If you know anything about ergonomic chairs, you’ll know that the Herman Miller brand is the Rolls Royce of office chairs.
They’ve been around since 1994 producing chairs that are high quality and ergonomically superior to other options on the market.
As you can read about in our recent Herman Miller review, these chairs come with a pretty hefty price tag.
So our experts asked the question: are there any competitors on the market worth considering?
In my opinion, there are definitely some worthy competitors on the market, the closest being the Steelcase brand.
We chose these chairs based on their price, ergonomics, quality, comfort, and customer reviews.
- Synchronized movements support different users
- Armrest follows natural arm movements
- Accommodates various seating positions
We were really actually impressed by the research that Steelcase invested into this chair.
They studied 2,000 participants spanning over six continents to discover new unhealthy postures that they addressed.
This chair can support a wide range of postures with the help of an adjustable back, seat and armrest. Do you use multiple devices while you work? The 360 armrest will support movements and postures between those devices.
You adjust the chair with the help of two knobs: Turn the front knob to adjust seat depth or height. The back knob will adjust the tension and the angle of recline.
People that bought this chair are generally extremely happy with it. They especially love the sitting experience – the seat is made of superior foam that has air pockets underneath.
Second Favorite Alternative
- Backrest locks in three positions
- Provides lumbar support
- Highly adjustable
Most people that bought this chair like the mesh construction. They feel it allows their body to breathe. Also the adjustability of the seat, backrest, headrest and armrest gives you a lot of room for comfort. The headrest can be placed just under the bottom of your head so you can kick back if you wish.
The armrests are definitely not user’s favorite part, and most of them choose to exclude them completely. (yes you can do that!)
Overall the chair is built well with a heavy duty construction and the mesh helps air circulation. Also the lumbar support feels nice, but it is not adjustable.
Best Value Chair
- Ergonomic S shaped backrest
- Memory foam seat
- Adjustable armrest and seat slide
If you’re looking for a budget option that will mimic the benefits of the Herman Miller chair, we highly recommend the SIDIZ T50 model.
The backrest is made of mesh that will ventilate your back, and its contoured S shape will help you distribute the weight of your lumbar disk properly.
The seat can be adjusted for depth and it can be sloped at an angle to fit your sitting needs. Also the armrest can be adjusted, and it moves left to right, up and down and back and forth.
The SIDIZ model has a budget friendly price, and comes with a 3 year limited warranty. You’ll be able to choose between black, gray, blue, green and orange color.
Features Of A Premium Chair
Before you go spending some serious cash on a premium chair, let’s talk about the features that make the Herman Miller chair so superior.
One of the most important features of a premium chair is the support it provides to the lower back. Every lumbar spine has an inward curve that gets strained after long hours of sitting. Your chair should have a good lumbar support that should ideally be adjustable for height and depth.
The biggest hype surrounding premium ergonomic chairs is their ability to follow your movements and your work routine. Adjustability is the word to look out for, and you’ll hear it quite a lot when looking for a good ergonomic chair.
Also these types of chairs are shaped as the letter S which follows the natural line of your spine. This promotes better posture while you work.
Your behind will take you if you demand the right kind of material out of your premium chair. Make sure the chair has enough padding to support pro-longed sitting hours. Also, judging by users’ experience, people prefer fabric materials to leather surfaces since it helps the skin breathe.
A good quality tilt mechanism is a must when choosing a great chair. Some low end chairs will have a weak tilt mechanism resulting in a bad user experience. This feature can be a deal breaker if not done properly since you need to feel secure when you lean in your chair.
Usually you’ll be able to choose between a rubber coil spring or a leaf spring mechanism. The leaf spring is definitely superior since it’s stronger and gives the chair a lot more stability.
Seat Height Adjustment
This is a must-have feature for an Ergonomic chair, being able to adjust the height of your seat. Each one of us was made differently and we should be able to adjust our chair according to our body type.
One thing is universal though, when you’re adjusting your seat, make sure your knees are a bit lower than your hips, and your feet are flat on the floor.
It feels nice to be able to relax and lean in the comfortable headrest of your chair. The trick to the headrest being comfortable in the first place is adjustability. You should be able to at least adjust the height of the back rest so you get the full benefit of contoured support.
Back Angle Adjustment
A premium ergonomics chair should definitely give you the option to adjust the back of your chair. This feature lets you change different positions through the day. You can also choose to simply rock back and forth for a while. Hyperactive people will appreciate this feature.
Your Ergonomic chair should allow you to turn while you’re sitting, and some can turn 360 degrees. Here’s a fun fact, the first swivel chair was invented by Thomas Jefferson.
Other Great Alternatives
If you’re interested, here are some options to consider.
As the name suggests, you’ll be taking a load off your back and shoulders by kneeling down. If you’re curious about the benefits, here is our kneeling chairs guide.
You’re probably familiar with health care professionals using these chairs, but they’re actually an increasingly popular choice for office workers also.
In fact, the famous podcaster Joe Rogan last year praised his Hag Capisco chair for doing wonders for his back.
Here’s our saddle chair review, if you want to know more.
Now that we understand the specific features that make up a premium chair, let’s take a look at a few decent ones.
- Comfortable mesh seat
- Great value for price
- Provides comfort for painful back
This chair is a proof that you don’t have to spend top dollars to get an amazing ergonomic chair. It is made of breathable mesh that won’t let you get warm.
The seat is comfortable and can be adjusted with different angles. Also you can slide it forward and back, or lock it in one position. The waterfall design of the seat will support normal circulation in your legs, even after hours of use.
The only thing some people dislike is the swivel armrests that can’t be locked in place and tend to get annoying sometimes.
- Lumbar support
- Mesh back and leather seat
- Seat height adjustment
Most people that get this chair are very happy with their purchase. They feel that the chair was well built, feels comfortable, and gives a good level of support.
Overall this chair should last you a long time. You can purchase a headrest separately and it should cost you around $50.
The leather on the seat is genuine, and the gunmetal color is definitely a refreshing option that draws people to this chair.
If you live in a warm area and wish to have an ergonomic chair that will be completely ventilated, then this one might be a good choice for you. The mesh is incredibly long lasting, and doesn’t give even after years of use.
The Ergohuman chair is definitely on the taller side, and wouldn’t be a good fit for smaller sizes. The chair comes with many different adjustments so you might need a day or two to get all the settings right for your needs. Once you do, you’ll find that this chair is extremely comfortable.
- Genuine calf skin leather
- Lumbar support system
- High adjustability
If you’re interested in looks as much as you’re interested in Ergonomics than this chair won’t disappoint.
It is made out of genuine leather that looks nice and feels comfortable when you sit on it. Unlike other similar office chairs this leather is not glued to the chair, but floats on top of it.
There are many different adjustments you can play with including the arm rest, head rest, the back, the seat and the back tilt and tension. Some people have had issues with the arm rest that doesn’t lock in place. Also most people that got it feel the lumbar support might be a bit too aggressive.
If you like a bit more curve in your chair this one definitely has it.
Hopefully this article was enough to help you find your perfect ergonomic chair.
There are some worthy alternatives to the Herman Miller chair out there you just need be careful and choose the right one for you.