Herman Miller is one of the biggest and most popular office furniture brands in the world, delivering office chair staples like the Aeron, Cosm, and Embody. If you’re in the market for a new Herman Miller Office Chair but aren’t sure how to differentiate the chair or know which one will be best suited for your needs, this blog will help explain the differences in these chairs. We’ll go through the seven most popular Herman Miller Office Chairs and explain the features and designs that make them popular.
Before breaking each individual chair down, the Herman Miller Warranty is something that’s consistent between all of the chairs. Every chair on this list comes standard with free shipping when you order from the Herman Miller website, an amazing 12-year warrant, free return policy, and each chair is rated for up to 350 lbs.
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Most Popular Herman Miller Office Chairs
- Herman Miller Sayl
- Herman Miller Lino
- Herman Miller Celle
- Herman Miller Mirra 2
- Herman Miller Aeron
- Herman Miller Cosm
- Herman Miller Embody
Watch 7 Most Popular Herman Miller Chairs Video
Starting Price: $545
The entry level chair for Herman Miller is the Sayl Task Chair. Something you’ll notice right away about this chair is the backrest, which is made from a flexible, rubber-like material designed after the concept of a suspension bridge. Many of us at BTOD find this styled backrest to be very comfortable and supportive as it conforms to the shape of your back. It’s also very breathable, so you don’t get hot while using the chair.
The seat on this chair is on the firmer side, featuring about two inches of foam. The seat won’t bottom out, but it’s not going to be a soft, squishy seat, if that’s what you’re looking for. You do have the option to add a seat slider, giving you seat depth adjustment if you need it, to give more adjustability to taller individuals.
The arms on this chair are fixed and aren’t going to be quite as nice as some of the higher-end chairs from Herman Miller. They come equipped with smaller, firmer arm caps that are also upgradable.
The last thing to consider about the Sayl is the recline function. It features a smooth synchro tilt mechanism with locking position and tension control. For around $500 you are getting a chair with quite a bit of adjustability, Herman Miller design, and a great warranty. With that being said, you’re getting quite a bit of value for this chair at the price point.
Starting Price: $675
The Herman Miller Lino is a step up in quality from the Sayl, but not quite to the level of the Mirra 2, Aeron, and so on. The mesh back design is very flexible and conforms to your body nicely. It’s not as soft as the mesh seen on the Aeron, but the quality is still very nice. If you want to add an adjustable lumbar support system you may, but it’s a lot smaller and narrower than most systems, but it does feature height adjustment. Most testers in the office found the lumbar system comfortable if they wanted added support.
Looking at the seat, it looks a lot softer and squishier than it actually is. This thick seat pad is firmer than most seats that look this way. While the seat is firm, it is very supportive, and it will not bottom out. If you’re looking for a nice, soft, plush seat, this may not be the chair for you.
The arms on this chair are also an upgrade from the Sayl. They feature nice, larger arm pads, with round edges, preventing you from putting your wrist or forearm on a hard edge. While they arm pads are a little softer then the Sayl, they are quite as comfortable as the Mirra 2 or Aeron. This chair comes standard with fixed arms, but you can upgrade to adjustable arms that will feature height, width, and depth adjustments.
The Lino is equipped with a synchro tilt mechanism with very smooth recline. Two great things about this chair are the tension adjustment and the tilt-lock position adjustment. Both feature knobs that are some of the most responsive, easiest to use, that we’ve seen.
Starting Price: $675
While the Celle is sold at the same price as the Lino, this is first chair in the Herman Miller lineup that allows you to get into its high-end mechanisms. The harmonic-tilt mechanism on the Celle gives you nice, natural recline that is unique to Herman Miller. The chairs from Herman Miller simply recline and rock differently than any chair on the market and that is due to the recline motion. You can also upgrade this mechanism with a tilt limiter, which will give you forward seat tilt, multiple locking positions, and very responsive tension control.
The backrest of this chair is also very unique compare to most office chairs, as it features a textured plastic back. Most that tested this chair couldn’t feel the texture very well while sitting it in and noted that it is quite firm. It also has a nice adjustable lumbar support you can add that features a good height adjustment range and depth adjustment.
This is also the first chair in the Herman Miller lineup that lets you get into padded armrests. The armrests aren’t as padded as the Aeron or Mirra, but they do have more padding than the Lino or Sayl, so they are very comfortable. You can also upgrade these to an adjustable package which gives you height adjustment and pivot adjustment.
This Celle features another padded seat from Herman Miller. While this chair is on the firm side, with not a lot of padding, it does have a spacious design. It is upgradeable to a package that features seat depth adjustment.
Starting Price: $795
The Mirra 2 is a great alternative to the Aeron chair for those of you that like the Aeron but have a budget of less than $1,000. The Mirra 2 tested very similarly to the Aeron and shares some similarities that make it a nice alternative. All of the components are high end and the chair functions very smoothly.
One of our favorite features on the Mirra 2 is the recline motion. It features Herman Miller Harmonic Tilt adjustment. This is similar to the Aeron, giving you one of the smoothest recline motions on the market. If you are someone who prefers a rocking motion and likes to lean back a lot in their chair, then the Mirra 2 may be a nice option.
The Mirra 2 is also loaded with adjustments. It has a flexible front that provides you with seat depth adjustment. You get a very responsive tension adjustment, multiple locking positions, and forward seat tilt. The chair also has height adjustable lumbar support with independent lumbar depth adjustment, allowing you provide more support on one side of your back than the other.
The arms on the Mirra 2 are also quite nice. The pads are soft and have a sloping front that allow you to get the chair closer to your desk than most armrest designs. They come with four-way adjustment, which includes, height, width, depth, and pivot adjustments.
While the Mirra 2 tested well overall here at BTOD, there are a few things that may make this chair a poor choice for some people. The first is the mesh seat and plastic back are not going to be comfortable for everyone. Some people simply do not like mesh seats and the backrest is hard plastic. If you’re not a fan of mesh seat or prefer a soft backrest, then there are better options for you.
The other potential problem is the armrest width. The minimum distance between the arms is 18.5”, which is quite wide. Models like the Embody have arms that go as narrow as 11”. This is a problem for shorter users because it puts your arms quite a distance from your body, which is not a good ergonomic position.
Starting Price: $1,395
The Aeron Remastered is one of the most popular office chairs in the world and the flagship chair coming from Herman Miller. When looking at the Aeron compared to the Mirra 2, you’re going to see a definite step up in terms of quality. The Aeron is one of the most well-built chairs that we’ve had come through the office. Even after 20 years, we see chairs from Herman Miller that are still working and functioning properly.
A make-or-break factor for people’s likeness for the Aeron comes down to the mesh seat. The chair does come in three different sizes, which is meant to ensure you’re fitting in the chair perfectly based on your body size. This is important because the way the chair is designed with the frame and side bolsters kind of cradle you while you’re sitting in you’re chair. If you’re too wide, or the back of your legs hit the front of your seat it can definitely be uncomfortable, which is the biggest drawback for most people with the Aeron.
Along with the high-end components, this chair does have the highest-quality mesh that we’ve seen come through the office. The 8Z Pellicle mesh is comfortable to the touch, flexible, and durable when sat in. This mesh is found on both the seat and back of this chair, providing you multiple different zones of support so you can work in multiple positions. Even without an added lumbar support, we found this backrest to be very comfortable, as the mesh conforms to your back and provides support with the natural curve. If you are a fan of lumbar support, you can upgrade to a height adjustable option or the new Posture Fit SL which provides a larger range of support.
The Aeron also comes with a very nice arm package, testing very well in our office both for comfort and adjustability. This chair does come standard with fixed arms, so we would recommend getting the fully adjustable arm package because you’ll get height, depth, and pivot adjustment. The arm pads on this chair are some of the most comfortable that we’ve tested. They are very soft and squishy, to the point where your arms actually sink into them. They are also some of the most durable we’ve seen.
The last thing to touch on about this chair is the recline and rocking motion. This is what makes an Aeron an Aeron, and no other chair in the world feels quite like an Aeron. This chair is the epitome of smooth when it comes to reclining or rocking while you are sitting. Even compared to the other Herman Miller chairs on this list, the Aeron stands out because of this. It also is equipped with multiple locking positions, tension adjustment, and forward seat tilt (if you choose to upgrade). Overall, this is one of the highest-end mechanisms we’ve had come through the office, which may be the biggest selling point for this chair.
Starting Price: $1,495
The Cosm is probably the most unique chair from Herman Miller and their most recent release. There are three different back height options, three different arm options, five finish options and a couple caster options. Because there are several different configurations, the price range for the Cosm is quite large. One thing we took notice of right away was that this chair is very nicely designed, high-end office chair, that can be placed in a lot of different working environment. You can see that a lot of planning went into the design of the chair, as every aspect of the chair looks very attractive and high-end. From the quality of the plastic to the mesh, you’ll notice high-end material that not only looks good, but is color customizable.
One feature on the Cosm that is rare to see on most office chairs is the continuous mesh back into the seat design. Typically, there is a gap or some space between the seat and back of an office chair, but this chair has one piece of mesh continuously flow between the two. This provides you with more of a cradled feeling. This in turn provides good back support without a lumbar system due to the natural curve of the chair. The seat is also very comfortable, even more so than the Aeron or the Mirra 2 seat, mainly because the frame doesn’t impact you while you’re seated. However, you may want to be aware that this chair doesn’t have seat depth adjustment and we found that the seat was a little narrow compared to the others on this list.
The reason the Cosm doesn’t come with seat depth adjustment or an optional lumbar support system is because Herman Miller wanted to design a chair that had a few different functions as possible to make it very easy for anyone to sit in the chair and use. With that being said, they decided to put a weight sensitive mechanism on the Cosm. This is the only chair in the lineup that features this type of mechanism, which they call Auto Harmonic Tilt. It is very similar to the mechanism on the Mirra 2 and Celle, but it doesn’t have any locking or tension functions. This mechanism puts you in the position that it feels is the most ergonomic for you based on your weight. When you’re reclining freely it feels very comfortable and smooth like the other chairs with this technology.
The arms on this chair are also very unique to the Herman Miller office chair lineup. When this chair first released, the main focus was it being a high-end, aesthetically pleasing chair that fit in almost any environment. With that in mind, they really pushed the Leaf Arm option which you see on this chair. When tested in the office, most found these arms to be impractical for most situations. If you’re a person who will use it often for any type of tasking or computing, this style of arm will provide very little benefit to you. We highly recommend upgrading to the adjustable arm package unless this chair is seldomly used or for specific situations like meetings.
Starting Price: $1,635
The Embody is one of the most expensive office chairs you can buy at Herman Miller. Everything from build quality to design aesthetic are very high-end and high quality. This chair also features some unique technology that others don’t from Herman Miller. Starting out, it is equipped with a pixelated support system throughout the seat and on the back. These pixels provide flexible support for you no matter where you move in the chair. The back on this chair is going to give you the widest range of movement of any Herman Miller chair by far. The back is designed to mimic your spine and has almost a rib cage like design in the back that is very supportive. However, one thing that is missing is adjustable lumbar support system but does feature a nice natural curve that helps remedy that. It also features an independent back angle adjustment system that you can fine tune to your personal liking.
With the pixelated system and a small layer of foam and fabric the seat is a little on the firm side. Though firm, it is one of the most flexible seats made by Herman Miller, providing you with some of the widest range of movement in the seat and also the back.
This chair features the same high-end mechanism as you’ll find on the Aeron, Cosm, Celle, Mirra 2 that has the nice, free flowing, rocking motion. It is a similar synchro tilt-knee tilt hybrid that is very comfortable to recline in with classic Herman Miller feel. You’re also going to get multiple position tilt lock and a very responsive tension adjustment system. It only lacks forward seat tilt, so if you’re specifically looking for that, you may be better off with another chair on this list.
Lastly, Herman Miller only offers one arm package for the Embody and that is the fully adjustable arms. With that package you get height and width adjustment. Unfortunately, that means you won’t get any arm cap adjustments like pivot, height, or width specifically on the caps, but the hole arms themselves do adjust well width and height wise. The arm caps themselves are very large which makes up for the lack of adjustability, however they aren’t as soft as some of the others on this list.