Steelcase Leap Review – Is It Worth The Price?

by: Scott Pierce (founder, blogger & ergonomic consultant)
Steelcase Leap Review - Great Ergonomic Office Chair
Is Steelcase Leap worth the price?

I can bet that you want to avoid buying another uncomfortable chair which will broke in a few months, right?

Probably that’s the reason why you are looking for some better, high-end office chair which support your painful back and neck. I think that this chair can help you – below you can find my Steelcase Leap review – really awesome chair.

Steelcase Leap is a truly ergonomic office chair. The backrest follows you as you change your posture, to always support your back and let you be more productive. It helps to maintain healthy posture and reduce slouching.

Thanks to many innovative features and multiple adjustments it reduces the pressure on your spine, especially the lumbar vertebrae, as well as on shoulders and thighs. It’s an expensive office chair, but it is an investment in your health.

9 Awesome Must-Have Features

Ergonomic shape

This is an ergonomic office chair for posture and back problems. Thanks to few awesome features it helps the user to stay pain-free even during long hours of working at the desk.

Steelcase Leap v1 Features Review

Back support

Steelcase Leap is the first chair with backrest that changes shape to mimic the user movements. Thanks to innovative feature called LiveBack your entire spine will be always supported even when you change your position. It will also help you to practice good posture and reduce hunching. Less hunching means less stress on the spine, neck and shoulders, and less stress means better productivity and efficacy.

Moreover, there is a Natural Glide System – thanks to it when you recline the distance between you and your work doesn’t increase. The seat slightly glides forward when you recline therefore you can easily reach the desk and stay oriented to your work, without straining your neck, arms and eyes (which is typical in standard, cheaper chairs).

Steelcase Leap Back Support

Steelcase Leap is a great ergonomic office chair for lower back pain as it has S-shaped backrest and adjustable lumbar support that can be positioned to fit lower spine natural curve.

Besides, the back is fairly long so it also support the thoracic spine and shoulder blades. However, in standard version there is no headrest, so no neck support. It’s the biggest drawback of the Steelcase Leap Chair. Nevertheless you can find a version of Leap with headrest included, but it’s over $100 more expensive.

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Circulation Improvement

The seat has one more useful feature – the front edge is flexible and adapts to user’s legs. It helps to relieve the pressure on the back of your knees and thighs, whether you tilt back or lean forward. Flexible Seat Edge has positive influence on the blood circulation in legs and prevents from cramps, numbness, tingling, stiffness and pain in legs.

Multiple adjustments

Usually the more expensive chair the more adjustments it offers. Steelcase Leap is no exception.

It is a fully adjustable computer chair. If doesn’t come in different sizes,  but each part of it can be adjusted to fit the user body, not the other way round.

Chair Height

How to adjust seat depth in Steelcase Leap

This is a standard feature that every office chair has. You can easily lower or raise the chair, depending on your height and legs length.

Seat Depth

Legs and torso length are fairly independent of the overall height. There are tall people with long upper body and short legs and people with long legs but shorter torso. Short and average in height people also have different length of the legs and upper body. That’s why adjustable seat depth is so useful. Steelcase Leap allows you to glide the seat forward or backward to find the best position for your legs and back. Thanks to adjustable seat depth the front edge won’t dig into the back of your knees, you won’t be sliding of the seat and there will be less pressure on your thighs.

Keep in mind that the best (and healthiest) position is when you sit all the way back so the backrest supports your spine, your feet are flat on the floor, your knees are at 90 degree angle and your thighs are resting on the seat. In this position your pelvis and sacral area are well supported.

Armrests Height, Depth, Width & Pivot

As a high-end office chair, Steelcase Leap features 4D adjustable armrests. You can slide them up and down to adjust their height, move them forward and backward to adjust their depth, shift them inwards and outwards to adjust their width and pivot them from left to right.  All adjustments allow you to find natural position that supports your forearms and wrists, as well as your shoulders and neck. Thanks to that the wrist fatigue and pressure on shoulders will be reduced and you will be protected from crick in your necks.

Recline Angle & Tension

The backrest reclines to 5 positions and you can stop at any of them – whatever is the most comfortable for you. You can also adjust the upper back force (tilt tension) which means you can choose how much resistance you feel when you tilt back.

Steelcase Leap Recline

Whether you want to work in upright position or need to take a break and rest, you will be able to find comfy position while your back will remain well supported.

Lumbar Support

As an ergonomic office chair, Steelcase Leap has S-shaped backrest to support user’s lower back. But that’s not all. You can adjust the position of the curve (move it up or down) so it could fit your natural lumbar curvature. Thanks to this feature people of different height will be able to find comfortable and supportive position on this chair.

Adjust curve in Steelcase Leap Chair

Moreover, you can adjust the lower back support firmness. By simply turning a knob you can make it more or less harder – depending on your preferences and body posture.

If you’re looking for a high-quality ergonomic office chair that will allow you to work efficiently for many hours and relieve your aching back, Steelcase Leap is one of the best choices you can make.

Materials & Fabrics

Big advantage of this ergonomic office chair is the simple but elegant appearance and wide range of available colors. You can purchase Steelcase Leap in over dozen color versions so it could match your workspace.

Steelcase Leap Real Photo - Material

The frame and base is available in three colors and there are over 10 colors for the seat and back.  You can choose fabric or leather padding – I’m definitely recommend the fabric as it is more breathable.

When you spend many hours sitting on a chair with padding made of non-breathable fabric, your body heats up quickly, your back and thighs sweat and you feel uncomfortable and unpleasant. In such conditions, it’s really hard to focus (not to mention being productive).

I’m sure that if you are looking for great office chair you also heard about Herman Miller, right? Here you can see my comparison which chair is better: Herman Miller Aeron or Steelcase Leap.

With Steelcase Leap you can forget about this issue. The backrest and the seat have special foam and slats that allow for proper air circulation. Thanks to good breathability you won’t be sweating and overheating, even while long hours of sitting. The airy fabric will let you stay cool, comfortable and focused on work.

Before you decide to purchase this office chair, make sure to check the colors availability and compare their prices, as some of the versions are a bit more expensive.

There’s one more thing – Steelcase Leap Chair was designed with environmental responsibility in mind. It is made from 23% recycled materials and it’s 98% recyclable by weight.

Weight Capacity & Height Recommendation

Standard version of the Steelcase Leap has weight capacity of 400 lbs. It’s most comfortable for short and average in height people, it may be a bit less supportive for very tall person (over 6’4″).

If you’re looking for an office chair for heavy person, there is also version Steelcase Leap Plus which can accommodate a user up to 500 lbs.

Other Versions

Steelcase Leap is available in few versions which differ in fabric on the seat and backrest.  According to many customers the 3D Knit material is awesome and very comfortable. There is also a version with a headrest – for people who suffer from neck pain.

You can find on the market Steelcase Leap Plus which has bigger weight capacity (up to 500 lbs) while offering the same quality and performance.

One more noteworthy thing is that you can find on Amazon refurbished Steelcase Leap which looks like new one (usually it has completely changed upholstery and armrests and no signs of use). The best part is that refurbished model is much cheaper than fully new chair (it costs even up to 3 times less!). Don’t forget to check it before making your purchase.

Technical Specification

Chair Height From Floor

15.5″ – 20.5″

Backrest height

25″

Headrest

Optional only, version with headrest is more expensive

Reclining backrest

Yes – 5 positions (from 96 to 120 degrees)

Tilt tension

Yes

Adjustable Lumbar Support

Yes – adjustable position and firmness

Adjustable Armrests

Yes – 4D

Armrests Width

12.75″ – 20″

Armrests Height From Seat

7″ – 11″

Armrest Pivot Range

+/- 30 degrees

Seat depth

15.75″ – 18.75″

Seat & Back Material

Fabric or Leather

Weight Capacity

400 lbs – Leap Standard, 500 – Leap Plus

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
  • Multiple adjustments allow to find most comfortable and supportive position for back and arms
  • Reduces pressure on lower back, shoulders, forearms and wrists
  • Improves blood circulation in legs thanks to flexible seat front edge
  • Whole chair mimics the user movements and adapts to user position
  • Feels sturdy and strong
  • Many seat and backrest materials and dozens color versions to choose from
  • Modern, simple design
  • Made of quality materials, built to last
  • Responsive customer service
  • May be less comfy or even not suitable for very tall person (above 6’4″) or person with wide bottom
  • According to some customers the Buzz2 fabric is less comfortable for long hours of sitting
  • Very expensive, adding a headrest is additional cost

What Other Customers Think About Steelcase Leap?

Alera Elusion Reviews From Customers
Reviews by people who already tested Steelcase Leap.

Customers love how highly adjustable this chair is. Adjustable chair height, seat depth and armrests that move in four directions are great advantages of Steelcase Leap and allow the users to find exceptional support. Moreover there are 5 positions for the backrest and although the full recline is not very deep, it’s comfortable for taking a break from work and relaxing. Another advantage is the easy-to-adjust tilt tension so you can always choose the right amount of pressure in each angle.

Big asset of the Steelcase Leap is that all features are super easy to adjust. Many people mention it feels solid and well-balanced in every position.

Thanks to ergonomic shape and so many adjustments it gives great support for lower back, as well as for the elbows. According to many users it reduces pressure on their lumbar spine and shoulders and allows to work at the desk for many hours a day pain-free. Customers also say it’s a great ergonomic office chair for posture.

People differ in body types therefore there isn’t an ideal chair that would be perfectly comfortable for all. That’s why some users say the Steelcase Leap supports their back very well and helps them with sore back, while others complain the lumbar support is not enough for them. However, most of the users agree it is good relieving lumbar spine pain.

Some people say the seat is not comfy enough if you have wide bottom.

Few users say the fabric on the seat and back is a bit scratchy (one person compared it to a wool blanket). It’s very durable, however not every person find it comfortable and some say it lacks padding (it depends on individual preferences). Customer recommend paying attention to the material you choose while purchasing this chair (there are at least 4 different types).

One customer mention that he would prefer if the armrests could stop at any height, instead of few predetermined height settings.

Few people that have ordered the refurbished Steelcase Leap mention they had to grease some parts and one person needed to buy new gas cylinder, but it was a minor flaw for them as they bought the refurbished versions much cheaper.

Final Word

Steelcase Leap is definitely great ergonomic office chair and I hope that my review confirmed that. It’s is quite pricey but definitely worth it. But of course final decision is up to you.

Article Score:
[Total votes: 3, Average: 5]