Herman Miller has long been one of the most respected names in home and office furniture. Its famous Aeron chair, released in 1994, remains one of the most popular and sought-after office chairs today. It's important to know this history because those are the shoes Herman Miller's Embody had to fill when it launched in 2009, and was slightly tweaked to be a gaming chair in 2020.
The Embody eschews the mesh-based support of the Aeron in favor of a design that supports the human body by using its own anatomy as inspiration. The result is an unusual-looking model with unique support characteristics and ample adjustability. Its futuristic aesthetics likely also played a part in Herman Miller's subsequent decision to bring its Embody chair into the gaming space.
Designed in collaboration with gaming and PC peripheral maker Logitech, the Herman Miller Embody Gaming chair mirrors the design and structure of the original, adding a unique color scheme and additional padding. Today we'll be looking at how well it performs as not just a seat to game in, but an all-day solution for your home office as well.
- Flexible seat and back move with you throughout the day
- Numerous adjustments help fine tune it to any user
- Pixelated Support system combines the best of fabric and mesh seats
- Aesthetic choices to please gamers and professionals
- Arm adjustments are coarser and less plentiful than you'd expect
- Pricing puts it out of the reach of many customers
- Casters have middling performance on thicker carpet
Herman Miller describes the original Embody as being designed "with the input of more than 30 physicians and PhDs in biomechanics, vision, physical therapy, and ergonomics." For the Logitech version, the company added additional research into "what gamers need from their chairs." On paper, this should result in an ideal chair for a full day's work and whatever gaming you might get up to after hours.
To support these extended hours, the Embody relies on unique support systems for its seat and back.
The seat uses a series of springs that might look more at home in a mattress than a chair. This is part of its "Pixelated Support" system that includes four layers: a base of flexible support straps, the aforementioned spring suspension system, a layer of "copper-fused cooling foam," and Herman Miller's proprietary Sync fabric on top.
For the back, Herman Miller created a two-part system. The structural portion mounts to a central pillar that is visually and ergonomically designed to mirror the human spine. This primary support holds a complex array of pivoting, flexible sub-structures that attempt to offer complete support across the user's entire back, while providing enough flexibility to maintain an active sitting position and posture throughout the day.
The backrest's rubbery material is heavily perforated to encourage ventilation and to allow it to conform to each user's unique shape. The combination of complex components is what Herman Miller calls its "PostureFit" spinal support system and its "Backfit" adjustment system, which we'll cover in more detail later.
While the seat and back of the Embody may seem futuristic, the base and arms are mundane by comparison. The base consists of a typical five-pointed design terminating in casters designed for either hard floors or carpets. Meanwhile, the arms are adjustable across their height and width dimensions, but they lack some of the more varied adjustments found in many competing office and gaming chairs. We'll talk more about this deficit later in the review.
More:Secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 Series review: The best gaming chair levels upShipping and setup
Shipping and setup
This will be a very short section thanks to Herman Miller's excellent decisions. The Embody Gaming Chair arrives fully assembled and ready to use.
Inside the well-designed, very large box, you'll find the chair, a single empty box used as packing support, and several layers of plastic wrapping. Once I'd rolled the chair out of the box and removed the wrappers, I was ready to try out my new seat within just a couple of minutes.
We're going to detail each of the available adjustments Herman Miller includes with the Embody, with a short summary of their purpose.
Seat height: This is one everyone should be familiar with. It's available on even the most basic office chairs. Here it can be activated by pulling up on the small joystick inside the Tilt tension knob located below the right side of the seat. Doing so while seated will lower the chair, or raise it if you've taken your weight off the seat.(Video) The Best Chair for Programmers... (as an ex-Google tech lead) | Aeron vs Embody, Steelcase, Hyken...
Tilt tension: This knob, referenced above, controls how much force is required to recline in the Embody. Turning it clockwise increases the required tension, making it harder to lean back. Turning it counter-clockwise does the opposite.
Seat depth: This is a rarer adjustment usually found on more high-end chairs, and the way the Embody handles it is particularly unique. The depth of the seat can be adjusted by grasping the handles located at the front corner of the seat, lifting them, and pulling away from the chair's back or toward it. The fabric and support at the seat's front edge work like a window shade, unfurling when pulled forward or rolling up when pulled back.
Tilt limiter: This controls how far back the chair can recline. The Embody uses a small lever with a total of three positions. The highest keeps the chair back fully upright, the middle allows a slight recline, and the bottom provides a significant tilt. Even at the lowest position, the recline is still fairly mild. The Embody was never meant to be the kind of office chair one could catch a quick nap in, which may be a pro or a con, depending on your priorities.
Arm height: A small button located beneath each arm rest unlocks this adjustment, providing a total of eight levels of height. The arms are tensioned so that they don't drop or rise when the button is pressed, but require a bit of force to move in either direction. Due to the curvature of the arms' construction, they will also move inward or outward slightly, depending on the height selected. This horizontal positioning can also be controlled by the next adjustment.
Arm width: Unlike every other adjustment on the Embody, the arm width setting requires only brute force. Pushing outwards or inward will set the arms in one of three positions. At their tightest, they're a bit too snug for my comfort, while at their widest, they offer ample space for me to cross my legs. The curved arm construction also means that the arm pads will sit slightly tilted, inward or outward, depending on how you position their width and height.
Backfit adjustment: Last up is Herman Miller's proprietary Backfit adjustment, which can best be described as a way to adjust the level of lumbar support the chair provides. The manufacturer recommends turning the control knob, located behind the tilt tension knob, clockwise for a more upright, active posture, and counter-clockwise for a more relaxed or reclined posture. This also helps the back's support system conform to your spine's unique curvature.
There's an ongoing war between two factors in high-end office chairs: ergonomics and comfort. In an ideal world, these two factors would mean the same thing. Unfortunately, in our reality, they can be very different. A chair designed to provide a very healthy sitting position from an ergonomic standpoint may actually feel quite uncomfortable, especially at first. Similarly, a chair that feels very comfy when you first sit in it might be doing long-term harm to your back and joints with its poor ergonomics.
Balancing these characteristics is something every furniture maker struggles with, and something Herman Miller has long prided itself on getting right. Of course, it's entirely up to each owner just how "right" the Embody gets it for their unique form and use case.
It's probably useful to note that I'm about 6 foot, 2 inches tall and about 190 pounds. Obviously, body types vary greatly, even among individuals that share height and weight metrics, but it's still a handy guidepost given what a subjective thing comfort can be, even without size variables. This subjectivity can even vary between the individual components of a chair. For that reason, we'll cover the seat, back, and arms individually.
In many ways, the Embody's seat feels like a hybrid between a mesh-style seat like the Aeron's and its many imitators, and a fabric seat like those found on many generic office chairs. This is thanks to the multi-layer design mentioned above. It lends itself to the sensation of being suspended somewhat weightlessly atop the seat. The unusually wide seat pan increases this sensation.
The feeling of supportive, zero-gravity suspension extends to the front edge. The Embody includes one of the few seats I've found that, no matter how long I spent in it, never caused any uncomfortable pressure on the backs of my thighs.
While I eventually found the sitting experience to be one of the most comfortable I've ever had, there was some slight pressure on either side of the seat during my first few days of use. I was initially concerned the Pixelated Support system was detectable through the foam and fabric layers, an issue I'd heard some other users experienced. Thankfully, this sensation faded after a couple of days. I'm not sure if the seat adjusted to me, or if I adjusted to the seat. Either way, the Embody lets me work a full day, with a few extra hours of entertainment on top, all without any residual soreness.
As with the seat, the Embody's back took a bit of getting used to. It only comes up to the top of my shoulder blades. At first, I worried it wouldn't be supportive enough. I'm used to office chairs with higher backs and headrests. However, I realized quickly that it was actually more than enough height due to how well the back conformed to me.
It's an interesting experience adjusting to the Embody's style of backrest. We all occasionally stretch during the day. But, rather than sitting up or standing to do it, I've gotten into the habit of stretching with the backrest tight against my spine. This is possible because of the incredible flexibility of the back's Pixelated Support system. To be clear, this level of flexibility does not mean the back is flimsy or easily bent. It just has an uncanny ability to precisely balance the force my body is placing against it with an equal level of support. The result is, like the Embody's seat, an almost weightless sensation.
Even with all of this praise, I would caution any potential buyers that are taller than me. I feel a few more inches of height, enough to put the top of the backrest below my shoulder blades, would have taken it from an ideal backrest height to one that was a little too low to be fully supportive.
The Embody's arms are its weakest feature. This is not to say they are uncomfortable. Just the opposite is true. They're some of the most comfortable arm pads I've ever used, and adjustable enough to provide me with an ideal orientation for my desk setup.
More: Best desks: Your home office called. It wants a new desk
My concern over the arms actually stems from two things: the range of those adjustments, and the method of adjustment.
The range is, for a chair this expensive, surprisingly limited. The Aeron and many cheaper gaming and office chairs feature arms with height, width, rotation, and depth adjustments. The Embody limits that to just height and width. The width also affects the tilt of the arm pads, which can result in them being angled disconcertingly inward when their width is set to the minimum position. Lucky for me, the width and height options happened to combine to a point where their position felt perfect. However, I fear that won't be the case for a large portion of the Embody's intended user base. Those extra adjustments would have made an excellent chair nearly perfect.
The aforementioned width adjustment is also one of the more disconcerting aspects of the chair. Whereas every other adjustment feels precise and reliable, the process of adjusting the arm width feels like, well, you're breaking something. The adjustment takes more force than one would expect to need and the arms give way with an alarming sound. While I'm sure no real damage is being done to the chair by utilizing the adjustment, it's still an unpleasant experience that was surprising to find on what was otherwise such a precision-made seat.
We've covered all of the major parts of the Embody, but what about the smaller features, the ones that often make or break an overall experience?
One of the most important of these in an office chair tends to be its casters. In this case, the Embody's casters are decent, but not great. My home office has fairly thick carpeting that grinds many other casters to a halt. While the Embody is able to roll on it, doing so requires a significant amount of force. For what it's worth I've used inexpensive, in-line skate-style replacement casters (which are fully compatible with the Embody) that allow chairs to roll equally well on any surface. So, if you're considering it, I wouldn't let that relatively tiny extra cost stop you from buying it.
Office chair wheels replacement rubber chair casters for hardwood floors and carpet, set of 5
$40 at Amazon
Another small feature that one might overlook is the texture of the Sync fabric. Like many of you, I'm a pet owner. So, my Embody has to stand up to everything from long, coarser Golden Retriever fur, to shorter, downy cat hair. While it doesn't exactly repel pet hair, it is one of the easiest fabrics I've ever used when it comes time to clean the hair off. It doesn't hold the fur, nor does it take any more than a quick swipe with a lint roller to get rid of whatever does stick.
More: Best vacuum for pet hair: Dyson isn't the only option
Lastly, there's the matter of aesthetics. This is, of course, just as subjective as the seat's comfort. But, I find the Embody Gaming Chair's cyan and black color scheme and subtle embossing creates an excellent balance of a high-end, understated design with just enough of the gamer aesthetic to satisfy both camps.
You may think I'm guilty of ignoring the elephant in the room by leaving any reference to the chair's price until now. I left that matter until now not because I feel like it's disqualifying, but rather because I wanted to address the end-user experience of the Embody before attempting to help you decide if that experience might be worth its significant cost for you.
The Embody Gaming Chair launched at $1,595. Since then, the price has risen to $1,795 alongside similar inflation-driven price jumps across Herman Miller's own catalog, and office seating options from many other manufacturers. Obviously, this price puts it out of the range of many buyers.
To be clear, that cost is simply not worth it for every buyer. However, if you've run into as many disappointing chairs as I have over the years, including models almost as expensive as the Embody, your opinion of the value proposition offered by its current price point may begin to shift. But, please know this viewpoint is coming to you from someone that regularly spends a minimum of eight to 12 hours per day in office chairs. If you use a standing desk, or simply don't work at a desk or game more than a couple of hours per day, this chair is not for you.
More: Best standing desk converters: Rise up
However, if you frequently end your workday or marathon gaming sessions with a sore backside, stiff spine, or tingling in your overworked shoulders, I would recommend giving the Embody a shot. If you can try one before you buy it, you absolutely should. But, if the limited availability of demo models has you wondering if you should take the risk, take a close look at Herman Miller's generous return policy and even more generous 12-year warranty. The risk might not be as high as you think, and you may find that, like me, you've discovered a sitting experience really this good really can be worth the price.
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Is embody better than Aeron? ›
The Embody was in the top 10 on our list with a score of 74/100 while the Aeron is currently in the top three with a score of 79/100. The arms have much different designs. The Aeron's arms are attached to the back of the chair. As you recline back in the chair, the arms come with you.
Similar to the Aeron, the Embody has one of the smoothest recline functions on the market. It's great for users that like to rock back and forth in your chair consistently or kick back and relax in your chair in general. Overall, this is one of the most comfortable recline functions that we've tested.Are embody chairs good? ›
Our Verdict. The Herman Miller Embody scores exceptionally well in our tests and is a premium office chair. It's incredibly comfortable and you can easily sit in it for a full day. It boasts an excellent set of adjustable features, which allows it the capability to be customizable for many.Is Embody chair worth it Reddit? ›
Build quality is excellent. There's a lot of moving parts but the chair feels so refined and well built that I have no doubt that I will have this chair for a very long time. A lot of people say to push your lower back all the way into the chair when you're sitting in it.How long does an embody last? ›
An Embody Chair comes with a 12 year warranty period with 24-hour coverage. Ergonomically built, these chairs provide multiple adjustment options, accommodate all body types, and their build and quality stand the test of time.How long will an Embody chair last? ›
“The Embody is designed to last up to 12 years, with 24-hour usage during that time,” Campbell said. “We're not in the warranty business, so this isn't a marketing claim. We want to ensure that our chairs actually last that long.Is Embody chair loud? ›
However, Embody produces far more loud noise that is significantly more annoying, being brand new with absolutely no wear. Reason. Again, I think that it is fine when you hear a squeak or two when you recline in your chair. Embody, however, makes loud noise all the time.Can you sit cross legged on embody? ›
Also, YOU CAN SIT CROSS-LEGGED in the Embody, and it's very comfortable with the back supporting you in different strange positions.What is the most comfortable chair in the world? ›
The Napoleon Chair is definitely the Most Comfortable Chair in the World and remains a perennial best seller since it was the first piece we ever produced all the way back in 1988.What is a good price for a Herman Miller Embody? ›
2022 Starting Price – $1,745.00 (Buy on Herman Miller)
|Hard floor casters||$50.00|
Is Herman Miller Embody durable? ›
Everything on the Embody feels just as solid as the first day unboxing it. The rhythm fabric surprisingly held up well with heavy use. No rips, tears, or flat spots. I expect to get many more years out of the chair, and there's always the 12-year warranty through Herman Miller if anything breaks.
👋 The Embody Gaming Chair's ergonomic design is advanced enough that you don't need a headrest! You don't need a headrest when you're standing, and the chair's features cause your body to mimic that same posture.Is it better to have chair lower or higher? ›
Raise your chair to support your sit-to-stand movement
With prolonged use, a lower-level seat will cause recurrent stresses and possible pain in these joints. Adequate seat height is a level at which you can easily place both feet on the ground and bend your knees and hips at a 90° angle.
Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome.What chairs do chiropractors recommend? ›
Chiropractors recommend kneeling chairs as they help your body maintain its natural curvature of the spine and ease discomfort in the lower back.Is a gaming chair good for office work? ›
Yes, gaming chairs can indeed be good for office work because they are designed with a high level of ergonomics in mind. Also, gaming chairs have more adjustment options than the typical cheap office chairs so they can be customized to fit the unique needs of an office worker.Does the Embody have lumbar support? ›
While most ergonomic chairs provide lumbar support, the Embody prioritizes thoracic support. The Embody's Backfit supports the thoracic spine first and the lumbar spine second. As a result, there's no adjustable lumbar support.How do you sit in an embody? ›
Sit Better - YouTubeAre gaming chairs good for long hours? ›
Gaming chairs are designed to be more comfortable for long hours of gaming, and they also provide support for the back and neck. In addition, gaming chairs can be adjusted to fit the individual gamer's body, and they often come with built-in speakers and other features.How often should you replace a chair? ›
On average, an office chair should be replaced every 7-8 years. But, every chair is different. Obvious wear and tear is a good reason to replace your chair, you don't want your home office looking shabby! Wear and tear doesn't just affect the look of the chair, it can impact things like your posture.
How long should gaming chair last? ›
So, how long do gaming chairs last? In general, a gaming chair should last 2 years at least. That being said, most people should be able to keep their chair for 3 to 5 years easily. However, many factors can extend or shorten their lifespan: the build quality, the usage, and how much the user takes care of his chair.Why are gaming chairs so noisy? ›
If your gaming chair is making squeaking noises, it could have loose parts or parts that need lubrication. If you are unsure what lubricating agent is best for your chair, we recommend using a WD-40 spray or asking your local department store on what works best.Are gaming chairs more comfortable than office? ›
Gaming chairs do provide better ergonomic support for longer sessions, with higher backs, more adjustment options, and lumbar cushions for the bottom of the price range. However, if budget isn't an option, more premium office chairs can provide a better overall experience for a much higher price tag.Should your feet touch the ground on an office chair? ›
While this may appear to be a funny image in your head, sitting without feet support can result in negative impacts to your health. If your feet don't touch the ground or a chair foot rest, your legs dangle. This position causes your pelvis to tilt backwards and make your core muscles work overtime to compensate.Does the Embody chair have forward tilt? ›
In the upright position, the seat is tilted forward rather than flat, which is an unusual design.Is Herman Miller Embody breathable? ›
Breathable seat with four support layers. Pneumatic seat lift and adjustable armrests.What chair does Joe Rogan use? ›
Joe Rogan uses the HAG Capisco, a derivative of the classic saddle chair with a T-shaped backrest and adjustable seat height and depth.How much should I spend on a good chair? ›
When seeking a high-quality chair, expect to spend $250 to $750. This price range will get you a durable chair, offering features that more budget-friendly chairs may not provide.Which chair is best for old age? ›
Riser recliner chairs
Riser recliners for the elderly can assist in safe standing and sitting, enabling more daily activity and less sedentary sitting. They can be a huge benefit to people who might tire quickly, and where pain is variable. For this reason, they are an especially good chair for old people.
Herman Miller chairs normally retain their value pretty well, so expect to pay around 50-70% of the retail price for a used chair.
Is Herman Miller a luxury brand? ›
Yet, the opposite was the case. This experience shows how crucial the customer journey is for luxury brands — especially the digital journey. Of course, Herman Miller is far from the only luxury brand with an inconsistent digital customer experience for its brand and product quality.Which Herman Miller chair is best for lower back pain? ›
Our top recommendation of the best office chairs for back pain is the Herman Miller Mirra 2, for two reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, the Mirra 2 is an ergonomic chair that will support your body properly, lessening strain on your back, and offering multiple adjustments to suit your body type.How do you clean embody chairs? ›
Wash surface with a soft cloth soaked in mild detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth. Do not use solvents or abrasive kitchen cleaners. Vacuum fabric as needed using an upholstery attachment.Is a chair headrest worth it? ›
Provides Better Posture
An ergonomically designed office chair with a headrest prevents you from hunching forward, scrunching your shoulders, and putting pressure on your back. This is because they are designed to ensure maximum comfort while protecting your back from injury.
The Embody Gaming Chair arrives fully assembled and ready to use. Inside the well-designed, very large box, you'll find the chair, a single empty box used as packing support, and several layers of plastic wrapping.When did Herman Miller Embody come out? ›
Herman Miller started with the base of Embody, a high-backed task chair the company released in 2008 to conform with the natural bend in your spine.Should your back touch the chair? ›
Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair. All 3 normal back curves should be present while sitting. You can use a small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll to help maintain the normal curves in your back.Why does my chair hurt my hips? ›
Sitting for too long, especially if you have poor posture, can stretch out the tendons in the hips. This can lead to tendinitis, or inflammation in the hip tendons. Tendinitis can cause hip pain when sitting, walking, and lying down.What happens when chair is too low? ›
How does sitting on a chair that is too low affect your body? It disrupts blood circulation in lower legs, causing swelling. It puts pressure on internal organs. It creates too much pressure on buttocks and causes discomfort.Is buying an Aeron worth it? ›
Aeron Chair Build Quality
You truly are getting one of the best built chairs on the market when you buy the Herman Miller Aeron. We've tested over 50 different office chairs and the Aeron has received the highest build quality score of any chair. Made in the USA, every component on this chair is very high-end.
Why Aeron is the best chair? ›
That said, there's no denying the Aeron is one of the best office chairs we've tested. It's well-built, comfortable, supportive and has plenty of customisable features that allow you to find the most comfortable fit for your build and posture.Which brand office chair is best for back? ›
- Herman Miller Mirra 2. The best office chair for back pain overall. ...
- Sihoo M90D Ergonomic Chair. ...
- X4 Executive leather chair. ...
- HÅG Capisco and HÅG Capisco Puls. ...
- Muista ergonomic chair/stool. ...
- Flexispot BS9. ...
- Herman Miller Sayl. ...
- Flexispot Ergonomic Office Chair OC13.
gaming chair the office chair is better suited for productivity, focusing more on strict ergonomic support than on comfort. Gaming chairs are also designed for ergonomic support, though they tend to prioritize comfort, which is expected of a product designed to enhance fun and recreation.What is the world's best chair? ›
- #8 - Amia Chair. by Steelcase. ...
- #7 - Liberty Chair. by Humanscale. ...
- #6 - Mirra 2 Chair. by Herman Miller. ...
- #5 - Freedom Chair with Headrest. by Humanscale. ...
- #4 - Embody Chair. by Herman Miller. ...
- #3 - Leap Chair. by Steelcase. SHOP LEAP. ...
- #2 - Gesture Chair. by Steelcase. SHOP GESTURE. ...
- #1 - Aeron Chair. by Herman Miller. SHOP AERON.
|S. NO||Model Name||Price|
|1||CELLBELL® C104 Medium-Back Mesh Office Chair[Black]||₹ 3,699|
|2||AB DESIGNS DESIGNS STARTS HERE Mid Back Ergonomic Office chair||₹ 4,100|
|3||Savya Home® APEX Chairs™ Apollo Chrome BaseHigh Back Engineered Plastic Frame Office Chair (Apollo)||₹ 5,841|
Herman Miller chairs normally retain their value pretty well, so expect to pay around 50-70% of the retail price for a used chair.Is Herman Miller a luxury brand? ›
Yet, the opposite was the case. This experience shows how crucial the customer journey is for luxury brands — especially the digital journey. Of course, Herman Miller is far from the only luxury brand with an inconsistent digital customer experience for its brand and product quality.Is Mirra better than Aeron? ›
The Mirra 2 seat is more adjustable because you can adjust the seat depth as well as the height. That means it could be used by different people, whereas the Aeron has a fixed seat depth, which means you need to choose the right size chair from the three options offered.What is a good price for Herman Miller Embody? ›
2022 Starting Price – $1,745.00 (Buy on Herman Miller)
The short answer is “yes“, gaming chairs are in fact good for your back, especially relative to cheaper office or task chairs. Common design choices in gaming chairs such as a high backrest and neck pillow are all conducive to providing maximum support for your back while encouraging good posture.
Can you sit cross legged on Herman Miller Embody? ›
Also, YOU CAN SIT CROSS-LEGGED in the Embody, and it's very comfortable with the back supporting you in different strange positions.What chair do chiropractors recommend? ›
Chiropractors recommend kneeling chairs as they help your body maintain its natural curvature of the spine and ease discomfort in the lower back.How much money should I spend on an office chair? ›
When seeking a high-quality chair, expect to spend $250 to $750. This price range will get you a durable chair, offering features that more budget-friendly chairs may not provide.