is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

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sjl333
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:59 pm

is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by sjl333 »

Hi All,

Due to COVID, as I transition to a new job, I will be able to work from home until COVID clears up. (New job based in New York). Not sure when things will clear up over there - it may be as long as 6-12 months most likely.

I sit in front of a computer all day 8-12 hours per day. I feel that I will need to buy a decent office chair as I do not have one.

Doing some quick google searches, it seems like the most popular types of office chairs are the Herman Miller Aeron and herman miller embody. The unfortunate thing is the prices are quite exhorbitant, $1000+.

Are these chairs worth the investment? Or should I buy a cheap Ikea type office chair for < $200?

In terms of my finances, I can afford a +$1000+ chair, but the boglehead side of me does not want to spend that kind of money. However, if its worth the investment, I would highly consider it.

Thanks in advance.
zuma
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by zuma »

Look for a Knoll Chadwick chair. Cheaper than an Aeron and better than anything from Ikea. I bought mine secondhand from an office surplus warehouse for $200.
Mr-et-Mrs-R
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Mr-et-Mrs-R »

Purchased mine used for about $500.
Check Craigslist and see if there are deals to be found.
nordsteve
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by nordsteve »

I have the B size Aeron chair with the lumbar support. Its great, have been a big fan of the Aeron since the first one I got in 1999. I think I paid $8xx for mine new in 2015, on an hourly basis it's probably cost <$0.10/ hour at this point.

There are tons on Craigslist for $4-500 in my area right now.
Momus
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Momus »

Leap V2. https://www.madisonseating.com/leap-cha ... BUQAvD_BwE

https://www.btod.com/blog/steelcase-leap-chair-review/

I refuse to buy a chair without adjustable seat depth, lumbar and arms. That's a must. Mesh gets uncomfortable after a while too. I have the same chair for over 12 years.
02nz
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by 02nz »

The challenge is that most furniture stores (including Design Within Reach, now owned by Herman Miller) are closed, and you may not want to make such a commitment without trying it out in person.

I got the Herman Miller Eames Aluminum Group chairs for my parents several years ago. I think they're very comfortable and well-built. However, one of them did have to be serviced (wasn't abused or even heavily used) - the pneumatic cylinder that provides height adjustment failed and had to be replaced. Service was very good, they came to the house with the part and did the repair. Warranty is 12 years I believe.

However, for myself I got the Setu chair, also by Herman Miller, which costs around $400 instead $2000. I find it as comfortable as the pricier ones, and it's been free of any problems.

Note with with many (maybe most?) Herman Miller chairs, they're built to order and so there's a long lead time, I think 2-3 months is typical. This is definitely true for the Aluminum Group chairs, which are customizable in many ways. At least some versions of the Setu appear to be in stock though.

ETA: There's a 15% Herman Miller "Work from Home" sale going on now. They always do a sale twice a year. Prices are fixed across all retailers.
Last edited by 02nz on Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Stormbringer
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Stormbringer »

I've been sitting in an Aeron chair for 25 years. I'm on my 4th one. I love them.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein
marcwd
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by marcwd »

sjl333 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:39 pm Hi All,

Due to COVID, as I transition to a new job, I will be able to work from home until COVID clears up. (New job based in New York). Not sure when things will clear up over there - it may be as long as 6-12 months most likely.

I sit in front of a computer all day 8-12 hours per day. I feel that I will need to buy a decent office chair as I do not have one.

Doing some quick google searches, it seems like the most popular types of office chairs are the Herman Miller Aeron and herman miller embody. The unfortunate thing is the prices are quite exhorbitant, $1000+.

Are these chairs worth the investment? Or should I buy a cheap Ikea type office chair for < $200?

In terms of my finances, I can afford a +$1000+ chair, but the boglehead side of me does not want to spend that kind of money. However, if its worth the investment, I would highly consider it.

Thanks in advance.
No one else can answer that for you. See about buying a chair from a vendor that offers a trial.
hicabob
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by hicabob »

In my experience when it comes to selecting a chair you really need to sit in them, which I realize is more difficult nowadays. I bought an Aeron chair years ago and gave it to my kid after a few months. My current favorite chair cost $110 which I bought from a used office furniture place. Selecting it was quite fun, hundreds of chairs of all types, relaxed atmosphere, could rock, scoot, and do whatever to the chairs they had for as long as I wanted.
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whodidntante
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by whodidntante »

I bought an Aeron knock off from Office Depot five years ago. It's served me well.
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bottlecap
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by bottlecap »

I wouldn't, but that's me. At that price point, I'd go with a stand up desk. Or an exercise ball.

My chairs run about $100. Might go to $200, but not $1,000. Especially for a month or two.

JT
adamthesmythe
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by adamthesmythe »

> In my experience when it comes to selecting a chair you really need to sit in them

Yeah and double yeah.

I disliked a chair bought by the institution I worked for; although it had many adjustments it was clunky. I was reasonably satisfied with a chair I bought at the Office Whatever. Also liked one I bought at a now-defunct Scandinavian store. I tried both in person before purchase.

I heard that used Aeron chairs are available from failed internet startups.
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ClevrChico
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by ClevrChico »

I'm sitting on an Aeron in my home office now. It's exceptional and worth it.

I think they go for a lot less on the used market. I've seen some deals.

Note: They come in different sizes, so make sure you order the correct size if you pull the trigger.
KlangFool
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by KlangFool »

Mr-et-Mrs-R wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:47 pm Purchased mine used for about $500.
Check Craigslist and see if there are deals to be found.
+1,000.

KlangFool
Pinotage
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Pinotage »

Stormbringer wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:52 pm I've been sitting in an Aeron chair for 25 years.
Comfortable or not, don't you at least feel like getting up to stretch once every few years?
Trader Joe
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Trader Joe »

sjl333 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:39 pm Hi All,

Due to COVID, as I transition to a new job, I will be able to work from home until COVID clears up. (New job based in New York). Not sure when things will clear up over there - it may be as long as 6-12 months most likely.

I sit in front of a computer all day 8-12 hours per day. I feel that I will need to buy a decent office chair as I do not have one.

Doing some quick google searches, it seems like the most popular types of office chairs are the Herman Miller Aeron and herman miller embody. The unfortunate thing is the prices are quite exhorbitant, $1000+.

Are these chairs worth the investment? Or should I buy a cheap Ikea type office chair for < $200?

In terms of my finances, I can afford a +$1000+ chair, but the boglehead side of me does not want to spend that kind of money. However, if its worth the investment, I would highly consider it.

Thanks in advance.
No, of course not.
onourway
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by onourway »

I had an Aeron chair at my office for 10 years or so, but willingly gave it up a couple of years ago when I transitioned to a mixed sit/stand desk arrangement. I have used a simple wooden artists’ chair available for about $200 new ever since, and have never been more comfortable at my desk. In fact, when I transitioned to full time working at home 3+ weeks ago, I was using my home office desk for the first week which has a high-end SteelCase chair, and I found I was incredibly uncomfortable after 3-4 days of sitting in a “traditional” desk position again 8-10 hours/day. I went back to the office and retrieved my artist’s chair, and raised my desk, and I’ve been fine since. Being able to quickly transition between sitting and standing, even only for a few minutes an hour, makes a huge difference.
carne_asada
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by carne_asada »

$1000 on a chair buys you durability and adjust-ability.

Aeron's aren't for everyone and not as adjustable as some other options - I personally don't find them comfortable ( I'm average build and height). My very large employer use steelcase gesture chairs and I also have a steelcase at home. If you don't have the opportunity to try before you buy I think one of the steelcase chairs is your best bet as you are more likely to find an adjustment that works well for you.
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by mcraepat9 »

I only use a HM Aeron chair bought used for $250 on craiglist. Best investment of my work from home setup. Just do it.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.
arf30
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by arf30 »

A quality office chair is one of those things where spending a lot of money is absolutely worth it (for people who sit a lot).
Triple digit golfer
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Triple digit golfer »

I have a SUPER cheap $30 chair I bought 10+ years ago from Walmart or somewhere at home. Now that I'm working from home 10 hours a day, I realized how little support it offered. I bought this from Amazon and I really like it. I may buy the matching chair pad, too.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ACH9FPG/re ... IEb68G0EFH

I will absolutely not buy a chair without testing it first. Once things open back up, I will go to Office Whatever and find one I like at a reasonable price (less than $200 certainly).
bluebirdy
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by bluebirdy »

I got a HM Embody and my back pain went away. Totally worth it for me.
Previously had back pain with various 'executive leather chairs.'
FireSekr
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by FireSekr »

Used is the way to go. Lot of times companies move and sell their old furniture and such.

Bought mine on Craigslist fro around $300 and sold it when I was moving a few years later for $50 or so more than I pad for it.

Aeron is not perfect for everyone, but it is perfect for me and if I couldn't find a used one I wouldn't hesitate to spend $1k on one especially since I work from home even before the COVID pandemic and will continue to do so after
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

No question about it. Even at $1000, it is a better buy than electronics of a similar price: it will last much longer than smartphones. You may also look for a used one.

*** Please don't forget to buy expensive smartphones - my job depend on them. :happy
Boglegirl81
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Boglegirl81 »

Hopefully you can find a used one, but I wouldn’t feel guilty about spending that kind of money for a nice office chair. I travel a lot for work, and a few years ago I bought myself a Briggs & Riley bag. My only regret is not buying it years earlier. It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I suspect you’d feel the same way about the chair.
MMiroir
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by MMiroir »

I bought my first Aeron in the 1990's, and have used it ever since. About five years ago, I added a standing desk to my home office and got an Aeron stool. They both work great.

You can find internet retailers that sell new chairs for less than $500.
FlyingMoose
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by FlyingMoose »

I had mine for 12 years and loved it. After I moved it was at a friend’s house and ended up getting burned up in one of the California wildfires.
Eno Deb
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Eno Deb »

Everybody is different. Don't buy one before trying it first. Personally I don't like the Aeron because of the hard frame around the seat (which uncomfortably pressed into my thighs) and a lack of adjustability. On the other end of the price spectrum, the Ikea chairs seemed a bit flimsy to me. I'm now using a Steelcase Leap and am quite happy with it.
bugleheadd
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by bugleheadd »

i too am looking for a good office chair. i've heard good things about the LEAP v2 as it is very adjustable
kevinf
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by kevinf »

There are very good chairs available for much less. I'm currently sitting in this and quite pleased: https://www.staples.com/staples-ayalon- ... ct_2722088

It's rated for 8-10 hours of use at a time and feels like it, since the seat has proper cushioning that is thick, firm, yet conforming. The problem with the lower end chairs is that they use very plush material that simply compresses over time and you end up sitting on a board eventually. The mesh back is nice for airflow and the chair has many adjustments as listed.

But I will reiterate that you MUST sit in a chair for awhile. I spent a lot of butt-time in chairs before I settled on one. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for you.

p.s. one of the best changes I've made to all my chairs is to replace the hard plastic casters with the "rollerblade" style soft caster. Much smoother and doesn't damage flooring (no chairmat needed).
Flyer24
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.
KT785
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by KT785 »

I just bought a remanufactured Steelcase Leap V2 for $450 (after promo code); I’ve had these for the last 6+ years at both my current and prior megacorps but never could justify the price of a new one for home as they’re a similes price to the HM Aeron. I looked at used ones that’s retail for $200-$300 but ultimately settled on remanufactured as it replaces a number of high wear items (including the fabric) and also includes a 12 year warranty.

Mine came from Crandall Office Furniture, which also provides remanufactured chairs to several other sellers, including BTOD mentioned earlier. Crandall also remanufactures a number of other brands and models, including the HM Aeron.

KT785
shelanman
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by shelanman »

I love my Steelcase Gesture.

The Steelcase Leap v2 is also really good.

I personally don't love the Aeron -- it doesn't fit me as well as the Steelcase chairs do -- but it's all personal preference.

A good office chair really is worth the $700-1000 it costs, though, if you get one that you like.

You can often find good-condition used chairs for $400 or so.
supalong52
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by supalong52 »

We investigated the entire lineup of office chairs, and settled on the Haworth Zody. Just feels good to both of us. We bought it in the used / wholesale market for 20 cents on the dollar.
boomer_techie
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by boomer_techie »

sjl333 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:39 pm In terms of my finances, I can afford a +$1000+ chair, but the boglehead side of me does not want to spend that kind of money. However, if its worth the investment, I would highly consider it.
In 1986 I bought a $600 Steelcase chair. Because everybody was tired of sitting in plastic patio chairs, once the "startup" where I worked made some money, the company gave everybody a $250 chair allowance. We all carpooled to Steelcase and went shopping. Everybody picked out something different - and made up the amount beyond $250.

I am sitting in that very chair as I type this. :beer

In the last five years, parts have started falling off the chair, and the fabric has worn through. I was going to pick out a new Steelcase this spring, but ...

(What's six hundred 1986 dollars worth in today's dollars?)
phxjcc
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by phxjcc »

If you like the Aeron, buy it.
I just don't fit, or it doesn't fit me.
There are plenty of counterfeits/cheap C****** imitations however, including from Amazon, as I found out last Christmas when DW tried to buy me one.

Most large metro,areas have used furniture dealers where you can go pick one out.

Also, check out the Ekornes office chairs, but you must sit in them.

One I tried locally was perfect, the other--also Ekornes--was horrid.
anoop
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by anoop »

I wouldn't call it an investment (no more than I would call eating good food an investment). I'd call it an expense.

But it is worth it. For chairs, it's pretty much either Herman Miller or Steelcase. Both are very good, but I have a slight preference for Steelcase.

And being the luddite that I am, I actually prefer the Steelcase Criterion (https://www.steelcase.com/products/offi ... criterion/) which is one of their older designs. I have also used the Leap and Think and would pick the Criterion over those.
Last edited by anoop on Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
anonenigma
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by anonenigma »

I'm on my second Aeron chair - love it! I bought the first one direct from Herman Miller when it was on sale and the second one from Design Within Reach, which is (maybe) owned by Herman Miller and has one or two sales per year with 15% off.

Three caveats:

1) Determine which size Aeron is right for you (A, B or C). C is the largest.

2) See if you need one that's fully loaded - the cost of optional features adds up.

3) Only buy from an authorized dealer, or that 12 year warranty will be meaningless. This is not a low maintenance chair. Over 15 or 16 years, I've had the repair guy out four times to replace parts. You might also want to check on the authorized dealers near you - how will you get repairs done? In my case, the guy lives out in Palm Desert and drives to his clients in Los Angeles. It has worked out great, but I wouldn't want to haul the chair out to Palm Desert to get it repaired.

Update: Go to https://www.hermanmiller.com/ There's currently a 15% off sale with free shipping.
alex123711
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by alex123711 »

Trader Joe wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:50 pm
sjl333 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:39 pm Hi All,

Due to COVID, as I transition to a new job, I will be able to work from home until COVID clears up. (New job based in New York). Not sure when things will clear up over there - it may be as long as 6-12 months most likely.

I sit in front of a computer all day 8-12 hours per day. I feel that I will need to buy a decent office chair as I do not have one.

Doing some quick google searches, it seems like the most popular types of office chairs are the Herman Miller Aeron and herman miller embody. The unfortunate thing is the prices are quite exhorbitant, $1000+.

Are these chairs worth the investment? Or should I buy a cheap Ikea type office chair for < $200?

In terms of my finances, I can afford a +$1000+ chair, but the boglehead side of me does not want to spend that kind of money. However, if its worth the investment, I would highly consider it.

Thanks in advance.
No, of course not.
Care to elaborate? Are they just not that much better than regular office chairs?
Thegame14
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Thegame14 »

saw a LAZy Boy at Bj's for like $219 and it looked like a nice chair...
PhysicsTeacher
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by PhysicsTeacher »

I'll second (or perhaps eighth by this point) the suggestion to look for a high-end used chair, be it Herman Miller or Steelcase. At the urging of the Bogleheads, I spent $250 plus tax on a used Steelcase Leap v2, which was considerably more than I was initially hoping to pay for a desk chair. It was worth every penny. Being able to adjust so many aspects of the chair has resulted in much better ergonomics, and I have drastically less back pain. The local branch of an office furniture supplier was willing to bring one in from the nearest major metro area and let me try before buying.
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by abuss368 »

Unless you have a serious back issue and even then.

I have a $90 chair from Staples with a blanket and small pillow to sit on. It does the job and is comfortable enough.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
otinkyad
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by otinkyad »

anoop wrote: Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:24 am But it is worth it. For chairs, it's pretty much either Herman Miller or Steelcase. Both are very good, but I have a slight preference for Steelcase.
I think the Aeron, Embody, and Leap are in their own category, with the Freedom a half step behind. Then lots of other decent chairs from HM, Steelcase, Knoll, and Haworth.

They are personal, though. I overheat, and the Aeron is the only one I can sit in comfortably all day, but the hard frame, weird lumbar support, and creaking/lack of rigidity are real and might send you to one of the others. The Freedom is a non-adjustable marvel, but I’m not sure I’d love it as my main chair (it’s been my home office chair for years).
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TheTimeLord
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by TheTimeLord »

IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
apex84
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by apex84 »

All of the major brands make high quality chairs at a variety of price points. No one chair is going to work for everyone. My wife and I have the Herman Miller Sayl chairs and they work well. We found these chairs an improvement over our old ones. Other good brands include Steelcase, Knoll, and Humanscale (I'm sure there are others).
alex123711
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by alex123711 »

abuss368 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:04 pm Unless you have a serious back issue and even then.

I have a $90 chair from Staples with a blanket and small pillow to sit on. It does the job and is comfortable enough.
How to know if it is causing long term damage or bad posture though? Could a bad chair be unknowingly be causing cumulative damage would it be noticeable/ reversible?
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Ged
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Ged »

Momus wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:48 pm Leap V2. https://www.madisonseating.com/leap-cha ... BUQAvD_BwE

https://www.btod.com/blog/steelcase-leap-chair-review/

I refuse to buy a chair without adjustable seat depth, lumbar and arms. That's a must. Mesh gets uncomfortable after a while too. I have the same chair for over 12 years.
I really like LEAP chairs as well. I've been using them for 20 years. Once in a while you have to replace the gas cylinder.

There is a new model now, I forget what it is called.
Sourc3
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by Sourc3 »

Buy the Aeron chair your body will thank you. They are built like a tank and will last a long time. I second the used market. Sometimes the misfortune of a startup or big tech company closing an office will result in lightly used ones for $300-400 discount.
minimalistmarc
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by minimalistmarc »

It’s not an “investment”
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4nursebee
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Re: is a $1000+ herman miller office chair worth the investment?

Post by 4nursebee »

sjl333 wrote: Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:39 pm Hi All,

Due to COVID, as I transition to a new job, I will be able to work from home until COVID clears up. (New job based in New York). Not sure when things will clear up over there - it may be as long as 6-12 months most likely.

I sit in front of a computer all day 8-12 hours per day. I feel that I will need to buy a decent office chair as I do not have one.

Doing some quick google searches, it seems like the most popular types of office chairs are the Herman Miller Aeron and herman miller embody. The unfortunate thing is the prices are quite exhorbitant, $1000+.

Are these chairs worth the investment? Or should I buy a cheap Ikea type office chair for < $200?

In terms of my finances, I can afford a +$1000+ chair, but the boglehead side of me does not want to spend that kind of money. However, if its worth the investment, I would highly consider it.

Thanks in advance.
As an investment, no, not worth it. Investments are things one buys thinking they will increase in value.
Buying because you do not have a decent office chair? Does that kind of reasoning work around your house? Not here. I can list a lot of things I do not have, does not mean I should buy them.

I am ok if you want it and it helps, just call it what it is.
For 8-12 hours a day, I would like variety, many can be had cheaper.
Rubber bouncy ball, good for the overused "core", can rock and bounce a bit. I forget the price.
Kneeling chair, especially on wheels, I think mine was $40.
Classic wooden office arm chair, think college prof in a movie, $10 used. What a great find. My 90% solution, wheels, rocks. $400 new. I found this about the time we were test driving the Aeron. I think they come with options now.
Or, just get an automobile seat cushion, maybe $20.
Pale Blue Dot
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