The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

We took the Herman Miller mirra 2 butterfly office chair for a spin – here’s what we thought

It may not be cheap – but with this level of support, at least your back won’t be paying the price

Jon Axworthy
Monday 13 September 2021 09:42
<p>Its ergonomic design and modern looks make this a near perfect sitting machine if you’re working from home  </p>

Its ergonomic design and modern looks make this a near perfect sitting machine if you’re working from home

When we first put together our review of the best ergonomic office chairs, the mirra 2 butterfly impressed us with its combination of engineering and effortless comfort.

However, it’s a serious investment, which means that if you choose it for your home office you’re going to want to know exactly how it’s going to support you while you work, and what you’re paying for.

How we tested

What we really want from a desk chair is for it to improve our working experience. Ideally, it’ll adjust to those many micro movements that we make while we’re focussed on the job at hand.

To test the mirra 2 we used it during our working day for over a month, as well as for shorter sitting sessions at the weekend when we were just attacking our inbox or surfing the Internet.

We were looking for a chair that moulded to our movements and that we could almost forget that we were sitting on, owing to the support that it offers.

Read more:

So, is the mirra 2 all it claims to be? Or would we back to square one? Here’s what we thought...

Herman Miller mirra 2 butterfly office chair

Buy now £867, Hermanmiller.com

Rating: 9/10

Design

You’re certainly going to notice the mirra 2 when you walk into a room. Its distinctive backrest and curved seat pad give it a very futuristic look and is hard to miss. If you choose to buy it as it comes, there are five colours to choose between, from the noticeable and most expensive urban orange option (£933, Hermanmiller.com) to the more muted and cheaper graphite (£867, Hermanmiller.com).

If, however, you choose to go for a made to order option, then there are another eleven bright and colourful combinations to choose from. But this will also have implications on the cost and how long it will take the manufacturer to ship the chair to you.

Read more: 9 best wifi routers for a speedy connection at home

Another decision to make when ordering depends on your preference for the backrest. It can either be fitted to the chair’s frame with the fabric and polymer butterfly back or the purely polymer triflex membrane without the fabric covering.

While the butterfly offers more support, the triflex is easier to clean, but apart from this there are no differences between the chairs. Plus, the mirra 2 is delivered fully assembled so you can start using it straight away.

Ergonomics

As soon as you park yourself in the mirra 2 you will notice how the chair’s mesh, called AirWeave, moulds to your posterior and legs to give you a feeling of suspension rather than pressure. The mesh also distributed our weight so that the backs of our legs never felt like they were being compressed, and we were able to squirm and adjust our sitting position easily and comfortably.

However, it’s in the support offered for your back where the mirra 2 out performs every other chair that we have tested this year. Quite simply, if you suffer from back problems, and this is exacerbated by sitting, then the mirra 2 butterfly offers a level of comfort and ergonomics that could be the difference between getting up with stiffness in the spine and lumbar region or being pain free. The polymer membrane moulds around your spine adjusting as you lean back into the backrest. We also found that the fabric overlay ups the comfort factor and, as with the seat pad, gives that feeling of suspended support.

Read more: 10 best modular shelving units to maximise your living space

You can adjust the levers on the lumbar support so that it comfortably cradles the natural curve of the spine. And we loved the tensionable reclining mechanism too, which can be altered so that you feel different levels of resistance when you’re relaxing back into the chair. There’s also plenty of forward tilt in the mechanism to support the thighs’ declined posture when typing.

The butterfly also boasts a host of other micro adjustments that you can use to dial it into an optimal position for any user. For example, the height, depth and width of the arm rests can be changed so that your arms can be in contact with them without causing your shoulders to hunch, and so that you can still work close to your desk without having to lower the rests. This also allows your arms to be in line with your shoulders, which is ergonomically correct.

The micro ergonomics of the chair are showcased in the fact that the rests even have an angle function so that you can tilt them inward when you’re keyboarding and outwards when you’re using a mouse.

Read more: 9 best small desks that are perfect for compact spaces

In terms of other movements, the chair swivels easily through 360 degrees, and you can spin as you move from your desk to a filing cabinet on castors that roll easily on both carpet and hard floors.

The verdict: Herman Miller mirra 2 butterfly office chair

If remote working takes up a sizable portion of your working week, then you need a chair that’s going to be able to take the sting out of sitting and stop your body from seizing up from your latest session in front of the keyboard. The mirra 2 butterfly is wonderful to look at and will add some modernity to any workspace.

It’s a near perfect sitting machine with so much to offer for users with current back problems, or any one who wants to ensure that they are doing everything in their power to promote good back health. The components and construction are of such high quality that you know the chair is going to last and won’t be consigned to the skip after a year’s worth of WFH.

All these factors should put the chair’s price in a little more context and confirm why the manufacturer is more than happy to underpin the product with an impressive 12 year warranty.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on armchairs and other home furniture offers, try the below links:

We also tried the Humanscale Diffrient world office chair – read out review to find out if it’s worth your money

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.