The Good / The Steelcase Leap has tons of adjustable features that make it a great fit for anyone. The back design and lumbar support is better than other office chairs of the same price (even better than the Aeron). The features and comfort of the Leap over 8+ hour work days make it a worthy purchase increasing productivity and long-term comfort while preventing back strain or possible injury.
The Bad / The chair is expensive for anyone new to the world of ergonomic chairs. However, considering how much people use chairs, and for how long, the purchase isn’t unreasonable since you do get a 10-year warranty and state of the art comfort.
The Verdict / While expensive, the Steelcase Leap is one of the best ergonomic office chairs you can find since the breathable materials, curved back design, and wide-range of adjustments provide long-term comfort during even the most grueling work days.
Steelcase Leap Review Introduction
The Steelcase Leap is a popular office chair competing with the likes of the Herman Miller Aeron. In some ways, it’s the ergonomic office chair to get since it has so many features and a powerful brand behind the chair that guarantees a good chair.
You can find the chair in offices around the world, and there’s a good reason why. While the Steelcase Leap might be expensive, it’s a quality product that will last you many years. It’s actually my primary chair that I use for gaming and office work. In fact, I still have a Steelcase Version 1 chair and it works perfectly fine.
It was made in 2001. Can you believe that? Still going strong after 16 years…
In this full Steelcase Leap review, I’m going to examine each component of the chair and explain how it performs in a realistic setting with a critical eye. Is the Steelcase Leap a good chair worth the heavy price tag? Or are there better cheaper chairs out there that provide similar functions?
The Steelcase Leap is an expensive chair. There’s no getting around it. For some of you, the price might be a deal breaker. To that I can say, I completely understand–but consider how much you spend on your high-end computer, bed, couch, or any other expensive appliance.
If you want to completely eliminate back pain, sometimes it’s worth spending money now instead of money later at the doctor’s office or chiropractor. Sometimes you can find off-colors on Amazon for around $600-700, but the full model goes for around $900, and if you want to upgrade the chair with a headrest and other features, you’re looking at even more.
So how bad is the damage? Well, sometimes you can find off-colors on Amazon for around $600-700, but the full model goes for around $900, and if you want to upgrade the chair with a headrest and other features, you’re looking at even more.
The good news is that the chair comes with a ten-year warranty, so at least you aren’t spending that kind of money to have your chair break down in a year.
When you buy a Steelcase Leap chair online, you’ll get the chair FULLY built inside a HUGE box. It’s quite the experience, and it can be difficult bringing the box inside your house and taking the chair outside of the book. With my chairs, I had to rip the box apart since I found that was the easiest method of just lifting the chair out of the box.
This is a unique experience for a chair bought online since most chairs won’t come prebuilt. However, this gives you a good indication of how complex the chair is and how the functions are pretty advanced. It would be pretty tricky to put together yourself.
Comfort / Features
The Steelcase Leap is one of the most advanced chairs on the market, which in some ways, isn’t surprising given the hefty price tag.
However, I think the combination of features and adjustments is done well, whereas some other chairs of an equal price tag don’t feel just quite right. I’ve always found the Herman Miller’s mesh a bit uncomfortable, whereas the fabric of the Leap is quite comfortable in a more traditional way. Not only that, but it’s very breathable.
The Leap uses a special foam inside the back of the chair and seat which helps moisture balance and breathability to prevent you from sweating (some chairs like the DXRacer chairs cause you to sweat since the leather isn’t very breathable).
Besides the nice fabric and foam, the chair also excels with its back support. Sure, you can call the back support fancy names like “LiveBack” all you want, but at the end of the day, it matters how the back feels on your own back. Fortunately, the Leap probably has the most comfortable back support on the market–bar none.
I’ve had some issues with my hips getting stiff (but this might be just to sitting long periods of time, not due to the chairs design) but I’ve hardly ever had back pain while sitting in the chair since it has great lumbar support and curved design which lets you recline and adjust movements however you want with the right amount of tension (adjusted through the upper back force lever).
Some other features include the adjustable seat depth which is great to see, even if more chairs are beginning to have this feature, the Leap was one of the first to include it and it makes the chair very versatile for people with long or short legs. (Basically, it lets you scoot the seat closer to the backrest or further away–the ideal position is a few inches behind your knees).
Perhaps my favorite thing about the leap is the “Natural Glide System” which lets you recline through the back as the seat moves forward keeping your posture correct. It’s a difficult system to design in a chair, and you won’t find cheaper chairs with the same movement mechanics.
Other chairs like DXRacer or no-name chairs often just tilt the back with the seat which makes your knees super high almost taking your feet off the ground.
Other things like the backstop and flexible seat edge are pretty self-explanatory. The arms though are some of the best adjustable arms on the market. They make DXRacer arms and other no-name brands look poor in comparison.
The Steelcase Leap’s arms can be moved super easily and adjusted through height, width, depth, and pivot. This means you have 4D control over the arms. And like all of the other parts in the chair, the arms feel sturdy and reliable, so you can be sure the chair’s arms won’t get stuck or break down.
I struggle to find too many bad things about the Leap. The recline ability is limited (compared to some chairs), but that’s because the chair is designed to keep you ergonomic during recline. In fact, the chair simply has the best recline abilities on the market due to how the seat adjusts in accordance with the back.
However, if you want the biggest recline available you might look into the Steelcase Gesture–but I don’t recommend this chair since the back isn’t as comfortable or designed as well as the Leap.
Another thing is that the cushions aren’t SUPER thick. For me, this isn’t an issue since the cushioning is high quality and doesn’t wear down easily, but it might take some adjustment for someone use to heavy plush lazy boys or overstuffed executive chairs that eventually flatten over the course of a year. Just keep in mind that this chair won’t replace your Lazy boy or your couch, but it’s not designed to. It keeps you comfortable at a desk.
Steelcase Leap Review Conclusion
The Steelcase Leap is one of those chairs that you just have to experience to understand. The interlocking parts, adjustments, and materials used just feel high-quality. The chair is super comfortable to sit in and the chair even looks quite modern and stylish making it a good fit for any office. If you’re curious what it’s like to unbox the Steelcase Leap, check out my unboxing video!