Working on a desk job or gaming for 10 or more hours could put our spine at risk of being damaged. So what do you do? You can’t just outright quit your job or stop playing, can you? This is where ergonomic chairs come in. These wonderful innovations will save you a whole host of health problems and hundreds of dollars worth of over-the-counter pain medication. And what’s the best ergonomic chair of them all? Steelcase Leap Chair.
This post is the most exhaustive review of the Leap chair. We suggest reading this review entirely, but if you’re in a hurry you can click the button below to buy the chair right now.
What is Steelcase?
According to their official website, Steelcase was founded more than a century ago in 1912, and was initially named Metal Office Furniture Company. Its long record of innovation started in 1914 when the company developed a durable, low-cost, and fireproof wastebasket.
Since then, Steelcase has been innovating office furniture and materials that are durable and promotes the wellness of every user. This is quite evident in their best-selling product, the Steelcase Leap Chair, which will be dissected further down this article.
The Leap Chair: Features
The Leap chair is Steelcase’s best selling ergonomic chair due to the fact that it is quite a flexible chair – it has a wide range of adjustments powered by patented technologies that enables it to provide support to almost any body size and shape. The chair is also designed in accordance to four features or principles, all of which are rooted to the wellness of the user: movement, orientation, fit, and sustainability. Moreover, according to a study, people who used the Leap chair increased their productivity by 17.8% – that’s a lot considering they just changed seats.
V1 vs. V2
Before we proceed with the features, lets put this out of the way first. There are two versions of the Leap chair – V1 and V2. There’s not much difference between the two versions other than V2 has adjustable lumbar support (more about this feature below) while V1 does not. It’s not a make or break feature in my opinion, but because I have lumbar scoliosis who needs to sit for long periods, I’d probably pick V2.
Ever worried about getting a crick in your neck, or felt any strain in your lower body after sitting in a chair for a prolonged period of time? That’s probably down to a lack of support in your chair—and you shouldn’t be deceived by cushy seats! No matter how soft a chair is, if the back is too high, or your legs end up not settling flat on the floor with your rear parallel to said floor, you are going to ache over time.
This chair, however, does a fine job of protecting your lumbar area thanks to the parts mentioned below. The image below is the anatomy of Steelcase Leap Chair.
Essentially this chair contains 10 vital parts, but to fully understand and appreciate their functions, we need to dig deeper into some insights and observations:
The spine does not move as a single unit.
The spine isn’t some stick that moves in one swing – it’s more like a snake that curves and slithers as needed. That is why the back seat has an adjustable lumbar support that can exactly mimic the curvature of your spine. Moreover, the extremely adjustable design of the back seat – thanks to its LiveBack Technology – removes posture problems. Basically with LiveBack tech, the back seat changes shape as you move.
The upper and lower back needs different amounts of pressure or force to ensure proper support.
The lower back and upper back are two areas that need different pressures to ensure maximum support. The intuitive Leap chair adjustment controls for Lower Back Firmness and Upper Back Force lets you easily adjust the lower back pressure and the amount of “push” on your upper back to a comfortable setting.
Armrests and Seat
We have different body configurations.
This is a bit of common sense – we all know we’re different. That is why this chair is made to have as much adjustability as possible.
The arms are incredibly adjustable and has the ability to adjust in four directions – forward or backward, up or down, in or out. This removes the issue of gradually developing carpal tunnel, gamer’s wrist or other conditions which will affect your hands and arms. The adjustable seat depth and height make for maximum customization that will suit every body height and size, meaning you will have hours and hours of sitting with excellent support.
The recline support system, known as the Natural Glide System also provides that same level of care even when you decide to kick back in your seat a little bit, ensuring that the fear of overstretching backwards is completely unfounded thanks to a very secure lock system. Moreover, the Natural Glide System still enables you to work even when in recline thus opening new possibilities for more varied postures and reducing static load on the spine. Additionally, the chair’s Variable Back Stop supports up to five recline angle positions.Read More User Reviews and Purchase The Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair
You want all the bells and whistles.
Lets face it. This chair is a quite an investment, even for those who do not see the intrinsic value of a well-built ergonomic chair. However, given Leap’s price, you will want (and you should demand!) all the bells and whistles you can possibly have.
For one, the backseat contains special foam and slats that lets your back breathe, ensuring comfortable temperature as you work or play. Secondly, the chair has a Flexible Seat Edge that automatically flexes to relieve pressure off of your things. This is beneficial and encourages proper blood circulation on your legs.
I’ve also noticed that there are some of you are looking for a Steelcase Leap Chair with headrest. Well there is one right here but the additional price just for the headrest, makes me think it’s not worth it.
Unlike most chairs made of some standard plastic polymer blend, the Steelcase Leap Chair worked with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) in selecting materials that are safe for both humans and the environment. Cradle to Cradle, Indoor Advantage, and BIFMA Level 2 certified, it’s 98% recyclable by weight and made of up to 30% recycled content, so you can be certain that when you’re finally done with the Steelcase—and that’s going to be a long, long time from now—much of it can be re-purposed for other things.
Long-Lasting Chair With A 12-Year (!) Warranty
Granted, the Steelcase Leap Chair is not the cheapest option on the market, but its clever ergonomic design, tech flexibility, and durability put it head and shoulders above other models you may be choosing from. Let’s start with the fact that it comes with a 12 year-long lifetime warranty—how many companies offer that kind of support for fixing up a piece of furniture?
Another good thing about it is that it’s really made to last for years and years, negating the need to buy a replacement because of a snapped part or overly bent section. It can handle a weight of up to 300 pounds with no trouble at all or loss in support or adjustability—definitely a huge plus as many chairs tend to lose their lift or recline when someone a little heavier takes a seat, but not this chair!
Availability, Versions, and Price
The Steelcase Leap Chair is always available in Amazon. It also comes in 5 color variations – classic black, navy, burgundy, camel, and gray. The list price is around $1,700 BUT discounted to around $900 at the time of this writing. A note though – prices in Amazon changes a bit so you the real price may vary from the one mentioned here. Please check here to see the current price.
Of course, buying the chair at its brand new price is NOT a bad idea, but if you do find it a bit overwhelming for your budget, you can try and find used or refurbished ones in Craigslist or other local merchants. Based on my research, online reviews about buying a used Steelcase Leap Chair is quite good and will only cost you around $300 (less if you’re a good haggler). I have no personal experience about buying used chairs though because there is no thriving market for used goods from where I live and I prefer to buy new chairs simply because I have no idea who sat on used ones before. I could be sitting on remnants of human excrement for all I know!
Pros and Cons
The adjustable features and patented technologies mentioned above makes it quite evident that the Steelcase Leap chair has a lot of benefits especially for those who has to sit for long periods. But the cons? Not so much so let’s consolidate some complaints right here.
First off, several customers complained that the seat is not cushy enough for those weighing 280 lbs and above. Additionally, there are also complaints by people with heights of 6’7″ and above, saying that the chair is just not designed for their bodies. I can’t have a personal take on these complaints because I’m 5’6″ and only weighs 170 lbs so the chair is quite comfortable for me, but it could be possible that there is a limit to how heavy tall the chair can accommodate. For convenience’s sake, let’s say the comfort limit of the chair is 250 lbs and 6’6″.
Moreover, the fabric of the backseat is said to come off after six months of use. I can attest to this, but it’s not too much and doesn’t interfere with the chair’s function of supporting my back.
Our 2 Cents
All of these features are things which the Steelcase Leap Chair has, and other lower-end seats do not—which explain why so many people buy it despite the higher price. This chair definitely comes highly recommended, and you will not regret getting this seat for your personal use.