The Herman Miller Aeron is definitely a nice fancy chair. Everyone wants to get their hands on this premium ergonomic office chair. But what stops most is the steep price.
Now there is a rising player in the market that seems to be as promising as the Aeron in terms of back support, but less than the hefty price tag. Fern seems to be on everybody’s list nowadays. Now let’s see if it can indeed be at apr with a premium chair like the Aeron.
Why we love the Fern office chair
If you love mesh chairs, you’ll have no problem falling in love with the Fern. The mesh backseat of the Fern makes it rather suitable for hot regions. And with the summer season up and around the corner, your padded office chair may become uncomfortably hot.
But what makes the Fern one of the more popular chairs nowadays is the lovely back support. Now we have reviewed the Fern and compared it with other chairs in our previous articles. And we just have to reiterate how we love the Fern-like structure of the backseat with the fronds. It’s a rather different approach but a similar effect to the S-shaped backseat that makes an office chair comfortable.
The back support of the Fern is one of the best that we have tried. That’s why we are confident enough to pit it against the Aeron chair, which we will elaborate more on in a few. The backseat is pretty flexible and it does feel like it follows your every movement. We like how the frameless chair is not pushing against your shoulders. And since it has a high back mesh seat, it can also accommodate taller users without any problem.
The sufficiently cushioned seat is also one for books. The Fern actually has one of our favorite seats. It can kind of give your butt a cradling comfort. Your butt feels comfortable and there are no pinching points. The design of the seat enables the weight of your butt to be spread evenly on the entire seat pan. So even if you are sitting on the chair for a long time, there will be no numbing or painful sensation whatsoever.
Why we love the Aeron
The Aeron, on the other hand, needless to say, has great lumbar support. It’s one of the primary advantages of the Aeron. The adjustable lumbar support is perfect for those who have back issues. And the Aeron is available in 3 sizes, so you can most likely find the right fit for your body size.
And since the backset and the seat itself are made of mesh, this is a highly breathable chair. So it works well for those living in the hotter regions too.
The back support of the Aeron is on the softer side. It also has a mesh seat. The backseat of the Aeron feels softer and has a more pronounced rocking back and forth motion than the Fern. But the seat, since it’s made of all mesh features more firm support for your butt.
Another notable feature of the Aeron is, of course, its solid build and construction. The Aeron is built for the long haul and we can tell that as soon as we sit on it. Well, all Herman Miller chairs are heavy-duty, and they can last longer than your average office chair. Like the Steelcase chairs, you’d often see people selling their second-hand Aeron chairs. And it still sells like hotcakes. Because even if it is used, it still retains its value. Well provided that the previous owner knew how to take care of it.
Haworth Fern vs Aeron Chair showdown Overall
Which has the better armrest
In terms of the adjustability and the design on the armrest, our team chose the Fern. We just love the tapered design and the highly adjustable armrest of the chair. The Aeron, on the other hand, also features a highly adjustable armrest. But in terms of the comfort that our arms and elbows felt when seated for the entire day, we felt more comfortable with the Fern.
Which is better for heavier and taller users
Both chairs can accommodate taller people. The Fern can go high enough and it also has a tall backrest. The Aeron, on the other hand, offers three sizes. So taller sitters can choose the Aeron C, which is the chair’s biggest size. And it will be able to accommodate those who stand 6 to 6’2.
But to answer the question as to which chair can accommodate heavier people, it has to be the Aeron. Well, for very good reasons. The Aeron has a heavier weight capacity. And the overall construction and build of the chair are better suited for those who are heavy. It can sit a heavy person and the chair will not make any squeaking sound.
The Fern, on the other hand, is not made for the big league. The build and construction are not flimsy to start with. But if you are heavy, the chair will not be able to accommodate the excess weight. It will squeak. And eventually, the chair’s screws will loosen. Even for an average size individual, the Fern wears out faster than the Aeron. So heavier users should go for the Aeron. The Fern isn’t a chair for heavy users.
Which is more comfortable
This is a very subjective question. Let’s break it down.
The backseat of the Fern offers the right amount of comfort. It’s not too soft nor too firm. And even with the basic Fern chair without the lumbar, we still find it comforting on the back.
As we have mentioned in our previous reviews, we do not recommend getting the Fern with the lumbar. It’s an added cost and you will likely not feel the difference anyways. And the lumbar support also feels hot on the lower back. So even if the chair has a mesh backseat, the addition of the lumbar support will feel hot and uncomfortable.
The backrest of the Aeron, on the other hand, feels softer than that of the Fern. And of course, for people with back problems, the lumbar support of the Aeron is the best.
The back comfort of the Fern is somewhat in between the softness of the Aeron and the stiffness of the Leap. So if you do not want a backrest that is too soft, you’ll love the Fern better. But if you need lumbar support and a softer backrest it’s the Aeron.
Now, we go to the comfort of the seat. Each chair offers a different seating material. The Fern has a nice cushioned seat that cradles your butt. It doesn’t feel too hot as it’s not too thick. While the Aeron has an all-mesh seat that can be somewhat stiff for some people.
For us, we favor the seat of the Fern, we find it more comfortable. Though keep in mind that if you live in hotter regions, the seat of the Fern, since it does not mesh, can feel it as the temperature rises. So that’s one thing to consider if you have your heart set on the Fern. If you want more ideas for long hours of sitting, check out this amazing post from Standingdesktopper: top 23 most comfortable office chairs for 8-12 hours a day
Which will give you more value for your money
Both chairs offer generous warranties. But the Aeron offers a better one with its lifetime warranty. But of course, it’s at par with the upfront cost that you have to shell out.
The Fern, on the other hand, also offers a generous 12-year warranty on most parts. While the Fern is not really an affordable chair, you can find several sellers offering genuine Fern chairs at a discounted price. And rarely would you see an Aeron on sale.
So which to choose? If you can find a Fern chair at a discounted price and you don’t need lumbar support, grab the deal. The backseat is very comfortable.
But do take note that the longevity of the Fern is not guaranteed compared to the Herman Miller Aeron. To wrap it up, here are circumstances in which you should not buy a Fern chair even if it’s on sale.
Number one, you’re on the heavy side and number two, you need serious lumbar support. If you fall with these two circumstances, you have to save up for a new Aeron or buy a second hand.
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