This is one of the most comfortable office chairs I’ve sat on.
The unique structure of this chair is visually stunning, it’s incredibly flexible to conform and support my back and it has most of the knobs and adjustments you’d expect in a premium office chair.
But it’s not perfect with the clunky arm rests, the uncomfortable seat pan for leg crossers, and even after sitting on it for a week I’m still making adjustments to the lumbar support to get it dialed in just right.
This is my review of the Herman Miller Embody chair
So a couple quick notes upfront.
I borrowed this chair from Herman Miller (configuration on screen?) and sat on it for about week using it for my computer setup.
And for frame of reference, I’m on the smaller size standing at 5 feet 7 inches tall at about 140 pounds (29 inch inseam).
So let’s start with the best part about this chair.
The back support. Instead of the traditional foam cushion padding found on most chairs.
The Herman Miller Embody uses a suspended rubber canvas that’s supported by this plastic skeleton structure.
The fabric, rubber canvas, and plastic support are all flexible to conform to your back to minimize any pressure points, giving you the freedom to stretch and move around while you work.
This is definitely a really comfortable chair experience that I’ve never felt in another office chair.
But getting the back support adjusted properly the first time you sit on it isn’t simple.
Turning this knob adjusts the upper back support and how aggressive the lumbar support curves into your back.
And it’s this lumbar support that will typically make or break the experience for most people with this chair, as it is quite stiff compared to the rest of the back support and can be painful in the lower back region the first time you sit in it.
It took me a couple days before I even felt like I had it adjusted properly.
And even a week later I’m still making minor adjustments to the lumbar support as I get used to the chair.
Also something minor to note with the back support are the squeaks and creaking noise while moving the back around that might annoy some people on such an expensive office chair.
Next let’s talk about the chair adjustments found on the Herman Miller Embody.
The seat pan depth is a little awkward to adjust with these handles on the front but it works. There’s a switch on the side to quickly set the tilt limiter at 4 different levels.
And while you can’t lock the chair in a reclined position, the stiffness of the tilt recline can be loosened to make reclining feel effortless.
The height is adjustable like any other chair but uses this joystick toggle instead of a traditional paddle.
The arm rests are also height adjustable and they also can be moved closer or further away from your body.
But the mechanism is a little clunky.
Also I find the arm rests to be quite large and far forward with no option to move them back, so for me who likes to tuck in my chair. They just end up getting in the way most of the time, so I usually just leave them at the lowest setting and never use them. They just end up getting in the way most of the time, so I usually just leave them at the lowest setting and never use them.
Back to the comfort of the chair. I already mentioned the back support is really comfortable but the seat pan is also really comfortable too. The design of seat pan is also quite unique since it doesn’t use the traditional foam padding but a suspended plastic coil spring design. This combined with the Balance Fabric material makes the chair feel really breathable, which is nice for those people who get warm sitting on the typical foam padded chairs. The downside though to this coil spring design is that you can feel the individual components dig into your legs if you don’t sit straight or like to sit crossed legs once in a while like I do. So it’s not ideal for that but I guess it helps encourage you to sit properly in your chair.
In the end, the Herman Miller Embody is truly a unique and stunning looking chair. While the first time you sit in the chair, it will probably feel a bit odd. And it will take some time and adjusting to get used to it. And while I wish the arm rests had a bit more flexibility and the supports in the seat pan didn’t poke at me when I sit cross legged in the chair.
The back support is truly one of a kind and is surprisingly one of the most comfortable office chair I’ve experienced that almost makes the $1500 price tag seem reasonable. Almost. But I’m not too sure yet.
Maybe I’ll try out some other chairs first.