Home » Back Pain » Recliners & Office Chairs » Steelcase Leap V2 Ergonomic Office Chair (2019 Review & Rating)

Steelcase Leap V2 Ergonomic Office Chair (2019 Review & Rating)

That depends on whom you’re asking.

But one thing’s for certain: the Steelcase Leap V2 is one of the best ergonomic chairs. Built with quality materials and with a wide range of adjustments, this chair is easy to customize.

Besides, its design is powered by a health-positive philosophy, so the Leap V2 task chair offers dynamic flexibility, to keep you in a comfortable, correct position, no matter your movement patterns.

SteelCase LogoDon’t know what to expect?

I’ll try to provide you with everything you may possibly want to know about the Steelcase brand.

Leap’s Pros and Cons, warranty, price, and returns, & I’ll analyze its design features.

My team tested this office chair, so you’ll find out their opinions below as well

BETTER Alternatives anyone…

I’ll compare the Leap V2 with another popular office chair that pushes the boundaries of ergonomics: Herman Miller Aeron.

Let’s pick a winner…

Steelcase Leap V2 Review

About The Steelcase Company / Manufacturer

Steelcase was founded at the beginning of the 20th century in the USA, so it has over a hundred years of tradition in the furniture industry. Its original name was the Metal Office Furniture Company, so they focused on metal items.

This brand strived for diligence and innovation from its start, so it’s no wonder that they started developing patented technologies from the early on. One good example is their patented metal wastebasket that replaced the fire-hazard prone wicker basket.

Office of Company

This company started developing various dealer networks soon after its founding, so it retailed its office furniture throughout the country. The name change to Steelcase Inc. happened in 1954, and the company grew under this new brand.

The brand is publicly traded from 1998, and it continues to manufacture high-quality furniture. Steelcase is renowned for its comfortable and sturdy products with good warranties, as well as for their helpful customer service.

Pros and Cons of Steelcase Leap v2 Chair

SteelCase Leap

Pros – What I Like

  • Superior Build Quality
  • 400 Lbs. Weight Capacity (more than its competitors)
  • Wide Range of Ergonomic Adjustment (whole package except Back Height Adjustment)
  • 5 Tilt Positions
  • Superior 4-way Arm Adjustment (Width, Height, Pivot, Depth). You have to buy the chair with this option!
  • 2 Way Adjustable Lumbar System
  • Seat Sliding Function
  • Flexible Seat Panel – adjusting to your movements
  • Comes Fully Assembled

Cons – What I don’t Like

  • High Price Tag (not for everyone)
  • No Back Height Adjustment (it is 34 inches tall)
  • Quality but Made in Mexico (compare to Herman Miller Chairs that are made in the USA)

Return Policy and Warranty

The Leap V2, just like all of Steelcase’s products, sports a reliable 30-day money back guarantee. So if you don’t like what the chair has to offer, you can return it with no shipping or restocking fees.

12 YearThe caveat is that you need to pack the Leap V2 in its original packaging, so don’t throw that away just yet. The Leap V2 comes with a warranty, one of the best I’ve seen for office furniture.

Steelcase is so confident in the frame’s sturdiness and stability that it offers a lifetime warranty for it. The other parts, like the arms, casters, gas cylinders, mechanisms, and padding, are good for 12 years.

The best thing about these warranties is that they cover 24/7 shift usage. That means you can sit in this chair day and night, and the frame will still outlast you.

If the Leap V2 needs repairs in the meantime, you get them for free. The same goes for parts that need replacing if they don’t work properly. In case of extensive damage under normal use that can’t be repaired, Steelcase will give you a refund, credit or they will replace this chair with another, similar one.

Most Notable Features

  • 2-way adjustable lumbar system
  • 4D arms with height/width/depth/pivot adjustments
  • Five position tilt-lock
  • Adjustable lower back firmness
  • LiveBack technology to mimic spine movement
  • Seat height adjustment
  • Seat sliding

.

Specifications

  • Angle Between Seat and Back: 96 – 120 degrees
  • Arm Cap Pivot Range: +/- 30 degrees
  • Arm Height from Seat: 7 – 11 inches
  • Arm to Floor: 22– 31 inches
  • Back Height from Seat with Headrest: 32 inches
  • Back Height from Seat: 25 inches
  • Back Lumbar Height: 5 1/4- 10 1/4 inches
  • Back Width: 18 inches
  • Functional Seat Depth: 15 3/4 – 18 3/4 inches
  • Lumbar Flex Zone: 4 inches
  • Overall Depth: 21 3/4 – 24 3/4 inches
  • Overall Height: 38 1/2 – 43 1/2 inches
  • Overall Width: 27 inches
  • Depth: 15 3/4- 18 3/4 inches
  • Seat Height from Floor: 15 1/2 – 20 1/2 inches
  • Seat Panel Angle: -1 to 3 degrees
  • Seat Width: 19 1/4 inches
  • Weight Limit: 400 pounds
  • Width Between Arms: 12 3/4 – 20 inches

Build Quality

I’ve reviewed plenty of office chairs in my previous articles with my team, scoring them in terms of their characteristics. The Leap V2 is one of the best in my list, with a score of 93/100.

Made in MexicoSo why did my team subtract points from the perfect 100 score? The first reason is that the Leap V2 is made in Mexico.

Although it’s a quality product, the Herman Miller office chairs are made in the USA, with top-quality parts, designed specifically for their chairs, as is the case with flagship models like the Aeron.

Instead, the Leap V2 uses generic parts, which might not combine as seamlessly as custom-built ones.

But you can see that this is a quality chair just by analyzing the fit and finish, which don’t look cheap.

These finishing touches, along with the extended warranty and return policy, ensure the high-quality build of the Leap. Another reason why we’ve deducted some points is that the Leap uses plenty of plastics.

Generally speaking, plastic is not as resistant or stylish as other materials like wood, metal, or composites. However, the Steelcase uses durable plastic for the Leap V2 – and I’m reminding you here about the chair’s warranty.

Plastic also has the advantage of being a lightweight material. Another upside to plastic is its flexible support when compared to the stiffness of metal.

Build Quality

As such, the backrest is flexible and supportive, so its upper part can tilt, and its lower part can stick out. The seat panel is flexible as well because it adjusts to your movements, so you’re comfortably supported regardless of your position.

Design

The Leap V2 is a well-thought chair that stemmed from the public’s need of an ergonomic, comfortable office chair you can sit in for hours at a time, without compromising your health.

With generic office chairs, after a few hours sitting down, your shoulders get stiffs, your back begins to ache, and you get all sorts of cramps and muscle tension. That’s why medical practitioners advise people to get up and move every hour or so.

Design of Chair

But is that feasible with your hectic work schedule?

That’s why Steelcase designed this feature-packed office chair to decrease the risk of back pain. It boasts various patented technologies and, in turn, improve your productivity. The Leap’s design operates under the motto of a chair that moves when you move.

The first design innovation that makes this possible is the trademarked LiveBack technology, which allows the backrest to mimic your movements. That’s why the Leap moves along with your movements, providing dynamic support.

The trademarked Natural Glide System is another ergonomic innovation. This technology allows you to recline comfortably while still working. Normal office recliners need you to readjust your devices or to strain your body to keep it aligned with your computer.

Design 2

But the Leap’s Natural Glide System keeps your upper body aligned with the devices you’re using so you can maintain a correct, pain-free posture. The other design feature that lets the chair adapt ergonomically and naturally to your movements is the 4-way adjustable arms.

You can adjust the armrests’ positions vertically, horizontally, depth-wise, and pivot them. This high-adjustability offers you reliable support for your upper-body and neck regardless of your position, which reduces stiffness, aches, and promotes a positive posture.

Comfort & Ergonomic Adjustments

The Steelcase Leap V2 is a comfortable chair because it has an ergonomic, dynamically-flexible, supportive, and highly adjustable design.

But some office chairs, like the Aeron, are ergonomic without being comfortable to all users. So when you appraise a chair in terms of comfort, you have to take into account various shapes, types, and heights, plus subjective preferences or possible pre-existing ailments.

Leap v2 DimensionsWhile the Leap V2 isn’t perfect, it scored an 89/100 with my team. The reason is that its seat and backrest pad is fairly thin, so it’s not plush and cushiony as some people would like it.

Even so, the chair doesn’t feel uncomfortable even after prolonged sitting thanks to its ergonomic, “move-when-you-move” design.

However, if you have health issues like hemorrhoids, arthritis, or if you’re pregnant, you might prefer more cushiony padding.

The Leap’s upholstery is soft, smooth and doesn’t scratch your skin. If you’re less than 400 pounds, the chair can hold you seamlessly. If you’re very tall, though, the backrest’s edge might dig into your shoulders after prolonged hours sitting down.

That said, ergonomic adjustments are what make an office chair comfortable too. In this case, the Leap V2 is packed with adjustments that you can discover and fiddle with by yourself.

This wide range of customizations allows you to find the right position regardless of the devices you’re using.

Let’s see some of these adjustments:

  • The dynamic backrest adjustment that allows the chair to move alongside your movements, courtesy of the LiveBack technology.
  • The lumbar height adjusts to 5 inches so it can offer you increased lower-back comfort.
  • The lower back firmness adjusts with a side knob to accommodate your particular health needs and body type.
  • The armrests height is adjustable to 4 inches, which reduces shoulders and upper back tiredness.
  • The seat depth adjusts to 3 inches, which accommodates a wider range of leg length and hence different body-types.
  • The arm depth is adjustable to 3 inches so you can fit the chair under your desk or in otherwise cramped spaces.
  • The armrests’ width is adjustable to 4.5 inches so you can get good forearm support even if you’re heavy.
  • Armrests pivot to a 30-degree angle, which accommodates a wide range of positions.
  • The front seat edge bends to 1.5 inches, which relieves pressure under your thighs and improves blood circulation.
  • The upper back force is adjustable on five different levels, which makes the backrest stiffer or easier to recline.
  • The variable backrest stop (aka tilt-lock) adjusts on five positions.
  • The seat height adjusts pneumatically on a 5-inch range.

With all those adjustments in mind, the Leap V2 is still not a perfect chair. My picky team gave it a score of 94/100, so Steelcase, if you’re reading this article, there are some improvements you can consider.

For instance, the Leap doesn’t have a back height adjustment to accommodate taller users, especially considering that the backrest’s height is 25 inches.

The five-point tilt lock is good, but my team would have preferred to see infinite tilt lock so that you can customize your recline comfortably at various tilt degrees.

Lastly, an adjustable headrest would have made the Leap V2 perfect because it would have provided it with great neck support.

Upholstery Options & Colors

You have to choices for the upholstery: fabric or leather. The fabric option is the standard choice, with no additional fees. The fabric is soft and supple, breathable, resistant, and doesn’t scratch your skin.

Upholstery Material

The leather option looks more stylish, it’s smoother and softer, but it might not be as breathable. Besides, the leather upholstery comes with a $500+ price increase.

The Leap V2 comes with a ton of choices in terms of colors for the fabric upholstery.

There are five color palettes to choose from Buzz 2, Cogent: Connect, Bo Peep, Billiard and Remix.

Each of these palettes has between 13 to 21 color options so you can get a vibrant or starker color to fit with your home design.

The leather upholstery has limited color options, though. There are just six colors revolving around the white-light grey area, but the purpose is to underline the elegance of leather upholstery.

Mechanism Options

Some users might want different mechanism options to choose from because they want to stay in control of customizing their office chairs.

The Leap V2 offers no customization in terms of mechanism options. However, you might not need those anyway thanks to the wide array of adjustments the Leap V2 has.

Leap 2 Chair Functions

Leap’s mechanism has a right side lever to adjust the height, a left-side lever to adjust the seat depth, a back-stop knob on the front right side, and a lower back firmness control knob on the right side.

There’s also lumbar support which can be lifted up or down with the side handles on your backrest.

Don’t fret if you can’t seem to remember all that. Although these adjustments are intuitive, Steelcase wants to make sure all its customers know how to make them even after they throw away the instructions.

So once you pivot the arm pads, the instructions for these adjustments are right there, written white on black!

Arm Options

The armrests move independently so you can customize the fit for each side. Each armrest has a button on the outer side.

Squeeze and lift this button to adjust the arm height, pivot, width, or depth, by pushing the arm caps to accommodate your needs.

The armrests are adjusted correctly when you can sit with your arms at your side, with your forearms supported without having to hunch your shoulders.

Back Support

The S-shape of the backrest provides comfort and support because its curved shape is anatomically correct.

Combine that with the LiveBack technology that allows the backrest to move when you move, and you have the ingredients for the perfect back comfort.

As such, the Leap’s backrest isn’t static. Both it’s upper, and lower areas move independently, to fit various positions and shapes.

The upper side can flex so you can arch and follow the natural spine curvature. The lower part can stay fixed, for increased lumbar support.

v2 Design

The recline option is another strong feature in terms of back support. Instead of getting up to move every hour, recline back to take the pressure off your spine.

The Leap will still support you even in this position, without having to rearrange your devices.

The lumbar support offered by Leap V2 consists of two independent adjustments, meaning it’s more health-friendly than other similar supports on the market.

As such, you can move it around on your lower back, to provide additional support to certain pressure points on your back, according to your needs.

Secondly, you can adjust its firmness, so the lumbar pad provides more or less tension to your lower back area. That way, your lower back can either be supported by a firm surface or cushioned by a softer pad.

Material & Environmental Sustainability

Steelcase is an eco-friendly brand with a sustainable mindset. As such, this company manufactures a chair that respects the environment, with plenty of certifications to prove that.

Level Two BIFMAThe Leap is a low-emitting product, attested by the SCS IAQ Gold indoor air certification so that it won’t pollute the air in your office.

The  LEVEL 2 ANSI/ BIFMA certification shows that the Leap is an environmentally-preferable and social-responsible office chair.

As such, the Leap is 94% recyclable by weight, depending on the options you select for this chair. It’s also made with up to 35% recycled materials, and no trace of PVC, CFC, benzene, solvents, or chrome.

The materials aren’t coated with VOC, but with powder-coated paints and safe water-based adhesives.

The Leap V2 uses hard plastic for the backrest, base, mechanism, and frame, plus fabric or leather for the upholstery.

Assembly

My team gave the Leap V2 a score of 100/100 for the assembly. That’s because the chair ships fully assembled and well-packed so it doesn’t get damaged with shipping.

The pack weighs 66 pounds though, and the chair approximately 40 pounds, so you will still need medium strength to get the Leap out of the packaging.

Steelcase Leap V2 vs. Aeron

Comparing the Steelcase Leap V2 with the Aeron is not easy because they’re both ergonomic, feature-packed, comfortable office chairs from reputable brands.

However, the Aeron has some extra-features I like. For instance, take the custom-designed parts that blend perfectly together, to prevent wiggling and squeaks. Secondly, Aeron’s arm pads are more comfortable because they’re particularly soft.

Versus Aeron Model

Thirdly, the Aeron boasts an optional forward tilt so you can incline over the keyboard while still enjoying a reliable back and seat support. This option is beneficial, especially for marathon typists, data entry specialists, and writers.

That said, Aeron’s armrests aren’t fully adjustable unless you pay an extra fee for this specific optional feature. Even so, the Aeron’s arms are 3D, so you can adjust their height, depth, and pivot, not their width.

Both chairs come fully assembled, but the Aeron has a 12-year warranty, while the Leap V2 sports a lifetime for the frame. Both chairs have loyal follower base and positive customer reviews and feedback.

8zThe Aeron may not be as comfortable as the Leap V2 because of its mesh upholstery.

Although it’s a quality, flexible, breathable and resistant mesh called 8Z Pellicle Suspension, some people might prefer the Leap’s soft upholstery with a few inches of padding, especially for the seat.

Speaking of the seat, don’t forget that the Leap’s front seat edge bends to take the pressure off your hamstrings.

Aeron’s backrest has an S-design, which is anatomically-correct, just like the Leap V2. However, the Posture SL enhancement and the lumbar (back) support are optional options you can get for an extra fee.

The Leap V2 offers better back support in its standard version also because it has a two-way adjustable lumbar support, which you can adjust vertically and in terms of firmness.

Other things missing for the Aeron are seat-depth adjustment and tilt lock. Besides, the Aeron can accommodate people up to 350 pounds, while the Leap V2 up to 400 pounds.

Aeron Three Chairs / shop / add to cart

With that in mind, the Leap V2 is a chair that can satisfy the needs of 95% of people with its standard design. The Aeron has fewer adjustments, but it comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large.

So if you choose the right size from the start, according to your body-type, the Aeron can satisfy the needs of 99% of people. But if you want increased comfort, with plenty of customization options, the Leap V2 is a better bet.

Steelcase Leap Chair Price

The standard Leap V2 costs a little over $800. This model have standard fabric upholstery, carpet casters, and no armrests.

For an additional fee, you can add:

  • Leather upholstery: $544
  • Stool: $158
  • Platinum frame/ base: $31
  • Polished aluminum frame/ base: $323
  • Adjustable Height arms: $132
  • 4-way adjustable arms: $194
  • Headrest: $159
  • Hard surface wheels: $18

Final Thoughts on Steelcase Leap Review

The Leap is one of the best office chairs thanks to it’s ergonomic, supportive, and comfortable design, along with its dynamic flexibility.

The Leap V2 is highly adjustable, manufactured with quality, eco-friendly materials. This chair is so sturdy that the frame comes with a lifetime warranty!

However, if you want an office chair built in the USA, in an eco-friendly facility, Herman Miller Aeron chair or Embody are good choices.

These chairs have a limited color array, but they’re also ergonomic and supportive, with plenty of optional features for an additional fee.

Leave a Comment