If you have done any research on office chairs, you have most likely found Herman Miller chairs topping the lists.
Unfortunately, the imposing price tag forces many people to pause before hitting “Buy.”
For those who have fallen in love with the Herman Miller Aeron but need an affordable alternative, we have made a list of five of the best models to consider.
WorkPro Quantum 9000 – Best Lookalike Alternative
At first glance, you may think that the WorkPro Quantum 9000 is the Herman Miller Aeron’s twin. It almost could be with it’s stylish design, adjustable features, and quality materials.
- Breathable mesh back
- S-shaped backrest
- Adjustable armrests
- Backrest recline
- Adjustable backrest height
- Tilt and tension control
- Waterfall-shaped seat
- Adjustable seat depth
- Lumbar support is not adjustable
- No forward tilt
- Can’t rock once tilt angle is locked
The WorkPro features a heavy-duty metal build that feels like it will last a long time. It doesn’t have the plastic parts that are a telltale sign of a cheap office chair.
Even though it may look like an unassuming mesh office chair, the WorkPro is not only made of quality materials, it has a surprising amount of adjustable features.
Probably the most attractive is the adjustable seat depth. Most affordable office chairs do not have this option, and it’s important for healthy leg circulation. It can slide from a depth of 19 inches to a generous 21 inches, ideal for tall people with long thighs.
The padded armrests can pivot inwards and outwards to allow different, relaxing arm positions.
Another key feature is the backrest that can go up and down. This makes up for the non-adjustable lumbar support and makes it suitable for a variety of body types.
Since it’s a mid-back chair, even tall people can be comfortable by setting the back all the way up. The WorkPro can tilt up to 30 degrees and either rock back and forth or lock in place. Unfortunately, once it’s locked in, you can’t rock from that angle. You can only rock from the upright position.
The back and seat are made of breathable mesh for good airflow. Although some mesh chairs can be uncomfortably firm, the WorkPro features a medium-firm seat that is still comfortable after many long days of work.
Considering this chair is a fraction of the price of the Herman Miller Aeron, it comes with an impressive array of features that will keep you happy and comfortable all day long.
Steelcase Amia Task Chair – Best Build Alternative
Made by a company that ranks up there with Herman Miller, the Steelcase Amia Task Chair provides similar comfort and support and about two-thirds of the price.
- LiveLumbar support
- 4D armrests
- Back tension control
- Adjustable seat depth
- Fabric seat
- Sloping seat edge
- Comes in a variety of colors
- No forward tilt
- Limited recline angle
- Lumbar support can’t be adjusted in and out
- Backrest height is non-adjustable
If you’re looking for a dependable, sturdy chair that will last for years, the Steelcase Amia features a solid build with high-end parts that fit together smoothly.
The medium-firm fabric seat cushion is a favorite for comfort in multiple positions, due to its sloping edge. Even sitting cross-legged is possible. It’s a welcome alternative to pricey office chairs with overly firm seats.
The mid to high-back design uses a flexible plastic material that allows for natural movement with your body.
For your lower back, the Live Lumbar Technology gives you a height adjustable lumbar support with several flex points. However, it doesn’t adjust in and out, which could be an issue for people. The back height can’t be adjusted either.
The 4D armrests, which feature plush padding, can be adjusted for height, width, depth, pivot and an articulating motion that is usually only found on high-end chairs.
The seat adjusts from 16-21 inches in height, which is adequate for most people. A major plus is the seat depth adjustment feature.
With a solid build, advanced features, and a price tag well below Herman Miller, the Steelcase Amia is a great choice from a reputable company.
Alera Elusion Mid-Back – Best Budget Alternative
Our most affordable alternative on the list, the Alera Elusion has a surprising amount of features, including the hard-to-find locking forward tilt.
- Adjustable and removable padded armrests
- Reclining backrest
- Lockable forward tilt
- Height-adjustable backrest
- Breathable mesh back
- Fabric seat cushion
- Non-adjustable lumbar support
- Armrests can only be adjusted up and down
- Only available in one color
- More challenging assembly
For those on a tight budget who are looking for a comfortable Herman Miller alternative, the Alera Elusion is a solid option. The seat cushion is covered in fabric and was found by users to still be comfortable after a ten-hour workday.
The mesh backrest has good breathability and can adjust up and down to suit short and tall people. It’s a feature that seems to make up for the non-adjustable lumbar support.
However, for people who need lumbar support that moves in and out, this won’t be as helpful. The tilt and lock function is good for different positions, especially the coveted forward tilt.
The armrests don’t have many adjustment options, but that is to be expected with a chair in this price range.
As far as durability, the Alera Elusion tends to start showing wear after about six months of regular use. The mesh back begins to stretch, and the chair may develop some squeakiness.
Assembling the chair will take around 45 minutes. The instructions and photos aren’t the best, but you should be able to follow them without wanting to pull your hair out.
If you’re considering the Alera Elusion, just remember that a budget chair doesn’t come with the stellar build quality and exceptional features of high-end models. As long as you’re willing to accept this compromise, this is a reasonable option at an affordable price.
SIDIZ T50 Executive Chair – Best Ergonomic Alternative
Known for its similarities to the Herman Miller Embody chair, the SIDIZ T50 features a combination of polyester fabric and mesh with a forward tilt and plenty of ergonomic adjustments.
- Mesh backrest
- Fabric seat
- Tilt feature with five levels
- Forward tilt
- 3D armrests
- Adjustable seat depth
- Waterfall seat edge
- Small lumbar support
- Can’t lock in reclining position
- Seat cushion is thinner than others
The SIDIZ T50 is designed to fit people of all sizes and can support 300 pounds. It can go as low as 15 inches for short people, and the seat depth can adjust from 18-21 inches for ideal leg comfort.
It’s the only other chair on our list that features the forward tilt function that many users crave. The whole seat can tilt forward and lock into position, allowing your neck and back to relax while you focus on the work at hand. This is also ideal for people with short arms.
The backrest can tilt back up to 125 degrees in five different settings. From upright focus to reclining and brainstorming, you can be comfortable no matter what mood strikes. Unfortunately, you can’t recline back and lock it into position, a feature that is common in other models.
Featuring a tapered design, the backrest is 18.5 inches at the top and then narrows to 15 inches in the lumbar area. This may not be comfortable for people with wide waists.
Although the lumbar support can be adjusted in height and depth, its small size may be uncomfortable for some users.
The seat cushion, which is thinner than some of our other picks, is still adequate and features a waterfall seat edge for added comfort.
The armrests can easily be adjusted in height, width, and from left to right. However, when adjusting in/out and left/right, there is no way to lock them into position.
For those that want to relax from head to toe, the headrest is a welcome addition.
Overall, this is a respectable alternative that comes in at a fraction of the price of a Herman Miller Aeron.
Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair – Best Under $500
If you’re looking for an ergonomic office chair that has the high-end features for an affordable price, the Duramont could be the one for you.
- One of the most popular ergonomic office chairs on Amazon
- Customizable lumbar system
- Breathable mesh
- High-density foam cushion
- Easy assembly
- Only reclines to 120 degrees
- Armrests don’t adjust four ways
Duramont is known for their sturdy build with an aluminum base that is both light and durable and supports up to 330 pounds. Rollerblade caster wheels work smoothly on both floors and carpet. They are safe on delicate floor materials and don’t leave any marks or damage.
When it comes to sitting all day, a supportive and comfortable seat cushion is critical. Duramont uses a high-density, medium-firm foam that is good for heavier users. It doesn’t lose its shape, so there’s no danger of flattening it after long days of use.
As far as ergonomics, Duramont provides many adjustable features so that you can customize it to your body’s needs. The seat height, back angle, armrests, lumbar support, and headrest are all adjustable. There is also a tilt tension adjustment that lets you rock back and forth when you want.
Whether you are upright or relaxing back for a moment, this chair can adapt to many positions. You can sit at 90, 100, or 120 degrees and lock it into that angle. The armrests can adjust in height and width according to body types.
A key feature is the lumbar support, which can be adjusted up and down as well as in and out. No matter what your build, you can achieve healthy, comfortable lower back support that may help prevent chronic back pain.
If you are a hot-blooded person who tends to work up a sweat while sitting in your chair, you will appreciate the breathable mesh back that provides maximum air flow to keep you cool and dry.
You won’t have to worry about any odor clinging to the surface either.
Finally, you don’t have to be intimidated by a complicated assembly. Clear instructions with eight steps come with all the necessary tools. The chair can be put together in 20-30 minutes.
When you buy the Duramont, you get comfort and quality at an affordable price.
As far as office chairs go, Herman Miller seems to rule the high-end market. But if you need an alternative that fits your budget, we have given you five options that offer exceptional features, long-lasting comfort, and high-quality materials. For people on a budget, the Alera Elusion is a great option. If you have to have the Herman Miller Aeron look, then the WorkPro Quantum 9000 could be the one for you.
If you’re ready to shop for a great chair, take your time and research your options. Make sure they have the features and adjustments you need to be comfortable for many days to come. Even if Herman Miller Aeron chairs dance just out of reach in your dreams, you can still find a worthy alternative.