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Steelcase Leap review

The Steelcase Leap is a solid office chair with some great back support

Steelcase Leap next to office desk
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Steelcase)

Our Verdict

The Steelcase Leap is an excellent office chair with good lower back support.

For

  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Good lumbar support
  • Comfortable

Against

  • Less breathable than Aeron

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Steelcase Leap is an excellent office chair with good lower back support.

Pros

  • + Comes in a variety of colors
  • + Good lumbar support
  • + Comfortable

Cons

  • - Less breathable than Aeron
Steelcase Leap: Specs

Height: 38.5 to 43.5 inches
Seat height:15.5 to 20.5 inches
Seat depth: 15.75 to 18.75 inches
Seat width: 19.25 inches
Weight limit: 400 pounds

The Steelcase Leap is one of the better-known office chair brands, and after sitting in this chair for more than a month, I can see why. It’s a very comfortable chair with plenty of back support, and you can get it in a wide range of colors, too, which makes it a great addition to any home office. 

My main critique is that at around $1,000, it’s not a cheap office chair, but it’s one of the best office chairs, so you’ll want to read the rest of this Steelcase Leap review to decide if the investment is worth it. 

Steelcase Leap review: Price and availability

The Steelcase Leap starts at $979 at Steelcase.com, but the price goes up as you add options. The base model’s arms are only height-adjustable; 4-way adjustable arms are $65 more. Additional lumbar support is $41 extra; a headrest costs $166, and wheels for hardwood floors are $18. If you want leather rather than fabric upholstery, that’s an extra $578. You can also purchase the Leap in a stool configuration, which costs $165 more.

If you’re looking to save some money, you can often find the chair on sale at other retailers for much less, though most likely not in the configuration you want.

Steelcase Leap review: Design, adjustability, and comfort

Unlike the Herman Miller Aeron, the Steelcase Leap looks more like a traditional office chair, with padding on both the back and the seat. It’s less breathable than the Aeron’s mesh seating, though I have yet to sit through a hot summer in either to see how the two differ in comfort. 

Steelcase Leap

(Image credit: Steelcase)

The Leap is available in a variety of colors — you can choose from 20 options, including saffron and peacock (green). My review model was a bluish color, which definitely helps it stand out from the sea of gray and black office chairs I’ve sat in. You can also choose from three frame colors: black, platinum and polished aluminum.

Steelcase Leap back adjustment

(Image credit: Steelcase)

On either side of the backrest are two sliders which you can move up and down to adjust the lumbar support. A knob on the right lets you change the firmness of the back, while another knob changes the tension for the upper back. You can also adjust how far the back tilts, how far the seat moves forward and how much force is required to tilt the seat back.

Steelcase Leap adjustment knob

(Image credit: Steelcase)

Like the Herman Miller Aeron, the Leap felt very comfortable the second I sat in it. Unlike the Aeron’s mesh seat, which made it feel like I was sitting in a hammock, the Leap’s seat felt similar to most other office chairs, but with a bit more padding.

Steelcase Leap in office

(Image credit: Steelcase)

However, I did like that the Steelcase Leap provided more lumbar support, especially around the sides of my back, than did the Aeron. What’s more is that I liked how easily I could dial in the amount of support, and where I wanted it.

Steelcase Leap review: Verdict

When it comes to the best office chairs, the Steelcase Leap ranks among the top for its design and comfort. It may not be as breathable as the Herman Miller Aeron, but it provides better back support and comes in a wider range of colors, letting you better personalize the look of your home office. As with the Aeron, the Leap is not cheap, and will set you back a grand or more with all the trimmings, so we suggest looking for deals. 

Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the home, smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories, as well as all buying guides and other evergreen content. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.