Steelcase Leap V2 Review

When the Steelcase Leap V1 came out, it received a lot of great reviews for having a minimalist approach yet being highly comfortable and easy to use. The second version, the Steelcase Leap V2, changed a few good things for the better and it has become one of the best chairs on the market for that. 

The Steelcase Leap V2 is a high-quality office chair that offers comfort and many different types of adjustments. It supports up to 400 lbs. of the user’s weight and requires almost no assembly since it comes already assembled. If you buy it directly from Steelcase, you get a lifetime limited warranty. 

In my experience using the Steelcase Leap V2, it has proven to be among the most comfortable and durable chairs on the market. Not only is it good-looking and with the right dimensions, but it also comes with a ton of adjustments that make it adaptable to lots of users. Having used the Leap V1, I can attest that the V2 is a major improvement.

Steelcase Leap V2 Review

Overall Specs

Height 38.5 to 43.5 inches
Depth 21.75 to 24.75 inches
Width 27 inches
Seat depth 15.75 to 18.75 inches
Seat width 19.25 inches 
Seat height from floor15.5 to 20.5 inches
Arm to floor 22 to 31 inches
Weight limit 400 lbs.
Shipping weight 66 lbs. 
Warranty Lifetime (only from Steelcase)

1. Scope of Users

Who is the Steelcase Leap V2 made for? The Leap 2 is for users of all kinds especially those who sit for long hours at their desks. It’s also for those with multiple workstations where they can move between computers or other devices on a large desk or several desks. 

The fact that it has a weight limit of up to 400 lbs. and a height adjustment range of between 16 to 21 inches means that it can accommodate large users as well. 

2. Ease of Assembly and Maintenance

The Leap V2 comes fully assembled with your only task being removing the minimal packing on the chair. If you worry about assembling chairs, this one won’t bother you. 

How do you clean a Steelcase Leap V2? You clean a Steelcase Leap V2 chair by wiping it with a piece of damp cloth. You can use some detergent if the stain is a tough one. If you get it wet, simply let it airdry. 

3. Comfort Level 

An office chair at a price as high as the Leap V2’s needs to be comfortable and that it exactly what it is. The many types of adjustments enable many users to find their sweet spots with ease. 

The back adapts to the posture of the user and it comes with adjustable lumbar support. You can also adjust the tension of the lumbar support. 

The seat offers great cushioning and support for the thighs. This prevents fatigue even for those who spend long hours at their desks like myself. 

The armrests offer many adjustments which will adapt to the task at hand. The same goes for the gas lift cylinder which has smooth transitions allowing you to find the perfect height for your workstation. 

The wheels are some of the smoothest on the market whether you have a carpeted or hard floor. However, be sure to choose the right set of wheel casters for each floor for the best experience. 

4. Design and Build Quality

The Leap V2 has a simple yet beautiful design focusing on minimalism without compromising on the user experience. While the basic design remains the same across all options, you can configure the chair as you want with different fabrics and optional features such as armrests and a headrest. 

The Steelcase Leap V2 is also called the 462 series and comes in various models namely the standard Work Chair, the Leap Plus, the Leap Stool and the Leap WorkLounge. However, my focus is the standard Leap Work Chair as it’s the most popular.

The main areas of focus in the design are as follows:

  1. Cushioning and Upholstery

With this office chair, you get various options in terms of the upholstery namely the fabric, vinyl, leather and 3D knit options for the back and the seat. The 3D knit option is the most popular as it uses 3 layers of fabric and cushioning for a relatively thin padding that is breathable and highly comfortable. 

The three layers are a top layer of breathable knit, a solid fabric layer and a layer of polyester for cushioning. All these are high-performance materials which allow for the thin cushioning while still providing great comfort for long hours of sitting. 

  • The Back

All versions of the Steelcase Leap V2 come with the LiveBack technology which means the back moves in response to the back of the user. This is a great feature which provides comfort no matter the seating position of the user. The good news is that it resists any bad postures ensuring you always have a healthy back position when working. 

The chair also has the option of raising or lowering the lumbar support adjustment through a pair of parallel slats. While this type of lumbar support isn’t the best on the market, it certainly improves the comfort of the chair. 

  • The Seat

The Steelcase Leap V2 comes with a Passive Seat Edge which is also called a waterfall seat edge given its design. The edge of the seat is designed like a waterfall but, unlike most of other office chairs, the edge rises upwards up to 1.5 inches relieving the thighs of pressure caused by sitting for long hours. 

  • The Armrests

The Leap V2 armrests come with a minimalist design with a bottom attachment and 4D adjustability. This means that you can adjust the armrests in 4 different ways being the height, forwards/backwards, left/right, and pivot them sideways through a swivel. The armrests also have a minimalist padding on top which is still comfortable to use for long hours on end. 

  • The Base

The chair comes with a 5-star base which is either made of black plastic or polished aluminum materials. The wheel casters are dual-wheel and operate smoothly in my experience. 

With the wheels, you have an option between the standard hard nylon ones for carpeted floors and the soft wheels meant for hard floors. Both come in the standard 2.25” diameter. 

In between the base and the bottom of the seat is a high-quality pneumatic height adjustment cylinder (gas lift cylinder) which is very smooth to use. 

In general, the Steelcase Leap Version 2 has a simple yet unique design that is minimalist in nature. Only the required features are added with the padding and frame being highly minimalist without losing their quality and function. 

5. Adjustments 

The Steelcase Leap V2 comes with an array of adjustments which can be found in summary in this adjustment video

The main areas of adjustment are as follows:

  1. Backrest Adjustment 

With the back, you can make several adjustments including:

  • Back position: Using the 5-point variable backstop technology, you can adjust the back then lock it into place in five different positions. This is possible by rotating the knob on the right-hand side below the seat. The standard Leap chair allows reclining from 96° to 120° while the Leap Plus version allows adjustments from 97° to 114°. 
  • Upper back tension: This can also be changed using the knobs on the chair and increased or decreased as desired. 
  • Lower back firmness: With the knobs on the chair, you can also adjust the firmness of the lower back support.
  • Lumbar adjustment: The chair comes with a lumbar support which can be adjusted through a 5-inch range. This can be done by sliding the tabs on the lower back sides of the backrest upwards or downwards. 

These adjustment options, once tweaked right, will provide one of the best back support experiences on a chair. 

  • Seat Adjustment

The Leap V2’s seat can be adjusted in various ways including the following:

  • Seat depth: The depth of the seat refers to the distance from the front edge of the seat to the back of it. With the Steelcase Leap V2, you can adjust the depth of the seat 3 inches backwards or forwards. 
  • Seat pan angle: The seat pan angle is the angle of the seat in relation to the horizontal plane. With the standard Leap V2, you can adjust it between -1° and 3°. In the Plus model, you can adjust the seat pan angle from 0° to 4°. 

Done right, these seat adjustments can help you seat for long periods without feeling tension in your feet or fatigue in the lower body. 

  • Armrest Adjustment

The armrests have a 4D adjustment provision which allows them to be moved up/down, forwards/backwards, left/right, and swiveled sideways. The adjustments are as follows:

  • Height: You can adjust the height of the armrests through a range of 4 inches up and down. This is done with the help of a button on the outside of either armrest. 
  • Width: The armrests can be adjusted sideways (inwards/outwards or left/right) by 4.5 inches. 
  • Depth: You can also adjust the armrests backwards and forwards by 3 inches. Specifically, you can retract them by 3″ backwards from the default position. 
  • Pivot/swivel: The armrests are adjustable through a 30-degree angle inwards from the default position. In this setting, the back of the armrest remains stationary as the front part swivels inwards. 

You can switch any of these settings as you change your sitting position. 

  • Height Adjustment

The Leap V2 comes with a heavy-duty gas lift cylinder with a 5-inch range or travel which means you can adjust the chair between 15.5 and 20.5 inches from the ground. This adjustment can be made with a lever on the right side just below the seat. For bigger guys, you can look for a longer pneumatic height adjustment cylinder to fit your height. 

The other variants of the Leap V2 are the Leap Stool with a height adjustment range of 8 inches (22” to 30”) and the Leap Plus with a 4” adjustment range (15.5” to 19.5”). Both of the them can be replaced as needed.  

6. Options

The standard Steelcase Leap V2 comes complete and ready to use without buying extra parts. However, there are some parts which you can change or add when ordering or when you already have the chair. These include the following:

  • Upholstery and cushioning: The available finishes are fabric, vinyl, leather and 3D knit options. The fabric is the cheapest on the list although the other variants improve the comfort. 
  • Base: You have a choice between hard plastic and polished aluminum for the base. The plastic ones are the standard and are cheaper than the aluminum ones. 
  • Armrests: The Leap V2 is available either with arms or armless. 
  • Headrest: You have an option between the Steelcase Leap V2 with Headrest or the standard version which comes without a headrest. You can also buy the Steelcase Leap V2 headrest and add to the chair. The headrest version is more expensive than the one without. 
  • Wheels: The standard Leap V2 comes with wheels in 2.25” diameter and are either hard nylon for carpets, or soft rubber for hard floors and chair mats. The hard surface options are costlier than the carpet variants. 
  • Gas lift cylinder: The Leap V2 comes with the standard gas lift cylinder with a 5-inch travel. If this is too short for you, you can order the chair with a longer cylinder at with a travel range of 8 inches at an extra cost. 

You can configure each type as per your preferences. 

7. Warranty and Return Policy

The Steelcase Leap V2 has one of the best warranties and return policies on the market. Various vendors offer these warranties as follows:

  • Steelcaselimited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers the armrest structure, the outer shell, the base, the frame and more. 
  • Amazon: 12-year manufacturer warranty. This warranty covers lumbar mechanism, height adjustment, casters, headrests, armrests and more. 

Both retailers offer a 30-day return policy. These are great conditions to have your chair with. They show that the manufacturer and even the resellers have great confidence in the quality of the chair. 

8. Environmental Impact

Steelcase is a major proponent of environmental conservation and all its products are created to do as little harm to the environment as possible. For example, the Leap V2 has various environmental certifications and considerations as follows:

  • SCS IAQ Gold indoor air certification. 
  • Level 2 ANSI/BIFMA certification. 
  • Uses powder-coated paints. 
  • Uses a VOC-free manufacturing process. 
  • Uses water-based adhesives. 
  • Uses at least 35% recycled materials in the manufacturing process. 
  • Contains no benzene, chrome, solvents, CFC’s and PVC’s. 
  • The chair is 98% recyclable. 

You’ll thus be happy that your comfortable chair doesn’t harm the environment at all. 

9. Pros 

The best bits about this chair include the following:

  • Very comfortable. 
  • Lots of adjustment options with instructions on the knobs and levers. 
  • Clean minimalist look. 
  • High weight capacity of 400 pounds. 
  • Highly durable. 
  • Breathable back and seat for comfort. 
  • Ships when it’s fully assembled. 
  • Lifetime warranty. 

There’s clearly a lot to love about the Leap V2.

10. Cons 

The not-so-good aspects about the chair include the following:

  • The back isn’t as breathable as a mesh back and can thus be a little sweaty especially in hot rooms. 
  • The padding on the chair is too thin for some users. 
  • It’s costly (about $1,000 at the time of writing). 
  • No adjustment for the back height. 

Although there are customers who complain that the Steelcase Leap V2 noise level is considerable, it is a mechanical issue that can dealt with by lubricating the moving parts and tightening the screws and bolts. 


The Steelcase Leap V2 is a great chair and I highly recommend it. Whether you’ve used the Steelcase Leap V1 or not, the V2 has many good features and is a major improvement over the first one. It is slightly pricy although the price is worthy of its features. You can compare Steelcase Leap V1 vs V2 to know the differences. 

On whether you should buy a refurbished Leap V2 or not, I think it’s a worthy chair as you can get a good deal to enjoy these features without paying the full price. However, be careful with used items as they can have some issues which can spoil your user experience. 

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