Haworth Fern vs Embody: Which is more Comfy for the Back

Haworth Fern vs Herman Miller Embody showdown of the office chair

Haworth Fern and Herman Miller Embody are two nice office chairs known for impressive back support and they are always on the top list of our best office chairs for long hours. It can be hard to choose if you’re not considering the price right. So let’s head on and compare these two below.

The Fern is a more forgiving chair while Embody means serious business

Both chairs are something that you can use for the entire day. They also provide great back support compared to their contemporaries. But they do offer a different type of support. 

Embody vs Fern

The Fern has a more forgiving nature. It feels more intuitive. It feels softer and has a floating-in-the-air hammock-like sensation. This is one of the ceiling fonts of the chair. it will let you experience that feeling of weightlessness. 

Not a lot of chairs have that type of support, so this is a very niche chair. And a lot of people love this type of comfort. It does feel like a looser mesh compared to mid-range mesh chairs. 

Fern chair by Haworth
Fern chair by Haworth

But there is a downside to this hammock-like feeling: if you tend to slouch in your chair, it will also equally support you. Meaning the Fern will not push you in the right direction. Should you want to slouch all day, the Fern will follow your every move.

This is where the Embody changes the game. It’s a more serious chair, albeit more forgiving than the Aeron. And being a more serious chair. It will not indulge you in a slouching posture. It will redirect you to sit straighter thus,  the firmer support.

Pros of the Fern over Embody

Here are the positive things we have seen with the Fern. If you find yourself having one of these factors as the priority, then the Fern will be a better choice.

The Fern can accommodate taller people

While the Embody can also be used by taller people, the backrest of the Fern runs a bit higher. So it may be more accommodating for taller folks. Some of the complaints of the Embody despite the ample back support, some find the backrest too short. While for the Fern, you will feel that your entire back is fully supported. It is higher by two inches. 

The Fern has softer arms

The arms are one of the Achilles heels of the Embody, it just may very well be the most uncomfortable part of the chair. Fern also offers more adjustable arms so you will be able to adjust the chair more to fit your needs.

The sitting experience of the Fern is one for the books

Fern >>> see price

As we have mentioned above, the hammock-like sensation of the Fern is something you’ll not see in a lot of midranges, too expensive chairs. The Fern is even more affordable than the Embody, so you are getting real value for your money.

The backrest is softer and more intuitive and you’ll be able to sit on the chair longer. Even without the added lumbar support, you will still feel that your back is fully supported, especially with the higher backrest, 

Also, the seat of the Fern is very comfortable. It is cushy and airier compared to the Embody. It cradles your butt very well. 

The Fern is less finicky

It is easier to adjust the seat pan of the Fern. You might get cranky trying to do the same with the Embody’s seat pan.

It might also be that Fern has lots of adjustabilities. Also, it is easier to adjust. So newbies who are just trying out an ergonomic chair with more adjustable options will find the Fern more friendly. 

The Fern can double as a lounge chair

The Fern is one of those chairs that has a dual purpose. It is comfortable to use for the entire day at work since it has your back fully supported. At the same time, since it’s cushy, soft enough, and offers a feeling of weightlessness, you may also be able to use it while relaxing. 

When not to go for Haworth Fern 

And here are some things to consider. If you’re thinking twice about any of these, then you can check out Embody.  

  • The seat cushion of the Fern is a debris and dirt magnet, it is harder to clean.
  • The arms, though feels comfier, do not stay locked, they can easily slide out of place.
  • If you are looking for an ultra-supportive chair, you might find the soft lumbar support lacking. 

Pros of the Embody

The Embody may seem like it’s a losing end at this point. But it’s really not, here are some scenarios when you’d want an Embody instead of a Fern.  

Embody chair by Herman Miller
Embody chair by Herman Miller
  • With being a more serious chair, you can use it to train yourself to sit in a more upright position. 
  • The Embody is an expensive brand that has a more premium feel. You can also tell that it has higher quality materials. Though the Fern is not by any means flimsy or does not necessarily feel cheap, you will be able to tell the difference if you have tried the Embody.
  • The Embody, despite having a firmer back support, the seat still feels kind of bouncy. So you have to choose between a softer support or a stiffer one. 
  • If you like rocking in your chair, then it’s the Embody. The tilt and recline function of the Fern works well, but it’s nothing compared to that of the Embody. It feels smoother and easier to hold its position. The Fern’s recline is okay but not as smooth or refined.
    Embody >>> see all buying options

  Cons of the Embody vs the Fern

  • Though the seat of the Embody is bouncy, it is a bit thin compared to the Fern, and if you have a more protruded tailbone, you may be able to feel tailbone pain after sitting in the chair for longer. So this is an important thing to consider.
  • The Fern is forgiving while the Embody does require a learning curve. It needs some time before you get used to the chair. 
  • The Embody offers more solid support, so it’s best for those who need a chair to be ultra-supportive and not that forgiving. But as much as this is a very supportive chair yet less firm than Aeron, some may find it still too demanding. You might be able to feel the pixelated structure digging into your flesh But as we have mentioned above, it takes a while to get used to it. So some, over time, do not find these pixelated structures much of a bother. 

Apple vs an orange

These are two different office chairs that feel very different from one another. They offer different types of support and comfort. And people are torn between these two. So you cannot really answer which is the more comfy chair or which one you can use for long hours.

The Fern is something that you will instantly feel very comfortable in right away. With the suspension-like support, intuitive and softer backrest, and a more cushy seat, everyone will be able to like the chair right away. 

But this might change as you sit on the chair loser and you start to slouch. This is a forgiving chair; it is also something that will not call out if you are starting to curve your back. So you might end up with a bad back and a humped-up posture if not corrected. So this is something to consider. 

But at the same time, this is also a very versatile chair that you can use for work and play. You will not be able to use the Embody for relaxation. Though the recline and tilt are better, the former pixelated structure is not just comfy for watching TV or Netflixing. 

The Embody is a tad softer than the Acorn but it came from the same mother so to speak. It will still provide a firmer sitting experience and be chosen more by those who want to stay focused while they work. Also, this chair needs some time before you will love it.

Quality-wise, the Embody will feel more expensive than the Fern, overall. Though this might not really be an issue since the Fern feels okay and costs half of the Embody. But it can be a plus if you’re looking to resell your preloved chair. 

Also, the backrest of the Embody is made or molded from a single piece, while the Fern is made up of lots of smaller joints that can be weaker. So this might be one of the parts that can be given away after several years of use. But when we see the price of the Fern and the type of comfort that it gives, it’s hard to pass up such an intuitive chair. 

That’s why you can’t really say which is a better fruit an apple or an orange. It’s just a matter of what you want to eat.