Scott Howard Office Furniture homepage Scott Howard Office Furniture homepage
USM Haller USM Haller
Charles and Ray Eames Charles and Ray Eames
Vitra Vitra
Office Chairs Office Chairs
Tables Tables
Coffee tables Coffee tables
Designer Furniture Designer Furniture
Dining Chairs Dining Chairs
Designer Sofas Designer Sofas
Bar Stools Bar Stools
Office Furniture Office Furniture
Herman Miller Herman Miller
Knoll Knoll
Cassina Cassina
Customer Care Customer Care
UK Law UK Law
Contact Us Contact Us
Our Shops Our Shops
Buy online Buy online

Opening times
London Showroom
Monday - Friday
9am - 5.30pm
10am - 5.30pm
Frome Warehouse
Monday - Friday
9am - 5.30pm

All our products
come with a
lifetime guarantee
28 day returns policy

How to recognise the difference between Herman Miller and Vitra versions of the chairs designed by Charles & Ray Eames

Every day, customers call us to ask how they can identify whether they have an American chair by Herman Miller, or a Swiss chair, made by Vitra. Here are a few things to look for:

The Lounge Chair & Ottoman

The top surface of the base on the Herman Miller lounge chair and ottoman is manufactured with a flat surface profile whereas the Vitra version does not have the flat surface.
Herman Miller lounge chair   Base detail of Herman Miller and Vitra chairs
Logos on Eames lounge chair  

On the underside of an original Herman Miller chair is a sticker with the Herman Miller logo. On the underside of a Vitra chair is a white sticker with the Vitra name. Reproductions have no stickers underneath the chair.

Soft Pad and Aluminium Group

Cross head and allen key screw heads   1. The biggest giveaway is the screw heads. If the screw heads are a "cross head screw" then the chair is a Vitra chair. If they are "allen key head screws" then the chair is a Herman Miller version.
2. Underneath the chair is a torsion handle. On the later Vitra versions, this clearly says Vitra, whereas on the Herman Miller versions there is no logo or name.   Example of Vitra torsion handle and Herman Miller torsion handle
Vitra logo   3. On the rear of an authorised Vitra chair is a fabric label with the signature of Charles Eames, whereas genuine Herman Miller chairs have never had a label of any type. However very early Vitra chairs did not have the label that they use today.
4. On the back of the chair, there is a handle. If this is held in position by four "grub screws", then the chair is Herman Miller. If there are no "grub screws" then the chair is from Vitra.   Detail showing back of chair with grub screws and without
Cross head and allen key screw heads   5. Underneath the desk chairs is a tilt mechanism. If the tension handle faces backwards, the chair is Herman Miller. If it faces forwards, it is a Vitra chair.
6. Again under the chair, is the height adjustment facility. If there is a lever on the right hand side, the chair is Vitra. However, if the chair has a wind-up adjustment, then it is a Herman Miller.   Detail showing height adjustment mechanisms
Different types of castors   7. The Herman Miller chair uses single-wheeled castors, whereas the Vitra chair uses double-wheeled castors.
8. Herman Miller meeting chairs always have a five star base, whereas the Vitra chairs use a four star base, as can be seen in the pictures below.
Herman Miller meeting chair   Vitra meeting chair
9. On the tilt mechanism underneath the chairs, if the end caps are aluminium, then it is a Herman Miller chair. If they are painted black plastic, then it is a Vitra chair.

10. The leather on the Herman Miller version is completely smooth, whereas the leather on the Vitra chair is of a rougher texture.

11. Herman Miller chair bases are only available in polished aluminium, whereas Vitra chairs are available in aluminium and chrome.

Plastic Group Chairs

Customers trying to identify whether their plastic group chairs are manufactured by Herman Miller, Vitra, or are Chinese reproductions will find it much harder because all three suppliers use injection moulded plastics to make the seats and very similar wire frames for the bases.

The photograph below shows a Vitra polypropylene chair on the left, next to a Chinese ABS plastic reproduction on the right.

Vitra and Chinese reproduction white plastic chairs side by side

Early versions of all three factories' chairs did not have any identifying marks. However in more recent times, Herman Miller (below left) and Vitra (centre) have stamped their company's logos into the plastic on the underside of the chairs, whereas the Chinese reproductions are unmarked (below right).

Plastic chairs showing manufacturers marks on base
Comparison of wooden legs and feet of plastic chairs   On the wooden base chairs, identification is far easier - Herman Miller use a white plastic foot, whereas Vitra and the Chinese reproductions use a black plastic foot.

*** Special prices are available upon request ***
** Please call us for a quote on 020 7724 1130 **

  Charles & Ray Eames | Eames Products | History of Eames
Vitra | USM Haller | Herman Miller Aeron chair
Office: General Office | Office Chairs
Home: Tables | Designer Chairs | Designer Sofas
Customer Care | Contact Us | Our Shops