The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Steelcase Think Review

The Think does well but it could do quite a bit better
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Price:   $817 List | $680 at Amazon
Pros:  Appears well-built, comfortable
Cons:  Could have more adjustable features, pricey
Manufacturer:   Steelcase
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Nov 29, 2018
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Comfort - 50% 7
  • Adjustability - 35% 7
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Ease of Assembly - 5% 10

Our Verdict

The Steelcase Think scored fairly well across the board, receiving relatively favorable marks from our judges when it came to comfort and adjustability. We thought it was particularly well-constructed and quite easy to put together. However, it definitely isn't the best when it comes to comfort and adjustability, overall failing to claim an award. While we didn't particularly dislike it, there are better overall chairs and better value options out there.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Think finished right behind the Herman Miller Sayl and Embody and just a few points ahead of the DXRacer. The Think is about as comfortable as the DXRacer and the Embody, with all three of these chairs being preferable to the Sayl when it comes to comfort. However, the Sayl does offer the most adjustability out of this quartet. All of them appear to be relatively durable and quite easy to assemble, with the exception of the Embody, which took about 45 minutes to get set up. When it comes to price, the DXRacer is the clear winner, costing less than half of the Sayl and the Think and almost $1000 less than the Embody.

Performance Comparison


To figure out which office chairs are our absolute favorites, we conducted extensive research and analysis, then picked out which chairs we thought had the most potential, bought them all, then compared their performance head-to-head in four weighted rating categories, with the Think's results described below.

Comfort


Our most important round of tests, these account for half of the Think's final score. While comfort is a highly subjective subject, we graded each chair by having a panel of testers try out each chair and score how comfortable they found the backrest, armrests, and seat. Additionally, we also awarded points based on the number of hours they would be content to use the chair and if they thought they would be happy using the chair for 40 hours a week, week after week. The Think did quite well, earning a 7 out of 10 and tying for the runner-up position overall in this testing metric.

Almost all of our diverse panel of judges felt that they could sit in the Steelcase Think for an entire 8-10 hours day without any problems, with the exception of a single judge, who only wanted to sit in this chair for half of the day. This judge also happened to be our shortest, so you may want to take this into account if you are on the shorter side and considering this chair.


It was a similar story when it came to judging the seat and backrest comfort, with almost every judge rating them fairly well and our shorter judge rating them relatively mediocre. However, the armrests of the Think did have a much more universal appeal, with all the judges rating them rather well.

Adjustability


After our suite of comfort assessments, we moved on to rating and ranking the adjustability of the Think, again focusing on how much movement the backrest, armrests, and seat offered you, as well as looking at the reclining mechanism. The Steelcase Think again scored reasonably well, earning a 7 out of 10 in this testing metric, which constitutes a little over a third of its overall score — 35%.

The Think got off to a great start by having completely customizable armrests, allowing you to move them forward and back, in and out, up and down, and swivel them to match your preferences as completely as possible.


It also scored very highly when it came to the seat, allowing you to adjust both the seat pan depth and the seat height, and has a backrest with adjustable lumbar support.


However, we were disappointed at the lack of a reclining resistance adjustment — particularly because we found the stock setting to be quite flimsy and a little too easy to recline with.


There are at least 4 tilt limiters that you can set so you don't recline all the way back everytime you lean back slightly, but this adjustment was sorely missed.

Despite that, it is still quite easy to get the Think set up for most people so you are conforming to ergonomic seating guidelines and best practices.

Durability


Accountable for one-tenth of its total score, our durability metric is comprised of how long the included warranty for each chair is and how much wear and tear we noticed during our tests, as well as if we found any common complaints or issues when going through other user reviews. The Think again delivered an exceptional performance, meriting a 9 out of 10.

This chair comes with one of the longest warranty periods — 12 years — and seemed really solid to us. We didn't notice any signs of damage throughout our testing process and the only potential problem we could see is there is a significant overhang when the armrests are adjusted all the way in, making them more susceptible to being broken if you put a ton of pressure on them. However, we haven't found any mention of this happening so it seems like this chair is sturdy enough to handle whatever you throw at it in normal use.

Ease of Assembly


Finally, we ranked each chair on how long it took us to assemble it after unboxing it and if the directions to do this are clear and easy to understand. These account for the last 5% of the score and the Think delivered another stellar performance, meriting a 10 out of 10.

This chair shows up pretty much completely built, rendering directions unnecessary and earning it top marks for this category.

Value


This chair isn't a great value, being a little pricey compared to its performance and a handful of other chairs that offer a better bang for the buck.

Conclusion


With the only real complaint with the Think being its lack of a reclining resistance adjustment, this chair from Steelcase is overall a pretty solid office chair. However, as it stands now, we would suggest either upgrading to one of the better chairs for another $200 or saving some money and going with one of the budget options that scored almost the same.


David Wise and Austin Palmer