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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Do-It-Yourself Aeron Ergonomic Chair

The ergonomic Aeron chair is famous in offices worldwide for its comfort and adjustability. Unfortunately it will run you $650. Recently, Kevin Kelly wrote about a $300 Aeron copycat which he has been using for the past year. But for those on tighter budgets, I present the Homemade Aeron Chair (HAC). Total cost: $0. How your back will feel thanks to lower-back support: Priceless.

To make the Homemade Aeron Chair you will need a few common household items: a regular chair, a telephone book, a cutting board, a towel, and a bungee cord (or belt).

IMG_0718 IMG_0720

While the Homemade Aeron Chair doesn't have all the adjustments of an Aeron, it does have two important ones: adjustable height, and adjustable lower-back support.

The height can be adjusted by simply adding or removing books from the base of the seat. I first used a telephone book, but I am finding that old encyclopedias provide more finely grained control and a wider base.

Where the Homemade Aeron Chair really shines is the lower-back support. This is basically a rolled up towel that fits into the small of your back. I'm holding it in place with a bungee cord -- you can probably get away with a belt. To adjust the lower-back support, simply slide it up or down.

IMG_0719 IMG_0724

So far the Homemade Aeron Chair has been pure comfort. I love nestling my back into the lower-back support. The height is just perfect. And you save a bundle while keeping your back happy.


  • it's not painful sitting on a phonebook?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/11/2005 3:13 a.m.  

  • The cost for that is NOT zero

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/11/2005 7:41 a.m.  

  • Hi Anonymous - Alright, I'm going to spend on a proper chair. It is indeed painful sitting on a phonebook.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/11/2005 10:09 a.m.  

  • You should work for NASA!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/11/2005 10:45 a.m.  

  • Alright, alright!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/11/2005 10:49 a.m.  

  • go program something

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/11/2005 2:12 p.m.  

  • You are the King of Time

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/11/2005 4:12 p.m.  

  • nice ducky on the roll.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/12/2005 6:05 a.m.  

  • Thanks!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/12/2005 8:33 a.m.  

  • This has to be the funniest idea I've seen in a long time.

    I tried one of those $650 chairs. Your version is way cooler. And geekier. Awesome!

    By Blogger phlogiston, at 10/12/2005 9:23 a.m.  

  • Thanks phlogiston! Geek on!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/13/2005 9:02 a.m.  

  • Here's are some of the things I like about your chair:

    1) it's much easier to adjust than an Aeron chair

    2) you can change the color scheme to match a changing room decor easily and at low (or no) cost

    3) no shipping charge

    4) you can select the density, shape, look, and compression of the lumbar support unit.

    It's a superior chair. You are a God.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/13/2005 7:50 p.m.  

  • Thanks anonymous. Those points are key ;-)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/14/2005 9:52 a.m.  

  • I just got a fully loaded Aeron chair for $599 at

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/16/2005 4:51 p.m.  

  • You got an Aeron? Nice.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/16/2005 7:57 p.m.  

  • one question?: May I buy a zen chair and cut its legs off and then proceed to do according your instructions or not? pls. give me a more detailed free plans for doing as the one you offer is quite difficult to understand.
    Thanks Carved Pumpking Brain!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/27/2005 5:47 p.m.  

  • Ha ha

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 10/27/2005 5:50 p.m.  

  • Very cool chair...definitely save the bucks and get one at they have the best prices

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/12/2006 8:12 a.m.  

  • Haha...that chair is mad funny

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/12/2006 8:15 a.m.  

  • I bought an Aeron at too...long shipping time but worth the wait...I got myself a loaded aerno for like half the price or so...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/13/2006 2:50 p.m.  

  • Hahahahahahaha- that chair is hysterical. Very resourceful

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/15/2006 10:28 a.m.  

  • Guys, just beware of the people who vouch for I've been surfing around for good office chairs and of all the blogs which allow comments, their stooges have always posted multiple positive comments. While others with real accounts have recounted their bad experiences shopping with them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/16/2006 7:07 a.m.  

  • Dude...sounds like you have a personal agenda

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/16/2006 12:14 p.m.  

  • jack, nugget - glad you got a laugh out of it :-)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 2/17/2006 11:12 p.m.  

  • Mr. Anonymous.

    I ACTUALLY bought Aerons with luxurychair..the first time, about 2 years back was not the greatest experience, but this second round (yup i took my chances again, can't avoid a good deal)...was great...I ordered 2 chairs at a time, for a total of 10...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/22/2006 2:10 p.m.  

  • Thanks for the tip on luxurychair...bought an aeron there..great deal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/28/2006 10:49 a.m.  

  • is the aeron all its cracked up to be?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/09/2006 9:33 p.m.  

  • That question is subject to tremendous debate :-)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 4/12/2006 12:15 a.m.  

  • With all the hype on the aeron, I went out and got one myself. I bought it at too. After sitting in it for a few days, my knees were hurting from the plastic waterfall. luxurychair has a good return policy so I actually swapped it for a leap chair by steel case and I'm really happy with it. It has more features and much more comfortable. The aeron is all smoke and mirrors.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/20/2006 10:23 p.m.  

  • Thanks jack. Yeah they seem a bit, um, different to sit in.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 4/21/2006 10:57 p.m.  

  • The Aeron is smoke and mirrors. Everyone told me to get the Aeron, the Aeron. I went to try it out at a friend and sat it in for a good few hours to make sure I really liked it and it was killing my knees. I ended up going to a showroom and trying the Leap Chair. NOW THAT my friend, is a piece of work. It has incredible adjustments and literally can be completely manuevered to fit your body. And this thing is sturdy and durable.

    That I would suggest to anyone..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/01/2006 11:29 a.m.  

  • I personally recommend the "Ergo Chair" check it out online at It really is all its cracked up to be. It is an inflatable egg in a corral type thing. It is under $100.00 and will make you the butt of every office joke from now to eternity. Of course it does not have the class of hte Homemade Aeron Chair but how could you beat that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/14/2006 4:35 a.m.  

  • Ha--the ergo chair looks quite interesting. Thanks!

    And you are right about being in a different class from the Homemade Aeron--but then, what is?

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 8/18/2006 12:49 p.m.  

  • Negative experience at LuxuryChair- unprofessional staff, poor customer service, poorer quality product, not an authorized dealer although claimed to be on the phone

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/14/2007 7:56 a.m.  

  • LOL! that is ridiculous! i would rather buy a real ergonomic chair at than to sit on that funny chair of yours.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/08/2007 12:00 a.m.  

  • Heh - yeah, it's best to get something proper.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 8/08/2007 7:13 p.m.  

  • The importance of a good Ergonomic Office Chair is massive to all who have to sit at the computer for hour after hour. but on the lighter side it made me laugh. You don't have to shell out all that cash on a Aeron, there a loads of good quality chairs that can provide as much support and comfort ho less than half the money

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/31/2007 9:26 a.m.  

  • You are going to have to rethink you're design! Have you seen the latest BBC news on posture

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/18/2007 11:20 a.m.  

  • Yeah I now recommend spending the bucks on a good quality chair. The purpose of this project was mainly to prove a point.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 9/18/2007 9:02 p.m.  

  • Unfortunately, your chair is not ergonomic. You legs are not supported enough, you do not have any arm rests, the height is not completely adjustable, I could go on. Google correct sitting position and you'll see what I mean.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/19/2007 9:13 a.m.  

  • Maybe the phonebook wasn't the best choice for a seat, I would maybe have a cushion under there! Otherwise its a nice idea for an overpriced chair.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/19/2007 4:08 p.m.  

  • If anyone cares I've bought a couple Aeron chairs at and had good experiences. As noted you certainly pay more for the name and there are others on the market that are just as good. Interestingly my cats don't claw the Aerons like they sometimes do our older traditional cloth chairs, they don't even lay there if we're not sitting in them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/19/2007 11:45 p.m.  

  • THE BEST CHAIR is called the BackUp by NADA_Chair.. I believe it is .

    I've bought two so far and work fantastically... on any chair! No I don't work for them but probably should...

    I also have the Aeron and this thing is only 80 bucks but works like a dream.

    Check it out and thank me later.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/20/2007 10:36 a.m.  

  • Okay, this chair will actually make you get up every few minutes to walk around. That's one thing Ergonomic Chairs such as the Aeron do not do even though the human body was not made to sit still.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/15/2007 6:04 p.m.  

  • Ha!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 11/15/2007 8:07 p.m.  

  • There seems to be a lot of different opinionson seating cnd chairs.

    I bought my office chair from

    And I have a bad back

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/09/2008 7:11 a.m.  

  • I think i would spend my time making money to buy some proper office furniture

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/07/2008 6:33 a.m.  

  • Well not a bad idea at all...if a lil more RnD is done on this ...something create can be thought of.You can also find some Ergonomic office chair here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/2009 11:06 p.m.  

  • Dude I had an Aeron chair a few years back and it cost more than my laptop! This article gave me a laugh I thought you were going to show a replica that had been released!

    By Anonymous Leather office chairs, at 8/05/2009 1:03 p.m.  

  • :-)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 8/06/2009 12:05 a.m.  

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