How to tell if a Herman Miller Aeron chair is authentic?

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Considering a used Herman Miller Aeron chair and wondering if it’s the real deal?

In this article, we’ll cover a few checks you can perform to determine if your chair is authentic, as well as some other things you may want to know so you can make an informed assessment. 

If you’re lukewarm on the chair you’ve found, or you determine it’s not a legitimate model, you can check out our selection of Herman Miller Aeron alternatives.

How can you tell a real Herman Miller Aeron chair?

To tell if your Herman Miller Aeron chair is authentic, there are three things you can check: the Herman Miller logo on the back of the chair, “size bumps” under the lip of the chair, and the manufacturing label. 

Let’s step through each of those checks in more detail.

Herman Miller logo

An authentic Herman Miller Aeron chair will have the Herman Miller logo on the back of the chair near the top.

You can see what this logo looks like by checking out Herman Miller’s customer service FAQs, under the ‘Authenticity’ section.

To see what this actually looks like on a Herman Miller Aeron chair, check out this user uploaded picture as well as the chair builder page for the Aeron chair on Herman Miller’s website

On the chair builder page above, you can navigate to the back view of the chair by clicking the right or left arrow on the product image. If you then zoom in on the “back view” of the chair, you’ll be able to make out the logo at the top of the back.

That’s what you’ll want to be looking for in your chair to know whether it’s an authentic Herman Miller Aeron. 

Note that depending on the Aeron model, the logo can appear as the simple circle icon (as in the chair builder page) or a longer text format that includes the brand name ‘Herman Miller’.  

Again, check out the customer service FAQ page to see what these variants look like.

For an example of the longer text logo in action, you can check out the example Herman Miller Aeron chair used in this video (note it’s a little hard to make out the logo clearly but you’ll get the idea). 

Herman Miller “size bumps”

Another simple authenticity check you’ll want to do is look for size bumps under the lip of the chair.

These are raised plastic bumps on the back of the chair underneath the top frame or lip. The number of bumps indicates the size of the Herman Miller Aeron chair. See the table below for how many bumps you would expect for each Herman Miller Aeron chair size.

# BumpsAeron chair size
1Size A
2Size B
3Size C

To see exactly where these bumps are located on a real chair (including close up shots), have a look at this helpful video on YouTube:

Whilst in theory a fake Herman Miller chair could replicate these size bumps, it’s a little detail that many knock off chairs would miss.

Manufacturing label

You can also have a look for the presence of a legitimate manufacturing label on the underside of the chair seat.

Whilst these labels have evolved overtime, they normally have a few key pieces of information on them. This includes the product number, FO (serial) number and date of manufacture. 

For more information on what to expect on these labels, check out the Herman Miller customer FAQ page under the ‘Repairs’ section (the “what information do I need?” question).

While a determined “chair faker” could try faking some of the above things, if all three checks pass then you’re likely dealing with an authentic Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Finally, if you’ve got access to the chair, you can also try sitting in it and assessing the quality. 

Does the recline function feel smooth? Do the various adjustments available in the Herman Miller Aeron chair work as expected and feel high quality?

This final “gut check” would be very hard for a fake Herman Miller Aeron chair to pass. 

Where is the serial number on an authentic Herman Miller Aeron chair? 

On authentic Herman Miller Aeron chairs, the serial or FO number should be located on the manufacturing label underneath the chair seat.

See the section above (in this article) for more information on the manufacturer label, and follow the suggested link to Herman Miller’s website for some examples of what to look for. 

How do I know if my Herman Miller Aeron chair is Remastered or Classic?

When determining the authenticity of your Herman Miller aeron chair, it can be helpful to know if you’re dealing with the Remastered or Classic version of the chair.

For context, the Remastered Aeron chair is the modern incarnation of the chair, made available around 2017. It modernises the look and feel of the chair, giving it a sleeker look and enhancing some of the design features. 

The Remastered Aeron also places more emphasis on environmental sustainability, using recycled ocean plastics where possible in construction.

Let’s walk through some of the high-level differences between the Remastered and Classic Herman Miller Aeron chairs so you can better tell what you’re working with. 

If your chair doesn’t seem to be in either category and has other random design features, that could be a red flag. 

For example, if your chair has tentacles sprouting from the frame that tickle you unexpectedly in your orifices, you’re likely dealing with something that is not an authentic Herman Miller Aeron chair.

Build materials and appearance 

The Remastered Herman Miller Aeron uses less aluminum in the base and frame compared to the Classic version, relying more on plastic instead. This reduces the weight of the chair by about 3 pounds.

The adjustment levers in the Remastered Herman Miller Aeron are also less noticeable and slimmer, producing a sleeker aesthetic.

Seat design

The Classic Aeron chair features a pad underneath the front of the seat, designed to provide extra cushioning for your thighs.

In the Remastered edition, they’ve removed this front seat pad. Apparently, according to some reviewers [1], the original seat pad could be a point for the seat mesh to crease and wind up being more uncomfortable than simply not having the pad. That may explain the decision to remove it in the new edition.

Tilt lock and tension

In the Remastered Aeron, you can actually only lock the backrest tilt in three different positions. Surprisingly, the newer edition has a more limited tilt lock capability than the Classic Aeron chairs, which can lock at any tilt point.

Lumbar Support

In terms of lumbar support, the Remastered chairs support the newer PostureFit, Which supports a larger area of the back and involves two separate support pads (one pad for the sacrum or tailbone area and a higher one for the lumbar region).  See the video I’ve linked below to get a visual on what this looks like.

The Classic Aeron chair typically only uses a simpler height adjustable lumbar pad.

For a more comprehensive guide on the differences between the two chairs versions and to get a better picture of the differences, check out this video on YouTube:

How can I tell when my Aeron was manufactured?

The easiest way to find when your Herman Miller Aeron was manufactured is to check the manufacturing sticker underneath the seat, if that is present. 

As mentioned earlier, this sticker has a number of details on it, including the date of manufacture for that chair. Here’s the link again to Herman Miller’s customer FAQ page to see what these label designs can look like (check the ‘Repairs’ section).

If no label is present, you may still be able to roughly determine the age of your chair by checking a few things.

First, check if it’s a Remastered or Classic Aeron using the guidelines and video earlier in this article. 

The Classic line was discontinued in 2017, so if it’s a Classic edition then you know it was manufactured in 2017 or earlier. Therefore, you’d be looking at a chair that is at least 5 years old. 

You can also look at the armrests and their height adjustment mechanism. 

If a roller or turning knob is used instead of a lever to adjust armrest height, then you’re dealing with an older pre-2004 Aeron chair [2]. That’s because the latch released armrests emerged around 2004. 

So, in this case, you’d be looking at a chair that is 18+ years old. 

Are Herman Miller Aeron warranties transferable?

No, Herman Miller warranties do not transfer from the original owner of the chair [3][4].

Some people have gotten away with lodging a warranty request knowing they aren’t the original owner. However, if the original owners’ details are already registered for the chair (which they often are), then this will likely not work.

I’m short, don’t expect any warranty transfer when purchasing a used Herman Miller Aeron.

Final thoughts 

In this article, we covered some simple checks you can try to spot a fake Herman Miller Aeron chair.

As well, we’ve discussed a few questions you might also be wondering when trying to learn more about your chair. This may help you make an informed assessment about the authenticity of your chair.

It’s worth noting that reports of counterfeit Herman Miller Aeron chairs are rare, with one professional in the field commenting they’ve never encountered one [5]. 

Given the build quality and sophisticated design Aeron chairs are known for, it makes sense to me that these would be difficult to fake.

If I was a chair counterfeiter, I’d probably go after an easier target. Having said that, this is me just “talking out of my behind” now, so I’ll leave assessing the likelihood of this up to you.

I hope this article has better equipped you to tell if a Herman Miller Aeron chair is authentic. Thanks for reading!