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Steelcase Think Review

With its highly adjustable armrests and seat, this option offers comfort for taller folks
Steelcase Think
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $699 List | $777.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Well built, comfortable, adjustable seat
Cons:  Not as comfortable for smaller folks, subpar tilt resistance
Manufacturer:   Steelcase
By Hayley Thomas, David Wise, and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jun 25, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 14
  • Comfort - 50% 7
  • Adjustability - 35% 7
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Ease of Assembly - 5% 10

Our Verdict

The Steelcase Think scores fairly well across the board, receiving relatively favorable marks from our judges. While it is not the most comfortable for long eight to ten hours days, the high level of adjustability in its armrests and the seat itself offer some unique customization to the fit. The aggressive lumbar support and overall larger stature are comfortable for some, but not all. If you have a particularly curved back or enjoy a chair that encourages excellent posture, the Think is a great option at a middle-of-the-road price.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Steelcase Think
This Product
Steelcase Think
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $699 List$929 List$785 List$329 List
$329 at Amazon
$175 List
$158.00 at Amazon
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Pros Well built, comfortable, adjustable seatExtremely comfortable, tons of adjustability, sturdy constructionIncredibly easy to assemble, very adjustableGreat value, durable, comfortableInexpensive, relatively comfortable, and adjustable
Cons Not as comfortable for smaller folks, subpar tilt resistancePriceyCould be a lot more comfortable, design isn't universalLooks aren't universally appealingDurability could be better
Bottom Line With its highly adjustable armrests and seat, this option offers comfort for taller folksThe absolute best of the best, thanks to its incredible comfort, adjustability, and constructionThis chair distinguished itself on its looks rather than its ratings, but still offers a high level of performancePairs exceptional comfort and durability, at a price you just can't beatA surprisingly comfortable office chair that can't compete with top tier products, but boasts an especially comfortable price
Rating Categories Steelcase Think Steelcase Leap Herman Miller Sayl DXRacer Racing Series Articulate Ergonomi...
Comfort (50%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Adjustability (35%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Ease Of Assembly (5%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Steelcase Think Steelcase Leap Herman Miller Sayl DXRacer Racing Series Articulate Ergonomi...
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
Recline lever No No No Yes 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
Tension knob No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Most people were quite happy to use the Think for a 40-hour workweek.
Most people were quite happy to use the Think for a 40-hour workweek.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


We dubbed comfort our most important metric and the Think does well here, providing comfort for eight to ten hour days. It scores just below our highest scorer in this metric, tying it with a few of its competitors.


On paper, the Think checks all the boxes. It has adjustable lumbar support, tilt stop, and firm cushions, but it just doesn't measure up to some of the more expensive options in our test suite. However, for its price, it provides exceptional performance.

The Think is one of the falls in the middle of our comfort metric.
The Think is one of the falls in the middle of our comfort metric.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The first click of the tilt resistance on the backrest is too far back. This encourages the user to sit upright, but negatively affects the overall comfort and makes it difficult to relax and get you slouch on when posture becomes less of a priority. The aggressive lumbar support is great for those who have an aggressive curvature in their back, but it is not particularly versatile, even though its location is adjustable.

The tilt limiters on the Think have a bit of room for improvement.
The tilt limiters on the Think have a bit of room for improvement.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The seat, similar to the rest of the chair, is somewhat average. The cushion is firm and supportive, but if you are looking for a soft cushion, you may want to explore other options.

The firm cushion is comfortable but the extreme curve had some of...
The firm cushion is comfortable but the extreme curve had some of our testers slipping off the front.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The stable armrests are rather large. This is just fine for taller people, though shorter found it a little less accomodating. In fact, our shorter testers reported less overall comfort when compared to taller testers.

The Think has a solid set of adjustable features.
The Think has a solid set of adjustable features.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Adjustability


After our comfort assessments, we moved on to rating and ranking the adjustability. Again we focused on how much movement the backrest, armrests, and seat offer, as well as the back tilt. It scored reasonably well and hovered just above average.


The Think gets off to a great start with a uniquely adjustable seat and completely customizable armrests. We are used to adjustable lumbar support and general height, but the adjustable pan depth is a cool feature we didn't experience on most of the chairs in our test suite. We also found ourselves ranting and raving about the high level of armrest adjustability. You can move these puppies up, down, forward, backward, inward, and outward. On top of all that, they swivel.

The armrests are completely adjustable.
The armrests are completely adjustable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The seat and armrests are stellar as far as the adjustability they offer but the back of the seat is another story. We were disappointed at the lack of a reclining resistance adjustment — particularly because we found the four stock settings to be quite flimsy and a little too easy to recline with. There is no in-between. You are either fully lounging in the reclined position or sitting up so straight that you could balance a glass of water on your head.

We weren't thrilled with the reclining resistance adjustment.
We weren't thrilled with the reclining resistance adjustment.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The lumbar support is easily adjustable as far as its placement. However, the level of support is not. 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.

The Think earns bonus points for having the ability to adjust the...
The Think earns bonus points for having the ability to adjust the location of the lumbar support, but the fact that you cannot adjust the aggressiveness renders it uncomfortable for some.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Durability


Our durability metric accounts for a very small portion of the overall score, but these chairs can be pricey, so it still something we find to be important. In this category, we paid special attention to how much wear and tear the chairs experienced during our hands-on time with them, as well as any bits that may be vulnerable to breaking in the future. We took a deep dive into user experience research, seeking common complaints or issues. We are happy to announce that the Think performed exceptionally well in this category.


We didn't notice any signs of damage throughout our testing process. The only potential problem we could see is that there is a significant overhang when the armrests are tilted all the way in. This makes them more susceptible to being broken if weighted heavily. 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.

We worry that the armrests are rendered vulnerable when left...
We worry that the armrests are rendered vulnerable when left swiveled like this, but did not have and personal negative experiences with them.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Assembly


Once these chairs are set up, they are good to go, but assembling furniture can be a very frustrating process. We ranked each chair on how long it took us to assemble, post unboxing, as well as how clear the instructions are.


The Think delivers another stellar performance in this category. This chair shows up pretty much completely built, rendering directions unnecessary and earning it top marks for this category.

This chair arrived almost completely assembled.
This chair arrived almost completely assembled.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The Think offers pretty great value for the price tag. It falls smack dab in the middle of the most and least expensive options in our test suite and doesn't fall too far behind our top performers in its overall score. It is important to note that our shorter testers found this chair was not as comfortable as our taller testers, which can weigh heavily on the overall value.

Conclusion


The Steelcase Think is an office chair that offers average comfort and adjustability at an affordable price. While it may not be highly adjustable, it is straightforward to assemble. It is made up of durable materials, ensuring that even though the price tag comes cheap, it is not cheaply made. The Think is a solid chair. Its comfort level depends heavily on the size of the user and their preference for lumbar support. If you are the kind of person that enjoys aggressive lumbar support and happens to be a bit taller, this chair is a great option at a fair price.

The Think by Steelcase.
The Think by Steelcase.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Hayley Thomas, David Wise, and Austin Palmer