Herman Miller Aeron vs Steelcase Leap – Which High-end chair is a better investment?

Herman Miller Aeron vs Steelcase Leap

From an expensive office chair to another, it can be hard to take a pick right? 

These two office chairs come from reputable brands, one of the best in the business, so you can be assured of the quality.  

But what is arguable is which chair is the best when it comes to comfort. So if you are to choose between an Aeron and Leap, which is the better one for you? 

More will find the Steelcase Leap more comfortable

As iconic as the Aeron is, it will only have a small group of individuals that will find it comfortable. It is just too darn stiff and tough for a lot of people. And the padded seat of the Leap is like a haven for those wanting a more comfortable seating situation.

One of the main advantages of the Leap is adjustability. When it comes to this department, the Leap provides more options for customization, making it more adjustable. 

Therefore, more people will be able to find more ideal places to sit for more than five hours. The Aeron is still a highly ergonomic and adjustable chair, to say the least. But if you compare it with what the Leap has, it can seem inferior.

Leap chair v2

And even if the Aeron does have 3 sizes, it’s quite challenging to find the perfect fit. With the Leap, the size is just perfect for a full-grown adult with some room to put your legs up on the seat. 

The Aeron B can come off a bit crampy and small for an average size adult. And if you opt for the bigger size, the Aeron C, you’ll find it too roomy or just too big. It will not feel comfortable too. Thus even if the Leap has only one size, it seems that more people will find it a better fit than the Aeron chair sizes. 

Aeron 3 sizes

Yes, that can be a bit confusing since more size options can indicate a better fit for more individuals, that’s just how it is with Aeron. The size options did not make the chair more comfortable for a larger group of people. Only a few distinct percentages will love the type of comfort that the Aeron can provide.  

The Leap is also more forgiving. Though it also offers firm support, it does have a bit of a leeway that those who favor medium support may still be able to find the chair comfortable. It just has this sort of magic that works for most users. 

That’s why it’s not hard to see why the Leap has become increasingly more popular than the Aeron when it comes to overall comfort, especially if you need an office chair that you can use for 8 hours straight, the Leap will instantly top the Aeron over most people’s list. 

And oh, the Aeron does have this hard plastic rim at the edge of the seat that most will find quite painful on the legs. This is one of the reasons the comfort level of the Aeron dropped dramatically for a lot of people. The hard plastic feels numbing and can cause leg pain if you sit on it for more than four hours. We did not find a similar feature on Leap that can cause similar discomfort.

Which of these two chairs is the more durable?

Aeron vs Leap

When it comes to workmanship and quality, you can’t really go wrong with Herman Miller and Steelcase. But the difference, however, has something to do with the nature of the material used in each chair. 

Though the pellicle mesh of the Aeron is a highly durable type of mesh compared to what other midrange brands use, it still does have a disadvantage when it comes to the cushioned materials used in the Leap.

Thus, we see the Leap as more durable with the seat less likely to cave in over several years of use. 

Given that both chairs have an incredible warranty, coverage, and customer service, they will still be able to hold themselves pretty well. 

And when the mesh caves in after many years of use, the more you’ll be able to feel the plastic material underneath the chair. This is also pretty possible for those who are on the heavier side. After several years, the mesh is more likely to cause discomfort compared to the cushioned seat

Why choose the Leap?

So let’s put it together, though the Leap is generally more comfortable than the Aeron, it does have its limitations. Thus here are the reasons why you should go for the Leap

  • The seat of the Leap is quite cozy and comfortable. It has a nice bounce to it and it has decent give. So those who would want to use the chair for other purposes such as for watching your favorite flicks and relaxing. You may also be able to place your legs up on a seat for a movie marathon.
  • If you are fidgety and want a little more room in your chair (but find the bigger size Aeron too big) the Leap is a better chair.
  • The Leap offers a higher backrest. So if you find the mid backrest of the Aeron hitting your back in the wrong places, then, by all means, choose the Leap.
  • The Leap can offer better support for micro-movements. We felt like your back can be supported better whenever you move. It is designed with patented “LiveBack” technology. This means that the backrest changes shape to maintain proper support while you move. And when you shift movements, you’ll feel the same amount of support. You will also be able to adjust the lower and upper back firmness. Also, we find the recline function in the Leap better, you can tilt back in a more relaxed position. So you’re looking for a chair that can double as an office chair and something you can use for relaxation, this is a nice fit
  • The Leap comes with more upholstery and more color options.

So how will Aeron find the Aeron perfect fit?

It’s either you fit in an Aeron or you don’t. So it’s either you love it or hate it, there are no in-betweens. But if you fit in an Aeron, you can feel sublime comfort. 

  • The Aeron is a very serious chair. If you need one that will help you focus on your work and one that can push you forward, this will help you outperform yourself. It also works if you don’t need to sit on a chair for the whole day. By then you will not be able to experience that plastic rim on the edge of the seat hurting your legs.
  • If you need a more breathable chair, it’s a mesh over a cushioned chair. The Leap is more breathable and airy compared to other midrange cushioned chairs, but you will still sweat in it. 
  • There are some who experienced some tailbone pain when sitting on the Leap. This often has something to do with the recline function of the chair. And some experienced slouching with the recline function of the Leap. So if you tend to be a sloucher and need to be pushed towards a more upright position, the Aeron can benefit you. But you have to be ready because it will not have any leeway. 
  • The arms of the Leap are harder, so this is something to consider. Aeron’s arms are softer.  

These are two very different chairs

To make you choose between the two better, keep in mind that the Aeron and the Leap provide very different types of comfort. 

They are engineered with more modern back technology but they will support you in a very different way. Though you will feel supported with every move in both chairs, you will feel more fluid with the Leap. That’s why it’s better for those who move a lot in their chairs. The recline is also better, making it a 2-in-1 chair that you can use for work and play. 

The Aeron is strictly an office chair since the comfort is very firm and pushes you forward to focus better on what you’re doing at your desk. It can also be a trainer chair, a more strict one that can push you to sit in a more upright position.  

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At Standingdesktopper, we are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to improve your workspace. In addition to our regular reviews of standing desks and office chairs, we are now also testing kneeling chairs, monitor stands, and other gaming products. Our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive and unbiased information possible so that you can make the best decisions. To that end, we have recently hired additional testers from the US, UK, and Canada, in order to bring even more experience and expertise to our team. Whether you’re looking for a new chair or desk, or just want to find out more about the latest workspace trends, Standingdesktopper is your one-stop resource.