6
Steelcase Karman Review

Steelcase Karman Review

True Score

86
86
3

Experts

83
0

Consumers

Product Awards

Top 10

GR Certified

Expert Rankings

The Steelcase Karman is a high-end office chair with impressive adjustability and ergonomics. There is a variant with back support adjustments, but it doesn’t ship with a headrest.

Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The Steelcase Karman is a premium office chair that was launched in 2023. Weighing only 28 pounds, the Karman is lighter than many highly-rated office chairs and is available in variants that offer both adjustable and non-adjustable lumbar support.

The lumbar support variant is height adjustable by about 3.5” Its armrests can also be moved up or down, sideways, front or back, or in and out, and it also offers four recline positions, each with different levels of tension. Its seat height can be adjusted in a 5” range, and ships fully assembled for added convenience. The chair has a 350 lbs weight capacity and can automatically adjust to body movements and posture changes to offer the best flexibility.

Consensus

our Verdict

The Steelcase Karman is a well-built fabric mesh office chair that stands out with its unique ability to adapt to an individual’s body movements and posture thanks to its flexible seat and backrest frame. The chair is also highly adjustable, as owners can quickly configure its seat height (by 5”), recline angle (reclines back up to 135°), and adjust the armrests up, down, inwards, or outward. However, there’s no setting for making seat depth adjustments and no option to include a headrest.

Nonetheless, the chair is easy to maneuver around at only 28 pounds, and it works for users that weigh up to 350 pounds. Regarding back support, most should be satisfied with the built-in curve in its backrest that adjusts according to posture, but there is a variant with height & depth adjustable lumbar support, which is height adjustable by about 3.5”.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Decent range of adjustability options
    • The Karman is ideal for office use, as it allows for height, armrest, and recline adjustability, but owners won’t be able to configure its seat depth.

    • The seat height is adjustable by 5”, and the backrest reclines up to 135°. Additionally, its lumbar support variant is height adjustable by 3.5”, and the chair can tilt back by up to 16°.

  • Variable options for lumbar support
    • Buyers can opt for the Karman variant that offers height-adjustable lumbar support (which is height adjustable by about 3.5”) or stick with the default variant, which has what Steelcase calls LiveBack Technology for dynamic support.

  • Exceptional build quality
    • The Steelcase Karman is made of premium-feeling materials (high-quality plastic on an aluminum frame) and has a 350-pound weight capacity.

Reason to Avoid

  • No headrest included
    • The Steelcase Karman is not sold with a headrest, nor is it offered as an option.

Steelcase Karman Specs

Adjustable ArmrestsAdjustable Armrests4-Dimensional
Armrest Height MaxArmrest Height Max11.25
Armrest Height MinArmrest Height Min7.25"
Backrest HeightBackrest Height25"
Backrest WidthBackrest Width18"
Frame ConstructionFrame ConstructionSteel
Has FootrestHas FootrestNo
Head PillowHead PillowNo
Head RestHead RestAdjustable Head Support
Lumbar SupportLumbar SupportAdjustable
Piston TypePiston TypePneumatic Cylinder
ReclineReclineYes
Seat DepthSeat Depth17.32"
Seat Height AdjustmentSeat Height Adjustment16.5 – 20.5"
Seat Padding MaterialSeat Padding MaterialFoam
Seat WidthSeat Width19.5"
UpholsteryUpholsteryIntermix Mesh
Weight LimitWeight Limit400 lbs
Wheel TypeWheel TypeCasters

All Specs

Test Results

Max Recline (Degrees)0
Min Seat Height (Inches)0
Max Seat Height (Inches)0

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Product Comparison

Steelcase Karman Review

Steelcase Karman Review

True Score

86
82
84
89

Ranking

#

6

/

31

#

16

/

31

#

8

/

31

#

3

/

31

Market Context

The Steelcase Karman is a premium office chair that was launched in 2023. Weighing only 28 pounds, the Karman is lighter than many highly-rated office…

The Steelcase Karman is a premium office chair that was launched in 2023. Weighing only 28 pounds, the Karman is lighter than many highly-rated office chairs and is available in variants that offer both adjustable and non-adjustable lumbar support.

The lumbar support variant is height adjustable by about 3.5” Its armrests can also be moved up or down, sideways, front or back, or in and out, and it also offers four recline positions, each with different levels of tension. Its seat height can be adjusted in a 5” range, and ships fully assembled for added convenience. The chair has a 350 lbs weight capacity and can automatically adjust to body movements and posture changes to offer the best flexibility.

The Steelcase Karman’s seat height can be adjusted by about 4.5”, which is slightly lower than the 10” range of seat height adjustment offered by…

The Steelcase Karman’s seat height can be adjusted by about 4.5”, which is slightly lower than the 10” range of seat height adjustment offered by the Steelcase Gesture. Weighing only 28 pounds, the Steelcase Karman is light and much easier to move around than the Steelcase Gesture, which weighs 58 pounds. The Karman also has a lower 350-pound weight limit compared to the Gesture, which is rated at 400 lbs. However, while the Steelcase Gesture can be ordered with a headrest, the Karman cannot.

The Steelcase Karman has a slightly higher 350 lbs weight limit than the Flexispot C7, which has a 300 lbs limit. Also, regarding lumbar support,…

The Steelcase Karman has a slightly higher 350 lbs weight limit than the Flexispot C7, which has a 300 lbs limit. Also, regarding lumbar support, the Karman is sold in options where lumbar support is adjustable or offered as a curve on its backrest. In contrast, the C7 offers dynamic lumbar support, where the lower back section of its backrest self-adjusts in response to body movements and posture. We’ve also covered the C7 in our Flexispot C7 review if you’re interested. However, if you’d prefer an alternative with more padding than these two, check out our EasySMX Big and Tall review.

The Steelcase Karman has a typical mid-back backrest, which is quite different from the Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair, which has a “Butterfly” back. The…

The Steelcase Karman has a typical mid-back backrest, which is quite different from the Herman Miller Mirra 2 chair, which has a “Butterfly” back. The Mirra 2 chair is available in variants with a plastic or mesh backrest, while the Karman only sells with a mesh backrest. On the other hand, the Karman is sold in variants that either have or lack adjustable lumbar support, while the Mirra 2 offers adjustable lumbar support by default. If that sounds interesting, we’ve delved deeper into what it offers in our Herman Miller Mirra 2 review.

Adjustable Armrests

4-Dimensional

Yes

4-Dimensional

Yes

Armrest Height Max

11.25

32"

30"

n/a

Armrest Height Min

7.25"

22"

11.2"

n/a

Backrest Height

25"

24"

22.83"

22.91"

Backrest Width

18"

17"

20"

21"

Frame Construction

Steel

Aluminum, Alloy Steel, Nylon

Metal and Plastic

Metal and Plastic

Has Footrest

No

No

Yes

No

Head Pillow

No

No

No

No

Dig Deeper

Steelcase Gesture Review →

Flexispot C7 Review →

Herman Miller Mirra 2 Review →

Score Card

E

Expert Score

86

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

83

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

86

Expert Scores

  • Tom’s Guide
    38.71

    Category Trust Rating

    90
    The Steelcase Karman goes beyond what mesh office chairs offer thanks to the company’s proprietary… Read More

    By:

    Anthony Spadafora
  • Techradar
    34.71

    Category Trust Rating

    80
    Steelcase’s Karman chair is one of the more unique chairs I have tested. While most… Read More

    By:

    Collin Probst
  • T3
    28.71

    Category Trust Rating

    90
    The Steelcase Karman sports a unique mesh back, plus a hybrid mesh-cushion seat pan for… Read More

    By:

    Ben Mansill