We can often think of furniture shopping as unpersonalized and unimportant, but the reality is anything but that. Finding an office chair that meets your ergonomic and lifestyle needs is an intimate and personal process, and many elements, including your weight, need to be taken into account.
Steelcase Leap chairs have a weight capacity of 400 pounds. This means anyone over that weight limit should look for an alternative option that better suits their needs.
Compared to other office chairs, a 400 pound weight limit is considerably high. Most chairs’ capacities are around 300, with some being even less than that.
There are a few reasons why weight limits are so important for pieces of furniture, especially ones meant to last a lifetime.
Keep reading to learn about why the Steelcase leap chair weight limit is so important, and what you can do if you happen to be over it.
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Can Steelcase leap chairs hold more than their weight capacity?
Someone weighing more than the Steelcase Leap chair weight capacity isn’t going to break the chair as soon as they sit down on it. If someone else is borrowing your chair, it will probably be fine for a day or two depending on how heavy they are, but there are a few risks to this.
The weight capacity is there for a reason. It’s meant to protect the longevity of the chair and give its owner the best value possible.
Why Weight Limits Matter
If a user is over the weight limit of the chair, they could end up hurting themselves or significantly decreasing the lifespan of the chair. Steelcase chairs are a lifetime investment, and the last thing you want is to break it or hurt yourself because its guidelines weren’t respected.
A small survey was conducted and found that most people don’t care about the weight limit of a chair, mainly because they aren’t overweight so it doesn’t concern them. This isn’t irrational, but there will be times when people other than yourself may be sitting in the chair.
The weight limits on chairs are surprisingly strict. Even a few pounds over may lead to the decline of the chair in a matter of months instead of a matter of years. The quality of the chair reflects the speed of its decline, even Steelcase chairs will wear out considerably faster when the weight capacity is passed.
If a chair is made of durable metals like steel, it will most likely have a heavier weight capacity. Lightweight plastic office chairs usually hold no more than 250 pounds, sometimes less depending on the brand.
This means that even people who aren’t overweight should think about investing in a chair with a higher weight capacity, since it reflects the quality of the chair.
How long does a Steelcase Leap chair last?
We can’t mention longevity in a chair without bringing up Steelcase’s limited lifetime warranty. It’s their testament to how confident they are in their products and services.
Like a nice car, Steelcase chairs need to be taken care of. Keep an eye on its cushion, casters (wheels), and gas cylinder as those are usually the parts that start to wear out first.
By replacing and servicing smaller aspects of the chair regularly, you’ll be able to avoid having to buy a new one entirely.
The limited lifetime warranty covers most functional aspects of the chair. So keep in mind that any problems with the leather or fabric fading or peeling will not be covered by the warranty.
Exceeding the weight capacity of a Steelcase chair will bring it closer to retirement, taking away potentially decades worth of valuable sitting time from you.
If your weight fluctuates a lot, and you may not always be under the 400 pound weight limit, we suggest opting for a chair with a higher weight capacity so you get your money’s worth out of your investment.
The Steelcase Leap Plus
The Steelcase Leap Plus is Steelcase’s ‘big and tall’ chair. While the traditional Leap chair accommodates up to 400 pounds, the Leap Plus can comfortably seat anyone under 500 pounds.
The Leap Plus chair’s seat is 18 percent larger and its back is 12 percent wider than the original. This makes it more comfortable for heavier people, so it may be the better option for some users even if they weigh under 400 pounds.
If you’re concerned about ergonomic support, don’t be! The Steelcase Leap Plus offers the same life-changing back support the original Leap chair does.
It’s back curves to match your back and provides exceptional lumbar support. It also features all the adjustable components the original chair has.
The Leap Plus is more expensive than the standard Leap chair. This mainly has to do with the extra materials required to make the chair. It also doesn’t have the additional lumbar support or headrest option, so keep this in mind if those components are important to you.
However, you still get to choose from all the classic color options and can opt for additional armrest adjustability and carpet or wood-flooring wheels.
At the End of the Day
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you weigh more than the Steelcase Leap chair’s weight capacity. The weight limit is meant to protect the customer, not make them feel bad.
The Steelcase Leap Plus is a celebrated ‘big and tall’ chair that provides its users with the support they deserve without any worry they might wear out the chair or hurt themselves. While it is more expensive, it may be worth it for those looking to feel safe and protected while working.
What has your experience been with weight capacity for a chair? Has it been something you’ve had to worry about? How have you gone about making the safest and more economical decisions? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.