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Humanscale Freedom

*Est. $800 and up
Reviewed
October 2010
by ConsumerSearch
Humanscale Freedom

Pros
  • Automatically adjusts as the body moves
  • Available in fabric or leather upholstery
Cons
  • High price
  • Awkward recline feature
  • Armrests aren't independently adjustable

Some reviewers like the Humanscale Freedom office chair even better than the iconic Herman Miller Aeron (Est. $630). While they are both ergonomic office chairs, they also have some fundamental differences. The Humanscale Freedom has few manual controls; rather, it adjusts automatically as the user's body moves. While one reviewer says it's "like having a second spine," others say the contraption works a lot better for sitting upright than for reclining, and some complain that the armrests aren't comfortable. The Humanscale Freedom is available in leather and various fabrics; regardless, some users complain that the chair doesn't breathe as well as the Herman Miller Aeron. There is a five-year warranty on fabric and cushions and a lifetime warranty on all other parts, compared with the Herman Miller Aeron's 12 years for everything. If you want to spend less money for a self-adjusting chair, the Steelcase Think (*Est. $690) gets good reviews.

We found the best review of the Humanscale Freedom in The Wall Street Journal, which tests five office chairs and offers significant detail on each. Reports from Popular Mechanics and Business 2.0 magazines don't indicate an especially large frame of reference. OfficeChairAdvice.com has a great breadth of knowledge on office chairs and offers plenty of insight, but just about every chair gets very high ratings, so it's hard to tell which are really superior.

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Aeron Chair by Herman Miller - Highly Adjustable Graphite Frame - with PostureFit - Carbon Classic (Medium)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $1,249.00 $899.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Think Chair by Steelcase
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $689.99   
Average Customer Review:  
Where To Buy
HumanScale Freedom Chair, Black Wave Fabric

 (9 reviews)
Buy new: $1,296.00 $899.00   4 New from $899.00

In Stock.

 
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
Sit BetterSit Better has not yet been reviewed0 store reviewsIn Stock. $279.00
 

Our Sources

1. The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal tests five office chairs, including the Humanscale Freedom. Troy McMullen says the Humanscale Freedom looks good and balances weight evenly, but has uncomfortable armrests. The review notes that testers got grease all over their hands from the casters, too.

Review: Sitting Pretty Smartly, Troy McMullen, Jan. 7, 2005

2. CNNMoney.com

Andrew Tilin reviews three high-end office chairs, but doesn't rank them. The Humanscale Freedom is very comfortable if you are sitting upright, he says, but reclining "is an acquired skill."

Review: Our Picks For… Office Chairs, Andrew Tilin, Sept. 14, 2007

3. About.com

The About.com guide to furniture discusses his picks for the top five high-end office chairs, including the Humanscale Freedom. There is no full review, and no testing appears to have been done. A brief description of the Freedom chair notes that its "most outstanding feature" is that it is self-adjusting, requiring little manual adjustment. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Review: High End Office Chairs, Abe Abbas

4. OfficeChairAdvice.com

The Humanscale Freedom gets a perfect score, but there are so many 5-star ratings at this site that it's hard to determine which office chairs really stand out. Still, there is a lot of helpful information here.

Review: Executive Chair Reviews, Editors of OfficeChairAdvice.com

5. Amazon.com

We found about a dozen owner reviews of the Humanscale Freedom office chair, and users either loved it or hated it. Those who don't like it say it's uncomfortable, and one said it caused sweating.

Review: Humanscale Freedom Chair, Contributors to Amazon.com

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