As our new work-from-home reality stretches from weeks into months (and maybe beyond), many of us are realizing the flaws of our home-office setup, particularly our choice of chair. As one FC editor recently lamented: “I thought I had an OK office chair when I worked from home 25% of the week—but now I realize it’s a torture device.”
If you’re ready to acknowledge that you deserve to spend the better part of 40 hours a week in a stylish, supportive, and comfortable seat, we recommend Herman Miller’s Lino, Cosm, and Sayl office chairs.
The Herman Miller furniture company, responsible for iconic, mid-century pieces like the Eames Lounge Chair, is also behind the ergonomic, mesh-backed Aeron chair, which is ubiquitous in many offices. While the 26-year-old Aeron has earned its place in office culture—it’s really, really comfortable—buying one for your home can be a little daunting. First, there’s the price (from $1,000 on the Herman Miller site). And then there’s the look, which is a little, well, corporate. Luckily, in 2018, the Herman Miller team came up with a couple of new chairs that seem to anticipate our current moment, where work and home are blending and comfort and style are paramount.
The first is the affordable Lino Chair (you can find it for under $500 on Design Within Reach), which shattered traditional stereotypes about office chairs by offering corrective posture supports without all the adjustable bells and whistles that drive up the manufacturing costs. The result is a remarkably low-priced chair with a streamlined look and a playful color palette that works well in the home.
With prices starting at just over $450, the Sayl is Herman Miller’s most affordable chair, but it doesn’t skimp on design. The stunning seat back, which was inspired by the engineering of suspension bridges, offers comfort and support, with an airy weave for extra circulation (no back sweat here). The chair, which has Cradle to Cradle certification, can also be customized in a variety of different ways, from the frame color, to the seat color and upholstery, to the shade of the seat back weave. There’s nothing corporate about this chair.
The Cosm line of chairs are slightly pricier (they currently start at $760 on Design Within Reach) but incorporate a slew of supportive technologies that—in a first for an office chair—require no user adjustments. As Fast Company reported, when the Cosm first launched, the chair’s recline resistance is “automatically calibrated as soon as you sit, thanks to a clever counterbalancing mechanism.” The chair’s other innovation is its elbow rests, which are not height-adjustable pads, but something along the lines of “elbow hammocks that can fit anyone.” And to fit your personal aesthetics and needs, the Cosm comes in two styles: the Chair (with low-, mid-, and high-back options), with lots of color options, to boot.
Herman Miller offices chairs are heralded for their durability, high quality, and (of course) design. Because many of the parts are specifically designed to be customizable, but not adjustable, you are able to have a chair that feels custom-made without all the rattle-y plastic parts. There’s not much more you could ask for in an office chair that can stand the test of time—and a pandemic.
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