In 2016, Herman Miller announced that they had redesigned their iconic Aeron chair. The Aeron was first introduced in the early 1990s and instantly became one of the most sought after office chairs on the market. It has won countless awards, and Herman Miller has sold millions of Aerons. Even though the Aeron was so popular, it had been on the market for decades, and it was ready for an update.
Herman Miller spent a couple years making small tweaks and changes so that the Aeron remained true to the original design, while improving upon what was already there. The new version was named the Aeron Remastered, and the original was renamed the Aeron Classic.
This article is going to focus on specific differences between these two Aeron designs. When I began my research to learn more about the Aeron Classic, I quickly found that there was not a helpful resource that simply listed how the chairs were different. I am hoping to make this article that resource for other people who are searching for the same thing I was.
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Aeron Remastered vs. Classic Links
Aeron Remastered vs. Aeron Classic Video
The first difference between the Classic and Remastered is the chair sizes, and the different size people they will fit. Both the Classic and Remastered have three different chair sizes: A, B, and C. But when it comes to height and body weight, the Remastered allows for a wider range of people who can use the chair.
Classic Height Range = 4’10” – 6’6”
Classic Weight Range = 90 – 300 lbs.
Remastered Height Range = 4’8” – 6’7”
Remastered Weight Range = 90 – 350 lbs.
2. Build and Finish
The next difference is the build and look of the chair. The Classic version has more aluminum than the Remastered. The base and frame on the Remastered has swapped some aluminum for plastic components. This helped to reduce the weight of the chair by three pounds, but you could argue that the aluminum components have a better build quality than the plastic.
The Remastered does have a sleeker look than the Classic. The Remastered has a slimmer mechanism and a more uniform color than the Classic. The levers are also updated. They are smaller and less noticeable.
3. Seat Design
There are a few differences on the seat. The first is that the Classic Aeron features a piece of padding under the front portion of the seat. On the Remastered design, this pad has been removed. I like this change. The pad on the Classic can cause another point for the mesh to crease, and you may feel that, depending on your size. This has not been a problem on the Remastered version.
The second difference is that the new version features a frame that has been tilted 1.8 degrees forward. This was done to help support the body in more upright postures.
The final difference is the mesh. The mesh is still the same Pellicle mesh from the Classic,but the way that it is stretched on the Remastered version is different. It was done in a way to create four zones of differing support. This is where the 8Z Pellicle name comes from; the eight different zones. Four of them belong to the seat, and the other four belong to the backrest.
4. Backrest and Lumbar
The backrest has a few differences. The first is the 8Z Pellicle mesh discussed in the seat section. The mesh itself is the same, but the way the mesh is stretched is different. The new Aeron features four different zones of support. This was designed to give you more comfort for long sitting sessions.
The second difference with the backrest is the PostureFit lumbar adjustment system. The Remastered Aeron has PostureFit SL, which offers a larger area of support as compared to the Classic. The new design supports your sacral region with one pad, and another pad supports your lumbar area. Each pad can flex independently, and you can control the firmness with a tension dial.
The final difference is the height adjustable lumbar support system. The Classic Aeron features a rubber-like pad that you can slide up and down. You can also take the pad out, flip it over and use it on the other side to have more pronounced lumbar. The Remastered Aeron has a plastic bracket system with a pad that can adjust up and down.
5. Tilt Lock
The tilt lock on these chairs is different, and Herman Miller actually took a step back here with the Remastered version. The Remastered Aeron has three-position lock. The Classic version has infinite position lock. This means that you can lock the backrest in any position you’d like on the Classic version, but you are limited to three on the new version.
Another noticeable change between the two versions is the tension adjustment. This time it goes heavily in favor of the newly designed Remastered version. I prefer the new tension control to the one on the Classic version.
The tension on the new Aeron is much more responsive. You can turn the knob three times and feel a difference in the recline tension. You will need to turn the knob ten to fifteen times on the Classic version to achieve the same difference.
Something that I noticed right away when I sat in the Classic Aeron is that the recline feels much different than the newly designed version. The Remastered Aeron does a much better job of getting you back to a fully upright position. It is also much easier to simply bring the chair forward a bit, while keeping your back against the backrest.
On the Classic version, the chair naturally wants to recline you a bit more than the Remastered version does. The pivot point is a little different so the chair does not naturally bring you back upright when you lean forward. Instead, your back comes off the backrest and you need to use more of your legs to get the chair to move forward.
Overall, I am a fan of the redesign on the Remastered version’s recline. I still believe that the Remastered Aeron has one of the nicest recline functions out of all the chairs we have tested.
The final area where we see differences between these two Aeron versions is the armrests. On the Classic, upgrading to fully adjustable arms gives you arm height and pivot adjustment. The same upgrade on the Remastered Aeron gives you arm height, pivot, and depth adjustment. This extra depth adjustment makes the arms more versatile on the new Aeron.
On the Classic version (pre-2005), you need to turn a dial behind the arm to loosen the arm from the backrest frame. Once you loosen the arm enough, you can slide it up and down. Once you find your position, you need to turn the dial to tighten it. You need to turn the dial several times to loosen and tighten it.
The new Aeron has a lever that you need to raise, which unlocks the arm and allows it to move. It is much faster and easier than the previous version, so I see this as a big upgrade.
It has only been a few years since the Aeron was updated. If the Classic version was being sold new today, it would still be one of the top end chairs available. But all good things can use an upgrade every once in a while, and that is what I see the Remastered as. Aside from swapping some aluminum for plastic and losing infinite tilt lock for three-position lock, everything else made improvements to the Aeron.
From personal experience, I can say that the Remastered Aeron feels smoother to use and has a cleaner look than the Classic chair. You also get an improved PostureFit system, more adjustable arms, and a much better tension function. I think that Herman Miller did a nice job of improving the Aeron, while still keeping it almost identical to the original design.
Additional Office Chair Resources
- Herman Miller Aeron Remastered (Review / Ratings / Pricing)
- Herman Miller Aeron vs Steelcase Leap
- Herman Miller Aeron Vs. Eurotech Ergohuman Chair
- 6 Best Herman Miller Aeron Chair Alternatives For 2020
- 5 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs For Back Support For 2020
- Steelcase Leap V2: New Vs. Remanufactured (Used)