair®. The only difference is going to be the button style. aeris chose to go with two buttons that are flush with the underside of the seat. You can press one or both buttons to adjust the chair height. This design choice on the Muvman provides a sleeker look than the VARIchair®.
The Muvman has a wider height adjustment range than the VARIchair®. It offers 13” of adjustment range compared to the 9.75” of adjustment range on the VARIchair®. The Muvman has a lower adjustment point in its range that allows you to use the Muvman in a more normal sitting position if you’d like. The Muvman also offers a “Tall” version that adjusts up to 36” which is more than 3” higher than the VARIchair® allows.
The ergonomic experience is going to be the same on both products. They each promote a more open hip angle to reduce tension on your lower back and also help engage your core. Neither model looks to put you in 90° angles and both models trade armrests and backrests for movement and leaning postures.
The Muvman and VARIchair® have similar base designs. The Muvman’s base is round while the VARIchair®’s base is close to a square. Both bases lack wheels and have rubber strips along the rims of the base to prevent them from slipping and sliding. They each feature a steel base plate to help anchor the chair in place. Both bases provide a stable sitting experience at all heights. The base on the VARIchair® is larger and heavier. One thing that I did notice when using the Muvman is that the base can tip slightly when leaning far in a given direction. I did not have this experience when using the VARIchair®.
The VARIchair® and Muvman are very similar products. It is obvious that Varidesk was trying to create a low priced Muvman and they succeeded in doing that. The products do have their differences though. The main differences are going to apply to the quality of the products. The Muvman’s parts are high-end; its range of motion is more generous and has a larger seat adjustment range. The Muvman also has a nicer seat upholstery and a longer warranty than the VARIchair®. This does come at a considerable cost though. The VARIchair® is less than half the price of the Muvman and you still get most of the benefits that the Muvman provides as a standing chair. Varidesk will also let you try the VARIchair® for 30 days risk free. I think that the Muvman is a nicer product but I cannot completely justify the higher price point. I think that there are people that will want the higher-end Muvman and will be willing to pay a premium for it, but the VARIchair® provides good value for people that don’t want to spend $499.00 on a standing chair. I hope this comparison helps you to find your next standing chair. Make sure to check out our full in-depth reviews on the VARIchair® and Muvman.