Is an Aeron chair worth it?
November 17, 2005 1:57 AM   Subscribe

How much would you pay for an Aeron chair? Alternatives?

I work from home, and it's time to ditch the Ikea junk that I'm sitting on. I finish each day tired and crabby even if I haven't accomplished much, and my posture's not great even though my desk is set up pretty well. I really fancy a Herman Miller Aeron chair but am I just falling for the hype? Are they really that great? They're available for around £350 on ebay. Could I get a comparatively comfortable chair for less than that? Tell me your experiences.
posted by altolinguistic to Shopping (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My business partner has a real Aeron chair, which I've sat in for extended periods while writing proposals and the like.

It's definitely comfortable, although you might not expect it to be when you first sit down. It supports you while still cradling your back.

It's also apparently rather adjustable, although I've never fooled with it. It has a mesh style back, which keeps it from getting too terribly hot (and in Arizona, this is of some concern when coming in from the outside during the summer.)

I don't know if I'd pay USD$750 or even a bit less than that for just a chair, but on the other hand, "just a chair" is what I spend most of my weekdays in. I have a standard, run of the mill office chair that reclines and swivels, and has armrests, but it's definitely not as comfortable.

I'd suggest you find a local retailer who has one out that you can really try yourself before you spend a large chunk of your paycheck on a chair.
posted by disillusioned at 2:23 AM on November 17, 2005

I previously owned an aeron and liked it, but not as much as the steelcase leap that I've got now.

I work at home, so I can easily spend 10 hours a day sitting at my desk. When you amortize the cost of the chair over the hours and hours that you spend in it, it's probably something like $0.10 an hour for a really good chair over it's life. I've had this chair for close to 6 years now (and it's still in great condition)

Your back will thank you for spending a little extra money if you spend anywhere near as much time sitting as I do. Plus, a good chair will last a lot longer than another crappy Ikea chair will. You'll probably go through 3 Ikeas in the same time that a quality chair will last.
posted by freshgroundpepper at 2:27 AM on November 17, 2005

they are great. there are knock-offs that are nearly as great. consider the Mirra.
posted by raaka at 2:27 AM on November 17, 2005

Cool Tools recently mentioned the Russell Executive Mesh Chair as the Aeron for people on a budget.
posted by davar at 2:50 AM on November 17, 2005

I bought an as-new Aeron a couple of years ago and have been reasonably pleased with it. If you do buy one, make absolutely sure that you position the lumbar support properly - it's not immediately obvious where it should go, and where it'll end up being helpful. For me, it ended up being much lower than where I originally placed it.
posted by adrianhon at 3:08 AM on November 17, 2005

I am sitting in an Aeron right now -and I've been trying to find the money to buy one since I first sat in it 6 months ago when I started this job. I'd say they are worth the money - although I'm also going to check out some of the alternatives listed above.

I bought a chair from Staples some time ago for home, and its hideous to sit in when I come home from here.
posted by mattr at 3:40 AM on November 17, 2005

I bought one a few years ago for around $300 from a furniture outlet in town - no warranty they said.

Well, I cracked the seat, ordered the piece for $150, and a year later cracked it again.

I liked it, but should have just paid full price and gotten the lifetime warranty for it.

Sitting in an OfficeMax chair for $200 now - good enough for me - I work from home but don't spend HOURS in it.
posted by thilmony at 5:05 AM on November 17, 2005

I paid US$450 for my Aeron (Ebay) and I think it was (is) worth every penny. If something ever happened to it, I'd go right out and find another one to replace it. I wouldn't pay full price, but it isn't too hard to find one for less than $500 these days. However, it looks like you're in France, so I don't know about shipping. Start following ebay. There are so many up there, you're bound to come across something cheaper than £350.
posted by evoo at 5:47 AM on November 17, 2005

I use a HM Mirra at work and I wouldn't hesitate to spend $500 on it or a Steelcase Leap (or an Aeron, the Mirra's big bro) for home use if I sat at my desk there for more than 20 minutes a day - which I don't. It's like insurance - you only appreciate it if you don't have it, so it's hard to spend the money, but don't settle for the $50 junk from Office-* sales. A nice HM or Steelcase chair and a good matress are essentials as far as I'm concerned.
posted by kcm at 6:26 AM on November 17, 2005

Aeron Sucks.
posted by freq at 6:28 AM on November 17, 2005

Steelcase Leap is the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:33 AM on November 17, 2005

Been sitting in an Aeron for years...they are perfectly comfortable and nicely adjustable, but as freq's post above notes, the seat material can be quite destructive to some fabrics. If you leave anything in your back pockets, eventually you will have a hole in your pants.
posted by cyclopz at 6:52 AM on November 17, 2005

I second the Mirra (Aeron's little brother), I'm sitting in one right now. It stopped dead the occasional back pain I was getting from using a crappy chair, and it's a few hundred US Dollars less than an Aeron. Plus keep in mind that if you buy it from an authorized dealer instead of on EBay, you get a 12 year (!) warranty.
posted by falconred at 7:45 AM on November 17, 2005

I had an Aeron at work. Didn't like it. For me it was the seat, which is the same lightweight mesh as the back. Under my weight (6'1" 210ish) the seat would sag excessively and really was not very comfortable. (It's hard to explain, clearly) It was as if I was sitting in the chair instead of on it. But it took me a couple of weeks before I realized what the problem was.
posted by misterbrandt at 8:21 AM on November 17, 2005

I also have a steelcase leap and love it.

There is no way you should buy an expensive chair without trying it first. People are different. Go sit in some.
posted by callmejay at 8:39 AM on November 17, 2005

I bought a Nightingale CXO. Looks kinda like an Aeron (in fact, Herman Miller sued 'em over an earlier design) but is a more traditional chair. Mesh back, memory foam in the seat. You won't believe how comfy that is. Unfortunately it is about the same price as the Aeron.
posted by kindall at 8:57 AM on November 17, 2005

I have an Aeron, for which I paid around $800 in 1999. I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed in the chair for that kind of money. I find that it encourages slouching, and there are too many adjustments, some of which begin to slip over time (the armrests are the worst offenders here).
posted by jimfl at 9:26 AM on November 17, 2005

Areon's are pretty big, and I found them overrated. If you are really stiff and sore, you would likely benefit from exercise breaks. There's only so much the chair can do.
posted by theora55 at 9:26 AM on November 17, 2005

Third vote for Steelcase leap. I traded my Aeron at work for it and haven't regretted it for a minute.
posted by true at 12:45 PM on November 17, 2005

Stay away from it if you have lower back pain. I couldn't sit in mine for more than an hour without fidgeting; after 2 hours it was unbearable. The "lumbar support" is a joke: it's an uncomfortable hunk of hard plastic (?) that digs into your back.

I'm the very happy owner of a HumanScale Freedom chair now.
posted by jewzilla at 7:53 PM on November 17, 2005

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