In a Nutshell:

Turnstone Buoy Stool by Steelcase is a great alternative to conventional office seating, offered by one of the most respected companies in the industry. It is recommended for anyone who’s ready to say goodbye to their conventional office chair.

Value for the Money
Brand Reliability*
Aesthetic Flexibility**

Overall Rating

* Brand Reliability is a measure of the strength and longevity of the brand, which by extension, is a measure of the level of support you can expect. ** While aesthetics is a matter of taste, Aesthetic Flexibility is a measure of how easily a given design would fit into a wide range of home or office décor schemes.


  • Attractive, fun
  • Helps alleviate chronic back pain
  • Exceptional value for the money
  • Lightweight, and easy to move
  • Impressive warranty


  • None
Turnstone Buoy Stool by Steelcase

Recommended For: Anyone who’s ready to say goodbye to their conventional office chair.

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​Are you tired of getting up from your office chair after a long day feeling like you’ve gone ten rounds with a professional boxer? Are you interested in escaping the humdrum world of conventional office seating and looking in a different direction? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you’ll love our review of the Turnstone Buoy Stool.

Haven’t you heard of Turnstone?

Perhaps you’ve heard of their parent company, Steelcase. They make some of the best office chairs in the business, which you can read about in our Steelcase office chair reviews, and they’ve put their expertise to use in the alternative seating market.

Steelcase is a legend in the office furniture industry, and the Buoy is so expertly designed that it will blow you away.

In the following sections, we’ll tell you what this amazing active sitting stool can do. By the time you reach the end, even if you decide you’re not quite ready to jump into the alternative office seating market, you’ll agree that this is an amazing option! Read on, and we’ll tell you more.

Key Features of the Turnstone Buoy Stool

The Turnstone Buoy Stool is, simply put, office seating reimagined. It belongs to a small subset of active sitting stools that look more like Ottomans than conventional active stools. As we mentioned, it’s offered by one of the finest companies in the office furniture industry.

It’s playful, it’s fun, and it’s incredibly versatile.

Available Colors

If you decide you have to have one, you can order yours in a variety of different color options.

Two columns of Turnstone Buoy Chairs

Where the base is concerned, you can select from:

  • Chili
  • Arctic White
  • Element
  • Black
  • Picasso
  • Wasabi

If you order from Amazon, you can get a range of padded seat colors, including, but not limited to:

  • Coconut Connect
  • Geranium Chainmail
  • Graphite Connect
  • Kohl Bo Peep
  • Maya Blue Connect
  • Tornado Buzz2

If you order directly from Turnstone, many other fabric and color options are available. If none of those options are exactly what you’re looking for, head here.

Steelcase Turnstone Buoy Chair with arctic white base

Chair Specifications

Before we get into specific features and capabilities in our Turnstone Buoy review, let’s pause and take a quick look at the core stats defining the Buoy. Here they are:

  • Overall Product Dimensions: 18” x 18” x 19”
  • Stool Weight: 26 pounds
  • Maximum Supported Weight: 250 pounds
  • Seat Width: 18”
  • Height Adjustment Range: 17” to 22.5”

While we’re not overly surprised by the Buoy’s modest weight limit, we wish Steelcase had offered more here. Many, if not most, of the alternative office seating solutions top out at 250 pounds of supported weight, though you do find a few that marginally exceed that number.

It’s not a bad number, and it does make the Buoy Stool useful to some 85% of the market, but unfortunately, if you weigh more than that, you’ll struggle to find an office chair alternative that will work for you.

On the other hand, we love how lightweight the stool is. Combined with the convenient handle on the side, it’s super easy to pick your Buoy up and take it wherever you happen to be going, making it an ideal seating choice for people with active jobs who see them flitting from one place to another throughout the day.

The seat height adjustment range is also excellent. While most of the conventional office chairs on the market today feature gas lifts with a 4” height adjustment range, the Buoy uses a lift with a 5.5” height adjustment range. Even better, the height adjustment spans from 17” to an impressive 22.5”, making it useful for a wide range of user heights spanning about 5’1” to 6’3” or so, depending on the length of your legs. That range also ensures you can use the stool with any standard-sized desk.

Adjustability and Comfort

Let’s start with comfort since there’s relatively little to talk about on that front. The padding on the Turnstone Buoy Stool by Steelcase is adequate but not what we’d describe as plush. It’s fine for light to moderate daily use, but if you spend a full eight-hour day sitting on the stool without getting up and moving around, you won’t be happy with it.

An illustration on the movement of the Turnstone Buoy Stool by Steelcase

Remember, this product was designed for active sitting. That means two things. First and foremost, it’s designed for people who tend to get up from their chairs (or stools) and move around a good bit during the day. Second, you’ll get a subtle, low-intensity workout when you sit in the chair because it moves as you move.

You lean left or right; the stool leans with you. You lean forward; the stool does, too. This is superb for giving your core a nice workout, dramatically improving your health and muscle tone.

Since it doesn’t have a seatback and wiggles, you’ll have to sit correctly to keep yourself balanced. This is good because it will keep your spine properly aligned, alleviating pain if you suffer from chronic back pain due to spinal compression.

Other than its vast mobility, the only other adjustment feature to talk about here in this section of our Turnstone Buoy Chair review is the stool height adjustment, which, as we said, spans from 17” to 22.5”, making it an incredibly versatile piece of office furniture. Combine that with its light weight, which makes it easy to move with you, and it’s hard to top the Buoy stool if you’re looking for an alternative to a conventional office chair.

It gets even better, though.

Although Turnstone is a separate brand, the stool is backed by Steelcase’s impressive 12-year warranty. It will provide years of reliable service, making it a bargain indeed.

No Assembly Required

One of the nice things about buying a product like this is that there’s nothing to do to prepare it for first use. It comes fully assembled. Just unbox it, put it where you want it, and have a seat. That’s it!

Color Variants of the Buoy Stool

Coconut Connect seat variant of the Steelcase Turnstone Buoy Chair
Coconut Connect
Geranium Chainmail seat variant of the Turnstone Buoy Stool
Geranium Chainmail
Graphite Connect seat variant of the Turnstone Buoy Chair
Graphite Connect
Kohl Bo Peep seat variant of the  Turnstone Buoy Chair
Kohl Bo Peep
Maya Blue Connect seat variant of the Turnstone Buoy Stool
Maya Blue Connect
Tornado Buzz2 seat variant of the Turnstone Buoy Stool by Steelcase
Tornado Buzz2

Pros and Cons of the Steelcase Turnstone Buoy Stool

Built-in handle of the Turnstone Buoy Stool

Other than increasing the weight limit, there’s nothing we’d recommend changing about the design of the Steelcase Turnstone Buoy chair. In our view, its main selling points are:

  • It’s attractive, fun, lightweight, and easy to move.
  • It helps people who suffer from chronic back pain tremendously
  • Given its impressive warranty, it is an exceptional value for the money.

Final Thoughts: Turnstone Buoy Review

The Turnstone Buoy Stool, like most other alternative office seating options, is almost entirely self-selecting.

If you’re interested in a conventional office chair, then none of the alternative seating options will appeal to you in the least.

On the other hand, provided the modest weight limit isn’t an issue, if you’re in the market for something a little outside the lines and are interested in something with a fun, playful aesthetic that can serve as a go-anywhere short to medium duration seating solution that will give you a decent workout without your even realizing it and help reduce chronic back pain, then it’s hard to argue against the Buoy.

We recommend it for light to moderate daily use by people whose jobs require them to be on their feet and move about at regular intervals. It won’t disappoint!

Recommended Reading

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VIA Seating Swopper Stool Chair Review

Our research on the VIA Seating Swopper indicates that it is a quirky, fun alternative to the conventional office chair.

Official Manufacturer Support

References & Resources