Design: Sitting Pretty

The movie business has Cannes; office furniture has NeoCon, a three-day extravaganza in Chicago, Illinois. At last week's event, companies fought to unseat Herman Miller's iconic Aeron chair as the top choice of style-conscious executives. Did they succeeed? Tip Sheet put each one through the tush test.

Life, by Knoll

Life's makers compare the Aeron to Darth Vader: black and robotic. Life is more organic, conforming to the body naturally, without the use of knobs and levers. Petite women may have trouble getting it to recline.

#19, by Allsteel

It says it's part human: 18 components, plus the user. Get it? It has a comfy seat that elevates as you recline, for a great stretch. But the plastic frame around the back tends to dig into the neck.

Aeron, Herman Miller

It may have more knobs and levers than a cockpit--but nothing beats the taut springiness of its mesh seat and back. Still, Herman Miller is not sitting idly by: an Aeron II is due out this fall.

Footnote: Even a concrete bench will feel like a lounge chair with this footrest/massager. It was Tip Sheet's favorite item at the show. Sales information at