The Embody is a high-end office chair with many happy customers. This popular model from the reputable Herman Miller brand is feature-packed so that you won’t feel the need for extra customization options.
This one offers a few different colors for the upholstery and frame and base finishes so you can choose a model that fits your office design.
I’ve listed all the color options below, as well as the chair’s essential features.
I’ll start with a little about the company, and I’ll detail all of Embody’s pros and cons. After that, I’ll explain all the chair’s characteristics in terms of your purposes.
I’ll even add a comparison between the Embody and the Aeron, another popular flagship model from Herman Miller.
My review is packed with all the info you may need before making a buying decision.
Many consider Embody is the best chair for people with back problems?
Is this true?
About Herman Miller Company
The Herman Miller Company has a long tradition in the furniture industry. It originally started a century ago, as a home office furniture business under the name of Michigan Star Furniture Company.
A few years later, one of the employees bought this company, with money from his father-in-law, named Herman Miller. The ex-employee was so grateful that he renamed the whole company as a tribute to his father-in-law.
Since then, the company has been through some hard times. After the Great Depression, it changed its offer from home furniture to the office and industrial furniture.
Herman Miller bought a few other furniture companies under its umbrella, so it grew. Now, it has offices on three continents and exports in 100 countries around the world.
Herman Miller is a detail-oriented, innovative company that respects the environment and wants to enhance its user experience. That’s why it’s been the recipient of various awards throughout the years, for its advanced designs and care for society and the environment.
Embody itself has received multiple awards, such as the FX International Interior award in Best Workplace Seating category and the Best of NeoCon Silver in the Ergonomic Desk/Task Seating category in 2009.
Pros and Cons
Pros – What I Like
Cons – What I Don’t Like
Most Notable Features
Warranty & Return Policy
You can return the Embody after a maximum of 30 days after your purchase for a full refund of your money. The best news is the lack of restocking fee, though the free return shipping is another advantage.
The caveat is that you’ll need to reship the Embody in the original packaging, so keep that in a safe place.
However, Herman Miller has a helpful customer support team so, if you didn’t keep the original package, they might still find a way around that.
It comes with a full 12-year warranty that covers all its parts.
The weight is good if you’re less than 300 pounds, but you can use it any time day or night.
It has an intricate design, meaning that you may need a professional team of technicians to help.
The Herman Miller company will send assistance to your place, free of charge if you reside near one of their dealerships.
Otherwise, you can ship the Embody to them, free of charge so that they can fix it in-house.
Review & Build Quality
That model is well-designed, innovative. Its creators, Bill Stump, and Jeff Weber spent lots of time and resources on projecting a reliable chair that respects all the principles of ergonomics.
That way, people can spend hours sitting down instead of having to take frequent breaks to stretch their legs.
The Embody’s build quality is reliable, starting from the projecting phase when over 20 physicians and PhDs in therapy and ergonomics gave their input regarding this chair’s build. As such, the research and testing behind the Embody are a guarantee of its quality.
Besides, Herman Miller is renowned for using quality components. Instead of using generic parts, all of Embody’s components are specifically designed for this chair.
This contributes to its ergonomic craftsmanship because these custom-made pieces fit perfectly together. It doesn’t have to sacrifice its functionality, quality, or ergonomics, to make sure some generic parts fit together.
This quality build means there won’t be any gaps between its parts, no wobbling, and no squeaking. Third, along with its top build and craftsmanship are the materials used for the job.
Made in the USA, with materials like steel, custom-molded aluminum, and plastic. As a result, this chair is heavy, but also reliable and sturdy.
Embody’s reliable, top-notch mechanism features pixelated support that’s unique to this chair. This support system covers both the backrest and the seat, turning into a highly functional chair.
That’s why when my team and I assessed Embody’s build quality, we gave it a score of 91/100.
Advertised as a “function you can see and feel,” the Embody is touted as a functional chair, with parts that serve well-thought, specific purposes that improve your health.
Herman Miller claims it has incorporated technology in Embody’s aesthetic. As such, it uses dynamic surface pressure, which is comfortable and has positive effects on your health.
Design allows you to get a natural postural equilibrium, so your eyes and hips are aligned when you’re sitting in a vertical position. This posture is achieved effortlessly, regardless of your spine curvature thanks to the Embody.
Consequently, you can’t discuss The Embody’s build without focusing on its seat, backrest, armrests, and wheels separately. But these parts also work together harmoniously to deliver people a quality sitting experience.
Material & Environmental Sustainability
Herman-Miller is renowned as an environmentally-friendly company because they use only the best materials, whether we’re talking about their chairs or the packaging they use for shipping.
As such, this company has various green certifications under its belt, both for the materials used and for not polluting your office’s air quality: GREENGUARD and GREENGUARD GOLD, level 3 BIFMA, and level A Global Green Tag Greenrate.
It is manufactured in HermanMiller’s greenhouse facility, in Holland.
This facility works entirely on renewable energy, proving the company cares about the environment.
In terms of recyclable materials, both the Embody and its packaging are 95% recyclable.
The chair itself uses recycled and post-consumer content in proportions of about 40%.
Comfort & Ergonomic Adjustments
Embody’s purpose is to help people harmoniously adapt to new technological devices.
The most poignant issue nowadays, office workers face is the fact that they mostly only move their fingers, while their body becomes stiff and achy. The Embody aims to incorporate natural movement into your sitting experience because it offers dynamic support.
This computer chair is comfortable due t0 its ergonomic design is flexible and dynamic so that it can adapt to your movements. In turn, this promotes a positive posture and natural spinal alignment.
The Embody’s comfort also stems from an even pressure distribution, which minimizes pain, and from the different ergonomic adjustments that allow you to find the right position for your body shape and size.
However, the Embody got only a 70% score from my team in terms of adjustability because it’s missing some key customization for back height, lumbar adjustment, plus armrest depth and pivot.
If the Embody had these options, you could have fine-tuned it more precisely to accommodate a wider range of shapes and positions.
That said, It can still offer you some dependable options. All these adjustments are easy to make. The knobs and levers are easy to reach, located on the side of the Embody.
You can adjust both the seat height and depth, so you can keep your feet on the ground and your knees at a 90-degree angle. However, some users have complained about a too-delicate seat depth adjustment.
The armrests can be adjusted in terms of height and width, which allows you to keep your arms at a 90-degree angle too, whether you’re tall or petite. This correct position promotes positive posture, reducing shoulder or neck pains.
The backrest can be tilted in a wide range of positions. Tension adjustment allows you to recline and rock so you can use Embody’s support to accommodate your movements.
You can also use the independent back angle adjustment and the tilt-and-lock option if you want to keep the chair in a certain position.
The backrest recline is a definite plus, reminding my team of the Herman Miller Aeron chair. While it’s not as smooth gliding, the synchro-tilt mechanism makes the arms and seat move with the backrest.
That way, your body is staying in the same position, whether you’re reclining or upright, to make sure you’re always supported. Besides, the rocking option can help you relax or concentrate better on your task at hand.
The brand offers its customers two choices when it comes to Embody’s upholstery. Both of them are 100% high-quality polyester, tested to 200,000 double rubs.
Polyester is a flexible, supportive, and durable material, especially if it’s high-quality. And a double rub is the pressure you apply to the chair when you sit down and immediately get up – you’re practically rubbing the chair each time, hence the name for this measuring unit.
So unless you’re planning to do squats off your Embody, it will last for years – at least the 12 years included in the warranty.
The two types of upholstery you can choose are Balance and Rhythm. Balance is sourced from Italy, and it has a dotted pattern, while Rhythm is USA-made. You can get the Balance upholstery for a $200 extra fee.
While there are just two types of upholsteries, the array of color options is decent, with ten colors at your disposal.
Granted, other models offer twice or three times more options and patterns, but it focuses on functionality instead of aesthetics.
There are two options for the frame finish color. The standard frame version is black graphite, but you can get the frame in white for an extra $25.
Graphite is the standard back, with a matte finish. Polished aluminum has a shiny, chrome color, while titanium is silvery with moderate shine.
Considering that the Embody has a 12-year warranty, you can see that HermanMiller puts a lot of confidence in the Embody’s long-term durability. As such, you can expect this chair to outlast its warranty and see at least two decades of life.
A first reason that adds to Embody’s durability is its custom-made parts that fit perfectly together. Generic parts might leave gaps, which in time can make different components bend and give out under your weight.
A second reason is its high-quality materials. The frame and base use custom-molded aluminum and steel, and the wheel casters are made with hard plastic.
These materials are resistant, don’t bend, and don’t scratch.
The upholstery is entirely made with quality polyester so that it won’t scratch or rip.
Embody’s seat padding is composed of four different layers of a supportive, elastic material so that it won’t wear out as fast as low-quality sponge padding.
Its pixelated support and Backfit technology also ascertain Embody’s durability.
It has an ergonomic, anatomically-correct design, so it’s less likely to get damaged by prolonged sitting.
All the knobs, screws, and mechanisms are held in place securely, don’t squeak, and don’t give out after long-term use.
Finally, the plethora of testing made for the Embody ascertains that this is durable.
Herman Miller Embody vs. Aeron
Both have similar benefits, like the 12-year warranty and custom-made parts, plus they’re designed by the same detail-oriented, eco-friendly, reputable company, with quality materials.
However, the Aeron is entirely made with 8Z Pellicle mesh suspension. This upholstery offers more firm support when compared to Embody’s polyester. While Embody itself is not a cushiony chair, it offers more padding.
Aeron has more comfortable and more supportive armrests though because they offer 3D adjustments and soft arm pads. You also have two choices when it comes to the armrests’ upholstery: standard, breathable polyurethane foam padding or soft, stylish leather. It has the obvious advantage of the optional lumbar adjustment. Although not included in the standard price, this lumbar support combines smoothly with the PostureFit SL backrest to provide additional support.
The optional forward tilt is another point in Aeron’s favor. This feature allows you to tilt forward over the keyboard, with your back straight, while still receiving optimal support from the chair. This ergonomic position is appropriate, especially for people who do a lot of typing.
In turn, the Embody features just aesthetic customizations, for the finishing, upholstery, and casters, with no optional functional features.
The Aeron comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. As such, it can support a wide variety of people, which compensates the lack of some adjustments. Besides, it can accommodate people up to 350 pounds, while the Embody only up to 300 pounds. It is not perfect though. Apart from its firm seat, some users complain about its metal frame, saying they can feel it in their legs and upper back after prolonged sitting. It also doesn’t feature seat depth adjustment, so it’s less versatile.
Herman Miller Aeron
With most of today’s ergonomic models looking a bit like things you would have played with as a child, the Aeron goes the opposite way. The previous models of the Aeron had very angular curves and details. The current version has a more refined, smoother design. I am much more comfortable with the feel of this new chair. The front legs of the recliner are angled inwards towards your thighs, helping to avoid awkward-looking stretching-out. This provides much more stability and there is no more sudden wobbliness when you swing your legs.
The backrest has also been given a little extra support. Unlike previous models, the feet of the recliner do not flip-up, but rather click into the mechanism, which locks them in position for a long time. The arms are also wide, which helps provide more support than many of today’s chairs. The headrest also has a slope at its base that should alleviate the problem of sagging at the front and back of your head. While the recliner is less rounded than the previous models, it has the ability to swivel on a long axis. This means that the chair is more comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes.
The Embody costs $1,395, but there are some customizations you can add, which I’ve mentioned before:
Conclusion: Thinking of Buying An Embody Chair?
The Embody is a top-quality chair with plenty of ergonomic features that allow you to sit in it for hours.
Its designers put a lot of thought into the Embody to make sure it’s a health-positive chair, that alleviates backaches, promotes a good posture, and improves blood circulation.
As they say, this model is “so intelligent, sitting in it actually helps you think.”
While this is a reliable office chair, it only supports people up to 300 pounds, it lacks lumbar adjustment, and has a somewhat limited array of colors.
If you weigh more or want more color choices, look for Steelcase Leap or Steelcase Gesture (cheaper option) with weigh capacity under 400 lbs. and a multitude of color options.