The last chair you’ll ever need to buy
So Good, I ended up with 2 of them!
It’s almost expected that you should replace your phone every year and your laptop every 3-5 years; even appliances like washing machines and dishwashers last for less than their older counterparts.
But I made one purchase a few years ago now, which continues to exceed my expectations.
And considering it was a vastly more expensive purchase than the alternative options I was looking at, I was worried I would be making a costly purchasing mistake.
When buying a desk chair, there are FAR too many options.
Historically, I’ve always bought my desk chairs from IKEA. Mainly because they’re affordable and of reasonable quality, you can likely get replacement parts or just repurchase the same product years after buying it.
But I needed more quality from the maker of my favourite meatball-and-fries meal.
The wheels jam, the arms split, the padding spills out, and the cushion creases up and flattens very quickly!
The Premium Alternatives
Enter Herman Miller and their premium alternatives.
The Embody chair (gaming or non-gaming variants) is one of the most popular models of home-office / productivity chairs.
These chairs command a price of over £1,000 - but are they worth it?
The first test for a ‘Good’ chair, particularly at such a high price, is that it must be comfortable.
And my god, does Herman Miller deliver here.
It’s one of the most adjustable chairs I’ve ever sat in, and that comes hand-in-hand with a uniquely recognisable design of the super flexible back.
The back is built so that it supports every part of my back, whether I’m sitting up straight, leaning back, or even sitting right forward.
You can adjust pretty much every part of this chair. The arms move up and down, in and out. There’s an adjustable seat depth to provide cater to different heights, and you can control how far it leans back.
The only thing that would be nice to have here is head support, but then again, we don’t need head support whilst standing up or walking around. But still…!
The material is made from a high-quality fabric material which, so far, in my three years of testing, has not aged with time and shows no indication of wear and tear.
And this brings me to one of the key reasons that the Herman Miller chairs (any of them) are worth the bang for their buck.
They last forever.
I’ve owned my first Embody chair for over three years, and it shows no deterioration.
That’s impressive, considering I sit in the chair for around 7-8 hours per day, almost every working day of the year.
In contrast, my multiple IKEA chairs have completely fallen apart in less than a year. Seams splitting, cushioning vanishing, arms splitting, marks showing up.
But the durability test of all durability tests is that my cat, who is VERY fond of using my chairs as scratching pads, hasn’t made a mark on this chair.
I don't know whether it’s the durable material or the fact that he just likes to curl up to sleep on it rather than scratch - I don’t know. But it’s good to know that I can leave my chair without worrying about returning to find that it’s been shredded.
This is the second key reason for what real-life ownership with a Herman Miller chair is really like.
If, for some reason, you need to repair or replace parts of your chair, there is plentiful access to buy these parts to keep your chair in tip-top condition without needing an all-out replacement. And that’s if it’s not already covered by their already competitor-busting 12-year warranty.
Pricing is, of course, one of the critical factors when buying a new chair, and when it’s a premium-priced chair like this, it’s even more crucial to make it right.
Considering I spend most of my life working at a desk, (and I value my back!) it makes sense to invest in something that will look after my posture whilst I work.
If you boil down the 12 year warranty to how much it costs, at a current cost of £1,496. That actually comes to £124.66 per year, or 34pence per day, which is pretty good!
One of the critical things that many people miss when looking for a chair is how well they hold their value on the second-hand market.
Much like an Apple iPhone, you can sell a 3, 5 or even 10-year-old Herman Miller chair on eBay and still get an excellent price.
If you keep an eye out, you can pick up some excellent quality chairs at a discount if you are happy to buy used ones.
The only thing I can really fault the Herman Miller Embody for is a missing headrest. That’s not something I have ever thought I’d needed during my three years of using this chair. And some third-party options add a headrest to the Embody, which you can take advantage of if necessary.
But for the most part, the Herman Miller Embody chair has been, and continues to be, one of the best, most comfortable, and most used purchases I’ve ever made - and I can highly recommend buying one over any other chair.