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Raising the Aeron


Almost every high-tech startup in the Bay Area outfits their office with Herman Miller Aeron chairs. And as some of the startups inevitably go out of business, the Aeron chairs hit the surplus office supply market, where people like me pick them up at a big discount.

After bringing home my discounted Aeron chair, I noticed that the center post tended to drag against the carpet. The standard casters on Aeron chairs are designed for office carpets and solid floors, and don’t lift the chair high enough to allow the center post to clear a normal home carpet.

You can buy a larger set of Aeron casters from various sources, but they usually sell for at least $50 or more. To me, that’s pretty expensive for a simple set of casters.

After sleuthing around the ‘net a bit, I was able to find the dimensions of the large-size OEM casters. A specialty store called “Great Lake Casters” sells casters of the exact dimensions for a mere $1.64 each. I ordered five.

Update: Great Lake Casters is now known as CasterDepot. After 12 years since this original post, the replacement casters are still just $3.17 each. (See this note in the comments)

Installation was simple.  I turned the chair over, popped off the old casters and popped on the new large ones.  The new casters raise the chair by about 3/4 inch, which is plenty of clearance for the center post over the carpet.

Another Option: There are now many Rollerblade-style casters also available from various brands. These might work for you, but beware of these potential issues:

  1. The quality can vary widely across brands
  2. They tend to cost more than the CasterDepot casters
  3. Some can raise the minimum chair height more than necessary, which might cause posture and back pain, especially for people with shorter legs

I tried out this brand of rollerblade casters marked as Amazon’s Choice. They were very high-quality, but I ended up returning them. They raised the minimum height of my chair a bit too much for me, which was uncomfortable for the back of my legs. I’m sticking with the CasterDepot casters.

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