Steelcase Gesture vs Leap: Which is the Best Ergonomic Office Chair for You?

In a world of working from home, having an ergonomic office chair like the Steelcase Gesture or Leap can make all the difference. But how do you go about choosing between them?

You may think that every office chair is the same, and you don’t really need to fork out for a proper office chair.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

A proper office chair like the Steelcase Gesture or Steelcase Leap can help with concentration, keep you feeling energized, and even help your posture.

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Finding the best ergonomic office chairs can be tricky, but it’s well worth doing.

If you’re hunched over your dining table or sprawled on the sofa, you’ll definitely start noticing some aches and pains. And if you end up ignoring them, they could develop into more severe and long-term health complications.

But in a head to head of Steelcase Gesture vs Leap, which ergonomic office chair comes out on top?

We’ll take you through the pros and cons of each chair and give you all the information you might need to decide between the two chairs.

Steelcase Gesture vs Leap: the Key Differences Explained

You’d be right in thinking that these two chairs have some similarities. After all, they’re both made by ergonomic office chair behemoth Steelcase. They do have some key differences, which we’ll take you through, but first, let’s take a look at their similarities.

Steelcase Gesture Office Chair, Cogent Connect Licorice

Both the Steelcase Gesture and Leap feature Steelcase’s bespoke LiveBack Technology in the backrest, which gives you excellent back support as well as being really comfortable.

They’re both roughly the same size as well and come with the same standard 400lb weight capacity – though you can get a 500lb Leap Plus model.

The Steelcase Gesture and the Leap also both have fully adjustable armrests. You may not think that this is an important feature to have on an office chair, but it makes all the difference when it comes to comfort.

While they have these things in common, it’s worth pointing out the differences between the Steelcase Gesture vs Leap, as their differences dictate which chair could be best for you.

Additional Lumbar Support

Lumbar support is one of the most important considerations for you to think about. Everyone has a different lumbar preference, and being able to adjust it, or at least have additional support options, can be incredibly important.

If you’re looking for a chair with outstanding lumbar support, then the Steelcase Leap is the one for you. It provides exceptional lower back support, as well as offering great flexibility too.

How to Adjust the Steelcase Leap Chair

The Leap comes with a lower back firmness control knob, meaning with a simple twist of a dial, you can have complete control over how much pressure is on your lower back. And because lumber support is different for everyone, this level of flexibility puts it well ahead of the Steelcase Gesture.

With a whopping 5” of lumbar height adjustment, there are few other ergonomic office chairs out there today that offer anything even slightly similar to this level of lumbar flexibility.


Whether you go for an office chair with armrests or without, making sure that you’re comfortable is the priority.

Adjustable armrests are always preferable, so you can keep your arms in a comfortable position and avoid strain on your neck and shoulders as a result.

While we mentioned that both the Steelcase Gesture and Leap had great armrest functions, the Steelcase Gesture pips the Leap to the post. In fact, we’ve never seen armrests as good as the ones you get on the Steelcase Gesture.

How to Adjust the Steelcase Gesture Chair

Providing height, depth, and pivot adjustments, along with an absolute game changer of width adjustment, you’ll never need to worry about your armrests being slightly off-kilter, and with a little bit of tinkering, you’ll find the perfect position.

Design Options

Sure, you’ll likely spend most of your time sitting down in your chair, so you may not worry about how it looks. But it’s always nice to try and get your hands on a bit of a statement piece, or choose a color that fits the room.

When it comes to different designs and colors, it’s a fairly even tie.

Steelcase Leap Office Chair - Celery with Black Base
The Leap in “Celery” with the black base. Image via Amazon.

The Steelcase Gesture gives you a choice of more than 10 different upholstery colors, whereas the Steelcase Leap has an additional 3 designs – the Leap Plus, the Leap WorkLounge, and the Leap Chair with 3D Knit.


While you might not be too worried about your chair’s design options or color, you will probably be concerned about the price of the Steelcase Gesture and Leap.

The Steelcase Gesture is the more expensive office chair of the two, with additional costs for a headrest and the style of back.

The Steelcase Leap is slightly cheaper, and also gives you the option of choosing it in a stool style, or having leather upholstery, as well as various add-ons.

As you’ll agree, they aren’t particularly cheap. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you can find some of the best office chairs under 200 dollars which can also give you a whole ream of extras and add-ons too.

Steelcase Gesture: An Overview

Steelcase Gesture Chair, Licorice

Ergonomic design is the byword for all Steelcase products, and the Steelcase Gesture is no exception.

Built to an impeccably high standard, the Steelcase Gesture is built around a solid steel frame with additional plastic enhancements that give added flexibility, and improve the overall aesthetic of the chair too.

Features also include three different seat height options, from as low as 14.5” to as high as 22.5”, a narrow backrest that helps arm and shoulder movement, and a surprisingly thin cushion.

While a 2” cushion certainly seems like a much slimmer option when compared to other office chairs, it still provides impressive levels of comfort.

Adjustability is the name of the game when it comes to the Steelcase Gesture, with just about every aspect of this chair capable of being adjusted. So no matter how you like your seating position, you’ll be able to find a setting that suits you.

Steelcase Gesture Specifications:

  • Seat Depth: 15.75 – 18.5 inches
  • Seat Width: 20 inches
  • Backrest Height: 24 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400lb
  • Warranty: 12 years, with a lifetime warranty on the frame

What We Like:

  • Nearly every element can be adjusted
  • Lots of different color options
  • Excellent warranty available

What We Don’t Like:

  • Better options out there for long-term comfort and all-day seating
  • Very high price-point
  • Not very durable in the long term

Steelcase Leap: Overview

Steelcase Leap Chair with Platinum Base & Hard Floor Caster, Black

With any Steelcase chair, you’ll be sure to get the Steelcase guarantee of it being adjustable, comfortable, and perfect for your home office.

The Steelcase Leap is another of their brilliant products, and shares some features with the Steelcase Gesture. The Steelcase Leap is quite a different beast from the Steelcase Gesture, though.

It has all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from a Steelcase ergonomic office chair – maximum adjustability, a whole load of additional add-on features like a headrest, multiple color options, and comes in 3 different versions.

Lumbar support is where the Leap comes into its own, offering a lower back firmness control knob along with 5” of height on the adjustable support. You can even order an additional 2” to be added to this, which results in you having a whopping 7” of pneumatic adjustment.

Steelcase Leap Specifications:

  • Seat Depth: 19 inches
  • Seat Width: 27 inches
  • Backrest Height: 25 inches
  • Weight Capacity: 400lb
  • Warranty: 12 years, with a lifetime warranty on the frame

What We Like:

  • Loads of scope for adjustments
  • Incredible, unrivaled lumbar support
  • Great selection of additional add-ons available

What We Don’t Like:

  • Quite a large chair, which might not be suited to people with less space at home
  • Expensive for an ergonomic office chair
  • Not suitable for people over 6’4” without a headrest

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a gaming chair more comfortable than an office chair?

You’ll find that an office chair is much more comfortable and supportive than a gaming chair in the short term. Gaming chairs are more designed for more extended sitting, so they can be quite uncomfy at first.

How long will a Steelcase Leap last for?

On average, the Steelcase Leap is thought to last for about 20 years until it needs replacing.

Do Steelcase chairs come with a warranty?

Yes. All Steelcase products come with one of the best warranties in the business, with their frames having a lifetime warranty and the rest of the chair has a 12-year warranty.

What is the best Steelcase chair?

The answer to this question will change depending on what you will be using your ergonomic office chair for on a day-by-day basis, but the Steelcase Gesture frequently tops the lists of best ergonomic office chairs.

Why are office chairs so expensive?

Some ergonomic office chairs cost a lot more than others because they allow for a whole host of different adjustments, tailoring the chair to your body as well as your specific needs and desires. The more adjustments available, the more expensive the chair.

Steelcase Gesture vs Leap: Alternatives

While the alternatives may not have all the features that the Steelcase Gesture or the Steelcase Leap might have, chairs like the Herman Miller Embody and the Steelcase Amia are excellent and more affordable alternatives to the Steelcase Gesture and Leap.

If you’re looking to only spend a few hundred dollars, rather than nearly a thousand, on an office chair, we can recommend these 7 best office chairs under 300 dollars.

If you can’t afford a proper out-and-out ergonomic office chair, you may want to do some research into online ergonomic training to help with your posture while working from home.

Related: Check out more ergonomic tips from our blog.

Steelcase Gesture vs Leap: Our Verdict

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So now you’ve seen the similarities and differences, as well as the pros and cons, of both the Steelcase Gesture and the Leap.

There is one question that remains to answer, however. Which ergonomic office chair should you go for?

As we’ve discovered, they have some similarities, primarily the fact that they’re both made by office chair powerhouse Steelcase, which will mean the quality of chair is second to none.

Both the Steelcase Gesture and the Leap have their intricacies that make them individual, though, and suited to whatever use you might need.

The Steelcase Gesture offers you various adjustments, meaning you can make the chair as suited to you and your body as you need or want. If you need maximum adjustability, movement, and adaptability, the Gesture is the best choice out there. 

In addition, the narrow backrest really helps with shoulder and arm movement – perfect for all your typing or drafting needs.

The Leap differs in the fact that it offers the user incomparable lumbar support, including a bespoke back support dial which makes adjusting to your body as easy as a turn of the dial.

If you are suffering from back problems, and need appropriate pressure on your back, then the Steelcase Leap is the chair for you.

At the end of the day, though, whichever one you choose will yield notable results. You’ll be more comfortable, focussed, and energized during your working day.

As more of us turn to home working, you’ll soon realize the importance of a good, sturdy, ergonomic office chair like the Steelcase Gesture or Leap.

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