The Good / The Steelcase Amia is a cheaper alternative to the Steelcase Leap and Herman Miller Aeron chairs. It lacks some of the design flair seen in the Leap, as well as the natural glide system, but most important features like an adjustable seat depth, controllable back tension, adjustable arms, and height adjustment are present.
The Bad / The Amia is much cheaper than other chairs, but there really isn’t too much “bad” to say about it. It’s quite a good chair, just not as popular or as stylized as some other Steelcase options.
The Verdict / The Steelcase Amia is one of Steelcase’s cheaper chairs but despite the lower asking price, it still has much of the features that you would need to provide for a comfortable ergonomic experience.
Intro to Steelcase Amia Review
In this Steelcase Amia Review, I’ll decide if this chair is worth using when compared to something like the Steelcase Leap or if more expensive offerings. What does this chair offer to you as a potential customer?
One of the best things about the Steelcase Amia chair is that it’s only $700 when compared to the $900+ price point of the leap. It has most of the same features as the Leap, so in that way–it’s a bargain.
However, since the Steelcase Amia chair is cheaper, it also gives the chair a certain negative light. If the chair is equal to the Leap, why is it cheaper? If you do some research, you can see that Steelcase has four chairs (Gesture, Leap, Think, and Amia) but it’s not exactly clear which chair is suited for whom, and which chair is better for what. This actually bothers me a little bit, since I can’t understand why Steelcase doesn’t want to steer users to the chair that they want. They want to create an illusion that all of the chairs are equal–which is confusing since there are some clear advantages between the chairs.
In my estimation, the Gesture is good for shorter users, the Leap for–well, everyone, the Think for someone wanting a lighter minimalist mesh-type chair, and the Amia is for someone that wants a more traditional office chair look with similar ergonomic function.
But does the Amia chair lack features, comfort, or durability? Let’s take a look at what the chair offers in the features section.
Comfort / Features
The Steelcase Amia has all of the mandatory features that you would expect from a high-end ergonomic chair. The chair supports up to 400 LB, has a flexible seat panel, and a wide variety of other ergonomic adjustments that make it a good fit for anyone.
The arms are comparable to the leap, which is good since the Leap has very good arm rests. Most of the Steelcase Chairs actually have similar armrests, however. The Amia chair in particular, has adjustable arms that go side to side, up and down, back and forth, and then they can also pivot.
The design of the Amia’s back is very similar to the Leap. If you aren’t careful, you could actually get the two chairs confused from one another. However, this could also be a good thing depending on your tests.
Some users prefer the more defined shell quality of the Amia, whereas other’s provide the unique look of the Leap. The Leap has a more slit-back look to it, whereas the Amia has more plastic on the back as a sort of shell. Inside the back is a “system of flexors” that helps your back in multiple positions.
Fortunately–unlike the Steelcase Gesture, you can adjust the lumbar support in the chair to get it into the right position which means you will most likely be able to find a good fit. You can also adjust the back tension, and lock the chair in multiple positions.
There are some users out there that think the Amia’s back design is a bit lacking when compared to the Leap, but I’ve also seen a lot of users think the chair is quite good for a variety of heights and sizes. I think if you have the budget to go for the Leap you should, but if you have to stick to the under $700 range, the Amia’s back support will be OK. But what is the real difference?
The main differentiators between the Leap and the Amia are the “Natural Glide System” and the “Lower Back Firmness”. Both of these features are lacking in the Amia. Is this a make or break deal? That depends. Usually for me when I use the Leap I like the lower back support very firm, and the Amia uses a similar firmness–you just can’t customize it. However, if you like to play with firmness, or you like a softer back support, you might consider skipping the Amia and going for the Steelcase Leap.
The “Natural Glide System” allows the seat to move forward while you recline, while the Amia does not. The Amia’s chair does flex and the bottom seat of the chair doesn’t pitch up like some chairs, but it’s something to consider, and a worthy feature to invest in if you can afford the Steelcase Leap since it does make reclining a bit more intuitive and comfortable.
Most of the Steelcase Chairs are excellent chairs and you can’t really go wrong with any of them. However, I didn’t really like the Gesture chair in my review since I found that when I reclined the lumbar support didn’t support my lower back and there was a noticeable gap between my back and the chair.
This is because you can’t adjust the lumbar support on Steelcase Gesture chairs ordered online which is a huge flaw even if the company rep I spoke to said it wasn’t a big issue for ergonomic function.
The Amia, however, seems like a much better chair since you can adjust the lumbar support, and it’s comparable in function to the Leap in most ways besides the “Natural Glide System” and lower back firmness adjustment. If you like the look of the Amia compared to the Leap, with it’s closed back design–and want to save a few bucks, I say go for the Amia. It has very good reviews universally, and I can’t find anyone with significant complaints with the chair, and the features stack up considerably.
If you like the look of the Leap chair, I would say it’s also a good chair to get and it’s my preferred chair out of the bunch due to the Natural Glide System and it’s flexibility during movements. I think the reason it’s sold more and discussed more often is due to the style of the chair as well as some enhanced features. If you’re going to be spending $600 dollars on an ergonomic chair, you mine as well get the best of the bunch for a couple hundred more right?
I think the reason it’s sold more and discussed more often is due to the style of the chair as well as some enhanced features. If you’re going to be spending $600 dollars on an ergonomic chair, you mine as well get the best of the bunch for a couple hundred more right?