Herman Miller Sayl Chair Review

I’ve never owned a nice chair. In the past I’ve just bought stuff from an office supply store, or Ikea. Normally these chairs last a couple years, then they start making noises, or falling apart. My last chair, from Ikea was fake leather and it started to make loud popping noises when you’d shift your weight or stand up, the leather finish was also worn away on parts of the seat. The worst thing about these types of chairs is that they are usually just put together so that they are cheaply produced and not much time or money goes into the visual design or the ergonomics.

Awhile ago I attended a design conference that was sponsored by Herman Miller and they were offering some pretty large discounts on Sayl chairs. I figured that because I spend the majority of my time at home on my computer it made sense to finally invest in something that would not only be comfortable, but would also last me awhile (the Sayl comes with a 12 year warranty). So, with that I jumped in.

It just arrived a couple days ago and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed. The Sayl chair offers a lot of options for customization. You can order it in a bunch of different color combinations. I got mine with a powder white base, black cushion, black arms, and a black back. Having so many color options can really change the look of the chair pretty drastically. As far as the chair itself, you get a lot of options as far as articulation including: distance of the back tilt, if the back tilts forward, the tension of the recline, position of the seat either forward or back, height of the arms, and of course seat height.

The back is made of a kind of plastic that can stretch but can also provide support. The designer, Yves Béhar, modeled it after suspension bridges like the Golden Gate. The result is that you get good airflow on your back which should be nice in the summer. It also means that the back ends up being really comfortable.

I’d feel like I was rushing it if I gave the Sayl a score right now, but as it stands I’m pretty happy with it.


  1. Just stumbled upon your entry. I too have always used crummy desk chairs and my lower back is beginning to pay the price. I figure you spend 8+ hours a day in a chair, it’s probably worth investing in something higher quality. Do you have any complaints to date? I’ve sat in it and it’s super comfy, but as with most things in life, you don’t notice everything upon first sight.

    My only reservation is the pricing. You mentioned in your post that you were able to get some kind of special pricing…the retail price of the SAYL chair seems pretty high once you add in the features that make it worthwhile, do you know if they are still offering said special pricing? Or was it exclusive to your conference?

  2. Hey There,
    I really have no downsides so far. I’ve only had it for a couple weeks but I’m very happy with it.

    As far as the pricing, yeah it was only for the one conference. Hope you can find a good deal!

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