Steelcase Gesture Vs Herman Miller Embody: What Would You Choose?

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody is a tough battle to find a winner. In this article, FittingChairs will compare these two and put forward our verdict.


Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody – What’s the same?

Both the Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody are designed to be one-size-fits-all. This means that these chairs will work great for most users.

This is because they both feature some of the most customizable adjustments in the office chair business.

Both chairs have many options for fabric customizability. So you can really customize out of either of these chairs.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody feature some back adjustment technology, seat depth adjustments, and arm adjustments.

Both of them are considered to be premium quality office chairs, and that’s why they are quite expensive as well.


Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody – What’s the difference?

So what are the differences between Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody?

Materials and build quality

Both Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody feature a fabric upholstery option, but the Gesture gives you the choice to coat the entire chair in leather. The Embody does not feature such an option.

The Steelcase Gesture uses the excellent 3D knit upholstery that was made popular with the Steelcase Leap V2.

The Embody can be easily recognizable due to its Pixelated back design. This open-back design is complemented on the front with very high-quality fabric.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody

Much of the plastic components that the Herman Miller Embody has are around the back, which boasts a very cool, bold look.

The frame materials on both chairs are made of high-quality aluminum. The Steelcase Gesture has more plastic accents and pieces than the Embody.

The Steelcase Gesture can support 400 pounds of weight compared to the Herman Miller Embody’s 300 pounds.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody

From top to bottom, the Embody chair is exceptionally durable. That doesn’t mean the Steelcase Gesture isn’t, but its build quality isn’t exactly on a par with that of the Embody.

Comfort and ergonomic features

Both Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody are very popular for their adjustable ergonomic features.

They are designed to provide proper back support and extreme comfort to the users for prolonged hours of sitting.

  • Seat comfort

Let’s start with the Gesture’s seat. It features layers of high-density foam complete with air pockets for lessening pressure in the lower half of your body.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody

The flexible seat edges are designed for the same purpose.

The seat is wide and rather flat, but still padded.

The Herman Miller Embody seat has multiple layers of fabric that encourage comfort and breathability.

None of the edges of the chair have a hard frame. This is an even better design feature than the flexible edges of the Gesture.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody

As the chair doesn’t have hard frame edges, the width of the Embody’s seat looks and feels larger and accommodating.

  • Back comfort

Putting the Steelcase Gesture’s 3D LiveBack against the Herman Miller Embody’s BackFit, which is better?

The adjustable BackFit system is a nice alternative to the PostureFit backrest pads found in Herman Miller chairs like the Aeron.

The BackFit system might be more intuitive with its built-in realistic and flexible spine that supports yours while you naturally move.

Aside from the Pixelated support, the back of the Embody is also designed with a narrower profile intended to improve your posture each time you sit.

The 3D LiveBack tries to do the same, but it just doesn’t excel to the same degree as the Herman Miller Embody does.

The Gesture has a core equalizer in its recline adjustment settings for further customizing lumbar support. This makes the overall ergonomics better.

But when it comes to the back comfort, the Embody is more outstanding than the Gesture.

  • Armrests

The Steelcase Gesture’s arms are probably going to be the most attractive feature of the Gesture office chair for most users.

The Gesture’s flexible, 360-degree pivoting arms have a huge degree of motion. You can push them way out wide so they’re almost entirely out of your way or pull them way in.

Apart from those adjustments, this chair also features really comfortable arm-caps. They are pretty soft to the touch, and they don’t have any rough edges.

The armrests of the Embody chair are quite comfortable and softly padded. They also have really large surface areas to put your arms on.

Embody’s armrests feature a large height adjustment range and a large width adjustment range.

However, the armrests of the Embody are not at the same degree as the Gesture’s arms.

  • Adjustability

Adjusting your chair easily with the Embody. You can set the degree of tilt tension, the seat depth, the seat height, and the settings of the arms.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody

You can also adjust the BackFit system so it works more efficiently for you.

The recline of the Steelcase Gesture is better. It also features seat height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, and it’s super adjustable armrests that we have mentioned.

It even has height-adjustable lumbar support, tension adjustment, and various limiting positions.

Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody

Only the Herman Miller Embody includes seat back height adjustments. While both chairs are built to have high backs, you may want to consider the Embody if you are particularly tall.

Both chairs have a great range of adjustments, but they’re easier to do and more customizable in the Herman Miller Embody.

Both Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody are actually more or less similar in terms of ergonomic features. But, the Steelcase Gesture is actually better considering the less expensive price tag, and it’s more adjustable.


Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody – What’s customer say

Here are some reviews from customers on Amazon about the Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody.

Steelcase Gesture reviews

You can see more Steelcase Gesture reviews here.

Positive reviews

A review from customer Mario Mata: “The chair I was looking for.”

Sometimes I sit for long hours and was starting to feel strained. Between herman miller and steelcase, I opted for steelcase.

  • It is very adjustable. The knobs and switches allow you to adjust seat depth, level of recline and resistance of the recline. Nothing complicated it is a very simple chair to use.
    -Very comfortable for me. I no longer feel strained after long hours. Used to need a pillow for my bottom before but I don’t need it on this chair. My lower back doesn’t feel strained after a long time. The the backrest adjusts to your back pretty well too.
    -The arms are amazing. My main selling point for gesture really when I saw those arms I really wanted the chair. Very adjustable and easy to use. The rubber on the arms is this soft yet well built rubber. Its not uncomfortable to lean all your weight on them. I used to need pads for my previous chairs but not for this one. Some people might still prefer pads tho.
    -Chair rolls pretty well on carpet.
    -The padding on the seat and back is really comfortable and like I said I don’t feel for extra padding. Its also breathable and doesn’t get overly hot unlike some synth leather chairs.
    -Well built. Its surprisingly heavy and looks made to last. I see A picture of a broken chair in one of the reviews but the carrier really had to drop the ball for that to happen.
    -Its nice looking and not overly big or bulky unlike some of those tall “gaming” chairs.

Overall am satisfied, I feel its money well spent. For reference am 6’0” tall and weight 188 pounds and fit just right on the chair.

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M. J. Perrone Jr.: “Strong recommendation.”

This is my first experience with a 1k plus office chair. I have disc issues and constant back problems that I have been able to control through chiropractic, massage, and honestly the use of this chair. I have to sit 8 plus hours a day at my job and I definitely feel this has improved my overall feel compared to the cheap chairs I had previously used. Tons of options to make the chair feel how you want it to, arm rest move, different tensions on everything. Is it worth $1000+? To me, it has been more than worth it. To you, maybe not. But, from my perspective, I could not recommend this chair enough if you are in the market for this sort of thing.

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Negative reviews

There are also some negative reviews about the Steelcase Gesture.

Lochleven: “So uncomfortable that I was shocked.”

I only had the chair for two days and had to return it because of back pain it induced in me. This hasn’t happened with office chairs that ranged from $80 to $400 that I’ve used over the years. The chair is pretty solidly built and well packaged and came fully assembled. I didn’t expect the arms to be non-locking. that means they can move around very easily, which is good and bad. But no doubt the worst part of the chair is that it was simply incredibly bad for my back. The lumbar support is not adjustable, and was just sticking into my back. Leaning back on the chair to have more of the upper portion of my back against the chair was not particularly comfortable, even with the firmness of the back loosened entirely. In other words, there was no way I could get comfortable with the lumbar support. I actually developed back pain while using this chair! Had to return it.

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Piper: “Well-Reviewed, But Uncomfortable for Me.”

I ordered the Steelcase chair after reading a number of reviews which cited it as being one of the best possible chairs you can buy. After having it and trying to use it for about three weeks, I’ve decided to return it and buy a different chair. I used a level on the chair seat, and despite adjusting it in every way possible, the pitch of the actual seat angles forward several degrees. This wouldn’t necessarily be an issue if the back of the chair could angle slightly forward as well at its standard, upright setting – but the back of the chair when its in a neutral position actually only touches the very bottommost part of my lumbar spine. I assume this may be to encourage users to always sit upright, and not rely on the back of the chair for support? But it actually becomes very uncomfortable over long periods of time, as I couldn’t ever fully relax back against the chair without being tilted oddly. I found over time that, in order to actually have my back make contact with the back of the chair when it’s in its upright position, I’ve either had to lean backwards so far that it makes typing feel bizarre, or, I’ve had to sit cross-legged, in order to prop myself up a little in the front so as to have my back make some contact with the back of the chair.

I’m not sure if perhaps the production quality has gone down, or if people were just reviewed on the initial impression, but it’s quite uncomfortable for sitting for long periods with proper posture while typing. I don’t personally have long periods of time to lean all the way back in my chair and rest while at work, so I need something that actually allows me to type while having some level of back support. For reference, I’m 5’7.5″, 160 pounds, and tried the chair at multiple heights and seat distance settings from the back of the chair,, and still had this issue.

Again, I think the production quality may have just gone down, or the one I received just wasn’t properly leveled. I’ll be returning this product.

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Herman Miller Embody reviews

See more reviews about this chair here.

Positive reviews

Austinfloyd: “Excellent chair for ergonomics and comfort.”

Months of working from home during COVID-19 was leaving me with daily back pain. Although I was using a reasonably ergonomic chair (the IKEA Markus), it wasn’t cutting it for me.

Now, just over a month after switching to this chair, my comfort at my desk has been restored, and my back pain minimized. The chair helps me maintain good posture, even while sitting for up to 10 hours per day. Also, though I am not one who sits very still (I definitely squirm and wriggle in my chair), I have yet to find any position that is uncomfortable.

Some other details: I am tall (6’3″), so finding an ergonomic chair for my size was tough. This one fit the bill perfectly. In fact it was even better than the Aeron at my normal office, which can dig into my shoulders when sitting in it for an extended period of time.

The only thing I wish was an option was a headrest. Not that I normally even lean my head back, but it would have been “nice”.

In short: it was a pricey chair, but worth every penny.

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Another review from kikeo58: “worth it for the health benefits.”

It took me over a year to decide to spend this much money for a chair. It finally took an appointment to see a surgeon to convince me that a $100 chair is actually more expensive than a Herman Miller chair. So, I spent the money and bought a Herman Miller. It does not feel like a pillow. But sitting on a pillow turns out to be bad for you. After one month sitting in the Herman Miller, many of my medical problems simply went away. I remain amazed. Don’t misunderstand. You have to get used to the different pressure points. Some people send it back for that very reason. But, just get used to it. That is what is healing you. The chair is known for the “spine” back. It feels simply wonderful and my lumbar tilt went away. So, yes, it is worth the money. Period.

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Negative reviews

And below are some negative reviews about Herman Miller Embody.

Michelle Tounge: “Very difficult to put together.”

I wanted an ergonomic chair, and after reading articles and reviews, I decided on this chair. I just got off the phone with customer service because this chair came unassembled. I would have gladly paid for assembly, but that is not offered with this chair. I have spent the last 2 hours trying to get this thing put together. Directions are very difficult to understand. I am not able to get the back properly installed. According to customer service, this chair is supposed to come fully assembled, but one of the answered questions says it doesn’t come fully assembled. I have asked for a replacement, but if it is not fully assembled, back it will go. I am not holding my breath.

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Judgement0s: “Not sure how people find this comfortable.”

I picked this chair up cause it gets rave reviews EVERYWHERE and I needed a better office chair for my back pain. So you can imagine my surprise when I found this to be one of, if not THE most uncomfortable chair I’ve ever sat it.

Maybe I just have an extra sensitive back, but I could genuinely feel every “pixel” (thats what HM calls the design, but its basically just the points where the chair’s “spine” connects to the back rest). It felt like having a bunch of pieces of plastic putting pressure on a ton of different points on my back (cause it was). Spent a week sitting in this chair for 8+ hours a day, constantly adjusting it, getting help from an ergo expert, etc with no luck.

I had a similar issue with the Leap v2’s lumbar slider, so I suppose it really may just be that my back is weirdly sensitive. It felt like a strip of plastic digging into my back even at the lowest tension setting (because it IS literally just a strip of plastic). Thankfully, with the Leap I was able to just rip the lumbar slider out and was left with an amazingly comfortable chair that still had lumbar support.

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Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody – Pros and cons


Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody final thought

So in the Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody battle, which one is better?

Deciding whether the Gesture or the Embody is the best ergonomic chair was far from easy, since both clearly have their strengths.

But for us, Herman Miller Embody is the better one in this battle.

The Herman Miller Embody consistently proved to be the most durable and comfortable chair. And it looks better than the Gesture, in our opinion.

But the Steelcase is still a fantastic office chair. It can support 100 pounds more than the Embody, and its flexible armrests are something the Embody can only dream of.

If you suffer from back pain and need adjustable lumbar support, or if you simply like the freedom of being able to adjust every aspect of your chair, the Gesture is for you.

If you’re looking for long-term comfort and lasting durability, the Embody may be the one for you’re looking for.

If you want to master more, read our article of difference between Steelcase and Herman Miller office chair to get more great options!

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It’s hard to tell which one is the best in the comparison of Steelcase Gesture vs Herman Miller Embody. You can choose one of these chairs depending on your needs. Follow FittingChairs for more updates.

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