The Swopper and Muvman are among the most popular and most awarded chairs in the active seating category. It should come as no surprise that they are made by the same company, aeris GmbH. Both products are well made and they each have played a big role in setting the standard for active chairs. While both chairs have been successful, they are not perfect and they have a lot of differences. This comparison will highlight the upsides and downsides of both products so that you can decide whether the Swopper or Muvman is the right product for you.
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Specs / Features
|Manufacturer||aeris GmBH||aeris GmBH|
|Country or Origin||Germany||Germany|
|Seating Surface Dimensions||13″W x 12.6″D||16″ Diameter|
|Seat Height Range||20”-33” or 23”-36”||22”-27.5” or 24”-32”|
|Base Dimensions||15” Diameter||21.5” Diameter|
|Weight Capacity||265 lbs.||265 lbs.|
|Product Weight||13 lbs.||23 lbs.|
|Shipping Weight||18 lbs.||28 lbs.|
|Warranty Period||5 Years||5 Years|
|Base and Seat Pan Material||Glass reinforced polymid||Aluminum|
|Seat Upholstery Material||Microfiber||Ultrasuede|
|“High”or “Tall” Versions||$40.00||$250.00|
|Base Finish Options||Black or Grey||Anthracite|
|Seat Color Options||Black, Blue, Green, Grey or Red||Black, Blue, Grey, Orange or Red|
|Return Period||30 days||30 days|
|Return Shipping Charges||Paid by Customer||Paid by Customer|
|Original Packaging Required||Yes||Yes|
Delivery & Assembly
The Swopper and Muvman both have the same order processing and shipping times. They also both ship via ground carrier in small boxes that are easy to carry for one person. Both products are very well packaged so the chances for damage are small. The Muvman comes fully assembled. The Swopper comes in three pieces and requires a couple minutes for installation.
|Order Processing Time||2-3 Days||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||Less than 5 minutes|
The Muvman and Swopper are made by aeris and are both comprised of high-end parts. The Swopper features an aluminum base with powder coat paint finish. There is a steel spring system that extends straight up from the base. The seat is round with a convex top and upholstered in ultrasuede. The Muvman’s base is made from glass reinforced polymid. There is a piston that extends from the base at a slightly forward tilted angle. The seat is a small rectangle with a convex top. It is upholstered in microfiber. Both chairs are among the best quality standing chairs I have tested.
The Swopper has good mobility but the Muvman has great mobility. This is one area that the Muvman has an edge in. The Swopper is just under 25 lbs. but it lacks a handle so you will still need to use both hands to carry it. The base is also fairly wide so it is a bit more awkward to carry than the Muvman. The Muvman only weighs 13 lbs. and also has a built-in handle on the seat which allows you to carry the chair with one hand.
One thing that the Swopper has, that the Muvman doesn’t, is the option to add wheels for $50. Adding wheels will give the Swopper more mobility while sitting on the chair and will also allow you to roll the chair when moving it to a new location, instead of having to carry it.
One of the biggest differences between the Swopper and Muvman is the seat. The only similarity they share is that they each have a convex shaped top. From there, you will find differences in the shape, size, padding and upholstery on the two different seats. The Swopper features a round seat that is 16” in diameter. The Muvman seat is a 13” x 12.6” rectangle. This ends up giving the Swopper seat about 20% more space than the Muvman’s. The padding on the Swopper is thicker and softer than the padding on the Muvman. The Muvman also has hard edges due to a lack of padding around the sides of the seat pan. The front edge can dig into your legs while perching or leaning. This is not the case with the Swopper. The upholstery is also different with the Swopper offering ultrasuede and the Muvman using microfiber. While they feel a bit different they are both soft to the touch and help to add to the comfort of the seat.
Range of Motion
The way that the Muvman and Swopper produce their movement is a lot different. The Muvman features a cylinder that is connected to the base with a joint system that allows the cylinder to tilt in all directions. The tension cannot be adjusted but it is not restrictive so you have a good amount of range. The Swopper operates with a large spring that allows the chair to tilt in any direction and it can also bounce up and down. The Swopper is one of the only chairs available with a true three-dimensional movement. The tension on the spring is also adjustable on the Swopper. You can adjust how easy it tilts side to side and up and down with two separate adjustments.
The Muvman features a single adjustment for the seat height. The adjustment is powered by a pneumatic cylinder. Pressing and holding one or both of the buttons underneath the seat will allow the seat height to move up or down. The cylinder will automatically force the seat up so the best way to move it down is to sit on it and use your weight to push it down. The Swopper has the same seat height functionality as well as two other adjustments to control the tilt and bounce tension. There is a dial toward the bottom of the base and also on the bottom of the cylinder. Turning these knobs will change the tension of the movement.
While the Muvman only has height adjustment, its range is more generous than the Swopper’s. The Swopper’s range is 22”-27.5” unless you upgrade to the Swopper High which is 24”-32”. The Swopper High has a large price increase of $250. The standard seat height range on the Muvman is 20”-33” with the option to get a Muvman Tall version, which increases the seat height range to 23”-36”. The additional height range on the Muvman only costs an additional $50.
While the Swopper and Muvman have very different designs, they share the same ergonomic principles. The goal of both chairs is to get your legs and hips in a more open angle, instead of the typical office chair that keeps your legs at 90°. Both chairs feature convex shaped seats which is meant to help you perch forward and keep your back straight. Both chairs also have a large focus on moving while you work. The thought process is that small amounts of movement can be beneficial for increasing blood flow, burning calories and preventing you from getting stiff.
The Muvman and Swopper have good stability. Each product features a base that sits firmly on the ground and both bases are larger than the seats that they hold. The base on the Muvman is capable of coming off the ground if you lean too far backwards but I never felt like the chair had the possibility to tip. I’ve never even felt off balance while using the Muvman. I did not experience any base tipping with the Swopper. This is mainly due to the spring. The spring bends instead of tilting, like the cylinder on the Muvman. The spring takes all of the pressure and the base can remain flat.
Since the Swopper and Muvman are made by the same company, they share some similarities. They both feature high quality components, strong warranties and good return policies. They are also both nice options for incorporating movement into your workday. While they share many similarities, I think the Muvman and Swopper are very different products and are best suited for different applications. I think the Swopper’s seat is quite a bit more comfortable than the Muvman’s and I also like the movement system quite a bit better on the Swopper. But, the Swopper is not well suited as a leaning chair because of its limited seat height range. The Muvman is also easier to move because of its light weight and seat handle.
I think the Muvman is better suited for people that are looking for a standing chair to be used for short periods at a time. It is a good tool to mix into your sitting/standing routine. I also think the Muvman is better suited for people that would like to use it in a number of different application in the same office. It is so easy to move from room to room that it can be a great chair for a number of different tasks. I think the Swopper is the better choice for people that are more concerned with having a lot of movement while they work and can sit in the chair for longer periods of time. The seat design and spring technology on the Swopper are more conducive to longer periods of sitting.