Steelcase Gesture Review
Pros: Highly adjustable, comfortable for long periods of time, high back
Cons: Armrests aren’t universally accepted, uncomfortable if not sitting correctly
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|Pros||Highly adjustable, comfortable for long periods of time, high back||Extremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy construction||Incredibly easy to assemble, very adjustable||Great value, durable, comfortable||Inexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustable|
|Cons||Armrests aren't universally accepted, uncomfortable if not sitting correctly||Pricey||Design isn't universal||Looks aren't universally appealing||Durability could be better|
|Bottom Line||This model is top-notch if it fits you well but isn't as universally lauded as some when it comes to comfort||Our favorite chair that we have tested to date, this is by far the highest performing chair on the market||This chair distinguished itself on its looks, but still provides a high level of performance||Pairs exceptional comfort and durability, at a price you just can't beat||This is our favorite budget-friendly chair for the money|
|Rating Categories||Steelcase Gesture||Steelcase Leap||Herman Miller Sayl||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Ease of Assembly (5%)|
|Specs||Steelcase Gesture||Steelcase Leap||Herman Miller Sayl||DXRacer Racing Series||Modway Articulate E...|
|Seat pan adjustment||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Adjustable lumbar support||Yes||Yes||Option available||Yes; a movable pad||Yes; the backrest moves up and down|
|Lumbar support||Yes||Yes||Option available||Yes; a removable movable pad||Yes|
|Tilt limiter||Yes; 4 stop points||Yes; 5 stop points||Yes; 3 stop points||Yes; only locks in the upright position||Yes; locks you into a position|
|Armrest width adjustment||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Option available||No|
|Swivel armrests||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Yes||No|
|Armrest depth adjustment||Option available||Option available||Option available as a third-party upgrade||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Accounting for half of the Gesture's final score, our comfort metric is the most important when it comes to this chair's final score. To rate and compare how each chair performed in this exceptionally subjective rating metric, we gathered a panel of judges of varying heights and body types. We had each judge determine how long they could comfortably sit in the chair, and asked for their overall opinions — what they specifically thought of the backrest, seat, and armrests. The Gesture performs just okay in this metric, receiving an average score, and can't compare to the top chairs' universal accolades.
On average, our judges were more than happy to sit in this chair for a full day, with most being more than happy to occupy the Gesture for more than 10 hours and only a few that found it to be uncomfortable after seven to eight hours. Most people were happy with the amount of padding and support, with the main complaint again being that it felt like it was sloping forward a tiny amount and can't be adjusted. The backrest was also decently well received by our panel of judges. The backrest has an integrated curve that provides ample support, but this might not be the chair for you if you like aggressive lumbar support.
However, it is the armrests that caused our judges the most concern. They are a little more difficult to get adjusted into a comfortable position and don't lock into place, making it easy to inadvertently knock them out of position.
Our second metric assesses the different adjustments each office chair offers, which allow it to conform to your body and personal preferences. To determine the Gesture's scores, we compared the amount of range and the ease of adjusting the seat, reclining function, backrest, and armrests. We also evaluated the amount of effort required to get the chair into an ergonomic position. The Gesture offers a ton of customization, particularly with its armrests, earning it one of the higher scores of the group.
This chair has the option to purchase with or without adjustable lumbar support, but the built-in curvature without the additional support fits most people quite well. The backrest goes decently high, and you have four different tilt-limiting stops to choose between.
We were very impressed with the adjustability of the armrest. The Gesture offers some of the most adjustability that we have seen to date. They can move up and down, adjust in width, swivel them, and move them forward and back and have a wide range of motion for each of these adjustments. This chair also lets you adjust the depth of the seat pan.
Our third metric is durability. We thoroughly inspected each chair after we had tested them for any signs of damage and combed through user experiences to see if there were any commonly experienced issues with this chair. The Gesture again scored very well, tying with several other chairs for the top spot.
This chair didn't really undergo any wear and tear throughout our testing process. It appears to be solidly built and we couldn't identify any areas that seemed likely to wear out quickly. We also didn't find many user complaints about the chair breaking, just a few mentioned the chair started to squeak after six months of use. These seemed few and far between, so you can be fairly confident that your investment will be a sound one.
Ease of Assembly
Our last evaluation looked at the amount of work required to go from unboxing to sitting in your brand new Gesture. This office chair arrived completely assembled in a fairly enormous box, so we could start sitting in it within 10 minutes.
The Gesture isn't the best value, as it pairs a top-tier price with an overall middling performance.
The Steelcase Gesture is a good chair that has incredibly adjustable armrests, but it isn't for everyone. This seat wasn't universally loved, and a few wished for a bit more when it came to lumbar support. Many of our judges noted that the Gesture forces you to sit in a very upright position — almost to the point of tilting you forward. This can be great if you are working on sitting upright or if that is your preferred sitting position, but a different chair might better suit people who like a more reclined stance. It's also an exceptionally pricey product, but may be worth it if you are sure that it's the right fit for your body type and posture.
— Hayley Thomas, Austin Palmer, and David Wise
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