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Simon Hill/Business Insider
- A good office chair should be comfortable and supportive enough that you never give it a thought even on the longest of workdays.
- I love the Steelcase Leap V2 ($399) office chair because it’s durable, fully adjustable, and can spin and tilt to support me when I’m writing, or when I put my feet up on the desk to ponder.
- The original Steelcase Leap was a runner up in our best office chairs buying guide, and this updated version brings some subtle improvements at a much more reasonable price.
- Read more: The best office chairs you can buy
Most of us spend eight hours a day sitting in an office chair, sometimes even longer.
A chair that’s uncomfortable can distract you from the task at hand, or worse, even leave you with aches and pains or exacerbate existing back problems.
The best office chairs should have a variety of positions that can be adjusted to match your body. They should be comfortable and supportive, even when you change positions throughout the day. Success for an office chair can be measured in how little you think about it.
By that measure, I’ve found the Steelcase Leap V2 office chair to be unbeatable.
Often-repeated wisdom is that you should always be prepared to spend more money on anything that separates you from the ground. I’ve lived with a series of cheap to midrange office chairs before finally paying out several hundred dollars for a Steelcase Leap, and I’m convinced it’s an investment worth making.
Simon Hill/Business Insider
The Steelcase Leap V2 office chair is designed to be highly adjustable, so you can find the perfect heights, angles, and resistance levels to keep you comfortable for long stretches. This chair moves with you to provide lumbar support and encourage a healthy posture.
Arms and headrests are optional, and you can specify wheels that are suitable for carpet or hard floors.
- Overall height: 38.5 to 43.5 inches
- Overall depth: 21.75 to 24.75 inches
- Overall width: 27 inches
- Seat depth: 15.75 to 18.75 inches
- Seat width: 19.25 inches
- Seat height from floor: 15.5 to 20.5 inches
- Arm to floor: 22 to 31 inches
- Weight limit: 400 lbs
- Shipping box weight: 66 lbs
If you buy from a retailer like Houzz, you’ll be able to return the item within 30 days and get a 10-year warranty. If you buy from Steelcase directly, then your Leap office chair comes with a limited lifetime warranty. That means Steelcase will repair or replace it free of charge if anything fails under normal use forever.
The Steelcase Leap V2 ships fully assembled, unlike many other office chairs, so there’s no need for screwdrivers and directions.
What does require work is finding the precise settings that are best suited to your body and your preferences. You’ll want to select the seat height and depth, the upper and lower back firmness and force, and the correct height for the lumbar support.
Like most other office chairs, my Steelcase Leap V2 office chair has armrests but no headrest. When I sit in the chair, I can slide the armrests in towards me to reveal a key that highlights all the controls. The armrests are also fully adjustable, so you can change the height, slide them forward or back, bring them in close, and even pivot them to match the angle you’re facing.
I was a bit intimidated at first because there’s a lot going on here. If you’re uncertain about what any of the controls do, I’d recommend watching a video demonstration, like this one on YouTube. It’s important to adjust the Steelcase Leap V2 to your body if you want to avoid sore shoulders before noon.
Simon Hill/Business Insider
The Steelcase Leap V2 has a classic office chair look. There’s nothing about the design that screams fancy chair, no mesh back, or protruding levers. It’s understated with ergonomic curves, but this is a chair that aims to blend in. I went for black, which fits perfectly with my décor and office furniture.
If you want a more colorful look and have the budget, the original Leap chair has a wide variety of different textured fabrics and colors for the upholstery. You can pick anything from bright yellow upholstery to leather. You can even change the frame and base color, though some combinations, such as leather with a polished aluminum frame, add a great deal to the price.
The adjustable armrests and lumbar support is comfortable on my body, and I never feel like I’m going to tip backward
While the look may not set your pulse racing, the minute you sit in the Steelcase Leap V2, you can feel the quality. This is a sturdy piece of furniture that’s capable of supporting you through many long workdays over the years. The frame is easy to keep clean with an occasional wipe from a damp cloth.
The best thing about the Steelcase Leap V2 is the way it supports your body in different positions. Whether you’re leaning forward over the keyboard, sitting upright, or tilting back and putting your feet up on the desk, it feels like your back is properly supported. I also love the armrests, which are fully adjustable and made from a spongy plastic that never feels too warm or too cold, and wipes clean easily.
For the first couple of days, I was uncertain about the Steelcase Leap V2. I had to make several small tweaks to maximize support and comfort. It also wasn’t a great leap for me because I switched from a Steelcase Leap V1. The main differences are that the V2 is lighter and more maneuverable, the armrests are better, and the lumbar support is adjustable. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel quite as plush as the V1, particularly the back of the chair, but given that the V2 is half the price of V1, that’s to be expected.
After a few days, I could feel the benefit. The adjustable lumbar support is important for me because I’m 6’1 and have suffered back problems on and off for years. This is also the most comfortable office chair I’ve ever used for leaning back and putting your feet up; it never feels in danger of tipping. Changing your position often is recommended to help you avoid strains, so the fact that the Steelcase Leap V2 is comfortable in different positions is helpful.
Another thing I appreciate is the way the armrests can pivot to face the same way as you. This is relatively unusual, but it really helps if you have a multi monitor setup or a corner desk, where you may turn your body and face in different directions. Angling the armrests separately from the seat gives you much more versatile support.
The wheels glide smoothly over my carpeted office, and it requires little effort to pull the chair in close to type or slide back to recline. Working throughout the day, whether I’m writing, reading, making video calls, or having a contemplative moment, the Steelcase Leap V2 just works. Even into the night when I might be watching a movie or gaming, it provides a comfortable seat that’s surprisingly versatile, making it easy to change your position to suit your activity.
Steelcase is also committed to sustainability. The Leap V2 office chair is made from up to 35% recycled content and is 94% recyclable.
But the padded back can cause sweating and be uncomfortable for some people
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Your back and posterior can get a little too cozy in the Steelcase Leap V2 sometimes. While there is separation between the back and seat of the chair that lets air circulate, there’s no mesh back for breathability. Instead, the foam padding fits snugly to support your back, so if it’s warm in your office, you may find that your back can get a little sweaty.
There’s also no escaping the fact that the Steelcase Leap V2 is an expensive office chair. You can certainly spend a lot more on something like the Herman Miller Aeron, but you can also pick up office chairs for under $100. In my experience cheaper office chairs are a false economy because they simply aren’t built to last.
I probably went through a cheap chair every year before taking the plunge with the Steelcase Leap V1. It served me well for four years and has now been passed onto my son who uses it for long gaming sessions and loves it. With fewer back issues over the last few years, I firmly believe it’s worth paying more for a quality chair. If the asking price is too steep, look at refurbished Steelcase Leap chairs, rather than settling for something cheap.
The Steelcase Leap V2 is the best office chair I have ever used. It’s comfortable enough to sit in for the longest of workdays, it’s fully adjustable to suit your body, and it’s easy to change your position frequently without losing support. The only potential downside is that the seat and back can get very warm.
- Should you buy it? Absolutely yes. The Steelcase Leap V2 office chair is expensive, but cheaper chairs don’t come close to matching it on durability or adjustability. This chair can last you a lifetime and save you from back pain.
- What are your alternatives? The stylish Herman Miller Aeron has long been considered the king of office chairs. It looks great, has a mesh design that enables air to circulate, and offers excellent support. However, it starts from around $1,000, making it significantly more expensive. While the mesh will suit those who get too warm, the lack of padding might not please others. A cheaper office chair to consider, at around $400, is the Uplift Vert Ergonomic Office Chair, which boasts important features like adjustable lumbar support and a mesh back to keep you cool.
For more alternatives, read our guide to the best office chairs you can buy.
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Pros: Very comfortable, fully adjusted to fit your body, supports your back in different positions, wheels glide over floors easily
Cons: Expensive, back and seat can get too warm
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