Herman Miller Embody Desk Chair Review
May 8, 2021
Written by: Tim @tdchow
This post is all about my Herman Miller Embody review. I’m sharing why I upgraded to an ergonomic office chair, how I picked the Herman Miller Embody, the specific configuration I selected, and pros and cons of the Embody chair after using it for 3 years.
Upgrading to an Ergonomic Office Chair
Before completely working from home, I would work on freelance projects weeknights and weekends in the office. I found myself sitting for long hours at a time and started developing lower back pain from my Ikea Markus chair. Noticing that I was sitting at my desk for longer periods, I decided it was time to get a nicer, more ergonomic office chair. I ended up purchasing the Herman Miller Embody desk chair.
Why I Picked a Herman Miller Office Chair
Gaming chairs were gaining popularity at the time. I tried a few of them in-store and found them to be comfortable, but I never really liked the aesthetic of them. I was playing fewer games on the computer and doing more work at my desk, so I decided to go with a higher-end office chair.
The last two companies I worked at had Haworth chairs that I really liked, but I was having a hard time finding a retailer that had a specific configuration in stock. After doing more research, I found that Herman Miller is a popular brand that has ergonomic office chairs. All their chairs come with a 12-year warranty that includes parts and labor. I narrowed their line down to the Aeron and Embody, and then found a local store that carried both.
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Herman Miller Embody vs. Aeron
For reference, I’m 5’9″, 140 lbs. I tried all 3 sizes of the Aeron and the Embody and made sure to make the necessary adjustments on each. I didn’t find one more comfortable than the other, but I did notice that the back of the Embody provided more support when moving around due to the flexible back. It was hard to say if one would perform better after a long time sitting, so I made my decision solely on the looks of the chair.
I loved the unique and futuristic look of the Embody, which is why I ended up picking it over the Aeron. The back of the Embody also looks a bit slimmer, which I thought would make the office feel less cramped. I then waited for a Herman Miller semi-annual sale to get 15% off and pulled the trigger.
Herman Miller Embody Configuration
I went with the graphite frame and base, Black Rhythm fabric, and upgraded hard floor and carpet casters.
Herman Miller Embody: PROS
1) Comfortable and Ergonomic
First and foremost, I’m able to sit for long periods without any pain. There’s plenty of lower back support, which is what my Ikea Markus chair was lacking. I’m really grateful that I had the Embody desk chair before I became full-time remote. I could find myself at my desk for 10+ hours a day and not experience any back pain issues.
The adjustability of the chair has been a world of difference from any chair I had in the past. Having a wide range of adjustability allowed me to dial the chair in perfectly. Herman Miller includes an adjustment guide specific to the Embody, so I wasn’t aimlessly making adjustments.
I’ve had the chair now for 3 years and it still feels brand new. This was a big difference from the previous chairs I’ve had in the past. Usually, the seat cushions would flatten and parts would start to break over time. Everything on the Embody feels just as solid as the first day unboxing it. The rhythm fabric surprisingly held up well with heavy use. No rips, tears, or flat spots. I expect to get many more years out of the chair, and there’s always the 12-year warranty through Herman Miller if anything breaks.
Herman Miller Embody: CONS
The price of the Embody was shocking at first. I never thought I’d spend so much on a chair. When considering if the Embody would be worth the price, my thought process was that I could either buy a $200 chair every 2 or 3 years or spend more upfront for a chair that will last. I was still hesitant when placing the order, but after using the Embody for a couple of years, it was definitely money well spent.
2) Firmer Seat Cushion
When I first started using the chair, I found the seat cushion a little firm on my thighs. This was because I was used to a traditional foam seat cushion. The Embody has a spring-like seat, which is the elastic suspension and support coils, that took a little time to get used to. Now that I’m used to it, it doesn’t bother me anymore. Getting a footrest also helped remove the pressure from my thighs.
3) Can be noisy sometimes
This isn’t something that bothers me all that much but is worth mentioning. I noticed that the backrest can make a squeak or clicky noise when flexed. This only happens when stretching my back in the chair. I usually have music playing, so I usually don’t notice the noise.
So, Should you buy a Herman Miller Embody?
Not necessarily. The Embody fits me well, but that won’t be the case for everyone. I would suggest trying out a few different chairs in-store to make sure you find one that fits properly. If the Embody is a good fit, I highly recommend it!
I hope that sharing my experience with the Embody helped if you’re currently looking for a new office chair. If you have any questions about the Embody, leave them down below or DM me on Instagram @tdchow!