The most popular, elegant and well known pianos in the world are made by Steinway & Sons, who have a tradition of making their top-of-the-line instruments for over 150 years. Steinway however, is solely a piano bench manufacturer, and do not make their own piano benches to go along with their pianos. They in fact contract out to Jansen & Son exclusively to make benches for their products. Thus, if you are looking for a Steinway piano bench, you are in fact looking for a Jansen piano bench.
A brief history about Jansen: they are an American piano bench manufacturer in Wisconsin, who have been in business for over 50 years. They are known across the globe for making the highest quality benches available, using superior maple hardwood (from the East Coast of the United States or Canada), and thick, furniture quality vinyl. Jansen is best known for their artist benches, which features their heavy-duty, silent “micro-adjustable” raising mechanism (which is the best adjustable mechanism on the market).
Taking this into account, if you are looking for a piano bench to go with your Steinway piano, the two most common options are either a wood top bench, or the above mentioned artist bench (the other option would be an upholstered top bench, which while more comfortable, does not highlight the elegance of the Steinway piano as much as a finished wood top bench does, and thus is less popular).
Of the two choices, the most popular is the Jansen artist bench, for both its design and usability. If you’ve seen a Steinway piano in a concert hall, the adjustable artist bench with it is a Jansen (and its quality is such that it is perfect for performance halls, teaching studios, and home use).
A Jansen artist bench is the Cadillac of benches, and it is reflected in the price. Compared to other benches however, even those made by other American manufacturers, it is definitely worth the price, and like everything else is life, you get what you pay for. Take into account, that their benches are meant to last for many years, if not decades (they do use a thick, heavy duty polyester foam which will not break down), and that you are placing the piano bench next to a multi-thousand dollar instrument. When the piano is the focal point of your room, you do not want to put something cheap next to it, and putting a cheap bench next to a Steinway piano, it will definitely stick out.
All of this being said, given these economic times, buying a Jansen artist bench can still be a significant financial commitment for a lot of people. And while Jansen piano benches are sold online, for those who have never seen one of their benches in person, it’s not uncommon for a person to want to examine one up-close before buying something over the internet. The best way of doing this would be contact your local Steinway dealer, and ask if they have any Jansen artist benches in their storeroom next to their pianos. That way, you can do to your dealer, sit on the bench yourself, and see the actual quality of the bench.