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Steelcase Amia vs Leap (2021): Which Office Chair Should You Get?

Ergonomic office chairs from Steelcase are some of the best you can get for your home office or gaming setup. As a premium brand promising sturdy and comfortable chairs, Steelcase produces excellent products that are guaranteed to last. Here’s a comparison of the popular Steelcase Leap and the more recent Steelcase Amia for those comparing their similarities and differences before putting one in their home.

Steelcase Amia vs Leap Office Chair Comparison Chart

Model Steelcase Amia Steelcase Leap
  Amazon product  Amazon product 
Price Amazon product  Amazon product 
Dimensions 24.75″ x 26.63″ x 42.5″ 24.75″ x 27″ x 43.5″
Weight 54.5 lb 48 lb
Weight Capacity 400 lb 400 lb
Seat Depth 15.5″ to 18.5″ 15.75″ to 18.75″
Seat Width 19.25″ 19.25″
Seat Height from Floor 16″ to 21″ 15.5″ to 20.5″
Back Width 16.25″ 18″
Back Height from Seat 24.06″ 25″
Back Lumbar Height 6.25″ to 10″ 5.25″ to 10.25″
Recline Angle 99° to 122° 96° to 120°
Width between Arms 13″ to 19.5″ 12.75″ to 20″
Natural Glide System No Yes
Lumbar Technology LiveLumbar Liveback
Adjustable Lumbar Support Yes Yes
Tension Control Yes Yes
Released 2014 2006

Design

The Steelcase Leap has a slimmer profile than the Steelcase Amia.

Steelcase Amia vs Leap - Design
There’s a bit more bulk on the Steelcase Amia (left) compared to the Steelcase Leap (right).

You can easily differentiate the Steelcase Amia and Leap from each other through their distinctive shape and contours. The Amia has a more solid-looking build, with a squarish backrest, flatter seat pad, and thicker armrests. In contrast, the Leap has an open space between backrest and seat, slightly deeper seat pad, and curvier lines. 

Looking at their backs will show another big difference. The Steelcase Amia has a smooth back while the Leap has a lumbar bar for additional back support. Their armrest are practically the same though, in terms of functionality and looks. 

There’s no mistaking the high quality materials and craftsmanship put into both of these Steelcase chairs. The plastics and metal components are expertly molded, and their cushions feel soft while remaining firm under pressure. 

You can select from a wide range of colors for the upholstery, though most online retailers have a larger selection for the Leap than the Amia. 

Adjustability

The Steelcase Amia and Leap have similar adjustable settings.

Steelcase Amia vs Leap - Adjustability
Check out the different back supports on the Steelcase Amia (left) and Leap (right).

With the number of adjustable settings on the Steelcase Amia and Leap, you can reliably find the best configuration on them for any activity. You can move the seat depth forward and backward so your legs bend and reach the floor at just the right length no matter your height. You’ll also be able to set the recline angle using their variable back locks/stops, and you can change the back tension as well.

The most notable difference between them is that you can adjust the lower back firmness of the Leap but not the Amia. The Steelcase Leap has a more complex mechanism in that the lower back part’s firmness can be adjusted while the top flex half remains consistent. This lets you change how much lower back support you get without affecting the rest of the back. 

The Steelcase Amia does have a special lumbar adjustment thanks to its LiveLumbar technology. Handles on each side of the backrest let you slide where the back flexes to match your spine. The same feature is present on the Leap’s Liveback feature, though the entire chair’s back flexes to your posture.

As mentioned, the armrests on both Steelcase chairs function similarly. You can move them in four directions until you find the best configuration for your current position. Their ranges are more than enough to support your forearms, wrists, and shoulders, while aligning correctly with your neck and elbows.

Comfort

The Steelcase Leap supports reclining better than the Steelcase Amia.

Steelcase Amia vs Leap - Comfort
The seat pan and backrest of the Steelcase Leap work in tandem to ease pressure on your spine. 

Aside from visible differences, the backrests of the Amia and Leap work in varying ways. Where the Steelcase Amia has a smooth shell, the Steelcase Leap has breathable vents for better thermal comfort. The slats in its back allow the special foam inside to balance moisture and heat so your back stays snazzy. You’ll likely find the Leap to cushion your back more comfortably than the Amia, especially after long hours.

Furthermore, Steelcase uses a ‘Natural Glide System’ on the Leap, which syncs the seat pan with the backrest. When you recline on the Leap, its seat glides forward to support your posture better. It also encourages varying your sitting positions more, preventing static load on your spine from building up. Meanwhile, the Amia simply keeps the seat in place whether you lean back or forward.

The seats themselves feel great despite how relatively thinner they are compared to other ergonomic chairs. There’s a bit more contour on the Leap but not enough to feel substantially different. Their seat edges will automatically flex as needed so the back of your legs won’t get strained. 

Verdict

The Steelcase Leap offers more ergonomic comfort than the Steelcase Amia.

Amazon product

That the Steelcase Leap remains a relevant and highly recommended office chair many, many years after it was first launched is a testament to how well-designed and comfortable it is. It’s able to match its user’s sitting postures, providing modifiable lower back support, and cradling the spine to protect it. If you like being able to shift about in your seat without always adjusting dials and toggles, the Steelcase Leap will flex to match your movements.

Those who don’t need as much lumbar support or prefer a more consistent cushion should consider the Steelcase Amia. It also costs a bit less, saving you a moderate amount without losing too much value in overall comfort received. The Amia will make sitting pleasant even as you spend hours working, gaming, or simply relaxing.

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.