Steelcase Leap V1 Vs. V2: Which One is Best?

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: May 16, 2022

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Steelcase Leap V1 Vs. V2

Shopping for an office chair? Steelcase got you covered! For many years the brand has been at the top of the market for producing unique ergonomic office chairs, with leap v1 and v2 doing very well. While these chairs have great designs and features, which one should you invest in?

The main difference between Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 is the backrest design. Leap v1 has a shorter, well-arched backrest that offers maximum support and comfort for shorter users. On the other hand, the Leap v2 backrest is taller and unflared, providing full back support for people of all heights. 

This article looks into these two office chairs, providing you with sufficient information to make an informed buying decision.

Steelcase Leap V1 Vs. V2: What Makes Them Different?

The design and the features of v1 and v2 make them different. Steelcase leap v2 is an upgrade of v1, where its design is more classic. Their specifications include the following:

Steelcase Leap V1 Specifications:

  • Color: Black 
  • Material: Textile
  • Dimensions: 24.75 x 27 x 43.5 inches
  • Furniture Finish: Black
  • Capacity: 400 Pounds
  • Chair weight: 48 Pounds
  • Style: Modern
  • Brand: Steelcase
  • Warranty: 12 years

Steelcase Leap V2 Specifications:

  • Color: Black 
  • Material: Textile
  • Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 25 inches
  • Capacity: 300 Pounds
  • Chair weight: 50 Pounds
  • Style: Contemporary
  • Brand: Steelcase
  • Warranty: 1 year

In addition to the above specification, let’s look at other significant differences between Leap V1 vs. V2. These include:

  • Back design
  • Cushion thickness
  • Armrest build-up and adjustment level
  • Arm pad thickness and  shape 
  • Base design and shape 
  • Base build quality
  • Price
  • Lumbar support 

We’ll look at how Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 differ in relation to the above areas. 

1. Backrest Design

The backrest of any chair is crucial as it’s the core determinant of your posture while seated. You can quickly notice the designs of leap v1 and v2 at a glance.

Steelcase Leap v1 

This chair has a shorter and widening back design that is clearly visible from the top of the backrest. The design is ideal for shorter users but lacks upper back and shoulder blades support for the taller ones. In short, the leap v1 does not offer full back support for all.

Additionally, v1’s backrest has a curved design that causes it to provide a little lower support than its v2 counterpart. 

Steelcase Leap v2 

Leap v2 has a taller, non-widening backrest providing full back support for all users, whether short or tall. It offers you an excellent sitting and reclining experience. This backrest design allows easy fixing of Steelcase headrest if you need one for additional comfort.

Verdict: The Leap v2 chairs backrest carries the day. It can provide full back support and comfort despite your body size or height. 

2. Cushion Thickness

The cushion of your office chair is the other key area that provides a good or bad sitting experience. These two chairs vary in the thickness of their cushion.

Steelcase Leap v1 

The chair’s cushion is thick enough to keep you comfortable throughout your sitting. From the seat to the backrest, the spongy cushion provides a satisfying feel for an extended period.

Steelcase Leap v2

 The chair comes with a thin cushion but doesn’t compromise on the seat’s comfort or the backrest. It gives you a positive sitting experience as the v1.

Verdict: Although the two chairs have different cushion thicknesses, they offer you the same comfort. Your choice depends on your preference for cushioning thickness and feel.

3. Armrest Build Up And Adjustment Level

Armrests relieve pressure on your hands, neck, and shoulders. As a result, there’s less strain on the spine and minimal or no pain in your lower back.

Steelcase Leap v1

The vertical part of v1’s is made of steel, making the armrests stronger and more durable. You can adjust the armrests of this chair in three dimensions, including forward and backward sliding, height, and width. The three adjustment options offer the necessary support for your arms.

Steelcase Leap v2 

On the other hand, v2 armrests vertical poles are plastic made and therefore less durable. Even so, they have an extra adjustment option involving a vertical movement. This motion allows you to interchange elbow and wrist support.

Verdict: Although both can support your arms, Leap v2 has an upper edge because you can customize your sitting experience fully with its 4-D armrest adjustment.

4. Arm Pad Thickness And  Shape

Well-padded armrests provide more comfort and support. The two chairs’ pad thickness is directly proportional to their cushion thickness. 

Steelcase Leap v1

Arm pads are oval-shaped and are bigger than the v2’s. Also, they’re thick enough for you’re elbow to sink, providing a nice feel for a comfortable sitting. 

Steelcase Leap v2

The armrest shape of this chair is similar to the v1’s. Nonetheless, the pads are sleek and thin. Leap v2’s arm pads are more appealing than the former’s and offer the comfort you need while seated.

Verdict: Both chairs’ arm pads are superb and provide a fantastic sitting experience. However, if you like the deeper elbow feel, leap v1 is your ideal choice. Where you’re more look-conscious, then v2 is better positioned. 

4. Base Design And Shape

The base of your office is part of the chair’s overall outlook, and the two chairs have their different versions of this.

Steelcase Leap v1

The base of this chair is more ancient in look and feel due to its flat, thicker, and rounded design.

Steelcase Leap v2

On the other hand, the Leap v2 base is taller, thinner, more modern, and has sleeker lines. The chair maintains the modern look many years down the line.

Verdict: Both base designs are good as none of them impact the chairs’ functionality. However, if you want a more stylish piece of furniture for your office, Steelcase v2 should be your choice.

5. Base Build Quality

The base of an office chair carries the weight of the upper part of the chair and that of the user while seated. Hence its strength and durability are essential.

Steelcase Leap v1

The Leap v1’s base is a product of stainless steel covered with a cheap plastic which gives it a rounded and streamlined shape. This base construction has higher longevity and isn’t prone to breakdown or damage.

Steelcase Leap v2

The base of this chair has a more streamed look made of heavy-duty nylon plastic, making it more lightweight than its v1 equivalent. Nevertheless, the weight of this chair is higher than v1’s.

Verdict: I prefer v1 due to its high durability and strength when it comes to base build-up.

6. Price

How much you’ve at hand to spend on an office chair is a great consideration when shopping for one. Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 differ in the cost of purchase.

Steelcase Leap v1  

This chair is less expensive than its equivalent v2, and it costs less than $1000. It’s an ideal choice of an office chair when you have a tight budget.

Steelcase Lean v2

Lean v2 has more advanced features, and its quality is high. As a result, the cost of this chair is more heightened than v1’s.

Verdict: Lean v2 is an upgrade of v1, and hence, I would go it to enjoy more comfort and support. If your pocket can’t allow this choice, the Leap v1 can provide basic ergonomics. 

7. Color

Color is one of the key factors you consider when buying an office chair. Why? You want a chair whose color blends well with your decor. Steelcase Leap gives you the freedom of choice by providing 14 different colors.

Steelcase Leap v1

This office chair comes in a wide range of colors allowing you to select your favorite or one that matches your decor.

Steelcase Leap v2

Unlike Leap v1, this chair has a limited range of colors. It comes in four unique frame colors, including black, platinum, polished aluminum, and midnight.

Verdict: Although Leap v2 has only four colors to choose from, both chairs prioritize your preference.    

8. Lumbar Support

Proper lumbar support minimizes lower back pain or gets rid of it completely. Both Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 provided excellent lumbar support. 

Steelcase Leap v1

It provides better back support when reclining due to its more solid lumbar support arch. It only needs a little pressure and is good to go. Nonetheless, the lumbar support isn’t adjustable.

Steelcase Leap v2 

The chair offers adequate lumbar support that is highly adjustable.

Verdict: Leap v2 is the better option in this case because you can customize your sitting experience by adjusting your chair’s lumbar support.

Steelcase Leap V1 Vs. V2: What Are The Similarities?

Besides the major differences we’ve seen in our previous section, Leap v1 and v2 have similarities. Let’s look at the most profound ones.

  • Health consciousness
  • Adjustability 
  • Ergonomic design
  • Seat design
  • Removable parts

Get a better understanding of the above similarities hereunder.

1. Health Consciousness

A good office chair minimizes or prevents muscle stiffness and lower back pain. Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 are excellent in that.  

Their live-back technological design ensures the correct posture of your body. How? They follow your body movement. These chairs move backward when you lean backward and vice versa. Additionally, the backrests Leap v1 and v2 take after your spine shape, allowing you to sit comfortably for extended hours at a desk.

2. Excellent Adjustability

Both chairs have multiple adjustment functionalities allowing you to customize your chair to your usage, needs, and preferences. These adjustable features include armrests, seat height, and recline. Leap v2 also has adjustable lumbar support. Moreover, the Leap v1 has three armrest adjustment options, while V2 has four. These chairs give you full control of your comfort regarding adjustability. 

3. Ergonomic Design

Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 are fitted with ergonomic features to provide the utmost comfort you need when working. They offer a smooth movement of your back where they give you full back support as you lean forward or backward. However, if you’re tall, Leap v2 provides better ergonomics as v1 may not support your upper back and shoulder blades.

4. Seat Design

Despite the variance in the thickness of Leap v1 vs. v2 cushions, the two chairs have the most comfortable seats. They encourage you to sit for prolonged periods when working. Also, the seat panels of v1 and v2 are similar, and their ergonomic shape gives you an ideal leg sitting position.

5. Removable Parts

You can easily remove and reinstall different parts of both Steelcase Leap v1 and v2. That means you can detach the backrest, seat, arm pads, and armrests from the chair’s mainframe.  This characteristic makes the chairs easy to transport over long distances. 

Steelcase Leap V1 Vs. V2: Pros And Cons

Like any other furniture, these chairs have their positive and negative sides. These, too, can significantly influence your buying decision.

Steelcase Leap V1


  • High quality: This chair is made up of high-quality build-up materials such as stainless steel that makes its base. 
  • Adjustability: Although Leap v1 is not as adjustable as v2, it has its level of adjustability. You can adjust your chair’s seat depth and 3-D armrests to customize your sitting experience. 
  • Proper lumbar support: Leap v1 has a Live Lumbar Support Technology that provides the support you need for your back during prolonged sitting. It relieves or keeps back pains at bay because the backrest curves align with your spine’s natural arch.
  • Recline function: Steelcase v1 chair can recline fully to allow you to relax after a lengthy period of work. 
  • Durability: Steelcase Leap v2 is a high-end chair designed to offer a long-time service, if not a lifetime. Its stainless steel-made base is one of the key contributors to high longevity because it can’t break or get damaged easily.
  • Eco-friendliness: The material makeup of this chair isn’t harmful to the environment. So, you don’t have to worry about its disposal method if its lifespan expires.
  • Multiple colors: There’s a wide range of Steelcase Leap v1 colors. You have the advantage of choosing among 14 different colors. That way, you can pick according to your preference or office decor.
  • Weight capacity: The Steelcase Leap v1 has a weight capacity of 400bls, meaning it can comfortably accommodate users of all body sizes. 


  • Fixed lumbar support: Although Steelcase v1 provides lumbar support, it isn’t adjustable like the Leap v2’s. It might not be possible to customize your sitting experience.
  • Unbreathable fabric: The upholstery of Leap v1 doesn’t allow free flow of air between you and the seat. That can result in an uncomfortable feeling during prolonged sitting.

Steelcase Leap v2


  • Excellent build-up quality: Leap v2 is built from heavy-duty molded plastic components giving the chair a weight capacity of 300 lbs. That indicates the high level of quality control involved in its production. Additionally, v2 has a durable aluminum frame that makes it stronger.
  • High-end ergonomics: The chair has a stylish ergonomic design. It has a wide range of adjustments allowing you to customize it to your body size and needs. You can obtain a comfortable ergonomic seated position using the four-way adjustable arms.
  • Comfortable seat pad: This chair has one of the most comfortable seats. It’s adequately padded and has various pressure points, offering maximum support throughout your sitting.
  • Perfect lumbar support system: Steelcase Leap v2 is fitted with an easily adjustable LiveBack Technology. It allows you to set your preferred lumbar support level and its strength. The system is height adjustable and runs across the entire backrest.
  • Ships fully assembled: Leap v2 comes in a ready-to-use state. That’s essential where you’re dealing with many pieces of these chairs, or you’re far from the assembly experts.
  • Armrests adjustment guide: Complex ergonomic office chairs like the Leap v2 can be challenging to operate. Steelcase has this in mind! Below the chair’s arm pads are instructions for all adjustable parts of the chair.
  • 360 degrees swivel: This functionality of v2 allows you to access all areas of your workspace while seated. It saves the time you use to get on and off the chair and enables quick movements.


  • High price tag: The Leap v2 is an expensive office chair because it has more ergonomics and adjustable features. Its price stands around $1000.  While this chair is worth the cost, you may not afford it if you’ve a tight budget.
  • Lack of back-height adjustability: The height of the Leap v2 backrest is fixed, and hence, you can’t customize it to your height. Luckily, it’s tall enough to accommodate users of most sizes.
  • Limited colors: Unlike Steelcase Leap v1, this has few colors to choose from, denying you the chance to select your favorite or one that matches your decor.

What Are The Benefits Of Ergonomic Office Chairs?

Ergonomic office chairs like the Steelcase Leap v1 and v2 come with tons of remarkable benefits. These chairs can dramatically improve your posture, minimize back pain, and consequently, boost your productivity. The major benefits include the following.

  • Enhanced posture: Ergonomic chairs provide posture support with their full-length design and alignment with your spine’s natural curve. Hence, you can sit for long without exposure to back injuries.
  • Minimized pain: These chairs reduce and prevent lower back and neck pain.  Their well-contoured backrests support your back while the headrest supports your head and neck. As a result, neck and shoulder stiffness is kept at bay.
  • Increased productivity: An ergonomically fit and comfortable chair enhances your mood and consequently, improves your productivity. You can focus more on your work as there are no distractions from poor sitting experience.
  • Relieving hip pressure: Your body weight rests on your hips. Ergonomic office chairs are adequately padded and have a suitable seat depth to support your hips reducing the stress and pressure.
  • Improved blood circulation: You can adjust your chair’s seat to a 90 degrees angle that allows proper blood flow in your legs, preventing numbness and swelling.
  • Adjustability: Ergonomic chairs have adjustable features allowing you to customize your sitting experience for maximum comfort.
  • Guaranteed safety: These chairs are made from high-end quality materials and taken through the right manufacturing processes to produce durable and strong office chairs. Ergonomic chairs are lad-tested and certified to assure you optimum safety.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Although ergonomic chairs have a high initial cost, you obtain the full value for your money years down the line. They provide long-time use so you don’t have to replace or repair your chair after a short period of use.
  • Multiple designs: Ergonomic office chairs come in different sizes and shapes.  Hence, there is a chair for every body type and workspace. One chair can also be shared among different users as each can customize it to their preferences and body size.


Is Steelcase Leap V2 Worth It?

Yes, Steelcase Leap v2 is worth it. It provides the utmost comfort you need on long workdays. You can adjust this chair fully to suit your body and change your sitting position without tempering with support. Leap v2 is ergonomically fit, has a great design, and has a more modern look. This chair is more lightweight. 

Is The Steelcase Leap V2 Good For Gaming?

Yes, the Steelcase Leap v2 is good for gaming. This chair is adequately padded and fully adjustable, making it fit for gaming. It’s all the features needed to give a gaming experience like no other. You can use it for work during day time and gaming at night due to its high-end comfort. 

Is Steelcase A Brand Specialized In Office Chairs?

Yes, Steelcase is a brand specialized in office chairs.  The brand is known for designing and producing office furniture and furniture systems. Ergonomic is one of the brand’s principles. It aims at offering great comfort during prolonged sitting to prevent back problems.

How Long Do Steelcase Leap V2 Chairs Last?

The Steelcase Leap v2 chairs last for about 20 years. Although the chair is a bit expensive, you can consider investing in one, instead of the cheap model. A lower-cost office chair can be expensive because it can demand repair or replacement after a short while.

What Does The Steelcase Warranty Cover?

The Steelcase warranty covers repair and replacement. The warranty covers products, components, or parts that may break down under regular use. If the service isn’t commercially practicable, you get a refund or credit. The repair and replacement are done at no cost.

Steelcase Leap V1 Vs. V2: Which Is Your Preference?

You won’t be wrong to conclude that Leap v2 was born out of the desire to have a lighter and more modern Steelcase Leap v1 chair.

Even so, the Leap v1 chair still is one of the market’s best chairs due to its durability, budget-friendliness,  and a variety of colors to choose from. However, our comparison has revealed that Leap v2 stands a higher edge in many ways.

Steelcase Leap v2 is the upgraded version of v1, and hence, it’s better ergonomics, appearance, and overall comfort. Also, its plastic base makes the chair lighter.

With that said, everything narrows down to one thing, your preference! This article has provided all need to make an informed decision.