Photo by @romanbozhko / Unsplash.com

Insights: First week with the Herman Miller Aeron (remastered) chair

I’ve briefly written about my home office chair earlier (here, and here). It’s a regular IKEA chair, and the model is JÄRVFJÄLLET. It looks quite nice, and the mesh texture implies it’s great to sit on. And it was, for a few months. Then it just ‘gave up’ on its structure.

Working fully remote now, I’ve invested more time and effort in my home office this year than ever before. The last major element was the chair. Even if I’m working about 70% of my time while standing, there are still hours in my day that I’d like to sit.

I started researching the available options this summer. I visited numerous furniture stores and importers to try out the different brands and models. I tried the bizarre ones, like HÅG Capisco, and traditional ones from multiple local and foreign brands.

I then looked up Herman Miller chairs. They have a showroom here in Helsinki, so I set up an appointment there. I did look up the prices up front, as I vaguely recalled they are not cheap. The service was absolutely great, which was a major difference from many other furniture retailers – they simply often did not have any service.

I’ve used a Herman Miller Aeron chair for a week while working remotely from Singapore in early 2018. Reminiscing back to those moments, I realized I never had any problems during those long days with the chair.

The chair looks like this:

Picture courtesy of HermanMiller.com

The specific model is Aeron (remastered). It’s sold in three sizes – A, B, and C. Somewhere I saw that size B suits 93 % of people. I found out I am part of that 7 %, as size B was just a tad too small – mostly because I’m tallish (at 193 cm, or 6’3).

I sat on the chair for a few minutes at the showroom. It felt great. The mesh texture gives rigid support.

Perhaps one thing that best describes the chair is that it’s robust and mechanic. The controls are sturdy yet not modern. More classic, I’d say.

It was an easy choice from here. I ordered the Herman Miller Aeron (remastered), size C, in graphite color (as seen above), with hard floor rolls. The deal, which I understood is standard, includes a 12-year warranty.

That’s the chair in my home office about a week ago when I got it. It has a dual posture fit also, which costs a little bit of extra.

It took two months to receive the chair. I want to think it’s because they are custom-made, but perhaps, in reality, it’s just a rapid inventory turnover causing this.

How much was it, then? I paid the list price, and perhaps I could have gotten a slight discount, but I felt the price was right. Price before taxes was 1325 € ($1560).

Is it expensive? It sure is. But what’s the value? That’s what I’m buying. My thought process on this started by discounting the IKEA chairs, first. I’ve had a few different ones, at around 300 € each that I seem to replace after two years.

I work 8 hours a day, and let’s say I use the chair half of that time. Each week, I use it for 20 hours, and discounting holidays, about 950 hours a year. Over five years, it’s about 4750 hours. The price per hour is now a decent 27 cents. Obviously, I’m not factoring in wear and tear, the use of the warranty, possible manufacturing issues, or if I develop back issues with the chair. But in an optimal scenario, this is how it should look like.

How is the chair, then? It’s so good; you forget you’re sitting on it. The mesh texture provides great support and breathes well. I might experience it better in the summertime, as now it’s rather cold in Finland already, so the fabric feels great.

A friend recommended the third-party headrest for the chair, as Herman Miller doesn’t sell those themselves. It’s called the Atlas Head Rest, and it’s about $179 on top of the chair’s cost.

The chair looks more complete, and it’s also very nice now when you lean back to listen to a Pluralsight tutorial.

I’m keen on getting more hours with the chair and might update my thoughts and experience in the coming months. But for now, I can heartily recommend it, if you’re planning to work extensively from home!