Steelcase Leap Review

Kyle Schurman Profile image

Written By:

Updated December 2, 2022
Our posts contain affiliate links. Sometimes, not always, we may make $$ when you make a purchase through these links. No Ads. Ever. Learn More
86 Expert Rating

Although new and improved always seems to grab the attention of consumers, sometimes tried and true can still triumph. Such as in the ergonomic office chair environment, where a model that has been around for more than 10 years with only one version upgrade remains one of the best quality office chair options you’ll find. My Steelcase Leap office chair review will show how this long-lasting design fares against some newer counterparts in the market. If you want an office chair that looks like it’s from the future, take a look at our magnetically floating lounger chair too. Or, to find top-notch chairs, take a look at our best office chair list.

If you are looking for the ultimate office chair we have you covered. You sit for long hours, so you should be comfortable. If you really want to pull your room together, you should read our integrated technology coffee maker (charges all your gadgets) review too.


Summary: A strong design and great build quality have allowed the Steelcase Leap Office Chair to remain a strong performer in the market for cool furniture for many years.

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Tried and true chair design provides support and comfort

Price: $799 to $1,924 (depending on design choices)
Available: Now

What We Liked

  • Good lumbar support that’s adjustable
  • Very comfortable to use for long stretches
  • Dozens of different color and design combinations available
  • Strong build quality; feels very sturdy

What We Didn’t

  • Armrest design isn’t quite as good as what’s available on newer office chair designs
  • Price goes up quickly if you choose leather and some other high-end design options
  • Can take a couple of days to adjust the chair to fit your needs just right

Design and Build

Steelcase Leap Chair
Headrest or no headrest – you decide.

Steelcase covers its Leap chairs in dozens of different colors in either fabric or leather, so you can custom order this model to fit in with any type of color scheme and design you have in an office. Colors range from basic black to bright oranges and yellows to deep blues and grays if you choose fabric covering, while leather colors are limited more toward neutral and darker colors.

The frame is available in polished aluminum, platinum, or black, all of which look stylish within the overall design of the chair. You also can select the design of the arms, headrest, and wheels, allowing you to customize the Steelcase Leap to fit what’s needed in your office. You even can choose a taller chair design with a circle-shaped footrest toward the bottom, should this design fit your office better. It’s great to have so many items to customize in an office chair.

Related: If you like this chair, you might be interested in our Steelcase Leap Chair review.

The backrest and seat cushion are made of polyurethane foam, providing a good mixture of comfort and support. And the material in the seat cushion feels very durable, which should allow it to keep its shape throughout the work day, something that can be a problem on cheaper office chairs. Leap chairs are rated to support up to 300 pounds of weight with no performance loss. That fact can be checked out in comparison with some of the best office stools available today.

And the Leap chair is almost 100% recyclable, which is a great bonus feature.


A great office chair needs to provide plenty of lower back support, and the Leap office chair excels here. You can adjust the firmness of the lower back support with the adjustable lumbar support, as well as adjust the support area for the mid-back.

Related: Also check out our The Original Balance Fit Ball Office Chair Adjustable Desk Stool review.

One interesting aspect of the Steelcase Leap is the ability to completely remove the arms from the chair without compromising the unit’s stability. And you can order replacement parts from any Steelcase dealer, should any parts wear out after a few years of use. However, you do have to order the headrest and backrest as one piece. For more products from this brand, check out the Steelcase Aima and Amia Air.

The Steelcase Leap contains adjustable armrests in four directions, which is great. However, the Leap’s design includes classic telescopic arm designs, whereas some newer chairs, such as the Steelcase Gesture, have more of a ball-and-socket design in the armrests, which allows for greater adjustments in any direction. Another interesting feature is that there are levers under the seat that not only adjust seat height but also seat depth adjustments, where you can move the seat forward and back. Not only does this provide stability and comfort, but it also improves blood flow while sitting in an office chair.


While the Steelcase Leap at first glance may not look extremely comfortable, looks can be deceiving. The Leap is one of those chairs that when you sit down, you’ll pause for a second, just to savor how it feels, before going to work. You will need to spend between a couple of hours and a couple of days to gain a good feel for the chair and make the necessary adjustments to achieve maximum comfort levels, but it’ll be worth the time you invest in setup and adjustments.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Leap office chair is the variable backstop and adjustable seat depth, where you can set the amount of pressure required to support your favorite reclining angle in the chair. And the chair will then automatically adjust as the seat glides back and forth, relieving pressure on your knees as you lean back. If you’re someone who likes to lean back as you think, this chair does a nice job supporting you without making you feel as though you might lose your balance or put pressure on your knees by forcing you to raise your feet off the floor. With the adjustable arms as well, you can mold your chair into just the right adjustments so you can feel right at home in any position.

You may notice that the Leap can be a little uncomfortable if you’re in an office where you can’t control the room temperature. Mesh-backed office chairs can be cooler than the solid back of the Leap, especially for someone who perspires easily. I didn’t notice a significant problem with sweating during my tests, but some people might. Ultimately, I prefer the solid backrest of this chair versus a mesh chair, as the Leap is better for someone who needs lumbar support to avoid a sore back after a long day of sitting. But if you prefer an office chair for breathability, then you’ll want to read our Ticova Ergonomic office chair review and our Herman Miller Aeron chair review.

Wrap Up

If you’re only interested in the newest designs for office chairs, you’ll probably be looking past the Steelcase Leap for a newer model. After all, the original Steelcase Leap won The Wall Street Journal’s best office chair award … in 2005. But don’t let its age fool you. Steelcase continues to offer the Leap office chair because it’s a great design, offering a strong combination of comfort and reliability. You can order the Steelcase Leap in a variety of designs, which is helpful. Just keep in mind that some design upgrades can double or almost triple the base cost of this chair. The fact that people still rely on this design for comfort in the office after more than a decade is proof enough that Steelcase has a great product in the Leap office chair. You can also use this chair for your marathon gaming sessions to ensure comfort. Well-designed ergonomic office chairs make great gaming chairs. In fact, Shrouds’ gaming chair is an office chair, the Herman Miller Aeron.

Related Articles:

Kyle Schurman Profile image