Steelcase Leap vs. Gesture – Which One is Best?

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Short on time? Here's the biggest difference between Steelcase Leap and Gesture:

Steelcase Leap is more adjustable in the back support area. It has a comfortable plush seat and is much more lightweight than the Gesture. However, Steelcase Gesture's armrests are much more adjustable than the Leap's armrests, giving you more freedom to adjust the armrests in the best way possible.

STeelcase Leap Chair

  • Foam-padded fabric
  • One-size-fits-all
  • Adjustable seat and armrest height
Steelcase Gesture Chair

  • Modern ergonomic design
  • Fully adjustable armrests
  • Various color and material options

In the world of ergonomic office chairs, Steelcase is one of the most lucrative brands available in the market. It needs no introduction as it has been creating innovative products for more than a hundred years.

Well-known for its attention to detail to all its products, Steelcase produces chairs by implementing some of the latest evolutions in ergonomics and technology.

When considering to invest in one of the Steelcase products, surely the Steelcase Leap and Steelcase Gesture are two options that fall into the shortlist. Both chairs are highly comfortable as well as highly adjustable.

We understand that choosing between the two is not easy. That is why in this post,  we will help you answer the question: Steelcase Leap vs Gesture - which one is best for you? 

While comparing the pros and cons of each chair, we also directly compared the two chairs against each other based on several important user-friendly categories. We hope that by the end of this post, you will be able to choose between the two!

Breaking it Down

To help you make the best decision, we will be comparing the two chairs based on these important categories:

  1. Adjustability
  2. Size
  3. Comfort

Steelcase offers some of the best warranties in the business. Both chairs have warranties that are covered for a period of 12 years. This warranty is good regardless of the shifting usage, which means the chair is rated for 24/7 usage.

If you are someone who dislikes setting up your own chair, both chairs can come assembled and delivered right on your doorstep. Talk about convenient!

1. Adjustability

To start things off, we will take a look at arguably the most fundamental considerations when buying an ergonomic office chair. We’ll be taking a closer look at the adjustability of the two chairs.

When buying an office chair, being able to adjust the chair is very important for your long-term health. Both chairs have similar features, with a slightly different twist.

The great thing about these two chairs is that both are made with high-quality recyclable materials that are sustainable -- which is always a good thing. Let’s dive right in and compare the two!

Steelcase Leap

The Steelcase Leap chair features the LiveBack Technology in the backrest which feels super nice as you move around in the chair. The lumbar support is firm and provides flexibility and exceptional lower back support especially when sitting for long hours.

Regarding the armrests of the Steelcase Leap chair, you are still able to adjust the height, width, depth, and pivot. However, they are not as wide-ranging when compared with the Steelcase Gesture chair.

A cool feature of the Leap chair is that an instruction manual of the chair’s ergonomic adjustments can be found under the arm pads.

Steelcase Gesture

The Steelcase Gesture Chair also features LiveBack Technology in the backrest. While it does offer good back support, we found that the backrest wasn’t as pronounced as the Leap chair, especially in the lumbar area. This chair might be for you if you prefer chairs with lumbar support that does not push into your lower back.

On the other hand, the Steelcase Gesture has one of the best -- if not the best -- armrests we’ve tested to date. It is unlike any of the other armrests we’ve tested. It provides height, width, depth and pivot adjustments.

The real game-changer lies in how much width adjustment the Steelcase Gesture provided, especially when paired with the other three movements. With over 10” of width adjustment, you don’t need to worry about your size and will be able to find the perfect fit.

WINNER: The Steelcase Gesture chair takes an early lead with the adjustability category. The reason for this is clear —  the Gesture chair offers the option for customers to fully customize their armrests settings, while still providing superior back support.

Not to mention the amazing width adjustment of the chair. While both chairs offer near-identical backrest support, this slight difference is enough for the Steelcase Gesture chair to edge out the Steelcase Leap chair.

2. Size

For our second matchup category, we’ll be taking a closer look at each chair for the available sizes it offers. One of the most important factors for working comfortably is to find a chair that is the right size for you.

Steelcase Leap and Gesture

Both the Steelcase Leap and Gesture chairs come with a standard 400 lbs. weight capacity. The Leap is also available in an oversized chair that is rated up to 500 lbs.

We wouldn’t recommend the standard size Leap or Gesture for users up to 400 lbs. The seat won’t be large enough to comfortably fit someone that weight.

The Steelcase company offers a convenient one-size-fits-all design. Therefore, it has only one size available. While both the standard Leap and Gesture chair come with 400 lbs. capacity, we wouldn’t recommend users close to this weight to use either chair, as they are only one size.

WINNER: For the second matchup, it is a tie for the size category. Both chairs offer similar sizes and weight capacity. What we like about both chairs is the extensive 400-pound weight capacity. This means that most users will fit either chair nicely.

3. Comfort

Last but not least, we will take a look at the comfort levels of each chair. While it’s a subjective topic, there’s no denying the importance of chair comfort.

It’s all about how you feel when sitting, from the armrests to the backrest, all the way to the seat of the chair. This is important especially if you will be sitting for long periods of time.

Steelcase Leap and Gesture

Both the Steelcase Leap and Gesture chair are made with materials that will be familiar to most people, as both the seat and backrest are made with traditional foam-padded fabric. This type of foam is very similar to most office chairs available in the market.

With this in mind, both chairs offer amazing comfort while sitting, even though both seat pads are less than 2 inches thick. This is a testament to the level of quality of the seat pad used inside each of the chairs.

In addition to the comfort of the actual seat pad, Steelcase incorporated a flexible seat pan on both chairs. This allows for the front portion of the seat pan to move with you as you change posture throughout the day.

The flexible seat pan is designed to help reduce the pressure that would normally be found in the backs of your legs.

WINNER: It’s been a tough and close battle so far, as both chairs offer exceptional features on top of amazing high-quality materials. Once again, the comfort category is a tie.

On a side note, however, we personally enjoyed sitting on the Leap chair more than the Gesture, simply because the backrest is more firm and upright. Again, this goes back to user preferences. The Gesture chair might be for you if you prefer chairs with lumbar support that does not push into your lower back.

Pros and Cons

Steelcase Leap Chair

Steelcase Gesture Chair

  • Multiple back adjustment options
  • Fully adjustable armrests
  • 12-year warranty
  • One-size-fits-all
  • Foam padding prone to stains
  • Armrests not soft enough
  • Multiple back adjustment options
  • Fully adjustable armrests
  • 12-year warranty
  • One-size-fits-all
  • Lumbar area not as firm as Leap

Final Thoughts

WINNER: Steelcase Leap

Both the Steelcase Leap chair and the Steelcase Gesture chair are some of the best ergonomic office chairs from the Steelcase company. They are perennial powerhouses in the market today. However, the Steelcase Leap wins the battle simply because the backrest is more upright and firm.

At the end of the day, which is best for you will depend on personal preference as there are only a few minor differences that set these chairs apart.

If you are looking for an ergonomic chair with superior back support, then go for the Steelcase Leap. However, if you are looking for an office chair with amazing armrests that are fully customizable, go for the Steelcase Gesture.

If you can afford either chair, you can’t go wrong by choosing either the Steelcase Leap or the Steelcase Gesture. You’re guaranteed to get the best warranties in the business. Both are definitely worth your investment!