Steelcase Vs. Herman Miller Office Chairs: 11 Pros and Cons to Help You Decide

Are you thinking about purchasing a brand new office chair? If so, then you’ve undoubtedly come across two brand names hundreds of times and those names are Steelcase and Herman Miller. 

These two giants are probably two popular brands in the office chair industry. And some of the most popular and best-selling office chairs such as the Steelcase Leap and the Herman Miller Aeron belong to these two brands.

A high-end office chair is a big investment and so you have to make sure the chair you’re buying meets all of your requirements in terms of design, style, comfort, ergonomics and adjustability.

The good news is that I’ve done all the necessary research for you and I have broken down our findings into 11 easily digestible categories. We’ll compare Steelcase and Herman Miller in these categories to figure out which one reigns supreme!

So, without any further ado, let’s begin! 

1. Most History: Steelcase  

The history and legacy of a company can be a huge indicator of their business ethics, passion and also the quality of the products they manufacture. 

Which is why the first and foremost thing that we’re having a look at is the origins of Herman Miller and Steelcase. 

And this goes for all products, not just office chairs. You should always take a moment to review the backstory of the brands you’re considering before any merchandise from them. 

Steelcase 

Founded in 1912 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steelcase is a US-based furniture company. They are not limited to office furniture. 

This company manufactures architectural and technology products for not just office environments, but alsof for education, retail and healthcare industries. 

As of 2021, Steelcase is one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in the world.

They have bases in more than 80 locations around the world. And this company is not limited to the United States. They have factories and offices in Malaysia, Mexico, and Romania. 

This company was founded by Peter M. Wege is a metal office furniture company. Wege used his decades of experience in the sheet metal and fireproofing industry to build the company’s first products. 

In 1998 this company became a publicly traded company. Since 2000 and onwards, Steelcase has realized the potential of integrating modern technology into their product and that’s why they left no stones unturned to spark innovation among their employees. 

Herman Miller  

Herman Miller Inc. is an American manufacturing company that specializes in producing office/home furniture equipment.

This company is credited with the invention of the office cubicle which was originally called “Action Office”. It was invented in 1968. 

Herman Miller started its journey 1905, even before the advent of Steelcase. Yes, their rivalry is older than a century.

It was originally called Star Furniture Co. and it initially produced furniture for bedroom suites that had a historic revival style. 

This company was named Herman Miller Inc. in 1960 which was a huge turning point for the company as well. From the 40’s Herman Miller focused on modernizing office furniture and was highly successful in that regard. 

Their invention of the “Action Chait” revolutionized the office environment and it was so successful that by 1998 Herman Miller had made over $5 billion, through this line of office furniture. 

2. Best Innovation: Steelcase + Herman Miller

Steelcase

Steelcase prides themselves in being the company that creates great experiences by offering a wide range of furniture architecture and technology products. Their primary goal is to help their customers reach their full potential. 

And that’s not all. Steelcase is committed to protecting the environment by driving social, environmental and economic changes in their decision making process. 

Steelcase was named the World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune magazine in 2019 for unparalleled innovation in the home equipment and furnishing industry. 

They have also received awards for their innovative industry-leading achievements in implementing best practices, principles and procedures in energy management. 

Herman Miller

Herman Miller is known for their inventive designs, use of technologies and related services to enhance the human experience whether they’re working, learning, healing or just living. 

Herman Miller’s furniture can instantly transform your home and office space into something innovative and luxurious. This is possible due to their problem-solving designs.

Their office furniture are quite-well throughout and these products are ideal for the highly competitive and high-performance workplaces.

Herman Miller consistently performs internal research and they use their deep design expertise to create sleek and practical products for the education sector. 

Herman Miller Aeron is the most popular office chair in the market and this chair has been ranking top for more than a decade. Aeron Chair is Herman Miller’s best innovation.

And it goes without saying, now they are focusing their efforts on building excellent tools for the home environment so that people working from home can get the premium experience.

3. Best Price: Herman Miller 

Steelcase

Both Herman Miller and Steelcase are considered to be premium brands and so, their products are also regarded as high-end products. And the prices of these products also reflect that. 

But, in general Steelcase office chair models cost more than their equivalent models made by Herman Miller.  

You can buy a Steelcase chair from $450 up to $3,345. One of their most expensive models is the Steelcase Leap WorkLounge office desk chair. It will cost you a whopping $2,955.

Herman Miller

“Lino Chair” is the entry level chair from Herman Miller, starting price is $595 and can go up to $975.

One of it’s most popular models, the Herman Miller Aeron costs from $1,195 up to $2,195. And another popular model made by Herman Miller, the Embody costs upwards of $2,065. 

Here are some popular Herman Miller and Steelcase chairs with pricing:

Herman Miller ChairsPriceSteelcase ChairsPrice
Lino Chair$595.00 – $975.00Series 1 Chair$486 – $648
Aeron Chair$1,195.00 – $2,195.00Amia Chair$777 – $1,198
Mirra 2 Chair$995.00 – $1,595.00Leap Chair$1,037 – $1,955
Embody Chair$1,745.00 – $2,195.00Gesture Chair$1,217 – $1,861

Herman Miller Aeron and Steelcase Gesture are the high-end office chairs from these two brands. Both of these chairs offer good value in terms of price, comfort and durability.

We have an article that discusses the difference between Aeron and Gesture chairs. If you are interested, you can read it here.

4. Best Designs: Herman Miller 

Steelcase

Steelcase prioritizes creativity. This company believes human beings are drawn towards beauty by nature and that’s why it focuses on providing personalized experiences to the users. 

You’ll be able to find a myriad of sleek, elegant designs while shopping for Steelcase furniture. That way, you’ll be able to pick and choose the ones that you prefer and express your individuality in the best way possible. 

Herman Miller

Herman Miller has been known for their inventive and practical designs for more than a few decades.

For instance, the Herman Miller Ergon had revolutionized the office seating industry 20 years before the launch of the incredible Herman Miller Aeron. 

And in 1994 Stumpf and Chadwick swiftly brought forth another ergonomic revolution, leaving the Aeron chair.

Herman Miller’s office chair models have been designed as museum-worthy due to their elegant designs. 

5. Most Awards: Steelcase + Herman Miller

Steelcase

It should be no surprise to you that both of these two brands have raked up a lot of awards and recognition. 

As mentioned briefly before, Steelcase was named The World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune for three years in a row from 2018-2020. 

It also won the Editor’s Choice award in the 2014 NeonCon product competition. They also received the 2020 Civic award and a ton of other awards. 

Herman Miller

Herman Miller is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to awards and accolades.

From 1999 to 2021, it has received dozens of awards in a wide range of categories. For instance, it won the “Most Futuristic Furniture” award in OE1 in 2021.  

It was also named the 2020 Women on Boards Winning Company in 2021 for its boardroom gender diversity. 

6. Best Ergonomic Features: Steelcase + Herman Miller 

Steelcase 

Steelcase office chairs would be the perfect fit for someone who’s looking for an office chair with an exceptional range of adjustments. 

Their chairs provide support to various different types of body shapes and sizes. 

They use high-quality materials to build the products, and these products feature a sustainable design framework.

Their chairs have flexible backrests, separate upper and lower back controls, and dynamic seats. 

Herman Miller

Herman Miller chairs are also ergonomically designed, and they allow their users to maintain a healthy alignment. 

These chairs have a large natural curve, and they provide lumbar support. The backrest of these chairs is designed to accommodate your entire back against it. 

7. Best Customer Service and Warranty: Steelcase + Herman Miller 

The Herman Miller store provides excellent customer service through their dedicated customer service team.

If you have any questions, comments, or if you need any personal assistance, you can easily contact them. They are quite helpful. 

Herman Miller is also well-known for providing long warranties on their products. For instance, the Herman Miller Aeron comes with a warranty of 12-years. 

Steelcase also provides customer service to its users through their call centers. But, it’s recommended that you contact the Steelcase dealer before contacting the company. 

Steelcase provides the strongest warranty in the industry. The Steelcase Leap, for example, provides a warranty of 12 years. 

8. Weight Capacity: Steelcase 

Typically Herman Miller chairs have weight capacities of around 300-350 lbs.

The weight capacity of Steelcase is slightly higher as most of the Steelcase chair models have a weight capacity of around 400 lbs. 

9. Best Accessories: Herman Miller 

Herman Miller products feature a ton of accessories that are designed to organize your home or office. This company sells computer accessories, storage options, etc., to organize your workspace.  

Steelcase also features modern office desk and workstation accessories. These can help you upgrade your desk with the assistance of new technology.

So, Is Steelcase Better Than Herman Miller?

Both Herman Miller and Steelcase offer excellent office chairs with long warranties. However, Herman Miller is better than Steelcase.

That’s because Herman Miller has a slight edge over Steelcase in certain aspects like ergonomics, adjustability, design, and pricing. 

Overall, as an office chair manufacturer company, Herman Miller is better than Steelcase. But Steelcase is really good as well.

Herman Miller chairs usually have better design and pricing than Steelcase chairs. However, Steelcase chairs are a better choice for big and tall people because of their higher weight capacity.

We have created several categories to check which brands actually are better than the others.

N.B: Winner gets “1” point, andloserr gets “0”. If it’s a tie, both brands will get “1” point.

CategorySteelcaseHerman Miller
Most History10
Best Price01
Best Innovations11
Best Variety11
Best Quality & Materials11
Best Designs01
Most Awards11
Best Ergonomic Features11
Best Customer Service & Warranty11
Weight Capacity10
Best Accessories01
Total89

It turns out The Herman Miller Brand wins. But it wasn’t an easy win. Steelcase office chairs are also too good, if not as good as Herman Miller chairs.

So, which brand you will go with depends on your priorities. Both brands make premium quality office chairs, and you will definitely never regret buying any Herman Miller or Steelcase chair.

Recommended Articles:

  1. Is A Herman Miller Chair Worth It?
  2. Are Steelcase Chairs Worth It?

 Related Questions

Which One Is Bigger Steelcase or Herman Miller? 

Both of the brands have more than a century of experience, and they are both goliaths in the furniture industry. But, in terms of sheer size and scale Steelcase is slightly larger than Herman Miller. 

What Chair Is Better than Herman Miller?

An excellent alternative to Herman Miller office chairs like the Aeron chair is the Mirra 2. It’s the best option you can get that’s close to Herman Miller chairs, and it even costs a lot less than those chairs. 

Are Steelcase Chairs Worth It? 

We’re big fans of Steelcase chairs. For instance, the Steelcase Gesture has excellent build quality, quality of materials, and it’s super easy to use. It’s highly comfortable, and it provides a lifetime warranty. What more can you want? 

So, we can say without a shred of doubt, Steelcase chairs are definitely worth it.  

 

Final Thoughts  

Look, we know that making the decision to buy new office furniture is easy, but deciding which chair to get is really tough. This is especially true while choosing between two industry giants such as Herman Miller and Steelcase. 

If you search online and scour through the forums and customer reviews, you’ll get a range of opinions as the community is divisive when it comes to these two products. 

But, after skimming through our comparative analysis, you should have a clear understanding of the strengths of weaknesses of these two brands. 

Now you can decide which features are most important to you and choose the brand accordingly. 

Hopefully, you’ve found this helpful. Thanks for sticking with me till the end. Till next time! 

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started researching on ergonomic chairs and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.