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Steelcase Gesture vs. Series 2: An In-Depth Office Chair Comparison

Steelcase Gesture vs. Series 2: An In-Depth Office Chair Comparison

What exactly are you looking for in an office chair? Are you searching for a comfortable chair with an extensive range of ergonomic features? Or perhaps you want a more budget-friendly option with a broad range of adjustments and finish choices? 

Choosing an office chair can be overwhelming, especially when there are so many different types of office seating. For example, Steelcase has a wide selection of office seating, including six popular office task chairs. Two of these office chairs are Steelcase Gesture and Steelcase Series 2

Here at Egyptian Workspace Partners, we know it's not easy to find office seating that works for every single employee. That's why we help you find seating that supports how your people move so everyone can be comfortable at work.

This in-depth article will compare Steelcase Gesture and Steelcase Series 2 in categories like pricing, ergonomic features, design options and more. By the end of this comparison, you'll be armed with the information you need to choose a versatile, comfortable office chair like Gesture or Series 2. 

Steelcase Gesture vs. Steelcase Series 2: At a Glance

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture is the first office chair designed to support a greater range of technologies, postures and user sizes. Gesture accommodates and is designed to encourage active sitting and posture change with a timeless and lasting aesthetic design that adds an element of sophistication to any workspace. 

Gesture was designed based on the extensive research of the Global Research Study, involving more than 2,000 participants over six continents. The study showed that changes in technology and behavior have led to new, unhealthy postures that are not adequately supported by current seating solutions.

Steelcase Series 2

Steelcase Series 2

Steelcase Series 2 is the attainable, high-performing task chair you can personalize with extensive style choices. The backrest signals comfort and sophisticated support, while the slim profile and light-scale look help optimize your space. 

Series 2 was designed by the Steelcase team to offer even more performance and choice. Compared to Steelcase Series 1, the Series 2 chair offers more upholstery options, different backrest styles, even more colors and materials and the ability to dial the performance up or down. 

How do Steelcase Gesture and Steelcase Series 2 Compare? 

1. Ergonomic Adjustments

All Steelcase office task chairs have intuitive controls, extensive back recline range, seat height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, height-adjustable arm options, back tension adjustment, upright back lock, and adjustable lumbar options.

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture Back Support

Back Support

Steelcase Gesture Manual Adjustment Mechanism

Adjustment Labels

Steelcase Gesture Seat Ergonomics

Seat Ergonomics

Steelcase Gesture Recline Adjustments
Recline Adjustments
Steelcase Gesture Arm Ergonomics
Arm Ergonomics
Steelcase Gesture Adjustable Headrest
Adjustable Headrest

Designed with 3D LiveBack Technology®, Steelcase Gesture has a contoured backrest that conforms to your spine to provide the highest degree of flexibility. The backrest supports you as you shift your posture from upright to reclined, bend side-to-side and rotate your torso. 

Gesture's back and seat are a synchronized system, connected by the Core Equalizer. It adapts to each user with the appropriate amount of lumbar support, regardless of the angle of recline. The Optional Headrest adjusts vertically, tilts and rotates 90 degrees in upright and reclined postures. 

Also, Gesture has adjustable 360• arms that mimic the human arm and adjust through a full range of motion. The cantilever design of the arms makes it easy to find the ideal spot to place your arms. The arms remain stationary during recline so you can maintain proper arm support while reclined. 

All Gesture seat controls are easily discoverable and easy to reach from a seat position on both sides of the chair. The adjustments are centrally located in one spot underneath the seat on the right-hand side within arm's reach. The seat depth adjusts without lifting your body out of the chair. 

Gesture's seat cushion has Adaptive Bolstering, a strong foam with intentional coring to help distribute user weight and create pressure-free comfort. The Passive Seat Edge allows the front edge of the seat to flex, relieving pressure points under your thighs. However, Gesture's seat cushion is quite firm. 

Additionally, Gesture reclines farther than any other Steelcase chair (it has a deep recline of 98° to 125°). The Back Tension with Variable Back Stop allows you to fully adjust the force required to sit upright or recline with only three and a half turns. The Variable Back Stop locks in four different recline positions.

Steelcase Series 2

Steelcase Series 2 Back Support

Back Support

Steelcase Series 2 Adjustment Mechanisms

Adjustment Mechanism

Steelcase Series 2 Recline Adjustments

Recline Adjustments

Steelcase Series 2 Seat Ergonomics

Seat Ergonomics

Steelcase Series 2 features LiveBack® Technology that works through an innovative, geometric design. With a breathable mesh back, the specially engineered wave pattern provides additional support for each part of your spine. It flexes in two dimensions as you move for personalized comfort and fit. 

The Weight-Activated Synchro Tilt Mechanism responds automatically as you sit for appropriate ergonomic support. The weight-activated mechanism has three settings (regular, tension boost and upright back lock). As you turn the comfort dial, it will click at each setting. 

4D Adjustable Armrests adjust in height, width, depth and pivot to support your neck and shoulders in various postures as you change tasks, move and collaborate. These armrests remain parallel to the worksurface at every recline angle so you can stay on task. 

Series 2's seat cushion has a strong, pliable foam with Adaptive Bolstering (air pockets under the foam) to conform to your shape and create instant comfort. The Seat Depth adjusts to your position, while the Flexible Seat Edge makes room for movement. Like Gesture, the Series 2 chair's seat cushion is rather firm.

The optional height-adjustable lumbar support, which is located in the backrest, provides additional back support, fitting comfortably in the curve of your back. Series 2 has an optional headrest similar to Gesture's headrest. 

2. Size Considerations 

Both Steelcase Gesture and Series 2 are lighter in size. According to Steelcase, Gesture uses 33 percent less space, on average, than other task chairs. Series 2 is also lighter in looks and sizes. If you want to maximize office real estate, you can't go wrong with Gesture or Series 2.

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture is designed to support users up to 400 pounds. As already mentioned above, the Gesture chair has 360• arms and an extended tension range, and a wider-than-average seat with adaptive bolstering for users of all sizes to feel like the seat is contouring around them. 

Steelcase Series 2

Similar to Gesture, Series 2 has a standard weight capacity of 400 pounds to supper users of all different shapes and sizes. Also, Series 2 offers a Seat Depth Adjustment, allowing users to customize it, depending on their height. 

3. Design Options

All Steelcase office chairs come in a variety of chair material options, including vinyl, upholstery, mesh and leather. Steelcase Gesture is only available in upholstery and leather, while Steelcase Series 2 offers upholstery, leather and mesh options. Both chairs are available as standard task chairs or stools.

Steelcase Gesture

Steelcase Gesture task chair
Gesture Chair
Steelcase Gesture with Headrest
Gesture Chair with Headrest
Steelcase Gesture Stool
Gesture Stool
Steelcase Gesture task chair with shell back
Gesture Chair with Shell Back
Steelcase Gesture task chair with wrapped back
Chair with Wrapped Back
Steelcase Gesture stool with shell back
Stool with Wrapped Back

As illustrated above, Steelcase Gesture is available as a task chair or stool. Plus, you can choose to add a headrest or coat hanger. The Gesture chair has a broad range of design options, from surface materials to fixed arm and stool height, blending seamlessly into classic, modern and contemporary office spaces. 

Steelcase Gesture has over 95 chair material options, including a wide range of fabrics and five different types of leather. You can either choose a fabric wrap around the back of the chair or a fully exposed shell back to showcase the unique back support system. 

In addition, Gesture has three frame finishes (Black, Seagull and Merle) to choose from, and a polished aluminum base option. Steelcase Gesture is available without arms, with fixed arms or with 360• arms. For casters, you can either choose wheels for carpet or wheels for hard floors. 

Steelcase Series 2

Steelcase Series 2 Task Chair

Series 2 Chair with Fully Adjustable Arms

Steelcase Series 2 Stool

Series 2 Stool

Steelcase Series 2 Armless Task Chair

Series 2 Armless Chair

Steelcase Series 2 Task Chair with Headrest

Series 2 Chair with Headrest

As you'll see above, Steelcase Series 2 is available as a standard-height task chair or a higher stool. Its accessories include an optional headrest or coat rack for additional comfort and convenience. The optional headrest matches the mesh back and flexors. 

Series 2 is available with standard or quilted upholstery. You can celebrate Series 2's attractive geometric design without upholstery or warm it up with 3D MicroKnit. The back finish options include leather, mesh and upholstery. As for casters, you can choose from wheels for carpet or wheels for hard floors. 

In addition, Series 2 is available in 19 mix-and-match 3D MicroKnit and Plastic AirBack options, plus two frame finishes (Black and Seagull) or a polished aluminum base. For armrests, you can choose from an armless chair, 4D adjustable arms or height-adjustable only arms. 

4. Pricing

Some office task chairs are an expensive but worthwhile investment, and Steelcase's selection of office seating is no exception. A few of the factors that determine the final cost of an office task chair include ergonomic adjustments, customization options, build quality and warranty. 

With Steelcase, it's important to note you can buy a similar-looking chair for less money, but you'll miss out on certain ergonomic features. On top of that, most Steelcase chairs have a lifespan of about twenty years, so you're investing in an office chair you will likely never have to replace. 

Steelcase Gesture

By far, Gesture is Steelcase's most expensive task chair. The most basic version of Gesture (with standard selections like no headrest, an upholstered wrap back, fabric upholstery, no additional lumbar and wheels for carpet) costs around $1200. 

As with any task chair, any additional upgrades will impact the final cost of the Gesture chair. Some of these optional upgrades include the stool version, headrest, shell back, leather upholstery, additional lumbar support and wheels for hard floors. The more upgrades you add, the more it will cost. 

Steelcase Series 2

Steelcase Series 2 is significantly cheaper than Gesture. For example, Series 2 with the Plastic AirBack and no upholstery (and standard height-adjustable arms and lumbar support) starts at $610.29. Series 2 with a Plastic AirBack and 3D MicroKnit begins at $628.01. Series 2 with an upholstered back starts at $663.97. 

Standard features of Series 2 include the task chair, AirBack style, 4D adjustable arms, no headrest, no lumbar support and carpet wheels. Optional upgrades include a stool, AirBack style with 3D MicroKnit, a headrest (that matches the mesh back and flexor color), lumbar support and hard floor wheels.

5. Warranty

Gesture and Series 2 are both covered by Steelcase's limited lifetime warranty. The frame of each chair is warranted for the lifetime of the original owner. Chair mechanisms, lumbar mechanisms, headrests, pneumatic cylinders, foam, arm caps, casters and glides are covered for 12 years. 

This warranty is valid from the date of delivery, regardless of shift usage (so it is rated for 24-7 usage). Steelcase will repair or replace your chair with a comparable product, at its option and free of charge. If repair or replacement is not commercially practicable, Steelcase will provide a refund or credit. 

Steelcase Gesture vs. Steelcase Series 2: Which Office Task Chair Should You Choose? 

Steelcase Gesture and Steelcase Series 2 are light, versatile, comfortable office chairs with a wide range of adjustments and materials (as well as a twelve-year warranty). Ultimately, your choice of an office chair will depend on the ergonomic adjustments you need and how much money you're willing to spend. 

If you prioritize ergonomics and comfort, Gesture is a great fit. Out of all Steelcase chairs, Gesture has the broadest range of adjustments (but it is also the most expensive option). Plus, it's ideal if you suffer from back pain, change postures frequently, switch between different devices or sit in unusual positions. 

Steelcase Series 2 has the broadest range of material and finish options in the budget-friendly category. If you want a comfortable office chair with simple, easy adjustments (and you want to invest in high-performance seating without spending a lot of money), Series 2 is the best option for you.

Can't decide if you want Steelcase Gesture or Steelcase Series 2? If you're still in need of an office chair, take a look at our guide to the best office task chairs. If you've made your decision (or you want to see these chairs in action), sign up for the Chair Test Drive Program today!


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