In March I developed some back issues while sitting in an old office chair. This lead me to finally give in and decide to order a new one. After reading this article I made the decision that buying an office chair is an investment and procuring a cheap one would leave me disappointed. Once I decided upon that I just had to pick the right chair. While the Steelcase Gesture was favorably reviewed, I never had a chance to try it. I did try some Aeron’s at the local start-up. They felt comfortable to me and given that I run hot, it seemed like the better fit. Since I was planning to own this for a long time I ordered the Aeron v2 with the following features:
- Adjustable armrests
- Leather armrests
- Forward tilt
- Posturefit XL
I am convinced that despite costing extra money, each of those four features made my new Aeron noticeably superior to the older stock models that I tried at the start-up. The leather armrests are incredibly comfortable compared to the stock ones and look great. I also never realized how much I would adjust my arm rests. They can swing in to support my arms while typing and then swing out when I want to more freely move my arms. The height adjustability is critical to sitting in a stance that is comfortable for me as well.
I also decided to spring for the forward tilt option. I am glad I did. I never realized how much time I spend leaning a bit forward focusing on my screen as I type. This feature lets the chair easily support me in a perching position. The experience makes it vastly superior to all the other office chairs I have used. If there is one feature you do not want to skip, this is it. I am currently writing this review with my Aeron in a forward tilt position with the recline locked so it supports my back.
Furthermore I find the PosturefitXL unit to be superior to the regular lumbar support I tried at the start-up. It felt more natural and supportive. I have not made any adjustments to it, but in its stock configuration it makes it feel like I can sit in my Aeron for hours without problems.
Sitting on Herman Miller’s proprietary pellicle material is more comfortable than other mesh materials. I feel well supported. Having sat in both the original Aeron and the Aeron 2, I think that the update to the pellicle material is a noticable improvement. However I do not believe an original Aeron owner will find they are misisng out on much. Both the original and Aeron 2 are much better than regular mesh.
Once you figure them out, the adjustments are logical and easy to change. I find myself modifying my chair for my mood multiple times a day. Sometimes I like the chair to recline, and other times I want something that will hold me in a position. If I’m typing and my arms are fatigued I can swing the arm rests in to support me, but if I want to send them out of the way that is easy to do as well.
I do not think the Aeron will be the right fit for every person, but I think that someone considering an Aeron today should try the newer version with all the new features before deciding whether they might want to get it versus something else. Along with a keyboard tray it has made using my computer at my desk a much more pelasant experience.