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Herman Miller Chairs Compare Against Steelcase Chairs


If you're in the market for a high-end office chair, you may come across the Herman Miller and Steelcase brands as two premium options. It can be hard to tell which manufacturer has the best office chair for you, so we reviewed both companies and their line of office chairs to help you narrow down for the ultimate Herman Miller vs Steelcase showdown.

We looked at chairs like Herman Miller Mirra and Aeron and Steelcase Leap and Gesture to determine the best and worst parts of each company's designs. So, to see the pros and cons of these two office chair makers, read our review, which includes pricing, warranty, comfort, adjustability, and more.

Build quality

Both companies make high-end office chairs, so both are very high quality. Unlike cheaper chairs, each chair's components are designed specifically for that model, rather than using generic parts. Steelcase and Herman Miller craft each chair with attention to detail to ensure they are built to last and provide optimal comfort.

Most Herman Miller chairs are made from steel, formed aluminum and plastic parts. When you sit in a Herman Miller chair, it's clear they're designed with integrity in mind. Their chairs move smoothly with the user, and there are never any loose or out of place parts to worry about. Herman Miller chairs use the best mesh on the market, making the chair soft and comfortable, and easy to clean and maintain.

Steelcase chairs are made almost entirely of plastic parts. They didn't do it to save money or reduce quality, they just made the chair super light and easy to move. Lightweight office chairs are especially useful when you're changing offices or need to transport the chair elsewhere. While they specialize in plastic, the quality of Steelcase chairs matches the durability and flexibility of Herman Miller chairs.

Size options

This is an important category because not every office worker is the same, so a variety of sizes are essential here.

Herman Miller knows this and offers most chairs in three sizes, marked A-C. Size A is for petite users, B is for regular users, and C is for tall users. Many people above or below average have a hard time finding a comfortable, sized office chair. Herman Miller designed the chairs with this in mind in order to provide comfortable and high-quality office chairs for a wider audience.

Steelcase didn't follow suit, and most of their chairs come in just one size. Despite their excellent adjustability, it can still be uncomfortable for those with smaller or larger bodies than the average person. Neglecting to offer products in different sizes cuts off the consumer base for a large portion of the population.

Upholstery Options

Herman Miller prefers to focus on their designs rather than their looks. Most of their chairs feature the high quality Pellicle mesh they use on many of their chairs. Color options are also very limited, with some chairs only available in gray or black, or even black only.

Steelcase, on the other hand, likes to offer chairs in a variety of colors and materials. Some chairs have as many as eighty different upholstery options, including a handful of leather options. If you're looking for a sleeker, more unique chair, you might find it at Steelcase.

Ergonomic Features

As people learn more about the importance of ergonomics, the type of chair we use in the office is becoming a healthy decision. Herman Miller and Steelcase chairs top the list of ergonomic office chairs, but they have surprisingly different ergonomic attributes.

Herman Miller chairs are not as ergonomic as Steelcase chairs. Their chairs lack the adjustability for armrest width, seat depth, and backrest height adjustment, which is crucial for customizing a chair to your body. However, they do offer some of the best lumbar support on the market, along with 3D armrests, seat height and forward lean.

Steelcase chairs, on the other hand, are completely ergonomic. They include adjustable seat height, depth adjustment, lumbar adjustment and 4D armrest options for one of the most customizable office chairs on the market. Therefore, you should be able to customize the chair perfectly to your body and comfort. The only missing feature on the Steelcase chair is the ability to adjust the height of the backrest.

seat comfort

Seat comfort is probably the most subjective aspect when evaluating an office chair. It really depends on personal preference, hip width and many other factors. But we did our best to give you an idea of ​​seat comfort from both manufacturers.

For Herman Miller, the gap between users appears to be even greater. Some people like elastic mesh seats, which allow you to sink in when you sit in them. It gives you cushioning instead of plushness. The seat sides have proven to be too narrow for many users; the edges of the seat pan can put pressure on your hips, which can make you uncomfortable.

Steelcase chairs are loved by more people for their comfortable seating. The seat has an incredible curvature compared to the Herman Miller chair. The seat has a cushion that's not too thick or thin, so you don't feel the seat frame underneath, but it also doesn't feel like you're rolling on the cushion. Seating also appears to be more flexible than Herman Miller's options. The front is soft and slightly bent down to avoid putting pressure on the back of the calf.

back comfort

Another subjective category, but we'll do our best to describe the backrest to give you an idea of ​​what you're getting into. Fortunately, both manufacturers offer excellent return policies if you don't like your chair.

The Herman Miller chair has a light backrest and usually comes with the same mesh as all chairs. The mesh is both flexible and breathable, allowing users to feel cool and comfortable, rather than being hugged by an office chair.

The real benefit of Herman Miller backrests is their focus on the importance of lumbar support. Many people and office chair manufacturers do not understand the seriousness of lower back injuries or discomfort. But Herman Miller chairs have some of the best lumbar support options in furniture.

Steelcase chair backs are different from Herman Miller backs. Similar to their seats, Steelcase backrests are lightweight, flexible and just the right amount of padding.

Where the chair lacks weight in the frame, they make up for it in the upholstery, as the Steelcase chair looks heavier than the Herman Miller's, but the opposite is true. The Steelcase Backrest provides lower back relief and excellent lumbar support.


When it comes to office chair armrests, there are two things to consider: how well the armrest fits the user's arm and how comfortable the armrest itself is.

Herman Miller armrests feature soft, supple padding and a smooth leather-like feel. Herman Miller offers armrests that rotate in three different directions for maximum adjustability. Three-dimensional armrests ticked our first box, as almost any user can customize the armrests to fit them perfectly.

They also offer chairs with static armrests or height-adjustable chairs that can be moved up and down if you prefer. Since the armrests are attached to the back of the chair, you can lie down as comfortably as you need.

Steelcase handrails are 4-dimensional adjustable handrails so you can adjust the width, depth, height and pivot point to your liking. The cushions are much firmer than the Herman Miller armrests. So if you like soft, padded armrests, Herman Miller is better.

However, Steelcase's armrests are comfortable, even if they don't seem to be the manufacturer's focus.


Everyone has their own budget for buying an office chair, but let's say you've narrowed it down to these two manufacturers; you're looking for high-end options.

If you still want to consider price, the Steelcase chair wins this round. The price range for Herman Miller chairs is wide, but the average office chair price on its website is about $1,500, while a chair of the same quality from Steelcase costs about $1,000. This is a major price difference to consider.


Herman Miller and Steelcase offer two of the best warranties for office chairs.

Herman Miller backs every component of the chair with a 12-year warranty. So if part of the chair breaks or doesn't work, they promise to take care of it for 12 years, which is about the average lifespan of a chair. They'll even send a Herman Miller technician to look at your broken chair, or they'll pay another expert to fix it.

The Herman Miller Warranty applies to 24/7 use with a weight capacity of 300-350 lbs, depending on the model you purchase.

Steelcase has a similar warranty that lasts 12 years. It covers most components including pads, upholstery, frames, mechanisms, casters and more. Just like Herman Miller, they send out technicians to help with repairs when needed.


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