Disclaimer: Bluehillresearch.com is a reader-supported site. We may earn a commission if you click on links and make a purchase. Opinions are 100% our own, and shouldn’t be considered as financial advice. 

Last Updated on April 4, 2022

Herman Miller is one of the most well-known and respected brands in the office furniture space. With over 2.1 billion in revenue in 2015, you’ve likely heard of them before [1]. Herman Miller is well known for producing some of the most ergonomic and comfortable chairs for offices around the globe.

While the quality is truly special, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to get a lot of the benefits that come with the Herman Miller brand. The brand itself may be worth the premium cost for many, not everyone can afford to spend half of a paycheck on a single chair.

Luckily, there are a lot of alternatives that can offer you a smilier experience to the one you may find with Herman Miller chairs.

In this article, you will learn about some of the top-rated alternatives to Herman Miller that you can buy at a fraction of the cost.

The Top 5 Herman Miller Alternatives:

1. X-Chair

the K-Sport Mgmt Chair tilted to the side

X-Chair is one of the top-rated options if you are prioritizing ergonomics and comfort. Many buyers assume that Herman Miller has no competition when it comes to each of these factors. However, a lot of innovative brands like X-Chair have come out to squash all of that.

There is a lot to like about X-Chair and it delivers significant value for the money.

Our Favorite Features

  • Elemax

This is X-Chair’s proprietary cooling, heating, and massage technology that’s built into the chair. With Elemax, you can get a luxury experience delivered in your office chair.

With so many people suffering from lower back pain and discomfort, it makes for one of the best value propositions in the market. The massage technology is built into the office chair towards the lumbar region. This way, you can get temperature regulation and improved muscle recovery while sitting and working at your desk.

This technology is meant to relax the muscles and reduce tension in the lower back area.

  • M-Foam Seat

When buying an office chair, you want a chair that is comfortable to sit on. Many office chairs don’t have the type of comfort in the seating area that makes them comfortable for long sessions.

Many brands skimp on padding and cushion which can make sitting down for hours at a time extremely uncomfortable. With X-Chair, you can get a chair with M-Foam.

M-Foam is a contoured cooling gel that they place on the base of the chair. This ensures that you are as comfortable as possible when you sit.

  • Styles

Not everyone likes a particular style. Thus, you may want a brand that offers a variety of styles to choose from. X-Chair offers a lot of distinctive styles that you can choose from that should suit people of all preferences.

You have the Executive chair, mesh chairs, and even unibody chairs that you can opt for. You won’t have a problem finding a style that suits your tastes and preferences.

  • Cost Of The X-Project Task Chair = $399.99 MSRP

2. Steelcase

a profile shot of the Steelcase Series 1 chair

Steelcase is another brand that is doing great things in the office furniture design space. Steelcase is a highly reputable brand that delivers some of the best office chairs for an affordable price point. Best of all, they have designs that can go toe-to-toe with that of Herman Miller.

The designs offered by Steelcase are some of the best in the industry with clean lines and premium build quality.

Our Favorite Features

  • Design

As mentioned, Steelcase is well known for producing some of the most aesthetically pleasing office chairs. You’ll be able to choose from various designs that push the boundaries and that can even be confused for a Herman Miller.

For instance, Steelcase’s Think series can go head to head with Herman Miller’s Sayl series. Some of the designs could be subjectively better than Herman Miller.

There is a lot to like about Steelseries with their use of clean lines, innovative materials, and more.

  • Warranty

One of the main things a lot of people love about Herman Miller as a brand is its commitment to quality and customer service. When you buy a Herman Miller chair, you are getting a chair that is built to last. More than being built to last, they offer a 12-year warranty that covers all parts and labor. This is something a lot of people miss when they opt for another brand.

Luckily, with Steelseries, you don’t necessarily have to. Steelseries offers a comparable 10-year warranty on some of their office chair models including the Siya, Zilo, JAKU, and BODI chairs.

Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice build quality and reliability when you go the alternative route.

  • Innovative Technology

One of the impressive things about Hermain Miller chairs is the innovative technology packed into them. A lot of Herman Miller chairs feature industry-leading technological designs that ensure maximum comfort and ergonomics.

Steelseries puts an impressive emphasis on comfort features to ensure an optimal seated experience with their chairs. For instance, their Karman has a patented hybrid seat that is suspended to provide organic movement.

This allows the seat to respond to your body’s movement as you change postures to ensure you’re always optimally aligned and getting maximum comfort while sitting. It also features a comfort edge that ensures your legs aren’t getting the circulation cut off while in a seated position.

  • Cost Of The Steelcase Karman Mesh Chair = $1,500 MSRP

3. Nightingale

a picture of the Nightingale Bless 2100 office chair

This is an underrated and lesser-known brand that is doing fantastic things in the space. Their motto is “a seating company that puts purpose before profit.” With their chairs, they do exactly that. Not only do they emphasize quality with a “built to last” moniker, but they use high quality yet Eco-friendly materials in their construction.

Nightingale has so many different types of chairs to choose from which makes them a stellar option for anyone who likes choice.

Our Favorite Features

  • A Chair Company Through and Through

One of the main reasons why Nightingale should get hefty consideration from anyone looking to buy an office chair has to do with them being a chair company. They’ve been designing and manufacturing chairs since 1928 [2]. Therefore, you know that you are getting a chair from a company that knows how to design and produce them.

  • My Chair Maker

This is a unique value proposition that you don’t get with a lot of chair companies. Nightingale offers “My Chair Maker” which is a customization tool that you can use to fit a chair to your exact specifications and needs.

You can choose from the various models they have available and further customize the chair with different styles, textile options, caster options, colors, and more.

This can help you get the right chair that suits your office’s theme and style and your comfort preferences to the dot.

  • Warranty

Nightingale is a company that stands behind its products. When you buy from Nightingale, you’re getting a 10-year warranty on the mechanisms and materials for the chair and a 5-year warranty on the upholsteries.

With that, you also get a lifetime limited warranty on any non-moving metal part of the chair.

If the warranty is the thing holding you back from going away from Herman Miller, that’s not an issue with a brand like Nightingale.3

4. Secret Lab

a photo of the secretlab TITAN Evo 2022 Series with Batman logo

Secret Lab is another company doing excellent things in the office chair space. Secret Lab has a lot of clean designs and they cram a lot of technology into their chairs. They go through a lot of design testing and iterations to ensure they are producing the highest quality and most comfortable chairs.

With over 25,000 hours of Research and Development being poured into their chairs, they have some of the most innovative designs you’ll find [3].

Our Favorite Features

  • Technology

As mentioned, Secret Lab has a lot of technology crammed into their chairs from a design standpoint. For instance, they have a patented 4-way L-ADAPT lumbar support system that allows the chair to deliver more support in the lower back region.

The lumbar support system is a new improvement over their older system as it provides an even more increased range of motion for 57% more back coverage [3].

One of the other technology to like in Secret Labs chairs are the Waterfall edge they have designed for it. This edge ensures that the chair doesn’t engage the pressure points on the thighs that a lot of chairs end up doing.

The chair’s edge is designed to feature an acute angle towards the end to ensure the chair isn’t cutting off circulation in the leg and thigh area.

  • Plenty of Variants and Customization

The Titan Evo 2022 series comes in 3 sizes and upholsteries. Also, you have a lot to choose from when it comes to color or special editions. It’s meant to be a gaming chair, but you can find colorways that make it fit right into an office environment too.

It’s a stylish and sleek-looking chair that can enhance the look and feel of any room you place it in.

  • Excellent Ergonomics

This goes along with a lot of the technology crammed into the chair. However, the chair prioritizes ergonomics. This is a major advantage for anyone seeking a chair that’s comfortable to sit in for long gaming sessions. It provides the perfect blend of comfort and support which is usually something you have to choose between.

The pebble seat base features a gentle curvature to ensure your buttocks are guided towards the center of the chair for optimal spinal alignment. Likewise, the chair has a multi-tilt mechanism built-in to ensure you can lay down when you need some much-needed relief.

It also features a patent-pending cold-cure foam mix to ensure you get even distribution of pressure throughout the entire seat.

  • Cost Of A Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 Series Chair = $499 MSRP

5. Humanscale

a picture of the DIFFRIENT SMART tilted to the side

Humanscale is another brand that has a lot to like as a Herman Miller alternative. Humanscale places an emphasis on designing ergonomic home and office chairs that feature excellent build quality to provide a premium seated experience.

Our Favorite Features

  • Styles

Humanscale has a lot of styles that should suit anyone that is looking for a specific type of chair. They offer task chairs, stationary chairs, and more. You won’t have trouble finding a suitable chair type for your use case.

  • Quality Designs

Humanscale has a good overall brand aesthetic. They design subtle and clean chairs that should fit perfectly in a modern office. This is something Herman Miller excels at and Humanscale is equally as good at this.

  • Focus On Ergonomics

Humanscale puts a lot of focus on ergonomics with their designs. Therefore, you know that you are getting a comfortable chair that won’t have your back aching in pain after a long day of sitting.

  • Cost of Humanscale Diffrient Smart Chair = $1119 MSRP

Tips For Deciding Which Office Chair Is Right For You

1. Budget

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a Herman Miller alternative is your budget. After all, your budget is likely a big factor for looking for alternatives in the first place. Therefore, your budget will dictate what options are the best alternatives. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a comfortable and ergonomic office chair. There are plenty of good options no matter your budget. While you do have to spend for quality, it doesn’t have to break the bank and you don’t have to overspend. Figure out your budget and go from there.

RELATED READING: Are X Chairs Comfortable?

2. What is the Priority?

Luckily, all of the chairs listed in this article are viable alternatives to Herman Miller chairs in more than one way. Meaning, you get the majority of what you get with a Herman Miller with these alternatives. Because of this, you don’t need to sacrifice quality for comfort or ergonomics for style. You can get the “best of both worlds” with these chairs. However, some may be better in certain things. Figure out what you want to prioritize when choosing an office chair and you should have no trouble narrowing down your options.

3. What Features Do You Want?

Features can play a big role in your purchasing decision. Some chairs have the bare minimum in terms of features. While adjustability is the number one thing to look for in an office chair, you may desire a chair that has even more features. Figure out what features are must-haves and which features you could live without. This can help you narrow down your options considerably.

Summary

By now, you should have a good idea of which Herman Miller alternative is right for you. As you can tell, Herman Miller does a lot of things right when it comes to chair design. However, there are plenty of viable alternatives that you can opt for at a lower price point. Comfortable and quality seating comes at a price, but you don’t need to buy a Herman Miller to get it.

Looking for a good place to start?

We recommend starting with X-Chair, as they’re one of the best chairs we’ve reviewed: 

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MillerKnoll
  2. https://nightingalechairs.com/
  3. https://secretlab.co/pages/technology