Herman Miller is a renowned furniture brand that is best known for its quality office chairs. The chairs by this brand are definitely worth investing in since they usually come with a nice guarantee, they are made from quality materials and these chairs offer a great level of comfort.
If you are shopping for a good Herman Miller office chair then the Sayl chair and the Aeron chair are two of the best furniture pieces to consider. These two chairs both offer great ergonomics and are ideal for promoting a healthy body posture and for reducing back pain.
But which of these two chairs should you buy when they both offer so many great features? In this Sayl VS Aeron guide, we take a closer look at the specifications and compare the two chairs so you can pick the best one based on your budget and need.
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Herman Miller Sayl VS Aeron Office Chair
Both of these ergonomic chairs by Herman Miller are superb investments for your office. There is just no getting around that. Either one of these chairs will offer you a great level of comfort and good durability. But these chairs are very different in design and offer different seating experiences. Let’s break down all the specifications of these chairs and compare all the most important features of these chairs so you can find the best one.
A lot of people end up buying the Herman Miller Sayl office chair because it is a lot more affordable than the Aeron. Despite its affordable price, this premium chair with its innovative design does offer quite a few fantastic features – some of which that lack in the Aeron chair.
There are quite a few things to love about this quality office chair. One of the best features of this modern chair is its adjustable seat. You can move the seat forward or outward and inward from the backrest. This ergonomic feature is ideal for taller people with long legs since they can sit more comfortably and get the needed leg support. The seat is also thickly padded so you can sit comfortably and we also love the massive maximum bodyweight limit of 350 pounds.
Another great feature is the recline function. It is true that most durable chairs do come with tilt or recline features. But the recline on the Sayl is pretty impressive since this ergonomic chair smoothly transitions into a reclined position. The backrest is also fitted with a tilt limiter and you can lock the chair into different maximum recline levels.
The Sayl doesn’t offer quite as much lumbar support as the Aeron. But the unique mesh design of the backrest does offer great support and it is nice and breathable so you won’t get all sweaty. This high-end office chair with suspension also comes with built-in lumbar support that is height adjustable.
Other ergonomic features like height adjustment and height-adjustable armrests as well as the 360-degree swivel base make it ideal for work environments.
The Sayl chair has a very interesting look that is a bit different compared to your traditional office chair. We do however love the modern vibe and you can get this high-quality chair model with its ergonomic design in white or black plastic that is super easy to wipe down and keep clean.
- Weight – 54 Pounds
- Dimensions – 18 x 25 x 41 Inches
- Color – White, black, and various other colors
- Main materials – Plastic and metal with foam seat cushion
- Weight limit – 350 Pounds
- Lumbar support – Fixed backrest with adjustable lumbar support
- Seat dimensions – 18 inches wide
- Backrest dimensions – 18 x
- Chair height – 20.5 Inch adjustable seat height
- Sayl Armrests – Height adjustable
- Recline or tilt – Reclines with tilt tension control and position lock
- Seat depth – Adjustable depth option
- Affordable compared to the Aeron
- The backrest is nice and breathable due to its grid design
- Comfortable for sitting for an extended period
- Made from good quality materials
- Plastic fabrics are easier to keep clean than mesh fabric
- Stylish overall look
- Strong base materials (aluminum base)
- Height adjustable up to 20.5 inches
- The upholstered seat is nice and offers good seat comfort
- The seat depth adjusts for a more comfortable position
- Lots of color options
- Does not offer as much back support
- Lumbar support doesn’t offer a lot of support
- Armrests only move up and down with no padding
The Herman Miller Aeron is one of the highest-quality office chairs you can possibly buy and it comes with an extremely generous guarantee. But this quality design and warranty do come at a price since this is one of the most expensive office chairs on the market.
One of the most outstanding features of this high-quality office chair is its armrest design. The 3D armrests can adjust in height, they can tilt sideways, and can flip out of the way so you can move your chair under your desk. These armrests are also thickly padded which can help reduce pain in your forearms or elbows.
Another great feature of the Aeron work chair is its advanced lumbar support. The backrest is contoured with a firm mesh fabric and it has built-in lumbar support that can adjust in height. This lumbar support can also e switched out with a wider support type.
Users also love the recline feature of the ergonomic office chair. The comfortable chair offers a smooth transition from an upright to a reclining position and the recline angle along with tension can be adjusted by turning the tilt tension control or by locking it in place.
The entire chair is covered in mesh fabric that offers lots of firm support, yet is nice and comfortable. This breathable mesh fabric is also ideal for warm climates since the fabric will keep you from getting all sweaty.
The high-end chair also offers other ergonomic features or adjustable features like adjustable height and a 360-degree swivel so you can move around in your office with ease.
Unlike the Sayl chair, the Aeron’s mesh seat doesn’t offer depth adjustment. But this desk chair does still make up for this minor disadvantage because it comes with a 5-degree forward recline angle that many people with back issues need since it allows them to get out of the amazing chair with ease.
This expensive chair does bear a closer resemblance to classic office chair types and you can get it in three different colors.
- Weight – 41 Pounds
- Dimensions – 41 x 27 x 16.75 Inches
- Color – Graphite, mineral or carbon dark color options
- Main materials – Recycled materials with breathable mesh fabric
- Weight limit – 300 Pounds
- Lumbar support – Adjustable additional lumbar support with upgrade options
- Seat height – 16 – 20.5 Inches
- Armrests – 3D adjustable flip-up arms with padding
- Recline or tilt – 5-degree forward seat tilt, with recline and tilt tensions control and multiple locks
- Seat depth – Nonadjustable
- The lumbar support is fully adjustable
- The 3D adjustable arms are very convenient
- The armrests are also padded and can flip out of the way
- The seat can tilt 5 degrees forward so you can easily lift out of the chair
- It has a recline function with multiple locking positions
- The breathable backrest and seat are ideal for warm climates
- The chair is made from recycled materials
- Distinctive design and available in three different colors
- It is very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time
- Comes with a great guarantee
- Height adjustable for a better comfort level
- Mesh fabric can become stained over time
- No seat depth adjustment
- The seat is a bit narrow for some
- Expensive chair
Breaking it Down
Now that you know the main differences between these chairs, it is time to break things down a little bit more. We do hope that this breakdown will make it easier for you to determine which of the two chairs to get based on your own physical needs and body type.
The Best in Terms of Comfort
Comfort is one of the most important features to consider when you are shopping for a new office chair, especially if you spend many hours on end working in front of a computer.
Both of these chairs do offer a great level of comfort but we do feel that the Aeron is the winner in this category for the following reasons.
The mesh design of these chairs is ideal for preventing a sweaty back when you work and both of these backrests do offer a good level of support all over your back. The materials of the Sayl chair are however a bit rough with its large grit design that can cause a bit of discomfort over time.
When you sit down in these two chairs, you will note that the Sayl chair doesn’t offer quite as much back support (lumbar support design aside) as the Aeron. We believe that this is because the Sayl chair doesn’t have a framed backrest to lend that extra level of support while the Aeron has a framed backrest that keeps the fabric nice and firm.
The Aeron chair comes with better quality lumbar support (especially since some Sayl chairs are sold without the lumbar support entirely). The adjustability and firmness of this lumbar support range are supreme and ideal for reducing back pain or for improving healthy posture.
The Best in Terms of Materials
Product materials also play a huge role in a chair’s durability, warranty, and functionality. Since Herman Miller is known for using quality materials you can bet that either one of these chairs will offer great durability. But which one has the best construction?
In this category, Aeron is also the winner.
This is because the Sayl is mostly constructed of plastic cellular and sponge. This plastic is easy to keep nice and clean but it is quite hard and may hurt your back and your elbows. The spongy seat is comfortable but might not hold up for too long since this type of padding has a tendency to go flat after a period of time.
The Aeron chair also features plenty of plastic in its structure but it has a mesh fabric seat and backrest. This mesh offers lots of firm support yet is nice and soft to sit on. The seat also tends to be cooler and sweat-free since it is a lot more breathable.
The Best in Terms of Aesthetics
When you are considering aesthetics, personal preferences do play a huge role. Both the Sayl and Aeron models feature distinct styles.
In this category, the Sayl might just take the lead. This is because this chair’s backrest has a very interesting overall look with its unframed design and the chair is available in a wide range of colors including hot pink, orange, royal blue, and others.
The Aeron is however a more preferable solution for those that prefer the casual office chair design or for those who want to create office spaces with a more serious or classic vibe.
The Best in Terms of Armrest Support
These chairs both feature adjustable arm options but the Aeron does take the lead in this category.
The armrests of the Aeron chair are 3D adjustable and feature comfortable padding. They can also flip up so you can move your chair closer to your desk and free up some office space.
The Sayl chair’s armrests are nice and sturdy but they are cold and hard and are only height adjustable. Some also do find them a bit too high even on their lowest height setting.
The Best in Terms of Warranty
The warranty on these two chairs is the same. Both chairs come with a 12-years manufacture warranty period and this warranty covers all chair parts.
We do however feel that the Sayl chair might last a bit longer compared to the Aeron since the Sayl comes with a 350-pound weight limit while the Aeron model A only has a 300-pound weight limit. You can get the size options B and C of the Aeron which come with a bigger weight limit but these do come at a higher cost.
The Best in Terms of Seat Design
We do feel that the Sayl chair has a better seat design compared to the Aeron despite its slightly weaker seat upholstery. Both of these chairs have a good recline angle and tilt tension control and the recline can lock into different positions.
But the Sayl chair’s seat depth is also adjustable. You can move the comfortable seat further away from the backrest which makes it a bit more convenient for taller people.
On the other hand, the Aeron might be better for those who suffer from sciatic pain or lower back pain since it can recline 5 degrees forward so you can get out of the chair with ease.
The Best in Terms of Budget
The Herman Miller Sayl is the more affordable of the two chairs. Many who choose this chair, pick it because it is a more budget-friendly solution that still offers great features, especially since the chair comes with an adjustable seat that Aeron does not offer. They both offer the same warranty which means it will likely last just as long as the Aeron but is more affordable.
Our comparison makes it pretty easy to see why the Aeron chair is more expensive than the Sayl. It does win in terms of quality and comfort. But just because most people choose this chair doesn’t always mean that it is the right fit for your body. Here is a quick look at a buyer’s guide that might help you decide.
The Best for Tall Users
The Sayl chair is a better option for tall users because the frameless backrest is more comfortable for tall users and the adjustable seat depth is better suited for long legs.
The Best for Those With Back Issues
The Aeron chair, despite its higher price, is a good choice for people with back problems or chronic back pain. This chair offers better back support and the forward tilt function of the chair makes it easier to get up after sitting down.
In this Sayl vs Aeron chair guide, it becomes quite clear that both of these chairs are terrific investments and they are some of the best office chairs you can possibly get for your office.
The Herman Miller Aeron chair does prove to be the better chair since it wins in most categories and can offer a bit more comfort. But the Herman Miller Sayl chair is also a very good investment since it is available at a better price and also offers quite a few fantastic qualities.
We hope that you enjoyed this buyer’s guide and that it helped you choose between these two quality chairs. And if you are in the market for something different like a gaming chair, living room chair, or bedroom chair then you should have a look at some of our other guides. On ChairsWiki, you can find the right chair for every room and building type.