IKEA Markus vs Herman Miller Aeron – Office Chair Showdown

Ikea Markus and embody chair Large

The IKEA Markus chair is the most popular office chair from IKEA. The brand has a range of ergonomic office chairs that are also affordable. The cost of the Herman Miller Aeron is way too high compared to the IKEA Markus. 

IKEA Markus vs Herman Miller Aeron - Herman Miller Aeron office chair size small

The Markus may be a very cheap alternative to the iconic Aeron chair. There is also a lot of positive feedback on this popular IKEA office chair. And the big question is, is the IKEA Markus a “decent” alternative to the Herman Miller Aeron office chair? Let’s find out.

IKEA Markus office chair
IKEA Markus

Back seat

The IKEA Markus chair features a high back seat design. The back seat is covered with a soft mesh material. And it also has a semi S curve to it. The mesh material left me feeling cooler and it’s not too firm. It’s a combination of a soft and firm mesh material.

The Aeron, on the other hand, has a mid-back seat. So the two chairs are very different when it comes to the back seat. As for the mesh material, I find the mesh material of the Aeron sturdier and a more high-quality mesh. It also felt cooler and I find it more breathable. But in terms of the firmness level, it can be too firm for some. 

Back support and comfort

The IKEA Markus features a semi S curved back seat. It tried to follow or mimic the normal curve of the spin. And It had a subtle way of doing so. And the Markus also has thick lumbar support, but it isn’t adjustable. The Markus also features stationary neck support. So in terms of comfort, this can be a decent chair for someone who has an average height. If you are a bit short or a bit tall, this chair can be uncomfortable for you.

And this is where the Aeron excels a lot. The Aeron chair became popular for its impressive back and lumbar support. And even users with lingering back issues will find this Herman Miller chair very comfortable, even when seated for long hours. The lumbar is adjustable so you can always find the perfect spot. 

The Aeron is one of the most adjustable ergonomic chairs in the market, but it does have parts that can’t be adjusted. It’s back seat height and seat depth are stationary. And this is where the Aeron and the Markus are alike. The seat depth of the Markus is also stationary. But the seat height of the Markus can be moved up and down, though the height range is decent it can help users find a comfortable spot.

Herman Miller Aeron office chair
Herman Miller Aeron office chair

Both chairs have a stationary seat depth. But, there’s a big but here. The Aeron is available in three sizes- A, B, and C. And even if the seat height and depth are stationary, tall or shorter users can purchase a smaller sized or a bigger sized Aeron that can fit their body size. 

The seat depth and the height of the backseat are tantamount to the size. So lack of these adjustable parts is quite compensated. Though the bigger Aeron would definitely cost more moolah.


The Aeron boasts of a very firm cushion. Some may love it because it can be really supportive. But for those looking for a bit more pillowy seat may find it a bit uncomfortable. The Markus chair, on the other hand, also offers firm support, but it has a bit more cushion than the Aeron. And this where it can have an advantage.  

The shape of the cushion of both chairs is different from one another. The Aeron kind of has a semi-contoured seat that can hug the buttocks nicely. While the Markus has a flat seat. But the advantage of the Markus is the seat is a bit wider than that of the Aeron A. So it accommodates those who are a bit larger around the waist. It also accommodates cross sitting. So some may favor Markus’s seat over the too firm Aeron seat.


Herman Miller chairs are one of the most customizable office chairs you can ever find in the market. And the Aeron offers a ton of options for upgrades. You can even get the works for your Aeron office chair, just be ready to pay for more.

The Markus is a minimalist chair. But it does give you options on the upholstery of the chair. You can choose between the standard fabric mesh and leather. The leather is more pricey but I find it a bit hot. The mesh fabric is a better choice, it’s more economical too. Plus it’s cooler and more breathable. And you might miss this one in the Aeron because you don’t have an option to get the Aeron in leather. Some people may have a specific liking for leather chairs so the Markus can be a better alternative. 

Build and quality

In terms of the construction, you’d instantly feel the difference between the expensive office chair and the cheaper one. Though the Markus doesn’t necessarily fall apart if you’ve been using it for some time. But you’d feel that the Aeron has a more robust and more solid build. It’s when you’re in a reclined position, you’ll feel more comfortable in an Aeron than in the Markus. But yeah, that’s the large price difference there. 


Without a doubt, the Herman Miller Aeron is a very adjustable chair. It’s been dubbed as that even if the seat depth is stationary. Well, the three chair train sizes may have compensated for that. If you’re looking for an adjustable chair and you have the budget to spare, you’d definitely buy the Aeron.

The Markus, on the other hand, is quite the opposite of the Aeron. The Markus is a very minimalist chair that has very few adjustable parts. It does very few adjustable parts. One is the tilt tension. Though it’s adjustable, I’m not 100 percent confident in using it. I kind of hear a clunking sound whenever I adjust the tilt. So that made me wanna step back and just use the chair in an upright position.

It can also recline, but not as much as the other expensive chairs. But for its price, I am not complaining. 

Design and overall look

The Markus chair is also available in 3 colors and two types of upholstery. The entire look of the Markus is very minimalist. It looks sleek and simple. The Aeron chair, on the other hand, exudes a sophisticated look right there and then. You instantly know that it is an expensive chair.


The Aeron comes in fully assembled. And I just love how Herman Miller packages its office chairs. You open the box and the chair will slide right off, so you can use it right there and then. The Markus, being an IKEA brand, needs to be assembled. And I find it quite troublesome to assemble. It took me longer than expected. 


The armrests of the Markus are not adjustable and it’s made of metal and lacks cushioning. So if you’re a bit tall or a bit short, you might find your arms just hanging. And if you’re typing on your keyboard, you might feel like the armrests don’t even exist at all. IKEA Markus’s Achilles heel is its armrest. And you might also find the armrests banging into your office desk a lot.

With Aeron, you can choose which type of armrests you’d want to dress your chair with. You can go for the standard 2-way armrests or go full blast and upgrade it with the fully adjustable one. So the armrests are a hit in Aereon and a nay for most users in Markus.

Final word

The minimalist Markus chair isn’t for everyone. The lack of adjustability limits the scope of the chair. But the good news is, if the Markus chair fits your body size, you’ll find it extremely comfortable that you’ll never look for another chair anymore. 

So can it be a contender to the Aeron? Yes, it can. But one, you must not have any lumbar or back problems. And two, it fits you perfectly. It’s value for your money and can also be used as a mid-range gaming chair. And if I would compare the Markus to other office chairs with the same price range, the Markus has more sophisticated features than other cheap office chairs.