SAYL Chair Review

Sayl is the latest addition to Herman Miller's range of ergonomic task chairs. It represents a significant investment in both money and time costing $13 million and taking 3 years to develop.

The chair was designed by Yves Béhar who took as his inspiration the way the Golden Gate bridge is supported on its suspension system. The end result is something genuinely new and original.

The thought behind the chair was to produce something which would meet a number of benchmarks.

These include:

  • Having a more affordable price tag than some of its other seats like the Aeron
  • Being able to fit the broadest possible range of office chair users
  • Great durability to meet Miller's 12 year 24/7 warranty
  • To have great looks and design without compromising comfort
  • Eco friendly, so no nasty materials

How Is Sayl Different To Other Office Chairs?

Sayl chair

Herman Miller SAYL Chair

Sayl's design core really revolves around its full back suspension support. It utilizes a revolutionary molded open cell 3D polymer material. This is cleverly constructed to provide greater strength where it's needed most, for regions like the lower back, sacrum and spinal areas. On the other hand the edges allow more movement without compromising support and because there is no frame around the perimeter there's nothing to dig into your back.

By concentrating more material where support is needed most the Sayl is able to sustain your back in a way that just can't be achieved with normal foam padded chairs. Miller refer to this technology as passive Posturefit®. The clever design means that the separate lumbar support is not essential. Effectively the back support takes care of supporting your back continually as you move throughout the day.


SAYL Chair Back Detail

When viewed from behind you will see the open cell back suspension is retained on the Y-Tower™ central Y shaped component which serves to grip and hold the suspension back in place. At the seat end of the chair the Y-Tower™ joins to the other major part of the seat named the ArcSpan™.

This serves to incorporate the chair's arms and tilt mechanism into one piece. This ingenious design helps to keep the weight of the chair down while posessing great strength.

The seat pad is perhaps the part that is most like other chairs as it is based on an upholstered foam cushion. This makes it comfortable for extended use without the harshness some people find with mesh seats.

Next, we'll look at the model variations.

Sayl Model Options

It is possible to buy the Sayl with no arms or fixed arms as a basic model. While this includes some useful adjustments like tilt tension control for relaxed reclining and even a tilt limiter it lacks some essential features. Also this entry level version only comes in black.

To get the best from this chair you really need to go for at least the adjustable model. On this version you get adjustable arms. Not only that it also includes seat depth adjustment which is vital for proper leg comfort. Also you get the full range of different color choices too.

Finally, there is a highly adjustable version and this has a minor additional adjustment where you can alter the forward seat angle tilt by 5°. This doesn't really matter unless you spend a lot of timing keying in data and like to be able to lean forwards a little as you work.

Let's move next to the technical features.

Dimensions, finishes and technical information

The seat comes in a single size being 19.75'' wide by 16'' deep and on the adjustable version the depth can be varied between 16'' and 18''. Seat height adjusts across the range between 15.5'' and 20'' which will cater for pretty much all users. Even so there are alternative low and extended gas lift options available if required.

Tilt tension is a standard fitment throughout the range. This is useful as it lets you fine tune the pressure you need to apply when reclining to make it smooth in use. It is also possible to use the tilt limiter function to reduce the amount of recline.

Seat back is in a single size 18.75'' high by 19.75'' wide. It's even possible to add an adjustable lumbar support, however the standard back's careful open cell framework makes this unnecessary.

Adjustable arms give the user the ability to adjust the vertical height within a 4'' range. There are also fully adjustable arms with extra features. You can vary the width by 1.375'' and swivel the armpads in or out by 11°, finally you can adjust them front to back by up to 2''.

Sayl basic only comes in black, with the remaining models the choice is far wider.

Back suspension membrane options include black, light and dark grey, brown, white, red, green and blue.

Seat pad fabric can be specified in 22 colors, this swatch depicts the available range.

Armpad finish options include black, light and dark grey, brown, spruce green and twilight blue.

Chair base is either black or Fog (light grey) and Y-Tower™ back support is either black or studio white.


All SAYL chairs include a 12 year 24/7 three shift warranty for people weighing up to 25 stones, so you're not likely to wear it out in a hurry. And when it is finally time to change it you'll find 90% of the chair is recyclable, so it's eco friendly too.

Overall Assessment

Without a doubt the Sayl has been well thought out with 70 physical mock-ups built to make completely sure all its parts function correctly.

As well as being functional it's also a fun design and with the different color choices you can really make a statement if you want to.

It may take a little time to become accustomed to the open cell back when you previously used a chair with a foam filled chair. This is due to the way it moves when you do. Nonetheless it shouldn't present a huge problem for most people.

Where To Buy Online

This online store has low price guarantee on both the Basic and Adjustable version which also includes 30 day return period and free shipping too.

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