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Herman Miller Mirra Chair Review

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I spend a lot of time sitting.  I sit after I wake up, I sit all day at work and then when I get home, I sit for few more hours. Over time I’ve found that my chair, the Verksam from Ikea, wasn’t too comfortable for long periods of sitting.  This was a top of the line Verksam with the armrests and orange suede leather chair for which I paid close to $300 about five and a half years ago.  I have long arms and legs and the Verksam’s armrests never went down far enough for me to be comfortable.  The seat didn’t push out far enough to support my legs, adjusting the armrests was a pain, and the chair was to damn hard.

Background

I read about the Herman Miller Mirra chair while reading Jeff Atwood’s blog a while ago.  It seemed nice but it was pretty expensive so I forgot about. Eventually, I got tired of the Verksam and got tired of being tired.  So, after reading a few more reviews I decided to purchase the Mirra chair.

In my research I found out that Herman Miller has two yearly sales in which it cuts the price of if its furniture by 15%.  The sales appear to occur at the beginning of June and around Christmas.  I purchased a new fully adjustable Mirra chair with the tilt limiter and forward tilt during one of those sales from Amazon for $679.  I highly recommend waiting for a sale if you are thinking of purchasing a Herman Miller chair, the regular price on the chair is $799 so you’ll save over $100 by waiting a few months.

Personal Impression

I received the chair a couple days after I ordered it.  it comes in a huge box that weighs around 50lbs.  It comes almost fully assembled, the only assembly required is to attach the back to the base using two bolts.  One small annoyance is that you need a socket wrench to properly install the bolts – the bolts don’t tighten well enough and the back starts to wiggle if you use a monkey wrench like first I did.

The Mirra has a suspended mesh bottom that supports the user very well.  It has a slight give and molds to the shape of your bottom instead of forcing your bottom flat like a regular chair.  The arms are soft and filled with a kind of a gel and are very comfortable unlike the hard or soft plastic most other chair use.  In addition to adjusting up and down, the armrests also twist inward as well as move in and out.

The material that comprises the back is very flexible.  Unlike a traditional chair that usually has a hard or soft back, the Mirra’s back is flexible and molds to your back. In addition, the adjustable lumbar support lets you target the small of your back.

The recline feature is very well built.  As advertised, the seat tilts along with the back.  However, unlike cheaper chairs where the back and seat feel bolted together, the Mirra seat tilts back at a different rate than the back so your whole body feels supported.  The recline is so comfortable that I even like to relax in the chair.  The tilt tensioner and limiter lets you dial the tilt to whatever you feel like for that day!

One disappointment is the forward tilt feature.   From the description you would imagine that the seat and back would tilt forward and support your body when you leaned forward but that is not the case.  The forward tilt is just that – it is a lever that tilts the seat forward at a set angle and is not adjustable.  It actually ends up being uncomfortable and is a useless feature.

Annoyances

The chair has a several annoyances that I would not expect on a product at this price.  The armrests wiggle within the in-out setting you chose even under light pressure.  I would expect the mechanism to move the armrests in and out to hold the arms tighter.  The arms don’t always lock at the height you select, the steps for the locking mechanism need to be tighter.  In addition, the armrests don’t move in and out very smoothly, it takes a disproportionate amount of force to get them moving and you have a tendency to slam the armrest because of the force you use.  Overall, once the chair is adjusted to your workspace these annoyances fade and you you don’t notice them as much.

Conclusion

Overall, I like the Mirra.  It is a great improvement over my Ikea Verksam chair.  The Mirra is very comfortable and is highly adjustable.  I can work in it for hours and thanks to the recline features is a great chair to relax in.  It has some annoyances that I wouldn’t want to see in a chair at this price but they are unnoticeable once you properly adjust the chair.

Pros
Made in the USA
Highly adjustable
Comfortable

Cons
Expensive!
Some features poorly implemented
Lame forward tilt feature

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Written by M Kapoor

December 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Posted in review

Tagged with , , ,

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