One Size Fits All, Herman Miller Embody Review

Over the past decade and a half Herman Miller has firmly established itself “the” company to go to with all your seating needs. The original Aeron Chair came to symbolize the dot com era. Any and everyone had to have one in office to be certified “cool.” The mesh design, fully adjustable design, and 3 sizes to choose from made it one of a kind. Flash forward 15 years and they’re set to do it again with the new Embody chair taking the one size fits all ethos by further improving a number of adjustable features. The design is striking, even a little futuristic. It’ll set you back $1,600 USD but if you don’t have the money to buy one, you can win one. Herman Miller’s ThoughtPile website asks a single question everyday to which visitors are invited to answer with their best ideas. The most popular idea wins the Embody chair. Today’s question is “how can we keep our cities vital?”

The Embody is a huge improvement over the Aeron. A series of complex mesh layers provide ample cushioning. The gridlock maze-like feature on the back is more than just an aesthetic design decision. With a twist of a knob, they tighten or loosen providing the perfect amount of support. The arm rests slide up and down. The seat slides forward for those with longer limbs. Height and drop tension are ingenuously controlled by a knob/joystick combo. The Aeron had multiple switches and knobs to manipulate a partial list of features the Embody possesses. The new control system helps maintain the Embody’s sleek profile by consolidating all those controls.

Build quality is excellent. There are few chairs that can compete with the exception of some ridiculously expensive chairs from Japan and the cradle-to-cradle certified Acuity chair by Allsteel. Still most will probably choose the Embody for the Herman Miller name alone. We all knew the Aeron was to be replaced someday and it seems the company has made huge inroads with their design and manufacturing capabilities. The Embody is in a class of its own.

What we liked:

  • Amazing design, unique
  • Fully customizable options and adjustable features
  • Thin flexible cellulose cushioning repeals heat and moisture
  • Amazing back support using a system of tension points
  • Exceptional build, no squeaking
  • Clean modern design

What could be improved:

  • The price, $1,600 approaches the price of carbon fiber Japanese chairs

Designer: Herman Miller

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