Herman Miller Sayl Seat Cover Review – After One Year

If you have a Herman Miller Sayl and you’re not crazy about the original seat color, we are going to review an aftermarket cover that’s available on Amazon! There are very few aftermarket add-ons for Herman Miller chairs, so I was super happy to stumble upon this one.

Update: I’ve been using the seat cover for over a year now. This will be an updated review touching on the longevity and quality after a year of constant use.

Hand Made Seat Cover for Herman Miller Sayl
  • Keep the original seat cushion clean and reduce the cleaning frequency.
  • Made of flannelette from Holland, very soft and comfortable.
  • Easy to remove and clean.
Check Price on Amazon

This is going to be a quick review so you know exactly what to expect before placing your order for a Sayl seat cover.

Why A Seat Cover Can Be Useful

The Sayl is one of the more affordable ergonomic office chairs that Herman Miller offers. ‘Affordable’ is a funny word to use when talking about Herman Miller. The base model Sayl still comes in around $700 USD brand new. 

That’s a huge cost for a chair. 

I always browse the office chair subreddit – r/officechairs and see people finding crazy good deals on used Herman Miller Chairs. 

That’s when I started keeping an eye on my local Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist ads. I searched for “Herman Miller” specifically, as well as just “office chair” in case people didn’t really care about the brand name. 

side view of herman miller sayl with seat cover applied

Lo and behold, one day a sweet Herman Miller Sayl popped up on Facebook Marketplace for $250 in great condition. That’s about the price of a generic brand-new office chair these days. 

Upon closer inspection, it was a model that had some nice options like adjustable arms and added lumbar support. Those models are worth around $800 minimum! Suffice it to say I made the purchase. 

These deals don’t pop up often, so I did purchase the chair without absolutely loving the seat cushion’s cloth pattern.  After giving the chair a good clean, I started searching for a seat cover, and I was very happy to find this one. 

Benefits Of Using A Seat Cover On Your Sayl

Sayl without seat cover
Sayl with seat cover

There are a handful of benefits to getting a seat cover for your Sayl or any office chair for that matter. 

Easy Cleaning

Office chairs get dirty over time. It’s just the nature of anything you use over a long period of time. If you have a seat cover on your office chair, cleaning gets way easier. 

Instead of needing to purchase a bunch of chair cleaning products like a wet vacuum, you can just take your seat cover and throw it in the washer. Even washing it by hand is simple as it’s a relatively small piece of fabric. 

Conceal Permanent Stains

I don’t have all the tools necessary to clean a seat cushion well. I bet the same is true for most people unless they do various detailing work. 

After watching a ton of office chair and automotive seat cleaning videos, here is the list of tools people use to get an effective clean easily. 

I only have the power drill from that list. The others are items that I wouldn’t use often enough to justify the cost. 

Because I don’t have the wet vacuum to suck up residual water, detergent, and dirt, I was hesitant to soak the seat when cleaning. The dirty water would just get trapped in there. 

I just used a soapy brush to clean the outer cloth of the Sayl, and it already started looking better. However, there were a few pesky stains that I just could not get off. 

Not sure if it needs to be steamed or needs some other form of aggressive cleaning. Anyway, the seat top was clean enough for me, it just had a few stains that I didn’t want to look at. 

That’s where the seat cover really helped out. Once your seat is clean, you can just cover it up with a fresh-looking seat cover, and those tough stains are out of sight! 

Brand New Look

My favorite part of getting the seat cover for the Sayl was the brand-new look it gave my used chair. The chair looked great after the clean, but the new cover takes it to a whole other level. 

I mentioned I didn’t love the pattern on the chair seat. The seat cover took care of that as well! 

Sayl without seat cover 2
Sayl with seat cover 2

It went from an outdated gray square pattern to a clean and solid color: black!

Black happens to match my workspace better than the gray pattern. So now I have a fresh look that matches the rest of my workspace as well. 

Sayl Seat Cover Review

Alright enough about the benefits, let’s review the actual Sayl Seat Cover.

Hand Made Seat Cover for Herman Miller Sayl
  • Keep the original seat cushion clean and reduce the cleaning frequency.
  • Made of flannelette from Holland, very soft and comfortable.
  • Easy to remove and clean.
Check Price on Amazon

First Impressions

The seat cover comes in a nice compact package with the seat cover compressed inside. Don’t cut the package open with anything sharp, because the seat cover fills the entire package. You may end up damaging the fabric. 

Right when I took this cover out of the package, I noticed the material was super soft and felt premium. A good match for a premium chair! 

It’s a fabric that has its edge seams looped with some shock cord. Shock cord is basically an elastic rope, similar to bungee cords. The start/end of the cord has a knot to keep the cord a certain length. 

That’s it, a fairly simple product. 


Because of the simplicity of the product, the seller only gives one guideline for installing the seat cover. That is to just install with the cord knot towards the backside of the seat.

The elastic cord is pretty tight, so be prepared to muscle it onto your Sayl chair. I am glad that the cord is very taught because that is what makes it really conform to the seat. 

If it were loose, the aesthetics and usability would fall off a cliff massively. It’s kind of like putting a steering wheel cover in your car. It’s difficult, but you’re glad it’s tight on there. 

The top of the seat looks fantastic thanks to the correct dimensions and the tight elastic cord. You will see a tiny bit of fabric rolls and bunches on the underside. That’s expected with a product like this. 

Those bunches on the bottom will be hard to see with the black variation that I have. They will be more obvious with the brighter colors, so take that into consideration. 

When I first used the seat cover, there were some clear wrinkle marks from being packaged so tightly. I was hoping that these would go away over time. Turns, out I was correct!

See the wrinkles with the fresh seat cover on the left. The image on the right was taken after a year of use.

Wrinkles after first install
Wrinkles barely visible (after 1 year)

This doesn’t mean it took a year for the wrinkles to disappear. The wrinkles slowly fade over time, and now are unseen after a year of use.


Everything about the seat cover looks and works like a high-quality product. The seams are very clean, the material feels premium, and it stays on the Sayl very nicely. 

The shock cord is nice and taught when installed, so there is nothing to complain about here really. The cover stays in place even when shifting around in the seat

Even after a year of daily use, the seat cover still looks and functions very nicely. There is no real appearance of wear, which I am very happy with.

If anything, because the wrinkles disappeared, the cover looks better now than it did on day 1!


The material almost feels like velvet. It is super soft, and it reflects light differently depending on which way the fibers are facing.

The Amazon seller says the material is “flannelette” from Holland. I’ve never heard of flannelette.

After some quick research on flannelette, it turns out that it is a cotton-based fiber that has been brushed to create a soft texture. And it really is soft. 

Sayl Material

If you live in a hot area, this might be a negative. It’s a super soft and warm fabric that you will be sitting on, and I can imagine it not being ideal for people who are always in warm weather.


At the time of writing, the price for the Sayl seat cover is around $20. Considering how well-fitting this cover is and how I have no negatives to report after a full year, it’s a pretty good value.

Hand Made Seat Cover for Herman Miller Sayl
  • Keep the original seat cushion clean and reduce the cleaning frequency.
  • Made of flannelette from Holland, very soft and comfortable.
  • Easy to remove and clean.
Check Price on Amazon

I found my Sayl for $250, and with the seat cover, it comes out to $270. This is still much less than a brand-new Sayl. Especially with the fact that we actually have more benefits from using a seat cover. 

Negatives of Sayl Seat Cover

So there are a few things that are not so perfect for the Sayl seat cover. 

No Care Instructions

First, there are no specific care instructions. The material is super soft, so I want to make sure I don’t ruin that texture with washing. There are no washing or care instructions with the cover, so I don’t have much to go off of. 

After a year of use, I haven’t had any bad spills yet (knock on wood), so I haven’t needed to wash it yet.

I guess a safe bet is to either wash in delicate mode or hand wash. I will likely hang dry it as well to be extra careful. Dryers can ruin lots of unique fabrics. Use your best judgment, because we are in the dark here. 

Here is a guide on caring for flannelette bed sheets from a different company. The same considerations should probably be applied to this seat cover as well. 

Limited Materials

If you are not a huge fan of the ultra-soft flannelette fabric, you are simply out of luck. It will be hard to find another product that has the same seat shape in a different material. 

There is only one material type offered by the Amazon seller, and it’s the super soft and velvety flannelette. 

Limited Colors

At the time of writing, the Amazon listing comes with 5 different color options. Black, green, gray, red, and yellow. Black and gray are probably going to be the most popular options, as the others look quite vibrant.  

Sayl Seat Color Options

I was surprised they didn’t have a nice navy blue or some other color that goes with everything. I would definitely consider a blue seat cover.

So the color options are limited, you will have to settle for one of the five colors offered. 


Overall, the seat cover is a pretty straightforward and no-nonsense purchase. It does its job very well and makes your Sayl seat look brand new again. It can also stand up very well in the long term.

If you want to learn more about ergonomics and chairs, check out our guide on making your chair more comfortable!

One thing I didn’t talk about above was that I also changed the casters on my Sayl to some rollerblade wheel casters.

I go in-depth on why these are the best alternatives for people who currently use plastic chair mats. These solve the root problem!

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!

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