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The Herman Miller Cognita Bench

an independently commissioned review

Herman Miller Cognita Bench Independent Overall Rating: 8 of 10      [ how this works ]
8 out of 10 Stars

Price Range: $999.00

The Cognita Bench is a handsome piece of furniture, it accommodates several different uses, and it works in almost any room of your house. All in all, it succeeds everywhere it advertises it will, in storage, looks, performance, and even comfort (the upholstered seat).

There aren't any wow features, nothing that really blows you away. Of course, you could make the claim that a simple piece of furniture doing it's job very well is in itself a notable and even exceptional feature.

This is an excellent, multi-purposed bench that performed well above average. That it has nothing new or spectacular in the design is all that keeps it from being superlative or at the very top of it's game. But it's attractive, handsome in most any room, and it holds all kinds of stuff in a multitude of effective ways. There's no weakness in the Cognita Bench and a great deal of strengths.



The Cognita Bench from Herman Miller is a multi-purpose storage and furniture system that looks great in any home. It's designed to store practically anything, from papers and files to toys, books, photobooks, clothes, and household items. It has several different storage options, including drawers that pull out (two on the right hand side) and open up (one on the top right), and a deep, wide space (left and center) than can hold larger items, or simply more items. The top of the Cognita Bench has two different surfaces that can serve several different purposes. For instance, the upholstered section, about two thirds of the bench from left to center, is great for sitting, or for arranging objects that don't need a hard surface to stand on. The top right section is the hinged drawer cover, and it's hard surface can accommodate drinks, pictures, books; anything you'd want to rest or arrange on a hard top surface. All the different uses for the Cognita Bench make it good for nearly any room in your house, from the living room (coffee table, storage, remote holder) to the bedroom (winter clothes storage, blanket storage, general use chest), bathroom (towels, first aid kits, cleaning products) or hallway (all-purpose storage, shoes and coats). The Cognita Bench looks great, comes from a very well respected company, and really performs.
The X factor for the Cognita Bench is undoubtedly it's versatility. There are very few storage needs or purposes this piece of furniture can't handle. It works in the bathroom, holding towels and toiletries, it works in the living room, supporting feet, drinks, picture frames, and storing various living objects; it works in bedrooms and hallways, holding clothes, blankets, what have you; and it work everywhere as a place to sit. It's an X-man bench, and that's it's x factor.
I didn't think the seat on the bench was all that comfortable. I expected it to be much softer and more inviting, despite it's dual role as a cover and lid for the storage space underneath it. The storage options were good, and everything else was up to par, but I do wish the seat was a bit softer and more comfortable for users.
The bottom line for the Cognita Bench is general excellence. It works well in almost any home, in almost any room, performing almost any storage task. It has small limitations, but they're generally insignificant compared to the handsomeness and high performance of the bench. Highly recommended.



7 of 10 Stars
The Think Chair is above average when it comes to comfort. The "floating" armrests gave me a lot of movement freedom, and allowed me to adapt to the chair to peculiarities of my desk and work space (not too high to bump into desk, nor to low to support my elbows, etc.). The seat cushion (I used a Think Chair with cloth upholstery rather than leather, which is available) was ample and supportive, and I never felt the need to get up during the day because of discomfort or a lack of circulation. The seat back was not as responsive and comfy as I would have liked, nor as had been advertised. However, I don't want to take too much away from what is, in the end, a very solid chair when it comes to comfort and ergonomics.
DESIGN: 8 of 10
8 of 10 Stars
The design for the Cognita Bench was, if not particularly grand, very well executed and thought out. It's a bench that does a lot more than provide a surface for sitting or resting; it can replace lots of furniture pieces, do many jobs at once, and look great in most rooms. It's multi-purposed, yet it retains visual and physical harmony in it's lines and appearance. It's not assertive but it's handsome, and it does many jobs with aplomb. You won't see it in a museum, but you'd be happy to see it in your foyer or at the foot of your bed.
STYLE: 8 of 10
8 of 10 Stars
The Cognita Bench is very attractive, and subtle enough to fit into a multitude of design schemes and rooms. It's tri-colored, with different options for it's surfaces that buyers and look at. The one we reviewed came with a red upholstered bench, of white drawers and hinged-top drawer, brown wood veneer, and brushed steel legs. The colors work together in an asymmetrical alliance that's pleasing to the eye, and never sacrifices utility for appearance's sake. The Cognita is well designed, and while the style of the piece was perhaps not the most important feature, it wasn't given short shrift.
9 of 10 Stars
Herman Miller collaborated with Blu Dot to make the Cognita Bench, and that's a marriage made in heaven for many design aficionados. The time tested excellence and expertise of the Herman Miller brand coupled with the new-school bravado and stylistic excellence of Blu Dot is a potent partnership that has produced a high quality product.
8 of 10 Stars
The Cognita Bench is a product of Herman Miller, proud owners of some of the most environmentally responsible manufacturing plants in the world. Herman Miller has always been at the forefront of the fight against harmful products and non-sustainable business practices, and the Cognita Bench, like all of their other products, is held to a very high standard throughout production and shipping. Smart Furniture also has a sterling environmental reputation, and the two companies have made sure that this product comes to you with a minimum of environmental impact.
9 of 10 Stars
We had no complaints in this arena when it came to the Cognita Bench. It did everything just as advertised. It looked good in all rooms, held all essential items, and performed very well in every scenario. It was great for putting drinks and pictures on top off, great at the foot of the bed, etc. It's a very effective storage facility, and it has several different techniques for effectively performing in it's job.
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