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Basic = Not Ergonomic
on December 29, 2013
I have owned and used this chair daily, spending many hours each day in it, for more than three years. I think that gives me ample experience with the product, so I decided it was time to write this review.
Don't buy it.
The Aeron Chair is marketed based on its ergonomics and customizable features. This chair, despite the hefty price tag, does not have most of the adjustability, and unless your body just happens to fit the shape and size of the basic chair as-is, and unless you do not mind the fact that you have no control over the tilt, you will hurt after a while of using it.
The chair back - in rest position, the angle that the chair back makes with the seat is too great to contact your back in an upright position for keyboarding, so you may find that you will spend most of your time perching on the chair without any back support.
Lumbar support - this comes as a separate gizmo that can be purchased extra, but it isn't furnished with the basic chair.
Tilt - The chair tilts, but you cannot adjust the tension, and there is no tilt lock. I repeat, THERE IS NO TILT LOCK. When you lean back, you will lean back very, very far - too far for comfort. Also, the back is not high enough to support your head or neck when you lean back, so forget using that extreme lean to rest your tired back and neck muscles while on the phone. I found this chair to be extremely hard on my neck for these reasons.
The armrests - are not adjustable. I am a mere 5'8" and they are too low for me, so my arms are completely unsupported. Will yours be? If your arms are not supported as you work, you will fatigue more quickly and your posture will suffer. Other reviewers have mentioned taking the chair apart to adjust the armrests. That's a great hack if you can do it, but I will leave it to you to decide if you have the skill and tools to disassemble the components of this chair to make the arms do what chair arms are supposed to do.
The seat - the much-vaunted waterfall front of the Aeron chair seems to be either loved or hated. After all these years, I find that I hate it. It places much too much pressure on the backs of my legs, and that quite simply hurts. I ended up putting a cheap memory foam cushion on my expensive chair. (Note, I have the fully-loaded, top-of-the-line adjustable Aeron at work, and in this respect, it is no different. I had to get a cheap cushion for that one too.)
The pneumatic height adjustment - works fine. It's nice to have one positive thing to say about this chair.
In summary, the Aeron Chair's reputation is staked on its adjustability and good ergonomics, but the basic Aeron has neither.