Steelcase Gesture vs Leap | Which Chair Is Best For You?

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Steelcase is among the biggest brands in the office furniture industry; sporting a massive catalog of ergonomic highly customizable chairs, even the pickiest people will have a hard time not finding something they like. 

In our Steelcase Gesture vs Leap review you’ll get to learn more about two of the most comfortable, best-looking and best-performing Steelcase flagships, so without any further ado, let’s delve a bit deeper into all the juicy details:

Steelcase Gesture vs Leap Comparison Chart

Steelcase Gesture Chair, Graphite
Our Top Pick
Steelcase Leap Desk Chair in Buzz2 Black Fabric - Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame and Base -...
Steelcase Gesture Office Chair
Steelcase Leap Office Chair
Seat Height
16 – 20.5 inches, 40.6 - 52 cm
16 – 20.5 inches, 40.6 - 52 cm
Arm Height
5.5 - 9.75 inches, 14 - 24.77 cm
7 - 11 inches, 17.8 - 28 cm
Dimensions
24.75 x 27 x 38.5 inches, 63 x 68.6 x 97.8 cm
24.75 x 27 x 38.5 inches, 63 x 68.6 x 97.8 cm
Weight
72.8 lbs, 33 kgs
65 lbs, 29.5 kgs
Maximum Load
400 lbs, 181 kgs
400 lbs, 181 kgs
Active Sitting Support
Yes
Yes
Tilt positions
3
5
Adjustable lumbar support
Yes
Yes
Steelcase Gesture Chair, Graphite
Steelcase Gesture Office Chair
Seat Height
16 – 20.5 inches, 40.6 - 52 cm
Arm Height
5.5 - 9.75 inches, 14 - 24.77 cm
Dimensions
24.75 x 27 x 38.5 inches, 63 x 68.6 x 97.8 cm
Weight
72.8 lbs, 33 kgs
Maximum Load
400 lbs, 181 kgs
Active Sitting Support
Yes
Tilt positions
3
Adjustable lumbar support
Yes
Our Top Pick
Steelcase Leap Desk Chair in Buzz2 Black Fabric - Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame and Base -...
Steelcase Leap Office Chair
Seat Height
16 – 20.5 inches, 40.6 - 52 cm
Arm Height
7 - 11 inches, 17.8 - 28 cm
Dimensions
24.75 x 27 x 38.5 inches, 63 x 68.6 x 97.8 cm
Weight
65 lbs, 29.5 kgs
Maximum Load
400 lbs, 181 kgs
Active Sitting Support
Yes
Tilt positions
5
Adjustable lumbar support
Yes

Steelcase Gesture vs Leap Office Chair Review

The following sections are dedicated to individual aspects of performance regarding both Steelcase Gesture vs Leap: 

 

 

Build quality and Design – Steelcase Gesture vs Leap

In essence, both Steelcase Gesture and Steelcase Leap are exceptionally customizable; it’s up to you at the end of the day to determine the design, picking from a broad palette of materials, colors, and features. 

What’s great about Leap and Gesture is the fact that each model comes available in a variety of different pre-configured designs, including:

Gesture Options

Steelcase Gesture Chair, Light - Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture 442 Stool Chair - Cogent: Connect Graphite Fabric, Wrapped Back, Light on Light...
Steelcase Gesture 442 Stool Chair - White Elmosoft Leather, Shell Back, Light on Light Frame
Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair with Headrest Cogent Connect Nickel Fabric Standard Black Frame
Steelcase Gesture with Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture Stool Chair with Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture Stool Chair with Shell Back
Steelcase Gesture with Headrest
Steelcase Gesture Chair, Light - Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture with Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture 442 Stool Chair - Cogent: Connect Graphite Fabric, Wrapped Back, Light on Light...
Steelcase Gesture Stool Chair with Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture 442 Stool Chair - White Elmosoft Leather, Shell Back, Light on Light Frame
Steelcase Gesture Stool Chair with Shell Back
Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair with Headrest Cogent Connect Nickel Fabric Standard Black Frame
Steelcase Gesture with Headrest

Leap Options

Steelcase Leap Ergonomic Office Chair with Flexible Back | Adjustable Lumbar, Seat, and Arms | Black...
Steelcase Gesture 442 Stool Chair - Black Steelcase Leather, Shell Back, Dark on Dark Frame
Steelcase Leap Desk Chair with Headrest in Buzz2 Black Fabric - Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame...
Steelcase Leap Upholstered
Steelcase Leap with Stool
Steelcase Leap with Headrest
Steelcase Leap Ergonomic Office Chair with Flexible Back | Adjustable Lumbar, Seat, and Arms | Black...
Steelcase Leap Upholstered
Steelcase Gesture 442 Stool Chair - Black Steelcase Leather, Shell Back, Dark on Dark Frame
Steelcase Leap with Stool
Steelcase Leap Desk Chair with Headrest in Buzz2 Black Fabric - Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame...
Steelcase Leap with Headrest
  • 3D-knit Back
  • 3D-knit Back equipped with a stool

These designs are the official Steelcase configurations for both chairs. However, you also have the option to customize each of these, adding (or removing) the features that fit your particular needs. 

 

 

Comfort – Steelcase Gesture vs Leap

Gesture and Leap excel in comfort, regardless of what type of material and design you’ve opted for. The seat (upholstered or not) of both chair models features excellent-quality fabric construction, which is both remarkably sturdy and comfortable to use for extended periods. 

However, even though you’ll be able to cherry pick which features will be onboard your chair, they are still quite different, especially in terms of comfort. 

Namely, Gesture features a narrow back while Leap has a wide back; the armrests (should you choose to include them) of Gesture are tall and angled while the armrests of Leap are a bit smaller. 

Ultimately, it comes down to subjective feel and personal preferences; what’s true for both chairs is that they have the potential to be exceptionally comfortable. Make sure to check out all of the options at your disposal in terms of design, as this choice will play a massive role in the comfort that the chair will be able to provide for you. 

Back Support

The back-rest is unequivocally the single most important feature of a chair. While a poorly-designed seat is forgiving in the sense that it betrays poor comfortability as soon as you have a seat, the quality of the back rest can’t be determined as instantly.

Steelcase Gesture Office Chair, Cogent Connect Licorice

Steelcase Gesture with headrest – Chair profile illustrating back and lumbar support – Steelcase Gesture vs Leap

Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair, Black, -

Steelcase Leap – Chair profile illustrating back and lumbar support – Steelcase Gesture vs Leap

Proper back support is mandatory for people who sit for the longest part of their working hours as it affects our posture, spine, and pretty much our entire anatomy. Luckily, both Gesture and Leap performed excellent in this category, although clear differences were almost too apparent.

At first glance, Gesture offers a bigger supporting surface, which most people think is enough to declare it as an obvious victor in this bout. However, Leap features improved ‘active sitting’ support; it offers adaptive back support in the sense that it reacts to the user’s back and offers substantially more flexibility. 

Steelcase Leap Ergonomic Office Chair with Flexible Back | Adjustable Lumbar, Seat, and Arms | Black Frame and Buzz2 Alpine Fabric

Steelcase Leap – Backrest firmness support adjustment – Steelcase Gesture vs Leap

Gesture is also equipped with this technology, but due to the design of its backrest its lumbar area is slightly smaller and offers slightly less support.

 

 

Armrest

Armrests are features of convenience, albeit in the most subjective sense possible. Some people actually find armrests as confining to a certain degree and opt for chairs that are not equipped with them for this specific reason. 

If you think along the same lines, the good news is that both Leap and Gesture are available in armrest and armrest-less design variations. 

If, on another hand, you find value in arm supports, you’re more likely to find Gesture as a bit more useful in this field of performance. Namely, Steelcase Gesture offers more tilt-lock position adjustments and a slightly larger support area. 

Leap’s armrests are designed in a bit more traditional sense; they’re easier to setup and adjust, although its arm supports cover a smaller area.

Steelcase Leap Desk Chair with Headrest in Buzz2 Black Fabric - Highly Adjustable Arms - Black Frame and Base - Soft Dual Wheel Hard Floor Casters

Steelcase Leap – Armrest design – Steelcase gesture vs Leap

What Gesture and Leap have in common in terms of arm supports are firm, comfortable pads. The main reason why we would recommend Gesture over Leap as far as armrests are at stake is the fact that the ones supplied to Leap are far more adjustable. 

Ergonomics and Adjustments 

Basically, this section aims to explain the differences between Gesture and Leap in terms of ergonomic adjustments and how versatile they are. 

The factors we’ve had in mind when testing these chairs include seat height and depth, back height adjustments, arm width, depth and height, arm pivot, adjustable lumbar supports, and tilt lock positions.

Having the ability to adjust each of the aforementioned features allows you to personalize your experience with Leap and/or Gesture. In short words, Leap is slightly more versatile and ergonomically adjustable; however, Gesture is not too far behind either. 

Steelcase’s Leap offers fully adjustable armrests, remarkable seat customization, and five tilt-lock positions. Gesture, on the other hand, offers a similar level of versatility, with the most notable difference being the fact that it only packs three tilt-lock positions.

Steelcase Leap Ergonomic Office Chair with Flexible Back | Adjustable Lumbar, Seat, and Arms | Black Frame and Buzz2 Alpine Fabric

Steelcase Leap features 5 adjustable back rest tilt positions – Steelcase gesture vs leap

Both models feature a non-adjustable back, which is the only drawback as far as ergonomics are of concern. Be that as it may, we should point out that both chairs are equipped with Active Sitting technology, which partially takes out the need for back adjustability. 

 

 

Durability and materials

Before we proclaim which chair is sturdier and made of better materials, we will need to discuss all the options you’ll have at your disposal. 

Namely, the reason why Leap and Gesture are nearly unparalleled in terms of versatility and customization is the fact that you get to pick what your specific chair will be made of at the end of the day.

More specifically speaking, Steelcase offers a plethora of finishes that are largely aesthetic in nature, although they do affect the durability of individual parts of Leap and Gesture chairs. 

Starting from the bottom upwards, both chairs feature a set of five sturdy roller wheels, a steel base, a robust lift mechanism, leather-padded armrests, a fabric seat, and a fabric-made back. Now, the differences between these two models lie in the finish options that you’ll get to pick. 

Ultimately, both Leap and Gesture are built to withstand decades of use and abuse. They require next to nothing in terms of maintenance and are able to resist dings, bangs, and scratches with ease. 

Available color styles

A big part of customizability of Leap and Gesture lies in the color styles they are available in. Essentially, Steelcase grouped different fabric finish variations in two groups (standard and graded-in), allowing you to pick your chair in virtually all imaginable color styles. 

The aesthetic component is fairly important for any piece of furniture, especially high-end office chairs such as these two. 

Gesture is available in 171 standard fabric finish styles and 382 graded-in fabric finish styles while Leap is available in 265 standard and 733 graded-in styles. 

Steelcase Gesture Office Desk Chair with Headrest Plus Lumbar Support Cogent Connect Licorice 5S26 Fabric Standard Black Frame Hard Floor Soft Caster Wheels

Selection of colors selections available with the Steelcase Gesture – Steelcase Gesture vs Leap

Keep in mind that Steelcase is relatively frequently updating the palette of finishes, so even though Leap currently has the upper hand, that could change at any point in time.  

Additionally, you will be prompted to pick the color of the frame, base, and upholstery. Standard frame & base colors include black, midnight, and platinum for Leap while Gesture comes in black, dark, dark/light, and light. The upholstery color variations are the same for both chair models.

 

 

Warranty

A warranty is your backup plan in case your chair box came a bit differently than advertised. It may have been accidentally damaged or some parts may be missing; either way, you’ve just paid a huge sum of money while getting less than you were promised. The warranty policy exists to amend such situations. 

Now, each company has a different policy – some offer full money-back returns within a period of time (typically a month), others provide insurance for certain individual parts. Luckily, Steelcase had all of this in mind, and then some. 

Obviously, since both the Leap and the Gesture are manufactured by the same brand, they’re both under the same warranty from the get-go. 

In essence, the frame is backed by lifelong support; if it becomes damaged despite regular maintenance and normal use, Steelcase will send you a replacement. 

The lift mechanism, caster wheels and armrests are backed by this warranty for the duration of 12 years. The same rules apply as with the frame – you will be sent a replacement in case of irreparable damages. 

If, for whatever reason, repairs and replacements are not practical in a specific scenario, you will receive a full refund instead. 

Steelcase Gesture Review

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Essentially, Gesture is a well-designed, highly durable ergonomic office chair that seamlessly blends traditional upholstery with modern aesthetics. It’s a bit simpler to use in comparison to Leap, and it offers slightly more diversity in terms of frame designs and colors. 

You will be able to pick between 553 fabric colors (171 standard and 382 graded-in), and five pre-configured design setups.

Even though the comfortability of armrests is a subjective matter, objectively speaking, it is outfitted with armrests that cover a wider area. Thoroughly padded, these features are among of the main things that separate Gesture from Leap. 

In terms of customizability, Gesture is an absolute workhorse. It offers fully adjustable arms, back, and lumbar support, as well as three tilt-lock positions (whereas Leap offers five). 

The overall dimensions of Steelcase Gesture measures 24.75 inches in depth by 27 inches in width by 38.5 inches in height. Its seat height measures 16 to 20.5 inches while its base dimensions measure 26.5 inches in diameter. 

 

Overall, this is a marvelous-looking office chair that offers much while demanding very little; it requires little maintenance and is backed by an all-encompassing warranty that safeguards your investment in it. 

Steelcase Gesture Office Chair
Steelcase specialize in high quality office chairs built from high quality, comfortable and stylish. I love this chair for general office use. It offers loads of adjustability features, looks great in any office and has loads of adjustability options.

 

  • Seat Height: 16 – 20.5 inches, 40.6 - 52 cm
  • Arm Height: 5.5 - 9.75 inches, 14 - 24.77 cm
  • Dimensions: 24.75 x 27 x 38.5 inches, 63 x 68.6 x 97.8 cm
  • Weight: 72.8 lbs, 33 kgs
  • Maximum Load: 400 lbs, 181 kgs
  • Active Sitting Support: Yes
  • Tilt Positions: 3
  • Adjustable Lumbar Support: Yes

Pros
  • Superb comfortability
  • Convenient, highly adjustable armrests
  • Sturdy steel frame and a reliable lift mechanism
  • Tall, narrow back
  • Available in a variety of color styles
Cons
  • Leap is available in more colors and design styles
  • Only three tilt-lock positions

Steelcase Leap Review

 

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Leap resembles Gesture in more ways than one; they both offer the same supportive strength (up to 400 pounds), a robust steel frame, fabric construction, they’re both remarkably adjustable boutique chairs that can be used by students, office workers, gamers, and such. 

However, there are also several key differences that set them apart. Leap features a slightly shorter and wider back, which is complemented by Active Sitting technology. In plain words, it offers a higher level of comfort and superior ergonomics when compared to the Gesture.

Furthermore, it’s available in over a thousand color styles (265 standard, 733 grade-in) and six design pre-configured setups. The only thing that we didn’t like as much about it is the relatively simple armrests.

Steelcase Leap Office Chair
Steelcase specialize in high quality office chairs built from high quality, comfortable and stylish. The Leap is a beautifully designed chair. What I love about the Leap is the level of customization that can be achieved. It also offers loads of ergonomic features for a really comfortable seat experience.

 

  • Seat Height: 16 – 20.5 inches, 40.6 - 52 cm
  • Arm Height: 7 - 11 inches, 17.8 - 28 cm
  • Dimensions: 24.75 x 27 x 38.5 inches, 63 x 68.6 x 97.8 cm
  • Weight: 65 lbs, 29.5 kgs
  • Maximum Load: 400 lbs, 181 kgs
  • Active Sitting Support: Yes
  • Tilt Positions: 5
  • Adjustable Lumbar Support: Yes

Pros
  • Comes in more than a thousand color styles
  • Exceptionally comfortable to use for extended periods
  • Remarkable ergonomics and adjustability
  • Five tilt-lock positions
  • Built to last
Cons
  • Basic armrests
  • Expensive

Final Thoughts – Which one to go for

If you value comfort over aesthetics, we recommend Leap. Even though Gesture may look a bit more urban, Leap is by far more comfortable for people who spend the majority of their day sitting in front of a PC/laptop. 

We should emphasize the fact that both chairs are extraordinarily great and highly valuable for the buck. They are made by the same brand and after all, similar features and technologies were used in their construction processes. The bulk of differences that set them apart are mainly subjective, although Leap certainly has the upper hand in several aspects of performance.

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