Product Reviews

Is Buying A “High-End” $3K Office Chair Worth It If You’re Working From Home?

17 February 2023 | BY

Is the Herman Miller Embody worth its $3,000 price tag? One writer who spends most of his time working from home tries to justify it.

herman miller embody chair

I can’t pinpoint when exactly my back problems began, but I remember starting chiropractic appointments just before I turned 25 years old. Since then, I’ve tried on a couple of office chairs and none of them really clicked until I came across the Herman Miller Embody whilst out shopping. I felt like Goldilocks at that moment, having hit the sweet spot between comfort and support. There was just one small issue: the $3,198 price tag.

So I waited, saved my money, and pushed the pain in my back to the back of my mind until I couldn’t tahan anymore and bought the chair in February 2022. I even opted for the Embody gaming edition that was designed in collaboration with Logitech G. Let’s just say that my partner, my friends, and my colleagues were all shook when I told them how much I paid for it.

Now that I’m coming up to about a year of using the Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody chair, the big question is looming in my mind: was it worth the splurge?

What is this chair?

Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody Gaming Chair

Herman Miller chairs are some of the most highly-regarded chairs in the world, especially in offices. My first proper introduction to the brand was through their iconic Aeron chair when my father got it for me during one of Shopee’s 11.11 sales.

However, in the year that I spent working from home whilst sitting on my Aeron, I always felt that something was missing. I wasn’t quite sure what it was until I went back to the XTRA showroom and sat on the Embody.

No, my life didn’t change the moment my bum touched the upholstered seat, but I was definitely intrigued. So I went home to do some research on why it commanded a $3K price tag.

herman miller embodyThe Herman Miller Embody.
Image credit: @oatsmg

For starters, the Embody was designed in 2009 with the input of over 30 physicians and PhDs that specialise in things like ergonomics, physical therapy, and biomechanics. And instead of using mesh upholstery, the Embody uses fabric for the seat and backrest coupled with 4 layers of support to evenly spread out your weight.

But for all that said, how comfortable is the chair outside of fluffy marketing brochures?

“The Embody has upper back/shoulder support which the Aeron lacks which is super important for me as I have chronic neck/upper back issues,” a Redditor said in a thread discussing the Embody and Aeron. “Embody seems to be a more versatile chair while Aeron to me looks like the perfect task chair,” another Redditor commented in the same thread.

reviews of the herman miller embodyImage credit: Reddit

It was during my search that I came across the Logitech G edition of the Herman Miller Embody. At first, I thought it was just a marketing tactic to appeal to gamers and the live-streaming community. Then I saw that they tweaked the chair just so slightly by adding an extra layer of cooling foam to support long hours of seating. 

herman miller embody logitech g gaming chairThe Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody Gaming Chair.
Image credit: Herman Miller

That was when I realised that this was meant for me. I spend my 9-6 sitting on a chair churning out articles, after which I continue to stay seated on most nights playing video games from League of Legends to Satisfactory. A chair that was built to support long hours of sitting? Yes, please.

So after weeks of deliberation, I bit the bullet and bought the Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody Gaming Chair, and I have not regretted my decision one bit since.

What I like about my $3,000 Herman Miller chair

First things first: the Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody chair is so, so comfortable. The multiple layers of foam feel a lot better when compared to the pellicle material on the Aeron especially after sitting down for a couple of hours. And the fabric does not emboss my skin with geometric patterns, unlike typical mesh chairs that will leave imprints on your thighs.

mrs poe on a chairSeal of approval from my cat.
Image credit: Josiah Neo

The width of the seat is bigger than the Aeron’s, letting me comfortably cross my legs while on the chair. What’s more, the depth of the seat can be adjusted so your feet will be able to touch the ground for better ergonomics.

The true test of comfort was during sweltering days when the sun was out in full force. As my desk is situated right next to my window, its black fabric would often be subject to the harsh afternoon sun and my seat will get a little toasty at times. Sure, I could always just pull down my blinds, but I love working in natural light so that’s just something I have to deal with.

Aside from the comfort, I also felt that my back was better supported. Maybe I was just subconsciously correcting my body into the right posture, but for that kind of money, it had better do its job propping up my body.

adjusting the herman miller embodyImage credit: Herman Miller

I also appreciated the many ways I could adjust the chair. Aside from the typical seat height, the Embody can also have its tilt tension fine tuned so I don’t go slinging backwards when I want to sit in a reclined position. The back support can also be adjusted so your back feels “cupped”.

Not gonna lie, sitting in such an ergonomic position was a bit disconcerting at first, and I was very, very tempted to just throw it all away and lean back in a more comfortable position. However, I pushed through and by the end of the second week, I could feel a huge difference in the way I sat, even on non-ergonomic chairs.

Even my partner who hated the insane idea of a $3,000 chair admitted that the Embody was “pretty nice.” That’s a huge compliment.

Damn it, I sat in your Herman Miller chair and it is pretty niceImage credit: Josiah Neo

What I don’t like about my $3,000 Herman Miller chair

For all the praise I’ve sung about the Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody gaming chair, there are a couple of things I wish could have been better. The first is the armrest.

herman miller embody armrestsImage credit: Herman Miller

Compared to its more affordable option, the Aeron, the Embody’s armrests are not as adjustable and flexible. They can only be moved up or down, left or right. Meanwhile, the Aeron’s armrests give you the option of moving forwards or backwards too and it costs significantly less.

herman miller embody coloursThese are all the materials you can get with the Embody.
Image credit: Herman Miller

Aside from that, the colour options are pretty limited, at least for the edition made with Logitech G. If you want a specific colour configuration like an apple-green upholstery with a white chair base, you’ll be limited to the standard Embody. Thankfully, these 2 factors above weren’t deal breakers by any means.

Buying the Herman Miller Embody at a cheaper price

$3,000 is a steep price to pay for a chair. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to buy a Herman Miller chair at a more reasonable price. Aside from scouring the second-hand market where there are already multiple lightly-used listings going for $1.5K-$2K, keep an eye out for office closing sales. Some offices buy these chairs in bulk and unfortunately have to let them go when they close down; they usually do so at heavily discounted prices.

herman miller on carousellImage credit: Carousell

Another site to watch is the Preowned Herman Miller Aeron Chairs Facebook group. While the focus of the group is on Aeron chairs, occasionally there are deals for other products in Herman Miller’s catalogue.

Was the Herman Miller chair worth it?

herman miller embodyImage credit: Herman Miller

Yes, and also no. Investing $3,000 in a chair was worth it to me because of my lifestyle which has me sitting down for many hours a day at home, sometimes even up to 10.

Should my circumstances be a little different, say I had to spend 4 or 5 days a week in the office, I would not have gotten the Herman Miller Embody. It would take me years to feel as though I’ve gotten my money’s worth back, who knows what will happen in the future.

So should you buy this chair? If you have disposable income and you’re currently sitting on an uncomfortable seat that makes your back ache, then the Herman Miller Embody is for you. You don’t even have to get the Logitech G edition as the regular Embody would be more affordable and do the trick.

However, if you already own a Secretlab or ErgoTune chair, you honestly do not need to spend that kind of money on the Embody. Instead, you can spend that money on a new gaming PC or a swanky monitor instead.

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Cover image credit: Herman Miller

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