Chair of the Month Review: Freedom Headrest by Humanscale

Perfectly timed with Earth Day celebrations and planet positive initiatives, we reviewed Humanscale’s sustainable icon – the Freedom Headrest task chair. Together with the interiors team at Ted Moudis Associates in Chicago, we worked from Freedom during the month of April. Read on to see what stood out from the experience.

Meet Freedom Headrest

A dozen reviews in, this was our first review of a task chair with a headrest and it did not disappoint. Based on the original design by Niels Diffrient, and now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Freedom Headrest eliminates traditional adjustment mechanisms, leveraging the user’s own body weight and physics for intuitive positioning.

With a focus on spine health and overall well-being, this chair provides personalized support as it aligns with the user’s movements, offering better spinal alignment and reducing discomfort which ultimately promotes a healthier sitting experience.

The Run Down

Humanscale Freedom Headrest

  • Comfort: Humanscale believes in order for a chair “to be ergonomically great, it has to be comfortable”. Because of the intuitive ergonomic design, you can move effortlessly from one position to another, making it feel as if the chair were custom-made for you or whoever happens to be sitting in it at any given moment.
  • Chair Design: We reviewed Freedom Headrest in Kvadrat Vanir textile with Graphite frame. The arm and back has a sleek and clean design.
  • Adjustable Options: While Freedom Headrest mainly offers self-adjusting support, the synchronous arms are designed to allow you to effortlessly change your arm support with one hand. The headrest also allows for manual height adjustments.
  • Fabric Options: In partnership with Kvadrat, Humanscale offers the chair in nine different textiles from the brand, marrying function with design. One design reviewer commented that “Freedom Headrest is a great way to incorporate color and/or branding into a space.” Whether you are ordering one for your home office or specifying many of them, there’s a cool configurator tool (with ways to request samples) on their website.
  • Sustainability Story: It’s a planet positive product! Constructed with 19% post-consumer and 15% pre-consumer recycled materials, the Freedom Headrest is meticulously designed to be free of harmful chemicals, adhering to the Living Future Institute’s strict standards.

What We Loved Most


The back and lumbar (lower back) support earned top ratings across all reviewers. The headrest was most noteworthy with multiple screen use or when leaning back. During the times when temporarily tilting back our reviewers found the chair was extremely stable. On the reviewer wishlist is the ability to control the stiffness of the lumbar support.

I really enjoyed the headrest support and auto-adjusting functions when I recline.

Humanscale’s Piscataway, NJ facility creating Freedom Headrest chairs
Humanscale’s Piscataway, NJ facility creating Freedom Headrest chairs.


Comfort is a key component of our reviews and this seat pan stood out earning nearly perfect scores. From the front, the curve of the seat pan makes the chair look like it is smiling.

The cushion is plush enough to feel comfortable, but firm enough to be supportive. I enjoyed the ease of a gentle bounce but didn’t feel unstable.

Humanscale’s Piscataway, NJ facility creating Freedom Headrest chairs
Humanscale’s Piscataway, NJ facility creating Freedom Headrest chairs.


Humanscale’s journey has always been guided by a profound commitment to sustainability and a positive impact on the planet. This includes pursuing independent, third-party validated certifications like Living Product Challenge (LPC), Health Product Declarations (HPDs), and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), to name a few, to break through misleading claims about sustainability, build trust, and demonstrate invaluable proof of transparency, which is essential to achieve real progress. Congrats on this latest milestone! 👏

Additional Standout Features

While Freedom Headrest can be used for long periods of time, it’s also well-suited for shorter term instances where comfort matters including in conference rooms and spaces for quick meetings, such as huddle spaces or phone rooms.

Freedom Headrest in conference room setting

The reviewers also agree that Freedom Headrest is a standout option for employees who work with multiple screens (including gamers!). In fact, a report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) from 2022, a significant percentage of Gen Z identifies as gamers with approximately 65% of them reporting that they play video games daily. Given these stats, Freedom Headrest is positioned to be a popular choice among younger users.

Product images courtesy of Humanscale.

Special Thanks To Our Guest Reviewers

COTM TedMoudis 1

Nicole Zack

Design Manager Workplace Strategy, Ted Moudis Associates

Haley Gwin

Project Designer, Ted Moudis Associates

Marisa Rodriguez

Proposal Coordinator / Interior Design Student, Ted Moudis Associates

Gabe Serafini

Senior Project Architect, Ted Moudis Associates

Want to see more ergonomic options from Humanscale?

Check out our review of the Path task chair!

path trio 20230306

Curious about what it was like to work from Freedom Headrest? Check out our Instagram reels and TikToks, and make sure to follow us to see more every Friday. Plus, you’ll be the first to know the chair we are reviewing next!

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