Steelcase Leap vs. Herman Miller Aeron: Comparison 2020

The Steelcase Leap and the Herman Miller Aeron are both top of line chairs. You will always find them in most of the best office chair lists. Rightly so, they give you quality, features, and looks. If you are going to shell out thousands on an office chair, it makes sense for you to do your due diligence. In fact, I encourage it.

In order to figure out which option is the best for you, I am going to be comparing both the chairs piece-by-piece for you to be able to make an informed decision.

Table of Contents

Steelcase Leap vs. Herman Miller Aeron

The Leap and Aeron chairs are two of the most popular and the flagship chairs from the two largest furniture manufacturers – Steelcase and Herman Miller, respectively. Today, we are going to be comparing them and answering which chair is worth buying based on these factors:

  • Adjustable Ergonomic Features
  • Back Support
  • Seat Adjustment
  • Height Adjustment
  • Armrest Adjustment
  • Build Quality
  • Material and Upholstery
  • Warranty 
  • Return Policy

Adjustable Ergonomic Features

When you spend big bucks on an office chair, you want to get the best. Ergonomic functions are the need of the hour. Leap, a Steelcase chair, is better than the Herman Miller Aeron when it comes to the adjustable ergonomic features. 

Steelcase Leap allows you to customize the chair to suit your needs more than the Aeron, let’s compare the features side by side.

Ergonomic FeaturesSteelcase LeapHerman Miller Aeron
Adjustable LumbarYesYes
Adjustable Back HeightNoNo
Number of Tilt Lock Options5 Positions3 Positions
Adjustable Seat HeightYesYes
Adjustable Seat DepthYesNo
Adjustable Arm HeightYesYes
Adjustable Arm DepthYesYes
Adjustable Arm WidthYesNo
Adjustable Arm PivotYesYes

Now that we know the overview of the ergonomic features present in the two chairs, let’s delve into more details.

Back Support

The back support is one of the core requirements of what is expected from an office chair. Adjustable lumbar support is being added by most companies. Even if the chair isn’t ergonomic, the back support is the least expected. Two chairs that are considered the best chairs in the domain are bound to have mastered the most crucial support system.


Steelcase Leap chairs not only focus on support but also on comfort and ease of use. Steelcase chairs have the LiveBack technology that allows the user to move while seated. 

You get two adjustment systems as part of the adjustable lumbar support – to give you the most customized solution – a lower tension adjustment and a lumbar position adjustment. Both of them can be easily handled to fine-tune your experience while being seated.


The Aeron is upholstered using Pellicle mesh, which promotes air circulation and makes it suitable for long hours of usage. The Aeron is designed with the upgraded Posture-Fit SL lumbar support system. 

The vertical backrest follows the natural curve to provide the best lumbar support. It also has an adjustable seat depth. This feature allows you to customize the amount of support provided to your spine.

Seat Adjustment


The Steelcase Leap chair has one function over the Aeron chair, and that is the ability to move the seat forward and backward, this allows you to be more comfortable and still be supported as your posture changes throughout the day. 

Other than that, it is height adjustable and also can tilt. The seat is thinly padded but doesn’t cave in. The seat pan front is flexible and provides relief to the pressure points on your thighs and knees.


The Aeron chair is height adjustable and allows the user to tilt the seat. Because the Aeron chair is made from Pellicle mesh material, which is supported by a metal frame, it can become problematic if the seat pan size isn’t right. The side bolsters of the frame can easily become pressure points on your hips.

Height Adjustment

Height adjustment lets you adjust the height of the seat from the floor so that you can better accommodate your body. This is especially important for tall people who usually have to cram their legs or short people who need a footstool to provide added support.


Steelcase Leap has the basic seat height adjustment feature and gives you room for 5 inches of adjustment. So, you get the seat height, from the floor, to range from 15.5 inches up to 20.5 inches.


Aeron comes in different size options, and each size has seat adjustability, so it is more customizable than Leap.

  • Size A – seat height range is from 14.75 inches to 19 inches.
  • Size B and C – The seat height ranges from 16 inches to 20.5 inches.

Unlike Leap’s 5 inches leeway, Aeron provides 4.5 inches of flexibility.

Armrest Adjustment

The armrest is often the most compromised in terms of adjustability to save costs. But if you are going to be spending more, then you might as well get the adjustable arms feature. 


The Leap’s armrests are fully adjustable, providing four-dimensional adjustments for arm pads, including width, depth, height, and pivot. If your Leap comes with arms, it comes with height adjustment. The Aeron doesn’t come closer to the range of adjustments offered by the Steelcase Leap. The arm pads are comfortable and softer than most chairs.


The Aeron’s armrests come with three-dimensional adjustable arms, offering adjusting pivot, height, and depth. Being attached to the backrest, the arms provide good shoulder support when you recline in the chair while resting your arms on it. If you prefer squishy arm pads, you’ll definitely like what Aeron offers.

Build Quality

Both Steelcase Leap and Herman Miller Aeron are two of the best office chairs available with the high build quality. Both the chairs don’t use any mass-produced components and are built with components custom made for them.

While the two chairs come very close when it comes to their build quality, let’s see how they compare.


Steelcase Leap has a distinct feel that is quite identifiable with its high-quality plastic made components. The decision to use plastic throughout allowed the manufacturers to keep the chair lightweight and flexible. All of these components fit together nicely.


Manufactured in the USA, the Aeron is built with components made of high-quality steel, aluminum, and plastic, that is given away by the overall look and feel of the Aeron. You won’t find any loose fittings in the assembly.

Material and Upholstery

The material might not be something that people usually care about much, but when you are sitting in the same chair for hours on end, then it makes a world of difference. Both brands use recyclable materials, and that is where the similarity ends.


The material used in Leap is a foam-padded fabric for both seat and back; this is the traditional setup for most chairs. The cushion provides comfort for long hours of sitting.


The material used in Aeron is a suspension Pellicle mesh material, which is why it is comparatively much more breathable than Leap’s foam. The mesh material keeps sweat and odor away and is easier to clean.


The popularity of the brand comes with a really exclusive and long term warranty policy. This shows that the brand is confident in the build quality of their products and stand by them. Aeron comparatively has a better warranty policy than Leap.


You get a 12-year warranty on your Steelcase Leap that covers all the components, upholstery, padding, frame, mechanism, casters, etc. Your chair will be backed with 24/7 support. The standard leap chair is rated up to 400 lbs with 500 lbs for the oversized version.

The warranty provided by Steelcase will either repair your chair or get your chair replaced with a comparable product free of cost. And if the service provided doesn’t conform with standard commercial practices, Steelcase will provide you with a refund.


You get a 12-year warranty as well. But the best part is that no component is excluded from the coverage. The warranty covers upholstery, padding, frame, mechanism, casters, with 24/7 usage coverage up to 300 lbs capacity. Herman Miller will send a technician or just cover the cost of servicing done for your Aeron chair. 

Return Policy

Return policies can be a pain, but two of the top brands in the game do have the best return policies. Good return policies often show the brand’s trust in the product and also gives the customers confidence to make big purchases.


You get a 30-day return period from the date of purchase for you to try and test the chair. If it doesn’t work out for you, then you can reach out to the company, and they will arrange a no-cost pickup. The only condition is that you keep the original packing.


The return policy is the same for Aeron.

Is Steelcase Leap Worth It?

Steelcase Leap offers a wide range of adjustability options, making it one of the high-value ergonomic chairs on the market. Based on all the things we discussed, I would say Leap is definitely worth it. 

To recap, let’s look at some of the things that Leap provides:

  • It provides back support and relief from pain with its LiveBack technology and the two adjustments to its vertical back support, which are lower tension adjustment and a lumbar position adjustment.
  • The 5 inches flexibility in its seat height adjustment makes it inclusive of a wide range of heights.
  • The seat is designed to be comfortable and take the pressure off of your thighs and knees.
  • It has most of the ergonomic options, including 4D armrests.

Is Herman Miller Aeron worth It?

Herman Miller has made its name in the chair space over the years and is truly deserving of the place it holds. Their high-quality products and dedication to providing customers the best can be seen in their products and their service. If you are looking for something durable and high-quality, then Aeron is definitely worth it.

Let’s recap some of the best things Aeron has to offer:

  • The Pelican mesh changed the whole game and made the mesh chairs popular. It is breathable, flexible, and provides good support. Not to forget, it is easy to clean.
  • It is available in different size options, which again have seat adjustability.
  • Although its arms are 3D, unlike Leap, it still has all the major ergonomic adjustments. 
  • Its PostureFit SL lumbar support system is a huge selling point.

Which Chair Should I Buy? Steelcase Leap or Herman Miller Aeron?

In the Steelcase Leap vs. Aeron comparison journey, I have discussed each feature that both the chairs have to offer in detail. If you want to look at the ergonomic functions in both and compare them, then I have provided a comparison table in the “Adjustable Ergonomic Features” section.

Why should you be buying any of the two chairs and why are they worth investing in also answered in the above sections while highlighting the top qualities or selling points.

If you want to highly customize your chair, then Herman Miller Aeron is the best option because there are size options, and you can also get additional features added for a cost. On the other hand, the Steelcase Leap chair also gives you quality and comfort. So, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

All that being said, each person is going to have their own requirements and will respond to the features differently. Both of the chairs serve almost the same purpose, with just a few differences. You have to decide what fits in with your requirements and go accordingly.


This concludes our Steelcase Leap vs. Aeron discussion. Both chairs are two of the best ergonomic options, and you’ll find them topping the list on almost all the websites featuring the best. The best among the two comes down to your personal preference for upholstery type, the range of adjustments offered by the chair, and your budget.

Aeron has set the standard for mesh office chairs, and as a result, we see most offices filled with the mesh chairs. It’s clearly the best mesh chair out there if it fits your budget. Whereas the Leap sports a modern and slick design.

With what both of the chairs have to offer, you can’t go wrong choosing either Steelcase Leap chair or the Aeron.

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