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Leap vs. Amia: Which Steelcase model is right for you?

If you’re looking to compare the Steelcase Leap vs. Amia, you’re at a very good starting point.

You’re faced with two excellent office chair choices.

While some articles that compare these two chairs will tell you which one is the “winner”, we don’t see this as a competition.

These chairs occupy completely different spots in the Steelcase line-up of award-winning office chairs.

With the Amia, you have an elegant and ergonomic task chair with a full suite of adjustability options.

It’s a high-performance workhorse that will serve you well as a primary home office chair, or as the utility desk chair in a coworking space or commercial office environment.

For a bit more money, you can get a Leap, which is basically a task chair on steroids.

The Steelcase Leap V2 is often compared to other iconic desk chairs like the Herman Miller Aeron.

It has more adjustability, more fabric and upholstery options, more add-on features, and slightly larger dimensions than the Amia.

Both chairs are great. Your choice will depend on how you plan to use the chair, what your budget is, and whether you have any specific style, size or ergonomic needs when it comes to a work chair.

You’ll learn how to make this decision by reviewing the details below. But let’s start by showing how these two chairs are similar.

Steelcase Leap vs Amia: Similarities

Steelcase takes ergonomic design seriously.

So, whether it’s a Leap, Gesture, Amia, Think or another ergonomic task chair model, you’ll get a standard range of adjustability features that set these chairs apart from many competitors.

In this case, both the Leap and Amia are highly adjustable chairs that make it easy to customize the fit in a matter of seconds.

Steelcase Amia Task Chair: Platinum Frame/Base - 4 Way Adjustable Arms - Standard Carpet Casters

For example, for finding the right posture and position at your desk, these chairs are equipped with a 5” pneumatic height adjustment, seat depth control with a 3” range, and armrests that can be customized by height, width, depth and a 30° pivot range.

They both have the stylish and comfortable rectilinear armrests with soft top caps.

You also get a back tension adjustment control and passive seat edge with over an inch of flex to reduce any discomfort on your thighs.

Combined with an industry-leading weight capacity of 400 pounds and sturdy 5-star base, each chair is both adaptable and durable for long-term and continuous use.

But How are they different?

Since both chairs come from the same manufacturer, there are plenty of similarities.

But these models are not the same.

And it’s not just the name or the price.

Here are some key differences to take note of when considering either chair.

Lumbar Support

These Steelcase chairs each come with a unique “live lumbar” support feature.

What this means is that you can add additional support to your lower back area thanks to a height-adjustable dialed spring system that’s attached to the back of the chair.

Steelcase Leap Desk Chair with Headrest in Buzz2 Black Fabric - Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame and Base - Soft Dual Wheel Hard Floor Casters
Lower back firmness adjustment on the Leap, image via Amazon

With both chairs, you also have the live back design that responds to subtle movements and provides continued back support when making small adjustments during the day.

The difference between the Amia and Leap is that the Leap actually comes with a lower back firmness control knob.

So, with a simple twist of a dial, you can increase or decrease the pressure on your lower back to find your comfort zone.

Since lumbar support is very personal to each user, this level of customization sets the Leap apart.

Also, while the Amia will still give you a 3 ¼” lumbar height adjustment range to find the sweet spot for your back, you get a full 5” of height to slide the lumbar component into place on the Leap.

Materials

The Amia is available in the standard fabric versions or as the Air model, which comes with a very cool and transparent 3D plastic mesh backrest for adaptive support and superior breathability.

Steelcase Amia Chair, Blue Fabric - -
Steelcase Amia, fabric upholstery, image via Amazon

The Leap comes in a standard fabric version or the popular 3D knit design. In both cases, you get breathable and technical textiles that are designed for long days in the chair.

You can also choose leather for either chair if that’s more your style.

For more color and material customization options, check out a specialty online retailer like SmartFurniture.

Size & Dimensions

As you can see from the following chart, there are subtle differences in size between these two chairs.

Basically, you get a slightly larger chair with the Leap standard vs the Amia.

The Leap is a little wider, taller, and gives you an extra inch or so of lumbar height.

Steelcase Leap Steelcase Amia
Key SpecificationsSteelcase Leap Fabric Chair, Black, -Steelcase Amia Task Chair: Adjustable Back Tension - LiveLumbar Support - Seat Slider - 4 Way Adjustable Arms - Black Frame/Black Fabric
Overall Chair Width27”26.5″
Seat Depth19”18.5”
Overall Height38.25 – 43.25″37.25 – 42.5″
Lumbar Height Range5.25 – 10.25”6.25 – 10″
Width Between the Arms15 – 20”15 – 19.5”
Weight Capacity400 lbs400 lbs
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

But if you need even more room, you can opt for the Leap Plus model, which gives you even more width and a higher weight capacity of 500 lbs.

You can see how the Leap standard compares to the Plus model here.

Additional Options

Unlike the Amia, the Leap is available with some “executive” style add-ons.

For example, with the Leap, you can choose to add an adjustable headrest for more comfort and neck support.

You can also add 2” to the height range, for a full 7” of pneumatic adjustment.

Steelcase Leap Task Chair: Platinum Base - 4D Adjustable Arms - Headrest - Standard Carpet Casters
Leap with headrest option, via Amazon

You even have little bells and whistles like the factory installed coat hanger with a 10 lb weight limit.

Price

Finally, there’s the simple fact that the Leap costs a bit more than the Amia.

While neither chair is cheap (i.e. you won’t find either in our list of the best sub-$300 office chairs), you can plan to tack on about 30% more for a Leap vs Amia when looking at the standard models of these chairs.

Which Chair is Best for You?

If you’re seriously considering the Leap or the Amia, this is the most important section.

The Amia is Best for . . .

If you’re on a tighter budget for your work chair, or you’re seeking multiple task chairs to upgrade your home or commercial office space, the Amia is a great option.

You’ll save some money and space, while still getting all the modern ergonomic benefits of a premium Steelcase chair.

Sure, you may not get as many additional features to choose from, but if you’re just seeking the fundamentals of comfort, style, and durability, you can’t go wrong.

The Leap is Best for  . . .

If you’re seeking a top-end ergonomic office chair, and you’re already looking at other chairs like the Aeron or Humanscale Freedom, the Leap should be in contention.

You have the full suite of adjustability options, plus available add-ons like the headrest and optional Plus model.

And if you need more support for your lower back, or have sensitivity in the lumbar area, you’ll appreciate the additional level of lower back firmness control with the Leap.

But, like we said at the beginning, both choices are excellent and there really is no one winner since they come at different price points and are designed for different target users.

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