Steelcase VS Herman Miller: Ergonomic Office Chairs For Days

I think we are now at a point where a large portion of the population is working from home. During the pandemic as well, it showed that most jobs can be dynamic, and most people were encouraged to work from home.

But with the increase of awareness in the effects of long-time sittings in front of your monitor, surprisingly, there is still a shortage in interest in ergonomic chairs.

Well, companies like Steelcase and Herman Miller seem to be the ones pushing the narrative of the importance in getting chairs which encourage proper posture and mitigate any damage that sitting for hours might cause over a long period of time.

But just how easy it is to choose a chair that is right for you, and which company offers better solutions? We find that out as we put both companies under the microscope.

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​How Good Are Steelcase & Herman Miller?

Steelcase Karman

There’s always a debate about direct-to-consumer brands whether they’re actually any better than solutions which you might find in your local stores. It’s the same case with these two brands.

However, both companies or shall I say, the chairs that both offer, have been tested by third-party ergonomic experts carefully, multiple times. While there are some questionable models at both Steelcase and Herman Miller, the majority of the office chairs are definitely, on average, more ergonomically-oriented than your typical office chair.

But as I said, there are some questionable models (which are generally more budget-friendly options), and you might have to pick one which is more tailored for you, because that can play a crucial role as well.

​Side-By-Side Comparison

We thought it be best if we go over the most crucial details side-by-side. Details which, for the consumer, might be the deciding factors when choosing between the two companies.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the office chairs at Steelcase and Herman Miller:

Steelcase VS Herman Miller: Office Chairs
Price PointVery Affordable – $Generally More Expensive – $$$
ErgonomicsGreat 5/5Great 5/5
CraftsmanshipVery good 4/5Amazing 5/5
Return PolicyFree returns within 30 days of receipt.Returns available within 30 days of receipt.
ShippingVaries.Free on orders above $50.
Main Selling PointAmazing Price-To-Performance ratio and great value.No compromise.
Website

It’s not like either one of these brands offers solutions which are downright unique to the specific brand, but in terms of what you get, they’re substantially different.

For one, Steelcase seems to be the best budget-friendly option out there, while Herman Miller is one which is more expensive, whilst offers more well-thought out designs. However, as we’ll see later on, some things might suggest that this is a typical case of paying for the brand name.

​Steelcase Review

There are no other words to describe Steelcase, except amazing value. It is probably one of the top brands which offer ergonomic chairs, at relatively competitive pricing.

During the last couple of years, ergonomic office chairs have shot up in value, and it is nice to see a reputable brand still offering solutions at a good price. The unfortunate rise in pricing is due to the increased awareness of the detrimental effects for sitting for hours on end.

The cushioning on the chairs is absolutely exceptional. Granted, on some models it isn’t as great as Herman Miller, but on others, it might actually be. Plus, the fact that on average Steelcase can be $100-$300 cheaper, I would say it is amazing for that value.

Additionally, users haven’t reported the cushioning becoming hard after longer periods of use.

As for the ergonomics of the chairs, they’re what you might expect- great! Steelcase follows the usual design with the back having lumbar support, and the cushioning at the bottom being bulged in a way which supports the natural sitting position.

I haven’t come across a lot of customer reviews mentioning lack of adjustability, but it is fair to mention that some models aren’t as perfect as others. If you’re considering Steelcase, which in my case I am, you do have to find a good model tailored to you, and overall better than the others.

With that said, let’s go over the pros and cons of Steelcase:

PROS

  • Great value
  • Good cushioning
  • Amazing ergonomic designs
  • Both luxury and less luxury options

CONS

  • The chairs which are most budget-friendly can be a hit or miss

​Herman Miller Review

Herman Miller Keyn Chairs

Herman Miller office chairs are somewhat unusual to me. I mean, I do love Herman Miller don’t get me wrong, because what’s not to love?

The chairs have an impeccable craftsmanship, and some of the designs are out of this world. Unfortunately, I believe Herman Miller’s target audience is much different that many expect. I think Herman Miller might be the Lamborghini of office chairs.

Sure, it might be highly desirable, designed and brought upon by the havens, but its also uncomfortable, unconventional for a lot of situations, and not really designed with leisure in mind.

Now, I’m not saying that Herman Miller’s chairs aren’t ergonomic, they are, and they’re comfortable for that matter. But not as much as Steelcase, even though Steelcase is much cheaper than Herman Miller – on average.

The first really ergonomic chair we came across when sorting for price from high to low was the Aeron lineup. The others had some ergonomics, but you can tell when a chair has been designed with ergonomics in mind, and when it was designed with appearance in mind.

The trend follows in their ergonomic office chair lineups. It just seems like Herman Miller is banking on the fact that their target audience are more law firms with more interest in appearance, and less your average consumer that’s interested in an ergonomic office chair for the home office (in my opinion).

AGAIN, I’m not saying that Herman Miller hasn’t got ergonomic chairs nor that they’re less ergonomic than Steelcase, but what I can definitely say is that they’re a worse deal than Steelcase.

Let’s go over the pros and cons of Herman Miller:

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PROS

  • Office chairs have a premium feel and look
  • The luxury option
  • Some models are very ergonomic
  • Cushioning is long-lasting and very comfortable

CONS

  • Worse deal than Steelcase
  • It doesn’t make as much sense as Steelcase (for the average consumer)

Head-To-Head – Steelcase VS Herman Miller

Steelcase Karman

We’re already aware of the major details of two brands, which leads only to sum up what has been said so far. I must admit, I’m struggling to find a reason why Herman Miller might be a good option especially if you’re the average customer looking for one office chair for home.

But what seems to be the case, to me at least, is that Herman Miller can offer better solutions for offices, companies, or any entities which might be looking to stock up the work space, but not a la carte. Granted, I haven’t seen any deals from that nature, but it sure does seem that way.

But even if you’re the average consumer, if you’re looking for an ultra-modern luxury office chair, then Herman Miller has better solutions if I’m honest.

On the other hand, I think Steelcase is the best value overall, and it might give you the same functionality, or even more. But do be sure to research any model from either Steelcase or Herman Miller to see if it is ergonomically-optimized for your body type.

Because even though these two brands are two of the leading brands in the industry, there are still things which are unique to one person. Height, placement, lumbar support, and so on.

​Which Has The Best Quality Office Chairs?

Aeron Chairs by Herman Miller

I can tip-toe around this issue, but the fact of the matter is, Herman Miller has much better quality overall. The office chairs are way more expensive, and the quality does represent that.

It’s not like Steelcase’s quality is bad by any means. In fact, it is better than the majority of the office chairs you might find at your local store. But when compared to Herman Miller, which is a pretty high bar to reach, it falls slightly short.

Still, I remain on the notion that Steelcase is the best deal overall, in my opinion. It has an excellent price-to-performance ratio, and if you’re looking for the most affordable way to get a top-tier ergonomic office chair, this is it.

Whereas, I would recommend Herman Miller to anyone that doesn’t mind the extra hundreds, especially because this brand does appear to make no compromises.

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