Let’s admit it; a $1500 chair is ridiculously expensive.
But, they are still popular. There has to be a solid reason behind why people are opting for them, even though they have to make some adjustments to their budget.
It’s not about aesthetics, or looks, or adjustability. You have to decide if you want to end up with back pain, strained arms, and stiff legs every night after long working hours or would rather want to do a long-term investment and buy a chair that helps you maintain your body’s natural position, so it experiences minimum possible strain.
Ergonomic chairs for office or home office are not fancy additions
They are a basic facility that you deserve to have because on an average, we spend 10 hours a day on our office chairs, which makes 50 hours for 5-working days a week, and 2600 hours a year!
Do you still think $1500 is too much for a chair?
Click to View Transcription of Video
Let’s do some more maths.
A mediocre chair will hardly last for three years but ergonomic chairs like the Gesture chair by Steelcase that we are going to review here come with at least a 12 years warranty. The frames usually have lifetime warranty and every part of the chair can be replaced as and when needed.
With good care, ergonomic chairs could last for two decades!
Now, 20 X 2600 hours = 52000 hours
That’s the average life of a good quality, ergonomic chair like Steelcase Gesture.
Do you know how much you will have to pay for an hour for owning it?
$1500 / 52000= $ 0.02884615384 (do note that we have taken the highest possible price)
Don’t you think it is worth spending $0.03 an hour for a chair that:
- Helps you sit comfortably throughout the day
- Helps you work more efficiently (because the more comfortable you will be, the more you will be able to concentrate)
- Helps you maintain a good posture so you don’t end up with back pain, rounded shoulders, poor blood circulation, joint degeneration, etc.
- Doesn’t require replacement every few years!
All the fuss about the ergonomic chairs is justified
If you are still spending 10 hours a day on your bog-standard chair, it’s time for you to think about an upgrade.
Due to excessive demand, ergonomic chairs are widely available these days. Almost all of them do their job pretty well. We haven’t tried too many of them but we recently tried the Steelcase Gesture with headrest and we are impressed!
It has a few flaws that we didn’t like much but, overall, we do recommend it to people who are looking for a fully customizable and adjustable chair for their home office or office.
Below is our honest Steelcase Gesture chair review. It will help you understand what it is, how it works to make you feel comfortable, and why it is worth your money.
Let’s get started.
Full Written Review:
Features of Steelcase gesture lumbar support ergonomic chair
- Dimensions: 24.75” D x 27” W x 38.5” – 43.5” H
- Weight- 76lbs
- Weight it can hold- 400lbs
- Seat height adjustment range- 16” to 20.5”
- Seat depth adjustment range- 15.75″ – 18.5″
- Seat width- 20”
- Arm height adjustment range from floor- 22.38″ – 32.69″
- Width of the back- 16.25″
- Height of the back from the seat- 24”
- You can choose to have carpet casters or hard floor casters as per your needs.
- Available with or without headrest
- Steelcase Gesture lumbar support is customizable. You can choose to have additional lumbar support if needed. Our Steelcase gesture review is about the one with headrest and with standard lumbar support.
- Adjustable headrest, fully adjustable pivoting armrests, recline tension adjustment, 4 position recline lock, wide variety of upholstery and frame color schemes are some other nice-to-have features of the Gesture chair by Steelcase.
Please note that you will have to pay extra for customization. Prices for customization are mentioned on Steelcase’s website.
Also, do note that Amazon doesn’t provide an option for customization except for the choice of casters. If you want to buy a chair without headrest, or want additional lumbar support, or maybe just want to buy a chair with upholstery material and color of your choice, you will have to buy from Steelcase’s website or from nearby dealers. But, that could cost you more.
We have discussed all of these towards the end of the article. Keep reading.
Detailed review of Steelcase Gesture with headrest
We would like to admit that Gesture is one of the most well-built, comfortable, and adjustable chairs we have come across. From its well-cushioned, fully-pivoting armrests to the easy-to-slide seat, almost every feature of this chair reflects quality and thoughtfulness. Of course, it has some flaws, but, overall its well-built, well-designed, and sturdy enough to last much beyond its warranty period, which is 12 years!
Steelcase is a more than 100-year old company with an enviable reputation. Since its inception, it has consistently maintained the quality of its products. It is a brand that you can blindly trust for spending $1000. If we have to choose between a $1500 Steelcase Gesture chair and a cheaper chair by some brand that has recently popped up, we would rather spend more and go with the Steelcase one.
We have already said that Amazon doesn’t offer much customization but it does offer a cheaper deal. If you are looking for customization, ignore the money and buy from Steelcase website.
Some of the things that you can customize are:
- You can choose a plain chair or a chair with a stool built on its frame so you can put your legs on it for resting.
- You can choose a shell back or an upholstered wrap back.
- You can choose the upholstery material to be fabric or leather. We prefer fabric because it doesn’t make us feel hot and sweaty, something that leather does when you sit on it for hours.
- There are numerous upholstery color options to choose from.
- You can choose from three different color schemes for frames.
- You can opt for additional lumbar support for an extra cost.
- You can also choose the types of casters that you want.
Adjustability and comfort
The Gesture chair by Steelcase offers standard height adjustment of 16” to 21” measured from the floor. This is enough to accommodate almost every person even if you are as short as 5 ft or as tall as 7 ft.
The height of the backrest isn’t adjustable but we didn’t find it a dealbreaker, nor could we find any Steelcase Gesture chair review where buyers might have mentioned it.
The seat is padded comfortably and comes with a slider function i.e. you can slide the seat back and forth to adjust the distance between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees. This adjustment and every other adjustment is easy to do; all you need to do is to turn the respective knob.
The study of ergonomics states that the seat pan should be at least 1inch wider than your hips and thighs and the Gesture chair is designed to meet this requirement. The seat is wide enough to comfortably accommodate users of all sizes and yet provide ample space for some body movement.
The Gesture chair by Steelcase comes with 4-way adjustable armrests, something that we haven’t come across in any of the ergonomic chairs that we have used or tested so far. You can adjust their height, width, and depth. You can pivot them too! They are designed to imitate human arms, so no matter what position your arms take, the armrests will maneuver all-around to support them.
The armrests are remarkably good. If you want to sit close to your table, you can fold them down so the chair can go under the desk. If you want to sit with your legs crossed on the chair, you can further fold them down, so your legs don’t bump into them. They provide good support to your arms, forearms, as well as your shoulders.
Steelcase gesture arms are made of high-quality plastic, probably polyurethane because they aren’t absolutely hard. Rather, they feel soft and well-padded. Plastic armrests could make you doubt its durability but like all other structural elements such as the seat, the armrests too are covered by lifetime warranty.
The Steelcase Gesture listed on Amazon comes with an additional lumbar support feature, but if you don’t need it, you can just buy a standard one from its website.
Please note that the additional lumbar support is not quite pronounced. Most buyers didn’t notice any significant difference between the two models. However, buyers have also agreed that the standard Gesture chair has an ergonomically designed backrest, which eliminates the need for any additional lumbar support.
A low-profile lumbar support is a good thing because you would hate something that will push into your lower back.
Wondering what lumbar support looks like on a Steelcase Gesture chair?
Don’t worry, it isn’t something exceptionally unique. The lumbar support of the Steelcase Gesture is the same curve that most economic chairs have. It helps support the inward curve of the spine by filling the gap between the lumbar spine and the seat.
Although most ergonomic chairs and even a few standard chairs come with lumbar support, not all of them are designed to exactly replicate the curve of your spine, which, at the end of the day, defeats their purpose.
The frame of the chair is covered for lifetime. The mechanical parts such as the casters, gas cylinders, foam padding, armrest pivoting mechanism, etc. are covered for a period of 12 years. Now, you will agree with us that Steelcase Gesture’s price is totally justified.
Steelcase Gesture Price
The current price of Steelcase Gesture with headrest is $1299 on their website and $1205 on Amazon. If you don’t need the headrest, you can buy it for around $100 less.
As we have already mentioned above, customizations are chargeable and the charges vary depending on what you want to customize. For example, the Steelcase Gesture leather could cost you an additional $300-$450 depending on the model you choose.
Steelcase offers a 30-day money back guarantee with all its chairs. It also covers the return shipping charges but you may have to pay a 20% restocking fee. Now, 20% of $1200 is a lot of money. This is why we prefer to buy Steelcase Gesture from Amazon because you won’t have to pay the restocking fee.
Please note that it’s closest competitors such as Herman Miller don’t provide any such money back guarantee.
What we like about it:
Gesture chair is rated for 24/7 use! We have studied a number of Steelcase Gesture reviews and almost all buyers have agreed that this chair is built to last for decades even when used in shifts in offices.
Steelcase provides the longest possible warranties for their products and the Gesture chair is no exception. If you face any problem during the warranty period, the manufacturer will repair or replace it with a comparable product.
Adjustable enough to fit all users
The Gesture chair is designed to imitate our body’s natural curve and support it from wherever necessary so you don’t feel the strain of sitting throughout the day (although you mustn’t do that). So, the manufacturer hasn’t made any compromises in terms of adjustability.
Whether you want to lower down the handles so you can push your chair close to your table, or whether you want the arms to go wider, every possible part of the chair can be adjusted to ensure your comfort, so you don’t lose your focus to a backache or arm discomfort.
Please note: If you usually sit for extended hours, it is time for you to get a height-adjustable desk so you can stand as and when possible. This article lists the importance of sitting at work and also recommends some of the top-rated standing desks that you can buy for your home office. Don’t forget to buy an anti-fatigue standing desk mat so you don’t end up feeling sore.
Comes fully assembled
As mentioned above, you can choose between carpet casters and hard floor casters. No matter which one you choose, the Gesture chair comes fully assembled and ready to use, which saves a lot of time and effort.
What we don’t like about Steelcase gesture chair
If you haven’t watched our Steelcase Gesture chair review video above, please do that so you can see how wobbly and annoying the headrest is. Maybe we have received a defective product but that too is unacceptable. A $1200 shouldn’t arrive damaged.
So, as you can see in the watch, the headrest doesn’t stay fixed (well headrests are supposed to be fixed unlike the backrest that can tilt or recline). It wobbles and tilts forward when not in use, which can irritate and disturb you, as it will repeatedly touch your neck or head.
You can remove the headrest but you won’t like it.
As per the manufacturer, unlike the standard chairs that you may have been using until now, the headrest of this chair is not supposed to be removed. If you do so, it will affect your comfort and the aesthetic appeal of the chair. That’s because the structure of the Gesture chair with a headrest is different from the one that comes without a headrest.
By the way, you can buy a chair without a headrest. Here is the link.
Backrest is wobbly too
Backrest stability is a subjective thing. Many people want the backrest of their chair to be a bit flexible. But, we prefer fixed ones rather than the ones that start reclining back as soon as you lean on them. Fixed backrest helps you sit firmly and concentrate. The one that moves gives a lot of movement to your body, distracts your thought process. 🙂
Well, it has recline locks and yet it doesn’t stay in its position firmly.
That’s not something that we expected from such an expensive chair from Steelcase.
Some buyers in their Steelcase Gesture reviews have suggested that you can increase the recline tension to minimize the movement of the backrest. But, that too is annoying because you have to adjust the tension every time you want to change the recline angle.
Seat could have been more padded
Seat comfort is also a subjective thing. Some people love heavily padded seats whereas others want something firm.
Padding is good for your back. It reduces the strain that your lower back suffers due to prolonged sitting. Excessive padding can, however, strain you more because your muscles will have to do some extra work to make you sit firmly.
We asked each of our team members to use the Steelcase Gesture chair for a day. Although all of them agreed that the cushioning is less than the chairs they have used earlier, most of them stated that they had absolutely no issues sitting on it for about 8 hours a day.
But, overall, we feel the padding, which is now barely 1.5-2” thick, should have been at least 0.5-1” thicker.
The plastic feels cheaper
Just like other Steelcase chairs such as the Leap and the Amia, the Gesture chair also comes with quite a few plastic parts. We are not so fond of plastic, especially when we are looking for a chair that could last a lifetime. However, plastic is indispensable because it helps provide more flexibility as well as to cover the metal components.
In our Steelcase Gesture with headrest review video above, we have pointed out that the plastic parts feel cheap. They are finished well and they fit well but they do feel a bit low-quality, especially the knob part. The choice of material could have been better considering its high price.
It’s just our opinion. Maybe we are wrong because they are anyway covered under the warranty. But, we thought we should mention it here because we want to be extremely honest in our Steelcase Gesture Review.
Other minor ignorable issues that we came across
- The seat is slightly tilted forward. Initially, you might feel as if you will slide off. Don’t worry; it’s not a bad design or a manufacturing defect. Steelcase has intentionally designed it that way because health experts recommend that ergonomic chairs should have a slightly downward slope (also known as waterfall slope). This helps reduce the pressure on the back of the thighs. You will adjust to the tilt within a few days.
- The fabric of the chair is a hair magnet but that’s not a major issue unless you have a few pets at home.
Steelcase Gesture buying guide
Where to buy the Steelcase Gesture chair
As already mentioned in this article, you can buy it directly from the manufacturer’s website or you can order from Amazon.
If you buy Steelcase Gesture from the manufacturer, you will get an option to customize the product as per your needs. But, in case you want to return it, you may have to pay a 20% restocking fee, which could be around $220-$300 depending on the price you originally paid for it.
But, if you buy Steelcase Gesture from Amazon, you don’t have to pay any restocking fee. Amazon’s policy doesn’t require the buyers to pay any such fee. Plus, the prices on Amazon are always cheaper than the manufacturer’s website. However, Amazon doesn’t provide you any option to customize your chair. So, yes, the dilemma of where to buy Steelcase Gesture is definitely going to bother you.
You can also buy Steelcase chairs from their dealers but they do not offer any money back guarantee. So, unless you are absolutely confident, we wouldn’t recommend you to buy from them.
Follow this link to locate a dealer near you.
Where to buy Steelcase Gesture for cheap
We don’t know but if you find it out, do tell us because we would love to save our money. 🙂
On a serious note, the Gesture chair is fairly priced. We do agree that it’s expensive but quality always comes with a price.
If you don’t think you will be able to afford a new one, maybe you could buy a used Steelcase Gesture chair for cheap. You can check Craigslist, Offer up, FB marketplace, and other deals websites to see if it is available in your area.
Where to try Steelcase gesture chairs
Trying a product before buying makes a lot of sense, especially if it costs $1500. It saves time, effort, and the restocking fee that you might have to pay in case you don’t like it. To test Steelcase Gesture chairs, you can contact your nearby dealer and ask if they have them in their stock.
List of Steelcase Gesture dealers in Boston is available here. You can change the area on the dealer map to find the ones in your city.
How to replace fabric on Steelcase Gesture chair
The fabric of Gesture would hardly require replacement but in case it does, you can directly contact the manufacturer for guidance. Or maybe you can contact your nearby dealer, whatever you find easier.
What paint can you use to cover the grey Steelcase Gesture legs
If you are worried about rust, you don’t need to. Because Steelcase products are rust-proof and you will not have to get it painted.
If you want to get the legs painted because you don’t like the color, please don’t do so. It isn’t a fancy, colorful decorative stuff for your office. It is a chair and it should have a basic look. Painting it unnecessarily can affect its functioning.
If you have any other reason why you want to get the Gesture legs painted, please contact the manufacturer or your nearby dealer.
How to change the angle depth of the Steelcase Gesture?
This is the most commonly asked question about the Gesture chair, so we picked it up to answer here.
By angle depth, if you mean the distance between the seat and the backrest, you can do that by turning the knobs located on the sides of the seat. That will make the seat move forward to minimize the gap between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat.
If that’s not what you are looking for, please contact the manufacturer.
How do you sit in a Gesture Steelcase chair
This is another common question that people ask about this chair.
You don’t have to do anything special to use this chair. All you need to do is to adjust it as per your body’s needs and that’s all! The adjustments are easy and quick. There are knobs and levers that let you do that with ease even when you are sitting on it.
How to clean Steelcase Gesture chair
With the pandemic going on, we all have got used to cleaning and sanitizing fluently touched surfaces, including the office chairs. If the chair is used by only one person or by the people of the same family, you don’t have to sanitize it frequently. However, if the chair is used by multiple people in an office space, you can use any disinfectant spray or wipes to sanitize the hard surfaces.
Please note that Steelcase has made it clear that these disinfectants aren’t yet proven to be safe on their products or any other products as such.
Also, do not use disinfectants on the fabric. It could cause discoloration and even severe damage. Here is how you can treat stains on the fabric. You can get your chair deep cleaned at least once a year.
Where are Steelcase Gesture chairs manufactured?
Steelcase products are made in Mexico.
Let’s admit it, we trust American manufacturers more than anyone else. That’s because America has strict quality control standards.
But, Steelcase is more than a century old company and it has never disappointed it’s buyers. So let’s not fret out on its country of origin.
Our Rating: 4/5
Steelcase Gesture is an expensive chair but totally worth its price. If it suits your budget, order one from Amazon to try it out. If you don’t like it, you can return it. If you like it and want to customize it, order from Steelcase website.
Looking for cheaper alternatives? We have listed some of them here.
Also, do think about buying ergonomic keyboards and mice for your home office because they can significantly reduce the strain on your wrists. Here are our top recommendations.
If you travel a lot, we would recommend a laptop stand such as Nexstand Laptop Stand so that you don’t have to hunch your back. These stands are portable and have adjustable height and an amazing stability. They can help you keep your laptop’s screen at your eye level thereby reducing strain on your neck.