6 High-End Desk Chairs Reviewed

For those searching for the perfect office desk chair, has a review of six high-end office desk chairs. The reviewed chairs include the; Steelcase Gesture, Herman Miller Embody, Herman Miller Mirra 2, Knoll Generation, Humanscale Freedom Headrest, and the Haworth Zody Executive.

steelcase chair

Steelcase Gesture

As noted previously, Steelcase designed this chair with an eye toward modern seating styles — and with that, it reinvented a lot about the way task seating works. Notably, all of the controls are located on the right side of the seat — two dials and several levers connected to them. Figuring out what does what isn’t tough, but it does take a bit of retraining if you’re used to the typical control map that most other chairs have standardized upon. [read more]

Herman Miller Embody

The high, narrow back and visible “skeleton” of the Embody immediately make it look unlike the other chairs in this roundup, but appearances are deceiving: The overall size of this chair is actually about the same as most. And, despite the strange looks, it’s surprisingly comfortable. [read more]

Herman Miller Mirra 2

One of the most iconic task chairs ever made, Herman Miller’s impossibly successful Aeron chair needs no introduction. The Mirra, released in the late 1990s, was a lower-cost follow-up to the Aeron and features a very similar — but more casual — appearance. Now that design has been refreshed, in the form of the revamped Mirra 2. (Shipping this summer starting at $879, I tested a final prototype of the chair. This is the first published review.) [read more]

Knoll Generation

With its expansive, open-mesh back, the Knoll Generation looks like it would be more at home on a soccer pitch than in the boardroom. And sure enough, it’s got the loosest fit of any of the chairs in this roundup. This is a big, squishy chair, and smaller sitters will be gobbled up by it. The arms don’t swivel in nearly enough for me, and the seat feels like I could fit two people on it. [read more]

Humanscale Freedom Headrest

An imposing seating system, the Humanscale Freedom Headrest makes a statement whether you’re sitting in it or not. Starting at $1,200 (my review unit costs $2,060), the chair is clearly designed and priced for the executive suite. The Freedom minimizes manual controls (there are only six), presumably under the expectation that the busy CEO sitting in it just won’t have the time or patience to muck about with a bunch of knobs and levers. [read more]

Haworth Zody Executive

Judging purely on looks, the Haworth Zody Executive is arguably the most attractive chair in this group, thanks in part to the fancy leather covers the company applied to the seat and back on my review model. However, the leather upgrades also elevate this chair to the most expensive model we tested. Even the base price of $1,599 is nearly double that of the Mirra 2, and my tester was spec’d up to $2,414. [read more]