Steelcase Leap V2 Office Chair Review: Is It Worth $1500?

What's the hype all about?


(34 votes, average: 4.8 out of 5)

Last updated: May 23rd, 2024

steelcase leap V2 ergonomic office chair

Last updated: May 23rd, 2024

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Depending on who you ask, the Steelcase Leap V2 is one of Australia’s worst or best office chairs. Retailing with a premium price tag of about $1,500, it has a loyal following of admirers – and is one of the most comfortable chairs ever built.

Yet, it’s also boring to look at – and doesn’t match Herman Miller Aeron‘s recline quality. What’s the hype all about?

Tons Of Adjustability. The Leap is one of the most comfortable and ergonomically sound office chairs on the market.Hip-Thrust Recline. Not ideal for people who like to rock a lot during their workday.
Surprisingly Comfortable. Something about the Steelcase Leap that makes you feel at home.Firm Seat Cushion. A small minority of people find it unacceptably firm, and irritating to their tailbone.

Reasons To Buy The Steelcase Leap V2 Office Chair.

Above: Steelcase Leap’s lumbar is quite pronounced. Subtle tabs slide up and down to control the lumbar support’s height.

The Leap V2 has one of the best lumbar supports in the business. Adjustable for both height and reach, it’s quite pronounced and firm.

Even in its softest setting, it’s quite strong and exerts pressure using a narrow horizontal band.

This is excellent if you enjoy borderline aggressive lumbar support. But if you prefer less lower back support, consider a Haworth Fern office chair instead.

Expert Tip.

You can reduce Leap’s lumbar firmness by removing the horizontal pressure band.

Build quality is top-notch.

It’s one of the best-built chairs on the Australian market, with perfectly fitting parts and no wiggling or rattling.

Steelcase Leap’s design is very safe, but seven colour options make it more interesting.

They range from basic blacks to subdued pinks (or “salmons”, if you live in Potts Point), earthy browns and deep blues.

Understated minimalism is the name of the game. You won’t find garish colours or loud design elements.

Above: Your friends won’t drool over the Leap’s design when they visit your home office. But to many of us, this is a benefit rather than a bug.

But Steelcase Leap’s main strength is its range of adjustment options.

People who are unusually tall or short will find it easy to get comfortable thanks to Leap’s massive seat height range (39 cm to 52 cm).

Expert Tip.

It will easily accommodate people as short as 155 cm and as tall as 197 cm.

Seat pan adjusts for depth while armrests adjust in 4D – height, reach, angle and width. Arm caps, meanwhile, are nicely padded with rounded edges.

Tilt tension, a variable recline backstop function that limits the amount of recline and a waterfall seat edge are all standard.

Steelcase Leap’s biggest party trick, however, is its flexible frame.

Unlike the hard frame of the Herman Miller Aeron, for example, it is flexible by design.

A rare feature, it allows you to move more freely and doesn’t put pressure on the bottom of your legs.

(Related: Steelcase Leap vs Herman Miller Aeron: Ultimate Test).

The ability to flex continues through to the backrest. You can stretch and twist while sitting, instead of feeling locked rigidly in.

Above: Four-way adjustable armrests are comfortable and make finding an ergonomic sitting position easy. The large knob on the side sets the maximum recline angle.

Leap’s warranty is excellent.

You get 12 years of coverage on the mechanical parts and a lifetime on the chair’s frame.

This is as good as it gets in the premium office chair category, and you can fully expect the chair to last the full 12 years.

As a sidenote, Steelcase Leap office chairs hold their value quite well, and you’ll be able to resell yours for at least 50% of its original price 3-5 years later.

Expert Tip.

You can buy a refurbished Leap for around $600 on Facebook Marketplace.

Assembly is 100% painless. Leap chairs don’t require any assembly because they arrive at your door ready to use, inside a large box. Roll it out and start using it.

Reasons To Avoid The Steelcase Leap V2.

Above: Plastic-fantastic is Leap’s modus operandi. You get a plastic base, seat pan, and backrest.

People say that the Steelcase Leap is an attractive chair. I disagree. It’s not ugly or dull, but definitely due for an update.

Expert Tip.

Black-coloured Leaps look particularly uninspiring. If you decide to buy one, I recommend you opt for one in a lighter colour.

Another point of contention is the chair’s seat firmness.

Reddit is full of threads that discuss people’s sore tailbones caused by this office chair.

A lot of people say it’s not soft enough, but I disagree here, too. Personally, I found it to be one of the most comfortable seat pans in the business.

Expert Tip.

If you experience discomfort, I suggest you continue using the Leap for 3-4 weeks to see if your body adjusts and the pain goes away.

Steelcase’s recline motion may also feel alien for a couple of weeks – especially if you’re used to an Aeron.

Instead of rocking back, it encourages you to thrust your hips forward while the backrest tilts back.

Above: Black isn’t the best colour for your Steelcase Leap 2 – it’s too stark. Go for neutral greys or blues instead.

This hip-thrust movement is typical of Steelcase chairs, but is not a true rocking motion.

Expert Tip.

Don’t pay an extra $261 for the headrest. Not only is the price excessive (I can buy a decent budget office chair for the same price), but it’s terrible.

Adjustable for height only, it sits too far forward and always touches the back of your head.

It looks and feels like an afterthought, which it probably was.

Be mindful of the Leap’s all-fabric construction. This can be a little uncomfortable in offices where you can’t control room temperature.


People living in hot climates may prefer an office chair that’s at least partially constructed from mesh for extra breathability and less sweating.

Last but not least, the Steelcase Leap misses out on a few adjustments that are standard in the best office chairs.

  • First, you don’t get back height adjustment, so people taller than 185 cm will feel like their shoulder blades could use more support.
  • Second, there’s no forward seat tilt adjustment. This is a very niche feature, but people who have lower back problems often find it comfortable.

How The Steelcase Leap V2 Stacks Up.

The Steelcase Leap V2 is an excellent office chair, but tends to polarise people. Some see a lot of value in its $1,500 price tag while others view it as the world’s most overpriced cubicle chair.

Which side are you on?

Build Quality & Warranty5/5

My Verdict On The Steelcase Leap V2 Office Chair.

The Steelcase Leap V2 surprised me. Supremely comfortable and with enough adjustment options to help almost anyone find an ergonomic position, it is the quiet achiever of the premium office chair scene.

I wish its aesthetic was more lively, and hope Steelcase introduces more colour options in the future.

But if you work long hours and need an office chair with strong lumbar support, the Leap V2 is one of the best options on the Australian market.

The $1,500 price tag may seem steep at first, but the excellent build quality and 12 years of warranty coverage take the edge off.


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